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Body by starfleet with Robb Pearlman

Robb Pearlman makes exercise fun by giving you a fitness program in his book, Star Trek: Body by Starfleet.


Allan (00:59):
Robb, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

Robb (01:02):
Thanks so much, Allan.

Allan (01:03):
You know when I saw your book Body by Starfleet: A Fitness Guide, I had to get you on the show. There's just no way. I'm a science fiction fan, I would not say as far as fanatic, you know, I'm not the convention or I'm not the, and the person that's going to collect a lot of things. Uh, but I really, really do enjoy just sitting down and watching something like star Trek. Because it kind of, it expands my mind. It makes me think things differently as you kind of go through these stories. Uh, and it just gives them so much creative opportunity that I just, I really enjoy science fiction. So when you kind of pair up, uh, that with, you know, my love for fitness and like, okay, yeah, this is, this is really, really cool.

Robb (01:42):
It's like two great tastes that taste great together for you.

Allan (01:44):
And they do, you know, this is, yeah, this is not two great things you put together and tastes like crap. This, this actually works, you know? And so, uh, as I got into the book, uh, you know, basically it was just really cool. You obviously you used the series, and kind of put that all together to say, you know, how do I get myself fit? What are some exercises I can do? You often paired them up with a character sure. Or characters, from the series just to really make it fun. And then, you know, the artwork, you got a guy that was doing some art for you to draw these exercises out. So there's, there's visual interpretations of what it would look like, which is also really, really good.

Robb (02:25):
Yeah. The artists whose name is Jason Kaiser did an amazing, amazing job illustrating all of the different steps for all the exercises.

Allan (02:32):
Okay. So, you know, I guess I'll come off with the first question and, I kind of have an idea, but, I wanted to hear from you. Why is fitness important to members of Starfleet?

Robb (02:43):
You know, I think with any, any organization, regardless of the size, you're only as strong as your quote unquote weakest member. You know, Starfleet has always had each other's backs, whether it's in the dominion war or any other large scale conflict or just on the bridge of, uh, of the enterprise. Everyone is all rooting for each other. It's, you know, they're not gonna leave anybody behind. So part of that is being as physically fit as you can. I mean, obviously there are people who have different fitness levels who are differently abled, but at least everyone tries their hardest to pull their own weight.

Allan (03:17):
Yeah. And you're not the red shirt that's gonna disappear after the first three minutes of the episode. You know, you're, you're meant to be on this earth for a long, long time. And so being fit for task I think is really, really important. And that's what you kind of saw. Uh, most of the, most of the characters on there were, we're generally fit. There were some characters typically on the wrong side of the things that weren't all that fit. They were, they were effectively like a military style unit. We did things, we went by rank. And so, you know, yeah, fitness has always been an important thing for the military.

Allan (03:53):
Anything you want to do in life, you're going to need the fitness do so. So I'm excited to kind of get into some of the things that we can do as, uh, we are members of our own Starfleet. Our body is our spaceship and what can we do to make it as fit as possible?

Robb (04:08):
Thats very philosophical. I like it!

Allan (04:11):
Well, we're just flying through space. Right. And it's boldly go. And I think a lot of people when I hear the term workout or you know, they hear train or they hear exercise easy to get overwhelmed and I like how you approach this and thinking this is not something that you have to go to a full service, big box gym to have all the different implements because you know, of course everywhere else and you know, and then Starfleet they had access to, you know, try quarters and all these other tools and gadgets and phasers and tractors and all this stuff. We don't have to have that much to do what you're having us do in this workout or these exercise.

Robb (04:54):
Yeah, no, not really. I mean it definitely helps if you've got standard gravity. You know when I started working out, I was extraordinarily intimidated and I didn't like working out. And quite honestly, it's still not my favorite thing in the world, but I noticed that if I was able to have fun with it, if I was able to “engage” pun sort of intended with the people around me or even just sort of internally I was, the workouts were going faster, they were a little bit easier. My mind was a little bit occupied. You know, when I was consulting with Chris Tutela, who was my trainer on the book, I wanted to make sure that the vast majority of these exercises, we're accessible for people of all different fitness levels and especially for people who didn't necessarily have a gym membership. So I think probably 80 85% of these exercises are just body weight. And then, as you progress, there's ways to increase the strength level on things. You can incorporate dumbbells or resistance bands or you know, some moderate pieces of equipment like benches and things like that. But for the most part it's, it's really bodyweight and very accessible for people of all different fitness levels.

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Allan (06:19):
Yeah. I liked the way that you scaled these, you know, you can go from being an incent to a Lieutenant, to a captain on some of these exercises. So there is a progressive model here for many of them. And there are a lot of them are pretty much compound movements. Good focus on core, a lot of cardiovascular work. Yeah. Good balance of exercises. And you know, as I kind of went through it, I'm like, you know, this, this is going to cover everything. And these are, some of these are, I wouldn't say redundant, they're just different ways to approach, kind of the same thing. But you can piece these together if someone were going to go through, like, you know, they get it and there's all these different exercises and you know, there's some Spock stuff. There's Tribbles, there's O'Hare

Robb (07:03):
You know you stayed away from a lot of the captains, but you got into Riker and some of the other first lieutenants he got, he got into a lot of it. You know, there wasn't a lot of, I want to work out like captain Kirk or you know. But you know you got into them. There's a lot of exercises, a lot of opportunity for us to do. And I liked what you said. It's important. It's fun. Yeah, there's a way to go about this. It's not a go do all of them or here's a workout, kill yourself. You've set this up very, very holistically for us. Can you kind of talk how someone should go through the book and use it as a tool?

