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  1. For those I haven't met yet, I used to work at sea, exploring weird places. Now I don't, though I still do marine sciency things for a living. It's been a big change for me. I'm trying to cope. This challenge finds me reaching for a new plane in my training*. I'm running in a half-marathon during week zero, and I logged a lot of miles during the last two challenges to prepare. After the race, I want to keep up with the running enough to keep building endurance, but I also want to scale it back a bit so I can focus more on other things – namely improving flexibility and strength. To do that, I'll be mostly continuing where I left off last time, just shuffling the focus a bit. Now, on to the goals!! Run 80 miles. I'd like to hit this running only three days a week. The general idea is to do two short weekday runs of 5 miles each, and one long weekend run around 10 miles. If I can keep the injuries at bay, I'll try to do the long runs on trails, because the woods are awesome. I've mentioned the desire to add some speed training, but as yet I don't have a plan for that. I may work it in at some point, so look out. Push-ups 480 total, 3x20 sets, 2/week. I've done pushups to death in previous challenges, to the point I was losing interest. The spark has returned a little lately, so I'm gonna keep this one around, with some changes. I've wondered what the differences would be doing lower numbers over many days versus high numbers only a few days. So instead of doing 20 push-ups 6 days a week, I'll try doing 60 push-ups two days a week. Think of it as an experiment. Yay science. Yoga 32 points, 2pts/session, 1 pt if it's half ass. This is an increase over last time, as I should have more time to commit to it. I will hopefully expand and diversify my regular – admittedly brief – usual routine. Bonus - Last time, I was unexpectedly challenged by an online friend with a pose I was totally incapable of -- Crow pose. I pushed myself to work on it, and totally surprised myself by actually doing it. This really excited and motivated me, so I'm going to work another difficult-to-me "challenge pose" into the mix, unscored. This time will be Camel pose. Unlike Crow, I've worked on this one a bit already, but I can't quite do the full pose yet, and I've been wanting to work on back bends anyway. Perfect excuse, right? Mindful Movements Weeks 4, 5 and 6 of the program. This is the Elements program from GMB, which I started last time. It didn't get the attention it deserves, so with the race training over, I really want to spend a lot more time with this. The program aims to develop strength, flexibility and motor control, but I've gotta put more into it to get more out of it. Plus, I think it's really cool what I'm learning to do. That's it, this time. My free time is still really limited, but I want to try to make a few new friends along the way, so I hope to see you out there! *Speakin' of new planes, enjoy a little ditty on me. No charge. Steam Powered Aereoplane, Robert Earl Keen, Happy Prisoner, 2015
  2. Goal #1: Elements practice 6x / week I finished the current round of the Movement Multivitamin, but before I get back to Floor 1 practice, I'd like to work on the basics some more. Enter the Elements program, where I'll be working on three movement patterns: Bear, monkey and frogger. While I have no big problems with the range of motion in any of the basic variations of these, I'm sadly lacking in strength and stamina - especially my legs start complaining after about a minute or so of froggering about. This could definitely need more work, so that's what I will do. The program will take me 7 weeks to work through, starting week 1 today. In addition to Eements, I'm still taking yoga classes and kettlebell classes. Goal #2: Keep the (Emo) Sugar Monster at bay (2 - 3 Sugar Monsters / week) Same thing we do every challenge, Pinky... try to take over the world keep the sweets in check, aim for 2 - 3 Sugar Monsters per week, and be extra careful around the Emotional variety. Goal #3: Keep a health journal 7/7 days a week I'm still working on some health issues (namely trying to get that pesky Raynaud's in check). Among other things, I'll probably have to start taking meds to improve the bloodflow . Data geek that I am, I'm kind of curious how the things I do will affect my (well-)being in general and some symptoms in particular. Ergo: collect ALL the data. Okay, maybe not all of it, but at least some markers that seem relevant to me now.
