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  1. This challenge, I'm heading into the darkest forest to fight some serious monsters that threaten the nearby village... OK, it's not really like that. Actually I'd prefer a dark forest. This challenge I'm going on an eight day business trip to Las Vegas. I've got a three-day prep class there, followed by a crazy all-encompassing exam for a certification for work that I've been preparing for for YEARS now. Then three days at the trade show. I would rather fight monsters than have to figure out how to work out in Las Vegas. Seriously--it's usually 90 degrees at night in June, and I live in the mountains where it still kind of snows now and again. Not to mention the free meals at the trainings, the business lunches, the business dinners, the meals with sales reps who want to spend, spend, spend... Then, when I get back from Vegas, the very next day my family and I leave for Cozumel, Mexico, for seven more days in the sweltering (and HUMID) heat. I'll be scuba diving almost every day, which means I shouldn't exert myself too much when I'm not diving (decompression issues, and nitrogen dilution complications) or at least time my running for 6-8 hours post- and pre-dive. Plus, all-inclusive resort. Which basically to me means "all the desserts". My challenge this time around is to at least stick to a bare minimum of working out while out of town, while trying to maintain my sugar intake. I know I won't be able to keep my healthy vegetable intake like I did this past challenge, but I can at least focus on the sugar. So here are the specifics: 1. Run for it: at least three regular runs, plus one long run per week. 1 point per run, 2 per long run (6+ mi) 5 points/week -If I'm at a resort/hotel/casino and it's STUPID HOT out, I'm allowed to work out on the treadmill, spin bike, or elliptical, in which case 45 min constitutes a "long run". I'd go insane otherwise. -One run can be subbed for cross training on a bike. 1 hr = regular, 90 min = long ride. MTB or road, doesn't matter. 2. Banish sugar: No more than 10 tsp (40g) added sugar daily. Seems like a lot but it goes QUICKLY. 5 points/week, 1 point per day 3. Fiber: Try (do or do not, right, Yoda?) to keep my soluble fiber up. That means oatmeal, fiber smoothie, or at least an apple + a whole orange daily. 5 points/week, 1 point per day 4. Water: Drink the water. That's right, I'm going to start tracking water now. Decaf black coffee counts as water, as does plain decaf green tea (these are staples of my life). 64 oz/day, 5 points/week, 1 point per day. 5. Archery practice: Since I KNOW I can't do this weekly, it's going to be bonus points. Up to 1 bonus point per week. 6. Get on the bike: Up to 1 bonus points per week for riding to work, 1/2 point per day. 7. Weights: Up to 1 bonus point per week for lifting, 1/2 point per day. It's a complicated strategy but I think it'll work out OK. There's four main activities, and three bonus activities. The total would be 80 points, so I'll put 75 as a pass since there's still up to 3 bonus points per week. I didn't end up buying that recurve bow after the last challenge because, well, it turns out my compound bow either needs significant work, or it needs to be replaced. It is VERY old (15+ years, that's old for a compound) and I actually hunt with it, so I want it to be a) effective b) accurate and c) lethal. There's nothing worse in my mind than unethical hunting (ie, wounding or making an animal suffer). The point is, I might need to save my pennies to get a new bow, which will not be cheap. So, I put $200 away this month towards a new bow. if I make my challenge this time around, I'll put another $250 away. That gets me about halfway there
  2. So, I'm putting this up now because I'll be out of town tomorrow & Friday, then Saturday will be doing a "party ride" and that will likely result in me being intoxicated and / or passing out by 6pm. I'd like to start this challenge on Sunday, so figured I'd get a jump on figuring it out now. Also I have more than 4 goals, because I'm basically building on habits that I've been working on over the last year but for whatever reason if I don't list it as a goal, I'm likely to just blow it off. As with the last challenge, one of the big things I'm trying to do is keep myself moving outside as the temperatures drop. Last year I walked to the gym several days a week but otherwise didn't go out for fun early in the season and before I knew it, it was super cold and I couldn't make myself do anything. Two years ago I was out riding when the temperature was as low as 5 F(with a wind chill well below 0) so I know I have it in me... somewhere. I have to find it again. Lifting: I have four solid weeks between holidays, which means I can do the next Wendler's cycle. Beyond just doing the workouts, I'd really like to try to get my squat & deadlift back to where they were... which I think will mean eating more than an apple before walking to the gym. My goal for this challenge will be to hit a surplus on all of the + sets (even if ti's only one or two reps). If I can't do this, I think after this challenge I'll actually test my 1RMs again to see where I'm actually at