Robb (07:35):
Yeah, I think to your first point, I try to pair up the exercises, all of which are actual real exercises with characters or situations that felt organic to it. I didn't necessarily want to shoehorn in a character just to have them in the book. So Rikers leg extensions made sense because you're sort of mimicking the, the very unique way that Ryker sat in his chair or you know, Tillys sprints. makes sense because there were a couple of scenes of Tilly sprinting around discovery. The book is organized with stretches and warmups and conditioning, then powering up your warp core and exercises for your upper body, lower body. And we ended it with special exercises for non humanoid species because even a Horton needs to work out every once in a while. So I always recommend that everyone start with the stretchers and the warmups regardless of what you're doing.

Robb (08:31):
And you don't have to do all of them. These are just sort of simple movements just to get your body ready and get your blood pumping a little bit. And then we didn't want to make this a one size fits all book. So we wanted people to consult with their own trainers, consult with their own doctors, really think about their individual needs and goals and fitness levels and sort of pick and choose which upper body core and lower body exercises they want it to do. There's about 30 or 35 exercises and we certainly don't want everyone to do every exercise all the time. That would be a little bit much. But you know, sort of pick and choose. And then you can sort of gradually build on that for half an hour or an hour. You know, the conditioning workouts are really supplemental to the upper body, lower body and core. So if you wanted to do conditioning's on, let's say Tuesdays and Thursdays and then work your upper body on Mondays or lower body on Tuesdays, we really wanted to give something for everybody and a little bit of a smorgasbord for people to choose from.

Allan (09:35):
Yeah. And each exercise in addition to the picture that kind of displaying it, you go through a very cool way of explaining how to do each exercise. You know, your starting position and then the movement pattern. Uh, so it's real fun. And again, I've said that several times. I think that's it. If anyone, if you like Star Trek even remotely like Star Trek and you're looking for, uh, some exercises you can do just about anywhere, which, you know, I don't usually talk about the timing of us recording, but we are, uh, we are right now in a lockdown. I had to close my gym. And so everybody that was going to the gym now doesn't have access to that. But this is something you can do on your own and you can do it still complying with the distancing that you need because you can do it in your living room, you can go out and you know, if it's a sidewalk or a set of stairs and around you, you can go up those. So there's a lot of variety here and a lot of opportunity. Like I said, for you to stay active during a time when it's probably going to be pretty good to get away from the press and think about something fun like this. So really, like I said, it's, it's a cool little setup. I like the way it's, everything's structured. Yeah. I might have to have you explain how some of those non-humanoid weight exercises work because I had a hard time, hard time visualizing some of them, but for the most part all of them are really easy to follow. You go through it. Each movement's well-described. So again, pretty, pretty cool little book.

Robb (11:00):
Thanks. Thanks. Yeah, I want it to get people laughing while they were doing squats. So, for the casual Star Trek fan, there's plenty to enjoy. But I also inserted lots of different Easter eggs within some of the exercises for the real hardcore people to get to.

Allan (11:17):
Well I like I said, not exactly hardcore, but I got a lot of them and I thought, okay, this is this again, this is a fun, fun book. I define wellness as being the healthiest, fitest, and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

Robb (11:34):
You know, I think for me at least, they're mostly mental, you know, making the decision to embark on a fitness routine. That was key for me. It was feeling lethargic and tired and not very healthy and my clothes were fitting a little weird and just didn't feel mentally on my game and I just decided I'm going to make a change. So I started going to this gym, so that was step one for me. Step two was being consistent and keeping at it and know I was, I'm not a morning workout person, I'm just not that awake enough for it. So my workouts have always been after work in the evenings. And you know, sometimes the commute home isn't very good, but I made a promise to myself just to get off that bus and do what I needed to do and then get to the gym and do it. And remembering that that hour or an hour and a half at the gym was just for me. And that I was, I was working toward a goal and you know.

New Speaker (12:36):
I think third for me, there has always been remembering why I started this in the first place. It wasn't to be the thinnest or the most muscular or the past is, it was just to make positive choices and positive changes in my life, which could then effect change for me, but then change for everybody else too. And I think I tried to make it clear in the book that this isn't about being the fastest or the skinniest or the best basketball player. It's just about making those small little changes that could lead to bigger changes and bigger changes and have a ripple effect on that.

Allan (13:14):
I really liked those. Robb, if someone wanted to learn more about you, learn more about the book, Body by Starfleet a fitness guide. Yeah. Where would you like for me to send them?

Robb (13:24):
I think the best place is just my website. It's Robbperlman.com and there you'll see Body by Starfleet, the other Star Trek books I've written and a bunch of the other books I've written as well.

Allan (13:38):
and you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/432 and I'll be sure to have a link there. So Rob, thank you for being a part of 40+ Fitness and live long and prosper.

Robb (13:50):
Thank you. Allan talk to you soon.


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