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  1. Okay, I am going to keep this brief. Boring, I know. I just don't have time to flesh out the post right now. Q1: Lift 3x per week, sprint 1x per week Q2: Minimum 3500 cal with a minimum 250 g protein Q3: Drink 1-2 gal of water per day SQ: Doll house, work on it at least once per week and post pics.
  2. This is going to be my most ambitious challenge yet. I am probably doomed to fail, but as long as we learn from our failures they aren't really failures are they? First, I am rolling my exercise quests from last challenge into one: Exercise 4x per week, ideally 3 lift, 1 sprint. But because I am going into my busy season at work I might have to sacrifice my normal workout time and will be forced to improvise. So any workout counts. Second, stepping up my diet goal again, 2500 cal max, 180g protein min, every day, with the exception of June 2-5, my birthday weekend. I am still going to try but I am not going to score it. Third, My Etsy shop, The Tower of Or and Sable has been stagnant for too long. I am going to attempt to breath new life into it. Mini goals in this quest include getting my books in order, promoting the shop on social media at least once a week (this doesn't count), reviewing/updating my existing listings, and creating 2 new listings or products. Fourth, I need to start getting my finances in order starting with a will and college funds for my kids. Side Quest: Yep, still the Doll House. This time I am going to include posting a picture in the quest. Maybe then I will actually do it.
  3. Well spring is here and the sun is shining. Unfortunately, the sunshine isn't bringing me the energy it should. Long hours at work, restless nights, and stress at home (did I mention I have 3 kids under 4?) are taking their toll. Last week was crap for my goals. Ate too much junk, slept too little, and didn't exercise. This was also following a less than stellar challenge. So, now I am trying to get some momentum back and get back into things before summer comes and the shit really hits the fan. Willpower has always been an issue for me especially late in the challenges. I have been trying a few different tools to help me out on this front, but ultimately it comes down my will and my routine. Since I am low on willpower these days and my life is such that I need to be a little more flexible in my routine right now, I am going to build some flexibility into my goals. First is of course lifting followed by sprints. I did pretty well with these last challenge but with my schedule being as fluid as it is right now I need to be able to bend a little more so I am going to allow the option to bike into work as a replacement for any given workout but I still need to keep 4 workouts a week. Third is diet. I am going to be breaking from my previous challenges a bit for this one. On weekdays I am going to stick to the 180g protein minimum 2500 cal max, but on weekends I am not going to penalize breaking those goals as long as I keep track of all my food on MFP. I found last challenge that after weekends where I splurged my performance in workouts was better and I actually made progress cutting fat so we are going to see if I can keep that going or not. Finally, the doll house. I got nothing done on this last challenge and time is slipping by. I am going to shoot for working on it one day a week for an unspecified period of time. Hopefully I can make some progress this time. In Short: Q1: Lift 3 days a week (or bike) Q2: Consume at least 180 g protein per day while staying under 2500 calories (MFP only on weekends) Q3: Sprint 6x30 sec 1 day a week (or bike) SQ: Work on Doll House 1 night per week.
  4. Last challenge was sort of a warm up as it was my first challenge in about a year. Now I am ready to dive in to the next one....well almost. I am going to be switching up my lifting routine a little, adding overhead press and switching to 4 sets of 5 with increasing weights instead of 3x6 with fixed weights. Lifting schedule remains the same M,T,TH. This time, though I am adding some sprints in on Wednesday. I am not formally restricting my diet any more than the last challenge, though, as I decided last challenge, I am going to try to stop eating for the day once I hit my protein goal. For my side quest: last challenge I biffed hard trying to make chainmail pot scrubbers. This time I am shifting focus to a different craft: BUILDING TINY HOUSES! Seriously, my wife and I have a doll house last year that my grandfather had been building when he was still around and able to do so. We got it last fall (summer?) and have done absolutely nothing with it since. Which is a problem since we plan to give it to my daughter for her birthday in October and I know next to nothing about doll houses. Fortunately, my grandpa did a lot of work and we can more or less see the direction in which it is headed but still I actually need to work on it. Last night my wife and I agreed that we needed to make more use of our evenings so I will be working on the doll house while she works out. My goal is to work on it for an hour at least 4 nights a week. In short: Q1: Lift 3 days a week Q2: Consume at least 180 g protein per day while staying under 2500 calories Q3: Sprint 6x30 sec 1 day a week SQ: Work on Doll House 4 nights a week.
