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  1. Ah. You may be wondering what exactly is going on here with the cognac and the wet celery and what appears to be a very rude novelty candle. I can explain. It is all very simple. You see, two years ago, someone 'ad a little cough and tickle in the back of the throat, which led to a small pandemic, then riots and lockdowns and some terrible singing and a great deal of sourdough bread. Then we left it to the Americans to clean it up, and of course they made a giant balls-up of it all that nearly toppled democratic government as we know it, we still have the pandemic only larger, and now we are 'ere in world war three. What could be simpler. The celery is all I can afford for dinner with all the inflation, and the cognac is because I 'ave an 'eadache from all of this. And the very rude novelty candle, well, we 'ave to heat the house somehow, and it will not be with Russian oil now, will it. In short, the 'ole thing has been a giant cock-up from start to finish, and so is our winter heating. Oh my god, here comes that stupid Englishman who thinks he can speak our language: Oh, did I not mention 'im...? He 'as a "canning ploon". "Canning" like a bloody "fix", 'im. A taxidermied one, at any rate. He has a plan to keep fit in lockdown: He is at least keen, I will give 'im that. The Officer Crabtree "How to be a Plonker" Challenge Squits Plonk Intermittent fisting
  2. Sorry for the late arrival. I knew what I wanted to do, but I'm kind of having a hard time squaring it with the general mode of daily practice and new habit formation and stuff like that. But whatever. If I wind up in a better place because of what I do here, it almost seems like de facto I had to overcome something, right? So a challenge it is. For those of you who were around last time, hi! Welcome back! For those just tuning in for the first time, I'm Kishi, sole surviving Guild Leader of the Monks. We don't talk about what happened to the other two. Sadly, I'm not some sage figure, so I can't give you much in the way of answers, but I like to think I help with asking different questions. Things last challenge took a turn for the dramatic. I got diagnosed with heart disease, the striking program I was going to got shut down, I had some tumult occur at work, and the training program - so meticulously programmed - collapsed on contact with the real world. Much of last challenge was spent picking up the pieces and carrying on, and I'd like to think I did so relatively well. And the situation has changed. Since then, I've started on a low carb Mediterranean diet, but it's low carb enough to really be a Keto Mediterranean diet. Interesting results so far - my waistline is shrinking (probably water weight) and I've got a lot of slow burn energy as documented by rolling for about an hour and a half without any dip in energy or performance. Which is interesting, but for all I know could just as easily be chalked up to more technical rolling and generous rest. I have designs on veganizing this at some point, because it sounds like a challenge, and vegan diets are tied to good outcomes for the heart also, so this sounds like a real possibility, but given all the everything that's getting thrown at me this round, that's more likely something that's gonna phase in over time. Because a lot's happening, y'all! I'm going back to the office; I misspoke when I said last challenge it'd be 11/8; it's actually going to be 11/15. And it's a phased re-entry, so over the course of three weeks, I'll be adding a day, so first week will be one day, second week two, and so on until the 4th week, when I just go back to fulltime. Why's that complicated? Because one, the holidays will be starting around that time, and two, I'll be starting up at a new school, meaning new logistical challenges to overcome. The theme this time is about balancing the books, because I've decided I want to upgrade my computer. I took a look at the new school and I realized that there's only one no-gi day there, so I'm basically done as far as no-gi grappling attire is concerned. But before I start putting away for a new computer, I want to make sure that my finances are in good order. I think I've got some expenses coming out that I don't need to, and there's no reason to keep throwing money away. I also want to go further in my meditation and to make time/space for my writing - hence, balancing the books. Goal 1: Meditate Bumping up to 9 minutes. Goal 2: Balance the Books Might wind up being something of a gimme. Ideally, find one thing a day and do something about it in my finances, whether that's regular savings or finding and disposing of an extra bill I don't need to pay anymore. I really don't think I've got that much to do, but honestly, if this makes the challenge easier for once I'll take it. Goal 3: Write Gotta get back to butt in chair time. It's worth doing. Just gotta do it. At this point, just gonna focus on getting to my writing; no word count goals just yet, just carving out space. And, uh, yeah. That's really it this time. Let's get to work.
  3. just starting my own little thread as I work up to my goal of a 5 minute plank! yesterday I broke 3 minutes!
