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  1. Goal: 1/2 The name of the challenge gives away the whole thing, really. Basically, I've hit a point where I like myself more the more I meditate. I'm successfully carving out space for myself to make it happen - only 4 minutes at a time so far, but it helps. I want to stick to that amount for the rest of the challenge. As I've observed, small changes applied consistently without flash or fanfare create some truly substantive results. Also, between it being the end of the year and my own theological leanings, it just feels right. Beyond that, right now I'm just solving a bunch of optimization problems, mostly having to do with joint health and actively working to feel better. The writing's doing well; I've found myself adding organically to my cast of characters as I've needed to without having to bend or break the existing ones to Make The Plot Happen. That's something I wasn't sure I believed in myself enough to do but I'm really happy it's happening. One other thing is that I'm doing more to take care of my place these days - regular vacuuming and cleaning of even some spaces is actually really good for me, and it helps me feel accomplished in a way that doing my job does not. I've also been kind of crafty lately in that I made a cloth mallet out of a cast off chair leg and some scrapped sweat pants. A cloth mallet is a conditioning tool for the Iron Shirt stuff that I asked my brother about and finally getting that made was good. Also, I've finally learned how to step away from the job to go for short walks over the course of the day, including getting my errands done early, so when I get to the end of the day, I don't have all this extra stuff to do to get in my way for getting down early. I'm not saying that the meditation is doing all of that, because I don't think it is, but it's taking place in the context of all this extra stuff I'm doing right now and it's... helpful, I think. But, yeah, that's things for now. Happy to round out the year with y'all.
  2. Took a week for me to figure out the one thing I want to change, and the way in which I want to change it. I've known for a while now that I need to get up earlier. I'm pretty good at starting to for a bit, but it doesn't take: eventually, something goes haywire somewhere and I wind up being up late and needing to sleep late to make up for it, and before long I've regressed to the old mean. Meaning (harrrr) that I need a new mean. Instead of getting up at 9:30 AM, I'm going to spend the next few weeks focusing on just getting up at 9:00 AM. Get myself used to what life looks like there get a feel for making happen what needs to happen when it needs to for me to hit that target consistently. I don't need to be perfect, but landing there 80% of the time should get me somewhere like where I need to be. Exciting news on the job front. I put in for a promotion last week, which I've said before I'd be a shoe-in for. Didn't have the means to put in previously as HR didn't open up any slots, but when they did this past month, I went for it. It's a decent bump in pay and apparently the extra work isn't that much harder. Other good news is that the job opened up overtime again! It's only a little bit, but it'll help the paycheck and the caseload, and that's all I really want. Also, figured out that the head cold is actually just seasonal allergies based on its responses to medication, so I'm cleared to get back to the mats. Though I still need to figure out how to honor both the job and my desires. Because the writing's going well and I'm not willing to negotiate on that. Ah well. It'll be sorted. In the meantime: Goal: 1/1.
  3. Howdy, y'all! Hope you're doing well today. In a sign of how well I'm rebalancing my life, I'm here early, just like I used to be in easier times. Because it turns out I have a lot more say in how I get here than I thought. For those of you just tuning in, I'm Kishi. Been around a while, and still a work in progress. I'm coming off a big win challenge where I challenged a lot of my assumptions about training and lifestyle and the choices I have. It's been freeing, in a lot of ways, although these new freedoms come packing a bunch of new responsibilities with them that you might not necessarily expect. For example: I have learned that I can effectively strength train on 10 minutes of work a day. It's true. I'll tell you some more about it sometime. But the responsibility that comes with it now is to actually spend that 10 minutes well, and not put it off and put it off until the end of the day when I really need to be eating dinner and winding down. It's a virtuous thing in the sense of promoting wellbeing, but it's a virtuous thing that can feed into a vicious cycle if I let it, and I don't really want to do that. Figuring that out was a big part of last challenge. It's dialed in pretty well now, though. So now that I have a minimum effective dose for training, I want to turn that to my writing. Although maybe not in the way you might think, because the trick with minimum effective doses is that you don't necessarily know where that is and it's very easy to go below that minimum and maybe not even necessarily know it. I've had a minimum effective dose for my writing for a while of just showing up and staring at the draft, and sometimes that's felt like enough, but on the whole I'm dissatisfied with it. I feel like I want to do more, but more than that, I want to feel good about the amount of work I've done in a given day. And I know that feelings aren't a thing I control, so chasing a writer's high might not be the most responsible thing to do. But OTOH, "If I do what I've always done, I will get what I've always got." I want something different, so I gotta change it up somehow. The goal of this challenge - single goal, because that's how I roll - is to show up daily to write and to work on the story to the degree that I feel good about it. How much is that going to be? I dunno, man. I think it might vary depending on the task and where I am mental health-wise on a given day. I want to give myself grace and space for that. But I also want to have discipline too. I want to work. And I want to feel good about it. That's what this challenge is about. And also, you know, being part of an awesome community that I genuinely like too.
  4. Am I late, or are y'all early? Or did I start this precisely when I meant to? It's totally me, I'm late, you guys, I don't know how it happened I'll let you ponder that. I skipped out last challenge because I didn't know what I was doing and I didn't really know what I meant by saying I wanted to "Maintain." And truthfully, some of that is still at play now. My old workout routine has completely flown the coop. I don't really have a routine anymore so much as a series of touchstones that I try to touch every week. Instead of thinking about particular movements, I think these days in terms of patterns - press, pull, squat, hinge, lunge, invert - and do a little core work on the side as it relates to or enhances my martial arts. (At this point, that means hanging leg raise progressions, loaded carries, and side planks with the goal to develop a Copenhagen Plank for adductor strength). I walk more these days too. A lot more. I managed to get a pedometer app on my phone and it's been mindblowing to see how little I was moving beforehand. It's not perfectly accurate, but it's consistent, and I can work with that. I'll document that some in the logs this week to give you an idea of what this comes out looking like. I feel really good these days as a result. My busted shoulder is nice and quiet. I'm better-rested, and I feel like I'm moving better as a result. I've been going easier in the rolls out on the mats for BJJ these days and I've had to get technical since I'm not using strength so much. I think I'm better, and even when I'm tapped, I find that I don't care about the tap so much as getting tapped safely (ie don't be stubborn, tap early, tap often). I got a couple things coming up this challenge. One of these is a belt promotion this Sunday, 8/6, which I'll go to. I don't have any expectations; the job has consumed me and I'm not making the time that I want to for this, so, I'll go, but I'm not so certain that I'm going to be promoted. It's fine if not. I've been meaning to go to these things for a while anyway, and it'd be good to be a part of the community. The other thing is a GoRuck challenge out in Denver at the end of the month. This will be with my brother, who is apparently arranging the whole thing. I've bought the tickets and the weight, so now I just need to get a couple other pieces of safety gear and I should be good to go. Just need to get some training volume. This particular event is slated to just be a 12 mile hike in 5 hours with a 20 lb weight. I think that's too easy given how it went the last time I did one of these, but I think I'll be better-prepared this time. More prep time would have been better, but I couldn't accomplish that with the equipment I had, so, I'll just have to make the most of what I can do now. I have three goals for this challenge. Surprisingly, only one physical, but that one physical goal will cover, like, everything, so for the most part I'll just be logging that stuff here. The other two goals are to keep working at my writing and to meditate. I'm up to 5 minutes at this point, so I'd like to hit 6 minutes for the remainder of the challenge. And, uh, yeah. That's that. I'll be about. Good to see you all again.