  5. I have been away from the rebellion for a while and, if I'm being honest, my time away hasn't done me much good. Over the past year, due mainly to stress at work and the birth and care of my twin sons, I have managed to put on about 20 lbs! Not the good kind either, I'm up to 28% body fat from 23% about a year ago. Mid spring last year I started relaxing a little and by summer I had completely lost the will to do anything for my body... and then the boys came along. Anyway, enough of the excuses. I have been back at it since the start of the year, with a few slip ups here and there, but I am working on a system to keep me on track. This challenge is only a small part of it though. I am doing this mainly to give me an excuse to keep fitness on my mind when I am on my lunch break and there are no new articles to peruse on the Blog. I am going to be relying heavily on my LifeRPG app to get me through this time. If you haven't heard of it, it is a "gamify your life" app available in the google play store. I have already set up my training schedule and set up reminders to keep an eye on my diet. I have also used the built in reward system to try to keep my diet cheeting under control. Anyway, Here are the nuts and bolts of this challenge: Q1: Lift 3 times a week. Time is a major issue for me now since I have 3 kids and only one sister in law to help when the wife is away (sanity wares thin) so I need to keep my workouts small. I am focusing on Bench, Deadlift and supersets of pullups and chin-ups 3 sets of 6 for everything increasing whenever I can get 8 on the last set. Not perfect by a long shot but it is what I can do for now. Q2: Stick to diet. I am working on cutting right now so I am shooting for 2500 cal per day with a minimum of 180 g protein. I am using My Fitness Pal to track everything. Q3: Grease the groove. With the weight I gained and muscle I lost over the past year my pullup ability has suffered greatly so I am going to work on attempting a set every time I let the dog out. I do my pullups in the rafters of my sun porch so this works out pretty naturally. SQ: In addition to getting my body back on track I am also trying to breathe some new life into my side business making and selling chainmail. My goal will be to complete 3 chainmail pot scrubbers by the end of the challenge. That's it for now. Honestly, I sorta just made this up on the fly. I decided to poke around the rebellion on a whim and notice the challenge was starting. Any notes or criticisms to my plan are welcome.
  6. I wrote a really long, funny and interesting post, but lost it, so here is another post: I'm 37 years old and it feels like my body is falling apart. Up until my middle teenage years, I would at least do several sports in parallel. We like sports in Sweden and if you live in the middle of nowhere, what else are you going to do? Then I met my first love, computers. We had a great relationship that lead me to work for a while in Stockholm and finally moving to California, which is where in the end the last bit of magic wore off a bit and I woke up with this ... fragile, loose-ish body that can't run or the knees start hurting, have a shoulder that I can dislocate by just lifting my arm over my head and relaxing and is generally lacking in density. I've spent a significant part of the last decade trying to think of something that interests me enough to make me start moving my ass. I've tried a few things, but my lack of patience and being a poster boy of fragility makes everything painful after the first week. Recently I was handed an article about the Armored Combat League (Yes, real thing), where grown men put on steel armor, group up and attack other groups with steel weapons (blunt, but full force). It's the kind of thing I used to play when I was a kid, and I really want to be part of it, but I'm not there yet. Today, I am 3 weeks into my couch to knight epic quest line. I've been doing physical therapy for my shoulder and it's already strong enough that I don't fear dislocating it. In a month, it'll be like a normal (muggle, non fit, non adventurer) persons shoulder, and by next year it'll be knight strong. By next summer, I'll be a serious competitor for the regional team, if not a regular. I've also been running, because I once saw a guy run up half-dome in Yosemite National Park and it's still one of the most impressive things I've ever seen. Running is pretty boring and wearing on my knees, so I'm going to run less and replace it with other cardio. I'm also refining another epic quest line that will take me to a Spartan or Tough Mudder race next year. Or maybe Ninja Warrior. Or both. That'd be awesome. I'll be awesome. TL;DR: I'm going to be a knight! *runs around attacking bushes with a sword and makes knight-y noises*
  7. I have been cutting for far too long, it's time to regain my size and strength. So what better theme than the Mightiest of the Avengers, the Strength of Asgard, the Odinson: Thor! The Strength of Thor: Lift thrice weekly: On the Moon's day, Tyr's day and Thor's Day Feasting with the Frost Giants: Consume calories of the count of Three Thousand Four Hundred daily. Say nay to grains and sweet cakes when possible. The Chariot of Thor: Threaten the dwarves into forging a helm worthy of the Son of Odin. Then ride mine chariot to and from Midgard twice weekly: on Odin's day and Frigg's day. Odin's Teachings: While in Midgard, endeavor to learn the ways of magic and do works that please Odin. Onward! For the Glory of Asgard! ((I decided midway through writing this post to attempt to stay in character for the remainder of the challenge, we'll see how that works out))
