Game of Thrones

Workouts and Tips for Women at the Gym

by Aaron Williamson on May 12, 2015


Aaron Williamson is a health advisor and fitness trainer to the film industry. He has helped craft the physical transformations of Jamie Foxx in Django Unchained, Zac Efron in Neighbors and Josh Brolin in Oldboy. He recently finished molding Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke into legendary action heroine Sarah Connor for Terminator: Genisys. Find out more at

What is one of the biggest mistakes women make at the gym?

One of the biggest mistakes I see and I hear about on a consistent basis is the fear women have of doing weights and resistance training. It’s the misconception that they’ll become bulky and put mass on. And that’s just not true. Women naturally have a lot less testosterone in their body. Therefore, for a woman to put on mass, they would have to eat an excessive amount of food. There’s no way they’re going to eat that much food unless they’re training extremely hard. And when I say food I’m referring to good, wholesome, clean food. Not junk that’s full of empty calories. Of course that would make anyone big & soft…and fat. The reality is, when a woman lifts weights, they’re actually going to strengthen the muscle, maintain the muscle mass they currently have and that’s going to help them burn more fat. Cardio is a good addition to weight training, too. I tell all my clients to alternate it because you get the benefit of both worlds: you get the lean, toned look and you get the fat burning effects of cardio. And don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice on the equipment at the gym!

The next question ties into the fear that women are going to bulk up. How often should women train?

A good rule of thumb is thirty to forty-five minutes at a time, three to four times a week. Going forward, it ultimately depends on your lifestyle. Do you have five days a week to train or do you have three? Or is it better to try to fit in one or two days during the week and catch up on the weekends? What one person who works in an office all day would need to do for her health & fitness goals is going to be different from someone who is on their feet all day being active. Especially from a nutrition standpoint. The person who’s on their feet all day is going to need to eat more than somebody who is a little more sedentary behind a desk.

Another tip might be to alternate the intensity of each workout. You might go in the gym on some days and be wide open with energy. You’re going to have a better training session on those days. Then, there will be the days when you’re going to be a little tired so just do some low intensity cardio instead or something that still pushes you within the range of energy you have. Or do a little bit of abs or something that’s not going to be so taxing, but will still bring you heart rate up and help burn fat.

What if you are juggling kids, a significant other, a full time job and other responsibilities? What if you only have half the time needed and can only do twenty minutes?

If you have that amount of time, you’re probably not going to be able to get to a gym, so you’re going to have to do a workout at your house or somewhere convenient. You have two types of training: you have high intensity interval training (HIIT), or you have low-intensity, steady state (LISS), which is a light jog or walking on the treadmill, or similar. Mix those two up. High intensity interval training has been proven to burn fat at a very fast pace and brings the body to the threshold very quickly. Alternate some jump ropes or burpees or mountain climbers. Try full body movements that are going to get your heart rate up quickly and do them in little increments. Jump rope for thirty seconds and go as fast as you can. Then rest for thirty seconds, and then do it again. You’re going to get a full body workout and get your heart rate up so high that you can’t even breathe. That’s going to make you feel better, maybe not at the time but more in the long run post workout. You’ll get the endorphin rush and you’re going to bring your metabolism naturally to a higher point. And you can do that at your home with minimal equipment and just your body weight. I thought I was in shape until I started jump roping and that was a reality check for me!

What’s the best way to stay organized with your training each week?

If you can have a visual layout of what you’re doing, what you’ve done, what you need to do, it’s going to help a lot. You can see a blueprint. Hang a calendar on your fridge and start to write down what you’re doing for the week. You’ll know that on Monday you have twenty minutes before you pick up the kids. On Tuesday, maybe you can make it to the gym for 45 minutes after you drop them off at school. You’ll know in advance that on Monday you’ll do jump rope, sprints and burpees. And on Tuesday at the gym, you’ll lift some weights. It’s an accountability journal. From my experience, helping women get more creative and responsible with their planning helps them tremendously. It’s allowed them to really build it into their lifestyle. Even with only short periods of time. The key to success is to build fitness into your schedule & lifestyle. Otherwise, there will always be an excuse why you can’t get it in.


What are some easy pre-workout and post-workout snacks that women might find appealing?

