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  1. No, I'm not going to do anything political-themed, despite that quote. Fear not. I just couldn't get the idea for a title out of my head once I had it, lol. So basically, I've REALLY been struggling lately. Constantly failing challenges, yo-yoing in weight, and I recently described how my life has been going lately to somebody as 'kinda like watching Black Swan, super stressful/distressing, but at the same time really good.' I know that technically I'm in a very good place - I have a lovely apartment with no roommates, I live in a wonderful area, I have a stable job that pays decently well and has great benefits, etc - but projects at work, and the rising level of competition for a promotion, are stressing me out, the fact that my current work schedule keeps me out of my aerial studio makes me sad, and this upcoming wedding in April is making me want to cry, because my bridesmaid's dress doesn't zip anymore, and I'm hands down the biggest bridesmaid already. T-T BUT I SHALL PERSIST NEVERTHELESS. (Hence the title, yayy, we came full circle.) Despite everything, I dropped a total of 5 pounds last challenge, and if I can keep that up, I should fit into that stupid dress again by the ceremony. I'll still be bigger than all the other girls, but everybody should be looking at the bride anyways, right? (except once the pictures hit FB... I shall need to be vigilant in untagging myself, hahaha.) NOW FOR WHAT YOU'VE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR! WHAT SORT OF GIFS AND JPGS SHALL I INFLICT UPON YOU THIS GO AROUND?!?!?! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!THE LEGEND OF ZELDA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This, like the WoW challenge of last time, has been a long time coming. (I love you, Link) One more thing before we get started: I am DRASTICALLY changing how I do my challenges based on some conversations from last go around. I will be using the same format I use to coach my associates at work. Each metric is graded on a 1-5 scale, with 3 being considered proficient. The individual metrics have different percentages assigned to each number on the scale. (the most difficult metric has a 12% success rate graded as a 3. Yep. That ish is so tough we're happy if you can do it just 12% of the time, hahahaa.) So let's go! Main Quest - Lose 6 pounds. I figure, 'they' say you should be able to healthily lose up to 2 pounds/week, and 1 pound/week is supposed to be low-key, so I'd like to aim for 1.5/week. Goals 1. Swim like a Zora, Run like Epona. (Cardio) 2. Strong as a Goron. (Conditioning) 3. Eat like a Princess. (Calories) Life Quest More Swords. (Comrades) Measurements Height: 5'9" Weight: 205 lbs Waist: 34" Hips: 46" Thigh: 29" (I need to take these in the morning...) Grading Anybody that's been following my rather distressing journey thus far should notice that something is already different! I DIDNT PUT SMART GOALS, OMG PANIC. No, no, calm down, they're still SMART, they're just being measured differently, so I'm presenting them differently. Below is my new grading scale! I will probably update it in the future, sort of like how the scale at work changes when you get a promotion. (totally just made up that little title, but I like it. It's snazzy, true, and saves me from typing out the titles I gave each goal for these challenge's theme. Whoo!) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~THE FOUR C'S OF WEIGHT LOSS~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1 2 3 4 5 Cardio (30%) 15 minutes/wk 0.5 hours/wk 1 hour/wk 1.5 hours/wk 2 hours/wk Conditioning (30%) 2 full exercises/wk 3 full exercises/wk 4 full exercises/wk 5 full exercises/wk 6 full exercises/wk Calories (30%) 1800+/day 1700s/day 1600s/day 1500s/day 1400s/day Comrades (10%) 3 6 9 12 15 1-2 is red, 3-5 is blue. I will put an example graph below. A ‘full exercise’ in Conditioning is all current sets and reps for one of the Convict Conditioning’s exercise series. (Pushups, pullups, leg raises, or squats.) The reason 6 is an option is because doing two ‘full exercises’ is pretty easily one ‘strength day’. So if better than proficient is 2 strengths days, then if I push myself and do 3 strengths days a week - that would be optimal. The grading for the first 3 should be pretty self explanatory. Cardio & Conditioning are graded by how much I do each week. Calories is graded by how much I eat a day, averaged out for the week. Comrades is the one that probably threw everybody. It's a combination of my Insta-Famous goal from last time, and my realization that I need a 'team' of sorts. A DM never came forward for my (frankly awesome) D&D idea, so I have decided to venture forth into the real world. *shudder* There's an overeaters anonymous meeting every saturday near where I live, and I'm going to start to try to attend. Especially after the caloric debacle that was me while stressed during the last couple weeks, I think that it would be a good thing for me anyways. If I attend a meeting, I get 4 points towards Comrades. Posting (something fitness relevant) on Instagram is 1 point. Posting on here is 1.5 points. Final Challenge Grade is the average of the weeks. Example Week: (Excuse the lame chart... I dont have excel anymore on my computer, b/c microsoft is evil & was all, oh, you had to replace your hard drive? Yeah, we don't care that you backed everything up beforehand, and have pretty concrete evidence you'd already bought office for that computer - you're gonna have to buy another copy of office if you want to use it on the new hard drive. So this was basically hand-drawn in Google Sheets, b/c the insertable charts on there are super uncustomizeable.) Cardio 3 Conditioning 4 Calories 5 Comrades 2.5 Overall 3.85 5 4 3 2 1 Cardio 3 Conditioning 4 Calories 5 Comrades 2.5 Now for the fun part! Motivation I finally got my Sylvanas leggings last time! I didn't 'pass', but I still lost 5 pounds, which was just 1 pounds shy of my goal, and I decided I deserved a little pat on the back, plus I've been lusting after these things for SO DAMN LONG. I'll post a picture once they get to me, but it's international shipping, so don't hold your breath, haha. This time, if I get an overall 3 and/or lose 6 pounds, I'll get a pair of Dragonskin leggings!!! Overall 4 = One of the Game of Thrones seasons on dvd! I've got most of them on my laptop, but I'm such a loser when it comes to having physical copies of things. I just love having my DVDs all organized and lined up on my shelf! And there's something so much more satisfying about running your fingers over the spines of a long row of DVDs (or books for that matter) when trying to make a selection than clicking through a digital library. Overall 5 = a Wii (yeah, I know, I'm behind the times) End game: if I can zip my dress for the wedding in April, I'm buying myself a new TV. !!! Tracker Cardio Conditioning Calories Comrades Total Week 1: / / / / / Week 2: / / / / / Week 3: / / / / / Week 4: / / / / /