  4. Overview / Motivation: I am fired up for 2018. No resolutions. Simply time to recommit to excellence and level up my life. Keeping the same approach that I wrapped up 2017 with but will be increasing my running distance and adding in side planks. I have big aspirations of completing a Spartan Trifecta this year and will need to redefine what I think I can actually accomplish physically. Let's light that fire and get after it! #unleash Main Quest: Work towards building my bench and squats to 250 pounds Side Quests: Average 8 Miles of Running / Week Points Potential: STA+4 Grading A= Average > 90% B= Average > 80% C= Average > 70% D= Average > 60% F= Average < 60% Average 210 Burpees / Week & Complete Daily Front & Side Plank [Week 1-3: 2:00 Minutes, Week 4 & 5: 2:15 Minutes with 30 Second Side Planks Week 1-5] Points Potential: DEX+3 Grading: A= Average > 90% B= Average > 80% C= Average > 70% D= Average > 60% F= Average < 60% Average 3 Weight Training Workouts / Week Points Potential: STR+5 Grading A= Average > 90% B= Average > 80% C= Average > 70% D= Average > 60% F= Average < 60% Life Quest: Read "Language and the Pursuit of Leadership Excellence" Points Potential: WIS+3 Grading A= Average > 90% B= Average > 80% C= Average > 70% D= Average > 60% F= Average < 60%
  5. Overview / Motivation: I want to up my game with my overall fitness - strength, stamina and dexterity. I am still building up to my 5 seconds of courage to buy my Spartan Trifecta pass for 2018 so I want to keep building a solid foundation to be able to attack that massive challenge head on. I'm leveraging my challenge goals from last time and adding in some additional planks and increasing as many of my core lifts as possible to start breaking through some comfort zones. Main Quest: Work towards building my bench and squats to 250 pounds Side Quests: Average 6 Miles of Running / Week Points Potential: STA+3 Grading A= Average > 90% B= Average > 80% C= Average > 70% D= Average > 60% F= Average < 60% Average 180 Burpees / Week & Complete Daily Plank [Week 1: 1 Minute, Week 2: 1:15 Minutes, Week 3 1:30 Minutes, Week 4: 1:45 Minutes] Points Potential: DEX+4 Grading: A= Average > 90% B= Average > 80% C= Average > 70% D= Average > 60% F= Average < 60% Average 3 Weight Training Workouts / Week Points Potential: STR+5 Grading A= Average > 90% B= Average > 80% C= Average > 70% D= Average > 60% F= Average < 60% Life Quest: Read "On Becoming A Leadership Coach: A Holistic Approach to Coaching Excellence" Points Potential: WIS+3 Grading A= Average > 90% B= Average > 80% C= Average > 70% D= Average > 60% F= Average < 60%
  6. Overview / Motivation: Pumped up for another 4 - week challenge. I enjoyed seeing some of my goal numbers (Bench, Squat & Pull Ups) build back up over the last challenge and hoping to keep that momentum going. I've still struggled with getting up early to knock out some workouts, and therefore want to build more of an Iron Will (mentally and physically) to create a higher level of consistency and discipline. Adding NF Yoga back in since I am still feeling pretty achy each morning and need to be more intentional about combating that since I refuse to believe the way I feel at 32 years old is how I need to feel from now on. I'm also excited for the mental aspect of this challenge - specifically with the book, "Life as Sport". I'm still trying to build out my leadership style, and this books seems like some good content to help marry the athlete's mindset with business or other non-athletic professions. It's a good next step in continuing to build a fortify a winning mindset. Main Quest (revised for 2016): Hit the following benchmarks in strength and stamina: Bench Press 250 lbs. Squat 250 lbs. Complete 20 Pull Ups Side Quests: Average 3 Weight Training Sessions / Week Points Potential: STR +3 Grading: A= Average > 90% B= Average > 80% F= Average < 80% Complete 2 - 2 Mile Runs per week Points Potential: STA +3 Grading A= Average > 90% B= Average > 80% C= Average > 70% F= Average < 70% Average 4 Planks / Week - hold for 2:00 Average 2 NerdFitness Yoga Sessions / Week Points Potential: DEX +4 Grading A= Average > 90% B= Average > 80% C= Average > 70% F= Average < 70% Life Quest: Read & Explore: Read the Phoenix Project by Gene Kim (WIS) Read Life as Sport: What Top Athletes Can Teach You about How to Win in Life by Jonathan Faver (CHA) Points Potential: WIS +2, CHA+3 Grading Pass / Fail
  7. This month I'm keeping my challenge really simple and focussing on getting s**t done. No theme, no bells and whistle, just balls. Or something like that.. I'm coming for you, things! Quest 1. Share the awesome. Keeping this from the last challenge. Even the suckiest of days contains a little glimmer of hope. At least that's what I'm going to attempt to prove to myself... Each day I'll post 1 awesome thing that happened. This can be anything that brightened my day even if by a little; whether it be a life altering achievement, hitting a workout goal, or something small like seeing a Deer on the way to work, or something funny that happened during the day. Quest 2. Hold the Plank. Mission Objective: Hold a 2 minute plank. I'm currently at around 50-70 seconds, but I'm sure I can get more if I man up. Quest 3. Hit the Trails. Throughout the challenge I will do a total 30km of trail running. Quest 4. Do The Thing. Spend a total of 105 minutes each week working on some form of "life advancement". This works out at just 15 minutes a day, but will more likely be longer sessions over fewer days. This could be anything that helps me level up towards living a better, healthier (and happier!) life. Researching workouts/nutrition, searching for jobs, writing, and general life research stuff will be counted. I'm sure over the course of this challenge this quest will become slightly less vague... Actually doing workouts won't count towards the total. Also, I used a calculator to work out 15x7. What the hell is wrong with me? Bonus Stuff Daily Dare PVP. Going for Gold this time. Assassin Mini Challenge: Firefly Theme! Yisssss
