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  1. Preface: Sorry that this post is so long. I have a tendency to be very thorough I guess under the guise, "if you provide half the information/truth, you will only get half the help." Thanks for being patient in advance. So... I'm (obviously) new to this challenge thing as well as NF in general. I'm really excited to find something like this because I've been toying around with the idea of getting in shape for the last eight years or so but my hesitation has always been in actually going to a gym and working out around other people. I'm pretty self conscious. I guess my ultimate goal is to feel completely comfortable being naked in front of someone but I know that's not a very measurable goal. My idea of being in better shape includes building a nice chest, getting back six-pack abs, and lose the scrawny arm thing. I never really saw a way of doing this without going to the gym and if I did, the idea seemed overwhelming. So, needless to say, I am really excited to have found NF. While I am not completely out of shape I'm no where near where I want to be but I know there is hope and I'm willing to put in the effort... I just need a bit of support and direction. So, I guess a little bit about where I am right now / what I've been doing... Diet: Started a ten-day detox thing on Tuesday 3/4. The detox thing is basically eliminating anything containing sugar or flour (ie: no carns, no sugar.) It's almost Paleo but at this point I am not ready to give up dairy and don't know that I necessarily will ever be... we shall see. The main change that this diet has done comes in the way of breakfast. For breakfast, I have a shake that is composed of: cranberries, blueberries, lemon, avocado, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, almond butter, almond milk, coconut milk and water. I've adjusted it a bit to include a half banana to help with the overall taste. (All this wasn't for naught... it'll come up later in my goals.)Exercise: Over the last few months, I've been doing pushups on and off and I ride my bike and walk a lot because I don't have a car. I found the "Angry Birds" workout on NF and it seemed like something I could get into... it's simple, it's easy to track progress, and there is a definite advancement schedule or whatever with it. I'm all about tracking progress and shit. I've done the "Angry Birds" workout on 3/6 and 3/8. I tested myself to see where I would fall in with the levels, and I pretty much place at least at level three with everything. I've also run on the treadmill a bit at 5mph... got in about 1.5 miles on the first day and like 2.1 miles the second day at 5mph. My endurance was limited by the fact that I'm a cig smoker... but I'm trying to quit in the spirit of better health. Today is day 2 without a cig... down from half a pack a day. So, I guess the part where I need help: 1.) I would like some insight as to whether I am setting these goals in a way that makes sense with this whole challenge thing. 2.) I would like some insight as to how to keep track of my progress. I kind of want to include some stats in this post and consider the same stats after the challenge over. I love NF because I am a TOTAL nerd of a mathematics major and rely on numbers and shit more than subjective ways of evaluating progress. What kind of stats should I take (ie: height, weight, waist/hips, bicep, chest, etc...?) and how would I go about taking them? Is body fat a good thing to track? 3.) Would it make more sense to do the beginner strength training workout or whatever? Or, could I alternate days between Angry BIrds and Beginner Strength Training or would that be too much? 4.) I'm about 5'8.5 and around 155#. I want to gain muscle but lower my body fat percentage. Any tips or advice as far as diet? My Goals (maybe?) Main Quest Reduce body fat percentage to around 12% Drastically improve bicep and chest measurements and attain 6-pack abs Have the ability to run a marathonChallenge-Specific Goal Establish a routine of working out and watching what I eat. Mini-Quests Continue doing "Angry Birds" workout on even-numbered days. Run on even numbered days with the goal being able to run established 5k (3.2 mi) circuit without taking a walking break, getting rate up to 7mph from 6mph Continue pattern of diet where carbs and sugar are eliminated (ie: avoid all processed food to best of ability).Side Quests Find a job. Remain tobacco free.Scoring +2 points for each ABW completed [28 possible] +1 point per circuit complete with walking involved; +2 points if circuit ran in full [30 possible] +3 possible points for diet rating eliminating carbs and sugar (ie: processed foods) were avoided [87 possible] +10 points remaining tobacco free through 4/6 +10 points for securing employment [10 possible] Total possible points: 165 points Score = [Points accrued / 165] * 100 A = 90-100% B = 80-89% C = 70-79% D = 60-69% F = >59% Any and all insight and feedback would be GREATLY appreciated. I've just been doing way too much reading and thinking. Haha.
  2. Hey, there and thanks for dropping by. My name is Mike... I'm from the wonderful "Garden State" aka NJ (seriously, though - I love this state). I'm 26 years old, college educated, and a total nerd. I love researching new and interesting stuff, controversial theories, and above all - I love mathematics (my college major) and physics. I'm also a big fan of strategy games, various kinds of puzzles, and the like. I'm here because I have wanted to get in shape for quite some time but I absolutely loathe the idea of going to a gym which is a result of my being self-conscious and intimidated by people that are "bigger" than me.So, if the day ever comes where I am comfortable going to a gym, it will definitely be after some work has been done. Truth be told, I'm not in all that bad of a shape but it definitely isn't quite where I want to be. Typically, I've been a fairly scrawny / skinny kid, I'm around 5'8.5" and my weight when I graduated high school in 2006 was around 145. My weight has fluctuated a bit (as is to be expected) but always stayed in the 145-160 range. Over the last few years I've told myself that I wanted to start working out and getting in better shape but procrastination did it's job and served as the thief of time that it is. Plus, I always figured that since I wasn't technically in "bad shape" I could pick it up anytime and get working toward results. My total aversion to gyms gave me the final motivation to not start. I've come to the conclusion that if I know that being in better shape will make me happier, why not get started and be happier for a longer period of time? * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Based on my goals, which are listed below, I think I'm going to end up a Range but I suppose we'll see what happens. Currently, this is where I'm at: I stand at 5'8.5" and am currently about 152 pounds. I need to take a few more measurements, though.Moved toward a Paleo-esque diet. I have completely eliminated carbs and sugar from my diet as of 3/4, which has proved to be much easier than I though. At this point, though, I'm not entirely ready to give up dairy.I've started doing the "Angry Birds" workout every other day and on the off-days, run on the treadmill.I gave up smoking cigarettes 3/6. My goals ultimately include: Building solid biceps, a rock hard chest, and six pack abs.Get my BF% down to around 9-10%Be able to run a marathon.Remain tobacco, carb, and sugar free. *****I've entered a 6-week challenge and if anyone would be so kind as to PLEASE check it out and offer some advice / direction / whatever, I would GREATLY appreciate it. The link is below.***** http://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/45575-mjwallenburg-is-always-late-but-its-better-than-never/
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