How to Take ‘Fitspiration’ From Shang-Chi’s Simu Liu

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Simu Liu’s acting career started in television, with his career beginning in shows like Kim’s Convenience. However, the Chinese-born Canadian actor is best known for his titular role in the 2021 blockbuster Shang-Chi and the Legend of Ten Rings. The actor has been open about his fitness journey as the first Asian superhero of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so here are some tips on how to bring out the superhero in you by taking ‘fitspiration’ from Shang-Chi’s Simu Liu.

Pick the right workout routine for you

Simu Liu’s workout routine for Shang-Chi involved a blend of martial arts, strength training, and dynamic workouts to achieve the explosiveness and power fit for a Marvel superhero.

In choosing the workout routine appropriate for you, it’s best to focus on a primary goal—whether it’s building strength, gaining muscle, or lessening body fat. From there, you can identify which combinations of exercises align with your goals, e.g. doing deadlifts and bench presses for strength training. Deciding on how long and how many times a week you should exercise also helps towards building a solid workout routine.

Lose weight healthily

Losing weight can improve heart and blood health, while also reducing the risk for chronic diseases such as diabetes and cancer. It can be tempting to try out diet fads that promise quick results, but healthy weight loss requires a long-term journey of improved habits and eating patterns. Simu Liu and his fellow MCU stars, for example, followed a ‘Marvel diet’ devised by dietitians according to the actors’ respective nutritional needs and weight goals.

Similarly, the weight loss plans for men on WeightWatchers include customized food plans, a mobile app to track weight, food, sleep, and activity, and weekly check-ins to make sure you stay on top of your progress. With a plan that’s tailored to your daily lifestyle and needs, losing weight can be motivating—and even enjoyable.

Allow yourself cheat days

When production for Shang-Chi was halted due to the pandemic, Simu Liu ‘cheated’ on his prescribed Marvel diet by eating chili crabs with fellow Asian co-stars Michelle Yeoh and Ronny Chieng.

Embarking on a fitness journey doesn’t have to rely on restriction or deprivation. Cheat meals or entire cheat days can be a way for you to take a short break from your diet by enjoying your favorite food. If carefully planned, cheat days can also motivate you to stick to your diet for the rest of the week or month.

Seek support from family and friends

There can be days when it’s hard to walk the path towards a healthier lifestyle, but you don’t have to be alone. Find people whom you can talk to and share your struggles with.

Ask for healthy recipes from family members. Swap exercise tips with coworkers. Or maybe try getting active with your friends, just like Simu Liu and gym buddy co-star Ronny Chieng. A Washington Post article lists the benefits of group exercise, and one of them is the sense of connectedness with others which can help you stay consistent and less likely to fall off track.

While Simu Liu serves as an ideal ‘fitspiration’, remember that the fitness journey varies from person to person. It took the actor months to get into shape for Shang-Chi, so don’t rush and give your body the time to transform.

As you go through the inevitable ups and downs of improving your health and lifestyle, it’s best to adopt not just the fitness routine but also the mindset of a hero: by reminding yourself why you’re doing this, and who you’re ultimately doing this for.

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