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  1. Yes, this is the artist formerly known as Phoenix Burning returning after a rather extended absence. In our last episode, I was preparing for competition in the World Championships of Taekwondo. That never happened. I ended up getting seriously ill, having a surgery, and spending the next year and a half feeling sorry for myself, avoiding fitness, and eating my feelings. I am still in a place where my willpower is pretty beaten up (and largely being used by my latest adventure: grad school!), but I know I need to do something to get out of this funk and get back to my best self. In view of my limited motivation, my plan is to trick myself into exercising (or at least getting off the couch) for this challenge, while also reducing the sweets. Goal 1: Got Eem This one is combination self-care and sneaky fitness goal. I love the outdoors. You have never seen bigger grin than the one I had while neck-deep in mud on my favorite obstacle course. I am not ready to start running again, and since moving, making it to the trails is a lot harder. However, I do have a fairly large property with woods and a little stream -- that I never use. I love being outside, but somehow I have gotten a sort of mental block that it's too much bother to get my shoes on and do something that might require extensive hair washing and laundry afterward. The dirty work doesn't bother me, just having to clean up after . But it does amazing things for my mental health (and not bad things for my physical health) to get outside and play. So, to get myself past the mental block, I have told myself I have to go outside at least an hour a week. Per week, you say? Yep. You see, once I get myself out the door, I am virtually guaranteed to stay out there an hour or more, but it helps to get myself out there if I tell myself I only have to do it for less than 10 minutes. And when I get outside, fitness-y things tend to happen. Bike rides, badminton, gardening, chopping wood, or like today, repeated heavy carries as I moved some logs around from a fallen tree on my property. Just don't tell me I am exercising Goal 2: There's Always Tomorrow This one is also a bit of a mind game. I eat far too many sweets, but again...willpower.... So for this challenge, I am planning to cut my sweets in half by only having some every other day. That way, when I want something, I can tell myself "I can have that tomorrow", which feels less stressful than an indeterminate amount of time without my sugary crutch. So that's me. Wish me luck!
  2. When was the last time I challenged? Spoiler alert: you probably don't recognize my name around here, it's been that long. But you're never too far gone to throw yourself back into the deep end, so here goes: For most of the year, I've just been focusing on keeping my runs going. Niggling little injuries and a general lack of free time (I know I know we all have the same 24 hours in the day) have had me unable to do much more. But recently -- well, I don't know if it's the Spring thaw coming on, or just getting a little frustrated with the man in the mirror, or what, but it feels like time to get serious again. The wife and I agreed to lose weight together about six weeks ago, and that's going fantastic (I'm down about ten pounds, she's down more than that!) and I started up my body weight workouts again... but it felt like something was missing. So I went and re-read Natural Born Heroes, which was a mistake, because now I'm all like YEAHHHH PARKOUR and WOO NO SUGAR IN MY DIET and RAAAA DO ALL THE THINGS. A likely sign I'm about to overdo it in a big way. So I'm not going to try *all* the things; just *some* of the things. The big thing is, I'm gonna try out rucking once a week. Whether in place of a run or a workout, I'm not sure yet (my heart says sub it for a workout, my brain says sub it for a run), but I'm gonna try it regardless. I hear it's good for posture (which I'd like to correct) and core (which ... yeah) and it just looks like fun besides. My pack arrives tomorrow! I also want to roll in some of the MovNat beginner exercises with my bodyweight workouts -- cuz the endless push-ups and squats aren't totally ringing my bell these days. Finally, not fitness-related, but I've gotta keep the hammer down on the current draft of my novel. I'm into the mushy phase of editing where it's easy to get lost and lose momentum, and a challenge -- with a little bit of accountability baked in -- is a good way to keep me on the straight and narrow. (Notice that there's no running goal. I'm assuming my runs will stay stable. Surely nothing can go wrong under such an assumption.) So. First challenge in, like, more than a year? Check. Three goals? Check. Go Ruck yourself.
  3. If you have followed me for some time, you know the origin of this challenge title. I have decided to reconnect with my wild self and reboot and modify one of my favorite past challenges. Expect lots of wildness and nature. True to My Nature: Wolfen Goes Wild Get Rest: Wind down at sunset (limited/no technology), moderate/light physical activity (yoga, stretches, etc.) In bed no later than 10:30 pm (unless impossible because of work, etc.). Nap in late afternoon if necessary/possible. Get Fit: Barefoot/shirtless walks and stretches in the morning Three options: MovNat inspired workout (see video above) Or: Follow the Primal Blueprint Exercise Plan; below is the simplified version: Monday – Sprint Tuesday – Lift Heavy Things/Bodyweight Exercises Wednesday – Move Slowly, Play or Rest Thursday – HIIT/WOW Friday – Move Slowly, Play or Rest Saturday – Lift Heavy Things/Bodyweight Exercises Sunday – Move Slowly, Play or Rest Or: Get back into Jonathan Mead's Uncaged Body routine 10,000-12,000 steps/day Cold showers daily Meditation/WHM daily Get Spiritual: Morning prayer Daily Scripture reading/devotional Integrate prayer throughout the day Get Fed: Eat as close to Paleo/Primal as possible at least one meal/day. Avoid processed foods. Listen to your body: eat when you're hungry rather than when you "should." Intermittent fasting at least 3 days/week; this must be mindful rather than just "skipping breakfast." No soda for the entire challenge (none, zero, not even a tiny cup). Drink at least 64 ounces of water/day. Get Connected: Kiss wife and daughters every day before leaving for work Call mother daily; visit at least once a week Speak to a stranger at least once/day (irl, not online). Visit with a friend at least once/week (irl, not online). Spend evenings with wife and daughters, unless impossible because of work, etc. Get Smarter: Read everyday for at least 30 minutes Use a brain-training app such as Peak daily. Listen to a podcast at least once/week. Get Some Sun, Sand, and Surf: (No beach trip this year, but I really like the title). Spend at least 30 minutes/day outside. Get at least 15 minutes total/day of direct sunlight. Get near, in, on, or under water every day. At least one hike/week. Get in close contact with the earth: walk barefoot, dig in the dirt, rub against a tree. Again, I'll quote Frank Forencich here: "...get out of the house and into the world. Scratch your back up against a tree and bushwack your way up a hill. Climb some rough rocks and plunge your feet into the creek. Give your eyes a rest and massage your body with the biosphere. Your body will love it."