now, and recalculate everything to start the new year. Eating: I didn't do this during the last challenge, because I had been doing alright... but I think my sudden increase in cardio, especially in the cold, is wrecking my diet (I've observed this in the past). My goal is to not eat gas station snacks or order takeout. If I'm going to eat out, it must be socially and only once a week (ideally less). Also I'm not allowed to buy candy at the grocery store and consider it to be groceries, especially because Aldi sells full packages of candy (not individual bars). Riding for fun: My goal during the last challenge was focused solely on mountain biking. In general, I would like my fun rides to all be in the woods (drivers in Pittsburgh are TERRIBLE). However, as we get into the freeze / thaw season, the weather could easily prevent me from getting into the woods without damaging trails. SO... I want 2 fun rides per week. If on the road, they should be about 10 miles. If in the woods, I only require that I hit 1 single track trail. It's getting colder, but since I have to be out anyway for dog walking I think I can actually assimilate to the dropping temperatures and keep myself moving through the winter. ALSO this requires that I fix my stupid bike before Sunday. Stretching: Do mobility work in the mornings after my workouts, and after any riding. They're short sessions so I should be able to squeeze them in, and waiting until right before bed just hasn't been working in my favor. Also I'll be warmed up if I do them immediately after exercising. Bonus Health Goal: Since April, I've lost about 12.5 pounds (at this exact moment anyway... my lowest point was another 4 pounds below where I'm at now, and I've fluctuated quite a bit). I'd like to lose another 6 pounds in the next four and a half weeks. I'm not necessarily going nuts with this goal though, but basically hoping that if I do all of the above things that it'll happen. I'm also basing that on my weight as of this past Monday... so Thanksgiving food will count against me (no gaining 5 pounds in holiday food and then starting from there). Duolingo: 2 hours per week seemed like a pretty do-able goal. I'd like to get to the point of doing half an hour per day, just to keep everything moving along. Right now the app is saying that I'm 46% fluent (which I'm assuming just means 46% done with their program) so if I succeed in this challenge, I may finish the duolingo program and will have to move on to another method of learning & practice. Reading: Read before bed every night instead of watching Netflix until I'm too tired to read. Adventurer things: This time I'm not making it a bonus goal. Find & sign up for a wilderness survival / first aid class. Since I don't drive, I'm pretty limited to ones I can actually do (there aren't many in the city, but they do exist). I want to make sure I know when the next one is coming and be signed up so that I'm committed to it.
  3. As far as I can tell, my slight nomadic phase is over (for now). I should be able to focus a little more on... everything. Maybe. Hopefully. I really wanted to bike to Maryland this weekend but i made a bunch of other plans instead. I’m busy for the next several days so I figured I’d get this out of the way now, while I’m thinking about it (then start Sunday, ON TIME). lifting: - start 5-3-1 again. When I left off last time, I worked up to all new PRs, then stalled pretty hard. I stepped everything back quite a bit and still stalled, so stopped the program. I still have all of those spreadsheets handy. I think I’m going to attempt my “Cycle A” (the backup plan) and if I don’t get a surplus of reps on the + days, I’ll back it down further. For the sake of Post length, i won’t list out what each week’s individual goals will be but I’ll note them in my weekly updates (they’re all in my spreadsheet). - keep doing accessories. Front squats, overhead squats, cleans, RDLs, banded glute work, and dumbbell Work. stretching: Beyond my hip and shoulder issues... I’ve been having issues with extremely tight ankles & calves. As far as I can tell, this is then causing crazy pains in my feet. I’m sure a good deal of this has been from walking in worn out shoes, and i finally bought new ones... but going to add calf stretches to the mix. - stretch every morning while coffee is going. Ideally also stretch every night right before bed. If I can get one every day though, I’ll count that as a win this time. mountain biking: - 2x per week. I’m hoping to bleed my brakes and make the bike functional again on Saturday (I need a second set of hands, and just today was asked for a favor which I then used for bargaining). If for some reason it still isn’t functional I’ll take it to a shop, but then my rides may just be doubletrack on a cx bike. Spanish: For now, just want to work on duolingo for two hours per week. I was doing this a few months ago but got really busy. Reading: at this point I really just need to finish the weird book I’ve been reading forever. Extras / non weekly goals: Find dates & logistics for next wilderness first aid class. Not likely to be during this challenge but I need to actually remember to look it up when I’m not falling asleep.
