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  1. (Posted on other forum, but this contains updates and hyperlinks) For my next challenge, I have decided to break it up into four parts: Heart, Body, Mind, and Spirit. These will probably extend past four weeks and hopefully form habits. Heart: Be the first to greet people when I encounter them (inspired by Gabby Reece: "I always say 'go first'....That means if I'm checking out at the store, I say hello first. If I'm coming across somebody and make eye contact, I'll smile first. I wish people would experiment with that in their lives a little bit: Be first because - not all times, but most times- it comes in your favor. The response is pretty amazing.") Start a Gratitude Journal (at least three things every day). Less talking, more curious listening (and eye contact). Write a "Thank You" letter or send a "Thank You" message once/week to someone who deserves it. Call mother every day. Visit grandfather at least once/week. Body: Do at least 50 pushups/day. Do at least 50 dips/day. HIIT at least 3 days/week. Intermittent fasting to help with weight loss/muscle building Spend at least 30 minutes/day outside. Get to bed before 10:30 pm. Mind: Download Insight Timer (done). Find guided meditations that interest me. Use at least one guided meditation daily. Sit in still silence every day for at least five minutes. Start a daily reflection journal (for the end of the day). Read at least 5 pages of any book/day (I love to read, but my attention span is so short, this is seriously challenging for me). Schedule social media time (rather than randomly/obsessively checking it every few minutes): No more than 30 minutes in the morning and 1 hour in the evening. Spirit: Place a Bible Reading Plan in my Bible and/or download a Reading Plan via the YouVersion app. Read assigned chapters/verses in the morning before my day begins (or listen to audio version during commute to work). Integrate prayer throughout my day. Find and read a short daily devotional/meditations. Most of these are habits I have wanted to build for a while. It seems daunting, but some of these can be integrated, and I know strengthening these four pillars will help me become more balanced over time.
  2. Hello! I am a French nerd, living in Belgium. I am not new here but I set my last challenge a while ago! Today, I weight 89 k (about 196 pounds) and I am already hitting the gym at least 3 times a week (thanks to a personal trainer). I said goodbye to 20 pounds in the past 4 months. I would like to keep up the good work, especially with my eating habits for which I definitely could use accountabilty. Why do I need help? I spend the last 3 weeks eating unhealthy food. I am not making a big deal of it because I understood why this happened. However, it's not a behaviour that will help achieve my goals. So I just want to go back to the healthy habits I developped in order to ultimately reach the goal of being light! I need accountability because I don't have real life friends who like working out, or who are paying attention to what they eat. I hope that I'll be able to find the support that I need here in the forums! My long-term goal I would like to wear a eur size 40 (I am at a size 44 now) and weight 79 kg (175) and sustain it. I want to be light in my head, in my body and in my heart. My challenge goal : I'd like to lose 4 kilos and most importantly, my challenge will be a success if I managed to eat paleo 80 % of the time ! (aka 2 non-paleo meals a week) Goal 1 : Journaling 4 days a week It's important for me to voice out whatever I feel and think for my mental sanity. I've been doing this for the past 15 days, everyday and I see how beneficial it has been for me. So I want to keep it this way. Since I tend to eat when things are not going the way I want, I choose to insert journaling as a fitness goals. Goal 2 : Follow my paleo eating plan and no snacking I created a plan with healthy snacks around 16 or 17 if I am hungry (mainly carrots and veggie dips). I am allowed to 2 exceptions a week if I want. Kryptonite : my thoughts and the lack of accountabilty. So I really need you guys! Goal 3 : Accomplish 2 BW training sessions and 2 cardio Actually, my secret goal is to move my body as much as I can. I bike to place, and I intend to find a dance/body expression class I could join because I feel that my body needs this. However, I chose to keep up the exercise session at the gym because they make me happy. Life Goal : Read the book Better Person - Gretchen rubin This book has very interesting insights on how we form habits and most importantly, how to sustain them! I think that it's a good read for this challenge I will update tomorrow with measures ! Looking forward to reading your challenges!
  3. Grayspeed's January 2017 Challenge Yes, this is basically the same as last month, but with a slight tweak. If it aint broke... Just like last month I'll be progressing through NF Rings, working on getting better rest, and improving HIIT cardio capabilities. I'll also be working on movement through the use of Max Shank's "5 Minute Flow" initiative. Let's go! Quest 1: Agility Assassins need to pull off some fancy stunts. In order to do this effectively I'll need to ensure my bodily awareness and mobility is up to scratch. Improve my mobility and movement quality by doing a 5 Minute Flow every day. Quest 2: Climbing Strength Climbing all over buildings and looking like a badass is what makes Assassins so great. To build up the strength to do this I will need to do a Nerd Fitness Rings workout at least three times per week. Quest 3: Alertness Having an alert state of mind is vital when you're heading into Templar territory. Especially when you're outnumbered 20 to 1, as Assassins often are. To achieve Master Assassin-like awareness I will get plenty of rest by being in bed by 10:30, five nights per week. Quest 4: Speed Speed is essential for any assassin. Especially when it comes to escaping a hostile area. Increase agility and speed by performing three HIIT focussed cardio sessions per week.
  4. ****Warning: This thread will most likely contain images of videogame violence, including CGI blood**** Grayspeed's December Challenge So, I was originally going to do a Star Wars theme this month because Rogue One is coming out. But I've also been replaying Assassin's Creed 2 this past week and AC just seems more "fitnessy" and relates to my goals a bit more. Also, this is the Assassins Guild. My goals right now are to grind away at NF Rings, get more sleep (I've let my sleep pattern get really messed up lately), and increase the amount of cardio I get. Let's go! Quest 1: Agility Agility and speed are essential skills for any assassin. You can't wipe out De' Pazzi if you can't catch them. Increase agility and speed by performing three HIIT focussed cardio sessions per week. Quest 2: Climbing Strength Climbing all over buildings and looking like a badass is what makes Assassins so great. To build up the strength to do this I will need to do a Nerd Fitness Rings workout at least three times per week. Quest 3: Alertness Having an alert state of mind is vital when you're heading into Templar territory. Especially when you're outnumbered 20 to 1, as Assassins often are. To achieve Master Assassin-like awareness I will get plenty of rest by being in bed by 10:30, five nights per week.