  8. Way back in days of old there was a legend told about a hero known as Galvant. Square jaw and perfect hair, Cajones out to there, There was no hero quite like Galavant! Tough, plus every other manly value Mess with him he'll disembowel you! Yea, he ruled in every way, a fairytale cliché, an people called him Gaaalaaavaaaaant! Yep that's my theme this challenge. If you don't know what Galavant is, it is a comedy on ABC featuring a lot of singing and set in a medieval fairytale setting. So pretty much everything I ever wanted in a show. Anyway, I have been away for a while doing my own thing and making progress. That is, until the holidays hit. Now I need a little extra motivation to get back on track and lucky me I happen to come back just in time for the shiny new challenge system. As for my challenge, it is somewhat inspired by Galavant's return to questing shape toward the beginning of season 1. My lift workouts involve bench, Military, Deadlift, and Cleans. As for my diet, I have the most difficulty on the weekends, so for now I am going to focus more on what I eat when I am at home rather than how much. Anyway, down to it: Q1: Isabella's Training: Lift 3 times a week, Arrow workout 2 days a week Q2: Sid's Cooking: Stay paleo on weekends, stay under 1800 calories on weekdays ( I am on a cut right now) Q3: Fit in My Armor: drop to 20% body fat (if I can't do it this challenge I will roll it over to the next) SQ: Xanax's Laboratory: 95% completion of my work goals (kinda shoehorned this one into the theme, I work in a lab so it's the best I could come up with) That's it for now, I haven't decided if I am going to do anything fun with the updates yet. It will depend on how busy I get and, of course, how well I am sticking to my challenge. 'Till next time, TALLY HO! I'm off on a hero's journey Out where adventure lies On a quest the Poet's will sing about! With destiny at my shoulder, An ego of massive size, And a face most chicks have a thing about. So what if I'm still hung over? So what if I smell like slop? So what if I've got this pesky muffin top? I'm off on a hero's journey A champion through and through (More or less) Doing what other hero's do. Update: Epic Quest page here
  9. Yeah, so I love knights... and shiny armor.... and weapons.... thus the theme this time around. The goal for this challenge is to lose ten pounds over the course of six weeks and increase my fitness capabilities. Time to slim down so I can fit in my armor. I'll expand this section with a bit more info about me sometime in the next few days. 1. Train for the Joust - Foundational Fitness I've begun going to the local 24-hour fitness with my younger brother and am looking forward to many gym days to come. Since I have no idea what I'm doing with most of the machines, I've been shadowing him and doing the same exercises with lower weights. We're probably going back tomorrow if we're not still too sore. Hopefully, our gym adventures will help me get over my gym fears and enable me to feel a bit more at home in the school gym. Challenge Goal: Hit the Gym at least 2x a week 2. Prepare the Castle It's a bit difficult to get things done when your castle is crumbling, stacks of paperwork abound, and rooms are cluttered. Mini Goals: Obliterate the inbox - I have over 4,000 unread messages (generally unimportant, but still..). Hack that down to 500 messages total (read and unread).Clean the Castle - I head back to college in four weeks and need to get my room in order. Clean it top to bottom over the next few weeks and get rid of any junk I have lying around.Prepare the Armoury - Continue progress on my Mandalorian build and begin assembling a parts list to have shipped to my University dorm. Order my helmet 3. Eat Like a Queen - Paleo Eating Part of being a healthy knight is cultivating a healthy diet, and while I have made progress there is still a long way to go. My goal is to keep tracking my food intake and start cleaning up my diet. By the end of the challenge, I will be back at university and cooking/shopping for myself. If I want any healthy habits to carry over I need to start them before my life gets totally hectic with school. Challenge Goal - 90%+ Paleo 4. Write an Epic Tale - Life Goal Unpack the writing kit and begin my senior thesis. The university I attend suggests starting two years in advance, so it's about time I get started on my project. I've got a few ideas in mind that I need to explore before the semester starts and I have to meet with my advisor. Challenge - Settle on a project goal and pencil out a plan for the duration of my thesis. Slay the Dragon - Ultimate Goal The pinnacle of knightly training - succeed in slaying a mighty monster. In this case, slay the fat through sheer determination and hard work. The monster is slain if I succeed in losing a total of 10 pounds over the course of the challenge. Other Missions Train for ALL the Trials at Arms - Participate in the Mini-challenges Join a Noble Company - Follow some other challenges and chat with members of NF
  10. So my challenge was somewhat themed on the Battle of Helm's Deep, hence the title. Motivation started wavering about week 2 then in week 3 I had to make preparations for a trip to visit the in-laws. That's what really did me in, I had a lot to do leading up to the trip which prevented me from getting my workouts in and then, on the trip itself, no workouts or diet tracking whatsoever. I ate a lot of things I shouldn't have and didn't eat a lot of things I should. After I got back, the motivation just wasn't there I have been sitting around and eating for the past week and a half. It doesn't help that my mother-in-law is essentially sleeping in my workout room (not placing blame on her, I just don't want to disturb her just so I can lift). Also, along with company comes all kinds of foods I should not be eating. So, I finally got back on here to respawn. Hopefully I can turn it around tomorrow, at least a little. My mother in law will be here till the end of the month so I can't get up to full speed for a while, but I can at least work toward getting my motivation back and fixing my diet.