  4. Ok, so I could very likely post this in the Adventurer's group... but I'd say as far as long term and constant goals go, I'm a warrior who likes to adventure. However, I am taking a break from my powerlifting gains for a while as I attempt to lose a few pounds and maybe climb a couple mountains. Maybe. I'll still throw in a lifting goal though. 1. Lifting while I'm working with a deficit calorie range, I can't consistently bust out clean heavy reps. For the duration of this challenge (and possibly the next one) I'll be working on building up volume. Volume... wish me luck. So, I'm shooting for four days per week. Will still make each day's main focus a big lift... squat, bench, deadlift, overhead press. at least 4 sets of 10 clean reps, increasing weight each set (even if they're small increases). Last set should be difficult but clean. If somehow set 3 isn't clean, back down and do a few additional lighter sets. Then at least 2 accessories each day, same deal, 4 sets of 10 reps. Edit: since I'll be traveling for weeks 3 & 4, those weeks will only have 2 lifting days. I'll combine bench & overhead press, and squats & deadlifts. 2. Hiking If the weather cooperates, I'll be going to Vermont on June 15th for a mountain bike festival. Then on the 18th I'll be coming home, but detouring through the Adirondacks. I want to be able to get 2 solid longer hikes in, and maybe a shorter one Wednesday morning before driving home. Every week I want to hit 30 walking miles. This includes trips to the gym & dog walking, but I also want at least one 10+ mile mixed surface hike in weeks 1 & 2, and 2 longer hikes in weeks 3 & 4. 3. Food / Water I backslid on this a little bit. I've been meal prepping, but somehow 7 days worth of meals ends up stretching for 10 because I go out or order takeout (or I just don't eat). So I want to eat all meal prepped items & drink at least 10 glasses of water per day. Exception: during vacations, I can eat non-prepped meals but no restaurant or gas station food. 4. Early to bed, early to rise Ok. I also tried this and super-failed, but if I want to climb a couple mountains I don't want to have trouble crawling out of bed. Wake up by 6am, eat something and get to the gym. I'm going to need to have quick breakfasts planned because that's typically where I get hung up when I try this. On non-gym days to keep the flow, wake up and read or go for a walk. Edit: Memorial Day weekend gets a pass. Dog sitting until midnight Sunday, and no actual reason to cut off my sleep Monday. But from Tuesday forward...
  5. So I know most of my goals so far have not been lifting related - I started Wendler's 5/3/1 in... August or September? And everything has been on the steady up and up since then. Well, obviously at this point it's getting heavy (for me). I'm FINALLY feeling mostly better from my two week chest cold, but got a little taste of how tough this next cycle is going to be today (since I missed most of the last two weeks, I started on Saturday...) I literally walked right over to the scale after missing my minimum reps on squats and lo and behold, down 5-6lbs in 2ish weeks (I don't really track weight seriously). So I'm actually going to make a lifting goal this time... Fitness goal 1: Lifting So, I needed to hit 5x235 squats today. I hit a double, then did 4 but only one rep was as clean as I'd like it to be. Since I've hit an easy 6x230 somewhat recently, I'll give this a "bad week" pass. HOWEVER, if I do not hit the following, I'm going to subtract 20lbs from my calculated training max for deadlifts & squats and 10lbs from bench for the next cycle (and my goal will be to do better at those weights than previously recorded, but I'm hoping I don't have to do this yet). Squat week 2: 3+ at 250 Squat week 3: 1+ at 260 Bench week 1: 5+ at 120 (I'll give myself a pass if I can hit 5 interrupted reps here, I am really only supposed to do 118 but my micro plates haven't delivered yet) Bench week 2: 3+ at 125 Bench week 3: 1+ at 130 Deadlift week 1: 5+ at 275 Deadlift week 2: 3+ at 290 Deadlift week 3: 1+ at 307 Fitness goal 2: Biking / Hiking Get outside at least 3x per week. Won't hold myself to dirt-only fun in case it is rainy and sloppy, but the weather is nice enough and I forgot how therapeutic riding in the woods can be. Fitness goal 3: Tracking Food & No Snacking on Junk Food So, meal prep has finally become a habit (thank goodness). And last month, in attempting to drink more water and track it, I also started tracking my food. I'm ok with loosely weighing a few things and eyeballing most of it, for now I just want to make sure I'm in a decent calorie range (like, when I was sick and going under 1,000 calories... not so awesome). Also keeping up with 8+ glasses of water per day, not including workout water. And along with tracking calories, I want to cut back on any junk food snacking. I found that I do this most if I'm not home with access to my own food, but I'm not even totally innocent here... hoping that tracking will hold me more accountable. Life Goal: No Excess Spending Four weeks isn't that long, right? By no excess spending, I'm including going out for food & drinks, entertainment that costs money, shopping, any weird snack like groceries... I will allow 1 yoga session per week (I don't actually go to yoga classes but by chance, there's one tomorrow on opening up hips & shoulders and I've potentially convinced two other lady lifters to join me).
