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  1. I have things to celebrate from this past year: 1) I completed a TV pilot script and sent it out to screenplay competitions. 2) My husband and I bought a house. 3) My husband and I got a puppy doggo. Despite these joyful occurences, I am trying to understand how 2022 - a whole 'nother trip around the sun - went by so quickly. Was I sleeping for roughly a third of it? Yes. Yes, I was. Nonetheless! During December, I mulled over why I might feel like the year went by too swiftly, and I believe that it's because I lacked physical and spiritual fulfillment. I am a recovering couch potato who once was fairly active. The year before last I would go on hikes weekly with my infant (who's now almost 3 - wow!) carrying his heavy self on my person. I went for runs with my kiddo in the jogging stroller. I did dance cardio, yoga, kettlebells, erg rowing... man! I also was more "active" in reflecting on my spiritual self during 2021. 2022? Not so much. Anyway, that was 2021, and 2021 felt like a good long year despite being in the thick of pandemic-ness. Just comparing here. So yeah - I have decided that I would like to focus on a couple of things for this year: - Finding the joy in exercising consistently again. - Spending more thoughtful alone time contemplating and developing my spiritual side. To kick things off, here is my first challenge of 2023: 1) Exercise for 30 minutes or more 4x per week. Can be broken up into a couple of smaller sessions in the day so long as they total greater than 30 minutes in sum. 2) Spend at least 10 minutes each day writing in journal about spiritual related questions and thoughts OR practicing mindfulness. 3) No alcohol. Dry challenge! There are other things I would like to do and may write about during this challenge, such as writing progress and acrylic painting, but officially aiming to do those things more consistently are things for upcoming challenges. I have enough on my plate.
  2. Warrior's Barracks: A warrior needs proper rest: In bed by 11pm A warrior needs to keep her barracks clean: Make bed Sunday thru Thursday A warrior needs to be physically fit & flexible: Exercise 3x per week Stretch every day A warrior keeps track of her workouts: Track dates, names of workouts done, & length of workouts Monk's Temple: A disciple spends time with God: Prayer Bible/devotional readings Sabbath readings Meditation on memory verses Room of Ritual: Habits must be tracked: Track challenge activity Journaling helps mental health: Journal every day to spot weak areas/triggers Athenaeum: Time for learning/recreation: Knitting-finish my project & start learning a new stitch Do the 21 Day Positive Mindset Challenge Play piano 5x per week for 35 minutes each time
  3. Recently I was inspired by seeing a couple of snowshoe hares in the woods up north. They were between their summer and winter fur colors (as above), which I found fascinating. They are survivalists, enduring all four seasons in extreme situations, with numerous predators and competitors. They have to be highly skilled (and a bit lucky) to survive. But mainly it was their alertness and mindful movement that inspired me. They reminded me that I've really been neglecting quadrupedal (QM) in the parkour training. A major part of this challenge will be a constant reminder to myself to include QM practice in my training. Another major aspect of this challenge will be defeating urge to back down or give up. The past few weeks have been hard on my body, and I'm not entirely sure why. I suspect I have been fighting off an infection, one that thankfully I have shown no other symptoms other than fatigue. I suspect the road trip up north I took last weekend took its toll, so I might be feeling the effects of that as well. Lastly, I also suspect it is just the change of the season that's affecting me. It's dark for longer in the morning. Days start out cold, requiring a jacket, but quickly progress to short-sleeve shirt weather by afternoon. And there's the temperature in my car if it's been sunny all day. It might as well be summer. That kind of wild variation throughout a day really seems to play havoc with my body. It makes me not want to move or go out. It also makes my body take a little longer to recover from workouts. Because of this, I am allowing for a somewhat lesser quantity in my workouts for this challenge, in the hope that the quality of my workouts will not suffer, and so that I can maintain a level of consistency. Part of not giving up or backing down (for the long term) is knowing when to slow down or dial back just a little bit (in the short term) in order to endure. I think I am currently at a point where this is necessary. Part 1 - The Daily/ Weekly Tasks: 1. Practice parkour, minimum of twice per week. I will shoot for three times per week, as I always have, but I am giving myself permission to opt for twice per week when I feel it will be better for my body. On days where the weather doesn't cooperate, training indoors with bodyweight exercises will suffice. 2. Practice Quadrupedal Movements (QM) with each parkour workout. Especially work towards developing the QM gallop. This can be done indoors on days with poor weather. 3. As always, daily meditation. This has become quite old-hat, but it's worth mentioning because it's worth doing. 4. Compliment each mediation with yoga and/ or qigong. I find adding a little moving meditation to the sitting meditation is very helpful. 5. Remember to play and have fun. Mix things up from time to time. Play with "ninja stuff" like shuriken, bokken, and nunchaku (I have recently made a assortment of bo shuriken from 7 and 10 inch nails - they are quite fun). Part 1 - The Daily/ Weekly Tasks (REVISED 10/30/2017): 1. Bodyweight exercises, three times per week minimum. This will continue until I am feeling up to snuff to continue outdoor parkour training. I plan to use the "grease the groove" approach to training rather than a fixed number of sets and reps done in one sitting. I plan to alternate between pull-ups/ dips and push-ups/ bodyweight squats. More days of training may be added, if feasible. 2. Play with weapons! Three times per week. Because being a ninja is fun! Shuriken, nunchaku, bokken, unarmed (my fists and feet are weapons)...all of it is fair game. 3. Daily yoga, qigong, and meditation in the evenings. This helps me stay physically and mentally put together. The physical side may be dropped once or twice per week, if needed to recover from injury or soreness. However, I have found that in most cases even a small amount of yoga or qigong, even through injury, is more beneficial than 100% rest. Part 2 - The Bullet Journal: This is a brand new thing for me. I saw it advertised by Jonesy in the Assassin's Den. I figure it's worth a shot, as I could really use a boost to my list-making and overall organization. I have joined the accountability group for this. I have no idea what I'm getting into. That's ok. Here goes nothing...
