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  1. The priority and focus of the following 8 weeks will be on preparing for the GORUCK tough challenge we're doing for @RisenPhoenix's 30th birthday on November 11. My strength is there but my endurance and conditioning is woeful, so I'll need this time to get my butt in gear. I anticipate the colder temperature to make this a lot more mentally grueling for me so my body better be as ready as possible to keep the loads lighter. I'll still get some gymnastics in and may continue lifting heavy, but only if it means I can still manage the other workouts I've slated for myself. Goal 1. Condition 10 conditioning sessions this challenge (mostly should be taken from the prep workouts and should have cardio components) Goal 2. Ruck 6 stadium runs, hikes, or weighted walks that are at least 3 miles Goal 3. Diaphragmatic Breathing 16 diaphragmatic breathing sessions Goal 4. Clean 20 days with at least one counter cleared before bed The other two goals -- breathing and cleaning -- are not directly related to that particular physical challenge, but will help me overall. I've got some hip/back/pelvic floor dysfunction that diaphragmatic breathing is purported to help with so there is no harm in trying it out. And a clean kitchen makes a happier cook, so I am focusing on making the space nicer/more accessible to remove barriers to cooking when I am tired or otherwise not feeling it. Let's kick it~ Here's some crazy gymnastics shit just to remind you of my true passions with this suspiciously ranger-like challenge.
  2. Hi! I'm Raptron. I practice gymnastics, lift things, hike, climb, and generally love all things active. The summer is here in force and hot hot hot. My main goals this summer are to keep working on some of my weaknesses in gymnastics as well as lifting. My big goal is to rebuild up to near my lifting sets were at (sq: 225, bench: 135, deadlift: 235 [why so weak deadlift?!]) before a series of injuries and and other activities set me back. Now that those injuries are mostly recovered or in remission with lots of PT, I can really get going again. The 2016 women's team for Rio has been selected and this challenge overlaps with the start of the Olympics so I think you know where this is going. If you aren't excited about Rio, the door is that way --> Goal 1: Get air like Simone *Plyometrics or the stadium 4x over challenge with a focus on watching for valgus collapse in my knees Goal 2: Booty like Aly *Glute accessories with every lifting workout, especially to strength that glute medius Goal 3: Stretch like Laurie *Hyperstretching for splits and straddles 4x over challenge Goal 4: Bars like Madison *Work on uneven bars 6x over challenge -- can sub in rock climbing or pull-ups/chin-ups if something prevents gymnastics practice Goal 5: Get back up again like Gabby *Eat mostly home prepared meals -- aim for a limit of 5-6x eating out this challenge GIFspiration spam
  3. I've been thinking about challenges in general the last few days, and i came to the conclusion; a challenge is something you're not sure you'll succeed in at unless you actually have a good crack at. Not something you could choke down in 10 minutes like a steak sanga or a few tinnies. Mind you this is not revelatory, for me, or for any of you, just recontextualised into NF forum Challenge country. So without knowing the way challenges are built these days, I'd like you to meet "3 things i don't think i'll able to get done in the next 4 weeks unless i give them a red hot poke". 1. Conditioning 2x a week. A walkabout through Crossfit bushland exposed my blatant "no lungs" policy in the last couple...few...several... years of training and life. I got 8 rounds+3 for a 3/4-Cindy, 19:35 for a half-Helen. This a public challenge, throw me your favourite/most hated conditioning sessions and i'll give it a try and maybe video for your entertainment. Otherwise, i've got: a tyre, and a rope that i'll be dragging around; a footpath to sprint on; a keg to load and carry; sandbags Success looks like : All results from completed sessions posted, with a target of Eight for Four weeks. 2. Continue Starting Strength LP, min 2x a week. Squat: 80kg. Bench: 75kg. OHP:55kg. Dead: 105kg. Power Clean: 60kg. Success looks like: no missed sessions, even if my garage floor is ice, and I'm busier than a one armed carpenter in a chair making contest. 3. The bush tucker man, bear grylls, bush mechanics and their ilk do what? Survive on everything around them, learn what they need to know to thrive. Success looks like a combination of any 2 of the following: Reading and journalling about one of Seneca the Younger's letters Studying Lvl1 Australian Strength and Conditioning Association coaching certificate texts Read Pride and Prejudice, apparently anything by Jane Austen is a window into theory of mind, strategy, social interaction.. WHO KNEW?!?!? This is the real challenge of the challenge, if i can actually read this. I'll have blown my own mind. I lie, i love him Also, whats in this spoiler cannot be unseen... and probably not emulated... unless you're up the creek. And the Bush mechanics are classic ingenuity.
  4. MY 20TH NERDFITNESS CHALLENGE?!?! WHAAAT?! I guess it's time to bring it back to the basics! I'm Raptron and I usually work pretty hard to be Sonic the Hedgehog IRL: But competition season ended a few weeks ago and it's time to shift gears. I am doing a Bone Frog race on May 21, so I am working on some cardio work this challenge. I've also recently joined a bouldering gym with a great fitness room for lifting so I want to climb more. I've stopped cooking as much because I've been busy and just got lazy about it, so a lot of our meals have just been leftovers or strange mish-mashes of partially prepared food. I want to get back into the habit of cooking more often and also enjoying my food to the fullest when I do eat it. Goal 1. Something about Cardio Do at least 2 of these per week: sprint intervals, rowing, jump roping, jogging, running stairs, etc. Goal 2. Something about Conditioning Do a conditioning circuit 2x per week Goal 3. Something about Climbing Get on the wall every workout at the climbing gym Work on flex hang holds 2-3x per week Buy climbing shoes Goal 4. Something about Cooking Cook dinner 3x per week Eat a meal without any screens 3x per week If you feel like you've seen me use these goals before, you probably have. CHALLENGES ARE A FLAT CIRCLE.
  5. I have plans!!! Lots of them!!! Especially plans to get healthy and strong and stable. But alas, my perfectionist streak keeps saying "you can't start now - you don't have a cool thread name or backstory or, or, ANYTHING!!! You can't just wing it!!!" But that's what I'm doing. I'm putting this battle log to track my progress until I can get the time to write down my goals in fancy, nerdy style For now, general fitness conditioning is happening, i.e. walking daily plus 1 additional healthy activity of about 10 minutes long (stretching or strength or running). Depression struggles are mild to moderate but I finally have a support system, so....here we go Further details coming soon...
