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  1. The main thing I took away from my first challenge was the absolute importance of knowledge as a facilitator of progression. I set out my goals but as the days and weeks progressed I came to understand that first and foremost you really have to know what you are doing and what you are aiming for, if you want to achieve your goals. I wasn't 100% clear on what I wanted to do or how was best for me to do it, so I fell a little short. This time around, rather than working towards a specific life goal, my plan is to build some foundations with my overall goal to be to increase my general knowledge concerning both myself and exercise in general and therefore be better prepared not just for future challenges but for life in general. My goals are: Fuel Knowledge: I reached my goal weight a while ago but now my problem is that I'm still losing weight and it appears that it's not just fat that's going- my lean body weight is also dropping which isn't good if you're trying to build muscle. I'm working out regularly so I know that this really comes down to my diet. I've got to up my calorie intake to a level where I'm either staying the same weight or even putting on the pounds, preferably in muscle. More importantly I've got to look at my macronutrients, specifically my protein levels. I'm trying to take on more protein than I used to but I don't think it's nearly enough. My plan of attack then is to start off on the first week just keeping a record of my food intake using Myfitnesspal so I'll have a better understanding of what I'm eating and then from there, start changing my diet to improve my protein/fat/carbs ratios. Following on from that I will then gradually change my daily meals/ supplement them accordingly to a level where I’m consuming enough calories and protein. A= consistently hitting calorie/ protein goal B= understand what improvements I need to make and be on the way to achieving them C= be aware that I’m not eating right but make no attempts to improve F= be aware that food is something exists to be eaten but have no understanding of what I’m really putting in my mouth. CON- 4 WIS- 2 Exercise Knowledge: I am gradually learning more by perusing the Nerd Fitness pages however I strongly feel that there are still large gaps in my knowledge especially relating to very elementary areas of anatomy and physiology as they relate to exercise. My aim is, by the end of the six weeks to have a better understanding of my body and body weight exercises so my primary goal here is to read and more importantly understand all of ‘Overcoming Gravity’. I’ve made a couple of attempts at it before by have either run out of momentum or given up due to a lack of understanding. This will not happen again. A secondary goal, which won’t contribute to scoring, is to create a reading/resources list for further study. Any suggestions for furthering reading material or useful websites etc are very greatly appreciated. A= read and understand the whole damn thing B= read 75% C= read 50% D= read 25% F= fail to read and understand any of it. WIS- 3 Body knowledge: Not so closely related to increasing knowledge and I'm not going to even attempt to create a tenous link: I feel my legs and core are much stronger than my upper body so I'm really going to focus more on pulling and pushing than anything else and specifically pulling. It is by far and away my least developed area so, whilst I don't imagine that I'll reach the stage where I can do a pull-up in 6 weeks, I'd definitely like to feel that they are in reach and that my last are getting stronger. This morning I went back to my standard exercise of body weight rows and I’m massively bored of doing them. Each day I dread having to do them and consequently I never have quite the motivation to push myself. I want to turn this around but I think my best way forward is to move on to something a little harder so I’ll be forced to stretch myself rather than continue trudging along in my rut. From now on then, rather than hammering ineffectually away out the same old rows, I’m going to spice things up with assisted pull-ups and negatives. I’ve got a pull-up bar but its collecting dust so it’ll be good to actually use it and I think that to be actually dangling rather than lying down when I work my muscles will feel more like I’m progressing towards doing those elusive pull-ups. I’m not sure the best way to monitor my progress with these so I’m going to stick to my unachieved target of 2 sets of 20 bodyweight rows by the end of 6 weeks from the last challenge unless somebody can suggest anything better. A= 2 sets of 20 bodyweight rows B= 2 sets of 15 (75% of target) F= anything less. I can already manage multiple sets of between 10-14 so anything less than sets of 15 aren’t progress. STR- 4 Life Goal: Sartorial Knowledge: According to one of the Assassin’s core textbooks: ‘An Assassin must always act with style. Without style, he's just an expensive thug. They must always dress stylishly in black (which, although not the best colour for being unseen at night, is the correct colour for being an Assassin)’ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ankh-Morpork_Assassins%27_Guild#Code_of_conduct Since losing a fair chunk of weight, a large proportion of my wardrobe now either no longer fits or is old and badly worn. My life goal for the challenge therefore is to go through every article of clothing I own and make a decision to keep, discard or replace. I’ve split them up and I shall aim to tackle one type of clothing per week: Underwear, shoes, t-shirts, tops, bottoms and miscellaneous. A= all clothes sorted B= 5 out of 6 categories C= 4 out of 6 categories D= 3 out of 6 E= 2 out of 6 F= 1 or less CHA- 2
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