Pre- and post-workout snacks are very important. Proteins are good, whether in the form of protein powder or something else. Yogurt, mixed nuts or some grapefruit. Good proteins, good fats and even some good carbs from brown rice or a brown rice cake; something light. Going into the gym ravenously hungry is not a good thing & can make you feel off negatively affecting your training. Similarly, you can’t drive anywhere if you’ve got no gas in the tank – same concept. These things will prime your body for training and then also help your body recover after you train. Your body naturally just wants to eat better when you train. When you give it food that your body should have and should want, the cravings are going to get cut down. You’re going to slowly want to eat better because you feel better. Eating (or drinking) greens post workout will also help put your body back into positive pH balance. That’s extremely important for people who have a very acidic body. I like to do the green smoothies or the green shakes with kale and spinach. Those are my main two that I mix together. And I eat a lot of broccoli. Find a place that has cold pressed juices that you can quickly pull from the fridge if you’re rushed on time. All these little things will add up over time making you feel so much healthier while boosting energy so you’re able to train effectively without feeling so sluggish.

What are some of the best exercises to do after having a baby?

Depending on how your pregnancy went and how your recovery is going, I think a lot of doctors will recommend women be careful with physical activity for the first six weeks until they go back for a check-up. What you can do during that time is try to get your body back into the rhythm of movement. Start going for walks. Just go at a pace that’s comfortable for you. When you begin to feel more comfortable, start to increase the pace a bit. Try to bring your heart rate up more. Yoga and pilates are both very good, too. Strengthening the core will be very important in getting back on track as quickly as possible; it’s the base of all movement.

Pregnancy is a tremendous physiological change to the body. And not everyone has a smooth pregnancy. Not everyone is able to go to the gym and train while being pregnant. A lot of women fall behind on their physical health because of that. Getting mobility, flexibility and stretching in will help realign your body post-pregnancy.

How do you recommend that women stay motivated?

I’m actually working with a client right now and she’s a little on the negative side. Very concerned all the time about everything and she was extremely intimidated to get back into the gym. She got out of shape and then felt bad about herself. She was worried about everybody looking at her. When you go into the gym, you have to get rid of any negative thoughts. You are going in there for yourself. You’re not going in there for anyone else. Go into the gym and think about your goal, why you’re there and what you want to accomplish. That should allow you to keep your head on with confidence. Maybe somebody’s looking at you, but it doesn’t matter.

Put a photo of inspiration on your fridge or in your car. Somewhere you’ll see it every day. Start to manifest positive thoughts about your goals. The more you can see it & think about it, the more likely you’ll be to succeed at making wise decisions when it comes to nutrition & pushing yourself. Fitness should be something that’s fun, not stressful. I look at the gym as a place of peace, a sanctuary. You can tune the whole world out & go into your own personal zone where nothing else exists but you & your thoughts. Now that’s motivation!

And the gym you choose should help your mindset, too, right?

Absolutely. Find the right gym that you feel comfortable in. Go gym shopping. Belong to a gym that’s a place where you can walk in and feel at home. If you’re not comfortable, chances are you’ll always find an excuse not to go. I love the feeling I get when I’m in the gym because it’s a release. You’re taking care of yourself and you’re making yourself feel better. It’s a great place to be and there’s no reason why you should feel intimidated or stressed by it

For more health and fitness tips, visit  Aaron’s personal website at


Mustafa Shakir Joins New Orleans-Shot ‘Quarry’

by Jordan McGuire on April 3, 2015


A couple months ago, Cinemax ordered a 1970s period drama series based off of the novels of Max Allan Collins. Now, shooting on Quarry is already underway in New Orleans, directed by Australia-native John Hillcoat.

The New Orleans-shot series will star Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Scott Pilgrim), the incredibly versatile Stellan Skarsgard, Logan Marshall-Green (Prometheus), Noah Taylor (Game of Thrones) and Jamie Hector (The Wire).

Joining the cast as a regular in Quarry is Mustafa Shakir (The Grounds). Shakir just wrapped a five-episode arc in the HBO miniseries Criminal Justice. He is set to play Moses, a clever and an Iago-ish type character who doesn’t hold loyalty high in his repertoire. Moses is autonomous, perplexing and will reveal his dark side at the drop of a hat.