  6. I'm all alone again. No instructors. For the past semester I had been working out at this awesome gym with this great PE instructor and for once I was getting results! It was expensive as fuck, but I have never been so strong, safe & pain-free. But a new semester arises and things changed a lot. I'm really, really broke, like, really broke. (For a change, huh?!) I gave up working to finish Law school (this is my last year and I have a shitload of things to attend to so I can get my degree). I have to pass the "bar" (local license examination) and turn in my senior thesis. Also, I'm preparing for a very competitive public post (attorney for the State). On top of that, I thought it'd be a good idea to take up German too. (May I just say... NERD!) So there you are. I have no time to go to the gym and very little money to find solutions with. Thankfully, there's a gym in my condo, fairly well equiped, the only two major things I feel are missing are safety bars on the squat rack, which have served me more than once, and a bar where I could hang from for pullups and stuff. And the PE instructor of course. (I miss him so much...) With losing my instructor and my gym routine, I have just kinda let things... slide... and I'm currently some six weeks without regular exercise (I have randomly hit the condo gym, no routine tho). I'm going fucking crazy. As in crazy crazy. Craze ass bitch. Touring crazy town. Looney tunes. Bananas. Just last Saturday I had a panic attack sitting in my living room alone trying to watch a movie. I feel depressed and anxious and losing control of shit. I feel like crying and lose my appetite. I have intrusive thoughts and can't focus on work. Working out's my goddam zoloft and I know that. Have known it for some time. Overcame fucking addiction with it. Yet I let it slide. Shouldn't have let it slide. So goddam hard to do it by yourself. So I came back to NFR, maybe the community can help me keep the routine going. We shall see how it goes.
  7. Whew, third challenge of the year, already! Time moves extra fast in 26-day chunks. This challenge will take us through March, which means one more gymnastics competition (this Saturday!) and then I get a break from meets until Nationals in April. Maybe it's the spring air or maybe it's because I don't want to commit to too many bonus physical pursuits, but this challenge is a bit more domestic-focused than previous ones. Track 1. Ain't No Mountain High Enough Conditioning workout or strength training workout 13x over challengeI have a sneaking feeling that I am going to want to chill out for a bit after the meet this Saturday, so to combat that, I am going to bonus incentivize conditioning and strength training workouts in this challenge. Conditioning can be any drillsandskillsWOD, the office gym's conditioning class, NP Stadium, or any 10+ minutes at practice. Strength training will be low rep, difficult progression bodyweight skills or WEIGHTS. Track 2. Come and Get Your Love Core-focused exercises or PT 20x this challenge.CORE work continues with this challenge's edition. If it's part of a conditioning circuit, it will count for both goals. Track 3. O-oh Child Dance/clean sessions around the house totaling 180 minutesDance battle against the mess of my house. 1v1 me, bro! No requirements for the % of dancing versus cleaning for these minutes, but as long as I am doing one or the other and rocking out around the house, I am racking up minutes. Going OUT to dance will not count except for morale boosting. Track 4. Escape (The Pina Colada Song) Cook 4 recipes out of my cookbooksI've got some wonderful cookbooks that I adore and am very glad to have but haven't actually managed to cook anything out of just yet! This will change over this challenge. These will likely be more baked goods than other options, but as long as I am working from a recipe from one of these books, we count it!
  8. Time to shift focus for a little while. In the longer term, I want to move down a weight class, because the other superheavy girls are just crazy strong and I'm scared! I also (very foolishly) signed up for another marathon this spring, and there is no way I can get out of it because my friend is running her first on her birthday, we're all going and there will be cake. Oh, and I also need to figure out how to swim a mile, but that one seems a lot easier.* The challenge then becomes: How to run a marathon (or at least not "die" trying) without doing too much actual running? Bonus points: How to avoid losing strength? The solution I'm going to try is focussing on metabolic conditioning and strength training, and hoping for the best (<-- lots of this). I'm also going to make a more deliberate effort to improve my nutrition. This way, the goals break down quite neatly: 1) Nutrition: Week 1: Start tracking. I'm not going to count calories or weigh things, I'm just writing things down. This is to figure out where things go off track. I already know breakfast is an issue, so I'll use week 1 to make sure I'm stocked up on easy breakfast foods. Week 2: Add prepped lunches Monday - Friday, and actually take them into work! This will be a great money saver as well. Weeks 3 & 4: TBD. Depending on how the first two go, add something or improve something. 2) Strength: Week 1: Actually get some rest. One super light recovery session on Wednesday, and weightlifting on Friday. Weeks 2-4: Back to training, stick to the plan (programme not out yet, so I don't know what this will involve). Note: A "session" includes mobility work. 3) Conditioning: Swim at least once per week. I'm counting this as conditioning because I'm swimming laps as fast as I can (not very fast!) and resting between laps, so it's basically intervals. Sprints once per week, starting week 2. Add one metcon type session per week to my training weeks 2-4. Can be a finisher. Kettlebells or whatever, need to get creative. 4) Life: Do house buying things. *Reading this back, I'm worried I might get kicked out of the warriors!! These are "hangover" goals from before I got more serious about strength training.