  4. For me, the last challenge was about finding my limits. This challenge will be aimed at building my foundation. Goal 1: Bodyweight exercises daily with an emphasis on form. Goal 2: Yoga or stretching every other day. Goal 3: Devote time to job search. Goal 4: Practice the Wim Hof Method daily followed by meditation. The woods are lovely, dark and deep, But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep.
  5. Had a good challenge last month, but my long-term goal is for lower cholesterol numbers in April. This month: tighter diet controls, some intermittent fasting, more accountability, and a hardier attitude against adversity. Really working to emphasize my essential Vimesiness. 1. Foot Chase Vimes was a runner by nature, and knew all the ways to make progress in the city's crowded streets. He dodged and leapt, jinked and weaved and, where necessary, barged. A rope tripped him up; he rolled upright. A stevedore barged into him; Vimes laid him out with an uppercut and speeded up in case the man had chums around. -- Thud! Goal: Run 3 times a week, at least 1 run per week on a trail. 0/12 Dallas winters are legendarily weird ("we don't have seasons, we have fronts") but this one has been particularly neurotic. Still, it looks like we're about to hit a rare and lovely stretch of weather that is perfect for early morning runs. Goal: Stick to New Blood bodyweight training plan (2 sessions per week) 0/8 2. Old Stoneface "Commander, I always used to consider that you had a definite anti-authoritarian streak in you." "Sir?" "It seems that you have managed to retain this even though you are now an authority." "Sir?" "Vimes, that's practically zen." -- Feet of Clay Goal: Meditate every day 0/28 3. Lean Against a Wall “I let you sleep, Sam," said Lady Sybil. "You didn't get in this morning until after three." "Everyone's double-shifting, dear," said Sam. "I've got to set a good example." "I'm sure you intend to, Sam, but you look like a horrible warning," said Sybil.” -- Thud! Goal: Maintain or increase average sleep time of 7 hours Last challenge, I increased my average sleep time from (approximately, I wasn't tracking) 5.5-6 hours per night to a pretty steady 7:09 per night. I'll try to sleep more during the week, sleep less on the weekends, and remember to wear my sleep tracker all the time, but mostly this is simple maintenance. If I can get closer to 8, that would be lovely. If not, that's fine. Special Long-Term Quest: Cholesterol Vimes carefully lifted the top of the bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich and smiled inwardly. Good old Cheery. She knew what a Vimes BLT was all about. It was about having to lift up quite a lot of crispy bacon before you found the miserable, skulking vegetables. You might never notice them at all. -- Thud! Goal: Lower cholesterol numbers by April. The main focus this month will be on diet. I'd like to do at least two IF days per week (not on running days, obviously) and generally avoid sugar/candy/cookies/donuts as much as possible. My new job is great in many ways, but there is always someone, somewhere, with a box of donuts "for the office." I've got to turn them down. Cracking the 200-pound mark and venturing into the upper 190s this month should be easily doable.
  6. No big changes for this challenge—just keep on keeping on. I'll be adjusting my diet a bit and trying to start seeing some good performance improvements. 1. Foot Chase Vimes was a runner by nature, and knew all the ways to make progress in the city's crowded streets. He dodged and leapt, jinked and weaved and, where necessary, barged. A rope tripped him up; he rolled upright. A stevedore barged into him; Vimes laid him out with an uppercut and speeded up in case the man had chums around. -- Thud! Goal: Run three times a week Goal: Stick to New Blood bodyweight training plan 2. Old Stoneface "Commander, I always used to consider that you had a definite anti-authoritarian streak in you." "Sir?" "It seems that you have managed to retain this even though you are now an authority." "Sir?" "Vimes, that's practically zen." -- Feet of Clay Goal: Meditate every day 3. Lean Against a Wall “I let you sleep, Sam," said Lady Sybil. "You didn't get in this morning until after three." "Everyone's double-shifting, dear," said Sam. "I've got to set a good example." "I'm sure you intend to, Sam, but you look like a horrible warning," said Sybil.” -- Thud! Goal: Increase average sleep duration from 5.5 hours to 7 hours Last challenge, I worked on getting to bed when I could instead of losing sleep for no reason. I did great, so I'm calling that one done. This is going to be a bit harder, and it'll take more work: increasing total sleep time. That means getting more stuff done, watching less TV, doing less fun stuff to make sure that I can get to sleep on time and don't have to get up extra-early to take care of things. I'll be tracking my sleep and averaging for the month. Special Long-Term Quest: Cholesterol Vimes carefully lifted the top of the bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich and smiled inwardly. Good old Cheery. She knew what a Vimes BLT was all about. It was about having to lift up quite a lot of crispy bacon before you found the miserable, skulking vegetables. You might never notice them at all. -- Thud! Goal: Lower cholesterol numbers enough that my doctor no longer wants to prescribe medications in April.
