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  1. Hey guys! Long time no see! Yeah, I dropped off the wagon again. …or did I? The last few months have been going great. I started my first semester at university and resolved to really work as hard as I could with my studies. Believe it or not, actually working hard is having some kind of magical effect! My grades are at the top percentile for all of my modules and I have a very disciplined, organised manner of studying now. This is a big deal; it’s the first time in my life that I can honestly say that my academic stuffs are going great. I’ve also kept up to date with training! My main thing is gymnastics and I climb every fortnight, but alongside that? I’ve picked up powerlifting, which I started during my previous challenge. Probably not going to focusing on that this challenge. Now, I was playing with the idea of joining the boxing club. However, it started to get a little tough; I have three hours of gymnastics training the same day that the boxing club meets. Tried going to both and realised training both on the same day would probably mess with my progress in both for the long run.. …and then I found out that we have a breakdancing team. I do not believe that further explanation is necessary. Honestly, when it comes to developing myself, I don’t really think I have a problem. I’ve developed a mindset that keeps me hungry for improvement, mental or physical. So.. why am I on here? Two reasons! First off, I do a crap ton of things in my spare time. It’d be nice to organise some of it! Secondly, and most of all, it’s very difficult to find people who understand why I do the stuff I do. I’m a first year student; we’re expected to drink and go clubbing multiple times a week. Me, I wake up at 5:30AM and spend all my time either working or training. I’m virtually a monk (as in, more like a shaolin monk, not the NF Monks.. for now) at this point… I wouldn’t have it any other way! That being said, given that my training and development is a big part of what I do, it’d be nice to have some people to talk about it with and a place to record the stuff I do. So, here goes! 1. Morning stuff! As I mentioned, I wake up really early in the morning nowadays. It’s not because I enjoy it! It’s really a matter of discipline and one that takes a lot of patience given how annoying my housemates are. I generally have to be at university by 9AM; I use the time I have beforehand to get a bit of training done. I generally stretch out (no heavy flexibility work, more limbering up) before doing gymnastics conditioning or cardio. As it stands, here is my schedule: Mon: Cardio Tue: Gymnastics Conditioning Wed: Cardio Thur: Gymnastics Conditioning Fri: Cardio Sat: Both! Sun: Rest. After this, I shower and get dressed and all, but then I do some focused visualisation. This is a really helpful technique for really complicated technical skills for acrobatics. Occasionally I can’t be bothered to run through backflips a hundred times in my mind I visualise hard maths stuff or chess tactics in my head. Now, the deal is, I need to be more consistent and disciplined with my morning routine. I want to really cement it into habit rather that something I need to drag myself out of bed for. I’ll grade myself weekly to see how things are going along. A - At most 1 failed morning per week B - 1 to 2 failed mornings per week C - 2 - 4 failed mornings per week F - More that 4 failed mornings. 2. Evening stuff! Okay, so I’ve become an organisation freak ever since starting university. Evening for me focused a little on injury prevention and a lot on the more mental tasks I have to do. With injury prevention I do stuff for my wrists, elbows, ankles and neck; the parts of me that are most at risk when training. Thrice a week I do some hard flexibility work; this is also tackled in the evenings. I’m going to start practicing freezes for breakdancing on the days I don’t have flexibility, too; freezes take some time getting used to. After all this I set aside all the training and do some other stuff. I do some more visualisation after stretching, but this time it’s exclusive to mathematics topics. I also signed up to Japanese classes on a whim a few weeks back and I review vocabulary and all during this time. I then update my journals before reading a book until it’s time for bed. This is basically just the evening version of the morning thing. Really no different, just different things to do. Here’s the schedule for the physical bits and bobs: Mon: Freezes, Neck+Elbow Tue: Wrist+Ankle, flexibility Wed: Freezes, Neck+Elbow Thur: Wrist+Ankle, flexibility Fri: Freezes, Neck+Elbow, Sat: Wrist+Ankle, flexibility Sun: Rest! A - At most 1 failed evening per week B - 1 to 2 failed evenings per week C - 2 - 4 failed evenings per week F - More that 4 failed evenings 3. Breakdancing! Not going to hide it. I suck. I’m a completely useless dancer. Of course, I’m okay with the more physically demanding things like handstands and whatnot, but rhythm? Flow? Grace? Nah. Top rock in breakdancing is supposed to be