  8. Arrrrrrr matey! This is a challenge for sword fighting, rum, and exploring the seas! Arrrr!!! Goal One: Drop the Dead Weight Oh no! The Queen's Navy fast approaches! We must throw out the dead weight so we can sail ahead and lose them! They'll never hang this pirate! Arrrr, you can be sure of that! Through continued exercise and proper eating, one hopes to lose 5.6 pounds, placing one at 228 pounds by the end of the challenge. Currently, my calorie count is between 1350 and 1530 calories and I try to follow the plate rule: lots of veggies and fruit, a nice lean protein and a whole grain. I shoot to burn about 500 calories a day through different exercises like Tae Bo, Yoga, Walking, Stationary biking, dancing, and strength training. Goal Two: Sail Out of the Bermuda Triangle We've sailed into the Bermuda Triangle! No one has ever entered it and come out...alive.... Triangle Pose is something I really struggle with. I always find myself making this beached whale "whuffing" noises, and I feel like I'm dying every time I do it. But I'm going to get it right and do it until I can breath freely and it's challenging, but not so dang hard! Goal Three: Walk the PLANK! On second thought matey, instead of walking the plank, yer gonna BE THE PLANK! Hope the sharks aren't too hungry! In prepping for this last conference, I've slacked off on my strength training, and lost a LOT of strength. I want to get back to doing a 2 minute forward plank and then tackle new ground: a 30 second side plank. Side planks fall under the same category as triangle poses as far as feeling like I'm going to die a horrible death if I have to hold it too long, so accomplishing it will be pretty major. Side Quest: Scrub the Poop Decks! Poopy Pirate jokes aside, this one is simple. Spend an hour a day working on my to-do list. Cleaning, repairing things, making contact lists, errands. Well, errands take a long time, but I can get a LOT done around the house in an hour and if I can keep that up for 4 weeks, that's 28 hours of productivity that I might not accomplish otherwise.
  9. Does anyone have any opinions on or recommendations regarding Russian Kettlebell Plank?
  10. Hi there ! Ellith here (aka Sophie), ex-recruit ready to kick some asses ! So, since I'm a huge World of Warcraft fan (still playing), the name of the challenge and of the quests are taken from the game . Took me some time to find them but here they are ! After a good 1st challenge as a recruit, here I am, joining the assassin . This looks like a cool place to stay and I want to focus on building strength with weight lifting and body workout and I want to increase my flexibility and balance by doing yoga (and I want to manage some awesome poses like crow pose, headstand and handstand !). I also got my weight loss as a goal but I don't want my main focus to be on this so I don't stress much about it. I know the result will come, if I trust the process (as someone awesome told me ). So here are my goals for this 2nd challenge ! Main goal : I want to feel go in my own body, want to stop hating it and instead love it for what it helps me do, by June 18. I have a festival and want to enjoy it without thinking that my thighs look big or that I need to stop breathing every time a cute guy is passing by . Goal for this challenge : I want to keep building good habits (with gym and food), build strength and flexibility and stop focusing so much on weight but instead focus on my accomplishments. So I will weight myself once on Monday and will not use it before the day right after the end . Quest 1 - Training and Discipline I managed to build a good workout habit with my 1st challenge and I will keep working on it on this challenge in order to build strength (I will manage to do a chin-up, one day, I know it !) and lose weight. I have a great trainer who made me some great workout plan which combine strength training with cardio in a circuit. The goal is to do this 3 times a week and, if I can, add some cardio only session in between (I have to train for a 5k in september). Workout 3 days/week (cardio/strength) Grades : Gym : 3/week = A 2/week = B 1/week = C Rewards : I don't know how many points we can give ourselves for this challenge so I will complete this later. It will be a mix of STR and STA. Quest 2 - Challenge to the Black Flight I took yoga classes for almost a year about 2 years ago and really liked it. I stopped (don't remember why) and now I miss it and feel like it would be a great complement to my program. I also want to master my own body and manage to do some bad-ass poses like crow pose (almost got it last time) and inversion. So my goal is to take at least 2 Yoga classes per