Last year, we encouraged everyone to join us in our 6-week fitness challenge to get ready for the rigors and EXTREME WALKING of San Diego Comic-Con. Derek led the charge (since he’s a workout machine), and he again leads the charge this year. Check out our podcast where we discuss this year’s 6-week fitness challenge, then jump down below the video player to see the details.


From last year:

Put down the remote, drop that bag of Cheetos and step away from the Playstation. We’ve got six weeks to whip our collective arses into decent Comic-con shape. And by decent shape, we don’t necessarily mean 6-pack abs – basically, the week of Comic-con is a geek marathon, with more walking-time and distance than most geeks are used to getting in a year. Let’s do this!

Basically, we’ve got six weeks until San Diego, so we here at The Con Guy have started our own SIX WEEK COMIC-CON FITNESS CHALLENGE. It’s not really that hard: We’ve broken it down into four easy-to-remember steps: 1) Choose healthier (low-calorie) foods. 2) Eat smaller portions. 3) Exercise at least 3 to 4 times per week. 4) Get better sleep.

NOW, to help keep you motivated, here’s Derek’s Nerdy Workout Music Playlist

With San Diego Comic-Con on the horizon, it’s time to start preparing ourselves physically for the demands of our favorite conventions—demands like spending all day on our feet, rushing to be first in line for that exclusive Funko Pop figurine, or maybe just being comfortable wearing superhero-style spandex… although, to be fair, you don’t have to be fit for that last one, just confident! But for those of us who want to get in better shape and who believe you don’t have to surrender your nerd card when you get a gym membership, there’s nothing like music from the movies and shows we love to help fuel our motivation.

The songs below are some of my personal favorites for a workout mix. If you’re like me (and if you’re on this site, you probably are), then the best music for your playlist is music that was written to accompany epic action. So here are some great tracks from sci-fi and fantasy franchises that’ll get your blood flowing.

  1. Firefly Main Theme (AKA “The Ballad of Serenity”)

I know, I know. Starting off a workout mix with a slow jam may seem like an odd way to go, but it’s freaking Firefly. Sometimes a track like this is great right before you start a workout. That way you can walk into the gym and if anyone asks what you’re doing today, just say, “I aim to misbehave.”

2. Brothers in Arms – Mad Max: Fury Road

Possibly the most epic, high-octane, adrenaline-pumping score that a movie has had in some time, this one will undoubtedly get you going. Taking inspiration from Verdi, this music was perfect for the high-speed chase in the film, making it ideal theme music for a run or a lifting session. What a lovely day.

It’s also pretty fun for road trips, but be warned: you will want to drive fast. Sadly, “But officer, have you heard this soundtrack?” will not get you out of a ticket.

3. The Game Has Changed – Tron: Legacy

Whether you liked this sequel to the 80s classic or not (I kinda did), you have to admit Daft Punk’s score for the film was an achievement. This track in particular has quite a kick. The clashing rhythms build suspense and get you in total fight mode.

4. The Bridge of Khazad-Dum by Howard Shore (The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring)

I dare anyone to try and listen to this song sitting still. It’s hard. Not to mention, this scene in the movie is full of running, jumping, climbing, tossing, and refusing to be tossed. When this comes on my headphones, in my head I’m shouting, “YOU SHALL NOT PAAAAASSSSS!!!”

About the last minute of the track is high-pitched elvish singing that got reused for the Man of Steel trailer, which, if you time it right, is perfect for cooling down.

5. Doctor Who Theme by Murray Gold

Because what does the Doctor say when he meets someone? “Run!” Cardio is way more worthwhile when you imagine that you’re getting away from Daleks or Cybermen, or rushing toward the open doors of the TARDIS.

6. The Majestic Tale (of a Madman in a Box) by Murray Gold (from Doctor Who)

This one is great for all of the same reasons the show’s main theme song is, and along with all the DW action you can imagine while you’re working out, it’s just an epic sound! This is the theme music for all those times the Eleventh Doctor faced off with Daleks and Cybermen using his reputation as a weapon. Hear it and feel awesome.

7. Star Wars Main Theme by John Williams

Does this even need an explanation? I like this best when it comes on toward the end of a workout. It always gets me re-energized for those last few reps. It’s also great when it’s over, and I’m walking out of the gym like Luke and Han striding up to get their medals. You just can’t beat that feeling.

8. Back to the Future Theme by Alan Silvestri

With this music, you can work out as if your existence depends on it. Unless you’ve been touched by the Speed Force, you probably won’t reach 88 MPH, but you can have fun trying. (“Run for fun? What the hell kind of fun is that?”)

9. Carry On, Wayward Son by Kansas (used in Supernatural)

This one’ll motivate you to keep training, join the hunt, and never stop fighting. Isn’t shadow-boxing more fun when you imagine that you’re battling monsters? Besides, sometimes in a workout you need to be told to carry on and that “there’ll be peace when you are done.”

10. Superman Theme by John Williams

Like I even have to explain this one. The Man of Steel is all about inspiring humanity by example, so I think he’d approve of you daydreaming about his super speed while you run or his more-powerful-than-a-locomotive strength while you’re lifting. Also, John Williams is basically the Superman of movie scores.

11. Star Trek Theme (2009) by Michael Giacchino (with a nod to Alexander Courage)

The Abrams Star Trek trilogy, though far from perfect, did give us some fun big-screen action and some intense music that drew on the classic theme. It’s perfect for a run. You can pretend that you’re a Starfleet cadet, or that you’re rushing through corridors to get to main engineering so you can stabilize the dilithium crystals before the whole system blows. Or maybe just hearing Scotty in your head saying, “I need more power!” will motivate you to push that much harder.

12. Test Drive by John Powell (from How to Train Your Dragon)

This is excellent running music, particularly if you run outside somewhere with nice views like a beach. Basically, it’s great to run to anything that makes you think of flying. And dragons.

13. Sanctuary by Alan Menken (from Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame)

An old favorite. I include it now because of the epic chorus. It does slow down a little in the middle, but because this is from the climax of the movie, and because this was one of those Disney movies that got pretty dark, this is one intense track.

14. Battlestar Galactica Main Title by Bear McCreary

Sci-fi franchises have rarely gotten so intense as the revamped BSG, and McCreary gave this show a theme song to match. With a feel that’s both spacey and tribal, this tune will push you to train hard. Good hunting.


And finally, a couple of bonus tracks:

15. Africa by Toto

Because when I listen to this song, I think “Caprica,” and treat it like an ode to the capital city of the 12 Colonies of Kobol before the Cylons attacked. Then I think of what happens when humanity isn’t prepared for the machine uprising, and I run harder and begin to get uneasy about the treadmill’s loyalties…

16. Hey There Ophelia by MC Lars

If you haven’t heard of MC Lars, look him up. This one’s a rap of Hamlet. Need I say more?

That’s our geeky workout playlist. Do you agree with our selection? Comment below if you have more we should include!

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