  2. I haven't passed a challenge in a long time. Like since my original account two years ago I went back and looked at what I did then, to see what the difference was, and I only noticed two differences. 1) Successful challenges weren't splitting my energy multiple ways. EVERY goal on the challenge had something to do with losing weight, and they worked together really well. So as much as I liked my 'adulting/self care' goal from last time, I'm going to ditch it in favor of the tried and true cardio/strength/diet recipe. 2) I had a lot of interactions with my support network. I was a member of a group of like 8 or so newbies (The Pirate Lasses or something) who had a roleplaying group going. So we had this separate thread going where we were roleplaying this fun pirate adventure together, which meant that I was on the forums posting sometimes multiple times a day. And since everybody was already on for the pirate adventure, we'd all support each other on our challenges too. But I don't think it was the support that made the difference, (though of course it helped) because I've still got support now. I think it was the fact that I was constantly on the forums because of the roleplay, keeping my challenge and my goals at the forefront of my mind while also forcing me to be accountable - can't really get away with fading away on the challenge if you're still pirating. I tried to rally interest for a NF D&D group, since that would be very similar, but nobody was really into it... & I know I can't just be like, oh, well I'll just have to get on the forums a lot, because I've tried that, and after a week or so lose interest in scouring the boards. So... I'm at a bit of a loss... I've got a Life Quest idea that might hopefully maybe help with the accountability/constant reminder thing... but idk. Maybe I ought to look for a weight loss meetup or join a weight watchers group, so that I'll have to physically show up to something? Idk. If you have ideas, PLEASE SHARE. Anywho, I like having an excuse to post gifs and pictures of things that I like, SO. Theme is World of Warcraft, because let's admit it, it should've been WoW a long time ago xD Main Quest - Lose 6 pounds. I figure, 'they' say you should be able to healthily lose up to 2 pounds/week, and 1 pound/week is supposed to be low-key, so I'd like to aim for 1.5/week. I really gotta drop what I gained over the holidays... I've never been this fat before, literally ever. Goals 1. Swim like a Naga - Swim 3x a week. 2. Strong as an Orc - Strength workouts 2x a week. 3. Eat like an Elf - Eat 1500-1600 kcal of home cooked food every day. Life Quest Insta-famous - Post something diet/weight loss/exercise/health related daily to my secondary Instagram account. @ljaybirdfly (lame name, I know, but all combos of my username and fit were already taken... and I figured, I like aerials, so... w/e) Please follow me so I feel like I've got people holding me accountable. Measurements Height: 5'9" Weight: 210 lbs T-T Waist: 34.5" Hips: 46.5" Thigh: 29" Grading Each goal will be graded weekly & be worth 30% of that week's total grade. Life Points are no longer extra credit as that provided little incentive for me to actually DO said Life Quest. Instead, the Life Quest will also be graded, worth 10% of the week's total grade. My final grade will be the average of all four weeks. I need to make at least a B (80%) to pass the challenge. Swim like a Naga - scored as a percentage of completed swims (side note, I'm super irritated I couldn't find a decent gif or even picture of a naga swimming. They're water creatures, stop having pictures of them out of the water or just chilling on the ocean floor. *rage* oh well, you get the gist) Strong as an Orc - Scored as a percentage of completed workouts. Eat like an Elf - 14 points total. 1/day for meeting calories. 1/day for the food all being home cooked. I liked my point loss system from last time, so I'm keeping it with an adjustment: every 200 kcal over limit is -1 points and every not home-made meal/snack is -1 points. So I can't forget lunch, have to buy from the cafeteria, then get home and be like OH WELL MAY AS WELL ORDER. Also, I can't overeat and be like OH WELL, MAY AS WELL STUFF MY FACE. Insta-Famous- 7 points total. 1/day. (oh yeah, that's right. For those not in the know, you can totally take selfies in WoW xD No, I will not count any WoW selfies towards this goal, haha) Exceptions - If I get REALLY sick, I can be exempt. But I have to be SUPER DUPER sick. So sick that I can't even walk for 15 minutes or do a little bit of cooking. I seriously doubt I'll get that sick. *knocks on wood* Motivation I WANT THOSE DAMN SYLVANAS LEGGINGS. OMG. GIVE THEM TO ME. T-T Also, Bangarang just released a new set called Dragonskin and I want ALL OF THEM. So if I get an A and/or lose more than 6 pounds, I can have one of them. I kinda want Deathwing (black) or maybe Alexstrasza (red). Or all Malygos(blue). Or Ysera(green). Or Nozdormu(yellow). I WANT THEM ALL. Tracker Swim like a Naga Strong as an Orc Eat like an Elf Insta Total Week 1: 0% 0% 0/14 0/7 0% Week 2: 0% 0% 0/14 0/7 0% Week 3: 0% 0% 0/14 0/7 0% Week 4: 0% 0% 0/14 0/7 0%
  3. Jason Bourne was the tip of the iceberg. Treadstone continues as Blackbriar, and we are still out there.... So I am taking a page from an old NF article and learning to live like Jason Bourne this challenge. Goal 1: I can run flat out for half a mile before my hands start shaking In preparation for my Half Marathon in September, I need to run lots and lots of half-miles, a.k.a. 800m repeats. Specifically, I will work my way up to 10x800m in three sessions on odd weeks of the challenge (even weeks will be distance training). Goal 2: No one comes over the mountain. -Yeah, well, I did. Still perusing strength goals mostly under the guise of Convict Conditioning. The one area in which I will allow some flexibility is squats. I can skip squats if I feel I am not recovering well from the running. Goal 3: ] Tu sais qui je suis? Can't remember his own name, but Bourne could ask you if you know it in at least half a dozen languages. My goal is to practice four: Spanish, French, Italian, and German, earning at least 10 points in each on Duolingo per day. No dietary goal this time, because I want to eat for performance right now. And...I think that wraps it up.