  6. I've been procrastinating and avoiding doing stuff, which is both the cause and the result of mild depression. I need to break that cycle, and nerdfitness has helped before. My main priority is to get back into a healthy routine where I'm taking care of myself. This means eating right, exercising regularly, and keeping my home clean and welcoming. All things I've been so-so at lately, especially keeping my apartment neat. Goals Fitness- One-off: Take my mountain bike into the shop, and make sure it's in good condition for trails. I've had this bike for years, but I just took a mountain bike course, and had so much fun that I want to get serious about it. While I'm there, I can buy fenders for my new road touring bike. (+5) Walk or take my bike to work every rainfree day. It's about a mile and a half, or 5-10 if I have extra time and take a long route for the fun of it. (+1 per day, +2 per longer ride) Run 3 or 4 C210k workouts a week. Running isn't my favorite, but it's convenient and I like being able to run. (+2 per 30 minutes) 20 minutes of Simple and Sinister (kettlebells) at least every other day. (+2 per workout) Take the mountain bike onto trails at least once a week. I'll also be looking for a group to ride with. (+3 per ride, +5 for finding a group) Cleaning- 1) Set a timer, and spend 20 minutes cleaning my apartment. Kitchen doesn't count, because I already do that consistently. This can be split into two 10 minute segments. (+1 per 10 minutes) 2) Donate or sell stuff I haven't used in the last year or two. (+2 per large bag donated) Diet- Track what I'm eating in the LoseIt! app. Everything, even the random nuts, m&ms, and pieces of fruit I keep sneaking. Starting weight: 142. (+1 per day, +2 per pound lost) Keeping track- I'll print out a calendar and note progress on it. (+1 per week) Other stuff- 1) Bonus points for writing a story I got halfway through a couple years ago. +4 per chapter completed. 2) Bonus points for applying to jobs. +1 per application sent, +50 per job offer, +100 per good job offered and accepted.
  7. Challenge was revised June 16. I've let myself get soft, mentally and physically. I don't know what to do about the mental aspect, so I'm going to tackle the physical aspect. I've let my belly balloon to 36.5 inches (93 cm), I'm going to work it back down to a more reasonable measure. Seeing as how I'm a teacher and I have no class for another nine weeks, I have time to tackle this. Step 1: That's my wheel, I'm riding! Ride my bike, off road when I can. (In the middle of an amateur race you'll hear racers yell 'that's my wheel' as they fight for a draft.) Step 2: Two Sloths enter, one Sloth leaves. Shovelglove Hammer away at the fat until only the lean Sloth survives. It's only 20-30 minutes a day; I'm aiming for 5 days a week. Step 3: Ruck the Wastes At the end of the next zero week is the Go-Ruck. I'd like to be ready. Max keeps his pack at hand and is always ready to ruck the wastes. Step 4: Don't be the People Eater. Don't eat people or anything else that sets off my IBS. Limit sweets to one variance a week.
  8. Hey, all, Beerzerker here, Just signed up for Nerd Fitness Academy last week. My wife's been a member for a while, and I thought I should join in the fun. I'm in decent shape, but want to improve. Currently, I mountain bike with my son during the summer and snowboard in the winter with my son and my daughter(she skis). We live in western Wisconsin, where we've been having a lot of rain recently. Looking forward to getting to know some of you and letting my geek loose a bit. One of my hobbies is making beer at home, and I love the the process as well as the end result. My goal is to get under 20 % body fat. I'm currently at 22 %. I posted my before pictures and stats over here on Facebook: I'm 39 (that number changes in August). See you in the adventure!
  9. Hey, all, Beerzerker here, Just signed up for Nerd Fitness Academy last week. My wife's been a member for a while, and I thought I should join in the fun. I'm in decent shape, but want to improve. Currently, I mountain bike with my son during the summer and snowboard in the winter with my son and my daughter(she skis). We live in western Wisconsin, where we've been having a lot of rain recently. Looking forward to getting to know some of you and letting my geek loose a bit. One of my hobbies is making beer at home, and I love the the process as well as the end result. My goal is to get under 20 % body fat. I'm currently at 22 %. I posted my before pictures and stats over here on Facebook: I'm 39 (that number changes in August). See you in the adventure!