  7. It's been a very long time since I did a proper challenge, so I've got a lot of stuff to cover. To help cut this down a bit, this challenge intro comes to you in 3 parts: 2016 was bullshit (mostly whining) Samuel Vimes (mostly philosophical) Challenge Goals (actually germane to this forum) Part 1: 2016 was Bullshit It's my 30th birthday today. It kind of fits that the last year of my 20s was—with no exaggeration—the worst year of my life. Without diving into every gory detail (especially because I've signed a contract saying that I won't dive into every gory detail), here's what happened. Part 2: Samuel Vimes (by zazB) I wasn't going to theme this challenge quite so much, but then I saw @sarakingdom's superior efforts and thought, ah, what the hell. I need to be more like Vimes. Part 3: Challenge Goals 1. Foot Chase Vimes was a runner by nature, and knew all the ways to make progress in the city's crowded streets. He dodged and leapt, jinked and weaved and, where necessary, barged. A rope tripped him up; he rolled upright. A stevedore barged into him; Vimes laid him out with an uppercut and speeded up in case the man had chums around. -- Thud! Goal: Run three times a week, no matter the weather. How can you have fun without a cold rain dripping down the back of your neck? Goal: Stick to New Blood bodyweight training plan from Convict Conditioning. That's two bodyweight circuit workouts per week. Baby steps until I get my strength back. 2. Old Stoneface "Commander, I always used to consider that you had a definite anti-authoritarian streak in you." "Sir?" "It seems that you have managed to retain this even though you are now an authority." "Sir?" "Vimes, that's practically zen." -- Feet of Clay Goal: Meditate every day using Headspace. This continues to be a struggle for me, but it's absolutely critical to my mental health. 3. Lean Against a Wall “I let you sleep, Sam," said Lady Sybil. "You didn't get in this morning until after three." "Everyone's double-shifting, dear," said Sam. "I've got to set a good example." "I'm sure you intend to, Sam, but you look like a horrible warning," said Sybil.” -- Thud! Goal: Go to bed on time the whole month, three exceptions allowed. I've gotten into a bad habit of staying up. Playing video games, scrolling the internet, anything except go to bed, and for no reason. I've been operating on 5-6 hours, which is right on the edge between acceptable and Bad News Bears. Stuff happens and I may not get to bed as early as I like, and that's OK. It's the part where I keep staying up for no reason that I need to quit. Special: Summoning Dark tattoo I've wanted a tattoo of Vimes' Summoning Dark scar for years and years (my profile icon is the Summoning Dark symbol, and has been since, like, 2012). When Pratchett got sick, I decided I'd get a Discworld tattoo in memorium after he died. He's been gone almost two years, and I still love the idea. Now more than ever, the idea of making friends with my inner demons—and keeping that shit locked down—really appeals to me. Goal: Design tattoo has 3 milestones 1. Find inspiration/style pictures 2. Find artist who can draw up the design in that style 3. Decide on size/location I probably won't get the tattoo until after the new year sometime, but I'd love to stop procrastinating and actually get a design set. High-five if you actually read down this far. Here's a puppy. Future updates will be shorter, I promise.
  8. In my last challenge, I finally found a motivation that *totally* worked for me: a points system where I could earn books for doing things right (instead of a negative system where I'd lose points for doing things wrong). I dropped four pounds, earned four books, and dropped two pants sizes--total win! So I'm going to keep the same basic principle and add a couple of tweaks. Food: +5 points if I'm under 1400 calories, +2 points if I'm under 1550. Alcohol: +5 points for now alcohol, +2 points for 2 drinks or less. Exercise: +5 points if I do 3 sets each of 2 different bodyweight exercises. +2 points for 3 sets of one exercise. Maximum 15 points per day. Because I've added more ways to get points, it will take 75 points to earn a book. Ideally I'll earn a book a week, but even the four books I earned last challenge got the job done. Looking forward to starting the challenge!