  9. Hey everyone, I'm new to the Forum but I have been lifting following the NF workout plan and currently use Barbell 7. I like the program but I feel that I need more than whats prescribed. Does anyone do a different conditioning instead of the walk up hill for 10 minutes star power or run a mile every other day? Also, I feel the need to insert an extra day for pull work, such as single arm dumb bell rows or any other type of row. I'm worried that although pull-ups are great, inverted rows just won't cut it i.e. we complete a 5x5 bench press weekly but there is no equivalent pull to counteract the push. Also, being a warrior some of the quests are to complete Olympic style lifts, however there isn't really any sort of Clean and Jerk or Snatch workout proscribed in Barbell 7. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Background: I swam D1 in college, lifting since I was 14
  10. Space here for stuff... Silks gym still not open. This song still is crying out to be silks-ed to. Challenges for this, uh, challenge (mostly repeated from last time, since that was such a stellar success. ): Flexy workPullups and Toes-To-Bar stuffConditioning, because who KNOWS how much stamina I have lost?No alcohol, just to prove I can. Since challenges are now <4 weeks (like 24 days? Yeesh) I'm going to get away from the # x per week goals and do a tally system instead. Also, I apparently need scoring, otherwise I do nothing and fail. Flexy work 8 sessions. -Some kind of yoga or dedicated stretching, at least 10 minutes. Pullups and TTB 3 sessions each. -TTB can be actual TTB; ground progressions; or other core or hip flexor things -Pullps are pullups, though if my elbow is being creaky, neutral grip is acceptable. Conditioning/Cardio 6 sessions -Hang from the pull up bar with engaged shoulders until I drop. Do this twice in a workout and that counts as 1 session. -20 minutes on the treadmill counts. 40 minutes continuous does NOT count as 2. -If (heaven forbid) I have to shovel my driveway due to terrible weather, this also counts as 1 session. -If the silks studio opens up mid challenge, some silks things can count under this section, too. No alcohol Seems pretty straightforward, eh?
  11. General background: I'm Raptron. I'm on a recreational gymnastics team that competes February - April. I try to practice 3x per week for about 6-8 hours total and then do a bunch of other stuff on the side because I prefer physical activity to pretty much any other kind of hobbies. Love cookies, cocktails, and cheese. Hate running. Kind of want to be a ninja warrior some day but trying to stay more focused on my gymnastics training for at least the next 4 months. Goal 1. Condition *WODs from drillsandskills.com OR at least 15 minutes of conditioning 3x per week Words I actually said at practice this previous week, "My 2016 resolution is to do more conditioning because right now I feel like I am doing 0 and anything would be more than 0." It should be easy to get this one taken care of, but the workouts will certainly not be. Goal 2. Control *End of range of motion control drills, specifically for hips and shoulders 2x per week Using the things I love from various blogs more regularly should help improve my leaps and jumps. Woo! All this shit could take a bit more improvement, as always. Goal 3. Continue *Non-gymnastics workouts 2x per week Cop out goal, but it is important to keep busy with other things even though competition season is coming up in full swing. I've been lacking in the strength-building area since I've been out of lifting for the past few months. Goal 4. Chop, chop! *Create meal plan for each week *Meal prep sessions 2x per week Hubstron wants to eat a bit better but I want that to definitely mean more wholesome foods for both of us, as I've lost some of the meal prep drive I've had previously. When I don't plan out meals or prep in advance, I don't get nearly enough protein. This should help with that and help make sure the both of us eat more tasty veggies.
  12. So I have been training for a few years now, I am 20 years old and weigh 94kg. I'm not too strong, last time I tested my strength I was able to do following: 1. Squat: 120kg x3 2. Bench: 100kg x2 3. Deadlift: 120 x2 . I used to train mainly bodybuilding style with a 5 day split. Lately (last 4 months) I tried to incorporate a bit more strength work, powerlifting style, and really got to like it quite much, But I do miss the bodybuilding style. I don't want to train purely for one "type". I want to be strong, athletic and look good at the same time (duh... like almost everyone...). So I researched a bit and stumbled upon this webpage: http://swolefit.com/swolefit-v2-cycle/ He mixes it up a bit, Day 1 & Day 4 is Strength and Conditioning (Metcon style), Day 2 & 5 is Power/Speed & Hypertrophy. What do you guys think?
  13. Hey nerds, it's my first challenge in the last few months. I kind of took a break from challenges last year and just hung out in chat with my new BFFs. However it has a distressing lack of animated gifs. On the bright side I maintained my current level of fitness in 2015. On the other side, I maintained my current level of fitness in 2015! It's time to get serious about making progress. I'm committing to doing more challenges this year AND to stepping up my gif game. My goals are from my trainer. He says to stop being lazy and work out 5x a week. 3 lifting and 2 (trigger warning) cardio. Simple enough. Time for me to not be lazy. The workouts are simple and mostly focused around gaining strength in the most efficient way. Goal 1: lift 3x a week Day 1: Push day Day 2: Pull day Day 3: Leg day. 'nuff said I realize this is controversial, but I like a little cardio. Goal 2: Cardio 2x per week Also, apparently my lack of core strength is holding up my lifts. Core strength is important, for things like competitive grocery carrying: Which leads me to: Goal 3: Plank 3x 30s each day. Planking. Not for the faint of heart. Now we've reached the life goal part of the challenge. I'm obsessed with the idea of retiring early. That requires making sure I accumulate large files of money. I've got a great job, but would love to have some passive income. I can codez, so my 4 week goal is to make a really shitty app and put it in the app store, just to see if I can get anyone to download it. We'll see how that goes.