week (in a studio or at home) and train for handstand and planks (spartan plank challenge) everyday. Grades : Yoga : 2/week = A 1/week = B Daily training : 6-7 times/week = A 4-5 times/week = B 2-3 times/week = C Rewards : Will add points later, but it will be DEX. Quest 3 - Even Thieves Get Hungry Like I said, weight loss will not be my main focus but I still have to eat right so this will stay a part of my challenge. I will keep with the plan the nutritionist gave me since it's working and I'm not starving, and will keep logging everything into MFP. The goal is to eat under 1500kcal daily for 6 days a week and log all of it into MFP. Grades : 1500kcal and MPF : 6/week = A 4-5/week = B 2-3/week = C Reward : Don't know the points, will be CON. Life Quest - Clean Up in Stormwind I'm a messy person, always have always will be. But now that I feel like my life is finally getting in order, I know that I need to do the same thing with my house. So the goal will be to clean-up the house (always harder the 1st time) and keep it that way. The goal will be to clean up once a week. Grade : This is a pass/fail goal so A if pass, else it's nothing. Reward : I guess this will be WIS. Optional life quest - (need to find a title) I'm almost done for this session class (my final exam is on April 23rd) so I want to take the time I will have to finally learn how to play the guitar. I don't know how to organize this one but it will probably be "train at least 1 hour 3 times a week" or something like this. I still need to figure this one out. So this is it for my second challenge . Feel free to give me advice if you think some things need improvements ! Really excited to start this one !
  11. Why, hello there, again! I joined what seems like a long time ago, but my fitness program was somewhat thrown off course at the end of last summer by an injury that took a long time to heal and a major car accident at the beginning of 2015 that took time to recover from. I only really started training again a month ago. To get back into the swing of things, I actually hired a personal trainer for the first time ever, also because he can pay attention to my form which, so the physio therapist stressed, is critical. I am then finally ready to join the first challenge and, though I'm a little late to post, I did start on the 13th. My life's very busy right now, so I only really picked two goals, a fitness one and a life one. Fitness-wise, I'd like to be able to hold a plank for a mininimum of 2 minutes in perfect position at the end of the six weeks. I currently manage just about 50 seconds. I used to be able to do 4 minutes, but that was when I was at my fittest and also while not paying proper attention to form at times. In my current condition, 2 minutes seems like a good challenge and it will strenthen my core, which again is vital if I want to move to more challenging workouts in the future. Life-wise, as mentioned, it's supremely busy right now and I work a lot of hours every week in a very rushed environment. My goal here is to knock off early once a week and prepare a vegan dinner from scratch using fresh ingredients. I'm somewhat of a workoholic, so this one won't be easy. Let's see how things go... Thanks for reading and thumbs up to all other challenge participants!
  12. Hi everyone! My lower back is bruised, I'm 99% sure it's because of an intensive plank workout I did yesterday (pushing my arms forwards as much as possible) which made me work that area quite intensively, I did 4 sets of 30 seconds with 1 minute breaks between sets. This morning my back was hurting, when I looked in the mirror I had dark bruises all the way down my lower back on both sides. I found this quite worrying, so I have a few questions: -Is this normal? I assume that it just means I worked too intensively which I'm not too worried about since it's the first time it's happened in that area. -What can I do to fix it ASAP? -What should I avoid doing in the future? -How long should I wait before doing the exercise again? Do I have to actually wait until the bruises are completely gone? I should probably mention that I ate quite a lot of garlic with a meal yesterday, and I've read that garlic thins the blood which makes bruising easier, I also get bruises very easily in general, my forearms are usually spattered with yellow after a karate class even if I don't remember any impacts on them. Thanks in advance for any help, Pierre
  13. Months - perhaps even years had passed since the little ship Four Minute Plank had set sail from Hope Anchorage, with the ex-ocelot assassin named Ocelot and her rowdy crew aboard. They had visited numerous islands, found certain treasures but never yet weighed anchor. The crew eventually grew tired and lost focus and interest in the voyage. Ocelot was kept busy all day long, keeping them on target. She picked up a martial arts master and got him to teach them all taekwondo. She distracted them with delicious fruits picked from tropical oases. She held rigging climbing races and long board game evenings. The more mutinous crew members sometimes vanished at night. Her assassin skills were staying honed. One day, an unforeseen circumstance arose. Her crew were sick of her drinking all the water in her mission to drink two litres a day. They were tired of the open sea. They took control of the Four Minute Plank and headed