  5. I'm back after a long hiatus! Things are a lot different for me since the last time I was here (I moved countries twice, became a parent to two cats and a small human etc) and I've been getting back into fitness and a reasonable diet in a fairly consistent way for the last month and a half or so and I'd like it to stick this time. I do have an idea of a weight and size I'd like to be and all that, but this challenge isn't about that so much as it is about making my routine easier to stick to and actually sticking to it. The way I've been things lately is sort of working because my partner and I are currently living with family and I'm unemployed so I'm basically responsible for child care and not much else, which means that I can cram in some good exercise during the small one's nap time. The problem with that is it means that I'm not really getting ready to leave the house until the afternoon (because who wants to shower before a workout and then again after when you can just do it once). So I'd like to move my exercise to the start of the day. This has a number of other benefits, like starting the day with a sense of accomplishment, getting the exercise portion of the day done before anything else can interfere, having the ability to move my exercise outside before it's too hot and perhaps most importantly, freeing up the tiny human's nap time to do something else. It does have the pitfall of having to actually get up. Without further ado, here are my tentative goals: 1. Sleep routine for the small one and me (WIS +3) This is going to be a few sub-goals, but they're all working together. Bedtime for baby: We've been a bit willy-nilly about bedtime, but the small one is 14 months old, which is a reasonable time to get into a more consistent routine. The goal will be an end to screens around the small one at 8 pm (small one doesn't get a screen, but there are screens around), then a 9 pm start to the bed time routine with a goal of a 10 pm sleeping time every night. (/7) Bedtime for me: In bed with the lights out by midnight. This might be more of a challenge early on because my partner has started a new job and has a weird shift pattern, but it would set me up to... (/6) Wake up at the crack of 8 am 7:30 am: assuming me waking up doesn't also wake up the small one, this should give me enough time to get in all my workouts. I may need to shift this a bit earlier, but I will try 8 7:30 and see how it goes. I will give myself one day of extra rest a week, so this should happen six days a week. (/6) 2. Daily Yoga (STR +1, DEX +2) Or nearly-daily. I'd like to aim for six sessions a week. (/6) 3. Calisthenics (STR +2, STA +1) Three sessions of body-weight workouts a week. This will usually be done following a video because otherwise I slack too much. (/3) 4. Aerobics (DEX +1, STA +2) Three sessions of aerobics a week. This is always going to be done following a video to the best of my ability. (/3) 5. Eat my fruits and veggies (CON +3) I'm aiming for at least 5 servings a day every day. I've been doing intermittent fasting (16:8) and have been trying to make sensible choices and it seems to be going well, so I just want to make sure I'm getting those in. (/7) And I apparently forgot that way back when I was last here, I'd been assigning points for these... I will have to review a bit and update with those (and maybe adjust the formatting). I'm not sure I'll keep my old stats or if I'm just re-rolling or what. I will be trialing everything during week 0 and making adjustments if needed. Edit: updated formatting and added stat assignments (missing a +1 somewhere). I'm still not sure if I'll be adding to my previous assignments or re-rolling, but I don't really have to decide that just now. Edit 2: minor tweaks and scoring added.
  6. Continuation of Conquius Moves Like the Myrmidons. Introduction Last year, my partner and their father did a Spartan Stadion. For those of you who don't know, it's the 5k Sprint format, but instead of being out in the countryside, it's held in a Stadium. I got to spectate. That was all fine and well, but I thought if I did one myself, I wouldn't want to do it in a hot, concrete Stadium. Well I voiced this thought to my partner a few weeks ago, who then found a Sprint less than 2hrs away, and asked if I'd do that one with them and their father. I accepted! For a few reasons: Sounds fun, and sounds like a decent accomplishment. Training for the Spartan Race will give me an opportunity to round out some parts of my physical fitness that have been previously neglected: Upper Body, Core, and Running. Gives me a good opportunity to impress my partner with my physical prowess 😏😏😏 So that will inform most of my Challenges for this go-round. Work after Work 🏃‍♂️ First Challenge is to create a habit of working out each day after work. I now have a hybrid work schedule where I work 3 days per week In-Office (T, W, R), and 2 days WFH (M, F). It's a traditional 9-5, so my plan is to have my workout clothes close at hand at 5PM, workout, and then I can continue on with my evening. My workouts will focus on two major areas: Running and Calisthenics. Running * Short Runs: 1 mile. Once I can consistently run that distance without stopping, I'll up the distance by 0.25 - 0.5 miles. * Long Runs: 3 miles. Once I can consistently run that distance at a pace better than 10:00 / mi, I'll up the distance by 0.5 miles. Calisthenics * I'm copying Reddit's BWSF Routine pretty directly, and nixing Squats. My legs already get enough work from Running and Cycling. Schedule: * Sunday: rest * Monday: BWSF * Tuesday: Short Run * Wednesday: BWSF * Thursday: Short Run * Friday: BWSF * Saturday: Long Run I'll assess after a week if this schedule is Too Much. The BWSF is more likely to push me into "too much" territory than the running is. Hitting My Mark 🏹 Did you know that if you fail an obstacle on a Spartan Race, you have to do 30 burpees? Did you know that the most commonly failed obstacle on a Spartan Race is the Spear Throw, because so few people can practice it at home? My plan is to incorporate some obstacle-specific training as the Challenge goes on. * For the Spear Throw, you can buy a replica, and I can throw it when I visit my hometown. * For a lot of the grip-based exercises, my partner and I are planning on spending some time at a local climbing gym. * For the loaded carries, my partner and I have thought about buying Farmer's Walk handles, but for now I'm going to stick with 5-gal buckets loaded with water. Own the Morning ☀️ If you remember Conquius Rises with the Dawn, you'll remember that I've historically had a hard time getting out of bed in the morning. I'm better at it now, but now that I'm going into the office every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, I need to be on point. The goal is to keep a regular schedule of getting up at 6 AM when I have to get into the office, and 7 AM when I don't. Getting up at 6 AM lets me do a few things: * Coffee with my Partner: If my partner is going into the office, they get up at 6. This lets me enjoy the morning with them ❤️ * 7AM Metro: If I'm up at 6, I'm out the door by 7, which puts me on a much earlier metro. Earlier metros have fewer people, and are much more pleasant. * Bike Commuting: If I'm bike commuting into work, I need to be up at 6 anyway so I can get into the office on time. I have a secondary goal here of finding a more suitable breakfast. A bagel with vegan cream cheese doesn't keep my satisfied until noon. Right now I'm eyeing Vegan Chicken Salad made with TVP or Soy Curls. Wish me luck!
  7. Lore: If you read Conquius Audax, you would know that I was hit by a car last week while riding my bike home from work. The above Lore is vaguely based on that. I am fine, but my bicycle is likely totaled. While I assess my next moves bike-wise, my partner and their father have been threatening to sign me up for a Spartan Race with them. I went to see them do a Stadion last year, and it looked like fun, so I agreed. I think that the preparations for this will be fun, they will make me stronger on the bike, and they'll give me something to focus on while the bike situation shakes out. I decided against waiting until the next 5-Week Challenge to start training because what better time than now? The race we’re doing is a Sprint. 5k Run, 20 Obstacles, and it’s some time in September. Since I have a few months to prepare, I’m going to try to do it right: Build a running base, build calisthenic strength, and move towards obstacle-specific movements closer to the race itself. That last part is outside of the scope of this Challenge. Here’s how I plan to train: Building a Running Base. I have a solid aerobic base from cycling, but my previous attempts at C25K had me burnt out somewhere around Week 4 or 5. I found myself often having to repeat weeks, which was demotivating, so I would stop doing it. Instead of trying something that doesn’t work for me again, I decided to take some pages out of my cycling playbook. When I was a teenager (and even now, bearing down on 30), I really enjoyed putting down miles. One of the most satisfying things was getting to see how many miles I had gone in a single ride, and pushing that number slightly higher. So for building a Running Base, I’m not going to focus on running certain intervals, or for certain amounts of time, I’m going to focus on making distance. This way, I can track my progress by racking up miles. The plan is to do two short runs during the week and one long run on the weekend. With that being said, the desire to put down miles may tempt me to go further or longer than I should starting out, so I’m going to temper this plan with Limitations - one of my favorite habit-forming hacks from James Clear. On my short runs, I can only run 1 mile. I can only run that 1 mile on Tuesdays and Thursdays after work. I can increase that mileage once I can run the full mile without stopping to walk. Once I can run the full mile without stopping to walk, I can increase that distance by 0.5mi. On my long runs, I can only run 3 miles. I can only run those 3 miles on Saturday mornings. Once I can run that full 3 miles in a given time limit (miles * 10min), I can increase that distance by 1 mile. Building a Calisthenic Strength Base. I have a solid base of strength from powerlifting. This will help in obstacles like loaded carries, but for the various pulling obstacles, I’m pretty woefully underprepared. Spartan Races also have a lot of Burpees if you miss an obstacle, so I'll work towards those further down the line. I came across Reddit’s BWSF Routine last week, and I’m a fan. I like how they use Pike Push-Ups as a Vertical Press progression towards HSPU; I like how they use Inverted Rows as an exercise in its own right instead of just a Pull-Up Progression. I like the focus on lower-back and core exercises with the Bridge, Hinge, Dead Bug, and Bird Dog. I’m going to utilize this routine, but I’m going to take out Squats since Leg Strength gets worked through cycling. It’s going to be 3x/week, Monday / Wednesday / Friday. I’m going to Habit Stack working out with finishing work by bringing a change of workout clothes with me so I can change into them and then go workout before I can get distracted by anything else. Obstacles No, not the kind from the Spartan Race, but the kind that life puts up. Here are some obstacles that I foresee myself running into: RTO. My office recently announced a Return-To-Office. We’re in-office 2 days per week right now, but we’ll be 3 days per week by the time this challenge is over. That’s Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. I usually either ride my bike into the office, or take the metro. I won’t want to run or exercise after doing either commute, so I’ll bring a change of exercise clothes in my work bag on those days, and exercise before I go home. I have a 1 mile running route planned out from my office, and there’s Calisthenics Equipment in a park not too far away. Travel. I regularly travel to my hometown for my D&D campaign. I often travel down Thursday nights, and return on Sundays. That means that on Thursdays, I’ll go on my run after work, commute home, shower, then travel down to my hometown. Fridays will be interesting, because that’ll be a bodyweight day. I think I have a doorframe pull-up bar that I can use. Saturdays will be my Long Run, which will be equally as difficult to do at home as they will be to do in my hometown, I just have to remember to bring exercise clothes and my running shoes. Diet. Going to increase protein a bit by adding a protein smoothie after my bodyweight workouts. Fatigue. I’m not going to be at my best every day. On days where I’m not at my best, I’m going to keep consistent by turning down the dial. On running days, this will look like walking half or all of my run distance. 3 miles walked is more volume than 0 miles run. On calisthenics days, I’m going to strip my routine down to the most important exercises: Push-Ups, Pull-Ups, Inverted Rows.
