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  1. My bard challenge ended with more of a whimper than a bang, but we're going to continue this tour of D&D classes with the barbarian, though my fellow Critical Role fans no doubt had that figured out based on my title. So to start with the obvious, my first goal this challenge is to RAGE By which I mean, work out. I'm on a pretty good string of consistent workouts, and I'm happy with how it's going. I'm going to mostly stick with my 5x5 plan from last challenge, except I'm going to turn it down to a 3x5 plan, with the exception of my chin ups, which I'm still kind of experimenting with. For now I think I'm going to alternate 5x3 with 5xAMAP on those. The plan is 2-3 workouts per week. My main reason for adjusting my sets is to make my workouts a little shorter, so that as I add weight I can give more rest time without adding time to the workout as a whole. I did some reading that indicated that 80% of the gains come from the first 3 sets, so I'm not giving up that much, and hopefully it will aid in recovery that can then be put towards my next goal: FAST MOVEMENT I want to get back into running this year, and plan to complete at least one 5k. I've neglected my cardio for a couple of years at this point, so for now I'm just going to aim to get my heartrate up three times a week with the new bike trainer I just bought (it's not actually new, got it on Facebook marketplace, which if you'll recall is also where my weights came from. As much as I dislike Facebook as a whole and haven't posted anything on there in years, I'm becoming more and more fond of the marketplace portion of it.) The goal for zero week is just to get the thing set up. TOTEM WARRIOR - WOLF My subclass for this challenge will be Path of the Totem Warrior. I've been very conscientious about not overstepping when it comes to my dad's dog, but it does kind of bother me that he isn't more intentional about training her. He does spend a lot of time with her, but is just kind of counting on her to pick things up through osmosis. Which has worked surprisingly well, actually. She is, all in all, a very good dog. But I can't take her barking much more. I've done a bit of digging into how to address that, and my preferred strategy is to teach her to speak, which then sets up a foundation for teaching her not to speak. It worked well for the last dog we had, so it's worth trying again. The goal here is to work with her on it every day, even if it's just a minute or two. For zero week, though, I'm just working on picking up some training treats to use with her. UNARMORED DEFENSE Brene Brown's new book Atlas of the Heart has been on my TBR since it came out, and my Enneagram work last challenge indicated that my type tends to not be in touch with my emotions (which I've definitely gotten better at, but yeah, they have a point there) so I'm going to continue the challenging but cathartic work of drilling down into my messy inner stuff and keep sorting it out as best I can. For zero week, my goal is just to get it checked out of the library.
  2. I’m reading “atomic habits” at the moment and the focus this challenge will be on continuing my habit building from last challenge. It was the first challenge I’ve finished in a LONG time, so I’m sticking with what worked, as well as adding another potential tick. 5/4/3/2/1: ⏹⏹⏹⏹⏹5 veggies ⏹⏹⏹⏹ 4/week legumes ⏹⏹⏹ 3 serves whole grain ⏹⏹ 2 fruit ⏹ 1 nuts/seeds Noom homework: ⏹ keep working through those modules, doing the readings, weighing in etc. focus for zero week/most of week 1 is going to be maintaining at approx 90kg. Then weeks 2-5 will be a gentle deficit to bring it down by another 2-3kg before hopping back into maintenance mode. Say hi to the nerds! ⏹Keep up with the regular updates, folklore (autocorrected from ‘follow’, but I’m keeping it) and interact with other’s challenges. Runner 5, report: ⏹5,500 steps per day. Under 5hrs screen time on the phone: ⏹ self explanatory. PUMP IT (louder): ⏹new habit: gym on Tuesday and Thursday. Get reacquainted with the iron. Active recovery the other days, ideally yoga, but minimum physio stretches.
  3. Back again, trying for some consistency. 2021 is/was meant to be the year of health for me (where I sort out everything I keep putting off and start my 30s in peak condition- one year, git gud). The big three: sleep, eat, exercise, continue to be things I struggle with and it’s already May. Technically the 1 year till I’m 30 started on the 3rd, so let’s start kicking some health goals. I have been putting time and energy into getting all the tests I’d been putting off (eyes tested and glasses ordered, ears tested and fine, gyno done and awaiting results, dentist done and need to do another X-ray and go back, in regular therapy, been seeing the physio weekly for my jacked shoulder, waiting on a halter ecg so we can find out if the heart palpitations are anxiety or something that needs more tests, have a rough timeline to transition off these anxiety meds and to something a bit less brutal). I am consistently grateful that healthcare is so subsidised in this country, my therapy/physio are under $100/visit, the eyes ears and gyno tests all free (have to pay for the actual glasses but that seems fair), the dentist was really the only ouchie one and that is nothing compared to some of the gofundme pages I have seen to support healthcare elsewhere. I’ve been making some progress with Zombies Run couch to 5k and have been enjoying the story and the increase in fitness. I bought myself some shoes as a reward- actual ‘go to a shop and get fitted’ ones- which is new for me. I have my eye on a fitness watch as my final loot partially for the heart rate monitoring (anyone have one they love that seems super accurate for heart rate tracking?) Ive been going to the gym once per week (banned from boxing by the physio as that’s what did my shoulder... which is actually my bicep that runs through the shoulder apparently:o ), have got cleared to go back up to twice per week with the personal trainer. Shoulder was bad, now I’m almost better- but I have daily exercises I need to do to stretch it out and strengthen my back muscles to take more of the load. Mr broke his elbow. So he is off work for likely 6weeks. Minimum 2 (been 1 so far) before he can even think about going in for light duties (painting or holding stuff with his good hand) By our powers combined we have a functioning left and right arm 😂 I am unhappy with my weight. I have gained 20kg/44lb in 4 years and I would like to shed at least that much, possibly 30kg (depending on muscle/body comp). I think that is too much to lose in one year without drastic measures but 12kg (1/month or 2/month on : 0/month off) seems reasonable and attainable. My medication is known for making it easy to put on weight and tough to lose it, but that is no excuse to eat way too much and then cry about not being able to button my jeans. ok, think that basically sums up everything, so challenge goals: - Do your checklist - Do the physio exercises - Cardio - MyFitnessPal the food (did today as a baseline and hit over 2200 without feeling like I was particularly pigging out... so a fair amount of room for improvement), no goal number aimed for at this stage, I need to do some maths first.