  14. (N.B. This is largely a half-finished draft. I'm posting it while unfinished because I start travel right around the challenge start time, and don't want to get too time-crunched to get my thoughts down. I'll edit the post later to write down rewards, then remove this notice.) Last challenge felt pretty successful. Planning the next was daunting, as the travel I have scheduled and pending-scheduling for the next few weeks make planning anything hard. Then something hit me...during the coming month and a half, I'll be in urban settings, on a farm, in at least one forest, at 14,000 feet on the summit of a mountain (volcano, actually), on a beach (maybe), in a swamp (still tentative but likely) and a bunch of other places. This is my terrain challenge. My main quest is to survive and thrive in a variety of environments of varying levels of hospitality while continuing to increase my work capacity and performance for future martial arts, SAR, and otherwise Rangerly activities. Quest #1: Survive I've signed myself up for a couple of things in the challenging-bordering-on-unwise range. One is working at 14,000 feet after not having done anything at altitude in years, without acclimation breaks. Another is a still-tentative challenging winter hike a friend cooked up (assuming we have suitable snow in early December). Grading here is simple pass/fail based on whether I successfully get through the challenge without any injuries or illness that are both caused by unaccepted risks** and sufficient to hamper work, family commitments, or training. **"caused by unaccepted risks" means that I screwed up (i.e. didn't properly consider a risk, or flubbed doing a planned risk mitigation), as opposed to something caused by a risk I accepted (e.g. I know that a hypoxic episode is a possible result of ascending to 14k feet without adequate acclimation, and I've accepted that risk knowing that I have the skills to deal with it and supplemental oxygen available...having such an episode won't count against me). The goal here is measured, thoughtful risk-taking, and good management of physical resources, not going home and hiding under the covers. Reward: Quest #2: Thrive The mountain is going to nuke me for a bit. I'm also going to have busy time in multiple locales that offer social distractions that would make it easy for me to go off the rails in terms of diet and training. Simply to not die is not to live, one must also grow. So I'm going to do something to work out at least 24 times during the challenge. For this purpose "do something" is either an unusual feat (e.g. trying a new physical skill or activity, or beating a personal record), or completing at least a reasonable short (20 min intense or 30 min moderate) workout of either a strength or conditioning variety. I'm leaving this extremely flexible, because I don't know where I'll be or what will be available from day to day. It's all about adaptation. Grading: A: 24/24 ...B: 22/24 ...C: 18/24 ...D: Ranger don't get no stinkin' D's or F's. Reward: Quest #3: Conquer In a recent martial-arts related thread here on NF, I discussed an old habit of running kata on varied terrain to increase my dexterity and force me to adapt my movement. I'd like to take advantage of my travel to run martial arts drill on interesting ground. During the challenge, I will run some sort of MA drill on 12 different surfaces. Grading: A: 12 ...B: 10 ...C: 8 ....yeah, that's it. Reward: Quest #4 (side quest): Lead Leadership, people skills, managing organizations, helping people along their paths in life...all have been running themes for me of late. Some of my fellow Rangers watched me struggle last challenge with the thought of whether to try to repair my local SAR team, spin one up from scratch, or put that aside for another day. There are work things and family things going on. I recently took a leadership role in a nonprofit organization, and I'm a project lead on at least two side projects. It's a theme at work, too. This quest will be graded on a scale of 0-12 points: one point for each week in which I do *something*, whether it be read something, listen to a podcast, or have a meaningful conversation, to increase my abilities in areas of leadership, management, or executive skill, and one point for each week in which I identify (asking is allowed!) an area of desired development in the leadership/management/executive skill of someone else and find a way to help foster it. Reward:
  15. Welcome All, I have been on NF for a while now and whilst I have met some brilliant people and learned a lot of things my personal progress hasn't been great. As of today I am exactly one year away from my wedding and I want to look good in my wedding photos - not just good but god like. Not only that but after we are married we will be wanting to start a family and I want get rid of my bad habits and build some good habits to pass on to my kids. So the time between now and then is the serious time for me to get stuff done. I have a definite start point (this challenge) and a definite end point (29th October 2016). The time in between will really be one big challenge split in to small 6 weeks challenges. The big challenge is to look good for my wedding photos and be healthy. * * * Everyone is a nerd about something and some of the things I am the biggest nerd about is table top rpg and mythologies. So this year long challenge is going to be one big story, a story I am calling 'Apotheosis' and it will follow me (or my character) as they quest from being the lowly human they are now to becoming a God (waddup Kratos)
  16. So after almost two years of no serious competition (TBH the Scottish Judo Open was more an experiment in seeing if I could still cut weight like a pro) I'm returning to competition. My first will most likely be a judo grading as the London IBJJF Open is a bit out of my league, bearing in mind I have to fight at blue belt. "Gentle means tired" was a favourite phrase used during competition preparation at the judo club, and right now I'm gentle very often. Sport Specific Activity: I'm already at classes regularly but I shy away a bit during rolling, people are gentle and won't hurt me. I can get in on this. Goal: Rolling and Randori - aim for only sitting out one round max. ( STA - 2) Conditioning: I have a conditioning program in place that will help me with power output in competition. I just have to actually do it three times a week. I will also keep up the drills from my previous challenge and shift the focus on inversion and DLR/ Spider guard drills. Goal: conditioning program 3xpw (STA - 3) Goal: Morning drills 4xpw (DEX - 5) Healthy Eating: This is where IIFYM goes back to "if it fits your macros" and not "if it fits your mouth" Goal: Keep avg calories below 1900 (as I'm still needing to lose extra bulk weight ;_; ) (CON - 2) Respecting the Men Folk: To put it bluntly, I'm good at respecting them in a sporting sense but not in a relationship sense. Over the past six months I have upset many of the men folk by really just not caring. The worst part was calling out another black belt (who I really should have respected as being the same level) purely because of the dating scenario presented. Worked out OK and mutual respect developed. This incident made me realise I'd gone a bit weird. I just haven't got round to do anything about it till not. Goal: Keep trolling, teasing and "Fite me bro" to a level that doesn't cause angry texts and getting ignored. (CHA - 3)
  17. Hello and welcome!!! I am not a Scout, but at the moment I am doing a Toure De Force around the realms, trying out all the guilds and improving different areas they pertain to. At heart, I am a Monk, who is currently trying to work on her conditioning. This challenge will be Flash themed, because DUH! I really do love the current TV show, but I might also borrow from the comic books when necessary. After all, that's where the most crack usually happens and I'm all about the funny stuff. One way or another, I am excited to be here! “What does it feel like when you're running down the street like a bat out of hell?†[+3 STA] Damn, Tom Cavanagh is one sexy gentleman. A moment of truth: I'm not a runner. I know it's perhaps counter-intuitive to sign up with Scouts if I don't like running, but hear me out first. I really need to improve my stamina and things Scouts specialize in are usually the best for that. Since I cannot physically hit the pavement (foot issues galore, let's just say), I found the second-best contraption that will help me torture myself: Airdyne. Look it up, it's amazing. Let's break it down. Airdyne sessions four times a week [Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat] I will be doing 100 second cardio HIIT as shown below. It may sound easy, but trust me, it will hurt. The only exception is if I am in class and coach decides to use Airdyne during class. [+3 STA] – 75% or 18 workouts minimum needed [+2 STA] – 50% or 12 workouts minimum needed [+1 STA] – 25% or 6 workouts minimum needed “We're here to train.†[+3 STA] I'm a kickboxer and having good footwork is key. There are different exercises that I could be doing in order to improve my footwork and improve my stamina. Since I don't always have access to speed ladder, I will be using jump rope. There are rope variations, too, so let's break down this quest. Options: regular single jumps; work up to 5 minutes non-stop, then continuously PR double-unders; first learn, then continuously PR For anybody interested, a double-under is when you jump once and the rope swings twice. It's harder than it looks I still haven't managed more than one at a time, so this should be 'fun' Jump rope sessions [Tue, Thur, Sat] [+3 STA] – 75% or 14 workouts minimum needed [+2 STA] – 50% or 9 workouts minimum needed [+1 STA] – 25% or 5 workouts minimum needed “Lightning gave me abs?