George Romero, The Quiet Man

It’s been a long time since posting to this blog, and it would take something like this to bring me back to it. But I couldn’t not writ about this.

George A Romero, creator of the Night of the Living Dead and credited with the development or popularization of the zombie as a centerpiece of American story telling has died.

From the L.A. Times:
Romero died Sunday in his sleep after a “brief but aggressive battle with lung cancer,” according to a family statement to The Times provided by his longtime producing partner, Peter Grunwald. He was 77.

Romero died while listening to the score of one his favorite films, 1952’s “The Quiet Man,” with his wife, Suzanne Desrocher Romero, and daughter, Tina Romero, at his side, the family said.

You know the Quiet Man don’t you? You might know it even if you don’t. The Quiet Man is a rare brilliant gem of a film with John Wayne as an American returning to Ireland to look up the family roots. He’s an outsider and has to prove himself worthy to the local gentry. One scene in particular has him taking his woman in his arms as the wind whips around him and the little house in Ireland. It was this scene E.T. was watching at home as the parallel events played out at between Eliot and the girl he liked at his school.

It was an appreciation for not just that film but filmmaking and its history that informed Spielberg in his own storytelling. In that way, a long past film was resurrected to entertain another generation who didn’t even suspect it. Romero has passed, and unlike his creations, will not be back. But for future directors and moviemakers, he will live on in our storytelling.



The Need for Cardio

Running can be a joy or a chore. In my case, I started out hating it. But give me some kick ass music and my imagination kicks in. My energy hits higher and I start to sprint. Over time I started enjoying the longer runs and pushing myself further each time I hit the road.

Stamina, attitude, strength, health, the amazing runners high you get and the burn you feel when you’re done. Over and over again, I’ve felt like not doing the run. And every single time, even after a less than successful run, I’ve felt better than I ever would have if I had stayed on the couch.

Let’s face it, running makes your life better whether you like it or not. So let’s take a look at what to do to save your life in case of emergency and improve your life in case you keep doing that too. Living I mean.

Once again today we are joined by Jesse Sumrak of FalloutFitness


When I think cardio I tend to think running. But what else is out there?

Most of the time, I use running and cardio synonymously too, but there are so many more effective forms of cardio – especially when it comes to post-apocalyptic training. In my Cardio 0 to Cardio Hero article, I identified the most important forms of survival cardio.

First, you have HIIT (high-intensity interval training). This is a form of exercise that alternates between low-intensity and high-intensity. This is perfect for zombie evasion training! Sprinting, walking, and jogging mimic the kind of scenarios you’re likely to encounter when escaping the undead. It’s unlikely you’ll be doing much long-distance running from zombies – you’re much more likely to be sprinting to safety, jogging to regain energy, and sprinting again to safety.
Another form of cardio is biking. Since cars and other forms of transport will be hard to come by when society falls, you may need to rely on a bicycle. But cycling around isn’t as easy as you think! Yeah, cruising down the boardwalk on your beach cruiser can be pretty relaxing, but evading hungry zombies and pedaling over rugged terrain can quickly exhaust your stamina.
Stair sprints are another effective form of training. You’ll be lucky if you can always escape your undead predators on flat terrain. But if you unexpectedly need to climb a couple flights of stairs, you need to improve your endurance so you’re not winded!
Anybody visiting this site has got to be familiar with the famous Zombieland rules and rule number one is cardio. Do you agree?
I believe balanced fitness should be the #1 rule to survival. It’s great if you can always outrun the dead with phenomenal cardiovascular capabilities – but are you going to keep running? Run and run until all the zombies decay and drop motionless? Chances are you’ll end up doing some up-close and personal hand-to-hand combat with zombies, whether you like it or not. If you don’t have strong muscles and adequate strength, you’ll never stand a chance. Cardio and strength are both necessary to survival!
I always find nutrition, fueling myself for runs, really tricky. What should people be eating to be ready to for a run?

The way you fuel your body before a run will ultimately determine the success of your run. Fail to eat anything, and you’ll be on an empty tank before 10 miles. Eat the wrong kinds of foods, and you’ll experience cramps and discomforts that will leave you useless. 

I believe a mix of high-glycemic and low-glycemic carbs is the best choice. Like banana in a bowl of oatmeal. The banana acts as your quick go-to carbs – the ones your body will use first and fast. The oats will digest quickly and give you greater energy for the long haul.If you’re doing a quick, short run in the morning, you can do fasted cardio. Anywhere between 5 – 10 miles I recommend a banana or Clif bar (both high-glycemic carbs). Anything longer than that, and you’ll need to throw some low-glycemic carbs into your pre-workout meal as well (oats, brown rice, apples, etc.).Unless you have food along you’re run – that changes everything. For example, my 50K trail run will have stations every 5-6 miles with high-energy food and drinks. Because of this, I don’t need to eat a lot of food before the race – I’ll continue feeding myself fast-acting energy throughout the run!
Let’s say I’m not a particularly strong cardio guy. What do I need to go from zero to hero?
To begin cardio training, you need a plan! Lacing on your running shoes and shooting for a 3-mile run your first day will leave you exhausted, sore, and discouraged. Work your way into things slowly. Start with walking – then go to jogging – then go to jogging quickly – then go to running. Building your cardio is a process. A process that takes time. No matter how much effort you put in, your body will take time to adapt and strengthen your cariovascular system. Be patient with yourself and don’t overdue it!
Any favorites when it comes to shoes or equipment?