  4. The Rangers and people from other guilds, that have been around for a while (at least 2 years i just checked) could know that, in my past, i have dedicated a few challenges in a row to prepping for my first StrongViking Beast obstacle run in the start of 2016. Those were pretty successful challenges, so now i'm summoning the strength of that format again. Because, frankly, things need to be done. You can also say i'm slowly starting to get frightened a bit by the endeavor i have set upon. For the people that don't know, a few facts: *** * T-minus: ~ 23 weeks / 154 days *** * Rat Race Dirty Weekend 2018 *** * UK obstacle run *** * 20 miles *** * 200 obstacles *** * Meeting all the Epic Nerds IRL for the first time!!! There are a couple of things i want to accomplish before that time, and one way or the other i tried to put it all into a spreadsheet which i will upkeep daily. (WIP) A little explanation about all the things: Weeks / Days: Countdowntimers to keep me focused on the time left KCAL/d: I want to be just under 2000 KCAL a day, this is just under maintenance, which will allow me to lose some fat, and keep up with working out. I need to lose some weight to be able to handle all the bodyweight related exercises better, like hanging pulling jumping etc. etc. Protein/d: I don't want to lose the muscle i have built the last couple of years, so protein will be the most important nutrient that i will keep my eye on. Doing 160+ a day is just a little under 2gr/lbs of bodyweight. Drinking/d: I know this is not going to be much of a problem (especially compared to 2 years ago), but i know that if i don't mention this here a few days will be lost due to excessive drinking. Now i rate this on a scale of no / mindful / less than mindful. This gives me some leeway to enjoy the occasional beer. Cause a challenge has to be hard, but you don't need to set yourself up for failure, especially when the drawback (of a single beer) is that low. This untraining of my beer-habit also makes me a bit afraid of the race itself, i owe it to some people to thoroughly enjoy several beers on friday and saturday that i really am getting a bit scared of having to do the 20 miles and 200 obstacles while having a major beer-induced headache. Eat healthy/d: B/L/D a.k.a. Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner. These are the only moments i will eat. The only exception here will be stuff around workout like PWO, recovery drinks and protein shakes. Again this will be scored for doing the best i can. "Best option" means that there was no way i could have eaten healthier given the circumstance at that moment. "Mindfully" means that there might have been a better option which i didn't take but i made a conscious choice not to have that, but also chose not to take the worst option. This is a choice i frequently have to make. I'm not one for meal prepping (yet). And i also don't want to give my kids a bad example by doing some extreme dieting and in their presence i will eat normally but try to do so as healthy as possible. No CC: No Candy no Cooky, no inbetween snacking. This means i just eat at B/L/D and nothing else. This should bring a halt to several of my weaknesses. Especially the one that hit's me after snoozing on the couch, somehow i always wake up with such a sweettooth and stuff my face with cookies or candy just before i go to bed. It will also help in not accumulating those small extra KCALs throughout the day. Lift / Run / Crossfit: These are the workouts i'm gonna do, and my goal is to give them equal attention. I always leaned on lifting more than running, and combining running with lifting was pretty doable. Now that i have CF in the mix it's hard to give running the proper attention. That's why i decided i'm gonna lay down a bit on the lifting and sacrifice one lifting workout for one extra running workout. Even the lifting workout will be geared towards the Rat Race. I'm gonna keep on doing the juggernaut program, and i will do a workout of DL/BP and SQ/OHP + 2 accessory exercises. This program will be written out coming weekend. This also goes for the running workout. I'm gonna go look for a plan that get's me to run about 10 miles within my ~20 weeks i've got. Extra Reps: I just like the idea of doing extra. So this is the excuse to do extra reps, and i'm going to categorize them as hard medium and easy. Hard ones are things i can only do a few of, like pullups. Medium are things like pushups, i can push those out a lot more. And easy ones are the things that i feel i could do all day (and actually have done so), like jumping jacks and mountain climbers. Scoring points are as follows, per rep: Hard 10 points / medium 5 points / easy 1 point. Weight / BF%: These will be here to record how my overall weight and BF% will transition throughout my prep. OSM: OSM a.k.a. Awesome. An awesome day, where i have been completely focused or something else significant happened, will be noted here. I'm hoping a lot of x'es in this column. Comments on missed goals and OSM days: Part of the pressure of accountability, if i fuck up, i have to come clean. Tell how and why i fucked up a goal. On the other hand, this is the place to gloat about awesome days too! So if you want to be part of this success please add some accountability. Nag my ass over things i haven't done or when i tell you i don't feel up to working out. Challenge me (that won't work i can assure you) or find some other way to get under my skin. I'm hoping with the help of you all this will be another good (set of) challenge(s) and i will get my butt in gear to kick ass on the Rat Race. May the lord have mercy on my body So...