  4. Previous Episodes Level 6 - Q&A Back in Aldenton, Whiteghost was putting together a plan to track down Muscles, they tall guy in the seersucker suit he first saw meeting with Demerara, the big wig deal broker from Pentadin. “If I were a stacked & jacked white collar criminal with impeccable fashion sense where would I be hanging out” whiteGhost mumbled to himself as he was scanning ‘Like a Local’ for possible places the guy might be. “I’m guessing he’s not going to be at any book clubs or poetry slams… Let’s see… Maybe I could check the Crossfit Box” “Yeah, I bet this guy is one of those crossfitters – the perfect place for vain fitness nuts” he thought to himself absently as he continued scrolling “Hold on, this is it” WhiteGhost blurted out, then looked around to see if anyone noticed. He was sitting at a bus stop bench as he scrolled through the app, keeping one eye on his phone and one eye on the busy street ahead of him. After making sure no one was watching him he looked back down at his phone, and the announcement lighting up his screen. Objective 1: Get into the event Obtain a ticket - Have full challenge plan finished No ticket, have to sneak in - Have enough of a plan to get started on workouts Can't get in - Challenge still not ready to go Objective timeline: end of day Sunday Result: Sneak in WhiteGhost grunted quietly as he struggled to fit into the jacket he just happened to find lying around in a locked closet in the staff changing room in the hotel basement. It hadn’t taken long to pick the lock, but it would have been even faster if it had been a key padlock. Combination locks were never his strong suite. Looking down at the nametag a smile came to his face. “Tonight, I am Juan Dominguez” he laughed as he looked at his blond hair slicked back behind his ears. “If anyone asks I’ll just tell them my family comes from the colonies at Juarez” “If my Spanish were better, I may actually get someone to believe that…” His thoughts trickled off as he checked his watch; 30 minutes to show time. When he first saw the announcement the other night, he knew getting tickets to this event was going to be hard. “It isn’t every day that the world’s fastest growing beverage company teams up with the world’s largest lingerie brand and the hottest company in athletic fashion for a one night only fashion show to launch their newest product” he mused. He had tried getting a ticket, but this was an exclusive party and only the only people getting into this event are the rich or well connected. “And the serving staff, of course” he thought with a smirk. There would of course be media present, but those credentials were getting extra scrutiny tonight. With an event this hot, every fashion blogger and Youtube celebrity trainer was trying to get in. Unless you were on the specific invite list, though, you might as well be James O’Keefe trying to get into a Planned Parenthood board meeting. Buttoning up the jacket and straightening his tie, WhiteGhost headed up to the hotel catering center to grab some hors d’oeuvres. “I need to get there a little early to get the first choice of trays” he thought to himself “they guys with the champagne and caviar get the most attention but the least scrutiny” WhiteGhost took advantage of both the anonymity and the broad access afforded him by the service jacket and tray of expensive champagne and he wandered about the event keeping an eye out for his quarry. “You’d think a guy of hi size would be easy to spot” he though, frustrated that he had not seen him yet. “He’s got to be here, I can’t imagine he would miss an event like this” Still unable to find the guy he was searching for, WhiteGhost made his way towards the catwalk to see if he could find a spot where could watch the show. It was then he spotted him. On the front row along one side of the low T-shaped stage he saw a huge man, wearing a bespoke white tuxedo with a mandarin collar over a burgundy vest, his black, shoulder-length hair combed back behind his ears. “There you are” WhiteGhost whispered to himself. “now, let’s see what kind of information I can get out of you about those transactions” The plan came to him immediately, but it would take some preparation. Heading back into the service area, WhiteGhost ditched his service jacket, grabbed a tool belt and made his way to the booth. In the confusion as the show began, he was able to pass himself off as a backup lighting technician and set himself up behind a backup spotlight on the left lighting truss. From there he had a good view of both the stage and the large man filling a prime seat just to the side of it. “And now, the game is afoot” WhiteGhost thought to himself as a smile spread across his face
  5. I sandbagged last quest, so I'm carrying stats over onto this one. Goal this quest: showing up to training and doing what my trainer wants me to do. Create solid habits, No over thinking. Q17.01 Combatives: 4 Q17.02 Cross Training: 2 Q17.03 Mixed Movement Arts: 3 Q17.04 Adulting: 5
  6. So, got laid off for a couple of weeks last round, used the opportunity to build a movement park at my house. Also did a bunch of Adulting. back to work (at the same place), but my new work schedule means a little less time for cross training at work. But I still get to roll/spar on occasion. Combatives: MACP/BJJ/MMA Striking 3 times a week at work (hopefully), Sunday Fight Club (Gracie Combatives/Krav Maga Worldwide) at home once a week. KMW Daily Curriculum on any days missed. Front Site Post eye training 2-5 minutes with bed time routine (not graded). Cross Training: (Tactical Strength and Conditioning (TASC), MovNat Strength and Conditioning) Tactical Strength and Conditioning program at work will probably be only 2 days a week. MovNat Strength and Conditioning at home to make up the difference. Mixed Movement: (running, walking, hiking, balancing, jumping, crawling, climbing, swimming, Parkour, dancing, Capoeira, physical labor, informal training, throwing, catching) Environmental Movement (Parkour/MovNat) integrated into cross training as much as possible. Swimming, Hiking, Working, etc.. movements integrated. Also includes recovery. Adulting: Always struggled with being a grownup. Heroes should do grown up stuff. Q16.01 Combatives: 0 Q16.02 Cross Training: 0 Q16.03 Mixed Movement Arts: 0 Q16.04 Adulting: 0