  5. I need some help planning a work out. It's my second winter in Canada and already I'm... *looks out window* inclined to stay indoors. I do some HIIT and body weight strength stuff - slowly improving. Are there any good cardio workouts I can do indoors? My normal routine isn't really keeping my heart up for a full 20 mins. At the ten min mark I'm bored. Would running in place be good enough?
  6. Well, shit. Seems like I'm in good company these days and pretty much everyone across the board is buckling down -- either by doubling down on habits they've been building over the last few challenges, re-committing themselves to paths of action long abandoned, or by digging deep and getting back to basics. For this challenge, I'm planning a hybrid of double-down and back-to-basics - because let's face it, even when I'm doing a simple challenge I've got #Rangerbrain and can't pick just one thing. I want them all. Omfg. Best. Thing. Evar. Spoiler: NSFW hoard but BWHAHAHAHA Hmmmm ... I *may* even get back to obnoxious picture posting, if I can find a good workthrough with Tapatalk ... I miss Skeletor. Ok. Back to the goals. GOAL THE FIRST Work out. As always. Buuuuutttttt ... Since I've been a slackass since midway through class (*cough* May *cough*) and have yet to kick my ass into any sort of sustainable schedule, I'm going to go back to the fundamentals and pick something I know works -- a program involving videos. Specifically, a HasFit program that takes 15 - 40 minutes to complete, uses mainly bodyweight + the weights I have in my hallway (or the weights available at the gym), and I don't even have to change into "workout clothes" to do if I can't drag my lazy ass to the gym. And since I have adult-onset ADD, I'm supplementing that program with 2x a week yoga + some sort of working toward handstands. Because I'm so very plugged into the Nerd Hive Mind. This is how that's going to shake out: Here's the program I'll be doing. It's the HasFit Hero 90. I've done it before and I liked it. I'm doing it again, with modifications to fit my schedule. Workouts will be done M - F with weekends off. Weekends will include lots of walking per usual, and hopefully a few other activities (like archery or climbing or silks) when I get the cash to make that happen. Yoga class is Wednesday; I'll throw another day in on Monday to give myself a nice stretchy base for the week. Alternates: I have a couple kettelbell routines I can pull out on days I can't fathom videoing. If all else fails: ruck. No more sitting on the couch and whining about it. GOAL THE SECOND Macros. I love my macros and they work for me. Buuuuutttt ... the DH has been wanting to give keto another try, and I'm throwing myself into it alongside him. I need something to kickstart a little weight loss as we go into the 'fat for winter' season, and having a month with strict guidelines generally does that for me. I'll be treating this like a Whole 30 and will be reporting daily on my food intake (with pics) and will be posting weekly wrapups on my blog. I have a big long keto post that sheds more detail into these new macros, and a shiny new spreadsheet to help me track (I'll still use MFP, but mostly for data format consistency). I also need to get that damn spreadsheet done - if all else fails; end-of-year plan. GOAL THE THIRD Other Shit. This one is staying the same. Get. A. Job. How? Apply for 10+ jobs a week. Follow up with at least half of them the next week. Continue interviewing my damn heart out. Go to networking events - I'm not quantifying how many per week; over 2 a month and under 4 per week so I don't burn out again. Attempt to become someone who meets people for coffee dates. What else? Little projects. I need to work on the front-end site/wireframing/UI/UX workup for the "free company" (i.e. the unfunded startup I work with) - let's rename them to "the Gs" for simplicity's sake. I need to practice other coding - there's a ReactJS course I signed up for and should really take. And I want to give back to the community. I need to either be contributing to opensource projects or documentation - something. Or volunteer as a tutor. Anything else that will help me hit the paycheck goal? I need to find a way to get some small freelancing gigs to start generating some income. It's been long enough. And that's it. Three main goals - the same goals I've had for months - just in a slightly different format. And with hopefully more enthusiasm.
