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  1. Hey there everyone. You mind if I come play over here for a while? I would have hung out in one of the other guilds, but I have too many jobs for Serenity, and I'm not gonna run (much) so the Pavement's out. I'm not trying to bulk so no Weight Gain, but I'm not planning to resist holiday treats either, so Weight Loss is out too. So, the only one left for me to join is this one. I hope y'all don't mind. Anyway, posting up today's workout: Warmed Up Chin Ups: 3x61, 5 (notation indicates the number of sets, out of the total executed, that this particular rep range was used). Pistol Progressions: 3x5/Leg Close Push Ups: 3x6 Hanging Knee Raises: 3x6 Inverted Ring Rows: 3x4 Skater Squats: 3x9/Leg Pike Press, 1-Step: 3x3 Full Bridge: 3x6 Core Work: Dynamic Hollow Body Wall Walk: 3x1 Bent Leg to Bar: 3x1 Hanging Knee Hold: 3x6 seconds Took about an hour or so. Then went off to work UPS, which proved to be... interesting, on a Christmas Eve.
  2. A Koan that's been on my mind lately. You probably know it: * A man traveling across a field encountered a tiger. He fled, the tiger after him. Coming to a precipice, he caught hold of the root of a wild vine and swung himself down over the edge. The tiger sniffed at him from above. Trembling, the man looked down to where, far below, another tiger was waiting to eat him. Only the vine sustained him. Two mice, one white and one black, little by little started to gnaw away the vine. The man saw a luscious strawberry near him. Grasping the vine with one hand, he plucked the strawberry with the other. How sweet it tasted! * I first learned this one when I was in high school, but I didn't really know what it meant until I was in college, working door to door selling books. I was never very good at it, and the temptation to despair was always very close. I ended up repeating this story to myself a lot, and I found it really helped me. The circumstances, as usual, have changed. I have a job now. The writing gig finally came though, and it came through in a big way. Which is great. But there are problems. I am... aware of how tenuous things are now for the company that I work with. I feel like this job could leave any day, and the money with it. Meanwhile, I have rent and car payments and property taxes and insurance jumping through the roof, and I'll be selling plasma before the week's out to make ends meet. And also, I'm writing a novel. You'd think I was completely overwhelmed, and to be honest, it kinda does feel that way. But honestly? On a day to day basis? I actually feel happy. I joke with people and say that I've lost my emotional capacity for things going right, but the fact is, moment by moment, I'm excited. I feel like I've got more and better in me than I have in a long time, and I feel like I'm stepping into the ring. There's so freaking much I want to do in this challenge, that it's hard to figure out what four I want to do. But in the end, I remember that it's about starting small and going larger. Goal 1: BREAK MY CHAINS - THREE BODYWEIGHT WORKOUTS PER WEEK BASED ON CONVICT CONDITIONING'S "GOOD BEHAVIOR" SCHEDULE I have scoffed at Convict Conditioning before. I don't really dig the glorification of prison life. I think Wade's advice is suspect in a lot of different ways, particularly in how he does progressions and what he considers to be reasonable. And don't get me started on his diet advice. But at the same time, I'm imprisoned by my circumstances. I feel the weight of my disadvantages, and he is one of the few trainers to acknowledge such things. There is a certain purity in that, I think. What I am going to do is attempt to engage some of what he talks about utilizing some of what I've learned. I'll be keeping what he says about time under tension - the 2-1-2 cadence - and I'll be keeping the schedule in broad terms. Monday is for pushing and core work; Thursday is for pulling and leg work; Saturday is all about inversions. These will be customized, however: I'm going to be exploring as many different two-arm variants as I can before progressing to one-arm. And I'll be working many different angles with these moves. I'm setting the progression standards at ten reps per set, with a variable amount of sets: as many as I can do in twenty minutes. Afterward, ten minutes will be dedicated to a finisher of some kind. We'll call this +1 STA, +2 STR. GOAL 2: RE-INTEGRATE SHADOW COMBOS AND UCHIKOMI If the MMA work last challenge taught me anything, it's that you don't need a lot of time to get a quality workout with martial arts moves. The thing is, I'm responsible for knowing moves in a couple arts already. If I'm going to go back to the dojo, I need to practice those moves. Six days per week, I'm going to practice ten striking combos and ten uchikomi. The striking combos must all end in gyaku zuki, and the throw will be uchi mata. Each week progressing, I will add ten combinations and uchikomi to the mix. +5 DEX GOAL 3: THE BEST PART OF WAKING UP IS NO PAIN So, something I've grappled with for years is waking up in the morning and dealing with pain in my lower back. Learning SMR helped a great deal with that, and learning how to traction joints helped a great deal as well. Coming back to a standing desk has helped a ton as well. I want to go one step further and start every morning off with a couple minutes of flow work. It loosens up the joints, gets blood flowing, and even has some metabolic benefits attached to it as well. +4 CON LIFE GOAL: MEDITATE This was a mini-challenge we posted last challenge, and I don't know how it went for everyone else, but I got a lot of benefit out of it. I was passed an audio from OmHarmonics and it made a huge difference to my practice. I was on my way to developing it as a habit when the tumult of getting a job swept in and nearly killed it. I want to get that back. +3 WIS And there we have it. A longer, rambling intro, but I haven't done one of those in a while. Last challenge of the year, folks. If ever there was gonna be a time to finish strong, this would be it. Let's go to work.
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