  5. . Ready for the next challenge to start tomorrow. The theme this time is one of my personal heroes: Eminem. The dude is super inspiring to be because he succeeded in an arena he shouldn't have, but he decided that is what he wanted so he made it happen. While he isn't necessarily a good person or a grade A role model, I love how he had a vision of his future and gave everything he had to make it come true. . I recently finished reading Steve's Level Up Your Life book, and absolutely loved it. I have gone ahead and written down everything. So these next several challenges will have several of the same aspects simply because they are some of my long quests. That being said, I will have a few more then normal quests on this page, because several of them will be to do one thing once a week, and that could get boring. So without further delay: Quest 1: Write a blog post once a week for More Than Survival . One of the quests I gave myself was to blog once a week for six months. I recently started a blog called More Than Survival. It is sort of my version of NF, but through my experience. It is directed towards people who are currently depressed with where they are in life and want to reengineer their brains for a better life. I am currently on blog three, and am just going through the basic steps of how to start the reengineering process. It would be super awesome if you guys checked it out and gave me feed back on what you think about it. The link is in my signature. I realize I am not the best writer, but I also feel like I have knowledge that could be useful to others so I am going to try. (Completion: 50xp) Attr: +1 Wis; +2 Cha Quest 2: Practice parkour once a week. . Another challenge I gave myself was to train in parkour once a week for six months. I finally found the group in my area that does it and they have agreed to train me. Unfortunately, most of them will graduate in May, so I have a lot to learn in the short time span, so I can train what I know after that. I love the idea of moving my body and vaulting obstacles so I am excited about this challenge. (Completion: 50xp) Attr: +2 Str; +2 End Quest 3: Speak Spanish in a Spanish speaking country . I took a Spanish course when I was sixteen or so, but never used it. Well now I am set up to work in a Spanish speaking country for the summer, and while I am told they all speak English, I don't want to be that asshole tourist type who doesn't even attempt to learn, particularly since I will be there for three months. So the current goal is to use Duolingo five times a week until I complete that and then moving a book I have heard about. I normally would say every day, but I realize that is unrealistic. So while I will try to do it every day, I will not penalize myself for missing two a week. (Completion: 50xp) Attr: +2 Wis Quest 4: Study for five hours a day . I am currently in my sophomore year of Chemical Engineering, and the classes are starting to pick up in intensity. So far I have been able to slide by on minimal work, but that needs to come to an end. I know I can be making better grades, I just don't put the time into it. So my goal is to study for five hours every day. I will try different time patterns and motivations, but at the end, I want to make my studies a priority Attr: +3 Wis Quest 5: Bench 200 lbs./ Deadlift 300 lbs. . The final long term goal I am currently working on is to be able to bench and deadlift those amounts. I currently can bench 105lbs. and deadlift 135lbs. Those are not maxing out, but just the weights I am comfortable with doing a 5x5. The goal is to go to the gym three times a week, going through the Stronglifts 5x5 program. Attr: +3 Str As he says in his song: "Success is my only option, failure's not." Let's do this!
  6. ****************Challenge 19**************** I got some advice from the CEO of a bank recently, it was simple in more ways than one, all he said was "simplify your life as much as possible". I realized last challenge that less is more, focus on the things that you are really interested in and tune out the rest as much as possible. I'm going to do less to achieve more. Goals: L. - Lifting - 3 times a week (PT does not count). Simplify the programming, go old skool, NF Barbell Battalion - Rank 1A. E. - Eating - NO sugar and full Paleo as much as possible S. - Sleeping - 8 hours+ S. - Sober. - Only drinking on 6 occasions during the 6 week challenge. Epic quest: The driver for all of this is lowering my body fat to a point where I can see abs. Right now I'm the lowest weight I have been since July 2013. My lowest weight ever since I've been on NF was 76.4kg and my lowest BF% was 16.7%. These numbers were both achieved when I was in the Adventurers Guild doing tons of walking and body weight/dumbbell exercises from the Rebel Fitness Guide. Walking is undoubtedly a fat loss weapon for me and I will be running the walking PvP again this challenge. That's it, no fancy gif's, no complex theme. Simples. But we are going to review some articles for inspiration. Saint is the main source of inspiration at the moment, what a transformation Monty Python and the Holy Abs Protein and Tetris Look like Ryan Reynolds I will also be getting a DEXA, probably this week. What gets measured gets improved.