  10. Good day, everyone! I've been around the blog for a while now, and have done almost all my challenges with the monk. But for now, I have decided to do this (and the challenges to follow) with the scouts. I was quite reluctant to start a new challenge because I feel like I have neglected my previous challenges due to my very busy internship year, but now that it's over and with some encouragement from my fellow monks, I decided to do it. My challenge will be all about cycling. I have been cycling for about 7 years now. Mostly mountain biking during the first years, but became more obsessed with going distances, to climbs, and roads. However, because of college, I have lost time to ride frequently as well as my endurance. Now, I have acquired a road bike which motivated made me decide to go for one of my life goals: a century ride (100km). This will be the first of about 3 challenges. I aimed to do my century ride on August with my father, before Medical school starts. This gives me about 4 months to train. So I asked my father (he regularly does 100km rides, yes he is a badass) how to know if I am ready for the ride the following are his parameters: Climb a nearby hill (elev 230m, 10% gradient) 10 times without rest in between climbs. This hill was named Cardiac Hill by the local bikers for a reason. Ride the hilly 30km route, twice without rest. This route was called the Reverse Palace, because a Palace Park is on top of this climb, and I'm going it in the opposite d I know it may sound a bit harsh (or easy), but I am confident that my father knows his stuff and I do not want to slow him down once we're doing the 100km ride. So, these are my goals. However, I have decided to make the first 4 weeks all about regaining my lost cycling gainz and making me accustomed to riding again. The goals are: 1. At the end of 4 weeks, the cyclist must be able to ride at least 3 times a week, with 1 long ride (25km and above). This is part of me regaining my lost cycling gainz, making me accustomed to riding again, and creating a base cycling fitness again. 2. At the end of 4 weeks, the cyclist must be able to climb Cardiac Hill at least 4 times without rest. This one goes to my overall goal of riding it 10 times without resting. This sounds attainable since I can ride the hill about 6 to 8 times without rest before. GOAL ACHIEVED: MAY 15, 2016. Update: At the end of 2 weeks, the cyclist must be able to climb Cardiac Hill at least 5 times without rest. 3. At the end of 4 weeks, the cyclist must be able to finish Reverse Palace at least once. Again, this one goes to my overall goal. I also aim to record my finish time so I can monitor if I am going faster. GOAL ACHIEVED: MAY 22, 2016. Update: At the end of 2 weeks, the cyclist must be able to climb Reverse Palace at a faster pace. Time to beat: 1:42:16 4. Perform my bodyweight workout. Not really going on my long term goals, but I have to be consistent with my fitness goals LIFE GOALS: Wake up at 6am for a ride. Update this challenge at least 3 times a week. That's it! My life goals are more mental, especially the waking up part (I sleep like a rock). UPDATE (2/7/2016): I acquired The Cyclist's Training Bible, and is learning a lot. I have discovered that, despite my previous belief, I'm more of a climber, than a sprinter. It's a good book, and I'm learning a lot. I might update my goals, as I read along.
  11. Newbie to the site, here, recently joined the adventurers! I have been hearing this n' that about winter mountain biking! This sounds super exciting and excellent, especially when it gives an excuse for outdoor exercise in the wintertime! Does anyone know how to train for such a task as well as how to equip a mountain bike for such an adventure?
  12. The problem: I keep reverting to this: In the years that I've been here I've had some successes and some setbacks. I've been plagued by reversions to a lazier, easier lifestyle. During that time Elastigirl has been plugging away, day after day, slowly but surely getting better and better. This time I will steal Elastigirl's power for my own. I will become tenacious, persistent, and consistent and in time I too will reap the benefit of her superpower. The plan: Like ElastiGirl I will have a basic kettlebell workout I will follow without fail and I will add in other stuff for fun or I may not. The important thing is I do the minimal workout as planned. Everyday - stretch all the things and roll all the things. Training days - Warm Up: Ab work, glute bridges, Roman chair, rubber band stuff Get Ups Kettlebell Swings Reverse Lunges Kettlebell Clean & Press Chin Ups Cardio days - bike, tire pull, Shovelglove, jog, whatever. I will follow a Hard, Light, Medium schedule as laid out in Enter The Kettlebell. This will be adjusted to fit in Mountain Bike racing. Planned races are 40 miler on 7/25/15 (this may not happen due to bad back) and a 6 hour race on 8/1/15. I also have training races the next three Thursdays. The Problem: Sloth Belly. Up to 2/3 of a Sloth's weight is in it's belly, so is mine. Also, there is a whole slew of foods I can no longer eat due to belly issues. The plan: clean up my diet even more. I've made big strides, but I'm plateaued. This needs some focus again. The problem: I'm too damn crabby. The plan: My life is better when I play the positive game, even if it's in "fake it 'til you make it" mode. The stats: Weight: 173.6# (78.9kg) weekly average BodyFat: 18.4% (average from unreliable scale) Belly: 35 7/8" (91cm) @belly button
