The Hulk pumps you up with money-saving tips

The incredible hulk guyWhen the Hulk tells you how to economize, you listen. No reason to make him mad, right? Lou Ferrigno, the iconic incarnation of the mean and green one on television's The Incredible Hulk(1978-82), had a few words of wisdom for WalletPop at New York Comic Con (Oct. 8-10) After we got done staring at the Rio Grande-size vein snaking atop his bodacious bicep, the advice finally began to sink in.

A still cut-and-buffed Ferrigno, who turns 59 in November, said you don't need a fancy gym to get fit. Just buy a used weight set and bench, and mount a chin-up bar in the doorway. Buy one book as a workout guide and go from there. "It's a great way to get started," Ferrigno said to WalletPop.

While growing up in Brooklyn, he couldn't afford to join a gym, so he had the whole barbell setup in his parents' house, he explained.

It worked out. Ferrigno's story reads like a Hollywood fairy tale: The son of a New York cop, he began lifting weights at age 13 in part to compensate for hearing loss he suffered as a child. He won the first of two Mr. Universe bodybuilding titles by age 21, starred in the 1977 documentary Pumping Iron documentary with Arnold Schwarzenegger, then used his mounds of mass to conquer show business. He landed The Incredible Hulk part after the muscles of another actor, Richard Kiel, were determined to be too puny. Ferrigno later had a recurring role as a neighbor on King of Queens (2000-2007). The Hulkster told WalletPop that he recently completed an episode of Chuck and a national Toyota commercial, and there's a Ferrigno family reality show in the works.

He also bulks up his finances at pop culture gatherings such as Comic Con. The $25 per photo he collected at the convention is a bargain, he said, because fans get the whole superhero package. "I'm not like the Fantastic Four," he said. "I'm only one."

As a man who once gave a Marvel comic book character a flesh-and-blood, three-dimensional life, Ferrigno wishes he had handled his comic books differently as a kid. He said he would trade in his muscle magazines for comic books, but after pressure from his family, he "threw them away and I'm sorry I did."
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