I used a pair of Nike Freeruns for a while, but they were really meant for short-distance running. But since I didn’t have money to invest in long-distance running shoes, I would use these for everything. This lead to knee pains, foot injuries, and all sorts of problems I could have avoided. Now, I bought a pair of Brooks Trail Running shoes (Grit). Because they are intended for all kinds of terrain, I don’t have a problem using these on the road, trail, gravel, or anything in between. I highly recommend using shoes specific to your training conditions.It’s worth the investment!

Fantastic. Thanks for the info Jesse.

Now get out there and run like the dead are chasing you folks.

Fallout Fitness

This week I have something really amazing to share with you. An interview with a man that’s working his glutes off to make sure you and yours survive the apocalypse: Jesse Sumrak of Fallout Fitness!

Fallout Fitness is the place hopeful survivors can go to learn everything they need to know in order to survive the end of the world. Whether that be zombies, civil unrest, World War III, aliens, or AI takeover, physical fitness will be your #1 survival asset. Fallout Fitness provides proactive training workouts for preppers to get fit before the apocalypse and also provides post-apocalyptic workouts for survivors and procrastinators alike.

Jesse Facial
So, Jesse, what do you do exactly?
I physically prepare individuals to be survival fit for the apocalypse.

That sounds awesome for so many reasons. But there’s fitness information all over the internet, from Instagram and YouTube to blogs and news magazines. Why should people seek you out? 

YouTube and the rest of the internet are littered with crappy fad workouts and diets. Half the people who write fitness-based articles don’t dare include their picture in the bio because it’s obvious they don’t practice what they preach. I’m a result of the fitness that I teach. I don’t post about anything I haven’t tried yet – and I’m humble enough to admit I don’t know everything. But I’m constantly learning and constantly sharing, without the BS and “buy my supplement or workout program” tish.

As far as Post-Apocalyptic training goes, I’m the most reliable fitness asset because I study the whole picture. I read zombie books and survival guides and analyze survival techniques and practical advice. Check out the most popular articles on Google search about zombie fitness preparation and you’ll see the difference. These popular authors and trainers have no clue what to expect in the fallout – their experience comes from the single episode they watched about the Walking Dead – and you can obviously see that in their workout advice.
I’m interested in having more survivors as allies in the future – not in just writing fun, popular content.

How did you come to this way of thinking?

My workouts and diet aren’t based on speculation and fiction. I’ve lived it.

For two years, I lived in Sierra Leone, West Africa (yeah, that place where the ebola virus erupted). I lived a life similar to what you’d expect in the apocalypse (minus the flesh-eating zombies). I found what resistance training I could do to build muscle; I performed bodyweight training to maintain practical strength; I practiced HIIT to burn fat and promote lean muscle; I took bucket showers from bleached, cold rainwater; I ate meats I could hardly identify; I climbed the mountains of Freetown every single day; I ran for my life from a black cobra; I played soccer weekly with the locals; I bucketed drinking water from a well; I fought off dangerous diseases and infections without the help of a doctor – and I survived. Not only survived, but I thrived. I returned to the States healthy, strong, and ready for anything.

Jesse Pushup Jesse Running



What were you doing in Sierra Leone?
I was a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Every day, from 10 AM – 8 PM I walked up and down the mountains and streets of Freetown to find people to teach the gospel. Honestly, it was a ton of cardio. Missionaries would lose 20-50 lbs. while serving there. I lost a lot of weight at first, but then I found a balance with the food intake and exercise. It was an amazing experience meeting people and learning more about their lives. It was definitely the best two years of my life.

What’s your background? You’re a farm boy from Kansas or a hipster from Brooklyn? Who are you? 
I grew up in the small town of Smithfield, VA (the ham capital of the world). Growing up, I was the fat kid. I was super active and always playing soccer and basketball, but I was just a super chubby, unattractive kid.

But when I got into high school and started liking girls and stuff, I didn’t want to be the fat kid anymore, so I quit eating food, ran morning and evening every day, and lost a lot of weight.

Unfortunately, I also became anorexic, stopped eating food all together, and started to become quite unhealthy. My parents were scared, naturally, and they wanted me to get help, but I was in denial. Fortunately, before it got too bad, I became interested in weight lifting. I didn’t just want a skinny body – I wanted a strong body, and I learned food was necessary to build a shredded physique.