  13. I've been away from NF for about a year now but I'm back. A review of the last year: Last summer I was reasonably fit for an old man (45) and I got back into mountain bike racing. I did well enough to finish almost exactly in the middle of the men's groups. At one race I won a really nice frame (foundrycycles.com/bikes/broadaxe) in a raffle. When I went back to school (I teach 6th grade science) I kept in shape with a basic push-pull-squat-hinge + conditioning workout with sandbags, kettlebells, and sledgehammers (www.shovelglove.com). I worked out balls to the wall just about every morning. The results were coming, but not fast considering how hard I was working, bodyfat barely budged, little muscle was put on, but my heart rate, blood pressure, and cholesterol all dropped significantly- the men in my family tend to turn 60 and die of a heart attack, so this is important to me. In February my mom went into hospice and I went into a bare maintenance mode, both because my family needed my time and because I couldn't focus on it. I kept up my daily PT, but my workout became 100 kettlebell swings and maybe some pressing a few times a week. After my mom passed I kept this up because I had lost my drive. By this time my body started to rebel against the old workload. In particular, my fragile back started acting up again and I developed tendonitis in my forearm that would not go away. Once summer finally came I built up the frame into the nicest bike I've ever owned and started focusing on mountain biking and doing The Simple and Sinister workout (basically kettlebells and get-ups) on the days I didn't ride. I am considerably slower than I was last year and I'm not sure why. This summer I finally started seeing a PT for my back. She has me on a simple twice a week strengthening program - back extensions, leg press, ab work, and pull downs all done on Nautilis type machines plus daily stretching. Two weeks ago I cut wood and moved brush, moved bricks through the woods, and moved a garage full of amplifiers - way more than I should have been doing - so last week my back locked up really badly, today it is still tight and weak, but pain-free. This week I was at a conference in Indianapolis and after being in airports all day or sitting in meetings all day the first thing I did was go for a run, 3 miles in ~ 28 minutes every day. Not long, not fast, but without stopping. On one of those runs I realized that I define myself as someone who's active and fit. I mean I was running, I hate running, but I did it because I had to, I would have gone insane without a physical outlet. My drive is still missing, but it's coming back. I have four weeks of summer break left; my plan is to continue the PT and the mountain biking or kettlebells and to take a weekly recovery day. I will finally do the weekly race series. There are four races left that I can do and I plan to do them all, even if there is a real possibility that I finish in last place. TL;DR old man with bad back does some mountain biking and kettlebells.
  14. I noticed that the assassins snuck into the Ranger Fort and stole kettlebells, sledgehammers, and other odd objects from us while I was away. But, once a Ranger always a Ranger; I'm going to post here. Background Info. There's more detail in my Battle Log A couple of years ago I hurt my back, I've been working mobility and strengthening it with bodyweight, sledgehammers, sandbags and kettlebells ever since, but I got off track in February. In the summer I focus on mountain biking, but life kept getting in the way this year and I never was able to get race fit. This past week I watched my aunt crawl up the stairs because she doesn't have the leg strength to walk - I can't get that image out of my head - and that night my back was super tight and sore and I couldn't walk down the stairs. I tried crab walking down, but tripped and fell down the stairs. It seems imperative that I get a healthy back, it's more important even than mountain biking. I have seen chiropractors in the past and am currently seeing a PT. Main Goal: Fix My Back Step 1: Stop Being a Dumb-Ass I'm always doing something that tightens up and hurts my back and then I'll go and do something else that puts it out for weeks. I will stop: • Being macho - if I'm building trail and my back says that an hour of moving rock is enough, but the other guys are moving rock for an hour and a half, I'm going to stop anyway. I will even ask my wife to help load big objects into the trunk. • Sitting on my ass - sitting for too long, especially on a squishy surface, hurts my back. No more couches for me. • Bending and twisting when I pick things up. I've thrown my back out three times picking up a pen. I've got to remember to go straight down and lift everything up in a front squat, no matter how small. Step 2: Loosen Up • Do my mobility/PT/Warm Up twice a day. It takes about 20 minutes if I don't get distracted, about 3 hours if I do. I already have a daily habit, but I need to turn it up until things get better. • Ice, Ice, Ice. All the professionals who have dealt with my back have said to ice it three times a day, but I never have. I will now. • My wife and I share a monthly massage subscription, but I haven't gone since December. I will use at least two of my banked massages. Step 3: Get stronger When I follow my own programming I get beat up and injured, so I'm going to follow someone else's program. That will be Pavel's "Simple and Sinister" program. It boils down to a few warm up movements, then 100 KB swings and 5 get ups. I'll take one day off a week and will skip swings on PT days. Mountain Biking I'm still going to mountain bike, but the aim will be to ride for fun, with style and grace; I won't be out there hammering. Life Goal: Play the Positive Game I am dour and cynical by nature, but when I remember to reframe statements and thoughts in a positive manner the whole world seems brighter and happier. Really, it does, you should try it. Ideally this will be a boring challenge to follow. I'm aiming for a report of "I did my PT, worked out and iced." day after day. And I'm old and curmudgeonly, so I probably won't add any cute GIFS, unless I run across one with a pug. I love pugs. No grades, no attribute points, but I may reward myself with this T shirt. House of Biceps t Shirt Or I may buy it either way, 'cause it's cool.