  7. Hey kids, I'm back! Challenge: Train for 5k (or 10k) Night Race on Sept 25! To complete this, I must: 1) Run at least once a week 2) Do 2 other cardio exercises a week (This can be any cardio I like, including running.) 3) Buy new running shoes by the end of the challenge! (Which will give me 2 weeks to break in the shoes before the race). I'm totally going to keep up with the strength n stuff, which I have been....which is why I am still posting in Rangers. I'll assign points n stuff later. K Bye
  8. Like the movie namesake, I'm starting over. All the way to the bottom. Current Motivation: Weightloss challenge at work, based on percentage lost. Had our first weigh in and I came in second with 5.1% lost in a month. The challenge ends Sept 1st, and I think I can win the long term. No more weigh ins until the end of the challenge, so we'll see, but over the long run I think I might have the advantage. The others have the most to lose, as I came in at the lightest. So how will I do this? Goals: 1. SL5x5 My training has been without a structure for the most part the last few months, due to madness and indecisiveness. SL5x5 is a great program to start from and I feel the volume is a good amount for those starting out. The goal here is to start with just the bar and workout following the linearization everyday until the workouts take longer than 30 min. I also add in some light upper body accessory work, because my upper body is my weakest link. 2. Nutrition Currently following 1600 calories with at around 120-160g of protein, and keeping carbs low under 75g. I plan to increase calories slowly, 100 calories (in either fat or carbs) every two weeks. The goal here is to find a point where i still lose weight, but without the draining effect of prolonged 1600 calories. By the end of the challenge, the weight should be at least 198lbs. 3. Perform 3 extended walks with a weighted bag each week. I've been "rucking" a weighted backpack at approx. 25lbs. I must also log each walk with some type of tracker to get distance and speed. 4. Do something productive at home after work, daily. This is easy, just do something productive at home every day.
  9. Ooooooh man. My first 6 week challenge. I'm like a puppy that is all excited because of the stick and throw the stick and oops I peed myself. All the options in the world of fitness are open to me. I could base jump, rock climb, cross-fit, do earth push-downs, and even... run? Nah, I think I'll just lift heavy things. Main quest: Improve my working set in all four of the powerlifting exercises that I do by 30%. That's right, I want to be lifting one-third more weight than what I'm lifting now. So here's how the numbers break down right now: Deadlift: 315lbs Benchpress: 225lbs Sqwaaaaaaat: 275lbs Overhead press: 145lbs So that means these are the actual weight gainz that I'll have to hit in 6 weeks (These weights are rounded up): Deadlift: 95lbs Benchpress: 68lbs Sqwaaaaaaat: 83lbs OHP: 44 lbs. And that means the grand total is: DL: 407lbs 450lbs BP: 293lbs Sqwaaaaaat: 358lbs 375lbs OHP: 199lbs Obviously, those are weird weights. The goal is to lift at least that much with a margin of error of 5 lbs either direction. I think I learned that in statistics. Or on Bill Nye the Science Guy, which is on Netflix. Side quest: Run at least twice a week. I don't care if it's around the block or sprints or for ten miles, I will run at least twice a week. Even though I'm an American and let's face it, these colors don't run. Gross, cardio. Life quest: As I'm not going to school, it's weird not having a thing to do in the afternoon. I used to have a vlog on YouTube. I think... I think I'm going to start back up. I'm funny. And handsome. And loquacious. And humble. All the good things, really. Methodology: I'm going to keep doing what I do. I meal prep already, I eat plenty of calories and I lift heavy 4 times a week. I'll have to add another light lifting day to keep myself filled with precious blood, and I'll need to be better on the weekends. Even though pizza is my spirit animal. It's just going to be a grind all the way up, no big jumps, no rushing. I don't want to come up lame and then the farmer comes and shoots me and makes me into glue. That would harsh my mellow. Motivation: Sick gainz. Seriously, I've never been really in shape. Even during my military career, I was focused more on being a good medic than physical fitness. While I passed everything, I never excelled physically. I want to change that before I exit out of this wacky place. I want to be able to bench press people. I also want my darling, beautiful baby girl to look at Dad and see him as strong, not flubby. I might also have a wedding to go to that will be filled with friends that haven't seen me in a few years. That might have something to do with it. Maybe. Nah. Grades: Main quest: 30%- A+ 25-29%- A 20-24%- B 15-19%- C 10-14%- D >10%- F Side quest: Pass/Fail Life quest: Seeing me? Everyone wins. Let's get silly.
  10. Greetings Rangers! At the end of May/beginning of June I will be attempting a ski summit of Mt. Rainier! Quest #1: Vertically Challenged A summit of Mt. Rainier demands over 9,000 vertical feet of ascent! Um, excuse me? Oh, I can do it in 2 days? Ok that could be doable. 4,600 feet from Paradise to Muir (overnight camp) and then 4,400 from Muir to the summit. This presents 2 challenges to me. Much more vert than I've done in a day all winter.Back to back big vert days.A general guideline for build up that fitness is below. This can either be on skis or hiking dirt (as it is spring here, both are an option) Week 1 - April 13 A - 2,000 ft + at least 2 days in a row B - 1,000 ft + 2 days in a row C - 1,000 ft or 2 days in a row Week 2 - April 20 A - 4,000 ft + at least 2 days in a row B - 2,000 ft + 2 days in a row C - 2,000 ft or 2 days in a row Week 3 - April 27 A - 4,000 ft + at least 2 days in a row with pack weight B - 2,000 ft + 2 days in a row with pack weight C - 2,000 ft + 2 days in a row with pack weight Week 4 - May 4 A - 6,000 ft + at least 2 days in a row with pack weight B - 4,000 ft + 2 days in a row with pack weight C - 4,000 ft + 2 days in a row with pack weight Week 5 - May 11 A - 8,000 ft + at least 2 days in a row with pack weight B - 6,000 ft + 2 days in a row with pack weight C - 4,000 ft + 2 days in a row with pack weight Week 6 - May 18 A - 10,000 ft + at least 2 days in a row with pack weight B - 8,000 ft + 2 days in a row with pack weight C - 5,000 ft + 2 days in a row with pack weight Excellent! A plan to make it to the summit! Quest #2: The Sherpa But there's a catch. Not only do I have to drag my ass up the mountain, I get to drag all of my gear on my back as well! This means 40-50 lbs of extra pack weight to carry. I have integrated part of this above, but carrying a heavy pack for extended periods requires core and leg strength. To realize this goal I will be lifting with a focus on squats, deadlifts, cleans and other ab/core exercises. A - lift 3x per week B - lift 3x per week C - lift 1x per week Quest #3: Fuel Shortage Fuel is always a struggle for me. Preparing meals and planning always seems to fall by the wayside first. For this challenge, I'm starting small. A - All lunches from home but 1 per week. B - Only 2 cafeteria lunches per week. C - 3 cafeteria lunches per week. Bonus point: Healthy choice from cafeteria. Possibly a salad over a burger and tots.