smooth and precise. I’m just.. awkward as hell. Now, of course, the first step to getting good at something is to suck at it, right? That is precisely what I intend to do! I no longer look completely ridiculous when doing top rock, but I still suck. I’m going to do a bit of top rock every day. One day I might log in 10 minutes, the next it might be 30 minutes… but I’m going to be logging it in, definitely. At the end of the challenge I’ll record the total time I’ve spent practising top rock. Check this out! Grading: TBD 4. Nutrition! I used to have my nutrition under pretty good control. I ate good food daily and I kept the sugar cravings under control. All that changed when the fire nation attacked when I discovered this pizza place near my house. A large vegetarian hot with stuffed cheese crust with large fries.. was only £10. Christmas didn’t help either. My parents run a few grocery stores and I get all the junk food I could eat for free at my convenience. I’ve definitely put on weight. No more! I’m going to do a food log. I’ll note down everything I eat in a day right here on this thread. Then, I’ll assess it all at the end of the week. Okay I’ll be honest; I am not going to give up mochas. Everything else can go but not mochas. But yeah everything else will be all healthy and whatnot. I’ll also stick it on MyFitnessPal for the sake of tracking. Grading: TBD Closing notes The aim of this challenge is to build a foundation of good habits that’ll help me in the mad challenges to come. 2016 will be an awesome year and hopefully the routine I get into with this challenge with make it easier to for me to make it more awesome. … IMPROMPTU BACKFLIP!!!1 (This was the fifth backflip I ever landed! ) Wish me luck!
  2. (Cross training again from the Rangers! Think I'm going to officially declare myself dual-class and continue alternating between Rangers and Assassins each challenge. So much awesome in both, I can't pick a favorite!) Certain things, through time and effort, have officially become “normalâ€. I workout. I meditate. They're just part of my day, like drinking coffee, or going to work. These have been things I've wanted to make a part of my life for years, and with the help of the Rebellion I've finally done that. Soooo..... now what? 0_o What did Beowulf do once Grendel was gone, and there were no monsters to slay (you know, other than the one that killed him...)? How does Spider Man while away those quiet sunday afternoons when it’s too rainy for any serious crime to fight? I’ll bet the Tardis has chairs with epic butt-dents from all the times the Doctor materialized somewhere mundane. It’s lucky that I read this article by Ross recently, because it makes me feel a lot better about wanting to take some time to just hang back and ride the wave for a bit. Maybe I’ll land somewhere exciting, or a new monster will appear along the way. Maintain the Muscles: STR +3, STA +2 1x Power Workout + 2x Strength Workouts per week I’ve scrubbed my old GPP stuff, and snuck in a Power workout where there used to be a Strength one. This somewhat lighter load should yield a net reduction in work, allowing for more recovery, more effort, and more gains. I'm sticking with RPT for my strength days, but I'm changing my protocol so that I won't raise the weight until I can do ten reps (up from eight). I’m not sure if this will really make a difference in the end, but life is all about experimentation, right? Power days are... different, due to the emphasis on making each rep as explosive as possible. Haven’t decided on rep ranges yet, because I really haven’t done much serious work with this kind of exercise before. Ross says 8-12, others say 3-6. 7 is right out! 1 point per workout: 18 possible. Maintain the Groove: DEX +3, CHA +2 20 min Break Dancing 2x per week + 6 min Stretching 2x per week These ARE NOT workouts. These are movement training/play time sessions. Sweating is likely, but not the goal. Skills are the goal, along with active recovery. 1 point per stretch, 1 point per dance: 24 possible. Maintain the Bite: CON +2, CHA +2 10 min Oil pulling 1x per day, every day. Read about this ages ago and liked the sound of it, especially now that my sonicare is dead (again) and I'm loathe to drop that much dough on another toothbrush that isn't likely to last more than a year. Oral health is essential to whole-body health, and I have it on good authority that it may one day save my life. Plus, some people report a whitening effect, and I could go for that. I'm using olive oil, not coconut as in the article above, but I understand it's probably just as good. 1 point per pulling: 42 possible. Grading All missions are graded on the classic scale. 90%+ = A, 80%-89% = B, so on and so forth. A = Full Points, B = 3/4, C = 1/2, D or F = 0 That means I can miss 4 oil pullings, 2 stretches/dances, 1 workout and still ace the whole challenge. I'm hoping that the generally relaxed nature of the missions will make the demanding tolerances for an A easier to cope with. Let's get versatile!
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