  7. Superhero Challenge is here at last! I've had this one in the back of my mind for a minute, so this should be fun. It's also influenced by some things I've seen @Tanktimus the Encourager, @Sloth the Enduring and @Atrytone do over the summer, and credit for the title goes to @deftona So I wanted to do a very serious superhero challenge, and I spent a lot of time pondering who the right superhero to model on. Superman? Wonderwoman? The Flash? So many choices... I needed someone who hit all the points and inspired me and suited my personality. And then I figured it out.... Yes, it's THE GREATEST AMERICAN HERO!!!! Now, I know what you are thinking. Wasn't Ralph Hinkley, the Greatest American Hero, kind of a doofus? Wasn't he constantly screwing up and flailing? Didn't he lose his own instruction book? Did he have any idea what he was doing at any given time? All these things are true. But isn't that all of us? I have a constant, ongoing conversation with my training partner, the Mantis, about what I am training for. He helps design my programming, and when we are working on it he's always asking me "what do you want to do? Triathalon? Power Lift? Crossfit? You have to tell me why you're doing this so I can figure out what you need to do." And I'm always like, Fuck, I don't know. I want to do everything. I keep thinking, there has to be more to this. It can't just be about trying look good naked and be less fat and show off in the gym. I would have given up long ago if that was it. (Especially the be less fat bit. Sigh.) There has to be something pushing me other than utter vanity. And a few weeks ago, one of the trainers at my gym happened to be asking me, "so what are you training for? Why are you here?" - the eternal question - and just as we were chatting I happened to look up at the TV in the gym and the news was showing the flooding in Virginia (Louisiana would come a few weeks later) and the shot was of people taking their little shitty johnboats and canoes and whatever they could find, and going BACK into the flooded areas to rescue other people, sometimes people they didn't even know, from the flooding. And in that moment it crystalized for me and I pointed at the TV and said "because I want to be that guy." Look, it would be awesome to be an invincible beast that never got hurt, helped the helpless, did the right thing, showed up at the right time, saved the world, AND remembered to file their taxes quarterly. I would love that. But I'm not. Especially the taxes part. But I can be Ralph. I can be as fit as possible to be as useful as possible, as best as I can. And until I am called upon to save the world, I can be an everyday hero, and I can rescue cats and help the neighbor with her groceries and whatever. It's what Ralph would do. Okay, on to the actual challenge training and goals: Everyday Hero: Be Kind: give one random compliment or helpful thing per day. Be Useful: learn one thing useful in emergencies per week. CPR, emergency first aid, change a tire & jump a battery, evacuation techniques for injured people, etc. Make it better: make one donation or volunteer one hour per week to a good cause. Let yourself fly: Ralph, famously, could fly but never figured out how to land. I have some ideas for stuff that I want to do that I keep shrinking from because I'm scared to fail at them. I need to take those risks and let the landing sort itself out. Strong like Hero: I have three gym workouts per week. They are: PHT A: 10 mins rower then 4 circuits: 1 arm rows glute bridge bench press leg extension delt raise jump rope incline press KB swing tricep extension prowler push pull-up (still working on these) PHT B: 10 min rower 4 circuits: deadlift t-bar row step-up bench press hamstring curl military press jump rope push up kb swing sled pull walking lunge inverted row HIIT/Cardio: I do three rounds of this, with 5 min rest between rounds. I do the rower first, then 3x of the moves in italics, then finish with the sandbag run. Rest and Repeat. 250 meter row 10 kb swings 10 wall balls 30 sec battle ropes 200 meter sandbag run Non - Gym workouts: Bike 2-3x week, plus skate, jog, kayak, whatever, as it fits in the schedule. So that's it! Should be a fun challenge; these are cool workouts and I'm looking forward to them. Let's do this Edited to add: Have to shout out to @Phoenix Burning for introducing me to the book Natural Born Heroes and Georges Hebert and the concept of "be fit to be useful" several challenges back. I stand on the shoulders of giants. (or at least their reading reccomendations)
  8. Right now I have killed the first troll his mate has come to take revenge. The plan is simple: do stuff, meet my goals, kill the next troll. But what is the stuff I am going to do? Goal One: Highland Broadsword I want more consistency here, pure and simple, if I get 3 sessions per week I will be happy. Goal Two: Runic Meditation I was consistently meditating 5 times per week at the start of the year, back to that is the goal, minimum of three is acceptable Goal Three: Workouts I have three options for workouts: HIIT on the exercise bike, Kettlebell [Pavel's Simple and Sinister], Bodyweight workout [Darebee/Neila Rey Ithilien Ranger workout]. the aim is to fo one of each workout per week. Goal Four: Doing Stuff This continues the stuff that killed the troll last challenge, each week I need to do at least one of each of the areas on this list. House and garden maintenance/improvements Kids activities and appreciating them Bec time, doing stuff especially with her [dates are an automatic critical hit] My self-improvement other areas, markets, crafting stuff, reading, studies, stretching/yoga, job search. Scoring will be a bit different here, I actually need a scoring system so I can better track my consistency. However as I am fighting a troll I think my scoring needs to reflect this battle in some way, so I will adapt my previous scoring system to better reflect a fight with the troll. All the goals will be scored the same, The troll has 16 hit points, so I need to score four hits per week each week to kill the troll. The troll can wound me and I have 6 hit points, whilst I can not be 'killed' by the troll it can seriously wound me which would reflect my lack of progress in improving my health. If the troll survives this challenge it will regenerate half of the hit points that it has lost to show that it is injured going into the next challenge. I start the next challenge with 5 points if wounded by the troll, six if I am unscathed or kill the troll. 5+ sessions per week is a Critical Hit on the troll and is worth two points. 3-4 sessions per week is a Hit on the troll and is worth one point 2 sessions per week is a block/dodge or miss as the troll evades my attack and is worth no points 1 session per week is a block/dodge or miss as I evade the troll's attack and is worth no points 0 sessions per week is a hit by the troll on me and I lose one point. Let the battle commence.