for a coast they knew contained many cruel warlords who lived in gigantic fortresses. Here on a stony beach they left their former captain, and sailed away with her treasure. Ocelot had built the ship with six weeks of solid planking, and now she had nothing but driftwood. She looked up at the walls she stood beside. The stone was cement grey and she could see guns protruding from the spyholes. Among the shoreline rocks she hid until darkness, then crept up to the castle. She slipped in through a side door and came to the servants quarters, where she stole clothes and disguised herself as a maid named Lottie. She was soon given the lowly task of scrubbing floors and a small cell-like room to sleep in. She had never lived amongst a civilisation like this before. Born a wild cat in the jungle, she knew nothing but piracy and hunting her victims. She would have to learn to fit in. She could rely only on herself, her assassination skills and her ability to pass as a servant for the mysterious stronghold - until the day she could answer the questions: where was she? And where was she going next? MAIN QUEST: BODYWEIGHT BLITZ. In a mysterious fortress where only the strong survive, all I have to achieve my quests - and escape - is my own bodyweight and my imagination! Firstly, I want to get my four minute plank back! More than that - I'd like to get up to five minutes! Yes, it's plank goal take two and this time its serious. PLANK STAGES: 1 minute plank = Promotion to washing dishes 2 minute plank = Promotion to waiting at tables 3 minute plank = Promotion to chambermaid 4 minute plank = Promotion to handmaiden 5 minute plank = Promotion to lady in waiting METHOD: The 30 day plank challenge graphic will be my friend! I also plan to do a bodyweight routine of my own design three times a week. No numerical goals - just consistency and putting the time in. If I miss a workout, that week is failed. Every week, a new assassination target will present itself... BODYWEIGHT CONSISTENCY STAGES: 1/6 weeks: Assassinate a cleaver-wielding pastry chef 2/6 weeks: Assassinate a visiting noble who boasted of his brutal deeds 3/6 weeks: Assassinate the cruel, power-crazed housekeeper 4/6 weeks: Assassinate the sadistic chief torturer 5/6 weeks: Assassinate the guard to the royal chambers 6/6 weeks: Assassinate the evil tyrant warlord! I'm also going to stretch daily - that means at least 20 minutes. Each block of days I complete I will reach a new escape route. This will help to define my next challenge theme. STRETCH CONSISTENCY STAGES: 10/42 days: A rope that will get me into the neighbouring castle, where I can at least go unnoticed for a little longer 20/42 days: A key to a door that leads to the dungeons, where I can stir up rebellion among the prisoners 30/42 days: A horse, to attempt an escape 40/42 days: The opportunity to disguise myself as a noble and be installed in my own castle all 42 days: The opportunity to disguise myself as a general and command a small army in a far away campaign MAIN QUEST POINTS AVAILABLE: 3 STR, 3 CON, 3 DEX --x-- SIDE QUEST: ACCOUNTABILITY and ROUTINE. In a complex, undercover situation it is important to keep track of everything that happens and the plans I am making. Therefore I must post to this thread at least 3 x a week, including pictures (I'm a very visual learner, so images definitely help me!). In addition, the fortress operates on strict discipline. To blend in I must stick to the same timetable as the rest of the household. I'll be getting up at 6AM every single day and making sure I am productive in the mornings - getting work done early, exercising, housework, etc. As a bonus I can listen to the Radio 1 Breakfast Show which always puts me in a good mood. These two are linked together into a PASS OR FAIL challenge, as I think its important to stick to them stringently in order to really ingrain new habits. Every day I miss is one day closer to being discovered and tortured... or even executed! 0 weeks failed: 3 EXP. I got away scot-free. That's what careful planning, observation and perfect timekeeping will do for you!1 weeks failed: 2 EXP. Suspicion! I made a small blunder while performing my duties. I have to work extra hard to cover my tracks. Punishment: 30 minutes of crunch variations.2 weeks failed: 2 EXP. Overheard! The guards heard me trying to enter forbidden rooms. I was forced to hide in a cupboard for ages. Punishment: wall sits every day until total accrued time of an hour is passed.3 weeks failed: 1 EXP. I was caught sneaking around and tortured in an attempt to find out what I was up to. Torture: complete 50 burpees every workout next challenge.4 weeks failed: 1 EXP. I was caught red handed and thrown into solitary confinement!5 weeks failed: No EXP. I was caught and sentenced to death. I only just escaped... and the entire castle guard are after me!6 weeks failed: No EXP. I didn't get a handle on the situation at all and was caught and executed. (Lose all points/exp gained from this entire challenge) SIDE QUEST POINTS AVAILABLE: 3 WIS, 3 CHA TL;DR: I'm on a quest to conquer a giant castle, or at least escape with my life. 1. 5 minute plank - following the 30 day plank challenge 2. 3 bodyweight workouts a week 3. Stretch every day 4. Post updates 3 x a week, with pictures 5. Get up at 6am every day and use mornings for good things! Good luck everyone!