  11. This is a video (Mini-Documentary) to inspire all and to show what you can do with your body in only 28 days when you quit drinking, change your diet, and are active everyday!
  12. Respawn Rodeo Since I ran my half-marathon last spring, I've gained about 15 lbs, let my fitness habits slip, and eaten like crap (hence the respawn). I need some basic goals to get myself headed in the right direction again, so my days are less like an 8-second ride and more like a relaxing trail ride. Break the Horse My fitness habits have been left unattended for too long, and need to be brought under control again. I need to break some bad habits, and put better ones in their place. I've been using my bad back as an excuse, and it needs to stop. Actions: Work some kind of fitness into every day. Anything counts. I've been loving Lift Weights Faster, and their mini-routines should be easy to work into my life. I'm also getting workouts emailed to me from Metabolic Effect. Treadmill, Zumba, traditional weights, walking at work, DVDs at home are all options too. Success: Any day with activity is a success (x/42) Calf Roping My eating has gotten a little (ok, a lot) out of control. I need to lasso in my eating, especially sweets and "bad carbs." Actions: Go gluten-free. I seem to respond ok to other carbs, like rice, corn, and potatoes, so I don't see a need to really restrict them. I do have trouble limiting gluten items once I get started on them, and I think this will be a good gateway to a more paleo way of eating.Limit sweets to 3 or fewer treats per week. Fruit doesn't count, and I'm also not counting the sweetener in my coffee.Track daily in MyFitnessPal to keep tabs on myself. I'm not detracting for going over on calories right now, but it's a factor and needs to be watched.Success: Any day with no gluten is a success (x/42). Any week with 3 or fewer sweets is a success (x/6). Get back in the Saddle When you get thrown, you need to get back up and try again. I've been a pretty poor excuse for a PT patient. I don't do my exercises regularly or completely. I only have a few exercises to do, so they just need to be done. Actions: Do my physical therapy. Every. Day. No excuses. Success: Complete the exercises daily (x/42) Bonus: Do some additional "therapy" once a week - take a relaxing bath, get out of the house by myself, enjoy an alcoholic beverage to take the edge off, get a massage, etc. Side Quest: Herd the Cats Most days are so unorganized that I feel like I'm herding cats. I need to make a few easy changes to stay sane. Actions: Lay out kids' clothes the previous night. This makes things go smoothly in the morningMake a weekly meal list and have all ingredients on hand. This makes things go smoothly in the evening.Bonus: Do some kind of cleaning or a load of laundry 3 times per week. This will make for less work on the weekends.
  13. Level 5: Laying Down the GroundWORK. Hello there!!! I come join you from the Ranger forum, as I’m focusing more on lifting than ever before. Got some help from Chairohkey and I’ve got a new program to try out (so far going very well). My overarching goal is to get down to under 15% bodyfat and keep it that way. Currently, I’m around 29-30% after taking a BodPod test about a month ago. I’m about a pound or two lighter than I was then. So I still have 15% of fat to trim, or 30lbs to lose. I’m currently around 204-205 lbs at 5’ 11â€. It’s going to be a long journey, as I hope to do this without losing as lot of lean mass (only 145lbs right now). Why do I do this? This little guy and his mom. And because I want to be a jacked beast for the rest of my life. Done being the fat guy. Done with being ashamed of my body. Done with not doing things because I can’t keep up. Done with can’t. So for this challenge, I want to do a few things, most of which I’ve been doing already but are changing slightly. GOAL 1 - LIFT Follow my new plan, and eventually start going to the gym 4 days a week. This is difficult because with a baby boy at home, my time is limited with work and the gym. Currently I go MWF, right after work. I want to change that to MT,ThF with W as a rest day for two reasons. 1= Rest and 2=My wife likes to go to church on W as she volunteers with the youth group. This will allow me to spend one on one time with the boy and give her a much needed break (because she is awesome). Over the course of these 6 weeks, I’ll transition to this schedule. I may just jump right in and try it out the first week. GOAL 2 - EAT LESS Since I’m trying to lose body fat, I’m at a caloric deficit. Currently at 1960ish calories with a macro split of 200g PRO / 150g CHO / 60g FAT. These are flexible. I weigh my food but I’m fairly lax on strictness. The big one is hitting protein and at least 100g of carbs while keeping fat down. I eat mainly primal, as a lot of grains and milk do have a significant affect on my bowels. The hard part is weekends when I usually run out of pre-made food. My goal is to reign it in on the weekends and make some better decisions. GOAL 3 - SPRINT This is straightforward. Sprinting increases the metabolism, and helps speed up fat loss. I’ll be doing this twice a week on my upper body days. Monday and Thursday. This should be plenty to help me along. I’ve done it so far and this week and last, and it’s helping. LIFE GOAL - BACKYARD In May, I’ll be starting up my Master’s classes. I took a break this past semester due to my volunteer work and the new baby. With that, and my work and gym time, I’ll have very little time to feed myself and be with my son and wife. Right now my backyard is a mess. It’s essentially just dirt. Boys need to be outside, and I want to get the lawn going. I put in sprinklers a while back, but never got to the grass part. So over the course of this challenge, I’ll be working towards having a green lawn.I plan to follow this schedule. Hopefully faster than this but at least this. Week 1: Ensure sprinklers still work. Week 2: Level out the ground, as best I can. Week 3. Water ground to soften. Begin tilling. Week 4. Till in compost, and fertilizer. Week 5. Seed. Week 6. Profit? I can do this. I hope you can keep me motivated. I know I’ll need it. I’ll post up measurements and photos this weekend.