  3. Hey... As the title implies, I'm off to Uni in September as a Mature Student. This challenge is also complicated slightly by the fact that I have a couple of weeks planned visiting friends which may or may not make eating right and exercising a challenge. Therefore, during my 2 weeks away I will try, but will not be too hard on myself. The rest of the time, when I'm as home I will try to be more strict. My holiday weeks and weeks 3 and 4. I did find a reasonably priced gym that I can use while up there, but things can happen which make that difficult. I can also buy some of my own food while I'm there, but again... I'm not going to ruin my time with my friends by being all weird about it. So... here is my 6 wk challenge for the upcoming: Main Quest. (Carried over from my first challenge) Is to fit into my old suit for my cousin's wedding at the end of August. This will obviously involve loosing inches from my waistline, but I want do do it by getting strong instead and eating better. Target for end of August 38in. SMART quests (All of the following are including increased flexibility weeks 3 & 4 as discussed) i) To follow the 80/20 rule. To have unprocessed protein, fruit and veg 80% of the time and no more than one 'treat' thing per day minimum 5 days per week (more than one treat allowed 2 days) 3 + 2 CON 100% = All of the above all 6 weeks including the two holiday weeks. 90% = All the above, excluding the holiday weeks. **% = I'll figure out the true percentage if I get off track.. ii) Weight Lifting three days each week following 'Starting Strength' 2 + 1 STR 2 DEX 100% = Lift 3 times per week and stretch after for all 6 weeks including Holiday. 90% = Lift 3 times per week and stretch after for all 6 weeks excluding Holiday 75% = At least 2x per week for all 6 weeks. 50% = Less than three days per week for the whole 6 weeks. iii) Tracking my food and exercise daily on this site. 1 + 1 CHA 100% = Every day, including holiday and plus calorie and protein totals. 90% = Every day except holiday, or every day but no calorie and protein. 80% = 5+ days every week. iv) Reading in preperation for starting my Degree 1 + 1 WIS 100% = First Aid in English plus 2 other books of the reading list. 66% = 2 of the above 33% = 1 of the above v) Complete all the Assassin Minis and meet some new fellow Assassin friends. 1 CHA Motivation. To be happier and healthier, to be more able and to fit into the clothes that shrank when I wasn't paying attention and to not completely forget all about Uni until the day I have to go in.
  4. * * * Challenge Post updated based up people's helpful comments * * * I know the next 6 wk challenge hasn't started yet, but I wanted to get everything ready. I'm treating this week as a kind of warmup week. So, here is my challenge.... Main Quest. Is to fit into my old suit for my cousin's wedding at the end of August. This will obviously involve loosing inches from my waistline, but I want do do it by getting strong instead. (And eating better.) I'm working towards being able to start lifting heavy by getting the basic bodyweight workout sorted first. Current Waist size is 48in. Current Hip 45 (Where I actually wear my trousers). Target for end of August 38in. SMART quests i) To eat only breakfast and dinner for at least 5 days every week (Intermittent Fast), and for those meals to protein and vegetably with less junk. I've started using MyFitnessPal to track what I'm eating so that next time I can be EVEN MORE specific about those changes. 100% = Five days per week for all 6 weeks. 75% = Five days per week, but with up to 3 snacks on IF days per week. 50% = Less than five days all six weeks or more than 3 snacks on IF days in a week. ii) I'll be exercising three days each week. I've started doing two circuits of the basic bodyweight workout instead of one. I can't complete a whole circuit still. I struggle to always finish the walking lunges and can currently only do 5 pressups per set. By the end of six weeks I want to be doing two full circuits with full reps. (The start of the warm up week it was 4 and 3) 100% = 2 full circuits 3 times per week by end of challenge. 75% = BBW 3 days per week but not managing 2 full circuits. 50% = not doing the BBW three days per week for the whole 6 weeks. iii) Do a full stretch routine after exercising to reduce DOMS and increase flexibility. 100% = Full stretch routine after exercise routine 3 days per week. 75% = Full routine every time I exercise but not exercising 3 times every week. 50% = Any incomplete stretch routine Motivation. To be happier and healthier, to be more able and to fit into the clothes that shrank when I wasn't paying attention. Lets see how we do : D