  14. Hear Ye, Hear Ye, come one, come all to the Nerd Fitness Plank PvP! Here we have a simple, yet devious, challenge, open to any Nerd brave enough to undertake it. The rules are simple: Each challenger is to perform standard planks ( )Each challenger can plank as many times as they likePost your best plank times in this thread, and they will be tracked in this post (see below)The challenger who performs the longest plank winsSimple, right? Again, this challenge is open to everyone, so come and have a crack! Let the games begin! PLANK LEADERBOARD @Salty 10:00@kayoung 5:10@KiwiChick 4:35@BarefootDawsy 3:11@Yuen 3:10@Eugenides 2:35@Salivanth 2:21@Lexi Cal 2:10@Leothil 2:05@GillyNomad 1:43@Aoife Marie 1:42@Silo 1:41@Syren 1:15@tophrman 1:00@Harika 0:40@Phylanx 0:40@Tridentdude 0:30
  15. Hi guys, I've been doing the plank since about 2 months now, almost every day and, while I can say there's an improvement (started from 15 secs to 60 secs, core stronger and abdomen more flat), I feel there is still something wrong, I'm shaking from second 10 to second 60! It does not really hurt, it's just that all my body starts shaking and it seems even worse when I try to breathe normally...so what I do I hold my breath, but I sincerely don't want to do that! I am using this pose : http://jeromiewilliamsdoescrossfit.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/plank.jpg, elbows right under the shoulders and I think that my overall position is very good. I've tried joining my hands together (to form some sort of triangle with my arms), I've also tried to increase the width between my feet and several variations with the hands together feet apart, hands apart feet apart, hands trogether feet together, etc... Is it something you experience too? I reckon that I'm fairly new to fitness and training in general but after planking for 2 months I wouls have thought that I'd become more stable, not only just for 10 seconds! I'm thinking that my lower back might lack some strength and it may be why I can't have more control on my plank....So I started doing supermans this week as my lower back has always been my weakest spot it can't really hurt anyway... What do you think?
  16. Challenge number three! This time around I want to put a little more into my working out. Last time I was too vague, and I ended up not "working" very hard (unless I was shoveling that day). Main Quest: I just turned 37. It's time to take my attempt at getting in shape seriously. This is what I've been working up to in my last two challenges. Buckle down. It's go time. Goal #1: Body weight workouts three times a week. I hate the gym. I finally took the big step and cancelled my membership. I've proved to myself that I'll work out at home, but I won't make myself go to the gym. Fair enough then. To make sure I'm pushing myself but also giving myself rest in between, I will do body weight workouts three times a week. Whether it's the Beginner Body Weight Workout, the Angry Birds Workout, or the Star Wars Workout, or a modified mix thereof, I'm doin' it three times a week. THERE WILL BE HANDSTANDS AND PLANKS! Goal #2: Yoga twice a week. I love yoga class, but I only go to class once a week, and stuff has come up the last three weeks running (and will the first week of the challenge, as well). This means I need to start doing yoga at home. At least 15mins, preferably half an hour. And no, the five half sun salutations I do as a handstand warm-up and cool-down don't count. Goal #3: Meditate for ten minutes six times a week. Yeah, I did that last time, but I didn't like it. This time I want to try some guided meditations or something. I'm still in the mindset of "I'm doing this because it's supposed to be good for me." That is not a good way to get me to do anything. Life Goal: Complete Nolo Press's Get It Together: Organize Your Records So Your Family Won't Have To. We've all gotta die some time. I'm an author with no kids and no prospect of having kids. My copyrights will live on for at least 70 years after I'm dead. (Longer, if the Disney company has their way.) I have the book, the binder, and the dividers; now I just need to do it. I don't care if I do it in increments or all at once, as long as I get it done. Diet Side Goal: Cut down on sweets! Yes, I have cut potato chips out of my life, and only rarely eat anything deep-fat fried. However, I still stress eat--I'm just eating candy instead of potato chips. I need to stop with the refined sugar! My goal is to do two instances a week, just like with the fried food. Only this will be much harder. (I'm, um, cleaning out the cupboards in preparation.) Foods I want to limit: ice cream, candy, chocolates, soda, cookies, cupcakes. I'm not concerned with fruit or honey at the moment. I don't do fake sugar, so