  15. The weather has finally warmed enough to melt all the snow off the trails and I've got one ride under my belt so far this year! Are there any other mountain bikers around? I usually bike somewhere around 10-20 km on my rides, 150-170 m total climb or so. I normally ride most about 100 m of the ascent up a gravel road and then hit the trail for as much more up as I can handle for the day, then its a mix of downhill/cross country for the way down. I figure about 15-25 mins of climbing, then 40-80 mins of down/cross country (depending on a bunch of things, including trail selection). I've been wanting to get some action pictures, but the dog doesn't have thumbs to operate the camera...
  16. I've been stalking Nerd Fitness since February, but I just signed up for an account. I've adopted a paleo lifestyle and have lost 15 lbs in two months. I've recently fallen off the paleo wagon, stopped excercising, stopped stretching, and stopped reading ... so I figured participating in this challenge would help set me straight again. I hope. I'm really good at talking myself out of everything. Ugh. I live in the mountains and I enjoy a wide array of activities, but I haven't created a habit yet. I want to prioritize excercising, but I find a million excuses to not move my ass. #shame Here are my goals. Fitness 1. Return to nirvana I used to practice at least once, if not twice, a week and I felt uhmazing. I'd like to return to that. My goal is to practice yoga twice a week. I'm currently into Ashtanga, but I want to practice sun salutations in the morning if I can't get to a class. I will measure my success by the strength of my headstand. Currently, I can barely get my feet in the air for a second. Grading: A = 10 second headstand B = 8 seconds C = 6 seconds D = 4 seconds F = 2 seconds 2. Miles in the saddle I recently bought a mountain bike and a road bike cause ... cause why not!? I need to train my butt to love that saddle so I can ride longer rides. My goal is to get out on a bike (road bike or mountain bike) at least three times a week. I'd like to get comfortable enough to ride 70 miles in one sitting. I currently get out once or twice a week at an average of 15 miles. My longest ride so far was 46 miles. This challenge will hopefully set the tone for me to participate in a century ride (100 miles) in September. A = 70 miles B = 65 miles C = 60 miles D = 55 miles F = 50 miles Nutrition 3. Cavewoman goodness I adopted a paleo diet in March and I've loved every minute. Couple of factors have led me astray and I'd like to return to eating a strict paleo diet for 6 days of the week. I'm a sucker for wine, so this should help me in limiting my wine consumption to one night! On average, I lost one pound a week on paleo. I'll measure the success of this goal in weight loss. I'd like to see myself at least 6 pounds lighter. A = 6 pounds down B = 5 pounds down C = 4 pounds down D = 3 pounds down F = 2 pounds down Personal 4. Use my vowels! I'm the publisher and editor of a local newspaper so I've lost the motivation to read at night (and just drink wine instead!) so this goal is to get me back to reading for pleasure on a daily basis. I can't tell you how many books I have sitting in my house with bookmarks in them. I have a tendency to start books and never finish them. With this goal, I hope to read for at least 30 minutes before bed every night. By reading 30 minutes a night, I should complete at least 2 (full) books and potentially any others that I started but never finished. A = 2 books B = 1.5 books C = 1 book D = Finish only one book I already started F = Start a book (or two) and don't finish them Bonus goals: In reading other people's goals, I wanted to adopt some as my own, bonus goals. 1. Get up! I suck at getting out of bed. As a bonus challenge, I'm going to try and not snooze Monday through Fridays. 2. Pump me up I'm interested in weight training, so I'm going to try to explore that part of the gym (scary!) Nothing extreme. Just even going and touching the weights will be a start. I'm going to try the beginnger's body workout thing on NF and see where it goes... ___________________________ Review of week one: Riding the bike: I wanted to ride my bike at least three days but only made it to two. I don't feel bad though because I did ride my bike on Sunday (the day before the official start of the Challenge) and I went camping/hiking and that took away time from riding (which I would have done if I wasn't in the middle of the woods). Miles in week one: 24.6 (32.8 if I include Sunday's ride before the challenge ... which doesn't count). Yoga: I was supposed to do yoga at least twice a week. I made it to one class and it made me so sore, I didn't do yoga the rest of the week. As I get stronger, I'll be able to do yoga more frequently without crying like a little girl. Headstand progress hasn't changed. Can kick my feet