Halloween is quickly approaching, and if you’re a bodybuilder with any decent size, you know how difficult it is to find great costumes that not only fit your personality, but also do a great job of showing off just how big and shredded you are. However, with cosplay at comic conventions becoming so popular, obtaining the items you’ll need to transform yourself into your favorite jacked-up super hero is now easier than ever. However, in this article, you won’t find the obvious choices. Let’s face it – if you’re a bodybuilder, everyone expects you to dress up like the Hulk.

Here’s are some great costume ideas that will help you show off your hard-earned muscle and don’t require you to paint yourself green!

1. HERCULES

Thanks to Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Hercules is back, and he’s as big, muscular and bad-ass as ever. This costume requires some planning on your part, as (much like Lou Ferrigno) Johnson grew a beard for the role, however you could still pass yourself off as Hercules if you opt to go clean shaven, provided you have the rest of this costume done up right. While Hercules has had numerous different looks over the years, four things have stayed nearly the same: his wrist guards, his belt, his sandals, and of course, the loin cloth. These items are readily available, making the Hercules costume one of the easiest and hottest costumes for bodybuilders this Halloween. And as a bonus, if you’re in Herculean shape your costume will certainly earn you some attention from the ladies.

2. DRAX THE DESTROYER

Guardians of the Galaxy was the summer’s biggest blockbuster, and this Halloween will be begging for a Drax the Destroyer costume. However, this might be the toughest costume to pull off authentically – after all, it took a team of five makeup artists five hours each day to apply 18 prosthetic pieces to Dave Bautista to transform him into Drax.

As a result of the complexity, this costume will require some attention to detail. First, you’ll need to shave down your upper body (including your melon). You’ll need to obtain a set of ice blue contact lenses (with red circling the irises). These lenses are readily available online – with some stores selling specific Drax lenses. Finally, you’ll need a pair of black cargo pants and a black and chrome belt. That’s the easy part.

The most obvious difficulty with a Drax costume is the sculpted tattoos that adorn his entire upper body and face. One option is to find an appropriate color (dark green) long sleeve muscle/stretch fabric bodysuit and paint the tattoos on yourself with red puff paint. The other option is to use bodypaint.

You may also opt for the comic book version of Drax, which has a much easier bodypaint design. Whichever you choose, this costume is sure to be both original and impressive.

3. BARNEY ROSS OF THE EXPENDABLES

For the most part, all of our favorite action heroes from the 1980s have made an appearance in the popular Expendablesseries, and the third film is still fresh in everyone’s minds after being released just a few weeks ago. And whether it’s Barney Ross, Gunnar Jensen, Hale Cesar, Lee Christmas or Toll Road you’re a fan of, duplicating their costume will make you look like a jacked-up bad-ass mercenary come Halloween. One great thing about the Expendables, is that their outfits are all different, and most of their gear you can pick up at any military surplus store.

For Expendables leader Barney Ross (played by Sylvester Stallone), you’ll need a pair of battle dress uniform pants and belt, a black t-shirt, black fingerless stretch fabric gloves, a black beret, an adjustable drop-leg tactical holster, black GI-style boots, a black modular vest, mirrored aviator sunglasses, and of course one big-ass wrist watch. There are other details like guns, bracelets and rings that you can also incorporate to round out the costume.

4. RIDDICK

Vin Diesel returned to the big screen as Richard B. Riddick in the September 2013 film Riddick. Becoming the sole surviving son of the Furyan Race this Halloween isn’t overly complicated. You’ll need to shave your head if you don’t already. For clothing, you’ll need a black tank top, black cargo pants, boots, plus arm and wrist bands. The key to making this costume work will be the ubiquitous Riddick goggles. These are a little more difficult to obtain but they’re available online and worth the investment since they make the costume. If you really want to top this costume off, get yourself a set of mirrored silver contact lenses and alleviate the need to wear the goggles full time.

5. KING LEONIDAS OF SPARTA

Yes, this one might be getting a little over done, however it still squeaks onto the list thanks to the March 2014 release of300: Rise of an Empire, which not only makes this costume bodybuilder-appropriate, but also makes it somewhat current. In fact, the 300 movies offer up plenty of costume ideas, and if Leonidas isn’t what you’re looking for, you can also opt to be Themistocles, or if you prefer to be the villain, Xerxes.

Pulling off King Leonidas requires abs. And, though very similar to the Hercules costume, the Spartan costume requires a red cape and the distinctive Spartan helmet to distinguish you from the other bodybuilders dressed up as generic barbarians with shields and swords. Because the original 300 movie spawned a cottage industry for Spartan costumes and accessories, finding the accessories to transform yourself into the bad-ass Spartan King is fairly easy.

BONUS

If out-of-the-box thinking is your thing, or if you’re a jacked-up dad trick-or-treating with your kids and are looking for something fun, give Lotney “Sloth” Fratelli from the 80s classic The Goonies a try. Played by former NFL defensive end John Matuszak in the film, Sloth requires some size, but doesn’t require you to be shredded (since you’ll only be showing off the guns).

To create a Sloth costume for Halloween, you simply need a Superman t-shirt with the sleeves cut short, a pair of red suspenders, a pirate hat, bandana, some grey pants, a black belt and some Chuck Taylors. Then, of course, there’s the face. Make-up is an option if you or someone you know has the knack for it; if not, luckily, there are some very realistic-looking Sloth masks available. Hey you guys!

OTHER IDEAS

  • Bane
  • Conan the Barbarian
  • The Terminator
  • Captain America
  • Colossus from X-Men
  • Superman
  • Rocky
  • Thor
  • An Engineer from Prometheus
  • Rambo
  • Hellboy
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