  9. ABOUT ME: I'm Cody. I started yoga about two years ago to offset the strain of my job as a baker. Yoga definitely soothes my sore muscles, but I've hit a bit of a wall, as far as strength and stamina. I've since added Pilates and bodyweight exercises, and am starting to see a change. My goal is to continue to improve my strength and stamina by increasing the length of my workouts. Recently, I've begun tracking my food intake in order to see if I've been fueling my body appropriately, and it turns out I eat very little protein. I think after being vegetarian for nearly ten years, the moment I started eating meat again, I assumed my intake was "good enough." Turns out that I actually eat very little meat, and have almost completely stopped eating good vegetarian proteins. QUEST: To improve strength and stamina. OBJECTIVES: Increase length of workouts to 45 minutes for the first three weeks, and to 50 minutes for the last three. [sTA, STR] Currently, I am working out around 3x per week, at 40 minutes each. I will need to complete nine workouts each half of the challenge at the given length of time. Final: 13/18 workouts complete. A = 16 - 18 B = 13 - 15 C = 10 - 12 Eat at least 70 grams of protein per day. [WIS, CON] At first, this goal will be met with Clif Bars and Bolthouse drinks, until I find the right "real food" breakfasts and after-work snacks for myself. I will be tracking with SparkPeople (unless someone has a better tracker to suggest.) MyFitnessPal. (MyFitnessPal suggests that I should shoot for 135 grams of protein per day, but I'm taking the baby-steps approach.) Final: 34/42 days complete. A = 37 - 42 B = 31 - 36 C = 25 - 30 SIDE QUEST: Keep up with or exceed my Goodreads.com reading goal. Read at least three books during the six week challenge. [WIS] Final: 4/3 books read. A = 3+ B = 2 C = 1 MOTIVATION: To have the energy to both work and play. REWARD: oGorgeous Bow My Gawd! yoga bag. My boyfriend offered to buy me new gear as a reward. This was my choice. Though I already purchased it for fear of it selling out, it doesn't come out of the package until I finish a challenge with all A's and B's. MINIS: Mini 1: SMART Choices [+1 WIS]Mini 2: Making Friends [+1 CHA]Mini 3: The Library [+1 WIS]MID-CHALLENGE UPDATEMini 5: The Cafeteria [+1 CON]
  10. Hello Everyone! I'm Shadoric and this is my shot at getting fit with online help! I'm really looking forward to being a part of the community and getting my old life back! (I know I'm late to the challenge, but I don't want to wait around until the next one starts!) A little background to get started.... I am an athlete... or at least I was I used to play sports year round when I was in school. I had always loved the feeling of being outside and fresh air. Now, coming up on my 28th birthday, I am a father of 2 boys, engaged to a wonderful woman who makes my life sooooo much easier, and a lazy out of shape shadow of my old self. I am 5'11', 190 lbs. I'm an electronics engineer, so I'm sitting at a workstation 5 days a week. When I left high school I had the six pack abs, defined body we all dream of. Where did it go you ask? It left when all I strted eating was junk food, drinking cases of soda daily, and not exercising. Time slipped by as work and family took over. I've been working at making sure all my ducks are in a row. Now with most of the parts in place familywise, it's time to get prepared for the rest. It's time to clean up my diet, exercise, and get outside with my kids more. I want them to see what healthy, happy living will do for you! Main Goal: Change my Diet, Exercise Regularly, Improve Overall fitness level Sub Goals: 1.) Incorporate Veggies into meals (YUCK!) (Con/Wis) A.) 40+ Meals +2 Con, +1 Wis B.) 35-40 Meals +1 Con, +1Wis C.) 30-35 Meals + 0.5 Con, + 0.5 Wis D.) < 30 Meals +0 Con, + 0 Wis 2.) Exercise!! (Any type of fitness)(Dex/Sta) A.) 30+ Days + 1Dex + 1 Sta B.) 25-30 Days + 1Dex + 0.5 Sta C.) 20-25 Days + 0.5Dex + 0.5 Sta D.) < 20 Days + 0 Dex + 0 Sta 3.) Practice BW Exercises and Parkour Rolls (Specifically)(Str/Dex/Sta) A.) 30+ Days +1 Str, +1 Dex, +1 Sta B.) 25-30 Days +1 Str, + 0.5 Dex, +1 Sta C.) 20-25 Days +1 Str, + 0.5 Dex, + 0.5 Sta D.) 10-20 Days + 0 Str, +0 Dex, 0 Sta Bonus 4) Special activities with my kids! (Have to split time with their mother)(Wis/ Cha) A.) 20+ Days + 1 Wis, + 1 Cha B.) 17-20 Days + 0.5 Wis, + 1 Cha C.) 14-17 Days + 0.5 Wis, + 0.5 Cha D.) <14 Days + 0 Wis, + 0 Cha My motivation is to get what I used to have back with improvement! One day I would love to be able to compete in the Ninja Warrior show! I've been a fan for many years and I even have a friend that has competed before! It would be a huge accomplishment to just be a part of something as awesome as that! I've tried different things to get motivated like doing dvd programs, jsut heading to the gym to see how things go, and trying to motivate others around me to no avail. It's really hard to keep your motivation up if there's no support or friendly competition!(At least for me!) I'm open to all the help, support and suggestions! It's my year to really get back in the game and make some positive life changes! Let's do this!
