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  1. I'm not doing an organized, graded list of goals. With a nice theme. It just won't be possible. Here's a whole list of the crap I'll be doing this challenge. Working 30 hours a week 12 credit hours in school Practicing Flamenco guitar studying spanish studying mandarin hitting the gym (cardio, kettlebells, weightlifting) eating paleo-ish publishing a journal article (leftover from grad school) painting prepping for a journey overseas I guess I'll at least organize these somehow, and Oh shit, maybe there's a theme after all, with goals named for famous Chinese sages. Goal 1, Sun Ssu Mo -- TCM Paleo. Sun Suu Mo was a Taoist sage whose main claim to fame were his writing on Traditional Chinese Medicine, and much of what he wrote concerned how the diet affects the balance of chi. All in all, the dietary aspect of TCM seeks to balance out elements, and the result is a well-balanced variety of foods, which is the same finding that modern/Western biology based nutritional science has come to... go figure. I'm going to brush up on my TCM. I had a phase in college where I was obsessed with Traditional Chinese Medicine so I have a few books, including a cookbook with a big ole reference describing how foods fit the elements and such. Getting familiar with this may also help me understand the foods I eat when I go to China. Basically, it's paleo with rice. Most of what I eat now is meat, veggies, and rice or potatoes. And, I'll play around with trying to balance elements in my meals. (but without forgetting macros). I'm going to allow variance on this for breakfast, because right now I'm not sure how to comfortably avoid bread at that meal. Everything that I can cook myself from scratch is pretty much acceptable. And stop eating donuts you fool! Goal 2, Ta Mo -- Exercise and Discipline Ta Mo was the Chinese name of Bodidharma, the wandering Indian yogi who travelled to China in introduced Shaolin monks to yoga and founded Chan, aka Zen, buddhism in China. Basically, as a yogi he believed that physical fitness provided the foundation upon which one could build a practice of mindfulness and spirituality. He was known for enduring extremely long periods of meditation. He is said to have cut off his own eyelids so that he wouldn't fall asleep during mediation. He preferred to meditate in the caves surrounding the Shaolin temple, and when a fellow monk asked him about what he focused on, he said he would "listen to the ants' screaming." Exercise and discipline. Go to the gym. I'll repeat last challenge's goal. 1/week is passing, 2/week is good, 3/week is great. Goal 3, Kong fuzi -- Be Rational and Responsible AKA, Confucius. I actually don't know that much about Confucius. And I just spent a few minutes on wikipedia and I have a lot to learn. But basically, what pops into mind (other than fortune cookies) are notions of being rational, responsible, and dutiful, etc. So this goal is just about doing my research on how to make this voyage to China happen and work on being responsible about it. The whole ESL teacher in China thing can be either my downfall or an opportunity for positive change and self-improvement, or I can just go to China and hide from my personal problems by drinking shit tons of baijiu and fucking around for years. Make a thoughtful To-do list of things to do to get to China and make this an adventure of self-improvement. Goal 4, Lao Tzu -- Learn the Way Yeah. yeah... supposed, but probably mythical, founder of Taoism. Taoism is all about understanding, accepting and adapting to the Tao, the way, and trying to live by it. Keep studying Mandarin and Chinese culture so I'll be able to adapt and roll with the punches while I learn a new culture.
  2. The grinder challenge (not to be misconstrued as the Grindr challenge!! O_O) Often my last lift in a set will be really hard, I will feel like I can’t possibly do it, that the weight is too heavy, that I’ve done too many reps. But, slowly, surely that bar will inch up (often with a growl of exertion) until it clangs back into the holders. This will be the theme of the final challenge of the year. I’m tired. I’m feeling like maybe it’s too hard. I’m going to do it anyway. Goals. Gym: Once a week PT, once a week Krav, minimum once a week visit gym for programmed lifts. Eat: 5-a-day freggies. No soft drink. Speak: Mandarin every day for at least one sentence. Videoed and screenshot as proof. That’s it. Get it done.