  7. Finally healed up. So it's time to ease back into awesome. I was watching Captain America: Civil War last week. I noticed that I could name or understand so many of the moves in the movie, it just ratified my quest. While some of my knowledge is from the academic study of things like professional wrestling, free running, or other demonstration/tricking arts, some of the other things are from real experiences or useful training I've had in my life. Clearly I'm not a real super hero/stuntman, etc. I can't do a dash vault or a cong, I can't do a muscle up. I turn 49 in October, here is what I can do that I couldn't do at 47: -I can get over a 10' brick wall quickly but medium efficiency (still requires effort) and down with minimum impact (drop to cat hang) -I can pass a 5' wall/elevation change efficiently with little effort, and minimum impact (drop to cat/gargoyle get down) -I can pass a 3' foot wall one handed in any direction (speed, lazy, turn, etc) with almost no effort. -I can survive a ground and pound from most untrained opponents: I haven't been manhandled by an untrained student in over a year (including ones that are significantly stronger/more athletic than I am). -I can do a cartwheel (standing or from squat). I can do basic Capoeira. -I can break fall or roll out on any surface in any direction with no significant injury. Roll on cement without a scratch, yes. Break fall in grass, yes. Break fall on Cement. Hope to never find out. -I can do a full squat comfortably with about a 1/2" heel raise. May take another year or two to get a$$ to grass flat footed. I can "sit in seiza" for a few minutes without extreme pain, (I can do all the beginning MOVNAT ground positions) -I can block about 80% of strikes from untrained/lightly trained strikers, or even moderately trained strikers at long range (close range boxing range with no takedowns still screws me up). -I'm about as functionally strong as I have ever been: I can safely deadlift/squat/bench my body weight (250) and could probably get 300+ in an emergency. -My practical shooting is maintaining: While better than two years ago, it's no where near my peak. Point shooting is OK (10 yard reflex shoot is still on target). It can still takes me up to two seconds to get a well aimed shot off at 25 yards with conventional iron sites. This Challenge: Combatives: MACP/BJJ/MMA Striking 3 times a week at work (hopefully), Sunday Fight Club (Gracie Combatives/Krav Maga Worldwide) at home once a week. KMW Daily Curriculum on any days missed. Front Site Post eye training 2-5 minutes with bed time routine (not graded). Cross Training: (Tactical Strength and Conditioning (TASC), MovNat Strength and Conditioning) Tactical Strength and Conditioning program at work 4 days a week. MovNat Strength and Conditioning if I miss one at work. Mixed Movement: (running, walking, hiking, balancing, jumping, crawling, climbing, swimming, Parkour, dancing, Capoeira, physical labor, informal training, throwing, catching) Environmental Movement (Parkour/MovNat) integrated into cross training as much as possible. Swimming, Hiking, Working, etc.. movements integrated. Also includes recovery. Adulting: Always struggled with being a grownup. Heroes should do grown up stuff. So, Starting Quest 15.. Q15.01 Combatives: 0 Q15.02 Cross Training: 0 Q15.03 Mixed Movement Arts: 0 Q15.04 Adulting: 0
  8. I have gone from 26% bodyfat to 22% bodyfat since starting nerd fitness. Meh, I don't care. Because, to me, it's a side effect. So many people are trying to look like LOOK a superhero, so few people are training to BE like a superhero. Everyone should be specialized, no one should be overspecialized... Crossfit got us closer... but I think MOVNAT actually has the baseline answer... If we are specializing too much, we are still deconditioning our general fitness and overspecializing Still recovering from injury. So wisdom/prudence tells me I shouldn't do something, Optimism tells me what's left is what I should do. Combatives: -Shouldn't: Spar (no BJJ rolling or kickboxing, no strikes to the body, no ballistic kicking) -Should: Work on form, shadow box, test for MACP Level II (in fact, test is tomorrow) Cross Training: -Shouldn't: Sprint, work abs, split squats, planks, rows. -Should: Jump Rope, Jinga Mixed Movement -Shouldn't: Climb using legs, swim using legs, sprint, high line vaults. -Should: Roll, Break fall, most floor work (Acrobatics, Handstands), balance beam work, isolated pulling, short precision jumps. So, Starting Quest 14.. Q14.01 Combatives: 0 Q14.02 Cross Training: 0 Q14.03 Mixed Movement Arts: 0 Q14.04 Regeneration: 0
  9. I have been fascinated with MovNat for some time now. It is a system of training in "natural movement", establishing the strength and mobility to explore our full physical potential for interacting with our varied environments. So for instance rather than training pullups, they train a variety of methods of pulling yourself up onto an overhead bar/surface. Rather than deadlifting weights, they teach how to effectively lift and carry a wide variety of heavy objects. They like training in the woods, in an improvisational way, but they teach fundamental drills that are generally practiced indoors in a safe and controlled environment. The goal is to change how you move OUTSIDE of training. They very much embody the Assassin's Guild motto of "The world is our playground". Many of the techniques seem very basic, but they set a pretty high standard for grace and "efficiency" of movement. No flailing and grunting your way through. Everything is smooth and controlled, and the progressions are very gradual. They seem to put a lot of thought into keeping things safe. They don't include anything without some plausible purpose in real-world movement. (Why do we train inverted crawling? Because it is a safe way to make it down a steep, technically challenging slope.) They include the more practical obstacle traversal aspects of parkour, as well as fundamental movements of throwing and catching, lifting and carrying, combat, and other things, but the beginner drills focus on climbing, jumping, balancing, carrying, and assorted maneuvering on the ground. (SPOILER: Lots of kneeling and deep squatting. ) Unfortunately, I've never taken any classes in it, largely due to money and distance. Classes would be a serious investment for me, so I'd like to get solid on some basics and improve my overall strength and conditioning before I do that. (I don't need to pay someone $$ to supervise my crawling or falling off a 2x4 on the ground. I just need practice.) So I've been gathering up the various bits of information they have scattered around online, freely available, and condensing it into a form more useful to me in my training. They have a book in the works, but it remains to be seen how much of it is practical systematic instruction - intended to guide the reader in developing a home practice - and how much of it is glossy inspirational photos of extremely fit people vaulting through lush forests interspersed with laments about the sorry state of the modern world and how it devastatingly restricts our movement patterns. I've read some stuff that strongly suggests they intend to eventually make a good deal of training material freely available online, but want to have a certain level of infrastructure established first. They seem very much to be a work in progress at this point. Primary Resources: The MovNat website: Lots about their philosophy, and how to get in-person training. Also, the From The Ground Up, beginner instructional videos. 