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  1. Whilst I was pretty happy with my progress on the previous challenge, I still have some loose ends to tie up so rather than doing anything radically different, on the whole I'm going to keep on pretty much the same course as before. Therefore, my goals are the following: Goal 1: bodyweight exercising 6 days a week BUT THIS TIME WITH ADDED EXTRAS!!!! (CON +3, STA +2) Working out 6 days a week focusing on just one specific exercise each day to condense the time requires really seemed to work for the last time- it was easier to get into the habit of exercising every day rather than every other day and by doing more workouts for shorter times, I got an extra 15-20 minutes in bed each day and felt a hell of a lot better for it. This time though there will be two slight changes: firstly, to increase my general flexibility I will be attempting to add some stretching to my daily regime especially ones that will help with that days exercise. And secondly... Goal 2: PULL-UPS PULL-UPS PULL-UPS! (STR +3) I can currently do 4 so I going to copy a goal from Nymeria's challenge and have a go at the 20 pull-ups challenge http://twentypullups.com/the-training-program/ . I'm not sure if I'll get to 20 pull-ups by the end of the six weeks but if I manage to stick to working on it 3 days a a week, hopefully I'll be able to make so e sort of progress. Goal 3: even more handstand training. (DEX +3) Last challenge I focused a lot on my crow stands and not nearly enough on the handstands. I really want to get to doing a 60 second wall handstand and to start working on getting a 15 freestanding handstand so, despite this being a goal for the third challenge in a row, I'm going to press on with this again. Goal 4: a quiet and tidy mind. (WIS +2, CHA +2) Primarily I'm going to be using Calm.com to do 10 minutes and restful meditation a day but also, as an added extra goal I'm going to be resurrecting an ambition from years ago and get back to constructing my mind palace. So, although the daily meditation is my actual goal, I may well be posting a whole bunch of stuff about learning the name of Shakespeare's plays in chronicle order and weird stuff about loci and mnemonics. I will explain more later.
  2. All right. Let's get this party started. So, in case any of you didn't get the chance to see, I've been working on new goals. I've desired to grow stronger and fight better, and my goals to that end have helped me with that a lot. But at the same time, I've been exposed to my limits. I've done manual labor and found that strength training has its limits in terms of what it can do to save you. And I've seen what it's like to wake up in the morning and not feel pain. I like those things. I like them very much. The overarching mission of this year is twofold - one, to make my body move better, and two, to make martial arts indelibly part of my life. No one challenge is going to be enough to make that happen, anymore than any one goal can make those things happen. As such, I'm ultimately going to spend this year focusing on building and maintaining systems that put me in a better place than I was before. GOAL 1: Hip Flexibility System This is something I've heard a lot of good things about. I'll be in the second week of the program by the time the challenge officially starts, and my challenge for myself is to not miss a single workout here. I have no real excuse to - at this point, it's mostly just a couple minutes added onto my warm up, and I've seen some good come of it already in my hill sprinting exploits. But at the same time, I feel so impatient with this, and it's implausible. I don't know why it's that way. But having the public accountability to all y'all is gonna help me with that. I don't quite know what the exact number of sessions is going to translate to, but we'll grade this as: +2 CON, +1 STR, +1 STA. GOAL 2: Active Recovery This has two opportunities to happen. Strength training that acknowledges martial artists tends to say that technical work - being in class and training, etc. - is a form of active recovery. Since I'm seeing my sensei on a semi-regular basis, that's one way that this can happen. The other way is to use the active recovery routine that I have on hand. I've also begun to slip on my morning mobility, so I'm going to go ahead and throw that in for this goal too, so that I can rebuild that habit and put some new stuff with it. +1 CON, +2 STA, +1 DEX GOAL 3: Solo Practice I still can't believe that the last challenge was too ambitious for this. But I'm gonna shake it off and learn from it. We're going to focus on just ten combos and ten uchikomi. Feels pathetic, but the seed has to be planted somewhere. +2 DEX LIFE GOAL: Finances So, this is going to be interesting. The job situation has gone chaotic, and without going into a full-blown rant, I stand to lose both the writing gig and the UPS gig. I don't know how any of this is going to shake out, although I do have a personal training interview to go see to on the tenth of January. As usual, no guarantees. I've begun to take a look at my finances to see what I can cut that I don't really need anymore. Unfortunately, she's pretty much been cut to the bone. I managed to drop out of some training communities that were charging me that weren't benefiting me, which was a win. I still need to find a way to drop out of the gym membership, given that I'm not going to be there any time soon. This one is really, really vague. The clearest form of success would be to cut that gym membership, but as for the rest, I honestly don't know how I'm going to define success. Survival? Bleak, maybe, but that suits me rather well. ; Maybe I'll know at the end of it. +3 WIS, +2 CHA We'll see how this all goes. I'm genuinely excited to have a new mission for 2014, an overarching focus to drive me. It's nice. We'll see what happens.
  3. Hey there everyone. You mind if I come play over here for a while? I would have hung out in one of the other guilds, but I have too many jobs for Serenity, and I'm not gonna run (much) so the Pavement's out. I'm not trying to bulk so no Weight Gain, but I'm not planning to resist holiday treats either, so Weight Loss is out too. So, the only one left for me to join is this one. I hope y'all don't mind. Anyway, posting up today's workout: Warmed Up Chin Ups: 3x61, 5 (notation indicates the number of sets, out of the total executed, that this particular rep range was used). Pistol Progressions: 3x5/Leg Close Push Ups: 3x6 Hanging Knee Raises: 3x6 Inverted Ring Rows: 3x4 Skater Squats: 3x9/Leg Pike Press, 1-Step: 3x3 Full Bridge: 3x6 Core Work: Dynamic Hollow Body Wall Walk: 3x1 Bent Leg to Bar: 3x1 Hanging Knee Hold: 3x6 seconds Took about an hour or so. Then went off to work UPS, which proved to be... interesting, on a Christmas Eve.
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