  8. Hi. I'm Stronkey Kong. I've been on NF for almost 9 years now. I'm just as fat as when I joined... but maybe a bit healthier overall. I'll take it. Last challenge tanked because of a putative Covid-19 infection, and I spent most of April managing and recovering. I'm at like 99% now though. All the symptoms are gone, but I'm still regaining bits of strength from weeks of barely eating and getting things back in balance. This is my last day off from a week-long (and long overdue) vacation, where I got some gardening done, but not finished, and I still need to fix my bathtub. I recently bought a bass guitar and am (obsessively) learning to play it. I've been playing guitar since I was 13, and can even sit at a keyboard and dink around with chords without getting lost. I have an unpolished knack for music, and I want to start writing/recording my own stuff and maybe join a band for fun at some point. I also bought an electronic drum kit, but that's not top priority. (Nyango Star vid, not part of theme... but I just can't bring myself to delete it) Yeah... I just turned 38, so I might just be getting an early start on a mid-life crisis thing, but I'm just gonna roll with it and have some fun... Playing music is great for a lot of reasons... keeps me active (at least better than TV and video games), it can be a way to connect with other people, and it definitely lifts my mood and keeps me engaged intellectually... but I am getting a little bit obsessed and need to take care of other things. I'm focusing on learning RB and Soul at the moment, so might as well go with a Blues Brothers theme... cuz I've heard them sing more Soul songs than actual blues songs... and whatever, these gifs are fun. GOALS: 1) Plant based diet:: Don't eat like Jake and Elwood Before I got sick, I was eating a '99% plant based diet' and made to a bit past 30 days. It was going very well. I'd lost a few pounds and had zero acid reflux and was overall feeling really good. When I got sick I gave up because I wanted comfort food and couldn't eat much with my sore throat and nausea and lack of taste. Now I'm dealing with upset stomach and acid reflux etc. again. So I need to go back. But I'm going to aim for 90%... meaning 18 or 19 of my meals each week should be entirely plant based. The other 2-3 meals are just allowed to deviate for the sake of flexibility and filling in a few nutritional gaps. 2) Stay Active: I could easily sit around in all my free minutes playing music and watching videos about music. But I need to make sure I get some actual exercise again. For starters I'm going to start going Morning Burpees (with a pushup). I'll start with 5 on day one, and add one every day till I hit thirty. After that I'll do another activity like walking, quick calisthenics routines, and gardening/house work all count. 5 days per week. 3) Fix more than I break and don't leave a trail of destruction everywhere I have a long list of projects and things to do in or around the house. Usually, once I get started, 1 hour can become 3 or 4. Every day I'm off of work make at least 1 hour of progress toward gardening or getting things fixed in the house. 4) Get good at BASS! -- I'm taking online lessons through a self-paced study platform, that also has web forum just like this with practice logs you're supposed to maintain... actually using the same web platform and is almost identical except for the color palate and minor format things... so if I mistakenly just insert a post on this thread about rambling about bass guitar and music theory or whatever, just know that I'm really tired and got my forums mixed up 🤣 Practice Bass everyday, and post in my practice log. And for fun I'll post some videos of the songs I'm learning. I think the direction I'm heading in is to learn Soul and R&B bass as my focus. So I'll be learning and transcribing (learning by ear) those along with some rock, blues, and jazz gems mixed in there. Maybe I should learn 'Rawhide' 🤔
  9. Hi all! I'm Stronkey Kong. Umm... yeah... still here. If you don't know by now, just ask... This is part 2 of a year long (or at least multi-month) challenge aimed at losing weight by training like a boxer. It's all about calisthenics and cardio with boxing training mixed in for fun and because hitting a heavy bag for 10x3 min intervals is an awesome workout. I have it themed and organized after "Mike Tyson's Punch Out!" on the NES. Here's how this will work... I have 3 Major goals (a catch all goal for the minor/tangential stuff): FIGHTING WEIGHT (FW): Hit 199 lbs (CRUISER WEIGHT, in the next 1-2 years. I'm 37 (almost 38) and 285 or so pounds... I want to get rid of the excess before 40. BOXING SHAPE (BS): I want to be in the kind of shape that boxers and other fighters are in so I'm going to train like them... lot's of cardio and calisthenics for foundational strength and conditioning, and bag work and boxing/martial arts drills for developing speed, coordination, balance, power etc. METABOLIC HEALTH (MH): Be able to burn whatever I put into my body: carbs, fat -- metabolic flexibility, learn to maintain the balance of calories in vs. calories out, and develop good eating habits. I'll be using LUMEN and BODY TEMP for metabolic feedback, and tracking diet with MFP. LUMEN is a gadget that uses the breath (O2 in vs CO2 out) to estimate whether you're burning carbs or fat BODY TEMP: I'll take my temperature with an IR surface thermometer around the same time I measure with LUMEN. My baseline/normal temp is 97.4 deg F. MFP: I'm using my fitness pal to get the macronutrient data I need to compare to what LUMEN suggests OTHER minor GOALS (OmG): All the other projects and things that I'm going to make the rest of life good. These things show up on my fight scorecard as little 15 min tasks that add points here and there. ======================================================== As the year progresses, I compete in successively more challenging FIGHTS. The GOALS are the basis for SCORING POINTS and getting KNOCK-DOWNS and KNOCKOUTS in the fights. Just like PUNCH OUT, Each fight will be 3 ROUNDS (weeks) in length. There will be 1 REST WEEK in between fights to rest, readjust goals, cut for weigh-in etc. WEIGH-IN will be the morning on the day before the fight and this will be my official weight for tracking weight loss in the fight. For each fight I will identify 3 KO techniques -- one for each of the first three goals. These are impressive and worthy enough to constitute a KO singularly. Then, I will have 3 TKO criteria -- again one for each of the three major goals that together (all three) constitute a TKO. Finally, even if I fail to KO or TKO, if I go the distance and do more good effort than bad, I can WIN by DECISION -- wherein I track good habits on the FIGHT SCORECARD for each round. There's a lot on the scorecard, and it includes things from my OmGs. Throughout the course of the year and 13 total fights, I will track my W-L-KO stats. For any W to count, regardless whether it's KO, TKO, or W by Decision, I have to track all three rounds. Adjustments for current challenge: Added a REST WEEK between fights Dropping prize purses ($$$) from fights -- I don't think these incentives are necessary, and I need to focus on budgeting other things. Expanding the FIGHT SCORECARD (ongoing) This challenge is currently scheduled as follows: Week 0: REST WEEK WEIGH-IN: Saturday, February 12 at 12:00 pm (-ish) Week 1: VS. Von Kaiser Round 1 Week 2: VS. Von Kaiser Round 2 Week 3: VS. Von Kaiser Round 3 Week 4: REST WEEK Week 5: VS. Piston Hondo Round 1 I'll keep the current fight, future fight schedule, and fight record on the second of each of these challenges so you (and I) can find it and figure out what the hell I'm currently doing at any time.