4-Week Primer on Breaking Muscle: Lots of simple ground movement and balancing drills. I've laid these out in charts below. Short demo videos of techniques: No verbal instruction, but over 100 short clips demonstrating different techniques. Beginner Workouts on Youtube: Five circuit training "combos" for beginners. My plan on where to start... Sign up for their newsletter, to get their free ebook. There is a place to sign up at the bottom of their website. The newsletter has been very infrequent, but has included actual training info, not just promotional stuff. In case that doesn't work, I've got a copy of the free ebook here. Flip through the ebook. Practice any techniques that catch your eye, but these are somewhat randomly chosen techniques, not a beginners practice. (The deep squat getup is damn hard.) The tone of the book seems kind of judgy to me in places, but whatever, it is intended as motivational. Watch the "From the Ground Up" videos, and practice the movements until you feel like you've basically got the hang of it. These are fairly detailed, high-quality instruction. Skip anything too hard. Make a note of anything you think you should work on. You can look at the notes I made for those videos. Some of these can be used as short workouts, but most are just instruction on one or two techniques. Read through the 4-Week Primer on Breaking Muscle. Look at the videos. Try the techniques. They aren't especially exciting - lots of maneuvering around on the ground - but they are safe and require little equipment. If they seem super boring, go to the Beginner Combos. If a quick run-through of the Week 1 techniques is easy, skip ahead to try some from week 2, especially the once balancing on a board. Week 3 is many of the same movements, this time carrying a heavy sandbag or other load. Week 4 changes the format entirely, and strings the movements together in longer sequences. If you want to practice the 4-Week primer, here are some practice sheets I put together for myself. (NOTE: For these workouts, x4 = right, left, right, left. Four times total. Not four each side.) Try techniques you are confident about in more complex environments. Balance on all sorts of things. Crawl up and down hill, etc. Use the Progression tools described in "From the Ground Up" to increase complexity and intensity. If you want more, seriously consider getting professional instruction, especially if you have significantly limited mobility, or are not confident in your ability to self-assess your movement quality. They don't have a ton of trainers around, but they do have quite a few, listed on their website. Check out the Beginner Workouts on Youtube. These are somewhat random circuits, including techniques that aren't taught in the other videos. They include basic instruction on the techniques, but I'd find them a little hard to follow in parts. I'd probably focus on one at a time, until I got the hang of it, before attempting a circuit of five new movements. The first two videos require a bar high enough for a good dead hang, and the others need space for running/crawling. I've made notes about them and what props they require. (There are also intermediate and advanced MovNat Combo videos on Youtube, as well as BreakingMuscle.) For more examples of MovNat workouts, look at their "Movement of the Day" workouts. They show up in the monthly newsletter.They are not beginner workouts, and many require an discouragingly wide assortment of equipment. Here are the five July MODs, with required equipment listed for each. There are also seven random MODs from the old MovNat blog, which they took down when they redid their website. I've also found a variety of good articles, which I'll post as I dig them up.
  10. I like the pattern of having one goal each for FOOD, EXERCISE, HEALTH, and LIFE, so I'm going to stick with that. Scoring is the same as before. Each day is scored as full or half credit. Some goals are scored differently than last time, but B is still a passing score. Epic Quest points are 20 each for at least a B average in a category, 10 for a C, 5 for a D. FOOD: Watch the carbs I've been trying out different ways to level up my diet, and mostly I've been more mindful this past week of all my free-range carb grazing. So I've been trying to stick to the Precision Nutrition carb portion size (~1c at a large meal) and stay away from carby snacks, and that has been going well. I had been trying to eat more "clean" but... I don't think I'm going to go there right now. Portion control is fairly easy for me, emotionally. Declaring some foods as "bad" foods is an emotional minefield for me. But I can easily acknowledge that really carb-dense stuff is super easy to over-eat, and needs stricter moderation, without forbidding them entirely. Details are in the following post. EXPECTATIONS: Confident. I've been testing this out over the past week, and I am pretty darn sure I can stick with it MOST of the time. It remains to be seen what "most" turns out to mean in actual numbers. SCORING: Full credit for no more than two extra "handful"-sized carb servings (1/4c, 20-30g) EACH DAY. Half credit for up two extra carb servings PER MEAL, or all good choices except one carb-tastic "treat". Standard weekly scoring: A=6/7, B=5/7, C=4/7, D=3/7. EXERCISE: Daily workout Last month, I kept things open ended for my exercise plan, and just dithered around. This month, I've got a much more concrete plan. In addition to Pavel's Simple & Sinister kettlebell workout, I've laid out four different workouts - one I can do in my room, one I can do in the woods, one I can do in our back field, and one I can do pretty much anywhere. Because I like structure, all four follow the same pattern of three rounds of three mobility drills then a circuit of four other exercises. To keep this activities focused on my goals, the four exercises are always one to improve my agility, one to improve my climbing, one to improve overall strength, and one to improve overall endurance. Many of these are MovNat drills, but I have also included kettlebell drills, yoga, and general fitness activities. Details are in a later post. EXPECTATIONS: I'm nervous about this one. I enjoy the workouts, but I've been really floppy lately. "Daily" sets the bar kind of high, but if it isn't daily (or near daily) it is hard for me to establish a habit. So I scaled it so I can get a passing score with consistent