  9. Hey fellow nerds! I'm relatively new to strength training but have a pretty good handle on HIIT or just regular interval training. My main goal is to lower my bodyfat percentage and build beautiful strength overtime, healthily. I would like to see how I will go by September. My workout plan is to perform lower body strength training on Mondays and Fridays and upper body strength training Tuesdays and Thursdays. One minute rest in between all sets Lower body: 3x8 Squats (starting 65lb) 3x8 Deadlifts (just the bar for now) 3x8 Dumbbell lunges (10lb) 3x8 Prone Leg Curls (starting 55lb) 50 calf raises Upper Body: 3x8 One Arm Dumbbell Row (10-15lb) 3x8 Bench Press (just the bar) 3x8 Lat pull downs (65lb) 3x8 Overhead shoulder press (25lb) 3x1 Pull Ups OR 3x5 assisted pull ups HIIT I mainly follow Fitnessblender's HIIT routines because I find them super fun and rewarding in terms of cardio. There's a lot of burpees, push ups, sit ups, jump squats, lunges, and various other calisthenic moves. They mainly follow an ABAB format 20sec on/10 sec rest, going between 8-20mins. Nom Nom NOM In terms of food, whatever is in my fridge at the time: Breakfast: 1/2 cup oatmeal with bananas or blueberries 2-3 sunny side up eggs Snack 1: 1-2 serving of fruits/nuts Lunch: Chicken breasts/thighs or pork chops or a beef patty Brown rice or jasmine rice 2 servings of vegetables (celery, carrots, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, eggplants, etc) Snack 2: 1-2 servings of fruits/veggies/almonds Dinner: Chicken, beef, pork, fish, etc Brown rice, jasmine rice, or 2 Whole wheat toast 1-2 servings of veggies Maybe snack 3: 2-3 boiled eggs I honestly don't want to count calories, I feel that's just so much work for a beginner? I'd rather just listen to my body instead, and avoid processed foods. But I don't know if that would be enough for my fat loss goals? Anyways that was a ton of info, thanks for reading and I would love to hear any delicious feedback
  10. [Introduction] It's been awhile, and a lot has transpired between then and now. Most notably, I am officially out of the military and now tiptoeing out wide-eyed into the big, bright world of civilian-hood. Or rather, I would have tiptoed out... but apparently every ounce of luck that never showed up when I needed it before decided to show up en masse a week before my separation date, and I ended up landing an incredible job a mere 14 days after signing out! So I never really got my time out in pasture; it was straight out of the stables and onto the racetrack for me. Feels a little different than what I've grown accustomed to, but the basics are the same. [Current Goals] The overarching goal is simple: Don't be that ex-soldier. I've seen so many of my friends get out and literally BALLOON into unrecognizable caricatures of their former selves. I've also seen many of them stagnate in their personal lives; they stop trying new things, or trying to better themselves, or just trying altogether. It happens for lots of different reasons, some of them understandable - but a lot of them happened simply because the person wasn't proactive about the basics. I do not want to be that stereotype. Fitness Goals Run x2 a week Bodyweight/Weightlift workout 2x a week I joined a running group through my off-post gym, and have completed two 5k races. I didn't sign up for the summer program: instead, I signed up for a group fitness class offered by the same trainer who conducts the running program. I made a new friend in the running group (we ran both races together, and plan to continue that trend for upcoming events) and she decided to continue with the summer running program, so we've agreed to train each other on our workouts - she'll take me on her training runs, and I'll take her through the workouts I get from the group fitness class. Personal Goals VA stuff Education stuff I have two things I need to do regarding the VA. Thing 1 is fairly straight forward in nature, so I'm shooting to accomplish it first. Thing 2 is more complicated, so I've decided to work on it only after Thing 1 is finished. My education goal right now is nebulous: I know my ultimate goal, but getting there is going to require a bit of hopscotch and a lot of mapping. I have to work within the parameters of my preferred institution's accepted credits and curriculum, my GI Bill's terms, and the class requirements for the schools available to me at my current location. Obviously, I have lots of other things I'm trying to accomplish in my life, but I want to use this challenge to focus on the most important items on the list. I may mention mini-goals from time to time, but if anyone reading sees them getting in the way of my challenge goals, please feel free to point it out to me!
  11. Avengers Assemble!!! Last challenge there was some misguided intentions.... but then a glimmer of hope and a new direction. So, what I need to do is take hold of this glimmer and run with it. And so I shall!!! With a little help and some charting and graphing, things shall be better. And it so greatly helps that I now have more freedom than I have had in almost a half decade!!! So now, time to call on my support system (goals)!!! War Machine War Machine is donned by Lt. Colonel James Rhoads, friend of Tony Stark. War Machine was originally one of the early Iron Man designs but was beefed up with enough armaments to level a small country. Last time I started with one very vague plan but then someone gave me the inspiration to try one of the Darebee workouts and it was going very well. So, what I NEED to do is beef up this workout program. What I will do is reset that workout and add onto it. Yes, it might sound like I'm going to possibly overdue it but I am confident that I will be able to grab onto it and run with it So, I'm going to reset the Foundation workout (hopefully to push myself into Level 2 on some of those workouts) and I'm going to add the Total Abs 30 Days of HIIT Darebee workout (after trying one day of it last week I feel that the Total Abs workout isn't going to go well because I didn't feel like I had good form... and that's just day one!!). So, here's the preview of the new workout: The plan: Do both workouts Daily, DOMS be damned!! (1 pt/each per day) Falcon Falcon, friend to Captain America (and no, I didn't purposely put both War Machine and Falcon back to back for the sake of Civil War..... or did I?!? ), was a paratrooper, using the Falcon Exo-skeleton for combat missions, until his partner had been killed in action. Sometimes, when tragedy strikes, you refocus your energy onto other activities (he decided to support others with PTSD). What I need to do is also refocus my energies again when it comes to my food choices. My new direction on food needs to be this: Firstly, I'll get back to tracking my food to visually see what I'm eating. Secondly, I'm going to give myself extra credit for not eating garbage (garbage being defined as fast food, including take out, and excessive amounts of snacks). The plan: Track food consuption (1 pt/day) and good food choices (1 pt/day) Ant Man Scott Lang was a 'thief' that was given an opportunity to help himself, his family, and Hank & Hope Pym. Donning the Ant Man suit, he is able to shrink down in size, still retain his strength, and be able in interact with ants, having them help him. I like this picture of Ant Man for two reasons: it's the first time he uses the suit and it looks like he's giving the thumbs up The other portion of this scene is him dealing with the power for the first time, which involves him running like hell from water. A great place to restart my need to drink more water in my life. While it's not the amount suggested for daily consumption, my goal is to get in 48 ounces of water daily. I clearly do not drink enough water daily and it needs to change. The plan: 48 ounces of water daily (1 pt/daily) The Vision The Vision is J.A.R.V.I.S (the computer system of Tony Stark's) uploaded into a body originally intended to be the final form for the automaton Ultron. With the Mind Stone embedded into him, he has a sense of humanity's chaos but also a compassion for humans. The Vision, to me, seems to be the wise despite everything the world has in it. So what I need to do is get back to really committing to the community and staying there with my comrades in arms. I remember back in the day that I will support the newest Rebels and keep up fully with my Assassins and other Rebels. I need to wade back into the water of that commitment to my fellow men and women! So what I will do for this is interact with no less than 4 of my fellow Rebels DAILY!!! And Likes don't count, I have to put something down in words. The plan: 4 interactions daily with my fellow people (one-quarter pt/daily) Time to get classy and in shape!!!