  14. What! It's new challenge time? HECK YEAH!! So the last few challenges have been very successful. I've gone from just doing bodyweight workouts and strict Paleo to lifting and eating 2200 calories and 200g of carb/protein. Since joining NF, I believe I've lost around 17 lbs, but more importantly a 9% drop in BF. And that's with very little gym/workout time and no "extreme" dieting. My body composition is changing which is what I want. My main goal is health and aesthetics. I want to look good with my shirt off. Ryan Reynolds good. So good that when I take my shirt off, women think in their heads.... And my wife to think... Is it a vain goal? Sure, but I've never been even close to that type of body. I'm at the lowest weight ever in my adult life. I wear a smaller jean than I did in high school (when I could lift more). So yeah, I want low body fat and cut abs. With that, I've been building good habits and have great support from my wife. I love to lift (following a semi-starting strength program) and will continue to do this. I got the nutrition down, I know how to change and modify things, so that's not really a challenge. I know that I need sleep to recover and build strength. These aren't challenges anymore. So I need your help. There is a poll, with some things that I could challenge myself with. I'm willing to try new things, personally I want them to be fitness related. I don't have much time for any sports to play. Please vote and leave a comment. At the end of the week, let's say Feb 28th (unless there are clear winners) I'll pick the top three and carry them through the rest of the challenge. Thanks for the help! EDIT: Currently I lift 3 times a week with alternating programs. Day 1 = Bench, BB Row, RDL, Good Mornings, Dips, DB Curl and DB Hammer Curl Day 2 = Squats, OHP, DL, Leg Press, Calf Press, and Pullups EDIT 3/3/14: CHALLENGE GOALS 1) Pushups!! (+5 STR) I will get a baseline number of pushups performed in one set. I will then try to improve that by 25% by the end of the challenge. If I exceed that before the end of the 5 weeks, I will then at 10% per week. 2) Planks!! (+5 CON) Same with the pushups. I'll try to improve plank time by 25%. Exceeding that value before hand will add 10% per week. 3) Sprints!! (+3 DEX, +2 STA) I will shoot for 8 runs. I will either do it after the gym or while the gym. Never done sprints on a treadmill, but I will try. I like keeping my workouts concentrated since I don't have much time to workout as it is.
  15. Name: Hammlin “Hammi” Race: Wood Elf Class: Footpath Ranger Attributes: Strength (STR): 22.5 Dexterity (DEX): 21.75 Stamina (STA): 23 Constitution (CON): 22 Wisdom (WIS): 24.5 Charisma (CHA): 19.75 Level 12 Motivation: My motivation this round is to get my body composition healthy to conceive and also to keep my progress towards a damn pull up. Hammi’s Main Quest: Changing the Expectations (Nov 11 – Dec 22) Missions: 1. Lift. I am starting week 3 of Barbell Battalion in Nerd Fitness Academy. 3 workouts a week, and I will be doing 2 rounds of level one. Progress tracked on MFP 17-18 days = A 15-16 days = B 13-14 days = C 11-12 days = D 0-10 days = F Reward: (+2 DEX +2 STR) 2. Sugar. It is time to tame my sugar dragon (Zukerwad) once and for all. When I track my food, days under 50g will be full points for the day, 51-75= half a point, 76-100 a quarter point. Over 100g for the day disqualifies. 36-42 points = A 29-35 points = B 22-28 points = C 15-21 points = D 0-14 points = F Reward: (+3 CHA +1 WIS) 3. Walk. With the weather getting colder, it’s getting harder to find 15 minutes a day where I *feel* like getting out for a walk. My goal is 15 minutes a day. 36-42 walks = A 29-35 walks = B 22-28 walks = C 15-21 walks = D 0-14 walks = F Reward: (+2 DEX, +1 CON) Life Quest: 4. Write. Working on my NaNoWriMo, a novel loosely based on my life and the trials I’ve walked through with anxiety, abuse, divorce and love. 50k words by the end of November, and editing done by December 22nd. If I get the courage and a super sweet pen name I will maybe get it to a professional % Done of the 50k words will be grade. Reward: (+1 CON, +3 STR) TRACKING My Story (challenge history): 1. Wandering across the mountain ranges of the west, I came upon another wood elf, who was running through the tree lined forest. I tried to keep up, because I knew he was waiting for me, but nothing I did would keep me at pace with him. Eventually I slowed, to catch my breath and I lost him. Dejected and worn out, I decided to dedicate my life to keeping up with this other elf... 2. Sneaking through the woods I can feel my senses getting sharper and I begin to wonder if the elf that I'm following, is actually following me... 3. Catching my breath I slow my run as I approach a clearing. Did I get lost? I don't know where I am and the elf I had been following has picked up the pace. My mind... it's jumbled up... my thoughts are foggy... I need to focus. I'll stay here for a while, find my center, and then continue on... 4. After pausing in the clearing to refocus, I see what looks like a beaten down path off to my right. Have I been here before? Walking up to the path, it looks familiar, but overgrown. I take out my sword and slowly start hacking away the brush that seems to have grown in over the years. Yes. THIS is my path. 5. Following the path for what seems like a lifetime I suddenly find myself at the tree lined edge of a beautiful meadow. The sun in the sky that is glaring down on me makes me realize something glorious- I have made it through the woods! Over the hill I see the elf that I have been tracking this whole time. He is napping… This is my chance!!! 