  4. Introduction: I’m a 36 year old fat bloke, I have always been the bigger chap (apart from primary school when I was 4/5 years old and I was sent to the doctor as they thought I was malnourished…boy did I get them back!), this helped when playing American Football (O & D linesmen, it was a very small team at the time)but not much good for anything else. After I joined my current employer (8 years ago) I became quite sedentary and I ballooned even more. I have over the years started loads of things to change this but I always ended up falling off the wagon (and hasn’t exactly gone as smoothly since I joined here!), each challenge I have learnt a lesson either on activity or about myself or just a mental thing, so each has shown some form of improvement if not in the ones I had planned! This will be my fith challenge, the second to fourth didn't go so well. following discussions and helping out at a Spartan Race weekend event, i came to the conclusion i was doing the wrong training and this is why i am here! Main Quest: To become a healthier fitter individual by improving my diet and fitness. This would be measured in an increase in capability, distances covered on cardio workouts (mixture of rowing, cycling, treadmill (10mins each on a workout) and cross trainer (30mins session) ) increase in bodyweight exercises achieved and repetitions achieved, using the Crossfit Thames standard sheets to aim for (with intermittent testing) and decrease in body fat and other measured body sizes. Quest 1: To work out for a minimum of 30mins 7 days a week working towards Crossfit minimums: each day will consist an element of cardio work and i wil be starting on the Convict Conditioning beginners level. I will also be throwing in kettlebells, and bike work at home. Measurement: 100% = 42 days Reward: 100% = +2 STA, +2 STR Quest 2: Weekend Yoga sessions to improve flexibility on either a Saturday or Sunday (using DDPs YRG dvds) Measurement: 100% = 6 days Reward: 100% = 2 Dex Quest 3: downloading MyFitnessPal, this initial challenge will be to stay under 2000 cals each day. Measurement: 100% = 42 days of sticking to 2000 Reward: 100% = 2 Con Life Quest: Again I'm not going to follow my life quest at the moment, I think with changes at work and the physical things I want to achieve I am making some big changes as it is without trying to force another, so going to give myself a break on this one! Motivation: I really need to improve my health, my dad has recently been diagnosed with pre-diabetes we have both had High blood pressure in the past and we are too similar to not worry about the same issues affecting the other or our own returning, plus I haven’t really felt that I have achieved much, I really wan to be Spartan ready for next year as after working the Spartan Race last weekend I now have two passes, so im in im on it and i really cannot fail this time!
  5. So the Bye Weeks Challenge have made me realise something. Six weeks is too big a period of time for me to deal with in one go. It's like when I used to be at uni and would be given a huge assignment months in advance, I would do sod all for months and then live in the library for the last couple of weeks up until the deadline. Two weeks however is a much more manageable chunk. I feel like I can 'make a special effort for two weeks' in a way that sounds mentally exhausting to commit to for six weeks. Also with the usual six week format if I fuck up in the first couple of weeks I then feel like I have ruined the whole challenge so there is no point anyway. SO this time around I am breaking my challenge down in to 2 weeks blocks, starting unofficially over in the Bye Weeks Challenge. I will set my goals for the following two weeks. based on what I have learned on the proceeding two weeks. I might end up doing the same thing for another two weeks or I might make a few little tweaks.
  6. Main Quest: Become My Own Hero In my last challenge, I assembled a ragtag team of freedom fighters to stand up against their oppressors, who happened to have the support of the galaxy-renowned peacekeeping and security contractor “The Beast of Eschatonâ€. We won the battle, but there is still much to do before we win the war.... In light of its recent defeat and the news that our rebellion has acquired backing and new weapons from a group of fabulously wealthy and equally anonymous donors, the BoE has called in reinforcements from off-world to wipe us out. We’ve managed to hack their database and get some intel - it’s not much, but what we’ve seen isn’t pretty. These guys are good - real good. A straight-up spec-ops team, armed to the teeth and covered in kill-silhouettes. It’s kind of flattering, really, if you think about it... Anyway, it’s going to take tactics, preparation and a whole lot of nerve to pull this one off. Let’s take a closer look at what we know about the enemy, and how to deal with them. tl;dnr Artillery Ape: Prop-free skills training sessions, 2x/week Gatling Raptor: Prep 1+ build/week for Repubrick.com Phantom Mantis: Mindful Coffee 7 days/week. The S.W.A.R.M.: Complete all HabitRPG Dailies 7 days/week. Yeeeeaaah, this is how we roll. Let’s get versatile!
  7. To whomever may find this bottle, I am the last survivor of the S.S. Phoenix Burning. I will not regale you with the horrible details of that day, most of which are too fantastical to be believed. Suffice it to say that I alone have reached the shores of a deserted island, where I must, somehow, survive on my own wits. Please send help.