  10. Honestly, I didn't plan this, it just kind of happened on its own. Hello! I'm Kishi, sometime GL of the Monks and newly itinerant wanderer. Nice to meet you. I've wandered into the Assassin's Den because I'm trying to learn how to play with movement, and I hear y'all the best around for that kind of thing. Specifically: I am learning myself how to juggle. Why? Because I want to. And also because it's got a lot of benefits that should in theory carry over to martial arts. My situation is thus: I have settled down at a local academy that teaches both BJJ and kickboxing; it bills itself as a Muay Thai school but it is, in fact, Dutch-style kickboxing, which means less knees and elbows and more long combinations whilst standing in the pocket. I enjoy it very much. It's a new set of challenges, and coming from my background it's a lot to adjust to. But there's a problem: we have a space that is too small for the amount of students that we have. So we can't actually spar, which means that as much as we drill and drill and drill, it's actually really hard to develop the skills I need to develop myself further. Since I can't get what I need at school, I'm on my own. And my belief is that the attributes required to juggle - hand-eye coordination, mental processing, relaxation, fluidity of motion, etc. - will have carryover to my main thing. It's no replacement for sparring or anything like that, but perhaps when the time comes I will find that I'm a little sharper than I thought. And worst case, I'll have some fun along the way. As far as goals go, I'm more of a process guy. Ideally, I'd like to pick up a three ball cascade: But I don't have a deadline for it. The journey will get me there when it does. The real trick is showing up. So my goals will be as follows: Goal 1: Juggle 10 Minutes A Day Most likely to be done as two five minute sessions at different times of day. Half credit for one session, full credit for both. Goal 2: Shadowbox Mostly with the idea of staying up on the balls of my feet and keeping my pelvis scooped so that I have tension in my stomach. This is opposed to my Shotokan upbringing, which is big on these long, fencing-style lunges. They can work together. But they won't if I don't put in the work to make them. Goal 3: Grappling To be broken up again between standing work and ground drills. Half credit for one, full credit for both. Goal 4: Clean 1 thing per day So, I've had an issue with my place which is that I have entirely too much stuff. I don't like it. I don't like the lack of space and I don't like how it makes this place feel. I want to be rid of as much of it as I can. In the past, I've tried to go through an entire box of stuff, but that turned out to be too much. Gonna try again with this and see about getting rid of just one thing per day, with the idea being hopefully to finally start clearing some space out. Rewards Because I find that I like them, especially those things that help me get better at what I want to do. 80%: Juggling Balls. I decided to start with tennis balls. That was... a choice. By showing up to practice, I will unlock tools that will make the whole thing easier. That'd be dope. 90%: New Rashguard. Something like this. I like the design, and I could use more. But definitely make sure it's white, because it's a signifier of rank, and I'm crazy, but not stupid enough to show a rank I haven't obtained. I'd get beat up for that. 95%: Djembe Drum. Another thing that would help my martial arts and also make me a more expressive human being. Drumming is a good way to study rhythm, which is better than speed. Depending on how much space I clear out, there's a whole range of options to choose from. Nothing too fancy, though. I'm not looking to master it. I just want to play. And... yeah. That'll do it. I'll make my round to everyone as I can. See y'all when I do!
  11. Hi all! I'm Stronkey Kong. Umm... yeah... still here. If you don't know by now, just ask... I just did a long, rough draft outline of this challenge at the end of the last one hidden in the spoiler because of its length: tl;dr -- I'm kicking off a year long (or at least multi-month) challenge aimed at losing weight by training like a boxer... really tho, it's all about calisthenics and cardio with boxing training mixed in for fun and because hitting a heavy bag for 10x3 min intervals is an awesome workout. I have it themed and organized after "Mike Tyson's Punch Out!" on the NES. Here's how this will work... I have 3 Major goals: FIGHTING WEIGHT (FW): Hit 199 lbs in the next 1-2 years BOXING SHAPE (BS): I want to be in the kind of shape that boxers and other fighters are in so I'm going to train like them... lot's of cardio and calisthenics for foundational strength and conditioning, and bag work and boxing/martial arts drills for developing speed, coordination, balance, power etc. METABOLIC HEALTH (MH): Be able to burn whatever I put into my body: carbs, fat -- metabolic flexibility, learn to maintain the balance of calories in vs. calories out, and develop good eating habits. I'll be using LUMEN for metabolic feedback... might start tracking body temp too... smh, and tracking diet with MFP. OTHER minor GOALS (OmG): I will also be doing some writing, meditating, and home improvement projects throughout the year. Right now I'm in a warmup phase where I assess a few baselines and set goals for the first 'fight.' Each fight will be 3 weeks (rounds) in length. The morning on the day before the fight, I will 'weigh-in' and this will be my official weight for tracking weight loss in the fight. For each fight I will identify 3 KO techniques -- one for each of the first three goals. These are impressive and worthy enough to constitute a KO singularly. Then, I will have 3 TKO criteria -- again one for each of the three major goals that together (all three) constitute a TKO. Finally, even if I fail to KO or TKO, if I go the distance and do more good effort than bad, I can WIN by DECISION -- wherein I track good habits on the FIGHT SCORECARD for each round. There's a lot on the scorecard, and it includes things from my OmGs. Throughout the course of the year and 13 total fights, I will track my W-L-KO stats. For the first Minor Circuit Bouts, I'm just diving from one into the next. After that I might decide to take breaks between fights and title bouts. And I won't be sticking completely to the NF Challenge Schedule. Some Fights will straddle Challenge breaks, I may decide to take week long breaks to sync them up, or just as I need a break here and there. We'll see. I'll keep the current fight, future fight schedule, and fight record on the second or first post of each of these challenges so you (and I) can find it and figure out what the hell I'm currently doing at any time. Stay tuned.
  12. Happy New Year, y'all! Wishing you and yours peace and prosperity in the coming year. For those of you who are new to the Monastery, hi! I'm Kishi, your humble GL. Glad you decided to stop on by. I'm a martial artist with ~13 years of harder contact practice: mostly striking via karate as done in a K1-kickboxing style with some relatively recent forays into standing and ground-based grappling, as well as Dutch-style kickboxing. I've tried a bunch of different training modes and methods, most recently landing on a mix of calisthenics and kettlebell work because, hey! We're in the middle of a pandemic! Staying away from people is kind of my jam these days, inasmuch as I can (especially since I caught the thing the last challenge. Don't worry, I was lucky; I came through it fine and I was incredibly well-cared for). Since my life is pretty great and I'm not big on challenges and novelty for their own sake, I've taken to focusing on just one thing, because I find that earnest focus on one thing has a ripple effect, both as you work to accommodate it and as it in turn changes you. Last challenge was about getting rest, which meant managing time and productive output, and this was very good. My one thing for this challenge, then, is going to be my writing. The situation right now is as follows: I work an office job that isn't letting me work from home for a whole host of bad reasons that I have no power to do anything about. This presents many problems and inconveniences, not the least of which is that I have a novel that I'm honestly pretty obsessed with. I've done a lot in terms of documenting its structure and planning it out in a way that works for me, but one of the downsides then is that I'm reliant on these documents to actually get the job done. I can't access them at work, and I've been using that as an excuse to not write. But, just because it's been that way, that doesn't mean it has to keep being that way. So, what is the one thing I'm going to change? Well, the thing that's been holding me back the most from writing is lack of access to my documents. But in truth, there's nothing saying that I can't just transcribe the relevant bits onto notecards or something and then carry them with me so that I know where I am. The goal, then, is to return to a daily writing habit. One page per day. I'll be going out tonight to pick up some note cards and jot down the relevant bits I need for tomorrow. And, uh, I guess we'll see what happens. Day 1 of this challenge, in the meantime, is already marked by some complications. I went to do New Year's Eve at my sci-fi friend's house, where I normally go on Tuesday nights. His wife had a head cold out of nowhere, and she got back to me on Saturday saying she tested positive for COVID. This is a whole can of worms. Maybe she had it and maybe she didn't since she apparently took a home test and my understanding is that they're prone to false positives in the event of a regular head cold. CDC guidelines say I need to quarantine for 5 days and then get tested, but the language has recently been adjusted so that if I "can't quarantine," that I can continue to go to work and just be really strict with wearing my mask. Either way, I'm going to have to bring it up with the boss and see what she says; my pessimistic streak is telling me that she'll want me to come to work, so I'll be free to work but not to engage in recreation like I wish and that just sucks. But tomorrow is sufficient for its own troubles. I still have work to do today; I'll update again when I get it done.