  3. Oh hey, it's been exactly 1 year since I tried a challenge (and failed to complete that challenge). But, four weeks seems far more manageable, and fits beautifully into my schedule, so let's give this another go. 2015 was a hectic year - I started grad school, which has been amazing. This meant I had to leave my Muay Thai gym I was training at due to both money and time reasons (I'm still in the same city, but my school schedule conflicted with the classes there). Fortunately I found people in my grad program who used to train BJJ and Muay Thai, and so was able to get in a few workout sessions with them last semester. I also now have access to the school gym for weightlifting. Neither better nor worse then, just different. However, January is a term break so my training group isn't around, and there's no classes so I'm not going to campus very often. I risk spending this break just eating leftover Christmas cookies and watching Netflix; trying to use this challenge to do a little bit more than just that! Overarching Goal: Use January to build basic habits to carry me through the rest of the year, and keep in decent enough shape to train with my ad hoc martial arts group in the spring semester. GOALS 1. Daily Stretching. Do each of these three stretches for at least five breaths, at least once per day: Hamstring stretch (forward fold)Hip flexor stretch (kneeling hip flexor stretch)Calf stretch (lunge against wall)This is one I'd like to build on in future challenges, and by the end of the year be stretching more of me, 3x/day. But, starting small and manageable. Total possible: 26 Grading will be a straight percentage of days achieved it. 2. Bodyweight Exercises. 3x/week on M/W/F. Choosing those specific days since those are the days I'll be able to work out next semester, so I want to get into the habit of exercising those days now to make it easier to keep going once classes start again. Just doing bodyweight squats, knee pushups, and planks to keep it simple and something I can do at home if I don't go to the campus gym. Squats: ladder sets from 15 down to 5 (15 reps, 14 reps, 13 reps, etc - aiming to increase starting reps by 1 each week so by end of challenge doing 19-18-17 down to 9)Knee Pushups: ladder sets from 10 down to 1 (goal by end is to be doing full pushups for 5 reps through 1 rep)Planks: ladder sets from 60 seconds to 10 secondsTotal possible: 12 Grading: 80% will be number of workouts accomplished, period. 20% will be how many were on the correct days of the week (i.e. if I do 10 workouts, but only 8 were on MWF as planned, I'll give myself an 8/10 in that section of the grade). Upping squat reps and knee pushups to real pushups is a nice to have, but that's more to keep the exercises interesting and won't count for grading. 3. Food Logging. Just collecting data and trying to be more mindful of what I'm eating to start the year. I'm not planning on making major diet changes right now, but want to get a baseline of what I'm eating now. Total possible: 26 Grading is a straight percentage of days achieved it. 4. Life Goal - Complete EdX Mandarin Course. I'm going to China over spring break (!!) The only New Year's resolution I made for myself was a) visit 3 countries this year, and have a conversation in the local language everywhere I go (can be very brief and very basic, but should be an actual exchange with a native speaker). So to that end, I want to finish all six lessons of this course (https://courses.edx.org/courses/course-v1:MandarinX+MX101x+3T2015/info) in this challenge to get the basics down. Total possible: 6 lessons Grading is a straight percentage of how many lessons I complete within the challenge. Let's see how this goes!
  4. I decided to make a space program themed challenge because I've been playing Kerbal Space Program for years, I recently finished reading The Martian, and space is fun. To further cement the idea that a space program themed challenge belongs on NerdFitness, I present evidence that Steve moonlights as an animation model for KSP. The similarities are uncanny. I wanted this challenge to be difficult, worthy of being compared to humanity's efforts to reach into space. I will do all the hard things. This challenge is a squat-leaned challenge. Squats are my weak point, and weak points require special attention in space programs. I do not want my squats to be my faulty o-ring. I will be building a rocket. I intend on reaching the moon. While so many specific measurements can be accumulated to evaluate the potential of a spacecraft, they can all be compiled into a single end-unit that makes space travel route planning so easy. Delta-v is a unit used to describe a craft's ability to change its velocity. I will be using this unit to evaluate my rocket, and my challenge. Me, my rocket, the earth, and the moon are not the only things that exist in the universe. Both competition and collaboration have historically driven space venture arguably more than rockets themselves. And specifically on competition... Matty idolizes Widowmaker sets. Between his Battlelog and his recent challenge thread, 'Widowmaker' was mentioned 33 times. He was so passionate over achieving a bodyweight widowmaker set, he blew chunks of brain matter right out his nose before he even got there! Matty is a much better squatter than me, but I will show him how to do BW Widowmakers correctly. CurlBrogo idolizes the concept of SquatEveryDay even more than Matty does Brain Hemorrhages. There seems to be no way to search for the terms 'SED' or 'Squat Every Day', but if I were to extrapolate the number of instances of these terms on the first page of his last challenge across the total number of pages in his last three challenges, I think it would be over 100. Ive never tried this before, but lets see if I can rock it. I'm still sore that he hit 1000 lb big3 before me, but in the grand scope of things, that is like Sputnik and Yuri, I'm gonna do Apollo. I heard MissMarissa wants to sleep early, wake early, and lose weight for this challenge period. I suck at all