  8. I'm starting out on a new path in my strength journey. I got a little anxious about finding the next step when I "broke up" with my last modality (not without giving it a good honest try), but I have to say as soon as I started lining up my options, I felt exceited and liberated. And I'm extremely glad I found Convict Conditining & really hope this will work out, seen as every coach out there really competent on bodyweight exercises is probably working with crossfit (it's really getting big out here now and there's massive money to be made on it). So here I am, with a little experience gained on bodyweight movements from my six months of crossfit and a self-help book. And NFR. Aka you guys I'm really really excited about starting, I see lots of benefits to be gained there and I can't wait to do my workout the way I like it again, which I didn't get to do in the box: slowly, focusing on form & thinking about what I'm doing, having some control over my own process and, best of all: BAREfoot! I love doing stuff barefoot and I had to use trainers in the box! Worse: as all my money was mobilized on paying the fees for the box, I couldn't afford flashy gear, and as crossfit is a very expensive modality, it attracted lots of rich people, which paraded several hundrend bucks worth of feet gear alone. And me in my rundown chucks. (I really felt like I didn't belong. I meant to stay longer, over a year, so I could learn more and use that knowledge later on my training carreer. But my back couldn't hold it. Nor could my self-respect. I got really tired of finishing last every damn WOD.) Tomorrow will be my first workou of Convict Conditioning. Due to some injuries I bring from my weakling time and my clumsy attempts, I'll start right at the beginning. (Even though I am able to perform several dozen reps of full squats and full pushups, like all crossfitters... but with what quality form?) Also, I'm just waiting on some money that's about to come and I'll go see a PT regarding my back pain. I got real responsibility with my body, don't worry. Have a great week all of you! Let's all end it stronger than we started it off!
  9. I just read Convict Conditioning and I'm totally excited about starting it! I loved the book, the program, the simplicity of it etc. I'm usually good at having a critical stance regarding ultimate fitness programs, but I confess I can't see any problems with convict conditioning, though I'm sure they're there. Any thoughts, anyone? Anyone successfully followed it? Anyone started out and quit? Got bored? Got hurt? Got strong as fuck & awesome & happy & healthy? Thanks for any insight. (I guess I mostly want to talk about the book... ) My background: Tried some gym here & there but got bored. Got six months of crossfit in but gave it up because it's too crazy for me & i'm too slow for it. I have some experience swimming (that was my first modality). I'm also part of a beach rugby team (sevens) which I'm not currently practicing with because of back pain. Lower back, low lumbar & top sacral: bulging discs :'( My current fitness level is somewhat decent on account of crossfit (just gave it up) except for the back pain.
  10. Hi Everyone I've recently started Convict Conditioning and am really struggling with the pull up progressions. I rarely get to use my pull up bar for my doorway at home but I do have a pull up bar/monkey bars at my gym. At the moment I can just about hang off the bar for twenty seconds but everytime I try again after that I get diminishing returns. Can anyone recommend a good progression or starting point for pull ups? Thanks!
  11. I love the idea of a battle log, I'm currently working on body weight training. Currently Age:28 Male Height 6' 2" Weight 78.5kg I'm currently following the Convict Conditioning bodyweight program. These are my Goals. Push Up Step 1 - Wall Push Up - 3x50 - Achieved! Step 2 - Table Push Up - 3x40 Step 3 - Knee Push Up - 3x30 Step 4 - Half Push Up - 3x25 Step 5 - Full Push Up - 3x20 Step 6 - Close Push Up - 3x20 Step 7 - Un-even Push Up - 3x20 Step 8 - 1/2 1 Arm Push Up - 3x20 Step 9 - Lever Push Up - 3x20 Step 10 - 1 Arm Push Up - 100 Pull Up Step 1 - Vertical Pull - 3x40 - Achieved! Step 1.5 - Horizontal Pull (Sternum Height) - 3x30 - Smashed! 15-1-15 Step 2 - Horizontal Pull (Hip Height)- 3x30 Step 3 - Jacknife Pull - 3x20 Step 4 - Half Pull - 2x15 Step 5 - Full Pull - 2x10 Step 6 - Close Pull - 2x10 Step 7 - Un-even Pull - 2x9 Step 8 - 1/2 One Arm Pull - 2x8 Step 9 - Assisted One Arm Pull - 2x7 Step 10 - One Arm Pull - 2x6 Leg Raises Step 1 - Knee Tucks - 3x40 - Achieved! Step 2 - Flat knee Raises - 3x35 - Achieved! Step 3 - Flat Bent Leg Raises - 3x30 Step 4 - Flat Frog Raises - 3x25 Step 5 - Flat Straight Leg Raises - 3x20 Step 6 - Hanging Knee Raises - 2x15 Step 7 - Hanging Bent Leg Raises - 2x15 Step 8 - Hanging Frog Raises - 2x15 Step 9 - Partial Straight Leg Raises - 2x15 Step 10 - Hanging Straight Leg Raises - 2x30 Squats Step 1 - Shoulderstand Squats - 3x50 - Achieved! Step 2 - Jackknife Squats - 3x40 - Achieved! Step 3 - Supported Squats - 3x30 - Achieved! Step 4 - Half Squats - 2x50 - Achieved! Step 5 - Full Squats - 2x30 - Achieved! Step 6 - Close Squats - 2x20 Step 7 - Un-even Squats - 2x20 Step 8 - 1/2 Pistol - 2x20 Step 9 - Assisted Pistol - 2x20 Step 10 - Pistol - 100 Squat the Cards. Pack of 5 Pack of 10 Pack of 20 Pack of 30 Once I Hit Step 6 in all 4 movements I will add Handstand Push Ups and Bridging. Handstand Push Up Step 1 - Wall Head Stands - 2min Step 2 - Crow Stand - 1min Step 2.5 - Straight Back Crow - 1min Step 3 - Wall Handstand - 2min Step 4 - Half Handstand Push Up - 2x20 Step 5 - Handstand Push Up - 2x15 Step 6 - Close Handstand Push Up - 