no cheating there. SCORING: Goal #1: 6 weeks of 3 workouts is 18 workouts. (+2 STR, +2 STA) A = 18, B = 16, C = 13, D = 9. I’m not accepting anything less than half. Goal #2: 6 weeks of 2 yoga sessions is 12 sessions. (+2 DEX, +1 STA) A = 12, B = 10, C = 8, D = 6. I’m not accepting anything less than half. Goal #3: 6 weeks of 6 meditations is 36 meditations. (+2 WIS) A = 36, B = 30, C = 24, D = 18. I’m not accepting anything less than half. Yoga class counts for meditation that day. Life Goal: Complete all 28 sections of the Get It Together planner (+3 WIS) A = 28, B = 24, C = 19, D = 14. I’m not accepting anything less than half. Diet Side Goal: 6 weeks of 2 instances is 12 instances (+3 CON) A = 12 or less, B = 13-15, C = 16-17, D = 18. Once again I'll be keeping track via this handy template: Workout - 0/3 - 0/3 - 0/3 - 0/3 - 0/3 - 0/3 - 0/18 Yoga - 0/2 - 0/2 - 0/2 - 0/2 - 0/2 - 0/2 - 0/12 Meditate - 0/6 - 0/6 - 0/6 - 0/6 - 0/6 - 0/6 - 0/36 Get It Together - 0/28 Sugary Snacks - 0/2 - 0/2 - 0/2 - 0/2 - 0/2 - 0/2 - 0/12
  17. And we're back with another challenge from our fine sponsors. During this challenge, looking at my workout records, I will level up a lot of the exercises I am currently doing. A few months ago, I set up a level hierarchy for the body weight exercises I've been doing. So far, for most of them, I'm still on level one, except for leg exercises, where I'm at level 2. But for most of my level 1 exercises, I'm very close to my "magic numbers" of reps and sets (12 reps per set). And that's just one part of my challenge. Here's what I hope to accomplish this go-round. Goal 1: Fitness: Level up many exercises +3 STR, +1 DEX, +2 STA Here I'll list my current exercises and the ones I'll graduate to. I plan on keeping this updated throughout the challenge so people will know where I'm at. If I'm able to level up 4 exercises, I will give myself full marks. If not, I will scale attribute points accordingly. There are some in this list that I know I won't advance in (both types of planks), but I'll list them here anyways as added motivation. Also, you'll notice that I still have assisted pull ups on the list, even though I got my pull up in last challenge. This is because I want to be consistent and graduate my way fully off of these, continuing to build strength. For this reason, I'll also continue to rock the negative pull ups. LEVEL UP PROGRESS: 50% Pushups (Level 1) --> Decline Pushups (Level 2)Diamond Pushups (Level 1) --> Pike/Jackknife Pushups (Level 2)Assisted Pull ups (Level 1) --> Chin ups/Pull ups (Level 2)Assisted Pistol Squats (Level 2) --> Pistol Squats (Level 3)Squat/Lunge Combo (Level 2) --> Bulgarian Split Squats (Level 3)Side Planks (Level 1) --> Knees to Elbows (Level 2)Planks (Level 1) --> One and one planks (Level 2) *My threshold for leveling up an exercise is 4 sets of 12 for rep exercises, and 120 seconds for timed exercises. *For assisted pull ups, I move on from a weight offset once I hit 12 at that weight, and add a lesser weight to the bottom.Goal 2: Body Fat % Down to 25% or less +1 CON, +2 WIS This has been an overarching goal of mine since the end of last year. I have had this goal in mind for every challenge I've participated in, but up until now, I've set myself mini-goals to make this one more achievable. Well, it's finally within reach. When I started tracking body fat the day after Christmas last year, I was just over 32%, so reaching this goal will be a huge victory. And, of course, if I can go further down during the challenge, I certainly will. Starting BF%: 26.06%Will reduce by at least 1.06% to get to 25% or less Goal 3: Lose 1" from around my waist +2 CHA Getting to 38" around the largest part of my belly has also been an overarching goal for awhile. And this one is also now within reach. Starting measurement: 39"Goal measurement: 38" Life Quest: Play guitar for at least 5 minutes, 5 times a week Research and purchase a car +2 DEX, +1 STA, +1 CHA Last challenge, I think I was a little overzealous trying to play for up to 2 hours a week, especially considering my workload. 5 minutes a day is a lot more easily doable and is much easier to scale up if i'm really enjoying what I'm doing. My car has been starting up very rough, sometimes taking a good few minutes to actually get it up and running. This has been exacerbated by the fact that the weather has become much colder (thanks, almost-winter!). It is also very old (21 years), so it's probably time. My goal is to get a car that is model year 2005 or newer, that gets good gas mileage, is very reliable and not expensive to fix/run, and is going to last me for a good long time (read: I will drive it into the ground). COMPLETED 9th December! So there you have it. Check back tomorrow for my initial weigh-in numbers.