†[+3 CON] I don't think that works on everybody. Perhaps this is not the best challenge to be working on my core, but this all goes back to the fact that I'm a kickboxer. Having a strong core helps my entire body stay strong and steady throughout whatever workout coaches throw at me. It's where most of my power comes from. At the moment I find my core strength to be lacking, thus I tire quickly when I am going against other people. This has to change and now is the time. Thanks to the Assassins Guild I found this fantastic channel on Youtube called FitnessBlender. They have a plethora of amazing exercises, so all I had to do was dive into their core section. Since I don't want to get bored (and stagnant) with the same thing for six weeks, I will be changing videos every week. It will be amazing and I'm sure I will hurt. A LOT. A core video three times a week [Wed, Fri, Sat] Week One Week Two Week Three Week Four Week Five Week Six [+3 CON] – 75% or 14 workouts minimum needed [+2 CON] – 50% or 9 workouts minimum needed [+1 CON] – 25% or 5 workouts minimum needed “Oh thank God. It's the food! The food's here!†[+3 CON] I wish sushi was Paleo This past challenge I did not include anything about my eating habits and almost immediately it all went to hell in a hand basket. I love the Paleo diet because it lets me have more energy and a whole lot less bloat. I've decided that in order to improve my stamina, I will return to clean eating. At first, I thought I'd just do gluten-free and call it good, but then I realized that I have to go all the way, or I won't get the results I want. So, Paleo cleanse it is! Keep Paleo six out of seven days per week [+3 CON] – 6 or less cheat days (one a week) [+2 CON] – 9 or less cheat days [+1 CON] – 12 or less cheat days (two a week) I'm going to be strict here, because that's how I will get results. That being said, I know there are few events coming up that will require my participation and not being on strict Paleo I am really excited for this. “And I thought people your age didn't read actual books anymore.†[+3 WIS] What if I write one? I already know this will be hard and I really hope it doesn't end up being like my Spanish quest last challenge. I will be hopeful, though, and write out this quest in full. I will plan my work and work the plan. I can do this! Now, what am I talking about? I've been trying to write an original story for a long time. I have created this amazingly complex, large world and now I am having issues populating it with stories. Frankly speaking, I am just afraid to pick up the proverbial pen and start writing; that blank page is ever so terrifying. This challenge will change it. Here's my plan: Write a minimum of 1,500 words per week, which will total to 9,000 words by the end of the challenge. It is roughly 215 words per day. I really hope that by the end of the second week I will be so neck-deep in the story that I will have no choice but to keep writing. I count on it. I hope for it. Let's see if it happens [+3 WIS] – 6750 or more words were written throughout the challenge (75%) [+2 WIS] – 4500 or more words were written throughout the challenge (50%) [+1 WIS] – 2250 or more words were written throughout the challenge (25%) Beginning Measurements: Neck - 11.75" Shoulders - 44.75" L Bicep - 12" R Bicep - 11.5" Waist - 32" Hips - 39" L Thigh - 23" R Thigh - 23.5" Weight: 181.4 lbs Rewards: - Carmel Macchiato from Starbucks (this will be my constant reward, just saying) - Belgian waffles from The Original Pancake House (OMG so good!) - Sign up for either Krav Maga or Capoeira (yes, my reward for exercise is more exercise)
  18. Greetings, fellow rangers! This will be my first challenge, though I've been around the Nerd Fitness IRC channel for ages. It seems that recruit thing is optional, so I'm jumping in head first. I'm a warrior/monk hybrid with a side of survival skills, so Rangers seemed like the best fit. I'm really into lifting right now, primarily to support volunteer work in wilderness and urban disaster relief and search-and-rescue. When I moved to a new area and found a new SAR group, I quickly discovered that I was the strongest one there and it scared me! I'm used to having 2-3 inexperienced-but-muscular young guys following me around to do the heavy lifting and let me be the brains of the operation...now I'm learning to be the brains and the brawn. I'm an active martial artist and occasional self-defense teacher; I train primarily in empty-hand, knife, and tomahawk. I have been known to disappear into forests without provocation, love challenging hikes, and have considered taking up climbing and/or doing more training for rescue swim (currently on hold until other fitness goals are met). The TL;DR is: love lifting, love martial arts, hyper-focused on FUNCTIONAL training. I'm too short and weak, compensating for the inactivity of a desk job, and operating without the kind of back-up I'm accustomed to, so I can't afford to waste my time on sport, flash, or trying to look a certain way. It's all about increasing my capacity to get things done. My main quest is to improve my work capacity and performance as a martial artist, SAR operator, and instructor. I have a side quest to be more open about my challenges in these areas, because I see some people not overcoming similar ones (especially PCOS-related obesity) because they've been told by people they trust (e.g. doctors) that doing so is impossible, or that they don't have any medical condition and should continue using the same approach that failed before. Quest #1: Lift 3x/week throughout the challenge. I'm currently lifting only 2x/week because I'm too dependent on my personal trainer to structure things and help me along. I recently found a gym I actually like, and am learning to be more independent on planning and follow-through. It should be easier now that medical issues are addressed, and my work over the past year means that I can do a more "normal" workout routine rather than needing extreme creativity to cope with a combo of "morbidly obese" body fat and "athletic" muscle mass. Reward: +1 STR and $50 added to my gear fund. Quest #2: Get in at least one conditioning workout each week. I used to do one or two 3-4 hour SAR training sessions per week, but the group I'm currently attached to has backed off of doing "human skills training" to focus more time/resources on working with the canines. I'm not a dog handler, so while I attend occasionally to help out, I don't get much from being there. I'm very focused on strength right now, but at least one conditioning session per week on my own would help me maintain my current cardiovascular fitness. I loathe "traditional" cardio like using treadmills and elliptical machines, so I'm planning some trail running and have invested in a book of martial-arts-related conditioning drills appropriate for solo training. Reward: +1 STA and $25 added to my gear fund. Quest #3: Get my son into the gym at least 2x/week throughout the challenge. Being a nomenally single mom, carving out time to work out and do skills training for MA and SAR, while still maintaining other responsibilities can be hard. My son recently started a workout program at our new gym, and I've made it a personal mission to encourage his enjoyment of working out, both for the sake of his future health and so that we can go to the gym together. Reward: +1 WIS and a family outing of my son's choosing. Quest #4 (Side Quest): Get a photo taken of myself during the challenge with which I'm willing to replace my current profile photos. The set of photos I use for my profiles across the internet are a bit over two years (and 4.5" of waist circumference) out of date, but I haven't replaced them because I loathe having my picture taken. This is getting silly. Reward: +1 CHA and I am allowed (once) to bluntly tell off a certain family member who constantly criticizes my mode of dress. Quest #5 (Side Quest): Write up a descriptive post, to one of my blogs or elsewhere, describing my experience with obesity caused by polycystic ovarian syndrome in enough detail, and with enough general information, that other women suffering from this problem could recognize it and identify next steps to getting better. My endocrinologist has agreed to proofread this for me to ensure that I don't screw up any of the medical information. Reward: A new bottle of fountain pen ink and the knowledge that I may help someone else not have to go through what I have. Motivation: My current SAR team has management trouble, so in a few months I may be in a position where I have to choose between giving up on doing something that I love and feel is important, or building and training a new team from scratch. The latter is only possible if my physical condition is up to it, as I will be without experienced lieutenants who can help me run training sessions, demo physical skills, and give struggling trainees a leg up. I hope that the current team can be saved so this isn't necessary, but I want to be prepared in case it is. Additionally, increasing my strength will reduce my likelihood of serious injury in both MA and SAR activities.
