May 5 (UPI) — A Southern California gym is bringing fitness to the geeky by combining workouts with “nerd-friendly” interests like “Star Wars.”
The Nerdstrong Gym in North Hollywood was founded by Andrew Deutsch, who years ago sought to combine his interests in working out with his love of games like Dungeons and Dragons.
“Maybe we grew up like you. Maybe we were bullied, too, in high school. This is a gym but on top of that is a high level of geekdom,” Deutsch said.
The gym started at Deutsch’s home when he asked friend David Nets to join him for workouts.
“I was very unfit and unhealthy, and Andrew asked me to come workout with him,” Nets told KABC-TV.
The workout group soon grew to 15 people, leading Deutsch, Nets, and acquaintance Christy Black to found Nerdstrong.
The gym’s members pay $150 a month, or $20 for a drop-in class, to participate in role-playing workouts themed after “Star Wars,” “Indiana Jones,” and even classic video games like Space Invaders.
“‘Guardians of the Galaxy,’ ‘Star Wars,’ ‘Star Trek,’ card games like Magic the Gathering,” Deutsch said.
Gym member Lili Wyckoff described Nerdstrong as “my version of Disneyland — you’re surrounded by people who are excited by the same things as you.”
She said the gym helped her with an important fitness component she was previously lacking: motivation.
“You end up doing more because it’s not, ‘I have to run five more meters,'” she told The New York Times. “It’s, ‘Oh, I have to save this villager.'”