  5. Hi, I'm totally new. Going to join in the six week challenge. I'm pretty sure I want to be an Assassin. I like the 'functional' part. I like to run and my longest was a half marathon (2 hrs 50) although I'm very out of practice. I want to get back running, but I want to be stronger too. I don't care about my weight, as in the number on the scales, but I would like my clothes to fit better. Also, I'm not entirely sure what my race is. I'm still figuring that out. So far I'm thinking Werewolf. Because I'm quite hairy. Anyway. I know I'm joining in half way through a challenge time, but.... Nevermind. My challenge is to do the NF bodyweight workout 3 days each week, and by the end of the challenge I want to be doing at least one full circuit, completing the recommended number of reps each time. I'm also looking at the diet side... I like the idea of the intermittent fasting and I want to try fasting breakfast and lunch two days per week starting this coming week. Wondering whether the fasting days should be on days I'll do a bodyweight workout or not? I do the workouts in the morning before going to work. Thanks all. James
  6. So here's the thing.... I'm trying to figure out a good routine. I've read the article about intermittent fasting and it's advantages in terms of insulin sensitivity and growth hormone boost. Timing, it seems, to be relatively important. So, at first I thought I'd just skip breakast and lunch on the week days that I dont train. So, do the bodyweight workout mon, wed and fri and fast breakfast and lunch tues and thurs. I'm just starting out so I'm not trying to do everything at once. I've tidying up my diet as I go, and weekend I'm being more lax and eating pretty similar to what has been 'normal' while making an effort to choose good food over bad. Anyways.... Having read the Intermittent Fast article again today I'm re-thinking. The timing of things seems to have some importance. So... Now I'm thinking instead of the above maybe I'll not have lunch every week day. I can't workout at 11 and eat at 12 like the man does. I'll be at work or college 5 days out of 7. It's not practical. I do my bodyweight workouts in the mornings before going to work/college. Also, it's easier to make a solid breakfast while at home in the morning than to take for lunch or buy on the go. (I've been having a lot of gregs baguettes for lunch recently) So how is this for a plan? Each morning cook myself up a decent omlette with some (good quality) bacon and some onions and peppers and mushrooms and maybe some spinach or something and some tomatoes. I'd still do the bodyweight circuit before eating three of the days. I'll then miss lunch at least on week days and possibly some of the weekends as well and then eat dinner as normal (still edging towards paleo for this when possible) This means I'll be fasting from about 8am until dinner time (which varies) and then from dinner until breakfast at least 5 days out of 7. This is similar to the article which is from dinner till lunch and then lunch till dinner, just adjusted slightly to being breakfast and dinner instead of lunch and dinner in order to fit my routine and to keep one of the meals with the workout. I appreciate your consideration. James
  7. When he reached the top of the mountain, the rainbow shimmered and made it seem like he was standing in an ocean of light. The road to Asgard stood before him, close enough to touch. But there was no way through. The mountain path had made him tougher and leaner but there was little skill in climbing a mountain, determination carried him this far but it could carry him no further. He fell to his knees in frustration and slowly made his way back down the mountain. But the assassin was not ready to admit defeat. There are not many things that can stop an assassin who's put his mind to something, and this assassin's mind was definitely set to stealing Mjolnir. He had heard tales of a demi-god in a distant forest who's grueling training regime sent many would-be heroes scuttling for safety. This was his destination. He would train under the demi-god and become skilled and powerful enough to penetrate the Rainbow Road and make his secretive way to Asgard. It took him several days by boat to reach the heavy forest the demi-god Adonis had taken as his home, feasting with generous merchants and sailors along the way. And then several more to find the marble temple at the its heart, where he would find the demi-god. The temple was beautiful, but barren, there was no one waiting for him. There was no mystic mythological figure awaiting him to turn dramatically. But this was what the assassin had been expecting. He left an offering on the temple altar and elected to come back the following day, to see if he and his offering had been accepted. He did not need to wait that long; as he was setting up camp