  12. Hello, I've created a small site that generates a Tabata (intervals for 4 minutes) workout (based on the equipment you've selected), and then allows you to execute it with a synchronized timer (+ videos of the different exercises).Perfect for home workout with limited equipment. Check it out:http://tabatagenerator.net/
  13. Much like the repetitive nature of the Final Fantasy 13 games... Lightning returns with a repeat of the last challenge (with some important changes) MAIN GOAL 135 lbs with an Athletic build and functionally fit _____________________________________________________________________________________ GOAL 1: Cutting Calories Based on my current weight, height, and activity level I need to consume approximately 1500 calories a day in order to lose .5-1.0 pound per week. Since I want to lose fat and not muscle I need to eat approximately 1 gram of protein per lean body mass. I will use carb cycling to keep my metabolism running. Choosing higher carb meals (150g or less) on strength training days and lower carbs (under 100g) on all other days. 1 cheat meal allowed per week. 1 cheat day during Shark Week. The change made here is that I'm not going to use my weight as the gauge for success. I'm losing inches which means I'm getting leaner. The scale just isn't the right tool for this job. +4 CON +1 WIS GOAL 2: Strength & Sweat To maintain my current lean muscle I will perform 3 days of strength training each week. I'm switching to a Push and Pull split and I've upgraded my body weight exercises. To shed fat faster I will do at least 2 sessions of HIIT lasting 20 minutes each week. +3 STR +2 STA GOAL 3: Restore & Replenish 4 Cups of water a day. +2 CON 3 days of stretching/foam rolling a week +1 DEX LIFE GOAL: MOAR numbers! Brand new goals here... Get quotes from contractors on renovating the kid's bathroom. Must speak to 3 contractors. +1 CHA Complete homeschool records/transcripts for both kids for this school year. +1 CHA
  14. This is where I get serious about what I want and what I have to do to get there.... MAIN GOAL 135 lbs with an Athletic build and functionally fit _____________________________________________________________________________________ GOAL 1: Cutting Calories Based on my current weight, height, and activity level I need to consume approximately 1500 calories a day in order to lose .5-1.0 pound per week. Since I want to lose fat and not muscle I need to eat approximately 1 gram of protein per lean body mass. I will use carb cycling to keep my metabolism running. Choosing higher carb meals on strength training days. 1 cheat meal allowed per week. 1 additional allowed during Shark Week Track daily because the Numbers Won't Lie!!!! +4 CON +1 WIS GOAL 2: Strength & Sweat To maintain my current lean muscle I will perform 3 days of strength training each week (Upper Body and Lower Body split) To shed fat faster I will do at least 2 sessions of HIIT lasting 20 minutes each week. +3 STR +2 STA GOAL 3: Restore & Replenish 4 Cups of water a day +2 CON 3 days of stretching/foam rolling a week +2 DEX LIFE GOAL: Data Science This challenge is really ALL about numbers! I'm taking a data science class and need to buckle down and put more time into it. 2 days a week = +1 WIS
  15. Sometimes, we are simply a noitcelfer | reflection of the world's troubles. ....let us stop striving and simply BE .......to be and make a better world with our very ......thoughts. ===== This challenge's theme will simply be some oddly non-prose ways of communicating my feelings each day about how my challenge is going, foregoing my previous fictional narrative for a more abstract poetry. I like to keep things interesting. Beyond that, I had a revelation after booking my flight to go and visit Dr. Yang for training this coming April. I am going to be training with a kung fu grandmaster and students that are living with him for 10-year long spans of time. The reality of this really set in today. You know in Kill Bill Vol 2 where "The Bride" goes to train with Pai Mei? On her arrival, she's very upbeat and happy about the chance, but within the first few minutes of meeting Pai Mei, she realizes just how horribly under-prepared she is and how far behind her own kung fu skills are. She is beaten in a sparring match as easily as an eagle would kill a worm, and this is how she begins to actually make real progress. .....that is very possibly going to be me. I am very probably about to be totally outmatched by a man old enough to be my father. So, this month and possibly the next few are going to be dedicated to getting as close to prepared as I possibly can. Step 1, Strong Like Tiger: I will be following a push/pull/squat routine that centers on progressive bodywieght calisthenics programming for 3 days each week. I have a few different guides, and am looking over those this weekend to set a hard plan for how to program correctly for the best possible results. Step #2, Fast Like Leopard: On an alternating 3 days, I'll be doing circuits with a heavy emphasis on building cardiovascular endurance. The main thing here is to make sure that I'm not overtaxing my recovery time, but am still keeping my work capacity up to be in "fighting shape". Step #3, Lithe Like Snake: Continue Vinyasa Classes and morning yoga to keep flexibility improving. I've fallen in love with these routines and the methods to deepen my own joint mobility. No reason to stop something that's been working so well as I can figure. Step #4, Balanced Like Crane: Since I'm going primarily for Tai Chi Chuan, my studies of the Yang Long Form for will be followed for no less than 6 days a week. This will include qigong on my own and form work with class. Step #5, Wise Like Dragon: To keep this slightly more rigorous routine up, I'll be trying to tune my diet in to hit and hold a lively bodyweight of ~#180 while eating fish and raw veggies. No alcohol, no soda, no complex sugars, minimal grains/rice. "....but Foo, that's too much stuff for a challenge, you're going to burn yourself out." No, because I have a very real fear of being totally embarrassed by how unprepared I am to keep up with my elders as a deeper motivation. I have been building momentum and intensity for a while, so now it's time to get this all tuned in to be able to maintain an all-day long kung fu training schedule. That's what I'm going to be doing regardless of if I'm prepared for it or not. *bows deeply*