  13. Okay, so, uh. First off: Happy Holidays y'all! Whatever it is you celebrate this time of year, I hope it rocks socks. Y'all probably noticed I disappeared from the forums for a while. Kind of related to the heart thing, but not on account of anything that actually happened. Kind of got in my head about it for a while, and the last month's been a pretty transitionary period with return to the office and new school and... just a lot. With everything going on I found myself just rolling with it; I didn't make a conscious decision to step away, but it happened anyway. OTOH, I got stress-tested. (it was stressful! But I passed! Cardiologist isn't worried about me and I'm due for another appointment in April). I've had to return to the office, where I found that I can really neatly do all the things I struggled to do at home in terms of writing and napping and meditating. All that time spent out there, however, has made balancing all the disparate elements of my training a little hairy. That's not anything new. It's been a lot, really. And taking care of all that caused me to neglect the forums here instead. I don't think that's fair of me to have done, but I also think it's arrogant of me to assume that I'm really that necessary to the goings-on around here. Either way, done is done. I'm back. I'll try not to drift again. As far as goals go, a lot of it is down to schedule and time-management. Stuff I tried to work on but didn't stick. I'm paying a price for that now. I'm also trying to figure out what effective balance looks like, mostly because I don't want to fall into that martial artist's trap where I live to train and neglect everything else that needs to be done. So, in the spirit of the holidays, just gonna take it easy and make a goal of getting down to bed by midnight. That's it. That's my one goal. I'm not saying that everything else will manage itself necessarily, but I feel like the earlier I get to bed, the more time I have, and the more time I have, the more opportunities I can take to get done what I want to. It's also the one thing that's really challenging me right now. Like I said, the office structure takes all the challenge out of the other stuff. It presents its own challenges in turn, but an early-to-bed, early-to-rise challenge probably will do more to address that than anything else. And if it won't, well, the only I know to find that out is to try. I'll be around to y'all as I can. Wish you well.
  14. Greetings, and welcome to all! I’m a married parent of 4 kids aged 0-8. I’m ultimately an adventurer at heart, though I train similar to a lot of Rangers (and I’m something of a Druid Paladin which is also something of an equivalent to a Ranger). I love hiking, exploring, traveling, and other fun things with the family. Since shortly before joining Nerdfitness, my physical training is typically built around injury rehabilitation (which happens a bit more often due to autoimmune arthritis) and training to be able to travel, explore, and play with my family. I have a pretty effective Disney World training system, and try to ensure that at any point I’m strong enough to carry my whole family somewhere. That has become more difficult as the years go on but I can still do it for the most part. I am also an enthusiastic suburban homesteader bent on establishing an orchard and vegetable garden, so things can get pretty out-doorsy depending on my goals. My needs mean I do a variety of types of training, and my earliest two physical training goals were “run fast” and “be able to competitively play any sport I come across.” I prefer to avoid gyms and do a lot of body weight training. At the beginning of the year, we welcomed baby 4 into the family, my cat was diagnosed with feline dementia a few months ago, we adopted a kitten (our third cat and Rex’s first), and we have returned to school. At the beginning of this year, we started shopping for an existing business with a professional kitchen to give a physical location to our small bakery. I’m not at liberty to discuss much more at this time, only to say it’s a thing that we are working hard on and I expect this challenge to bring several major changes to our lives. The fruit trees and bushes are all doing well, minus the Methly Plum tree which is alive but a deer broke the largest, tallest branch AGAIN and that part is dead. The rest of the branches are healing well. Last challenge we had our first fig, which was awesome. I’ve never had a raw dig before and as Bo Peep almost immediately ate said fig, nothing has changed. Deer chomped my kumquat tree, , my serranos, and my Carolina Reapers a couple of challenges ago but they appear to have regretted that and haven’t bothered anything on my front porch since. I have 2 serranos, my all-time favorite peppers, ready to pick. I am losing hope on the Carolina Reapers; the plant seems to be ok but no fruit . We have several wild pumpkin plants growing including one enormous one that started under our deck and has grown around the stairs. No pumpkins and sadly, I don’t think we have any female flowers. My dreams of a fall homestead surrounded by a bountiful crop of squash will likely need to wait at least another year, though if I possibly can I’ll make it happen this year. The other fruit trees in the back are going fairly well. The Rainier’s replacement will arrive the week of September 19th and I am looking forward to that. Our next door neighbors said they’re looking to get a peach tree, too. Yes, yes, come to the Dark Side (we have orchards!). Their Apple tree is doing well too, and apparently it lost all its leaves last month. The vegetable garden is basically dead. I have only myself to blame. The weeds got totally out of control and choked out pretty much everything. I have some surviving tomatoes and that’s it. The berries are all doing well and provides a decent harvest this year, enough to reasonably blunt out fruit bill. I think we’re going to torpedo the veggie gardens after this season and try again when we can get the cinder blocks and seal off the bottom; the weeds have been atrocious and I don’t think I ever really blocked the root systems underneath them. I want a veggie garden but what we’re doing isn’t working well without a larger amount of maintenance than we’ll be able to provide with society being restarted. Jessie wants to move the whole thing to the deck, which requires more care as far as watering and soil quality go but is virtually weed free. Part of the problem this year has really been mosquitoes. They don’t touch me but they persecute the rest of the family and le bébé is not fully vaccinated against stuff and the love him so I can’t even really wear him in the harness for anything less than actively mowing the lawn. Which, I might add, has looked more like a field or jungle. Between those, the wasps I finally got rid of, and the vicious dogs living behind us, we haven’t really been able to use our back yard this year and that makes me sad. There IS and update I can share, though. The people with those dogs sold their house and they’re moving. They had an open house Sunday and received a pending contract almost immediately. This brings a great relief to me and basically all the neighbors. For those who don’t know, we were warned about the dogs when we moved in. Then one of them came over the fence and attacked my dog out of the blue, and my precious Mama Dog lost half her ear. Turns out that the pair of dogs 1. Gets out regularly and 2. Attacks other animals, children, and even adults. 3. The owners take zero responsibility and gaslight people about it. These are the only neighbors here I don’t like, because they’re an actual danger. I am relieved they’re gone, because it means soon I’ll be able to remove the rabbit fencing I’ve kept at the very back to keep our dogs and kids several feet away from that back fence. I’ll have the freedom to establish a real garden at the back, since my attempts to grow an espaliered tree hedge have largely failed. We do have a thriving Crapemyrtle and blackberries along the back and I look forward to basically making those and the lilac bush a full hedge without the threat of a dog attack. Healthwise, we’ve been living the keto lifestyle for a little over 6 months, and we’ve found it to be incredibly easy to stick to 99% of the time, meaning we’re seeing more success and I’m burning less willpower on food-related stuff. I am past my arbitrary goal weight, and I’m focusing hard now on maintaining around this weight while achieving my goal composition. The last time I was this weight was before I met Jessie and when I was in my student teaching (yeah, before the wrestling coach gig!) That is, one of the best shapes of my life. I want to be lean and strong, not skinny and weak. (Tried that and hated it). I fell off the wagon a bit when it comes to strength workouts. I do push-ups in people’s name as a form of prayer and last challenge saw a lot of sickness and worry, so it sort of took over everything else. I would like to get back into doing squats and deadlifts at the YMCA gym but I think it’s going to take getting the house and routine into order. I have, quite frankly, been struggling with the return to school. Jessie works really long hours, the kids have their school and activities, and I have my job as well as the responsibility to clean and organize everything possible at home. We’re not yet at something sustainable. Further, therapy has been generally going well but I still have been snapping and yelling at people, and that has to end. It isn’t healthy for anyone, including me, and I need to practice healthier ways of expressing myself. So that is a new challenge goal. Feel emotions, and express them in appropriate ways at appropriate times. Goals: 1. Sleep. As best as possible. I’m a nonfunctional mess without sleep and can sacrifice it for a few days ok but then I have to make it a super high priority to regain it. This is critical to managing my emotions as well. 2. Basic calisthenics routine at the least. Preferably with 1-2 big weights sessions at the gym, and I’d like to find home alternatives to the barbell squats and deadlifts. Woody is practicing and building his upper body strength for a ballet lift in his winter duet. The older boys are both in cross country. The oldest 3 are taking dance classes and Rex is back in gymnastics. Jessie and I proposed working out remotely with Marinara since his girlfriend takes zero initiative and doesn’t give him the boost he needs to do it. So we might start that as well. 3. Take one concrete step forward per day- at least one tangible, visible thing to make life better. This ranges from things as small as “dig out the replacement toaster” to as big as “reorganize the playroom.” I don’t have to complete the bigger ones as long as I make progress. 4. Take one concrete step forward per day career-wise. I need my job but I’m not satisfied in it and otherwise need a change. I need to hone/adapt skills and look for other opportunities. -> Currently, this involves working towards dramatically expanding a part-time business into a full-time business, which would have Jessie running that business full-time and likely have me also working it full time within the next few years. I’ve also continued to interview elsewhere to help give us options. I really want the business to work though. 5. I need to retake the yard and the garden. It’s been overgrown for too long and I want it back. 6. Therapy. I have a new diagnoses and new medication that have been, it feels, pretty life changing. I finished intensive therapy that was also insanely helpful prior to that and I am continuing with less frequent sessions. My goal is to better learn how to manage ADHD and how to be a more connected, present, and supportive husband and father. I think I have been progressing well. I feel healthy. I am excited about how this has gone. I am working on anger management and taking a page from the book of Mr. Fred Rogers. I had no idea that he struggled with a strong and volatile temper. He never wanted to be remembered as a saint because he didn’t want his example to be unachievable but I do think he is probably the best person who ever lived a full life. I will be looking to him as an example and we’ve decided to introduce the show as a regular part of our kids’ lives. Gods know it’s as helpful to me as it is to them. The kids love D&D and making movies. Woody destroyed my workstation this weekend and built an art and stop-action animation studio. He and Rex made a short film AND layered voiceover so I’m super proud of him. I am excited for this challenge and what life has to offer next.