2x12 Step 7 - Uneven Handstand Push Up - 2x10 Step 8 - 1/2 1 Arm Handstand Push Up - 2x8 Step 9 - 1 Arm Lever HSPU - 2x6 Step 10 - 1 Arm HSPU - 2x5 Bridges Step 1 - Short Bridges - 3x50 Step 2 - Straight Bridges - 3x40 Step 3 - Angled Bridges - 3x30 Step 4 - Head Bridges - 2x25 Step 5 - Half Bridges - 2x20 Step 6 - Full Bridges - 2x10 Step 7 - Wall Walking Bridges (Down) - 2x10 Step 8 - Wall Walking Bridges (Up) - 2x8 Step 9 - Closing Bridges - 2x6 Step 10 - Stand to Stand Bridges - 2x30 Wrist Mobility and Strength Training I am following Kit Laughlins bodyline excercises to help build up strength in an injured wrist. Each plank will be succesfully completed when it can be held for eight breaths with feet all the way out. Palms Down Fingers Towards Head - Achieved! Palms Down Fingers Towards Feet - Achieved! Palms Up Fingers Inwards Palms Up Fingers Out I am also following GMB's wrist mobility and Bodyline exercises with the aim of working toward handstands. Hollow Body Bent Knees 1min - Immolated! 24-1-15 Hollow Body Legs Straight 1min - Extinctified! 27-1-15 Hollow Body Legs Straight Extended 1min Hollow Body Arms Extended 1min Flexibility Goals To be able to hold the positions for 20sec comfortably. L-Sit Step 1 - Bent Leg Hold - Achieved! Step 2 - Straight Leg Hold Step 3 - N Hold Step 4 - Uneven Hold Step 5 - L-Sit Twist Step 1- Straight Leg Twist - Achieved! Step 2 - Easy Twist - Achieved! Step 3 - Half Twist Step 4 - 3/4 Twist Step 5 - Full Twist Bridge Step 1 - Short Bridge - Achieved! Step 2 - Straight Bridge - Achieved! Step 3 - Angled Bridge Step 4 - Head Bridge Step 5 - Bridge General Flexibility Touch Toes Full Cossack Squat The Splits Swimming Goals SwimFit Get Toned Challenge SwimFit Get Fit Challenge 400m in Under 8 Minutes 400m in Under 6 Minutes
  12. Challenge Goals: Nutrition- Eat Clean! I'm going for 42 days of clean eating. What does clean eating mean to me? Unlimited fruits and veggies, nuts, healthy fats, and full fat dairy in moderation. Organic or grass-fed meat when possible. That's the basics, obviously there's more to it than that. I've been doing really well so far, so it's not a drastic change but a continuation of what I'm currently doing. Fitness- Sprint! I'm going to 24 sprint sessions, which is an average of 4 per week. I also do one "long" run per week. Fitness- Bodyweight workouts! I'm basically following the convict conditioning program right now, and it's been almost 2 months, so I'm going to keep that going. I've failed a few challenges before, so my main goal this time around is to simply follow through, not just on the workouts and clean eating, but on keeping updated here.
  13. Following on from my self-imposed exile from the Assassins after my last failed challenge, I'm siging up with the Adventurers (if they'll accept me) as this guilds feels like the most appropriate place for me whilst I rediscover who I am and what I'm doing. Also, there is no Templars guild. This time last year I did set out some long-term goals which I made some success with (although nothing worth mentioning) so, as part of my gritty re-boot, I'm going to set myself some new year-long targets and base my goals for this challenge around them. Goal 1: Lose the excess xmas weight! Last year, the goal I stuck with longest was reducing my percentage bodyfat down to 15% which I did finally achieve in November. However, since then the holiday season has sort of upset things and I'm back up to 17% again! My first goal for this challenge is to get back down to 15% again with my year aim to be 12% or lower. This I'll hopefully achieve by being strict with my eating so that means no sweet things, no alcohol, only water and green tea for drinks and by sticking to high fat meals on non-workout days and higher carb and lower fat meals on work out days. This has worked well for me in the past so really it's just a matter of me sticking to it. Goal 2: Lose the excess limb! My other year-long goal is to master at least one, but hopefully all of the following single-limbed exercises: one-armed push-ups, pistol squats, one-armed pull-ups. I've been using Convict Conditioning, as well as various other online resources, to venture down this path so for this challenge I shall be cocentrating my efforts on getting close to, if not actually achieveing the next progression level of those exercises: Uneven Push-ups 1/2 one-leg squats Uneven pull-ups Goal 3: London Bridge ain't falling down! I've worked on it in the past but never stuck with it to the point where I could properly hold one so for this challenge I'm going to try to 5 minutes work every day either on flexibility or strength exercises that'll get me moving down this path. A few challenges ago the Assassins did bridging as they're mini-challenge and then put it all together in a pdf at the end so I'm going to try to work through it again, week by week and see where this gets me. Goal 4: Get creative! I've been toying with the idea of doing something creative with myself for a while so I think, in the spirit of re-booting, I'm going to start a blog (I've been led to believe that the internet is currently lacking people writing down stuff and publishing online just any random crap that pops into their head, so I'm looking to take advantage of this apparently overlooked market!) The Minimalists just put up a new article about resolving to write more this year so I'm going to use that as my leaping off point and hopefully create an outlet for the noise inside my head. I'm not sure where this will lead me but anywhere is better than nowhere. I'll also try to update my profile description at some point so it'll actually say something about me rather than being a bunch of out of date links.