  11. First off, I'm new to the Nerd Fitness Rebellion, so hi everyone! I have been an on-again, off-again exerciser my whole life but in the past few months I've really started to gain consistency in my routines. I've been training for a two month trip to Asia where I'm doing several really active adventures, including a two week trek in the Himalayas and a lot other hiking, biking, and kayaking all over Thailand, Cambodia and Laos. Nerd Fitness has been a great resource for me, especially the posts on body weight exercises and the information in this forum. I've constructed a workout plan that I've actually been able to follow, and it consists of different types of cardio (longer jogs, interval training and climbing/hiking workouts) mixed with strength training in the form of bodyweight exercises and yoga. I travel for my job consistently and I've been on the road now for a month with another month to go. I've been taking advantage of the fitness centers in the various hotels I stay in but only the treadmills. This is mainly because I'm not all that crazy about gyms and I find I work harder on my bodyweight workouts in my actual hotel room. Plus I played high school basketball and while I loved the sport, I hated lifting weights in the gym because of the constant presence and smell of high school boys....and my aversion has stuck with me ever since. Here's the problem - yesterday morning I was in my hotel's fitness center and after my 3 mile jog, I planned to do some arm exercises in my room (those good ole push ups, dips and luggage rows!) when I saw a huge machine contraption that I recognized from my high school training days. And then I thought to myself, maybe my arms could use something a bit different today... So, I went ahead and did some lat pull downs and used the chest press. I only did 3 sets of 15 on each at weights that felt challenging but not extreme. While I'm not entirely sure this was right, I am somewhat confident that is how we used these machines in high school (granted, that was 10+ years ago) and I think my form was decent. Since I'd been training with push ups, dips, arm circles, and luggage rows, I didn't struggle too much with the workout and it didn't feel like I was going beyond my limits. And then I woke up this morning, and my arms are incredibly sore, especially the area between my shoulders and chest. Ouch ouch ouch! I've never had this happen to this extent from a body weight exercise. Soreness happens, but I never imagined such a quick workout on a machine with weights would leave me in this much pain. Has anyone else experienced this? Does anyone have any advice for bodyweight workout lovers who want to switch it up but maaaaybe are now terrified of using weight machines? Should I stick with bodyweight exercises consistently or take this as a sign that I need to start challenging myself a bit more? Or did I do something wrong?
  12. Hey everyone, This is my fourth challenge. My bigger goal is body recomposition -- burning fat and adding muscle. I'm an overweight noob so at least I get linear gains still. In the past I've done the usual, workout 3x a week, eat these macronutrient ratios, fix form, blah, blah, blah. These are ongoing battles that I feel require more experimentation, and I'm learning a lot of complicated stuff trying to figure out the best plan for me. If you're curious about that struggle or my latest crazy experiment, go here. In the meantime, for the challenge I will be focusing on some other small habits to help with the recomp journey and improve my exercise and overall health. Goal 1: Cutting down on gluten and dairy Much to own chagrin, my diet is getting more paleo-esque. But, I will remind everyone here that the reasoning behind it is a gimmick based on a very shallow and narrow interpretation of evolutionary biology, genetics, and anthropology -- and yes, Darwins_Demon is getting his PhD in evolutionary genetics so he knows what he's talking about. That said, such diets do benefit some people, I'm always up for an experiment, and based on personal I experience I will benefit from cutting some dairy and gluten from my diet. I'm not giving up gluten wholesale, but just a few of the main sources of it in my diet -- wheat and barley. For me this means giving up bread, pasta, cereal (grape nuts usually), and beer for the most part. I already get at least half of my carbs from rice, potatoes, and fruit. Oats will still be allowed -- they contain gluten but not much, and even most people with coeliac disease can handle them. Rye? I don't eat it much, but I don't know how it compares. I had spelt once or twice, but that was an anomally -- what else? No dairy... except whey protein... my issue if any is with the lactose, not the protein. But I'm cutting the cheese, yogurt, and butter... these I'm usually fine with, but they add a lot of unnecessary fat to my diet, and they are kind of expensive. Edit: I've decided that avoiding wheat and barley is enough for one challenge. Maybe I'll take on dairy at a later time. Grading: 1 point for each day without consuming wheat or barley in some form, 1 point for each day without dairy (except whey). Goal 2: Stretching and Mobility I am going to spend 20 mins on rest days dedicated to stretching and mobility work, and 10 mins at the end of each workout. Mobility will target my hip flexors, ankles, and shoulders especially. Edit: I'm going to increase my workout frequency to 5 days a week. Each of those five days will include 10 mins. of mobility and recovery work. I can supplement on my two off days as I see fit. I've got my foam roller already. And a tiger tail is coming in the mail soon. Grading: 1 point for each session of stretching and mobility work. Goal 3: Daily exercise breaks at work Exercise 5 days a week. I work at a computer at least 8 hours a day. I'm in the last year or so of my PhD so I'll be putting even more, 10+, hours a day to finish. While I usually have a 20-25 min walk to and from work, that's not enough and I need to break the stagnant nature of my body and elevate my heart rate during the day. Thus, I will take at least 3 exercise breaks per day. Edit: I will exercise 5 days a week. Sun, Tues, and Thurs. will be for strength training. Mon. and Wed. will be for circuit/cardio training. I prefer weight circuits, but I can take it easy with some light jogging, walking, or cycling if I'm too sore from strength days. Each break will be 2 min dedicated to exercise. On rest days I can opt for mobility or a stretch of some kind. E.g. pushups for 2 min, 2 min of tabata KB Swings, 2 min plank etc. I'll also get a bonus point for finding new random opportunities to add exercise to my routine, like finding a new hill to walk over, or a stairwell, or some other obstacle. Maybe I'll eventually get a bit more assassin-like and do some half-assed parkour on my way to work. Also, I have bought a 25 lbs. kettlebell that I plan to carry around in my backpack. Then I also have something to do KB swings and rows with during my exercise breaks at work. Grading: 1 point for each workout. exercise break, up to three per day. Edit: Mini Goal: Knowledge is POISON! I need to stop reading all different things about diet and exercise right now. It makes me want to keep changing things up. I need to find what works and stick to it. No new additions to my routine. No switches in diet from here on. No more books, websites. Just ignore everything and stay on track. Life Goal: Get my dissertation outlined, and papers too As mentioned above, I am trying to finish a PhD this year. I need to have a detailed outline for my dissertation chapters, and three publishable papers by the end of this challenge. I was supposed to do this during last semester and put it off till now. Three chapters, plus three papers equals six. I'll shoot for one a week... but I will ultimately get one point for each relatively well-thought-out, detailed outline I have by the end of the challenge. I might do partials. Grading: A = 6, B = 5, C = 4, D = 3, F = 2 or less pts. MUSCLE OF THE DAY! For rewarding those who follow and our mutual entertainment and education... Each day, M-F, I'll post information on a muscle found on the human body. This will include, if possible: common name, anatomical name, exercises that work it, fun facts...