6. Running up to the elf that I have been following for what seems like forever, I find myself out of breath. As I slow down and approach him, I see him slow down and turn to me. I don't know if he knows that I have been following him, but I can tell by the look in his eye that he's ok with this. As we start to wander the forest together we notice that things aren't quite as bright and cheery as they were months ago... something is wrong... 7. As we continue to approach the edge of the forest we can feel something bearing down on us. Picking up the pace we stay laser focused on getting out of here. The night has grown darker and the forest is eerily quiet. The wood elf and I look at each other and begin to run. I can tell that the time where we have to battle is near and we really need to stay focused... 8. Standing on the front line, victorious, I wonder "Now what?" I ponder with wise words of a foreigner who taught my people to stay motivated when they feel like they have arrived. The skills I have learned in the past keep me pushing forward. I move confidently north, to find new lands. And that other pesky elf can come with me… 9. On the north side of the valley I see something far away that I can’t take my eyes off of. It almost looks like the mountain side is glistening and the sun is dancing with the peaks. I fall into a trance, staring off into the distance, as if I'm under a spell. A few minutes later I am able to snap out of it, but the lingering desire to see who, or what, had a hold on me begins to push me forward. Is some powerful mage up in the hills, drawing people to him? Or is someone sending out a distress signal, begging for help. All I know is the allure of finding out what is in those hills is forcing me onward. We have mountains like these back home, but I am far from that place, and out of practice. It will take some time to traverse these mighty giants, but I have no choice but to start… 10. From the top of the mountain I can see everything. I have a level of clarity that I've not experienced before and it makes me take notice to my surroundings. I have an epiphany and realize that I need to race home to my family. They have no idea what’s in store! As quickly as I can I need to make my way back down the hill and back to my village… Part of the way down the hill I trip. When I catch myself I see that the sign in front of me has directions. I’m tired of being a follower in my own life. I need to go my own way. I turn on my heels and walk south. 11. Down in the city to the south I find myself in the camp and company of strangers. Although I’m not entirely sure that I can trust them, they seem safe enough. Maybe, I’ll hang back and just observe them and mind their ways. Something inside of me says that these people have information that may be valuable to me and my quest, and I am determined to get my hands on it. Knowledge is oddly alluring and very appealing to my senses… 12. As I spend weeks on end with these people, I start to sense a power coming over me. I am being changed from the inside out- is it sorcery? Magic? Am I evolving? All I know is that I need to stay the course. Over time, my memories start to fade. The days of running through the wilderness with the other elves feel miles away- as if they occurred a lifetime ago. Only the here and now makes sense. I have my plan.
  16. Hey again! Back for challenge #6 for me. I've changed my motivation to include my hubby. Gotta be healthy to have a long life together! I will post a pic of it pasted to my bathroom mirror if I figure out how to do so. It's a pic of hubby and son with the words: Motivation: To be healthy and strong, so I am a good example for my son, and so I am around to watch him grow. Also for my husband and our life together. Yeah, the grammer sucks. That last bit isn't a real sentence. Main Goals: 1. Work out 6 days/week, at least 30 minutes. Will measure effectiveness with Insanity Fit test every 2 weeks, and 5k times. Weights 2 days per weekPlyo 2 days per weekrun 1 day per week (5k)yoga/stretch 1 day per weekSTR +1, STA +2, DEX +3, CHA +1 2. Follow nutrition plan. 3 cheats/week allowed. 1700 - 2000 cal/day. at least 100g protein/dayveggie/fruit + protein with each meal1500-2000ml H2O each daySTA +1, CON +2 3. Do a pullup by end of challenge. Currently I can do 5 partials (feet flat on the floor, bar about 6" over my head). use 50 Pullups app 3 days/week. STR +1, DEX +1 Life Quest Goal: Call one family member each week (sisters, Mom & Dad). We do communicate, but it's mostly by text, and I'd like to reach out and have a real conversation. Especially with my sister who's half the country away. WIS +1, CHA +1 Side Goal: Do 10 pushups every day with good form. Right now I can do 5-7, then I have to drop to my knees (knees count toward total). Once I get to 10 pushups, I'll make the goal 15... etc. STR +1 I will be tracking the nutrition stuff with MyFitnessPal (link in signature). I have a spreadsheet to track pushups and workouts. I will be posting the workouts in my battle log (link in signature). Water intake tracked on the Fitbit app (link in signature). 95-100% A, 80-95% B, 70-80% C, 60-70% D. Let the Challenge begin!