  16. So, uh, hi. I'm a warrior/monk, but I decided to wander over here for this challenge. I have a weird lumbar back/hip issue that might be just temporary muscle tightness or some horrible thing that'll never heal (I was told to just basically wait and watch it until I see my physiotherapist on 22nd, very exciting), which has forced me to alter my workouts. So I'm saying goodbye to my heavy barbell lifts for a few weeks and doing more work with kettlebells, bodyweight, and other stuff I'm really not good at, as it turns out. Fitness goals: #1: No Pain, No Still Gains I'm used to doing high intensity stuff, nothing else feels like a proper workout to me. And I'm guilty of exercising despite pain as long as I'm technically capable of it. But I need to learn not to do that, because I don't want to mess my back up any more. So the rules are: 1) No barbell squats (light front squats are okay as long as they don't hurt, I'm trying to learn the form). Substitute with goblet squats, split squats, lunges. 2) No barbell deadlifts. Substitute with one-legged dumbbell/kettlebell DLs. 3) Do core work every workout. I've neglected it in the past because I don't like it, but it's really important to both my lifting and taekwon-do. 4) Work on balance at least 2x week, just because mine sucks. 5) Generally listen to my body, and if something hurts, DON'T DO IT. You wouldn't believe how hard this is for me to get through my thick skull. #2: Cut Carbs I'm trying to decrease my body fat, which has been going absolutely nowhere for the past month and a half for reasons beyond my comprehension. For the next four weeks, I'll stick to a low-carb, high(er) fat diet to see if I can get some ketosis going on and melting off some of this annoying fluff. My current carb allowance on MFP is 40-50 grams per day, but I might adjust it along the way. A little more is allowed on lifting days, but even then I'll try to stick mostly to vegetables and the occasional orange juice. (I know that's liquid fructose but it's sooo good.) #3: Cardio Except for running outside, I hate most cardio. I usually get my cardio from TKD, but now I can't always attend the classes due to this back issue, and even when I can, I can't do most of the stuff that develops endurance. So in order to keep my endurance from going worse than it already is, I need to do at least 3x 20-30 minute HIIT sessions per week. Mostly on the elliptical since that's the safest option right now, since it's the most low impact for my hips and back. Life goal: Get Your ST Together I got recently diagnosed with ADD and meds to help deal with it, so I should finally be able to get my s&¤t together Like An Adult. So, during this challenge, I'll read the three remaining (terribly boring) literary studies books for a course, and book and ace that exam like a pro. I'll also read at least one novel I need to read for another lit course, and do one of the essays that's been late since about forever. I'll clean up the chaos that used to be my room and KEEP it clean. And pay my bills on time, which I've been dreadful at because my brain's like a sieve. Shouldn't be too hard. *sweats nervously*
  17. So this is only a "semi-challenge" since I started too late to join the February challenge, but what's the sense in waiting till March to start improving? Quick background: I was about 85-90 percent Paleo last school year, which worked GREAT for me. I felt great, I looked great, I was active... those were the days. During June I stayed on track by lifting weights and running, but at the end of June my weight room access stopped and my therapist told me to stop running. Combine that with the stress of starting college three hours away from home this past autumn, and it's been not-so-good ever since. I tried veganism for a while, and health-wise that just doesn't work for me. I can elaborate more specifically on this later if anyone's interested. But now I'm trying to get back to "full" Paleo, aka that 90% sweet spot I love so much. I work out six days a week, so my exercise isn't a problem-- my diet is the main focus of this mini-challenge of mine. Without further ado, my GOALS: - Eat 90% Paleo for the WHOLE MONTH, but don't beat myself up if at the end of things that number is more like 85% (Single's Awareness Day is coming up, after all!) - Track my food intake every day (nothing fancy, not tracking calories or macros, just becoming more aware of what I'm eating and how much) - Identify warning signs of and work to stop binge eating - Keep up my great exercise schedule, using perfect form and (hopefully) breaking some PRs Join me as I find and activate my inner SHE-BEAST! (Posting nerdy pics and gifs the whole way, of course!) And if anyone was curious, my 10% non-Paleo is natural peanut butter. Oh, you decadent legume, I just can't quit you.
  18. "Your so-called kung-fu... is really... quite pathetic." - Pai Mei Not really sure what to put here as my goals are about being balanced. I know, I know, extremes are en-vogue, but I've got a list of things I think I should be able to do at the same time. Perhaps after those, I'll dig deeper into further stages in each thing's progression. Mostly, I just need the wood to fear my fist and not the other way around. 1. Master Tai Chi (no big deal...just, uhm....master it, right? Ok, let's settle for just learning the form and not being yelled at for it being really bad. That seems like a good starter point on the road to 'Master.' ) {focus: consistent practice} 2. Be able to bust out 20 pull-ups anywhere I can get a grip. {focus: strength/endurance} 3. 5 one-armed push-ups on either side with my nose gently kissing the floor on each. {focus: strength/control} 4. Touch face to knees in Uttanasana. {focus: flexibility/composition} 5. Sub 10% BF. {focus: composition} 6. Pistol Squat {focus: balance/strength} So, I'll probably simply post up what I'm doing every day and which of these goals it relates to. If I had on over-arching goal, it's to still be able to spar with my grandkids should I ever have them. That's a pretty non-SMART goal, though, so I'll just keep digging deeper into minor goals that I think will lead me to that point some day. Seems like a bit of a conundrum to put a taoist style in line with clearly linear goals, as most of the time I'm looking at how to most smoothly reverse energies...but I come from a hard-style, so it's not like "MY kung fu" is that philosophical yet. I still have trouble not using direct force, so I'll just face-punch goals for now. Ok, so, day #1. - Did form up through White Crane Spreads it's Wings, and worked trying to find the balance for the toe circling in greater depth. Time involved: 45 minutes, Goal #1. - Did Vinyasa flow with my wife's teacher, focusing on lower back. Time involved: 30 minutes, Goal #4. - Ran through a pre-programmed cardio circuit for 15 mins. Time involved 15 mins, Goal #5. - Decided that every time I get out of my chair at work, to only use one leg, alternating legs. It's a little habit that I'm hoping works like greasing the groove for better side-to-side squats and the lower kung-fu stances. Maybe I should use a sticky-note to keep track of how many I do in a day. Need a better plan here to keep up with them. Time...dunno. Goal #6. This may be an odd log, that goes all over the place. Probably need to track my food more carefully for goal 5 as well. I'll hopefully get this down a bit better by writing it down every day. So, let's try to make this fit the system: Main Quest. Be a master monk, pass CMC Tai Chi instructor exams while <10% BF and able to do a hand-stand pushup, muscle-up, pistol squat, Pick 2 - 3 SMART quests Pull up x 20 , OAPush-ups x 5, Flexibility (forward fold with head on knees) Choose a life quest if you'd like to do one (completely optional). Reach full financial independence so I can afford to teach martial arts full-time. Choose a motivation. Nothing would be worse than growing feeble in my old age and not being able to still play with my children's children...and I play hard.