  13. I missed the last challenge because I couldn’t think of a Great Quest. As a result I haven’t exercised for 8 weeks and my legs are soft as jelly, so let’s not overthink this. From a fitness standpoint I don’t want to be as skinny as I was at university and an ultimate body does not feel achievable so I’m going for 200lb @ 20% body fat, which is quite lean for a 6 foot 3 guy. You may think 20% BF is not much of an ultimate quest but I have been striving for this for 10 years without success so it seems a Mighty Quest for me. So that’s that out of the way, let’s get on with the plan for this challenge: Starting Stats Weight 16s 4 lb (228lb, 103kg) - Weds 11th Sept 13 Measurements done Tues 17th Sept because forgot last Weds!! Neck: 16.5†Waist at belly button 41†Hips at widest part 43.5†Upper Right Thigh 24†With these stats the US Army body fat calculator says I am 24.8% body fat, which means I have about 14 lbs of fat to lose to hit my long term target of 20%. For this challenge weight loss is not a primary goal, the focus is on fitness and good food. No outcome goals for this challenge, only process goals. Goals Morning Bodyweight workouts using Mark’s Daily Apple exercises of Squat, Push Up, Pull Up and Plank, with the squat modified by Matt Furey (Hindu), the plank by Craig Ballantine (Hip Extensions) and the pull up by Steve Kamb (Inverted Row). The plan is not to bust a gut, just get some exercise done, which has got to be better than nothing. Mon & Wed - 1 set to Max Tues & Thurs – 3 sets of 50% of Monday done circuit style with no rest Fri – 2 sets circuit style, first 80% of Monday, second to failure. This determines when it is time to move on to a more difficult version of the exercise Contingency – 1 set of 80% of Monday on Racketball days Lunchtime Walks. This is 3 quests in one: First walking is good for you; second, I have to get to bed in time so I’m not too tired the next day and opt for a meditation in my car instead of walking and thirdly, need the discipline to drag myself away from the desk to do the walk. Moderate Weekends. I live like a paleo monk from Monday to Friday teatime and then over imbibe at the weekend. Hangovers cause you to crave stodge and my good work mid-week is often undone at the weekend. The aim is to be a more moderate and maybe even have the odd dry weekend. Life Goal Improve my Spanish. I am going to Spain at the end of this challenge and have about 100 Spanish podcasts on my iPod so will listen to 2 per day whilst walking. So that’s the outline, let’s get on with it.
  14. Or Mad Baggins' Adventure. Well, here I go... Main Quest: My main quest is to get stronger. By stronger, I mean being able to do the things I can't right now...like going on even a half-day hike out in the mountains with my family, or get back on my bike. Hell, manage my current illness to the point where I can turn my head to something approximating normal. That would be stronger for me. Goal 1: To get at least to Level 1 of the Angry Birds workout. I'd like to get farther, but in 6 weeks that's a reasonable goal for me. Goal 2: Cut out dairy. The Husband and Kid aren't down with paleo, so doing that completely might not be possible. But I can cut out one thing at a time for me. Dairy, especially cow's milk, has always been a problem for me; but I can't seem to stay away from it for long. We'll see if I can make it for 6 weeks... Life Quest: For the past year I've been working on an online store to sell my handspun and things I make from it. I want to make at least 1 new item a week to put in the store. I have to think about what I'd write down about my reasons for the challenge, so I'll post that either later today or tomorrow.