  14. Originally I wanted to give the Druids a try and posted there. They are great folk over there, but I kept checking out my friends here. So, sorry for leaving you guys and going over there. I am a monk. It hit me like a ton of bricks! The urge to mastery. I have studied and practiced taijiquan (tai chi chuan) for almost 30 years and I cannot manifest the empty mind consistently in combat. I have on several occasions had bullet time happen and evaded things that made me see the promise and potential of taijiquan. Now I want to manifest that empty mind on command. I really resonate with Richard Dragon (DC Comics) here. I need to leg go of my past and the tragedy of my Army unit getting wiped out. To that end I will begin practicing taijiquan 3 times a day for 40 minutes a shot. This is probably against all the good advice I have heard all my life, but I used to practice more than that. As I said, I have almost 30 years experience with taijiquan. This gives will give me over 1000 minutes of practice a week and over the 6 week challenge it will add up to over 100 hours. Along with this I need some strength training. The arthritis in my hips and shoulders is making me take a break from trail running and I also really hate to run in the cold. I have a great program called Convict Conditioning, so I am going to follow it. It is basically body weight stuff and perhaps someday I can do this like my hero.... Finally, weight loss. In the last 6 months I have lost 45 pounds going from 250 down to 205 pounds. I am using a calorie counting app called Lose It and I love it. I am getting a normal shape again and that is a good thing. I really need to be fit to keep up with these guys. This series really inspired me. So: 1- Taiji 4 times at 40 minutes a shot a day. 3 points Wisdom (Why wisdom? Its a moving meditation.) 2- Convict Conditioning. 1 points Strength. 3- Keep logging the calories and daily weighings. 2 points Agility. Skinny equals more benefit from the agility aspect of practicing so much Taijiquan. Not sure on the points, because I skipped a challenge and forgot how to do it. I'll figure that out later.
  15. So, I figured at first that I'd do the Spartan and die valiantly and not have to worry about the rest of the challenge, until I started reading about places doing up their Christmas decorations and their Praline Spice Pumpkin Mocha Frappucinos (that's what Starbucks does, right? I'm bad at coffee) and radio stations starting to hit the Christmas music already, all in the name of that all important Q4. And I thought about how fortunate I was to work for a sane, decent company that doesn't indulge in those shenanigans, that takes its mission seriously and lets the product speak for itself- Until today. When I went looking for coffee cups to restock with. And found them. Colored red. With PEPPERMINT. SWIRL. PATTERN. I think we all know what this means. RIGHTEOUS SANTA JUSTICE Clearly the opening track of the anime that they will make of this war. Yes. I can't die at the Spartan knowing that this bloated, commercialized claptrap of a holiday will survive me. I can't stand it. I won't stand it. Bunch of bloody, soulless companies trying to latch on to our feelings of good will and cheer to trade those things for petty material possessions! FFS! We haven't even had Thanksgiving yet, you bastards! INTO THE TRENCHES * All right. The work is before us. NaNoWriMo is trying to knock me off my dietary track at every turn, and if it's not that, it's the delicious things we're making at Panera. They're rolling out a new cinnamon roll that makes the old one look... well, really bad. Which isn't even getting into the part where they're bustin' out with the Holiday Bread, which is like a cinnamon roll if cinnamon rolls came in loaves. Stop that! We got work to do! Goal 1: Ab Training 5 Days/Week Yeah, I know what you're thinking. This is fairly unnecessary. Why would I ever want to do that? Don't I know that teh abz can only show with teh P4L30? Hah! Let me explain. The core is an incredibly difficult set of muscles to overwork. It's the stabilizer. Everything you do, every challenge that requires you to hold steady has to be won here, and it can do the work.With the absence of weights, the core is able to quickly regenerate itself and be ready to work again in no time at all.The horror story of making your stomach bigger is... exaggerated. Rectus abdominis and the surrounding pieces just don't have enough tissue to expand that way, to that kind of size.Meanwhile, there is a long and celebrated history of boxers working their abs to death. When was the last time you saw a genuinely fat boxer?Goal 2: Finish NaNoWriMo Strong I'm actually having some trouble with the novel this time. I'm going slower, having to struggle for my words. I think that's because I mean to publish this damn thing. So I can't just bumrush it like I used to... I mean, I could, but so much of it would just have to go. So, I'm making it official: finish the month out. Come hell or hot chocolate. Yeah, look at this bullcrap. This warm, chocolatey... maybe some marshmallows... NOOOOOO Goal 3: Keep the Cheats Under Control So, I seem to have found my magic number that gets me both satisfaction and results. That number is 2: two cheat meals per week. Not days. Meals. 'cuz one just isn't enough, but two somehow manages to get to me to that place where I'm satisfied and wanting to stop. The thing is, though, lately I've been struggling to keep to that. With all the delicious things coming out and with all these occasions to get together with friends, it just seems like it's awful heavy all of a sudden. And if I can make them fit my macros for the day, then... well, surely it's not a cheat... right? ... right? I don't know, man. I just don't know. Goal 4: Put the money together for a car payment So, long story short, my dad heard that I had the race coming up, and he was not happy. He thought I was trying to welch on the car payment and that if I could put money away for a silly race that I could do important things like take care of the car and such like that. I get to figure that one out now too on top of everything else. We'll get it, though. We'll get it. Logs and such to follow. Let's end it strong, monks.
  16. I just finished reading "Convict Conditioning" and want to start training according to it. Alas, the "Self Coaching" chapter wasn't as detailed as I had hoped. So I'm still not sure how to start the program. First of all, Paul Wade recommends warming up by doing a 2-4 sets (depending on the individual) of easier variations before proceeding to the working sets. But how do I warm up when I'm at step one with an excercise? Then, how do I determine the rep counts of my working sets? Here's how I understood the program. Let's use push ups as an example. From what I've read, I'd probably do one set of wall push ups for as many reps as I can do with perfect form or until I meet the rep count for the the intermediate standard (whichever comes first), then pause and continue with a second set given that I met the intermediate standard's rep count on the first set. Then, after meeting the intermediate standard on my second set, I'd add a third set and add reps to each set until I meet the progression standard. I'm supposed to do this using the "New Blood" program until I'm at stage 6 of all 4 excercises. Then I proceed to "Good Behaviour" and include the other two excercises. At this point, I'll probably be experienced enough to decide when to try the "Veterano", "Solitary Confinement" or "Supermax" workout. Is that about right?