  15. I can't believe after playing hundreds of hours of Skyrim I have never done a Skyrim themed challenge. Time to rectify this oversight. As the Dragonborn gets ready to complete the main questline, it is necessary to pass by Tsun, the Nordic God of Trials Against Adversity who tests all who wish to enter the Hall of Valor. Before that trial of combat, Tsun asks by what right the applicant seeks entrance. If you have done all of the other questlines you can choose a number of rights: Right of Birth: I am Dragonborn Right of Glory: Leader of the companions of Jorrvaskr as Harbinger Right of Cleverness: Head of the College of Winterhold as Archmage Right of Blood: Leader of the Dark Brotherhood, the Tamriel Assassins Guild as Listener of the Night Mother Right of Plunder: Thieves Guild Guild Leader and Nightingale of Nocturnal For this challenge I am going to work on each of these questlines so that I can claim the right to challenge Tsun when I reach Sovngarde to enter the Hall of Valor Right of Birth: This is the main quest so this is going to be about the most important aspect of fitness - food. I have learned to make a bunch of different foods but still end up making the same few things over and over. Goal for this challenge is to make at least 20 different dishes over the course of the challenge. Right of Glory: This is the Skyrim equivalent of the warriors guild so this will be the strength component of my workouts. While I don't do much in terms of weighted work, I do a lot of bodyweight strength work which, through the right use of leverage, can be just as good for building strength and packing on the muscle. I am aiming for at least 3 strength workouts per week, split between push, pull and leg. I will try and get more in, but 3 is the minimum Right of Cleverness: This is the Skyrim equivalent of the Wizard's guild and will be for intellectual pursuits. For this challenge that means reading at least one book and learning at least one new ukulele skill as part of a new song (could be a new chord progression, a new strumming pattern or a new picking pattern). Right of Blood: This is the assassin questline but since I already have my calisthenics through the Companions questline, this is going to be flexibility/mobility work. I have not put much work into flexibility in the past because I didn't believe I would get anything out of it. I am going to experiment in 2021 and see if sticking to it long term can lead to actual progress in flexibility. I have paid for a couple of flexibility programs (GMB and MyFlex) and I plan to put those to use. Goal is at least 3 sessions/week Right of Plunder: This is the thieves guild questline, which mostly involves running around to all of the towns in Skyrim and doing sneaky jobs there. Travel is one of the biggest parts of this so this is going to be my running component. I have decided that I need to supplement my strength workouts with some cardio to get my blood pumping and heart rate up. I plan to run on the treadmill for about 30 minutes and/or 5k after each strength workout Alright, let's go!
  16. The ThenMorbidly obese, full-time nerd, soft creative artist type with a penchant for food and videogames. Little to no relationship with exercise until I had a health scare senior year of college, weighed in at 333 pounds and told me to consider surgery. Joined a gym, but didn't get around learning to eat properly until maybe two years later, when I started keto. Keto taught me to log and track, lost much weight, began some barbell 5x5 work and fuckarounditis at a local gym.The NowFormerly obese, part-time (ok still more or less full time) nerd, slightly hardened creative artist type with a penchant for food and not enough time for videogames. As I lost the weight, I became enthralled by what my body could do, learned to love exercise in various forms. Did some starting strength, did a bulk on ice cream fitness, did some calisthenics. Currently at a happy medium with calisthenics twice a week and barbell training twice a week with at least one active rest day in between somewhere.GoalsStay lean, see if I can reach a normal BMI without crash dieting and still kicking butt in the gym. Picking up the running I put down when winter started, by years end I want to run the 16.5 miles from my house down to Pike Place Market. Working on muscle ups and levers, maybe get a floor L sit this year? Basically stay active, enjoy life, don't settle, blah blah. Anyway, What follows next, will likely be a play by play of the last days training or nonsense, as often as I can provide it. Maybe the occasional food porn. Start!
  17. After years in the wilderness (lifting weights in my local gym), undergoing countless horrifying ordeals (queuing for the one decent bench press, getting annoyed as the awesome gymnastics rings setup is used for crossfit classes), as the outside world burns I have returned to my spiritual home: The Guild of the Assassins. Whilst others may be lamenting their lack of a squat rack, the assassins know that all that one requires is the weight of their own body (plus maybe a pull-up bar and a few other bits of equipment) to maintain and even increase their strength. Solitary confinement is all too easy an excuse to allow laziness to take hold and for personal well-being to be discarded so I call upon my fellow assassins to bear witness to my attempts to not just keep in shape but to improve myself and be reborn in the forge of the fires of this insufferable pestilence. As you may be able to tell from my challenge title, in the intervening years I've also been learning 日本語 so for this returning challenge, my goals shall centre around learning from the Japanese chapter of our illustrious order: 忍者 (ninja). I aim to become more balanced, both physically and mentally, return to testing myself on my beloved gymnastic rings, and take my language studies to the next level. Goal 1: Regain my physical balance. At one time I could happily hold a wall handstand for a minute as was even making some progress with supporting myself away from the wall. Recent attempts however have revealed that 40 seconds upside is a challenge for me. My first goal therefore is to practice handstands every day with the aim of being able to consistently hold a 1 minute wall handstand by the end of the challenge. Goal 2: Regain my mental balance. Like with my handstands, at one time I was achieving great success with maintaining a consistent daily mediation routine but this has slipped in the last year. To regain my composure, my second goal is to spend at least 5 minutes a day meditating using the Calm app. The daily 'Calm' meditations are around 10 minutes so I'll try to do those most of the time but if I get pressed for time (unlikely at the moment) I'll make sure I do at least 5 minutes sitting quietly. Goal 3: Back on the rings. Pretty simple really, just create a new workout to be done 3 times a week using my gymnastic rings. I'll look through various sources including the NF rings course and Overcoming Gravity and put together a new routine. Previously, as I would have to be out of the house to got to work by a specific time each day, my workouts had to be kept to under 30 minutes so that i could do everything I needed in the morning. Now that things are much more time flexible, I want to incorporate and proper warm up, skills section, main workout and then decent cool down/ stretching session. My goal is to create this, then test and modify it over the next few weeks so that I have a sustainable workout to see me through however long we are confined inside our houses. Goal 4: Take my studies further by spending 15 minutes a day reading 日本語 text. Along with my anki flashcards and my (now online) tutorials, if I start reading some Japanese every day, I'm sure this will help both my grammar and vocabulary but also improve my reading speed. I was given a variety of dual language texts for Xmas so it's about time I started working through them. Even if I only manage to get through one sentence a day, as long as I feel like I really have a good understanding of it, then I will be satisfied. I also have some traditional folk tales (including some ghost stories) as well as the 4,500 sentences from Tofugu to work through. Those are my goals then. 1. Daily handstands 2. Daily meditiation 3. Create, refine and implement a new rings-based workout 4. Daily reading