  17. I filmed myself doing some back squats so I could check my form. Overall, I think it's pretty good except that I round a bit in my back as I drop below parallel in the squat. Also I could make less of a 'pain face' in the later sets. Any feedback is welcome <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/Z_qzfEKELIA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  18. Looking at getting some more barefoot-style shoes for gymming. I do a basic bodyweight circuit right now, but as I get stronger I hope to intensify and work on flexibility, strength, and general athleticism, assassin-style. I am using a pair of Brooks running sneakers for gym time right now, but I'd like to move into something closer to barefoot. My body prefers being barefoot as much as possible. Does anyone have any thoughts on/experience with these shoes? http://store.nike.com/us/en_us/pd/free-run-2-shoe/pid-683268/pgid-654028
  19. Hey everyone! So after taking a break from the challenges last time I am back and ready to get my act together once again. I spent the last six weeks taking things easy, as in I kept up my workout routine, ate some food (but didn't track anything) and pretty much just had a jolly good time. Well now I am back to have a jolly good time while making progress! Main Quest Start taking bulking seriously! I put a lot of effort into losing weight and for some reason just assumed that I would be able to bulk pretty easily. Just go back to eating a bunch of food while lifting weights right?!? Turns out it is harder than I thought... Between not getting enough protein, overestimating how much I eat, not remembering to bring enough food to work so that I am miserably pounding down food at night, it's a tough life eating well and still getting enough calories. Since most of my goals are about bulking, here are some stats to consider for my goals Age: 23 Height: 5'11" Weight: 170 Body Fat %: 12.5% Goal 1: Stick to the macros, this means tracking tracking tracking. Here is what I am thinking for my macros, based on eating about 3000cal/day (TDEE is about 2460) and using Lyle Mcdonald's suggestions (http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/muscle-gain/macronutrient-intake-for-mass-gains-qa.html) Protein: 220g (880cal) Carbs: 170g (680cal) Fat: 160g (1440cal) This will be judged based on how many days I successfully hit, or get very close to my macro goals. Goal 2: Add weight to my lifts! Here is what I want to get out of my lifts, these are all for the SL3x5 working sets... Squats 220lb -> 250lb Bench 135lb -> 160lb BB Row 160lb -> 175lb (I've done 160, but it had somewhat sloppy form, this is going to progress somewhat slowly while I fix that) OHP 90lb -> 110lb Deadlift 260lb -> 300lb These might be ambitious... so please correct me if you think that, but I see these numbers and all I can think is that there is no reason I can't do it... so I'm gonna do my damnedest to get it done. Goal 3: Get back to sleeping well! I got into a great sleep routine my first challenge here, and while it is still better than most, it isn't as good as it used to be. I want to get back in the habit of getting to bed early enough so that I am up and active when it is time to get to the gym. No more hitting the snooze button or staying up late watching It's Always Sunny. Going to judge this based on the number of mornings where I get out of bed at the time I am supposed to without feeling like I need another hour sleep. Life Quest I am working on creating my own iOS app that I am really excited about. My last challenge involved setting up the ground work for this, figuring out a name, starting design work, acquiring the tools I needed. Then in my time off from the challenges I started reading and educating myself on the iOS architecture and refining some of the design that I have done. For the month though I have been in the collecting underpants stage of the process though and that needs to stop! Life Goal: Dedicate 4 hours/week to working on my app, this can be all at once or spread out but I will dedicate at least that amount of time. This isn't a lot because it is just a side project, I have a full time job programming and a lot of social change I want to make in my life, but I don't want this project to fall to the wayside. 4 hours/week will get me started, it will get some code into the computer and make things start to happen. 6 weeks from now, when I have put in a solid days worth of work (not much I know, but you can do some cool things with 24 hour of programming) I will have something I can look at and make a new decision about how much effort I want to put into this project. I'll figure out points and stuff later...
  20. I am new at this, but getting it done before the deadline. Goal #1 run 50k in 6 hours at the Brazen Racing Dirty Dozen RACE in July. I believe this attainable, since I have done a 4:10 Marathon and and a 7:28 50K that climbed 7000 ft. It will be a big challenge, but attainable. I will run 5 days a week. Goal #2 lose 6 pounds. to get back under 200. After the Marathon in March and the 50k in April, I put on weight since, and need to log my food again to make sure I am getting enough calories and macro nutrients for the training, but not too much. it is easier to run when I am lighter. Ovo-Lacto vegetarian. Goal #3 Pay my taxes. Filed proper extension to do a re-fi, but now it is time to finish! Goal #4 cross train 3 days a week. 30 minutes. pushups, pullups, weights, planks and all the fun moves. -------------- OK all, Major Update! #1 My Main Goal of reaching 50K in 6 has been reached. I ran over 54 KM in 5:51. then 5 hours later I added another 5k for 37 Miles in the day. Give my self a Straight A on this one! #4 Been swimming and getting pullups done (see the pull up challenge) and a few weight sessions, but more like 2 days a week. since I was swimming a mile each time or more, I still give myself a B. (will focus on more days of cross training now, since I must break from running...) #2 No weight loss, but eating healthy, a lot of Kale + fruit +Protein Smoothies, felt great for my 50K effort. Have to give myself a a few days for the final grade on this. #3 still have time, now that number 1 is done, we will see! I wanted to thank the people who commented below, it really helped me feel good about the effort! and final update for this challenge. Goal # 3 Got the taxes filled in, sent to Accountant. YAY! that is an "A" Goal #2 dropped 4 lbs by end of Challenge. Give that a B-.... All goals worked on, feel pretty good about the whole thing!
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