  19. Hey all! Better late to the party than never, I figured it best to get started right now rather than wait for the next six week challenge, cos hey why wait and waste three weeks of progress? So I have been here before under another name and learned an awful lot from some fantastic people, then a series of unfortunate events happened that I let get to me, rather than being anti-fragile which ended up in me going off the rails, getting injured and then going seriously off the rails. Well I'm all good to start exercising again although my strength and conditioning have fallen drastically so I will be finding my feet a bit to begin and find where my current limits are. Primarily I am looking to get healthier by losing weight, improving strength and conditioning and improving the food I put in to my body. So let's crack on! Goal 1 - Eat like a beast Eating right is the big part of the battle so I am going to take these three weeks and start going paleo. I know from the past that jumping in off the deep end and going 100% in to anything doesn't work for me so I am is for ten paleo meals a week. Goal 2 - Strong as a beast Still not allowed to do weight training for my legs or lower back so it will be all upper body for now, in particular I need to work on my shoulders which have gotten super week So three strength sessions a week. Goal 3 - Beasts Hunt And to be able to hunt beasts have to be conditioned to chase their prey, right now getting to a jog is a victory but I want to be able to run a 5k eventually so I am doing a modified c25k. 'Run' three times a week Goal 4 - Beast for Life A big problem in the past for me has been picking up injuries especially sports/fitness related injuries, so I am wanting to make a point of becoming anti-fragile by working on my self with stretches and light cardio and weight work in my problem areas. I don't want to kill myself so I am going for twice a week to start off And that's it short, sweet and simple. Feel free to swing on by to check up on me, bluntly call me out on my bullshit and enjoy my ramblings of this thread.
  20. I'm slightly fed up with pen & paper, so I'd like to switch to an android app for logging my workouts, in the hope that it will be more efficient. However, I've checked out several so far, and none have met my needs: Ability to log lifting sessions AND conditioning workouts in the same app.No ads (I'm perfectly willing to pay for the app, though).Quick, straightforward interface.Ability for me to plan workouts ahead, then check off things as I do them (editing on the fly to reflect what I actually did if I go off plan).Ability to change the date/time of a pre-planned workout without re-entering the workout I plan to do.Doesn't require integration with my smartwatch, social media accounts, etc.Doesn't require location to be on during my workout (even if I were to do a hike or trail run, I'll enter it manually kthx)The level of permissions requested by the app must be reasonable and un-creepy.Bonus points if it has a 1rm calculator or other useful tools like that.Any suggestions?
  21. So, this crazy thing happened at work the other day, right? There I am, mild-mannered public works employee, minding my own business, when out of nowhere I slip in a neglected puddle of chemicals and crash into this stack of plastic drums. I was flailing wildly as I went down and somehow managed to grab onto an electrical conduit... which promptly broke, pieces of it tearing free from the wall it was anchored to (damned low-bid construction contracts...), exposing a length of high voltage wire that dropped into the middle of the wreckage. I’m a little fuzzy on the details, really, but I had some seriously trippy dreams and woke up a while later. The first thing I noticed was the weird smell. Kind of a cross between overcooked meat, burned hair, and ozone. Not pleasant. Next I noticed the sound. You know that sound the jacob’s ladder made in science class? Yeah, that sound. It was really close, too, which was especially unsettling because in that exact moment I wasn’t entirely sure what chemicals composed the puddle that I was lying in, so I was left wondering if they felt particularly conductive. I sucked it up and opened my eyes, and that’s when things got really weird. The first thing I saw was my own hand, though it took me a few seconds to recognize it on account of the iridescent blue arcs traveling casually across the spaces between my fingers. I made a fist and opened it, shook my hand like crazy, then completely freaked out and punched one of the barrels, though instead of sending it rolling away, the current in my hand was generating enough heat to burn a hole straight through it. Good thing it was already empty! So, here I am, all charged up with no place to go. I haven’t figured out exactly what my new super-electrocution powers are capable of just yet, but I’ve got a few ideas for how I should I try to develop them before I get all gung-ho about wearing tights and fighting crime. For starters, I’ve got the power output of a slightly-more-dangerous-than-usual bug zapper, so that means I’m going to have to get in close to anybody that needs a good zappin’. If I had to choose between being a Fragile Speedster or a Mighty Glacier, I’d pick Lightning Bruiser, but a hero’s gotta start somewhere, so for now I’ll double down on the agility and build up my work-capacity to make sure I can go the distance against a couple of street toughs without having to ask for a time out halfway through. For the next several weeks, I’m going to be all about the HIIT - 20 minutes, three times a week of serious, hot blooded, self-inflicted pain. If I'm not lying on the floor begging for the Reaper at the end, then I'm not doing it right. I’ll split it up with breakdance practice (it’ll be great for developing my Confusion Fu) and round it all off with daily meditation practice to help get in touch with my inner dynamo so I can better control the flow of this strange energy. If I'm lucky, this plan might do something about my stubborn squishiness around the middle, but the real issue is how do I make my hair stop standing on end!? Let’s get heroic! EDIT: realized way too late that a paragraph got mangled somehow, so I fixed the part about the arcing between my fingers. Oopsie! ^^;