Handstand Pushup EditSo I began to eat again, but I ate the right foods. Ever since, I lived a healthy life while balancing food and nutrition, but I became concerned for family and friends who never seemed to care about their size or health. I would always imagine terrible scenarios, like our boat sinking, or a horde of zombies rushing our house from the trees – how would these people ever survive?

And that’s where the idea came for Fallout Fitness – if how you look doesn’t motivate you to exercise, does the innert will to survive?

In my case I lived in Fukushima Japan not far from where the Daichi Nuclear power plant was. Plus my wife is from Sendai. The day after the quake we went up there. So the idea of fitness in these real-world situations really is a hell of a big help.

So let’s say there’s been an earthquake, tsunami, disaster of some sort or the dead are on the way. What should I already know or be capable of at this, the decisive moment?
I’m a strong proponent of strength training for most situations. Training to do hundreds of pull-ups is great, but chances are you’ll only need one or two pull-ups to make your way out of a dangerous situation.

But that doesn’t mean you should just stop training once you can do one or two pull-ups. Think about the real situations you may encounter. You may need to climb to safety and pull yourself up, but maybe you won’t just be pulling your bodyweight up. You may have a heavy backpack full of weapons, food, clothes, and supplies or you might even have a child on your back. So you need to build sufficient strength to the point where you’re doing heavy weighted pull-ups.

As for running, you need to have strong endurance and sprinting endurance. At least you should be able to run a 10k and not drop dead the end. Ideally, get to the point where you could run a 10k, take a 10-minute walk, then run another 10k. These kinds of fitness levels would be more representative of what you might encounter in the apocalypse.

Thanks so much for talking to us. Where can we find your workout?  
I actually do personalized workout plans and training for my clients, but I love to post general workouts on most of my posts, so here are some links to the workouts that my followers have liked the most. Feel free to use any of these if you’d like:
Find out more about Jesse through: 
Instagram  (jesse.sumrak)

Chris Zombieking

I mentioned Chris Zombieking in an earlier post about finger friend zombies and have been meaning to post a bit more about him for some time.

I found Chris’ work through his now internet-famous zombie finger chomping down on another finger.
And although I absolutely love this image, it isn’t the only thing Chris does. As he says in his bio on his site:

“Across the millennia, I have designed a few t-shirts, created thousands of zombies and watched an awful lot of paint dry.

In 2015 my curiosity for curiosities saw me launch into the nefarious business world of corpse relocation – specialising in foetal specimens.

I currently offer a fair range of cryptozoological specimens – some of these species are now extinct, others mythological, and a few are completely fictitious!

Taking a distanced view of my art over the years, I delight in visualising death. Not in a morbid way – I see a true vibrancy and vitality within ‘dead things’. In this vein, the cyclic nature of rebirth is a reoccurring theme in my work; the foetus being a regular artefact in this depiction.

I enjoy building narrative around my artwork too… whether it be finding layers of depth within portraiture, or dabbling with transmedia storytelling to construct worlds in which multiple pieces of art can coexist.”

Find out a lot more about this awesome artist and his work at his site:


You probably already know I’m not the biggest fan of Twitter there ever was. In order to make my life simpler I’ve always just kept one Twitter account for all my posting needs and have viewed that as a sort of necessary evil.

This week, though, I decided to create a dedicated Twitter account for Surviving the Dead. That should filter out all the dead material my regular followers don’t want to see and gives you a better way to see all my zombie illustrations without having to wade through my news and Educational posts.

SO! Follow me on Twitter @survivingthdead

twitter zombie

Body Art

A while back I did a few posts where I picked my favorite Zombie images from the web and also some great zombie costumes. One of those was a fantastic image of a woman in what looks like a swimsuit with the design of a zombies head being split apart and it’s eyes are her . . . well, here. Take a look.

zombie body paint
Well check out where that great body paint came from!

Seriously, the artwork this guy does on people’s bodies is incredible. It’s not just the zombie makeup, and it’s not just the incredible tatas. The artist, Pashur, has some serious talent for making people look otherworldly, enticing and exciting. If you’ve never had body paint or even thick halloween makeup on, you should really try it. It leaves you feeling confident as though you were dressed, but you’re not. It’s a funny kind of freedom.

Check Pashur out by clicking here. 

You won’t be sorry.




So here is another nice blog I think you should check out. In this case it’s a fun blog about zombie movies, books, and games called Zombie-Thon.

Yeah, I’ll be honest and say I originally read it as zombie THONG but hey, I’m just that kind of guy. (Be honest, you know you want to do an image search for THAT!)

But what is this non thong zombie blog?

It started off as a simple Halloween viewing of Night of the Living Dead, turned into a month long zombie-thon, then blog and grew from there. Now it’s a regular source of fun zombie related things. REALLY awesome zombie related things actually. I’ll post an example below but do yourself a favor, take four minutes, head on over to Zombie-Thon by clicking here and have fun looking around. You’ll love it.

One recent post featured this SWEET song by Stephanie Mabey: