Manipulating primordial forces requires true stamina. More than capable of upholding the honor of deities and other extradimensional beings in battle, Clerics such as these often prove stalwart and capable combatants. Drawing true strength from beyond themselves, they boost allies-at-arms and heal companions-in-need just as much as they build their own bodies up.
If you’ve been keeping up with MaxHP, think about taking the Nerdstrong approach to heart, because fitness is just about mind over matter. Several of these exercises recall the habitual rituals of the Clerics. And to execute them with the proper zeal, one needn’t revere a specific deity so much as devote one’s self to an abstract concept–such as battle, death, justice, or knowledge. As long as it gets you moving, it’ll do.
Low Plank Hold
Clerics meditate or pray for their magic. Each must choose a moment to spend in quiet contemplation, regaining power for the daily allotment of spells. Dr. Strange does this. (We’re sure.) Kneel into a tabletop position, then prop yourself on your elbows with forearms flat to the ground. Straighten out your body and extend your legs, with feet shoulder-width apart, pulling your belly up into your spine with controlled breathing. Then… hold. That’s the hard part.
Take a pair of dumbbells with palms facing inward toward your body, and keep your elbows locked at your sides. Then, curl the weights, lifting them to your shoulders with palms now facing each other. Once you’ve completed your reps, it isn’t over. Curl the weights halfway (until they’re at a 90-degree angle) and hold them until the timer runs out. If you feel the burn enough that you find yourself wishing for the Eye of Agamotto (so you could fold time and speed it all up) then you know you’re doing this part right.
Spider-Man’s mystical sometimes-ally, Ezekiel, would like this one. It requires not only great balance, but also an adaptable perspective. It’s like a pull-up with feet planted. Get a bar you can lower to about three or four feet off the ground, then straighten your body underneath it. Pull your chest to the bar (with hands about shoulder-width apart), then return to starting position, keeping rigid all throughout. Once you’ve finished your reps, hold at the top, keeping your chest to the bar for as long as possible before dropping down. Imagine you’ll be plummeting off a skyscraper. See if that motivates you to hang on.
“Only the penitent man shall pass.” Those who’ve seen the Last Crusade know a bit of kneeling can actually save the day sometimes. And pious Clerics do spend much time on their knees, weight of the world on their shoulders–praying to smite evil for their chosen deity. For this exercise, start in a standing position with a dumbbell, kettlebell, or sandbag clutched to your chest. Then, step back with one foot, lowering yourself toward the ground until you’ve made a right angles with your legs. Be sure to keep your back leg’s knee under your hip, and your front leg’s knee over your ankle. Return to a standing position once finished, then alternate your legs for each rep.
A complete movement to tax your entire system! Drop from standing position and land (with control) into a crouching squat. Then get into a plank position, jumping your feet back, and do a basic push-up with elbows close to your sides. Jump your feet back around your hands, pop up into a squat, and then finish off with a jump clap. All these steps should flow in one smooth, controlled movement. Imagine you’re laying hands on a wounded comrade, breathing life into their lungs, and then leaping for joy to praise whichever deity helped revived them.
The Cleric’s work-out is made more by time than reps. See how many complete rounds you can pull off in 15 minutes, taking just a minute to rest in between each station. We can’t guarantee that a portal to another dimension will open if you complete all the steps of this ritual, but you may find yourself pleading to some higher realm for mercy by the end. It’s a sublimely challeging gauntlet.
- Plank Hold (30-60 sec)
- Weighted Lunges (10x)
- Hammer Curls (10x, then hold for 15 sec)
- Plank Pulls (10x, then hold for 15 sec)
- Burpees (60 sec)
Have you the willpower for the Cleric workout? Share your techniques in the talkback. Remember to catch Max Hit Points on Fridays at 6pm PST on Alpha.
Image Credits: Wizards of the Coast