half-credit days and occasional full-credit days. I contemplated setting the bar even lower, but last challenge, I learned that getting a B for really lackluster performance isn't especially satisfying. SCORING: Full credit for doing a full set of mobility drills and at least three rounds of a circuit. Half credit for at least doing a full set of mobility drills and TRYING each of the exercises in a circuit. Half credit for 15 minutes of some kind of strenuous voluntary fitness activity. MODIFIED weekly scoring: A=5/7, B=4/7, C=3/7, D=2/7. HEALTH: Sleep What do I need most to level up my health? A good night's sleep, consistently. My sleep schedule is erratic, and I am continually fatigued during the day. I've tried all manner of things, but for this challenge it'll be really basic - don't stay up past midnight without a REALLY good reason, and be in bed 100% focused on falling asleep within half an hour of going to bed by 2am. (Not ruminating over plans, doing stuff on my phone, or whatever.) EXPECTATIONS: This is the type of goal is is super easy for me to blow off, in part because getting 8 solid hours of sleep is no guarantee I won't still be exhausted the next day. But it is the thing I think will make the biggest difference to my overall health, so I'm giving it a try. SCORING: Full credit for both of these things, half credit for one. Revised sleep goal: FULL CREDIT: By MIDNIGHT, be steadily moving towards the bed. After midnight, no egregious dicking around, no starting inessential task, no recreational computer time. Finish up what needs to be done and get to bed as soon as practical. Feel free to: review plans for tomorrow, take a shower, get a snack, put away dishes, efficiently do NECESSARY tasks. If I really want to, I can cumulatively spend half an hour doing any "wind down" activities: tidying the room, doing yoga, reading, games on phone, socializing, walking the dog, etc. HALF CREDIT: By 2AM, be in bed, lights out, phone off, and legitimately trying to fall asleep. Not laying in bed ruminating over the day, or planning projects, or whatever. Not prepping for bed, taking a shower or getting a drink or whatever. Actually sleeping or trying to sleep. I've been tracking my sleep time fairly consistently for more than a year now, so NO CREDIT for days I don't track. Today's sleep score is based on this evening, not last night. MODIFIED weekly scoring: A=5/7, B=4/7, C=3/7, D=2/7. LIFE: Weekly Task Review My partner and I both run small businesses, plus a variety of other projects, so we've got a lot to keep track of. We've been solid on doing daily check in where we review the tasks for the day, so to LEVEL UP, the next step is having a weekly check-in where we take a look at our list of longer-term projects and decide what is next. A while back we started making longer-term project lists (on trello.com) but mostly we just dump tasks there. We almost never look at it during the daily checkins. Part of what makes the daily checkins work is that they are quick - like two minutes, maybe five. We don't want to turn each one into a long unhappy discussion about what projects are falling behind. But we do occasionally need to look at the bigger picture. So we're going to try sitting down for maybe twenty minutes on Wednesday evenings to go over the big lists. EXPECTATIONS: I'm pretty optimistic about this. At the very least it'll be pretty clear by the end of the month whether we need to take an entirely different approach. I'm confident that within a few months we'll be able to work out some kind of system that works for us. SCORING: Since this is weekly, full credit for the week is one thorough weekly review some time between Saturday and Wednesday. Half credit for a less thorough review. Scoring for the month is: A=4, B=3, C=2, D=1. Assassin's Mini: ??? Details to be determined once we know what it is. EXPECTATIONS: ??? SCORING: Weekly scoring is flexible, based on the nature of the challenge, but track participation daily. Full credit for enthusiastic participation. Half credit for adequate participation. PREVIOUS CHALLENGES: 1. Weasel Gets Things Done Nov-Dec 2015 Eat more protein, veggies, and whole grains (B+). Sleep Routine (A). "Primal Fitness Blueprint" (A++). Laundry! (A++). Order of the Stick (Success!) 2. Return of the Weasel : Consistency! Jan 2016 Handstands (A), Kettlebells - Pavel's "Simple & Sinister" (A-), Daily Routine (A), Ukulele! (C ) Assassins Mini - Portal Experiments 3. Weasel Takes this Show on the Road! Feb 2016 Continue Simple & Sinister kettlebell routine. (D. Injury.) Track sleep schedule (A). Make a diet plan (A). Write on spirituality blog. (F) Assassins Mini - Jedi v Sith part 1 4. Sith-Weasel's Road Trip Continues Mach 2016 Daily fitness activity (D) Responsible Adult Meals (A++), Hydration (C ), Tasks & Check-in (D). (Travel is hard on routines!) Assassins Mini - Jedi v Sith part 2 5. Weasel Keeps it Simple & Something April 2015 Kettlebelling (F) Healthy Meals (B-) Help partner (C) Task List (B-) Assassins Mini - Final Fantasy 6. Eat When Hungry, etc. May 2016 Eat when hungry. (A) Sleep when tired. (C-) Move every morning. (C) Work when Work needs Doing. (A+) Assassins Mini - Heros & Villans (C+) 7. Back on the Road June 2016 FOOD: 2 meat+veg meals (B+) EXERCISE: 10m daily activity (C) HEALTH: 10m other stuff (B) LIFE: Work BEFORE internet (B) Assassins Firefly (B)
  11. I will be spending a week and a half travelling this month, "camping" (in a cabin) at Free Spirit Gathering in Maryland. Given that, I am keeping things simple. Food: same as last challenge. Two big meat+veg meals per day. Any other meals/snacks in addition to that are fine. Eat when hungry. Don't be neurotic about it. Fitness: strenuous and/or skilled full body activitied, for a cumulative 10 minutes a day. Health: a cumulative 10 minutes each day of some kind of mental health or general well-being promoting activity, aside from exercise. Life: same as last challenge. Make task list every evening and use the list during the day. Making the list every evening is 80% solid habit. So for this month - Half credit each day for for USING THE LIST: Before moving on to a new task, check the list. If I get a new task, or think of one, add it to the list. Don't do tasks not on the list. Don't do low-priority items before high-priority ones, unless there is a really good reason. Half credit for RESTRICTING RECREATIONAL COMPUTER TIME until the key tasks are done. I don't have a strategy or hard limit on this yet. I'm still working on it. So I get credit if I actively used any plausible strategy to attempt to limit getting sidetracked by Nerd Fitness, Faceboook, email, etc. No credit for strategies that are known to be unreliable or ineffective, regardless of how well-intentioned or confident I am, or even if (wonder of wonders) they actually worked. Assassin's Mini: full participation, details to be determined once we know what it is. Scoring is the same as last challenge. Each day is scored as full or half credit. For each week, A=6/7, B=5/7, C=4/7, D=3/7. Epic Quest points are 20 each for at least a B average in a category, 10 for a C, 5 for a D. PREVIOUS CHALLENGES: 1. Weasel Gets Things Done Nov-Dec 2015 Eat more protein, veggies, and whole grains (B+). Sleep Routine (A). "Primal Fitness Blueprint" (A++). Laundry! (A++). Order of the Stick (Success!) 