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The Arrow's workout routine, and why it probably wouldn't work


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#1 Godeskian


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Posted 16 December 2012 - 03:27 PM

So I get that the fact that Arrow spends a chunk of most episodes shirtless and lifting weights, pulling weights, doing handstands and pull ups, and that weird height raising pullup (which is legit apparently) is probably fanservice as much as it's to show how he's keeping his body fit, but the problem is that it doesn't seem like it would be all that useful to focus so omnipresently on strength as opposed to speed and cardio fitness.

Yes we see him shoot arrows occasionally, but when I compare it to the gruelling training that major calibre athletes go through, it seems he should be focussing far more on speed and his bow-work than on how many blocks of stone he can pull over his shoulders.

Maybe it's just me.


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#2 Josh


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Posted 16 December 2012 - 04:14 PM

As you pointed out, I don't get the impression that those scenes are meant to be taken logically as much as they are for female (and gay male) libidos. And I'm not complaining. ;)

#3 Raijin

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 04:22 PM

Look in detail at training performed by high level Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighters. They pay attention to all three aspects of physical training.  Strength, muscular endurance, cardiovascular endurance. They also do it in proportions that they and their trainers feel they need to improve.

Athletes in other categories do physical training that best suits their respective sports i.e. weight lifters don't train for speed at all.

Strength exercises like pull-ups are also used by many militaries.

As a martial artist I can tell you don't let anyone tell you strength isn't important. Also if you can do a weigh lifting exercise (no matter the weight) for 3 sets of more than 15 reps with relative ease you are hitting muscular endurance more than gaining pure strength. Muscular endurance is perhaps the most important aspect of physical conditioning for hand-to-hand combat.

On the subject of speed. This believe it or not is a sprinter:

Edited by Raijin, 16 December 2012 - 04:33 PM.

#4 Lambsilencer


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Posted 17 December 2012 - 09:59 AM

The shirtless scenes are of course mainly for the ladies.

"Arrow" does right what "The Secret Circle" failed to do. If you generally target females, no amount of cute girls in miniskirts will do anything for them. You gotta have some guys around. Women like to watch, too. And then in a group of four girls and two guys, what do they do? Kill one of the guys. Yes, he was replaced by the very good-looking Chris Zylka (and I'm saying this as a straight man), but still. In the end, CW president Mark Pedowitz said that he canceled "The Secret Circle" because, aside from the fact that its ratings weren't that great, it didn't have enough good-looking men for the female target audience.

Of course, "Arrow" is a completely different animal in terms of quality, but still, the fact remains that shows need to recognize that women like to watch men - preferably shirtless, probably. The bonding with the female protagonists alone is not enough.


#5 Raijin

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 11:24 AM

To that effect it's interesting what actually constitutes a sexualized male (heterosexual) and what's a false equivalence:


Edited by Raijin, 17 December 2012 - 11:34 AM.

#6 NeuralClone

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 01:20 PM

If anything, I'd argue the exact opposite about Oliver's routine. Strength is just as important as speed and endurance. In order to train to do parkour, for example, you need strength in addition to endurance and speed. Many of the exercises he's shown doing work the upper body and are pulling motions. Those are the types of exercises he'd need as an archer.

If anything, his routine makes a LOT more practical sense than most exercise routines shown in Hollywood.

Edited by NeuralClone, 17 December 2012 - 02:02 PM.

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#7 gsmonks


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Posted 17 December 2012 - 02:41 PM

Whenever you're looking at tv, you're looking at product, and television product is carefully constructed to suck in viewers.

In order to hit as many demographics as possible, product changes from show to show. I can't stand Two And A Half Men because it's not funny and the characters are worms (the same reasons I couldn't stand Seinfeld), but that's because I don't fit into that particular demographic.

To steal a quote from Network, "the purpose of television is to market mass audiences to advertisers". In other words, you'll find a particular type of commercial going with Arrow. Identify the demographic of the most prevalent commercials, identify the demographic the programme is aimed at.

And so it goes . . .
Capitalism is a pyramid scheme run by the 1%.

#8 petedude

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 03:17 AM

Sure, viewers are only shown Ollie's strength-building regime, but his warehouse is big enough that he could be running short sprints as well.

Being a notorious public figure, Ollie can't jog during the day as he probably should do-- seems to me he could use more stamina in prolonged fights.

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