  11. At the beginning of last challenge I was inspired to create a series of challenges based on major battles of Middle Earth. Right now these challenges only contain the exercise aspect of the challenge so I will be adding other goals as well. I decided to skip over the first couple as they are more geared to beginners or at least people who are where I was a few challenges ago. If you are interested in using, viewing, or helping me construct these challenges there is the Link. If you look at the challenges I posted in the other thread you will see that I made some changes to parts of Helm's Deep and I may make more before this challenge begins. It's all about working out the kinks and building a feasible plan. The Battle of Helm's Deep This is the first battle in which the members of the Fellowship had a chance to prepare for battle. Armor was donned, blades sharpened, and the fortress bolstered, though there was little time. The battle raged through the night against a relentless foe of unbeatable numbers. The warriors were tired, their muscles ached under their armor, yet they fought on. This Challenge is about building endurance while maintaining the strength needed to fight under the weight of armor. Q1: Workout Strength: 2 Days a week 5x5. Bench, Military, Deadlift, and Curls both days. Calisthenics: 2 Day a week, Biggest Loser Boot Camp DVD while wearing chainmail hauberk. (substitute any workout that mixes strength and cardio, substitute weighted vest and/or ankle and wrist weights) Core: 1 day a week: 1 min Leg Raises, 1 min 1 leg 1 arm row, 1 min Mountain Climbers. Repeat 5 times, no Breaks. Weapons: 5 Days a week, 10 minutes Pell training with heavy boffer weapons. Workout Doesn't Count If I Don't Stretch After! Q2: Diet Consume no more than 3400 calories per day while consuming at least 215g protein. Q3: Work I am trying to work toward a promotion, and have set up a list of things to work on. My goal is to stick to my checklist for the entirety of the challenge. Score is based on percentage completed. SQ: Chainmaile Produce 10 pieces for sale at craft fairs.