  22. A MAN, A PLAN, A CANAL, PANAMA! I'm Raptron. I do gymnastics and I lift stuff, so I talk about both in my threads. I'm going THEMELESS this time around. My apologies. Goal 1. Welcome to the Jungle (It's a Bouncy House) *Go for a run 8 times between NOW (May 27) and June 20 *After June 20, add jump work 2x per week into workout program My Spartan Super is June 20. I should probably run a few times between then and now. I know I shouldn't technically have goals that start before the challenge starts, but hey, challenges don't always line up with our lives. Once I've gotten the running out of the way, I still want to keep some kind of cardio and explosive/jumping work should have the most direct application to my life and interests so that's what I'm gonna do. Goal 2. Press Up and Up *Press handstand practice 3x per week You want it, go get it, you got it. Practice counts for practice and it is a "I know it when I see it" definition. Ideally, I'd be doing this at gymnastics when I go to practice and if I don't hit three practices (which is going to become more likely now that summer is just about here), I'll set aside time to work on this at home against a wall, doing straddle sits, straddle leg lifts, and sock-footed feet drags. Goal 3. Get Glute Gains *1 glute-focused accessory as part of every lifting workout That booty though. I think my glutes are a bit weak, so I'm gonna put some extra work into them. Goal 4. Soup's On *Create a meal plan for each day that will account for everything I will eat that day *Post meals here for accountability *3 off-plan allowances per week that must replace something on the plan, not be in addition to the plan This is my first time trying a really formalized meal plan system. I'll likely be aiming for about 1400 calories per day, weighted pretty evenly for protein and carbs and a bit lower in fat because I tend to be happier and more energetic when I keep my carbs up. I may experiment with different rest day macros, but I don't want to get ahead of myself. Making the plan and sticking to it is the goal here, first and foremost.
  23. And so the geeky bodhisattva (that's what my username roughly means in Japanese) joins the Monks. Every year around November, Mandirigmang Kaliradman, the FMA group I train with, organizes a tournament among its members, as well as our sister clubs in Manila, Cebu, and South Korea. Although I've been with them for several years now, my focus in the past has always been Aikido. This year will be the first time I will be participating in the Emerald Tournament. My concerns are: 1. My lack of sparring experience (we don't do that in Aikido, unfortunately) and fear of getting hit by a stick (we have armor and the sticks are thinner and lighter - BUT they're not padded and strikes often leave welts even on areas covered by the armor) and 2. Stamina - I struggled with childhood asthma and still carry an inhaler with me just in case, even though I am a heck of a lot fitter now than I've ever been in my younger years and have not experienced an attack in ages. When I was in high school I suffered a somewhat severe attack after TKD sparring - not rush-to-the-E.R. severe, but I was bedridden for a few days and was advised against competing. Since then I've always had this niggling doubt about any kind of sparring, like what if I gas out and get the crap beaten out of me 'cause I'm too tired to do anything else, then I'll get sick the day after, blah blah blah... Anyway, to address my concerns I have come up with the following plan, which I have already started this week: Training schedule: Monday to Saturday: 1. Morning routine - GMB Floor Two warm up plus Monks' hip mobility exercises 2. Grease-the-groove pistol squats throughout the day (add one rep every 3 to four days) Monday afternoon: Mountain training - I should explain this. I work in my family's resort, which is up on the slope of mountain and surrounded by pine forest. Now I am not a trail runner, and I don't want to risk injury doing a trail run on the winding roads and trails. Within the resort, we have a private area that includes a nice flat little park that I've been using for a little parkour training so I plan to do sprint intervals along with some agility drills there. 1. Do 4 to 8 reps of the following: Single leg hops Pirouette-to-back scale Cartwheels 180-degree spinning tuck jumps 2. Sprint intervals - start with 5 laps, add one lap every week Tuesday and Saturday afternoon: upper body strength and conditioning (start with 5x5 per exercise, add 1 rep every week) 1. Knuckle push-ups (hold sticks for the last 2 sets) 2. TRX rows Thursday evening: Aikido and FMA classes Sunday: Active recovery As you can see, it's mostly just general conditioning and not so much fight-specific except for Thursday evening. Next challenge period I'll start incorporating more FMA-specific drills in my mountain training (this should coincide with the time we start incorporating more sparring and tactics during FMA class). Aikido class starts at 6:30 and ends at 8. FMA class (which is in another part of downtown) starts at 7:30 and ends at 9. As one of only 3 Aikido black belts (all professionals with jobs and families), I can't just back out of my commitment to teach every Thursday, and being a dedicated family guy I can only dedicate one night for MA practice of any kind. It's okay, everyone in both dojos know about my cross-training. The Aikido guys know I have to close the class a few minutes earlier than 8 so I can leave exactly 8, and the FMA guys know that I'll be joining them at least 40 minutes late. The upside is that I'll be more than warmed up by the time I get to my FMA class. The downside of course is that I will not be fresh when I start. NUTRITION: I've had excellent results with Intermittent Fasting ever since I started January of this year. I haven't weighed myself yet (I know, I know) but all my old pants are looser, my pants size is now 32, and my shirt size is now medium. So I'll continue my IF, which I'll do once or twice a week. For this week, I fasted last Tuesday and I was originally supposed to fast again tomorrow, but I've been invited to a barbecue so... I will enjoy the barbecue Fasting days: Tuesday and Friday OR Wednesday (depending on my schedule) For my side quest, I choose MUSIC: 1. Find 5 to 10 minutes for guitar practice every day. Goal: master the rhythm parts for the following cover songs: Paradise City by Guns N' Roses Livin' On The Edge by Aerosmith 2. 1 to 2 hours once a week in the recording studio Goal: finish recording original song I recorded something last month but it's still not done - just one guitar track. I plan to add piano, vocals, and probably an additional guitar part. Percussion optional. I want everything acoustic and minimal.