Hillcoat is responsible for the dark, visceral and emotionally powerful films The Road and Lawless. The outgoing director has a knack for adapting novels to the screen. Cormac McCarthy’s The Road was adapted for the screen and the visually bleak and ravaged backdrop Hillcoat created was amazing. We can expect Hillcoat’s visceral vision to translate well in Quarry.

Quarry follows Mac Conway as he returns home from serving two tours in Vietnam, but struggles to find work and return to normal life. A shady opportunity provides him an entry into another, more dangerous life he knows little about, but is very adept at.

If you are interested in a job working on Quarry visit jobScene to submit a resume. The post-Vietnam dark drama will be an eight-episode season.

Source: Deadline



Game of Thrones Episodes to Screen at Local Theatres

by Micah Haley on January 14, 2015


Excellent films have been released in theaters over the past five years. But the best storytelling I’ve come across in the last half decade has all been on television. Once the graveyard of big screen talent, television has become one of the most compelling experiences in media. And Game of Thrones is the best show on television.

HBO’s veteran fantasy drama will cross the now-narrow sea from small screen to the largest screens in advance of its 2015 return. IMAX screens across the country, including some in South Louisiana, will be screening Game of Thrones at the end of this month. It will be the first time ever for the company, which sells premium large format theatrical experiences, to show television content.

The two-hour event will feature two hour-long episodes from Game of Thrones season four, followed by a special season five sneak preview that’s exclusive to IMAX. The tickets to the event go on sale tomorrow, Friday, January 16 here. The event begins on Thursday, January 29 and continues through February 5.

IMAX and HBO had originally scheduled the history-making event to kick off on January 23, but the tremendous response from social media encouraged the partners to expand the one-week engagement to more theaters.

If you live in South Louisiana, you can join me as I slam popcorn and Diet Coke at one of these three participating theaters:

AMC Baton Rouge 16 (Baton Rouge, Louisiana)
AMC Westbank Palace 16 (Harvey, Louisiana)
Grand 16 – (Slidell, Louisiana)

New theaters are being added everyday. And if you talk during my screening, remember those words from Arya Stark: “Valar Morghulis.”

All men must die.


Health Scene: New Year’s Resolutions

by Arthur Vandelay on January 7, 2015


This article originally ran in the 2015 January/February issue of Scene Magazine

Aaron Williamson is a health advisor and fitness trainer to the film industry. He has helped craft the physical transformations of Jamie Foxx in Django Unchained, Zac Efron in Neighbors and Josh Brolin in Oldboy. He recently finished molding Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke into legendary action heroine Sarah Connor for Terminator: Genisys. Find out more at

According to a recent study, the number one new year’s resolution is two words: lose weight. Any yet only 8% of those resolutions are kept. What do you think most people who fail to meet their resolutions are doing wrong?
Everyone has the thought of going into the new year that they are going to get healthy, start eating better, or another similar resolution. Where they fall short is this: they have this idea in their head but there’s no blueprint. Once the new year rolls around and it’s time to achieve this goal, or resolution, there’s nothing to follow. If you go into the gym without a blueprint, especially if you are someone who is not familiar with the equipment and don’t know about nutrition, you kind of fumble around because you are trying to figure out what to do “on the go.” The best thing you can do is to put that plan on paper. There, you can begin to plan out how to make this goal a reality. Simply going into the gym with only an idea in your head is really setting yourself up for failure. I see it time and time again: people go to the store, go to the gym or go to the kitchen trying to get in shape and they just don’t know what to do. It’s because they haven’t thought the plan through. Make a plan, follow the plan and just stick with it. That’s the key to achieving your resolution or goal.

They go in with a goal but with no road map to get there.
Right. They go in with a head full of steam and no plan. The expectation is to have these amazing, dramatic results in such a short period of time. It’s just unrealistic. That’s where people get set up for failure. They don’t understand there’s a process to it. It’s not about just going to the gym for two or three weeks and then you are going to see these dramatic changes.