  18. This challenge has no theme. This is unusual for me, but, I can't seem to find anything that's really motivating me "theme" wise...and you know what? THAT'S OK. I am currently working from home for my day job, still working weekly at Costco because there an essential business, and doing my best not to succumb to absolute bored-ness during this quarantine. Life is... strange, as I'm sure many of us are experiencing. But, I'm gonna make the best of the situation! I had originally had plans to do a Division Themed challenge this go round, but because my working from home productivity is so Important, I don't have a lot of extra time during the day to write up an epic challenge, and until I can do that, I don't won't to half-ass it. One of the hardest parts about this quarantine is: no hair cuts. I need one. BAD. I didn't have any intention on growing my hair out, so, I'm gonna need to figure something out lol. I'm loving working from home, though. I get to spend some much needed quality time with the Wolfpack™ and I couldn't be happier there. Going to Costco isn't all that bad. We're busy, that's for sure. And lucky for me, they have designated shopping hours for employees so we can get our essentials as well. It's usually at the ass-crack of dawn, but that's good with me. Get in, get out, and move on with the day. I've made do with no gym. I do a lot of "grease-the-groove" throughout the day and will be attempting a 3x a week calisthenic program from Athlean-X that covers full body for a rotating A and B workout. I tried one of the workouts the other day and found it pretty challenging, so, I know I got my work cut out for me. This challenge is all about the No Theme Quarantine Discipleen! (And I spelled discipline that way to rhyme with the other words ) Discipleen #1: Stay the Course Simple. Follow the workout program 3x a week. I have a better schedule to work around now, so, utilize it! Possible Stat Points: +1 STR, +2 DEX, +2 END Discipleen #2: Don't Eat out of Boredom Simple. Don't needless snack and eat junk. Eat quality food 90% of the time. And...NO SWEETS. PERIOD. Possible Stat Points: +2 WIS, +3 CON Discipleen #3: Flexibility for Sexibility Simple. Do yoga 1x a week minimum. Stay limber. Stay flexible. Stay Sexy. Possible Stat Points: +1 STR, +4 CON Actually, you know what? I do have some motivation during this challenge. He goes by the name of: Kumail Nanjiani He'll be starring in the upcoming Marvel movie, The Eternals, and the man has NEVER looked like this a day in his life. He's very average Joe and he's also 42 years old! I realize he had access to the best trainers and nutritionist money could by, but it was his mental fortitude that got him through the day and allowed him to kick ass for a solid year and get this incredible body. I can only HOPE to look that good at age 42. Kamail would mantra to himself when workouts were really tough: Leave your Body. And it didn't always work. He would still be sore. He would still experience pain. And soon, his mantra would become, "Chase the Pain". That's what this challenge is about. Chasing the pain to become a better me. Let's get this party started! (also, check out this ARTICLE from Men's Health about Kumail's story.) Wolf
  19. Guys! Good to see you. It’s been a while. After being active, on and off, in the community from 2012 through late 2017, I dropped off the face of the map. I left mainly because of an ankle sprain that laid me out on and off until September 2018. The injury forced me to set aside my dreams of recovering my old parkour skills for a few months... and then a few more. Since then... it’s been tough to come back, and I’ve suffered physically as a result. I’m no longer as lean as I used to be. What’s more, although I’ve tried to re-implement my old exercise and diet routine, I’ve proven to be a little less... sticky with them than I used to be. It turns out, habits are hard! And then, this last November... I turned 30. So folks, now that I’m a Real Life Adult, it’s time to take care of my sheet. All right, let’s dig in. No fanfare, no theme. 1. Work out 3 days per week, all four weeks. I use a bodyweight progressive strength routine, as is pretty standard among well-informed fitness nerds (you guys!). Usually I make more specific goals for strength, and I do have several goals for the next few weeks. But for this challenge, I’m trying to solve the problem of habit-building and consistency, not just improving performance. So I’m going back to the very basics. Work can get crazy and mess up my schedule, so I won’t hold myself to a particular daily schedule for this challenge goal (although I do plan to work out MWF). I don’t care if I do it on odd days or even if i just eff around and do handstand practice rather than my whole routine; as long as I get a workout in three days per week, I’m winning. 2. Track food intake EVERY DAY. No excuses! Again, I’m going dead simple to focus on habit-building rather than getting too ambitious. However... I’m going through a cut cycle to lose bodyfat. My typical routine is to cut fast, at a 1k calorie deficit, and track my bodyfat with tape measurements and pictures over time. So I’ll be tracking that process here! 3. Build a set of parallettes, and a balance trainer. I dipped my toes into the waters of DIY a few months back when I built my doorway pull-up bar. From scratch! Out of galvanized pipe! That I cut and threaded myself (mostly)! Since I work out with bodyweight, I work out at home, in my apartment. That means I need to provide my own equipment. Since I plan to start training L-sits and get back to parkour training within the next few weeks, that means I’ll need a set of parallettes and a balance/precision trainer, probably something like the railings featured here. This is a bit of a blend of an exercise goal and life goal. But it’ll be fun! 4. Implement my budget. I want to be good at budgeting, but I’m kind of not. I have a very nice, super-reasonable budget laid out in an Excel spreadsheet on my laptop... and I have done exactly NOTHING to put it into action. I win at this goal if by the end of the challenge, my bank accounts are automatically withdrawing money for spending, savings, and retirement; and if I’ve updated my 401k and IRA investments, which I’ve been putting off for about six months. Bonus Achievements: Attain 3x5 Pistol Squats. I used to be great at these. I was no Waldo-esque pistol monster, but I could hold my own! Unfortunately, at 30 my knees are significantly weaker and creakier than they were at 25. Right now I’m doing partial negatives and ancillary exercises to build strength. But I plan to get them back, and if I can manage them within the next month I’ll be ecstatic. 3x5 chest-to-bar Pull-ups. My eventual goal is a bar muscle-up, but these will be a necessary first (baby) step. These used to be easy, but haven’t been easy in a while. Currently I can do 2-3 in a set. 3x3 Wall Headstand Push-ups. I did this once upon a time! I won’t get this one during this challenge, but I want it here to remind myself I WILL GET IT BACK. Hit 14% Bodyfat. If you think this makes me sound vain, you’d be correct. But I want it back. 14% is near the top of my ideal bodyfat range for myself. I perform better and I just feel more attractive. Eventually I wouldn’t mind hitting 10%... I was within a whisper of it only once, back in the days of my training log... but I know it will take a couple of cuts to get myself there, and I’m not ready for that just yet. Post (or repost) 2-4 recipes here during the challenge. You are talking to a man who loves cooking to the point that it’s driven him insane. How insane, you ask? Allow me to cite a short list of things I make from scratch on a semi-regular basis: chicken stock, fresh pork sausage, pasta, most kinds of rice noodles, bagels, sour cream, Sichuan chili oil, lacto-fermented pickles, duck prosciutto, and slabs (SLABS!) of pancetta. Still not convinced? Allow me to show you the carbon dioxide tank I keep under my sink for DIY seltzer water, sparkling wine and cocktails; my 20-pound, eight-inch wide granite mortar and pestle; my pantry collection of food-grade acids; and the fact that my next big planned cooking gadget purchase is a centrifuge. All this is to say... I like to cook, and I take great pains to experiment in the kitchen so that when I’m cutting fat, I’m still eating meals that taste great. However, I haven’t done a great job writing down recipes or techniques that work, so I have a tough time planning good meals in advance. To that end, I’d like to use this challenge to post a couple of recipes that I’m having good success with. They can be things I’ve put my own twist on, or they can be straight-up reposted from a resource I use a lot, like Serious Eats (but I’ll try to give my own take on those too). It’s a lot to bite off for one challenge, so it’s a bonus goal... but one I’d like to have some fun with. And that’s it! For now at least, this will replace the old training log I kept from 2013 to 2017. That log holds a lot of records from when I actually used to be good at this stuff, so feel free to take a look! But it’s time for me to focus on Future Paul.
  20. Well it's been a long slog since February when I started training for the Marines (and even longer since 2015 when I started training seriously at all), but I'm finally selected for usmc ocs! I report in September so this'll be my last challenge for a while. This challenge is to culminate the last 3 years of training into a routine that actually makes sense. I made it by ranking my goals for the future and going from there. These are: 1. General endurance (need it the most for long runs and rucks) 2.ocs specific training 3. Pull-ups: average max < 20 4. Core strength 5. Recovery/injury prevention These goals are done through a set of daily/weekly activities. Daily(m-f): pull up workout (Armstrong usually) and stretching Weekly: 3 running days (1 sprints, 1 medium length, 1 long run) this is a 5k program I used to do. 2 ocs workouts (pppa, fartleks, murph, etc). 2 core/lifting days (I like to mix the two) 1 rest day with yoga and foam rolling. Theres also studying, I wanna study tactics and history and such 3 times a week, I've been struggling with that so somebody yell at me if I don't do it. Besides that it's just work, karate, eat sensibly and relax when I can, business as usual.