  12. Greetings, Rangers! I am Thalianost, Knight Banaret of the Order of the Gules Oak. I have been training and feasting with the warriors for most of the winter but now that spring is just around the corner, as is swordplay season, it is time I start getting more active and putting my strength to use. This challenge my plan is to ease out of weight training mode and into combat mode. The Plan: Main Quest: Increase mobility while maintaining strength. Q1: Workouts Since I don't want to loose all my hard earned strength between now and next fall, I am going to keep lifting but only 2 days a week, rather than 4. The other two days I will be doing The Biggest Loser Boot Camp DVD to try to get my endurance and mobility back. Also, as I have been neglecting my core, I will be adding a shorter Core workout on Friday's (the day I have the least amount of workout time). So It will look like this: Monday: Lift, chest and shoulders Tuesday: DVD workout Wednesday: Lift, arms and legs Thursday: DVD workout Friday: Core Q2: Diet I decided toward the end of the previous challenge not to get too caught up in the numbers on the scale for a while. I am planning to just put in the work and trust that the numbers will take care of themselves. On that note, even though I am flabbier than I would like to be (currently 29%BF). I am not going to be shooting for a caloric deficit this challenge, I am going to aim to maintain. My last challenge was a cut challenge in which I was aiming for less than 2700 calories and a minimum of 260g protein, not an easy task. I have noticed that this help teach me to eat leaner proteins and cut out a lot of carbs and junk, so I feel I might end up eating well under my goals anyway. This challenge I am shooting for less than 3500 calories a day while consuming a minimum of 255g protein. Q3: Stretching I have developed, over the past few years, a bad habit of not stretching after my workouts. This must stop. My goal will be to stretch after every work out. SQ1: Chainmaile In my spare time I am an amateur craftsman, making stuff out of chainmaile. I am considering doing a craft fair this summer and need to build up my stock. My goal for this challenge is to complete 20 bracelets and 5 Head Bands. SQ2: Swordsmanship This is more of a trial run for future challenges. As a knight I need to cultivate and maintain good swordsmanship. I don't have a good indoor practice space so training in the harsh northern Illinois winter is a bit of a challenge especially with a baby running around my feet. My goal for this challenge is to spend 5 minutes 5 days a week "shadow sparring" using either my sword or my waster. So for those of you who didn't want to read all that: Q1: Lift 2x per week, DVD 2x per week, Core 1X per week Q2: <3500 cal per day, >255g protein per day Q3: Stretch after every workout SQ1: Complete 20 bracelets and 5 headbands Complete 5 bracelets and 2 neck ties (Edited 3/16/15) SQ2: Sword training 5 min/day, 5 day/week Though I don't identify myself as a ranger, I am still very excited to be working with you all. Happy challenge everyone!
  13. I kinda ran out of steam with the last challange, I kept up with my workouts and eating but stopped keeping track of everything midway through. Anyway, I have reached a point where I have a reasonable amount of muscle mass so I am going to focus on trimming the fat. That's right warriors, against everything we stand for I am going to attempt to loose weight. The reason I am still posting here is that I am going to be taking a warrior's approach. My excersize is going to be exclusively lifting and my diet will be hight protein, low carb. Main Quest: Build muscle, loose fat, look like a superhero. 3 Quests: Lift at least 4 times a week Consume less than 2700 calories a day while consuming at least 260g protein (I'm sure this is overly ambitios but I think it is worth a try) Drop to 25% body fat Currently: 30% Side quest: Write 5 chapters for a novel I am working on Motivation: My dad and my grampa were big guys and I have seen the health issues that can come from it. Also, since I have my own kid now, I want to stay healthy and active so I can encourage good habits in her. My plan for lifting is to use my own workout loosely based on the Avengers Workout plan. Due to various restrictions regarding time and equipment I had to customize it to suit me a little better. Biggest disappointment with my current workout situation is I cannot do Squats for safety reasons. That is the plan so far, hopefully I will at least loose the gut I build up over the past few building challanges. I just hope I don't loose all my new muscle mass in the process.
  14. Back again after a less than successful previous challenge. I am hoping to make up for lost time, with the help of a little renewed enthusiasm. I am starting a little cold this challenge. I couldn't work out for the past couple weeks due to some home improvements I have been working on. But now that my bench as been cleared I am good to go. Let's get to it! Main Quest: Build muscle, loose fat, look like a superhero. 3 Quests: Lift at least 4 times a week Eat at least 260g protein per day Attain an additional 6 lbs. lean body weight (weight - (% body fat x weight) = lean body weight) Currently: (can't remember, it is on a spreadsheet at home) Side quest: Write 5 chapters for a novel I am working on (not a NaNoWriMo project) Motivation: My dad and my grampa were big guys and I have seen the health issues that can come from it. Also, since I have my own kid now, I want to stay healthy and active so I can encourage good habits in her. My plan for lifting is to use my own workout loosely based on the Avengers Workout plan. Due to various restrictions regarding time and equipment I had to customize it to suit me a little better. Biggest disappointment with my current workout situation is I cannot do Squats for safety reasons.
  15. Thalianost is back with the Level 1's. I started to late in the last challenge to advance so let us try this again! I am trying to build upon my previous challenge, similar quests but amped up a little. Main Quest: Build muscle, loose fat, look like a superhero. 3 Quests: Lift at least 4 times a week Eat at least 3600 calories a day including 200g protein Attain 192 lbs lean body weight. (weight - (% body fat x weight) = lean body weight) Currently: ~186 Side quest: Complete my chainmaile coif. Motivation: My dad and my grampa were big guys and I have seen the health issues that can come from it. Also, since I have my own kid now, I want to stay healthy and active so I can encourage good habits in her.
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