  19. So I'm out of the chrysalis and getting ready to fly! GOAL Lose 5lbs, since that's approximately 4% of my current weight. That should take me down to 122lbs by the end of the challenge. Keep myself sane while being mostly unemployed.QUESTS Eat 1200-1400 calories per day. I'm sad to report that I will not be following the mid-70s Bowie diet of milk, cocaine and peppers. Mainly because I'm intolerant to peppers.Substitute juice/soda with water. And drink more water generally.Complete Darebee's 30-Day HIIT Challenge Complete Men's Health 3 Week Home Dumbbell Workout, and don't eat estimated calories back!!!Read something that isn't on a screen for at least 30 minutes a day, because my life's turning into this:Finish Berklee's songwriting MOOC. Alright! No need to take the piss!Engage with art once a week - movie/literature if poor; art gallery or theatre if already in town or if I suddenly have enough money to travel into town especiallyAnd just for lols, complete Cassy Ho's Journey to Splits STATS Weight: 127lbs Waist: 28" Hips: 36.6" Abdomen: 31" Bust: 34" Overbust: 32" Underbust: 28.5" Thigh: 20.5" Calf: 13.5" Neck: 13.5" * I am neither thin, white, nor a member of the British aristocracy, but I am missing David Bowie something rotten.
  20. Foo rose up early to greet the dawn. As he stepped out of his hut and looked across the temple grounds, he noticed the abbot waving him down. “Foo, I have a mission for you to undertake. I was approached by some villagers from the Wuxi province, and their small farming community has been under attack by a group of 5 demons every year for the past 4 planting seasons. As the ground is to be tilled in about 30 moons from now, they came to ask for our help in ridding them of these monsters.†“Master,†said Foo with some curiosity “that's terrible. I will certainly do what I can to help the village, but I do not know much of demons. Also, I know only my meager kung fu, and have no magical weapons to defeat a demon horde.†The abbot stroked his wispy beard slowly as he spoke. “Well, your kung fu should have all the answers you should ever need for any battle in heaven or earth, but what you will need to know is that the land of Wuxi is riddled with dangerous cliffs. One must have the firmest of stances to hope to do battle there. You should be certain that your training has covered that before your go. Also, the 5 demons do battle by harnessing the 5 elements into their attacks. You would be wise to be certain that your knowledge of alchemy is worked into your kung fu so that you have an answer to any elemental attacks. Last, only a fool would battle demons at night, so you must be certain to be at your peak as soon as you rise in the morning. With these 3 things and keeping yourself well, I believe that you are ready for your first real mission outside of the temple.†Foo bowed deeply, “I'll get to work immediately, sifu.†So, for my upcoming challenge, I have 3 primary additions to add to my normal training. 1. Make sure my footing is steady. During a seminar in the United States, Chen Qingzhou was asked: what was the most important thing that someone could do to improve their tai chi. He Responded “I will tell you exactly what to do and it will improve your health, tai chi, your martial and mental abilities, and will only take you three minutes a day, but you won't do it.†“Why won't I do it?†He was asked. “Because I've said this many time and no one follows through.†“Well, what is it?†“Stand,†and he assumed a Zhan Zhuang (post stance) The first part of my challenge will be to stand in a deep Zhan Zhuang stance, and attempt a standing meditation for just 3 minutes a day. This will be in addition to my normal seated meditation, but with a heavy emphasis on holding a 90-degree knee position. I'm sore just thinking about it. 2. Answer for the 5 elemental attacks: If you have much knowledge of taoist philosophy or Chinese medicine, then you're sure to know of how the 5 elements support or destroy each other. Over the next 4 weeks, I plan to learn the 5 elemental fists and the linking sequence for them from Xingyiquan. (Actually, I already have learned the basics for the first two, but should be able to get the other 3 by the end of the challenge.) This is to make sure that I don't slouch on what is a non-primary art for me. 3. Be ready to fight early in the day: This is a modification from my last challenge which included waking up every day and immediately doing Wudang 5-animal qigong. This time, let's summon the sun with a bit of Surya Namaskara A & B (Sun Salutation A & B ). I think that a A, A, B, A pattern upon waking will get the inner fire going in my body, so before I even get dressed in the mornings, I'll be doing this every day. *these are to be done in addition to my circuit training, tai chi training, and now...regular vinyasa class. Still abstaining from alcohol and eating a paleo diet with heavy focus on raw vegetables. ...and best of luck to my fellow druids. *bows deeply*
  21. This article is AMAZING!! For those who do not know me...I just (Jan. 2nd) had my two year "nerd-versary", I have always been an adventurer...Not sure what this "Ranger" guild is about but we'll give it a shot because Adventurers no longer 'fit' (if y'all will accept me that is...) Some Things I've Learned What has worked: Eating Paleo, not so much because of weight loss, but because I have RA and not eating the SAD foods has reduced my inflammation to more manageable levels. Walking, because I have realized I really enjoy it, and doing 5K's because they're fun! Yoga, because stress and my neck injury are a real thing Weights, because....well because I want to be a BadAss! What has not worked: Derby, not because it doesn't work, but because I have RA and my recovery time is crazy...I have to be able to move the next day. Anything that requires me to go to a gym, or devote crazy amounts of time to, because my schedule is constantly changing from one day to another... tl/dr; Immediate Goal To lose 40 lbs and finish Dietary Manager Course Goal 1 After Work - Week 1 & 2- GGS Workout M&F - HIIT Tuesday - MIC Thursday - Week 3 - GGS Workout M&F - HIIT M&F - MIC T&T - Week 4 - GGS Workout M&F - HIIT MWF - MIC T&T STR – 2 CON – 2 Goal 2 All Day - Moving 3 Miles a day/5 days a week At Work - Yoga 2 days a week (T&T) STA – 2 DEX – 2 Goal 3 After Workout - Homework! Do 1 Lesson a week WIS – 2 CHA - 2 eta - update to workout plans to match GGS program