of those things! Challenge accepted! My planned rotation:Squat every morning except Saturday-Squat Jumps morning of or morning after heavy squats-Widowmaker, otherwiseHeavy Evening A: DL + OHPHeavy Evening B: Bench + UpperbackHeavy Evening C: Squats + LatsSun-Thurs A-B-C rotation, optional rest night Mon, Tues, or Wed.Friday rest nightSat full body (includes squats) Just gonna keep it simple here... Fitness to Delta-V conversion Initial 100 m/s delta-v I am starting with a pitiful rocket with only 100 m/s of delta-v. Basically, I saved up my farts for a year and sealed it in a steel drum. Assuming my shitty rocket can expel this fuel and accelerate at constant rate for a duration of 10 seconds, I will achieve a Thrust to Weight ratio of about 1.02, and I will rise about 10 meters off the ground before my fuel runs out. I will coast upwards another fifth of a meter before taking a sharp turn and a short, speedy fall back to my backyard lawn. Dont worry, I would be wearing a helmet. Each Widowmaker Set adds delta-v = (w-155) x r / 10, ex. 205x20 = 100m/s, 210x20 = 110m/s, 205x21 = 105 m/s Each Widowmaker set will allow me to add real rocket fuel to my shitty rocket. I will of course be upgrading my fuel tanks accordingly. SED multiplies accumulated delta-v by 1.03 per day Everyday I SED, I will be increasing the work capacity of my shitty rocket through the fuel efficiency of my liquid engines. As I increase my ISP across all of my rocket stages, I will ultimately be able to stretch my fuel into a greater delta-v. Efficiency is king. REP PRs at 8 reps or under on any big4 set multiplies accumulated delta-v by 1.01 Efficiency is not king. Increasing my acceleration potential will allow me to minimize the effects of atmospheric drag and gravity drag during take-off, minimize the effect of gravity drag during atmosphere-less landing, and maximize the GAINS made off the Oberth effect. A great way to increase acceleration is to increase thrust. Rep PRs on my power lifts will allow me to build more powerful engines. Bed after midnight before work, multiplies accumulated delta-v by 0.95 Timing is everything. Missing a launch window can be disastrous. Most mission profiles depend on celestial objects being at certain places at certain times, and those fuckers are always moving. Even a two body mission like from Earth to the Moon depends on how the launch orbit lines up with the moon's orbit. The Earth is tilted and we launch from Florida instead of the equator. While correcting this inclination is necessary, it costs delta-v! How much depends on how bad the inclination is. And how bad the inclination is depends greatly on when we push the big red launch button. Putting it off until the next day will cost me valuable delta-v. End of challenge weight loss, multiplies accumulated delta-v by 1.1 cumulatively per pound lost, ex. 10 lbs lost; (1.1)^10 = 2.5937 multiplier The other half of acceleration is mass. The same thrust will push a lighter payload further and faster. As Mark Watney knows, the most effective way to build a faster rocket involves hacking away useless weight, like the pressurized hull, life support, and flight controls. If I lose weight before launch, I will enjoy the benefits of extending my mission's delta-v budget. End of challenge big4 1rm test, multiplies accumulated delta-v by two times percentage gains per lift, ex. 5% gains across board; (2*1.05)^4 = 1.4641 multiplier SRBs are fucking powerful. Spacecraft typically use them to get a huge thrust boost during the first half of the launch. It allows the craft to escape the dragsoup we call atmosphere and the gravhole we call earth sooner and affords the craft more delta-v post-orbit. 1 rep gains on my power lifts will afford me to fish some SRBs out of the ocean and attach them to my rocket. Even old spent NASA SRBs are really fucking heavy. A list of some trip Delta-v costs assuming perfect aerobraking maneuvers.based off of this DV porkchop map 42.51 km/s delta-v = round trip to surface of Venus (dat atmosphere)35.73 km/s delta-v = round trip to surface of Mercury25.14 km/s delta-v = one way trip to surface of Mercury21.3 km/s delta-v = one way trip to surface of Pluto18.31 km/s delta-v = round trip to surface of Mars17.2 km/s delta-v = round trip to surface of the moon15.51 km/s delta-v = round trip to low Venus orbit14.66 km/s delta-v = one way trip to surface of the moon13.76 km/s delta-v = round trip to low moon orbit12.94 km/s delta-v = one way trip to low moon orbit12.6 km/s delta-v = one way trip to surface of Mars12.21 km/s delta-v = one way trip to surface of Venus So here are my quests of all the hard things... Fitness Quest I will try to plan a respectable mission profile with the delta-v budget I earn by -Squating Widowmakers -Squating Every Day-Every workday morning. Squat jumps to replace widowmakers day of and morning after heavy squat nights. -Making Overall Strength Gains -Losing Weight -Sleeping Life Quest 1 Ask a girl out! I will evaluate my efforts and success in terms of elective 'collaborative' elements of my mission profile. If I'm partying down in zero-g drinking the all the secret Ruskie vodka on the ISS and making music videos with Commander Hadley, I did well. If not so well, maybe I'll just stay on the moon. Life Quest 2 Learn Chinese! On July 18th, I started learning Mandarin. You never know when shit might hit the fan and being able to decipher the buttons in a Chinese knockoff space station might be your last but only choice for survival. That is a seemingly random hypothetical situation, but it sounds familiar. This will be pass/fail. Pass if I stay on it, fail if I quit. I have no doubts about this one, as I have already started the awesome habit of practicing and studying Mandarin whenever I get enough free head space to start brooding over some fucked up shit at work. So far, my mood has been much improved, and I learned a fucking ton of Mandarin. And finally I will forgive my lateness to bed tonight. This had to be posted.
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