(Hey guys, a reader suggested I start throwing some stuff up on Tumblr, so I set up the Be A Game Character Tumblr! I probably won't be mirroring the WHOLE blog over there, but I will be posting some stuff. It'll probably end up being some sort of twisted lovechild of the blog and the Facebook page. Go follow and reblog!)
Okay, so let's take a look at what's iconic about Sephiroth's fitness. First off, he's a hell of a lot stronger than he looks. If you look at Donkey Kong or Kratos, you know they're big burly dudes that can probably chuck you around without too much effort. Sephiroth(and his counterpart, Cloud Strife) follows the Japanese bishonen aesthetic, that is, a man whose beauty/attractiveness is considered rather gender-neutral. As such, if we're trying to look like him, we want to be strong without looking like a testosterone-laden musclehead. Luckily, you can be strong and remain pretty slim, if you have the right regimen. For instance.
In addition to having great overall strength, Sephiroth is also a gifted combatant, and wields an oversized nodachi sword known as the Manamune. We're going to be working our old pal the sledgehammer into our workouts, to build wrist strength and upper body endurance/stamina.
For the interest of this workout regimen and body type goal, I'd recommend the Fighter Diet, making sure to keep your proteins nice and lean(low fat), and your calorie count relatively low. There's also some evidence that soy-based proteins have a tendency to release less testosterone and more progesterone than animal-based proteins(which can help keep you slim), so you may want to dip into tofu and soy products more often as your protein sources.
Weight Set & Bench
Note: This is the first time I've advocated a weight bench set in a post. I strive to offer a wide variety of workout methods on this blog, and while I advocate workouts on a budget, sometimes a traditional weight set is just a great thing to have. If you can't afford a weight set, or don't have the space for one, you can substitute the sandbags from the Kratos workout, just sticking with similar weights and substituting front squats for back squats.
Strength Workout A:
5x5 Bench Press
5x5 Overhead Press
5x5 Plate Wrist Curls
3x25 Twist Crunches
Strength Workout B:
5x5 Tricep Curls
5x5 Butterfly Curls
5x5 Back Squats
5x5 Sledgehammer Levers(front and back)
3x25 Bicycle Crunches
Alternate these workouts, leaving at least one day of rest between each. These are good, core strength building exercises, without devoting too much time to mere anatomy enhancement(stuff like bicep curls or other isolation exercises). Keep in mind that you should start at a LOW weight and work your way up. Also keep in mind that a regimen this simple will eventually lead to a strength plateau. I've written an article on how to surpass plateaus that you might want to give a read when you've reached that point, or want to branch out to other exercises to keep it interesting.
High Intensity Cardio Workout A:
5x10 Burpees, Twenty second rest between sets
5x5 Sledgehammer Swings(both sides)
High Intensity Cardio Workout B:
5-10 Hill Sprints, Twenty second rest between each(do as many as you can up to ten)
Low Intensity Cardio:
40 Continuous minutes of running(brisk walking if you are not able), swimming, or bicycling.
Alternate your high intensity workouts on your days you don't lift, as often as you are comfortable doing(your probably going to have a rough time after lifting at first, so don't stress yourself). Leave the low intensity cardio for lifting days, or when your body doesn't feel up to high intensity.
It's important to listen to your body on this regimen, as it's rather demanding, especially at first. Your initial goal should be weight training two times a week, high intensity cardio two times a week, and low intensity cardio two times a week. Take it slow, and work your way up. As always, if something hurts, STOP, and if the hurt doesn't go away, consider seeing a doctor, or at the very least resting until it feels better. Tomorrow we take a look at Sephiroth's skills. Until then, make sure to follow me on Twitter, like the blog page on Facebook, and continue to be awesome.
Dan "DaRatmastah" Wallace