Marvel Has Found a Way to Create ‘Cosplay Conditioning’ This Halloween

Mavel has come a long way since the comic book label was first founded back in 1939. Now owned by The Walt Disney Company, the brand dominates a ton of industries including cinema, digital streaming, toys, clothing, and now it is even looking to “Hulk Smash” into the fitness world with a star-studded app that hopes to build both your imagination, and your fitness levels. I took a look at “Marvel Move” to find out what it’s all about, and whether these superheroes can deliver a super-workout.

While many people love to dress up as their favorite horror film characters during Halloween, Spider-Man and his Marvelous pals are also among the most sought-after costumes during the spookiest time of year. That said, my local gym has a sign that reads: “No Cosplay,” and while I understand the need for such a fun-spoiling move, this does create a void in the relationship we have with our favorite superheroes while trying to become one ourselves… gym session after evil gym session. Fortunately, you can now wear your cosplay on the inside with Marvel Move’s immersive stories that are designed to entertain, motivate, and improve your PR’s.

Marvel Move app and interface
Marvel Move

What is Marvel Move?

“Heroes aren’t born, they are trained,” reads a tagline in this app, featuring Marvel characters such as Thor and Loki, the X-Men, Hulk, and Doctor Strange. Marvel Move puts you, the runner, at the center of an audio adventure that you can listen to as you run outside or on a treadmill, and it also works on a wheelchair. A supporting cast of Marvel’s finest will guide you through different challenges as the stories unfold, and the tempo ranges from mindful and relaxing all the way up to the adrenaline fuelled challenges you would expect from your new Avengers fitfam.

How Easy is Marvel Move to set up?

Having downloaded, signed-up, and signed-in to the app, you’ll find yourself being chased by The Hulk in no time at all. I simply hit play on my gym playlist and chose a workout, and off I went. The voices in the app will cut through your mp3’s to further the story or give you a new task when the time is right. Once a program is started, you can concentrate on your run or jog, hands free.

How could Marvel Move help with my running?

So, can you expect gains or just gimmicks? Actually, there are a number of ways that Marvel Move can assist in your fitness journey. “Too many fitness apps are boring,” says Adrian Hon, the CEO and co-founder of the app’s development company; Six to Start. “What if we made exercise exciting, through great storytelling and thrilling interactive adventures? That’s why we co-created Zombies, Run! ten years ago, and that’s why we’re going even bigger today with Marvel Move.”

There is, of course, a bunch of stats to keep track of your progress and there are plenty of orders to follow too, such as running faster to avoid certain disaster, or reaching a defined distance to pick up trophies. While running without an audio accompaniment is a great way to meditate or work through your deepest thoughts, many of us find that long jogs or runs can become tedious without our ear pods. Studies have shown that selecting your own music increases motivation and athletic performance, and the reason behind this could be due to the altered perception of effort you experience while being distracted from the level exertion that you might feel. I found that in addition to my music, the Marvel Move stories immersed me further into what was happening in the narrative, seemingly alleviating the tiredness that I felt on the outside. I definitely felt more able to continue on my physical quest.

And, something else occurred to me when I gave the Marvel Move app a whirl that I didn’t know I had even missed, and that was the presence of other people. When I’m out for a solitary run, or distanced from my fellow gym members by our headphones, I miss out on the group training experience. Sadly, for lone trainers like myself, who must workout at irregular and ever-shifting start times due to being busy with work, I’m not getting the benefits of training in a pack. Studies bear out that group exercise improves quality of life and reduces stress more than individual workouts. Then there’s the comradery and motivation that we get when we are all working towards a common goal. While there’s no substitute for human interactions, the Marvel Move app does help to provide a simulated group training experience through programs such as its 5k training series featuring Thor and Loki. As you run, it’s not all about explosions or the grunts of The Incredible Hulk; there are much milder, friendly interactions to be had with virtual running partners in episodes such as “The Ratatoskr Running Club.” And, with new Marvel adventures set to be released on Marvel Move, you’ll constantly be challenged by your interplanetary gym partners. You might not become a specimen like the Hulk, but this app will definitely make you move!

Marvel Move app interface
Marvel Move

How can I try Marvel Move?

The Marvel Move exercise programs are available as part of the ZRX fitness and running app, available now for iOS on the App Store and Android on Google Play. Users can subscribe to Marvel Move for just $7.99 a month or $74.99 a year, with a free one-week trial. Sign up at


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