  15. Posted by accident, see other topic with same title. Cheers Dean
  16. Goodness gracious, guys. It has been almost exactly a year since I joined the NF forums and participated in my first 6WC. I really haven't felt great about my fitness regime since 2012, though. I haven't been sticking to the routines I create, and I have really been struggling with both professional and personal aspects of my life. Starting in March, it seemed like everything in my life went wrong. Shitty job, which I quit, followed by a stretch of unemployment that drained all my savings. On top of that, my depression, which I've talked about before (recently watched this video, which I highly recommend), kicked in, and kicked in hard. I was nonfunctional. It was really bad. But I got some help, and I'm better. But this year has not been going according to plan. So where does that leave me now? Well, it's hard to say. I have great days, and I have shitty days. My job situation is still weird (working part-time at two bars, and looking for other work) But I'm still here. I'm still creating. I read over my first 6WC, and remembered how important it was at that time to feel in control of my life, to assert mastery over my domain. Which I was very successful in doing, in some ways. What I have realized since then is that in order to really have control, you also have to know when to let go. In order to expand, you have to contract a bit. I can't control everything in my life. And I cannot control myself, all the time, to the degree that I expect of myself. And that's okay. This Challenge: I want my body to look and most importantly, FEEL, as tough as I know I am. For some reason I have been thinking a lot about Lara Croft recently. The reboot game was apparently awesome, I have not gamed in years though, so I can't speak to that. But I remember how when I was a kid, I would play Tomb-Raider....but only the intro levels. The game terrified me. So I would run around the intro and demo level, exploring and jumping off things, but never really putting myself at risk. I was afraid. That I would fail. Well, that approach does not cut it anymore. If I want to be capable of the things I want to do both personally as an athlete and professionally as an actor(and stunt-person? Thinking about it...), I need to be stronger and faster, but most importantly, I need discipline, so that I can work through the fear. I need routine. I bet she has some pretty mean spreadsheets. So, my Main Goal for this challenge, is to create a long-term fitness plan that will push me and challenge me, that I will stick to, and that will help me finally build the muscle and the endurance that I have always desired. It needs to be flexible and well-rounded; so that I can adjust it depending on my smaller goals. My currently workout schedule looks like this, and I've been doing it for about two weeks. I'm going to keep this really simple. CURRENT WORKOUT SCHEDULE: This is roughly what I've been doing; sometimes switching which days I do what on, depending on my mood/soreness. I want to switch the order that I do things every week or so, so I don't get bored. Monday: Run Tuesday: Bodyweight Circuit (upper body focus) Wednesday: Climb Thorsday: Bodyweight (lower body focus) Circuit Friday: Climb Saturday: Run Sunday: Climb/Full Body Bodyweight Circuit There's no rest day on there; will probably alternate running and rest days, or sometimes combine run and climb days. GOALS: MISSION GOAL: Create sustainable and flexible fitness routine with a focus on upper-body strength building. 1)Do every workout. Simple. Schedule workouts on Sunday or Monday. Do them. The only ones I have flexibility on are climbing; because I can't always get to the gym. If I miss a climbing trip though, I still do the bodyweight workout or run. RECORD EVERY WORKOUT in spreadsheet / challenge thread. This is crucial. Sub-goal: Reduce 5k time to 33 minutes; I have to figure out what my current time is on flat surface(I've been running in the park which is a lot of up hill and un-even terrain); if I beat this time inside the 6 weeks, reduce to 31 mins. Sub-goal: Continue to work on v1/v2 problems, attempt some v3s. 2) Do 1 Glorious Shiny Pull Up I've done some really sloppy half assed ones. Work on form; if I accomplish this inside the 6 weeks, I will increase my goal to 2. 3) EAT EAT EAT Make sure I get my caloric intake for muscle building; rough Paleo (exceptions: rice, potatos, some dairy). Trying to find consistency in my diet; recently I upped my caloric intake and I can feel the difference. Basically, eat when I'm hungry and eat frequently. Prepare snacks for work.Going to edit this goal this week once I figure out a more structured eating plan. STATS: I'm also going to update this thread later with points; realized I tracked points in my first challenge, but not since. I think it will help me stay on track. It's funny, at the start of past challenges, I have felt all fired up, filled with optimism and motivation that is usually short-lived. I burn out. This time around I am less wide-eyed idealism and more grim determination, but I have a few things helping me out. -My roommate! Check out his first ever challenge thread and show him some love. Great dude, great athlete, and is super positive and gives me tons of support. -The fact that it's been a year since I committed to living healthier. I owe it to myself to make these changes stick. -My life goals demand that I do this. If I can't commit to these habits, I might as well throw in the towel and be content with mediocrity. Screw that. I've also flaked on so many challenges that I feel embarrassed starting another, so much so that if I don't finish this one it will make it that much harder to start the next. Not gonna do that to myself. -My progress. I'm bouldering v2s now. What I love about bouldering is that it is so easy to track your progress. Feeling the difference when you climb week to week is exhilarating. -And my challenge theme song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4HX74UhgMFA Good to be back. -Starbuck