  24. Hello Monks! After taking over a year off from Nerd Fitness, I realized that I need support as I face my greatest challenge yet: the Krav Maga level 2 test. My gym takes belt tests quite seriously. I wasn't ready for the most recent test in February, but that may have been a good thing. It was five hours long and the final drill was to bear-crawl through the snow while being attacked by Disturbers. What are Disturbers you might ask? Hang tight, I'll explain in due time. Back story: You may have heard about Krav Maga. It may have been something like this: Regardless of what you might think, it's an awesome workout and tons of fun. If you want to know more, we made a pretty sweet video (I'm the biker chick in the black jacket) demonstrating the awesomeness of Krav Maga last year. I feel like I can safely say 'awesomeness' since The Awesomer featured it... Over a year and a half ago, I completed my first NF challenge that was geared towards passing the Krav level 1 test. I blew it away, met my goals, and tested up successfully. Then life happened... graduate school got crazy and I started working 10-12 hour days rather than staying sane and maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Consequently, NF and I grew apart. Since I tested up in Nov. 2013, I'm ashamed to admit that I haven't made any progress towards leveling up. Instead, I feel like I'm barely keeping my head above water with my health and fitness goals; no where near the badass that I would like to be. Well, I will tread water no more! It's well past time that I leveled up. Join me as I prepare for to test up on May 30th. The Test: 3-5 hours total of good-natured hell with no more than the occasional 30-60 second break. Hour 1-2: Being driven to exhaustion with some combination of constant drills (hammer-fists as fast and hard as you can for 60 seconds, etc.), burpees, pushups, combative sit ups, sprints, holding plank position while being kicked in the abs, etc. Hour 2-4: Technique demonstrations, working through entire level 2 curriculum Hour 5: Final Drill... this always changes and is ALWAYS insane. One year, it was carry your partner while you swim/paddle across the Cape Fear river. As I mentioned for the most recent test, it was bear-crawling through snow while fending off attackers. You can't really prepare for this, you just have to keep moving and survive. I should also mention... at any time during the test, you can be attacked by Disturbers. These are senior students (at least one belt/rank higher than you) wearing masks (I prefer a purple lucha libre mask when I disturb for the level 1 tests) who can make you do situps/pushups/etc. and generally make your life hell at any moment. The bonus for the level 2 test is that they can try to black bag you, attack you, and/or pull you into an extended sparring session which you have to be able to fight off. The Challenge: After much thought, I've decided that to prepare for this boss battle, I really need to target 3 major areas: technique refinement, strength, and endurance. Goal #1: Technique Refinement Attend Krav classes 3x a week I know the entire level 2 curriculum, I just need to perfect things here and there. Goal #2: Strength 100 pushups, situps, or burpees every day I have no idea what crazy physical feats of strength will be required, but if I can bang out 100 pushups in a row I would definitely be in good shape for the test. I'll be starting out with 4 sets of 25 and ramp up the size of each set throughout the challenge. Goal #3: Endurance Run 4 miles a week I hate running. With a passion. Therefore, I should probably work on it a bit. I envision this as being a goal of running 4 miles total, so I could do 2 2 mile runs or a giant 4 mile run. If you'd like to follow along, I made a spreadsheet to track my progress.
  25. Doo-doo-doo-doo-doo doo doo doo doo Dooo- doo -doo-doo doo doo doo dooo doooooo Doo-dee-dee-dee-dee-dee-doo-dooo-doo ALRIGHT Competition season is no longer nigh, folks. It's HERE. My first meet of the season is this weekend, followed by another meet on 3/1, a third on 3/14 and finally Nationals on 4/10-4/11. That's a short season, I know, of just four meets, but chill out, I am a damned adult playing around with a sport for 4'11 girls that weigh 80 lbs. Last year, my first year back with the sport, I only competed in two meets, so already this is double the competition time from just last year. Ohhhhhh, boy. How prepared am I for this weekend? Well, let's just say... hahahah, I'm so not. Now, this is the feeling I do not want to have coming up on April, so here's what we're going to do to fight that. First, we're gonna do a bunch of body waves to get the wiggles out. Then, we're gonna get down to business. Goal 1: I just wanna make you sweat *Huff and puff: HIIT workouts 2x per week *Flex Zone: Give proper attention to accessory lifts and exercises post-workout 3x per week -> 30 total points possible I'm holding on to the HIIT workouts from last challenge and trying to stick with that plan through this cut and through competition season. Largely because of these HIIT sessions that I've been squeezing in after my lifting workouts, I've been cutting my accessory work short or neglecting it completely. I am stating it now as a priority to force myself to do BOTH the HIIT and the accessories at full effort because it's not like they're in the program for no reason. Fix those weak spots! Goal 2: When I dip, you dip, we dip *Pull: Put in 5 days/week of work on pulls and chins. *Push: Put in 3 days/week of work on push-ups *Dip: Put in 3 days/week of work on dips -> 66 total points possible This upper body work should help my bars immensely and bars has been a weak spot for who knows how long. I may adjust the programming as necessary to make it work better in my life and it's somewhat up in the air right now. Goal 3: First we gonna work on the stomach (No one wants a lil tight ass) *A good cut: Hit within ~600 calories of the weekly goal +5 points for each week goal hit *Measurable success: Progress photos for Challenge Start, Week 3 end, and Challenge End Take measurements at Challenge Start, Week 3 end, and Challenge End +2 points for each measurement/photo combination -> 36 total points possible Let's get fighting fit and trim. Girl, your leo is tiny. While we don't want a lil tight ass, we definitely don't want our ass hanging out either. Goal 4: Back, back, back it up *Post daily reflections: These can be nebulous thoughts about something during the day, a response to a particular situation, a self-evaluation of a new skill, a victory I didn't think I would achieve, really anything that makes me stop and think meaningfully about what I got out of my day, workout or otherwise -> 42 total points possible This is a goal that worked really well for me previously and I believe really helped me stay on point and focus on the right things.
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