  21. I've just come back from a 7-month amazing travelling adventure in Latin America [details in first spoiler]. But I fail at following my challenges while travelling, so I've been mostly out of the NF scene since 2017 Now that I'm back at home (at my parents' house) it's time to set some fitness goals and start taking them seriously again I miss the gymnastics and calisthenics days of 2014-2015 but my goals have also changed a little since then! [details of my NF journey are in the second spoiler]. One problem is that I don't know what level I am at anymore with handstands, pull-ups etc., so it'll make me go crazy to chase achievement-based goals right now, so I'm just going to focus on getting out there and being active. Goal #1: Move and Train again: I'm stealing this one from Mad Hatter. The aim in to collect as many Mad Hatter Points (MPs) as possible during the challenge by doing various movement and training. 1MP: short unstructured movement (short bike ride, couple sets of push-ups, etc.) 2MP: more substantial workout 3MP: proper serious training, high intensity or with specific drills Hopefully I can do something with 2MP on average every day on average. Prepare to laugh at me as I massively miss this Maximum points available is 60. Goal #2: Assassin Training: And so I can't cheat goal #1 by just doing a billion sit-ups, I want to do each of these types of training at least once: gymnastics rings handstands hurdling climbing / bouldering longer run hill sprints weightlifting 3 points available for each of these (Maximum 20) Goal #3: Wim Hof Method: Some people on the forum (zenLara, annyshay, ...) have been experimenting with the, and I now have a reasonably good understanding of the Science behind it. If you want me to explain a little then just ask, but Wim Hof's (inadequate and inaccurate) explanations are on his website. It basically involves a breathing technique that causes temporary hypoxia, and taking cold showers. Other features in the full course include ice baths, yoga exercises and some meditation guidance. I've just come back from several months in the tropics, so I'll need to get used to coldness again haha... I'm not prepared yet to buy the full course (perhaps soon) but I want to get a regular schedule now of doing at least the breathing and the cold showers. 1 point for a cold shower 1 point for doing the breathing exercise (5 minute total retention as a minimum, so 2-3 rounds) 1 point for every new thing I try based on this method (Maximum 40) Goal #4: Bonus List: I just couldn't do a challenge without a "bucket list" type of challenge, so here are some bonus things I want to achieve in the next month: (8 points) learn Stairway to Heaven on the guitar (8 points) compose a new piano cover (4 points) record this new piano cover (6 points) plan professional project for travel at the end of May (6 points) create and memorize a system for decimal digit memorization (6 points) write 5 new articles on the website I maintain: World Mental Calculation (Maximum 30) And yes, the total points available add up to 150. There's no way I'm getting such a high score, so I'll award 1 stat point for every 12 challenge points. Also looking forward to seeing where the NFers are at after half a year not following you! Good luck everyone!
  22. Hello everyone! Starting as I mean to go on, slowly (very slowly), with a lifting log here to throw out my programme with anyone who wants to follow my lifting journey. I'm an Irish guy in my mid twenties, living and lifting in Ireland. I eat all sorts of potatoes, sup all kinds of pints and am passionate about strength training and in general getting better than I was yesterday If you want to follow my journey that'd be cool. I'm about 80 Kilos at 5'9 and prepping for my first powerlifting comp in March, where I'm hoping to hit the following numbers: Deadlift: 440 lbs Squat: 374 lbs Bench: 275 Today I worked up to a max top set of 1x215lbs on the bench and dropped back to 4x5 @ 176 lbs. No touch and go, no ego, just me trying to be less weak than I am. This was followed by one arm rows, incline pressing, front raising and bro curls. I was training in the first gym I ever stepped into, where I once struggled to deadlift 135 lbs, and it was pretty cool to come back a little bit stronger. Anyways, that's all for now, nice to meet you you all and I'll check in tomorrow for some post squat follow-ups. Peace, The Irish lad
  23. Events are the teachers of fools. Hey everyone I am back from a long break and fashionably late to this 43WC. I wan't to channel my inner Doc Holliday and get back to business. For those of you who don't know, Doc was a Dentist who turned gambler and gunslinger when he moved out west for his health(Tuberculosis). Doc was known for his clever wit and intelligence often to a fault when his mouth got him in some hot water. I plan on continuing my studies for my CCNA certification. If I get this certification I can move up into a more prominent role in I.T and get some more $$$. Study for CCNA at least 30mins 6X a week Like I said, he has a way with words. I am currently teaching myself Russian and I want to keep up with it. Study Russian >20min 5X a week Doc traveled around the U.S and despite being ill he never let it get in the way of his goals. I need to get back into working out again after a few months of nothing. I previously followed a Powerlifting routine for close to year (Juggernaut) I had great success with it but I want to ease back into it and just focus on bodyweight stuff for now. BW routine 3X a week 50 Prisoner Squats 50 Diamond Pushups 25 Jumps 25 bodybridge extensions 50 planche Jackknifes 50 Step-ups (25 reps per side) 25 Pull-ups 50 Forward Lunges 50 Diamond Pushups 50 Inverted Rows 50 Squats 25 Chin-ups All of that gunslinging requires great dexterity and speed. In order to increase my flexibility and overall mobility I need to get some more yoga back in my life. Yoga >2x 20 mins a week.
  24. Helloooo, Assassins!! I’m Ensi, and this is my first challenge in the Assassins squad. You can read more about my past in my battle log, but for now, let’s focus on where I am, and where I’m going. I’m recovering from disordered eating that was caused by my feelings of worthlessness. Eating was basically just an obstacle course I had to get right every day, and I was avoiding carbs with a very vague plan (“as little as possible is good”). I’m currently practicing intuitive eating: I respect my body and my hunger, and find other ways to deal with my feelings. I don’t count macros or calories. And I love carbs. As I’ve started to eat more carbs and other foods, my energy levels are waaaaay up, I recover from exercise faster, and I've gotten stronger. After a long stretch of low-carbing and not seeing results, I’m now very excited about bodyweight exercises and calisthenics, and I want to keep working towards becoming a kick-ass librarian who can parkour to the books that the customers want to find Which brings me to my current situation: I’m a librarian working on my University degree. I’m very nearly done, but I’d love to keep studying communications and information systems for a while longer. I’m very interested in linguistics, computer science, information sciences and literary theories. Problem solving is my favourite aspect of my work. I also love art and drawing. Sometimes I write. Goal #1: Push-Ups Push-ups are something I’ve always wanted to get better at. I’m going to practice knee push-ups 2 to 3 times a week. My humble goal is to advance slowly: even one push-up more than during the previous workout is awesome. This would amount to 8 to 12 more push-ups this month, and I could progress to regular push-ups later this autumn! Rock this goal: practice knee push-ups 2 to 3 times a week Push-ups on 6th of August: 10 - 9 - 8 - 6 = 33 in total Goal #2: Treat Yo’ Self… Yo’ Self. Eat Like A Grown-Ass Woman I was first going to make this goal about learning how to make my own sweet protein bars, but on another thought, it makes me focus on snacks instead of having proper meals. During my recovery, I've noticed that eating a hearty breakfast, a filling lunch, and an energizing dinner is the base of my new way of eating So, more real food, less fake substitutes! Rock this goal: stay mindful, practice intuitive eating. - plan ahead proper lunches and dinners Goal #3: Hustle On It’s scary to finish my studies, and my stress coping strategies could be better I’m currently reading a book about stress management techniques, and making plans for the rest of the month, and next semester. I’m going to finish the first draft of my master’s thesis this month, and send it to my instructor. I’m going to tie up all the loose ends I have considering my studies. My current internship ends at the end of the month, and after that I could get a part-time job there. I’d like to keep studying communications and information systems for another year, but I’ll see what life has in store… ** Here we go, fellow Nerds! I'm excited to see how I'll do in Assassins Have a lovely challenge! Current stats: age: 26 height: 170 cm weight: I don’t weigh myself, because it could trigger disordered eating again. Let’s say that I weigh 10 knee push-ups? OK. I’m gonna get as heavy as I can by the end of the month.
  25. Hi guys, im just starting out in calisthenics, but im getting tired really quick which disturbs my workout program, therefore i want to start stamina training but i dont want to lose weight because im already thin (i'm 5.7 feet/ 173 cm and weigh about 130 lbs/ 59 kg). Is there any way i could gain weight, stamina and mucle while doing both, or does anybody have any advice/tips on my topic? (btw i eat 3-4 meals a day)
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