2. Return of the Weasel : Consistency! Jan 2016 Handstands (A), Kettlebells - Pavel's "Simple & Sinister" (A-), Daily Routine (A), Ukulele! (C ) Assasnins Mini - Portal Experiments 3. Weasel Takes this Show on the Road! Feb 2016 Continue Simple & Sinister kettlebell routine. (D. Injury.) Track sleep schedule (A). Make a diet plan (A). Write on spirituality blog. (F) Assassins Mini - Jedi v Sith part 1 4. Sith-Weasel's Road Trip Continues Mach 2016 Daily fitness activity (D) Responsible Adult Meals (A++), Hydration (C ), Tasks & Check-in (D). (Travel is hard on routines!) Assassins Mini - Jedi v Sith part 2 5. Weasel Keeps it Simple & Something April 2015 Kettlebelling (F) Healthy Meals (B-) Help partner (C) Task List (B-) Assassins Mini - Final Fantasy 6. Eat When Hungry, etc. May 2016 Eat when hungry. (A) Sleep when tired. (C-) Move every morning. (C) Work when Work needs Doing. (A+) Assassins Mini - Heros & Villans (C+)
  12. Hi West Coast Rebels! Looking for people in the Greater Vancouver area to swim with. My goal for the end of the summer is to swim across Buntzen Lake, which is about 3km long from beach to beach. We will have a canoe available to save people if anyone gets tired or gets a cramp. Also, in case you don't want to drink lake water, the canoe will be stocked with water bottles. This is Buntzen Lake in Ioco. I'm thinking late summer so it's nice and hot. Felt the water yesterday during my hike and the water at the shore is already fairly warm! There are no motorboats allowed, so no risk of getting run over. I'm looking for places outdoors to swim throughout the summer as well, so if anyone wants to check out local swimming holes with me, I'd love that! Also definitely looking for suggestions. I used to do trail 6 down to wreck and swim there all summer when I lived in Vancouver, but now I'm in Surrey, so I'm thinking of checking out Crescent Beach/ White Rock Beach as soon as the weather is behaving. Definitely available for hikes in the area as well. www.vancouvertrails.com is a great resource.
  13. Seems like only yesterday I was saying how I need the long break between challenges...April Fools! I guess the mods changed the schedule. Anywho, anyone who has been following me this year knows I am chasing down seven races of the Grand Prix Series (GPS) in one calendar year (see signature), and that completing the first three (all mud runs) will earn me a special "Trifecta" Medal and t-shirt. I have completed the first two of the series, and race three, the "Mud, Sweat and Tears 5-Mile Mud Run" is on April 25. https://youtu.be/Hi08uGF_0Dg This race is reported to be the muddiest one yet, so it should be lots of fun. For the next three weeks, I will be training hard to knock out this race, and then...I plan to take it a little easy with less formal workouts and running maintenance. My next race is not until July, and I will be starting hardcore HM training in June, so I want to give my body a bit of a break between pushes. My workout schedule looks something like this (although I can swap days or even double up if necessary to fit my schedule/life happens): Monday: natural movement workout* Tuesday: tempo run 45 minutes Wednesday: natural movement workout* OR rest day Thursday: trail run Friday: natural movement workout* Saturday: REST DAY!!!! Sunday: longish run, alternating weeks between 5 and 7 miles *usually a MovNat MOD, but can be a playground workout, swimming, trampoline park, climbing wall, etc Update: Big Boss Battle! The Boss: Swimsuit Season When: May 31, 2015 HP: 11,200 Item Drop: A new Swimsuit Weaknesses: Healthy food choices Strategy: Slowly weaken the Boss with healthy food choices for 8 weeks (1400 pts per week) I spend a lot of time in the water during the summer, and a need a new suit (or two) for this season, but I do NOT want to buy one in my current size. I find calorie counting and restrictive diets really depressing, so I am awarding points for good choices rather than focusing on avoiding bad ones. Points: Eat a serving of vegetables (10) Eat 20g of quality protein (10) Wait for hunger to eat (20) Stop when full (20) Substitute fruit or 1 square of quality dark chocolate for dessert (20) Choose healthy food at a restaurant (30) Skip dessert for a day (50) Combo bonus!!! Combine 4 or more elements in a meal and multiply the score by 1.5!!! Chain bonus!!! Score above 230 points for 3 consecutive days, and add 200 points for the week! If I make my goal of 1400 points per week, I get a new suit. If not, I'm stuck with last year's suit. If I lose more than 10 lbs, I get two new suits!
  14. Introduction: I am new to the Ranger's Guild, but not new to NF. This is my...12th...challenge, I think? Anywho, I just completed my long-term goal of running a Half-Marathon and am moving on to the next item on my dream goal list. Current Goal: I have set my sights on completing the Grand Prix in 2015. It's a series of 7 races over 12 months designed by Marines to test your skills on a variety of levels. The first three (comprising the "Trifecta") are mud runs, 5-6 miles each, one beach run, and three road runs from 5K-Half Marathon. I am accustomed to running, but need A LOT of work on the upperbody strength and skill it will take to survive a mud run with the G.I. Josephs. I have until February 7 to train for the first of these races, the Xtreme Challenge 10K. 1. Assorted running (3/week) I will choose a "run" from the following: Trail run/hikeSpeed run (intervals, sprints, Tabata, etc)Long run (for the purpose of this challenge, 3.5-5 miles)2. Assorted bodyweight lifting (3/week) I will choose a bodyweight workout from the following: MovNat Movement of the Day (MOD)Playground workoutGMB Parallettes for Beginners3. Unassorted losing of weight without losing my Muchness (or my mind) I will eat Primal for two meals a day and track eating in "Lose It" app. The running stuff is mostly for maintenance. I really need to focus on the bodyweight training and bodyweight reducing. Getting over obstacles is much easier when there is less of you to get over. Oops! Almost forgot. Side quest: National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) - write a 50,000 word novel between Nov 1-30.