  17. I'm going to be homeless, essentially, for this challenge. I've just moved out of my flat, because of a relationship break-up that made my first challenge pretty wobbly (among, of course, other things). I will be coach-surfing and cat-sitting over the summer, while I figure out what's next. In some ways I'm looking forward to it - I can make it a species of retreat, recalibrating and exploring for a while. I like to think I'll be Rangering it up, so here I am. Hello! Breaking up is horrible. You know that. And I've broken up with the best man I know. We still love each other, make each other laugh, and prefer curling up on the sofa with Thai food and Muppet movies to most things. But we realise we want different things. Our paths are going to diverge, so we split in order that that divergence doesn't make things toxic. It's the hardest, most grown-up thing I've ever done. I moved most of my stuff into my Mum's garage (thanks, Mum), and packed only what I could carry on my bike to take me through the summer. That forced minimalism felt oddly freeing, despite the sadness of the reason. And, as I rode from Kilburn to Clapham with one bag on my handlebars and another on my back, my head kept telling me this: Not all those who wander are lost. And I realised that I don't have to be. I can be sad, I can be angry, I can and will worry that we've done the wrong thing. But I don't have to let that sadness, anger or fear derail me. I don't have to be lost. I can use my wandering to work some stuff out. I can use the fact that I must travel light for a bit to teach me to travel light in other ways. I'm heartbroken, but I'm also excited. So, for this challenge, I'm going to take little steps. Nothing massive that can be derailed by moving around, and give the black dog a way in. 1. STRENGTH. Got to be strong if I'm going to be a Ranger. I worked on level 1 of Convict Conditioning last challenge, and given my circumstances it seems smart to keep on with bodyweight. Also, functional is the way forward. I'm going for two sessions a week. On day one I'll work on level 2 moves to see if I meet the beginner standards. If not, I'll continue with level 1. STR: 3 DEX: 1 2. ENDURANCE. So much cooler a word than 'stamina'. I'm working towards a 100K walk in September, so need to start proper training. I plan to walk the 135 miles from Bag End to Bree during this challenge. I'll be walking at weekends, as I tend to cycle during the week, so will work out a progression for the 135 miles over 6 weeks. Hopefully I'll finish with a walk to Brill, on which Tolkien modelled Bree. STA: 3 CON: 1 3. FOOD. I'm going to fall out of love with toast. I'd like to do Whole30 at some point this year, but given that I'm relying on other people's hospitality, now's not the time. On this challenge I will cut out wheat during every meal I have control over. That's breakfast, lunch and some dinners. CON: 3 WIS: 1 4. LIFE. I know exactly what my overall quest is, but I'm not going to share it yet. It's been a dream for too long, and I need to get my shizzle together and really do something about it. All the above goals will work towards it, and so will this. I will write every day. 200 words. That's ridiculously manageable, and will mean 15,200 words at the end of the challenge. WIS: 2 CHA: 1 Excited. Let's go! All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost. From the ashes a fire shall be woken, A light from the shadows shall spring; Renewed shall be blade that was broken, The crownless again shall be king.
  18. I put together a program I am going to try for four weeks starting this Sunday. It is based on Wendler's 5/3/1 for Crossfit (see "5/3/1" 2nd Ed. by Jim Wendler) with assistance work based on Paul "Coach" Wade's "Convict Conditioning" and Pavel's "Enter the Kettlebell!" So in other words, this is nothing original nor is it something I created. I just used Wendler's template. Any where you see "???" is where I have a blank to fill, such as a fullbody movement on bench day. Wendler says no Oly lifts on upper body days and I will be benching at work where I have fuck all for GPP equipment. So, suggestions? I guess I ought to cowboy up and buy a medicine ball and leave it in my locker at work. I want to use my farmer's walk bars too. I'd likely add them to squat or deadlift/OHP day but not sure if it is assistance, conditioning, or full body. The circuit stuff I might change every cycle (4 weeks) or every session. Thoughts? In accordance with Chairbrokey's forum rules, here is my background info (below in the "spoiler")
  19. Hi Everyone So, my name is Ben, 31 years old, this is my second Nerd Fitness challenge. My first challenge went pretty well and I reached my target of getting to 20% body fat but, if I'm honest, it feels like a bit of a failure because I all but ignored my strength training during the six weeks. I started with the aim of doing Convict Conditioning three days a week but only managed one workout! So, now it's time to get serious with body weight training! My overall goal is to get down to 15% body fat and the plan is to do this by: 1) Eating clean: Lots of fresh veggies, lean meats, healthy fats etc. 2) Following Convict Conditioning and committing to completing a CC workout three times a week. I'll be doing a full body workout in every session rather than 2 exercises per session as recommended by Coach Wade 3) Continuing to run as normal. That means around 15 miles a week. One easy session, one tempo or interval session and one longer run at the weekend. I also have my first Wolf Run on September 6th so whilst the focus is on bodyweight training there's also a six week running plan to follow! Unfortunately since doing a Tough Mudder last week my old Sacroiliac injury seems to have returned and is causing me no small amount of hip pain :-( So a big part of this challenge is going to be staying injury free. Hopefully committing to bodyweight training will help with injuries but I'm also going to foam roller and stretch every day and do the exercises for my sacroiliac that my physio gave me. So, provided I stick to this plan (and with kids, family life work etc. who knows what obstacles will be thrown in the way!) here's how I plan on distributing my shiny new points: Strength (STR) - physical strength - 3 pointsDexterity (DEX) - agility and speed - 2 pointsStamina (STA) - Endurance and Energy - 2 pointsConstitution (CON) - ability to resist damage and disease - 3 pointsWisdom (WIS) - intuition and sense of things around himselfCharisma (CHA) - force of personality and physical attractiveness Looking forward to meeting some Assassins alongside the friends I've made on NF so far :-) Hope your challenges go well!