a figure burst from the trees and began attacking the assassin. In a desperate fight the assassin parried, leapt and lunged against his assailant. After a few minutes of brutal intensity the figure jumped backwards an astonishing distance, nodded to the assassin and walked in the direction of the temple. It looked like Adonis had started his training. Hello fellow Rebels! I hope you don't mind my fairly long story intro! So this challenge I want to focus on high intensity exercise both with resistance training and sprints, and skill work. But I don't want to say just one kind of skill work, I think I would like to try out various poses and balancing work. My overall quest is to be able to do a one armed, hand-stand push up (modeled here by Vegeta) and a 90 degree push up. But I know both of these are extremely far away, so for now I'm going to focus on fat-loss (less to move) and some skill work. I've called this challenge the Belt of Adonis because I'd really like to be able to see mine (and of course abs!) and I hope that if I meet my fat-loss goal for this challenge I will be able to. Anyway! Enough of this levity, let's talk goals! Goal 1: To Be Carved From Marble (Fat Loss) +2 DEX +2 CON Lose 3% Bodyfat I want to be stricter with this goal than I was last time, I will be allowed to up my carb intake on workout days whilst trying my hardest to be paleo (but still under 100g). I might have a 3 or 4 cheat days spread across the whole challenge but I'm not sure about this yet. So we'll see! I will put some stats for myself down so I can gauge progress but (a bit cheekily!) I'm going to give myself till Wednesday to let my body calm down from my holiday last week and hopefully not be ballooned with beer! But the way I intend to lose the bodyfat is to do high intensity exercise, so lots of sprints and resistance circuits! And of course eat at a calorie deficit! The details of which I shall post up with my other stats when I do them. I'm looking into planning and preparing my meals over the weekends as well, if I can get a fair amount of meat from a butchers/supermarket for relatively cheap then that should be fine! Goal 2: To Fight the Black Bear (Strength) +4 STR Do 3 Strength Workouts per week With the upcoming release of the new Thor movie, I want to try and couple some strength training with the bodyfat goal to make myself look as Thor like as possible by the time the movie comes out! For the last couple of weeks of the last challenge I was doing weights at the gym splitting 2 days into essentially Chest & Back/Legs & Shoulders split and trying to throw in some bodyweight circuits too. So I'll keep doing this with Legs at the beginning of the week and Chest on Thursday (I can't NOT workout on Thorsday!) Taking inspiration from TiberiusNightrise I'll be tracking my workouts on here so I can see better where I'm improving/need to work on. And also carrying on from last time I'll be using the Bear/Cat infographics to playfully see how heavy I can lift! If I'm lucky I'll be able to Bench Press a Black Bear! What Cat Can You Lift?: http://i.imgur.com/rpo7B6Y.jpg What Bear Can You Lift? http://i.imgur.com/HYFCNQf.jpg To Black Bear and beyond! Goal 3: The Tricks of Immortals (Skill) +3 DEX +1 STR Do 2 Skill Workouts a week One of the reasons I love the Assassins guild is for all the crazy skills that we have going for us, so it's about time I started learning to do them too! Last time I planned to do skill workouts purely to focus on handstands/headstands, but this time I want to open it up a bit more, I'm looking into getting some gymnastics rings to put on my pull up bar so that should really open up the skills (and make it a lot easier to get the motivation!) But I'm not 100% sure what to do (I'm a total beginner skills wise) so any suggestions are welcome Goal 4: For the Assassin Records (Writing) +3 WIS Write at least 1 blog post a week Bonus points if I can schedule the posts rather than frantically write them during my lunch hour. I've also let slip for the past couple of weeks so I really want to get back into it as it will not only help me but should also help me for jobs. I have been toying with the idea of starting a fitness blog, with the theme for saturday morning/90s TV and other general geekery (I really like classics and mythology so I'd try and chuck that in too). So if I do start that then it has to be one blog post for BOTH each week, I can't use that as an excuse to do one or the other. I think that's more than enough for now! But I'll be on and about to post up any more coherent plans and my stats once I've done them. Best of luck to you fellow Rebels (and especially Assassins ) I look forward to doing another awesome challenge with you all
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