  15. I apologize in advance if this is posted in the wrong spot. Anyway, has anyone heard of MovNat.com? Looks like it meets rebel standards. I was wondering if anyone in the Nerd Fitness community has tried it before. Thanks!!
  16. I'm baaaack..... Without launching into a long tirade of why I withdrew from challenges and what I've done (or not) in the interval, I'm going to ignore all of that and start fresh. Me now: Me, as I'd like to be: I want to be an awesome mom. I don't just want to "keep up" with my kids, I want to inspire them. My goals: 1. MovNat Beginner Movements of the Day (MOD) twice a week (preferably Mon/Thurs, but not fixed) 2. Interval training/sprints once a week (Saturday probably best) 3. Attend at least ONE aerial yoga/dance class this challenge. 4. Stop eating stuff that makes me fat and sluggish (which, in general, means wheat and sugar). I'm aiming for an 80/20, here, which would mean eating wheat/sugar no more than 4 times/week. IF 5 days a week: meaning 16 hour fast, 8 hour window for eating. Ideal time seems to be 11am-7pm, but I'm not going to get hung up over it if it slides and hour or two in either direction, so long as I stick to 8 hours. Already did the MOD for today, so...let us begin.
  17. Hi everyone, I normally train doing movnat/Gpp and I’m looking to focus on building strength by lifting objects for the next few months. I tend to do more bodyweight exercises, but want to build up some more strength doing lifts/throws. As I normally train in the outdoors and I don’t really like going to gyms, I don’t have access to a standard set of weights, (buying a set isn’t really an option space wise/moving frequently). I also like the added difficulty of lifting awkward objects (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Z7M5rwXstA). So my question is does anyone have suggestions, for making/measuring progress when using logs and rocks for lifting/throwing? Part of the issue will be having regular access to heavier objects. I often train in my garden so I’ll have to bring some heavy objects there to use and that’s not going to be realistic. My goals in this training will be increasing max weight lifts and increasing reps/ease of medium weight objects (30-50kg). I’ll be incorporating, Standard lifts, carrying movements and throwing into my training. Any suggestions for working on increasing max weight would be great.
  18. Hey, I've just moved to the area and live in Leighton Buzzard. Don't know anyone in the area and would like some fitness buddies to train with and meet up for other nerdy ventures. Like I said I live in Leighton Buzzard so anyone around Milton Keynes or Luton please get in touch. I generally train doing Movnat, but have focuses every couple of months. I'm also a Movnat certified trainer so could teach you some stuff too if your interested. Look forward to hearing off you guys
  19. If anyone familiar with MovNat and the idea of natural movement workouts? I'm trying to find out more about it but as far as I can tell there isn't much going on related to it in Boston and the web resources tend to be rather vague because they're trying to get you to come to their workshops.
  20. I thought we could start a discussion on Movnat programming, training and movement variations to help each other improve our practice. For those that don't know what Movnat is, it's a physical education system based on the human bodies natural movements, including, walking, running, jumping, climbing, lifting/carrying, throwing/cathcing, balancing, crawling, swimming and self defense. The focus is on learning movement skills effectively and performing them efficiently. Once you've reached effieciency increase the difficulty of movements to improve. Conditioning occurs as a by product of skillful and midful practice of movements. Nearly all my training is Movnat based, but it's only more recently that I've started putting structure to it rather than doing what i feel like. So I thought I could post my ideas to help others. My current training I based around Movnat's ways of progressing, Intensity, Volume and complexity. Monday - Intensity (max weight, jump distance, speed, effort) Low volume, low complexity Wednesday - Volume (High number of reps, distance) Low-Mod intensity, Low-Mod complexity Friday- Complexity (New movements, difficult movements not yet skillful at) Low intensity, low volume Intensity, Volume and Complexity are all subjective terms, as I improve what was once high will drop to mod and finally low. So my current max distance jumps will become easier until they become low intensity and I can add to the complexity at that distance. For an idea of what these types of training might look like check out my quest for awesomeness in the battle logs. Please make sure to keep things safe and to your level guys. It might be fun to try hard stuff your more likely to get hurt. Really looking forward to discussing ideas with everyone!!