  22. This is going to be a good year. I can tell, because 2015 was a very good year for me; because I started taking control instead of just letting life happen around me. 2016 will be more of that, so it can only get more better This month I will be focusing my quests on motivation. A reminder of why I am doing these things, without the pressure to reach a goal right away, or the disappointment if that doesn't happen. Some are shorter term (goals that are possible to achieve in the 4 weeks), others are a little more ambiguous, long-term, or I have no idea how long they'll take. I guess... It's good to keep the goal in mind but still be sure to enjoy the journey! So without further ado... B is for Bend Stretch after class/conditioning/etc Dedicated yoga minimum 2x/week -> Ulterior motive: Bridge (general improvement, "no cheat" bridge) -> Ulterior motive: Start splits progressions A is for Atlas Ranger sub-job: Animal Affinity Take Atlas for a good walk 5days/week (Weather permitting, but don't be a wimp) -> Ulterior motive: Train 2 new commands M is for Move In addition to capoeira classes, work on conditioning and BWW Minimum 3 BWW/conditioning sessions/week (Conditioning can be short 7.5-15 minute sessions, but only if given enough gusto) -> Ulterior motive: 5+ reps of GOOD standard push ups in one set -> Ulterior motive: 1 pull up (unassisted) -> Ulterior motive: Bananeira/handstand away from the wall -> Ulterior motive: Queda de Rins (lift both feet off the ground) F is for Food Paleo-ish. Get it right Track food intake. 1 cheat day/week -> Ulterior motive: Get in the habit of thinking about and cooking 1 meal/week (scrambled eggs or post-workout slab of chicken do not count) -> Ulterior motive: Lose at least 4lb Stats:
  23. I'm going to try to get back into the swing of things. This year is my year, and I'm going to complete as many of these four week challenges as possible. I can do it. I can, and I will. Goal 1: Declutter. I want my room to be a haven for myself, and at the moment I have too much stuff. I've divided it into sections, and for this challenge I'm focusing on the floor. I have two crates of stuff that I want to be gone so I can use the crates for different storage (Christmas stuff and craft stuff). If they're gone by the end of the challenge, it's a win. If I get my Christmas and/or craft stuff in one or both crates, it's extra credit. Goal 2: Yoga every day. I find a significant change in my mobility and joint health when I practice yoga regularly. I really find this is useful for my everyday life and my sanity. At least ten minutes of yoga every day. Goal 3: Eat a whole food based breakfast. Nutrition is the most difficult thing for me to change so I'm going to try to start the days well. Eggs and veggies, meat and veggies or a protein shake and veggies, and a green smoothie in the morning too if I can get my ass into gear. Goal 4: Get to the gym. My gym has a community building focus with lots of classes that are mostly high intensity aimed at losing fat. I want to eventually get back into lifting but for now I want to get back to the gym and start making more friends there. I want to go at least three times a week, and up to five, or work out at home three to five times a week. I have to have a caveat because I'm going to be away for the last week of the challenge. My main quest for this challenge is to lose 4% of my bodyweight, as I've also signed up for DietBet for this four weeks. I hope with my smart goals I can achieve this. I'll also be aiming to drink lots of water, get to sleep on time and write every day, as these are my goals for the year.
  24. Hi! I am very new to "this" site and I saw in a post Steve saying there is a community of people willing to welcome me with hands. So starting off, I am kind of a beginner to fat loss methods and exercises and I was wondering if anyone here could tell me in a little detail (cut out all the basic info) on where to begin, what to do etc. I saw that Steve mostly recommends Paleo diet and strength training. But here's what, I don't have access to the gym and I live in India where getting food that is completely natural and void of artificial stuff/hormones is somewhat impossible. I am at 200 pounds but that's not fully fat. Don't have a fat caliper to measure it since its not very common here. I believe I have a pretty good set of biceps and am able to lift up to 50 kgs on my "forearm". Yes, you heard it right. I am a little fat at the chest, abdomen and thigh areas. So if anyone could tell me exactly what I should be doing under these conditions I would really be grateful. -mrforhelp
  25. I know I'm late to the party here, but I ate almost an entire bag of fun sized kit kats today and realized that I have a problem again. Life has been very busy the past few months but that should not be an excuse. Life is not more busy today than it was a month ago, and I was still eating healthy a month ago (but on sale Halloween candy was not overwhelming me a month ago!) Everyone has priorities in life, and fitness and health needs to be one of mine. I'm going to basically regurgitate some old goals here, ones that worked, so that I can bring myself back up to speed on the healthy life bandwagon. Goal 1: Eat no more than 2 bites of sweets per day, at least 6 days a week. Sugar is bad for me and creates a never-ending loop of unhealthy. Goal 2: Work out at least 4 times per week, at least 10 minutes per work out, at least one workout must be HIIT of some sort, and at least one must be strength. Goal 3: Sleep an average of 7 hours every night. Life quest: Spend at least 10 minutes at least 4 days per week writing music.
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