  17. Note: Edits have been made because I decided I would try the real-life role playing again. Let's get to it. I've done a 5k before, I've done push-ups before, but that ability has deteriorated over time. I also need to continue to improve my diet. And most importantly, I need to find something that I have a passion for. Goal 1: C25K (again) I've done the C25K program before, just about a year ago actually. Completed it, hurt my back lifting a window AC unit, aggravated it on a hilly mud/obstacle run, stopped running until about April. I was doing the Zombies, Run! 5K app, but despite loving the story and the character of the app, I just don't like the program. So I'm starting C25K over, which I have done and like, while simultaneously re-running the missions from the original Zombies, Run! app, which I did the first time. I'll be going for a run every other day*, first thing in the morning, lest it get too hot outside. By the end of the challenge I should be up to week 6, though my grading will account for the possibility of necessary repetition of a single workout or a week of workouts. Finished Week 6, A; Week 5, B; Week 4, C etc.. Reward +5 STA Goal 2: Bodyweight Strength Training I want to start getting into consistency again with improving my strength through bodyweight exercises. Minimally, I want to do 1 set of upper-body training (probably push-ups or pull-ups), 1 of lower-body training (bodyweight squats, squat jumps, or lunges), and 1 of core (leg lifts, sit-ups) to failure. This will be done every other day, on the non-running days.* Grading here is all about consistency. An A can only be achieved through fully following through with the schedule. A full letter grade will be taken off for each missed day, until F. Reward +2 STA +2 STR Goal 3: Cleaner, Closer-to-Paleo Eating (4 Cheat days left) I am not good at avoiding fake foods. I never have been. My diet rarely involves more water than soda and alcohol. I would rather eat a bag of chips than any kind of fruit or vegetable you could think to stick under my nose. I grew up believing with glee that bread, rice, and especially pasta should be the foundation of my diet, usually skipping fruits and vegetables and making cheese and meat my next two candidates for things I would maybe consider eating. I've been working on a change in general, but I need a kick-in-the-pants, stick-to-it plan. For the six week challenge, water is the only thing I can drink. I don't need to drink my calories. I am also eliminating cheese and anything that I might refer to as "junk food," i.e. most things at the school vending machines. I have six allowed treat days during which I can diverge from this, with the hope of using at most one per week if I use them all. On these days that I select, I must report here what I had that goes against the guidelines, in what quantities, and for what reason. If I don't, it's a strike. If I have any beyond six, it's a strike. A letter grade reduction for this goal will be made for each strike. Reward +3 CON Goal 4: Seeking Passion I posted a bit ago on the pub forums on my panic over grad school, my research job over the summer. Sure enough, the more I do my job, the more I'm convinced that something about what I'm doing is not for me. I have no passion for it. But what do I have passion for? Good question. I would quit my job if I had a dream to chase, but I don't. Weekdays for now might just be mostly 9-5, making money, riding my bike to school, making dinner, cleaning the house, blah blah daily grind. But I have the weekends! So here's the goal: Every weekend of the challenge, I must work on something I believe I could have a passion for. I will report back not only what I did, but how I felt while doing it, how I felt afterward, and whether I think further pursuit is warranted. Working on the same passion candidate for any number of the weeks is allowed, assuming I haven't definitively decided that thing is not my passion. Possible pursuits may include, but are not limited to: -Drawing, both in pencil-paper and digital form. -Writing stories or working on a book. -Teaching something to someone. -Starting a blog, or vlog, or something like that. -Designing a program centered around something I care about and beginning the implementation in code. -Studying material from a field in which I have taken no classes or few classes. Doing something of this nature and making a post about it for every week will warrant an A. Miss one and I get a C. Miss two and I fail. Reward +3 WIS Where I Am Now I'm 22. I am female, 5'5" and somewhere in the 190-200 pound range, firmly in the category of obese (and yes, I know BMI is BS, but for me there is no change my weight is due to muscle). I have been riding my bike to and from work for about two weeks now. It has made me a lot more conscious of my nutrition, my energy levels, my hydration, and my fitness. I've been drinking generally less soda (but haven't cut it out completely yet) and more water, eating more fruit and vegetables, eating less bread and cheese, and actually being consistent about putting on sunscreen. I am actually living on my own by myself for the first time this summer, so instead of moping about it and getting scared and lonely and depressed, I am trying to embrace the opportunity for independence, to understand what makes me feel good without having to consider other people. I get to be selfish, which might be good because I tend to be a bit of a doormat. Speaking of which, bonus goal: don't be a doormat. Don't accept people pushing you around, don't say you agree with things that offend you, be assertive. And my current "character" stats, I'll be a shifter: STR: 2 DEX: 2 STA: 2 CON: 3 WIS: 3 CHA: 3 Okay, that's all. I've not done great on previous challenges, so any comments as to feasibility would be really appreciated. *After a pattern of workout-break-workout-break-workout, a 2 day break may be taken without penalty.
  18. Howdy friends! I am a TOTAL Noob here and I suppose thats not a bad thing. I will be participating in the upcoming 6 week challenge. A little about me. I am 24 years old, working full time as an IT Assistant, I have the best job and I love it I have a daughter she is 4 years old and a hubby who is on the fence about this whole exercise thing lol. He will come around after he sees me work; he usually does. I am graduating with a Batchelors in Computer Science next weekend(Go ME!) I am a Ranger, I love nature, swimming, hiking, running, skipping, you name it. I recently discovered bodyweight exercise, and i think i'm in love <3 there is something about using your own body for resistance and weight that makes me happy! I am also taking baby steps towards a Paleo Lifestyle. Starting with cutting out grains and soda. I have a serious soda addiction that needs to be put in check! I hope to make some new friends along the way! I am a positive person so I give good support to those who need it if they are willing to be my friend and support me as well
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