It also seems like many people make their resolutions too complicated. They are trying to accomplish major paradigm shifts. And yet most experts say you should keep your goal simple. What is a simple nutrition goal you can set?
Let’s break it down like this. Say you eat four meals a day (which is ideal for the normal person). That’s twenty-eight meals per week. That gives you twenty-eight chances to be successful in a week. If you fall short during a few meals, you are still on the right track. That’s nothing major and you won’t break your resolution. And remember, when you are starting a new nutrition plan at the beginning of the year, you don’t want to start off at 100 miles per hour like you are competing in a bodybuilding competition. You’ll burn yourself out. Just take it week-by-week, subtracting one thing from your diet each week, whether it’s sodas or a candy bar, or something you know is not healthy. Take one thing out and replace it with a piece of fruit or a vegetable, or something healthy. Those little things will help you make huge changes over time and you’ll feel better.

AWS-1What’s a simple training goal for the new year?
Exercise with other people. Whether it’s with a partner or in a group. There will be days where it’s going to be hard to find time to train, especially if you work long hours or have kids. If you have someone that’s there to help you to fit in that thirty minutes or an hour of exercise, that’s going to get you through those tough times. Going into the gym by yourself when you are tired, hungry or aggravated will make it a lot harder to push through what you need to do. If you have someone else there, you’ll be able to feed off each other’s motivation and energy. You are also making it more enjoyable, especially if you are a competitive person.

What if you lose sight of your goal?
First, you have to look at how you lost sight of it. Did you really give yourself enough time to accomplish the goal? Are you confused over the goal? Keep in mind that you have an entire year to accomplish this resolution. New year’s resolutions aren’t just about January and February. It’s a lifestyle change. There aren’t any quick fixes. So just step back and regroup. Maybe talk to a nutritionist or talk to a trainer, someone who can help you get your head back to where it needs to be. And just start again. There’s nothing wrong with it. It happens to the best of us. It’s happened to me before. Life happens. It throws you off and you just have to jump back in it. This is your life, and there are reasons you’ve decided to make these resolutions. And remind yourself: don’t ever give up because you may never know who is looking up to you. You never know who you are motivating.

There’s more!


undefined_c64b63c2afb77967acd5c2751ff1f41f-webGame of Thrones star Aidan Gillen has signed on to play the villain Janson, in The Maze Runner sequel entitled The Scorch Trials. Gillen is best known for his roles as Littlefinger on Game of Thrones, Thomas Carcetti on The Wire, and as Bane’s victim in the opening scene of The Dark Knight Rises.

If the movie stays true to the book, Gillen’s role may be a limited one. But maybe the movie will extend his role. Supposedly he only appears in one scene in the book explaining what the trials are. He then comes back in the third story in a larger way.

The Baton Rouge-shot Maze Runner topped the Box Offices opening weekend which gave 20th Century Fox the go ahead for the sequel. The Scorch Trials‘ cast is coming together and filming will begin in October. Wes Ball will return to direct and the film is planning to release September 18, 2015.

Source: /Film, The Hollywood Reporter


Sean Bean Answers All Your Questions in the Best Actor AMA Ever

by Arthur Vandelay

Sean Bean is a well-respected actor, appearing alongside James Bond in Goldeneye, playing Boromir in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring and, of course, Ned Stark in HBO’s Game of Thrones. He has also become a big part of internet culture, featured in the “One Does Not Simply…” meme and countless video compilations of him […]

HBO Names New ‘Game of Thrones’ Cast Members

by Kate Bannon

HBO has just announced new cast members for the fifth season of the hit series Game of Thrones. Those present at Comic-Con San Diego also got a glimpse of many of these characters in a video unveiled on Friday, July 25. New cast members include: Jonathon Pryce as the High Sparrow, a devout leader who came to […]

RAVE OF THRONES: ‘Game of Thrones’ Theme Song Gets a Dubstep Remix

by Samantha Roberge

YouTube user and DJ MetroGnome performed an awesome dubstep cover for the Game of Thrones opening credits theme song. His creative mix of beats includes famous quotes from some of the more popular episodes. If you didn’t think the theme song could get anymore intense, you were so wrong. DJ MetroGnome might just win the game.

TRAILER: ‘Dracula Untold’

by Michelle Preau

This October, Luke Evans (The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug) stars in the upcoming drama-horror film Dracula Untold. Based on the novel Dracula by Bram Stoker, the film shares the story of Vlad Tepes (Evans) and his transformation into Dracula to save his family. Charles Dance (Game of Thrones) plays the vampire that helps Tepes […]