up but they don't stay up. Paleo: Definitely went off track this week in terms of eating strict paleo. I've already been on a paleo diet for a few months, but I was adding more and more non paleo items into my diet. Although I would say I'm definitely not as bad, I did slip a few times (PIE!). And of course the wine. I failed in trying to just drink once a week. Sadly, I think I drank wine (at least one glass) every night after Monday night. Damn birthdays, and visitors, and friends, and fun times. I might try to wean myself off the wine drinking in a less drastic way since obviously I can't handle just drinking once a week. Despite all of that, I did lose 1 pound this week. BOOM! Reading: Although I did not technically read 30 minutes EVERY night, I did read enough to get me through half of my book. My goal is to read 2 books by the end of the challenge and at this rate, I'm in good shape. Bonus goals: In addition to my above fitness goals, I did manage to get to the gym once this past week to explore weight lifting. I saw a personal trainer train some girls and after the session was over, I went over and asked her for the proper technique for dead lifts. She was happy to help and even gave an analogy I can relate to (using yoga!) so I started with some simple reps of 10. (I went again today (week 2) and I am very stoked on the progress already). Anti snooze: I think I snoozed once this week. I've been getting up early to ride and go to the gym with a friend, and that really helps not snooze. I really enjoy the mornings and all the working out has tired me out so I fall asleep better. I haven't taken melatonin once this week! It's amazing. In addition, I tried the step master for the first time last week and I enjoyed it so much that I do a 30 minute warm up before I start weight lifting. Who would have thought. Workout recap: June 3, Monday: None June 4, Tuesday: 10.4 miles cycling, 90 minutes of Ashtanga yoga (beast mode!) June 5, Wednesday: Stairmaster 30 min, weight training (deadlifts, rows, triceps, biceps) June 6, Thursday: None (too sore) June 7, Friday: 14.2 miles cycling June 8, Saturday: hiked 5.5 miles June 9, Sunday: Rest day ________________________________ Week two: Bike riding: Only logged 22 miles this week. Trip to LA kinda ruined riding over the weekend. Yoga: Didn't do an actual practice. I only did some practice at home to stretch out. Although I am getting stronger and more confident in my headstand. I don't hesitate in kicking my legs up and I can balance a little bit longer, which is exciting. Paleo: Hah! I went to a bridal shower and celebrated a belated birthday with my family over the weekend. Needless to say my sugar and alcohol consumption increased significantly. Weirdly enough, I dropped 2 pounds this week. Odd... Reading: I only ready once before bed. Oops. Not the best week for me. Here's to making week three better! Workout recap: June 10, Monday: 6.9 miles cycling (really windy, quit early) June 11, Tuesday: 30 minutes stair master, weight training (squats, deadlifts with 20lb barbell, bi's and tri's with 12 lbs, lunges, 5 pushups) June 12, Wednesday: 15.1 miles. Windy but I did it anyway. New route! June 13, Thursday: 30 minutes stair master, weight training (just arms. legs are sore, 12 lb weights, three sets of 10, 5 solid pushups) June 14, Friday: None (drove to LA) June 15, Saturday: None June 16, Sunday: None ________________________________ Week three: June 17, Monday: Evening hike after work, 4 miles with 1,100 feet of elevation gain. June 18, Tuesday: 90 minute Ashtanga practice. Worked on my headstand and got up to 5 seconds! June 19, Wednesday: 30 minute stairmaster, weight training (deadlifts, lunges, squats, shoulder presses, biceps) June 20, Thursday: Day off (hamstrings hurt too bad) Practiced headstands. Got to 10 seconds. BOOM. June 21, Friday: 30 minutes stairmaster, weight training (deadlifts, squats, shoulder presses, biceps) June 22, Saturday: 45 mile ride June 23, Sunday: 10 mile ride (up hill most of the time with a strong headwind) ________________________________ Week four: Week four was a total bust for me. I had some health issues that prevented me from getting on the bike, and then I went to a Bachelorette party which naturally derailed me from my eating/drinking goals. I also didn't read at all this week. June 24, Monday: Rest day, Juice fasted. June 25, Tuesday: None, Juice fasted June 26, Wednesday: Juice fasted, 30 minute stairmaster, weights June 27, Thursday: None, drove to LA June 28, Friday: None, drove to Moorpark, Solvang June 29, Saturday: Bachelorette Party June 30, Sunday: Bachelorette Party ________________________________ Week five July 1, Monday: July 2, Tuesday: July 3, Wednesday: July 4, Thursday: July 5, Friday: July 6, Saturday: July 7, Sunday: ________________________________ Week six:
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