Things to learn from The Evil Dead

First off, I hope everyone had a splendid New Years Eve. I know for a fact I did. I spent it with some very dear people. We had a nice paleo dinner and some very non paleo dessert. But seriously, nobody reads this post to hear about what I eat…

I spent roughly 85 minutes of my New Years Eve watching an American cinematic classic, “The Evil Dead”. Ahhh, the cheesy acting, the lack of any kind of character development, and the cheap special effects; what’s not to love? I will admit, the movie is entertaining as shit (shit can be very entertaining, you’re just not doing it right). I recommend it if you’re in the mood for a good laugh. I am also a big fan of the sequel “Evil Dead 2”.

The main character of both movies is a guy named Ashley (chuckle), Ash for short. In the first movie Ash is, for lack of a better term…. a little bitch. He screams at the top of his lungs throughout the movie, has a bookcase fall on him at least 3 different times, and to state it bluntly, gets his ass handed to him by the undead. Fast forward to the sequel and things couldn’t be any more different. He loses a hand, gets into a laughing contest with a possessed house, and attaches a goddamn chainsaw to his nub of an arm. That is some serious badassery. Take a look at these 2 videos and check out the difference.

I’m not going to bore you with plot differences between the movies or any of that kind of mumbo-jumbo. My main observation, and more importantly, my main inquiry is how the hell Ash got so incredibly bad ass in the 2nd movie. I think I’ve developed a sound hypothesis for Ash’s transformation from weak and feeble idiot child to the film version of myself (that is to say an incredibly robust, fearless beefcake).

Firstly… Logic would tell you that Evil Dead 2 Ash must have followed a proper strength and conditioning program. We can divulge this from the fact that he goes from having all types of furniture fall on him in the first movie, to laughing his ass off hardily at a lamp shade AND a stuffed moosehead. I mean come on, he’s not afraid of inanimate objects and its obvious. My best guess is that Ash spends 4 days a week doing a multitude of barbell exercises in the 1-5 rep range with heavy weights. He usually supplements those with accessory exercises with dumbbells, kettlebells and bodyweight movements. I’m also positive that he keeps his conditioning workouts mostly short and intense at maximum effort.

We can also infer that badass Ash has his nutrition dialed in. He severs off his own hand because it becomes possessed. Now, I’m not one of them there fancy scientists but my instincts tell me that he lost a lot of blood. Pretty sure the only way he could survive that is by eating adequate amounts of calories comprised of quality carbohydrates, protein from animal sources, and healthy fats and oils. I’m pretty sure if you zoomed in, he had a bottle of fish oil in his back pocket that he took regularly.

Some other less obvious but equally important things that make Ash bad ass in the second movie… You can see a lululemon logo on his flannel shirt. Fate would also have it that he has multiple tattoos of crosses on his arm and calf, which research shows does improve your badassness. Badass Ash also set up multiple cameras throughout the house to take pictures of his undead killing, chainsaw wielding self in action. There are deleted scenes of him doing one handed handstand holds against a wall without a shirt on. Again, all more reasons for his huge increase in the art of badassery.

So, I know this all may be simultaneously way too scientific and “artsy” for the general population out there… So time for my simplification. If you want to increase how bad ass you are and want to be more like the zombie killing Ash of the 2nd movie and less like the bookcase persecuted Ash of the 1st movie, here’s the game plan:

-Constantly work on making strength gains in your squats, presses, deadlift and Olympic Lifts. This doesn’t mean spend 2 weeks doing a “strength phase” only to go back to your running and PVC wielding metabolic conditioning workouts.

-Eat adequate amounts of protein. This means at least 0.8grams/kg of bodyweight. If you are trying to drop weight while maintaining body mass, this number should be slightly higher to combat protein loss due to a calorie deficit.

-Work on the little things you suck at. For Ash, he sucked at life in the 1st movie, so I’m pretty positive he worked on that before the 2nd movie. I don’t mean just practice pull ups if you’re not good at them. Work on increasing your grip strength, maintaining a good strong scapular retraction during most of your pull up, and other things that supplement your weakness.

If history has taught us anything it is that we have much to learn from Hollywood. Everyone knows that movies are much more realistic than real life, so logic would teach us to really emulate what we see on screen. Why not emulate one of the most iconic badasses in American history… Nuff said.


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