  20. Day One Awoke early after a troubled nights sleep. Started the day with some damn fine coffee. As black as Bob's soul. No Cherry Pie in the fridge so made porridge with Blueberries and Raspberries. A good, honest breakfast. Followed the exercises in my standard issue field manual this morning: 20 x Wall Push Ups 15 x Kneeling Push Ups 6 x Full Push Ups 7 x Full Push Ups 5 x Shoulder Stand Squats 20 x Shoulder Stand Squats 20 x Knee Tucks 20 x Knee Tucks] 30 x Vertical Pulls 30 x Vertical Pulls A good workout but troubled by the presence of my old Sacroiliac injury from my last classified field mission. Dianne - The strangest thing happened whilst I was working out today. I was visited by two little people. One appeared to have not developed the use of his legs yet and may have been talking backwards. The other could only recite the words to the song "Let It Go" over and over. I suspect them of being interdimensional travellers from the Black Lodge. Perhaps a warning from Bob. To business. There have been reports of suspicious Owl activity at the local reservoir. Provided the wind conditions are favourable and my injury permits I will take my standard issue field bicycle to investigate. Signing off.
  21. Ok everyone I’m back and I’m ready for another challenge! Taking a break and switching up the way I worked out was a definite success. I finished my PLP challenge right before my big event and can definitely say I feel stronger than ever. Rolling with the success of that workout I’m predicting good things for the next 6 weeks, and hoping for GREAT SUCCESS for all of us. Since the last challenge I started re-playing my absolute favorite game ever, Fallout 2! I love the whole fallout series and have always been obsessed with the post-apocalyptic settings. In all the fallout games there are huge underground Vaults built all over America. Every vault had a purpose, or was set up as an experiment on its inhabitants. After a nuclear war these vaults started to open all over the country. In southern California there is a vault just outside the radiation from a nuclear bomb that hit the military and naval bases in San Diego. That is my vault and its purpose was to create elite assassins; trained to perfection and skilled in every way and the perfect person to survive the wasteland. I’ve been living in a vault my whole life and I need to get ready to leave this place. My goals should get me prepared for this new life and keep my healthy and strong as I adventure outside the Vault. GOAL #1: Rations (+2 CON +2 WIS) Once I leave the Vault I will need to learn to hunt and forage for my meals. I need to know how to eat and how to cook if I want to survive. No more processed Vault-Tec rations for me! That means I will focus on eating a paleo diet this challenge and I will use my crock-pot to make a big meal at least once a week. GOAL #2: Conditioning (+3 STR +1 STA) To be prepared physically I’m going to continue my PLP program. My goal is to get to 100 pull-ups, push-ups, and lunges by the end of this challenge. I started at 60 this morning which gives me only one chance to mess up for a day. GOAL #3: Water-Chip (+3 CON) One thing I will miss outside of the vault is our working water-chip. Unlimited water and plenty of replacements in case our water-chip malfunctions. I might as well drink my fill while I’m still here. So I will drink at least a gallon of water daily. LIFE GOAL: Discipline (+3 CHA +1 WIS) I heard the recent commencement speech for the University of Texas at Austin when I was first thinking about doing this challenge and liked the very first lesson in there. Make your bed every day. I’m going to try to keep my room clean and organized but I know I won’t be perfect at that. But I will make my bed every day for the next six weeks.
  22. After failing to reach the goals of his second challenge Impi Shujaa dusts himself off, takes out the "chuks" buys a new pair of genie pants and embarks on his third challenge. Goals Muscular Endurance 100 push ups 30 hanging straight leg raises 20 pull upsStrength 1 muscle up 10 one arm pushups (both sides) clutch flagMobility (3x a week) bridge L hold twists
  23. Challenge 2 2014 Main Goal Lose 70 lbs 54.4 lbs. My Quest Lose 5.4 lbs. I want to get under 168 lbs (12 stones). Goals 1. Continue around 1200 calories daily. Add intermittent fasting 16/8. Only eat between 12-8pm. 2. Daily Convict Conditioning habit. 10am every day (except Saturdays). I will set an alarm. 3. Daily Cardio habit. Every day complete at least one of the following: The Walk Zombie Run, 5k Fitness Video. Life Quest Spend at least an hour every day working on my house. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- NB. My birthday is on the 21st, I plan for my birthday dinner to be a cheat meal. Not the whole day just the evening meal (it might also be slightly later than 8pm on that one day. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- My Motivation... I saw this and laugh / groaned because I have done it too many times! No more!
  24. A little late to the party, hope I'm still welcome. Here via fitocracy, which I find really helpful, but lacks the questy RPG fitness joy it promised. Not so this place, I find. All very exciting. Me: An elf, in an elf/dwarf family, who grew up in a community of humans. Consequently always felt I was no good at sport, as the humans played games I wasn't built for. It's taken me a long long time to discover that I can be strong and agile and flexible, it's just that the role models around me didn't fit who I needed to be. If that makes any kind of sense. The upshot, though, is that I feel it now. I can be the fine physical specimen I want to be! I need to work at it. And that's why I'm here. I'm also here for my head and my soul. The black dog sometimes rears its ugly head in my life, but I'm going to keep smashing that darn mutt down! Quest: To develop the body, mind and spirit that nature intended. Kind of a big quest, but dammit, if I'm going to be an ultimate badass, I've got to think big. Missions: 1. Do Step 1 of the Big Four Convict Conditioning exercises 3 times a week, with a steady increase in reps/sets each time. So, that's Wall Push-ups, Vertical Pulls, Knee-tucks and Shoulderstand Squats. 2. Cycle to work 4 times a week. 3. Meditate 10 minutes a day. Life Quest: Knock £200 off my debt. Now, to work...
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