  21. The Wolf is BACK!!!! AHHHHHHHHHROOOOOOO! Hello everyone As most of you know, 2013 has not been a very kind year to me... SO FAR. BUT, I'm an assassin-warrior who gets stronger with each passing day. I generally have a positive outlook on everything and according to my friends and family, I'm one hilarious mofo! I like to keep things light, have a good time, laugh, workout, eat right, and spend time with my son, Racer. He's my whole world, and I love the lil guy to death! I also have another baby due, April 11th!! I can't wait!! We don't know if we're having a boy or girl but the names we have picked out are: Boy- Declan/Girl- Piper. I'm a HUGE fan of nicknames, so I would call Declan, "Dex's" and than Piper, "Pipsqueek" I've become OBSESSED with MovNat, which is the study of natural movement, and using the 10 principles of movement for fitness/conditioning: Walking, Running, Crawling, Lifting, Throwing, Balancing, Climbing, Defending, Swimming, and Jumping. I've also become obsessed with FOOD. More so than normal..lol. To be more specific, I'm addicted to living a paleo lifestyle when it comes to food. I just finished reading Robb Wolf's The Paleo Solution which I highly recommend! It's especially great for people just starting out with paleo or even a healthy diet change. My favorite thing was the 30-day meal plan Robb sets out in the book fixed up with ingredients and cooking instructions for all the meals! THAT was my saving grace and because of that, I became a "Wannabe Chef" SO, my new obsessions will play a BIG role in this next 6-weeks challenge! Along with getting back in the climbing gym and utilizing the cold steel training weapons I have.. OH! And the battle rope, lol. My new love, once I get everything for it, is my sandbag. I got a really good deal on Ebay for it, so, for now, I'm waiting on the fillers so I can start training with it. It can hold up to 85lbs..which is PLENTY for the upcoming months, and MovNat uses sandbags like weightlifters use barbells. I can't wait to start throwing that bad boy around! Listed below are my goals for this 6-weeks: Goal #1: MOVE that body, son! Since MovNat is my main source of my fitness/conditioning, this will fall under the "4(+) times a week" deal. I've already been doing at least that much, but this time will really focus on MovNat as a whole. The goal, is to start writing out my own MovNat workouts, which I have been, but get more creative!! Out of the 4x a week, 2 of those workouts have to be my creation! No if, and's or but's about it. I will post my workouts for ALL to see, judge, praise, or hate on, lol. STR, DEX and CHA will be my main source of attributes because movnat requires an immense amount of strength and dexterity in combination, The charisma part is for my creativity with the workouts and the fact that I noticed it was one of my weaker attributes! I was baffled cuz I'm a super charismatic hombre! Possible points: +2 STR, +2 DEX and +1 CHA Goal #2: Eat like our ancestors.. or ELSE! PALEO! Like I said before, I've become SUPER obsessed with food lately, more than normal, lol. Moreso obsessed with eating a paleo diet. The funny thing about paleo, is its pretty easy to do.. for me, anyway. I've been eating paleo-esque for sometime now..but have just recently over the past month or so cut out bread, grains, and dairy. BREAD... that's been the toughest part to cut away from my diet, which I fully expected it to be. I still have cheat meals from time to time that may involve some bread and some diary, but very rarely. Shoot, I threw away all my bread and grains the moment I realized why I needed to, lol! The goal here is to keep this train rolling and shoot for eating at least 20 PALEO meals a week. Thats 3 meals a day multiplied by 7 days out of the week, This leaves me with 1 cheat meal a week. 1 and only 1. I wanna be strict with myself and show a little discipline, people!!! Call me crazy, but I have felt amazing since switching to a straight paleo diet The other thing I want to do is post pics w/ cooking instructions and ingredients...that way I can SHOW you guys and gals the yumminess that is paleo! This goal consists of WIS and CON. WIS will play it's roll in learning more about paleo and staying on track and the CON deals with how I feel when I eat healthy, paleo meals..which is, like I said, AMAZING! Possible points: +2 WIS and +2 CON Goal #3: Run like the wind, you SOB! Haha. I'm liking the whole process of naming my goals if ya can't tell Running has been something that I always do, but have never really "enjoyed", persay. Besides charisma, my stamina attribute has lacked a lot since joining the rebellion, and I wanted to find fun ways of increasing this attribute. For my warm-ups, I've added in at least a quarter mile run on the treadmill. I would love to run MILES and not partial miles so my goal will be to run at least 3 miles a week. Most of you who know me are prolly thinking, "Wolf, thats way to easy, bro!" BUT, it's a healthy start for someone who doens't enjoy JUST running. One way of getting to this goal will be to add an additional run, weather it be a quarter-mile, half-mile, or even a full one towards the end of the workout...like a pre-mediated burnout! I've been wanting to increase my stamina with running for a whie now, so I figured "why not this challenge?" Why not, right? Possible points: +2 STA Goal #4: Preparation for BABY BELL! This is THE big goal for this challenge! (Bell is my last name, just incase anyone was confused) The new baby is due April 11th, which is right after this 6-week challenge ends. The goal is to PREPARE! And prepare I mean mentally and physically. This will be a challenge in itself because my wife left... which in turn means I've barely got to be there for this unborn, When she was prego with Racer, I got to read books to him, talk to him about all the cool things we would be doing together and even busting out in song so they know their dad is a straight ROCKER! Not so much with this one... I feel really disconnected to this pregnancy because of everything going on, but I'm making the best out of my situation... the best I can, anyway... This will effect my WIS attribute in the fact that becoming wiser will ultimately help me on this journey..that and crap load of luck. I really wish things were different, but they're not, so I will be working on this preparation EVERY DAY. I will be putting $20-40 back each time I get paid in case of an emergency. And on top of that, the money I'll be giving Heather for Race and whatever else they need. I'm not sure how to mentally prepare for this, though... lol Possible points: +2 WIS Bonus Goal: Armed to the TEETH! Weapons training!!!!!!! At least 3 hrs a week of training. This can be done in 1 day, 2 days, or spread throughout the whole week. This will include my dual gladius and my tomahawk/tanto combination. Possible points: +1 DEX and +1 CHA ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Well, there ya have it folks. The Wolf is back for another challenge and I have NO IDEA how it's gonna play out. All I know is... by the end of this 6-weeks, I will become... THE APEX PREDATOR! Wolf
  22. Sheesh! I leave for like two months and you guys redecorate without me! Glad you didn't change the locks. I like the new look, but I hate when my whole post vanishes (which happened to me just a moment ago). Bugger. So ... I sort of took about 2 months off heavy training and I'm getting back into it. I also took about 2 months to realize that I have a seriously freaking ice cream addiction. Tried to quit cold turkey at new years. Lasted a week. Yeesh. So here's my new approach I treat myself on Friday IF my diet was clean the rest of the week. that gives me only one say to have bad food AND it gives me 6 days where I am motivated to keep my diet clean . if my diet sucks that week? I want a week. Fair. So far so good. Meantime, my goals are sort of like this: a: CUBE lifting and MovNat workouts to get back into gains and to train for the Mud Ninja b: Keep the diet clean (as mentioned above) c: keep money saved (the house needs to be evaluated soon and it will require some work) so I'm going to limit eating out to once during the week and twice (tops) on the weekend. This should save me some money to put in savings. So my REAL goals are: 15% lift improvement (from now) 10 pound fat loss (recalculated based on BFP loss, not based on just my weight) Save an extra 250 dollars. Rewards: Let's go with 15% lifts: 3 strepgth (+1 for every additional 5%) 10 pounds fat lost: 2 dex, 2 stamina (+1 stamina if it's more) 250 dollars: 3 wisdom (+1 for every hundred after) That gives me goals plus a reason to exceed them.
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