  18. I'm totally stealing Jill Beat's template from the last challenge for this, my first challenge. I love balance and core work. I'm planning to keep going to yoga at least once a week. Eventually I'd like to do more yoga at home, but I'm leaving that for another challenge. I know me. My first thought is to pile on the goals! And then I get overwhelmed. So what I want to do is keep up everything I've started doing this year (sleep for 7 hours a night, take a walk on my 15-min breaks, try to have an hour of movement a day, go to yoga once a week, write at least 250 words a day) and just add a few more small things on top of that. MAIN QUEST - Have a more athletic-looking body, be stronger, feel healthier and less depressed. Avoid having to increase my depression meds. 3 GOALS 1. 30-day plank challenge, extended (once I can do a 5-min plank, work up to two 5-min planks per day) 2. Dumbell rows! (3 sets of 8, 3 times a week) 3. Meditate 5 minutes a day six days a week SIDE QUESTS Life Side Quest: Try to eat better! Fewer processed and fried foods. I'll make this a main quest goal on the next challenge, but for now, catch as catch can. DECLARE YOUR MOTIVATION - I ain't no spring chicken anymore. If I want to be healthy into my late 80s like my mother's parents, as opposed to being unhealthy like my mother, I need to start now! My grandfather turns 90 at the end of the month, and I want to be like him. Progress Tracking - Jill Beat swiped this from Metalhead's challenge post so I'm swiping it from her. Legend Red - unbolded = not met yet, but week not done. Bolded = not acheived for the week. Green = acheived Blue are totals Starting Stats (Tuesday November 5th) Height - 5'4" Weight - 178lbs Chest - 34.5" Waist – 35.5" Hips – 42.2" Arm – 12.5" Thigh – 25.5" Template for updates Plank - 0/6 - 0/6 - 0/6 - 0/6 - 0/6 - 0/6 - 0/36 Dumbell rows - 0/3 - 0/3 - 0/3 - 0/3 - 0/3 - 0/3 - 0/18 Meditate - 0/6 - 0/6 - 0/6 - 0/6 - 0/6 - 0/6 - 0/36
  19. I am not participating in the ongoing 6-week challenge (I was but had to quit) but I need to get my fitness back on track. I'm doing a hard hat challenge. Normally it's for 30 days, but 32 will take me from today until the next 6-week challenge starts and I don't need to give myself even a day of "I will start tomorrow." I really need to do this. It has been too long since I have decided to make a change and then stuck with it to the level I intended. I've half-assed it a lot and then been frustrated because I didn't see the results I wanted. My hard hat challenge is so simple, SO simple...and yet I worry I won't finish it. But I need to. I have to show myself that I really can complete something. That I have discipline and willpower. Today's squats and plank have already been completed!
  20. My goals are based on two upcoming events: a 12km mudrun in August, and a four week backpacking trip through the Balkans. Therefore, my goals are as follows: Fitness Goals Hold a plank for five minutes (I can get to 90s with a struggle) Touch my toes while standing (at the moment I can only get to 22cm above the floor). Run 10km, and complete 10 burpees every kilometre, in under one hour (I have never run more than 8km before, so no clue about about this one. But 8km was tough). Life Goal: Learn enough Serbo-Croatian to be able to: introduce myself and my girlfriend (name, age, nationality, profession)describe directions to my house from the train stationwrite my weekly shopping list in Serbo-Croatian (using the latin alphabet)pronounce the Serbian Cyrillic alphabetAt the moment I know no Serbo-Croatian, and can pronounce about ten Russian Cyrillic letters. Tracking I will track all my workouts on my fitocracy profile, and post exercise updates here and mention how I am going with learning the language. I have had this week off exercise, so first thing Monday morning I will be back on track with a nice little warm-up run. Let's do this thing!
  21. GoodDoug's Journey to the Core GoodDoug awoke with a start. Something had been pulling on the half-ogre's toes. He sat up quickly, scattering a half dozen pixies hovering around his feet."Oh good, you're awake!" the pixies cried in unison.GoodDoug was still unsure if he was awake or still dreaming when they flew up to eye level and started speaking, again in unison, "The Lady wishes to see you at your earliest convenience," showing as much solemnity as their impish little faces could muster.The half-ogre turned and started pulling on clothes, he figured he was about to get his next assignment for the Ranger's Guild. The pixies giggled and told him he wouldn't need clothes to see The Lady, "We don't wear anything and we see her all the time!" They laughed uproariously at their own jokes. Half an hour later, GoodDoug was walking into the grove where The Lady held court. He had heard stories of her, one claimed she was a human that was chosen to be the voice of Nature, and another claimed she had always been and always would be, and that she showed herself as a beautiful human woman. Either way, he knew he would be in the presence of a great being. "GoodDoug, lay down your burdens and sit with me," The Lady was beautiful. Just looking at her gave a sense of calm."The Ranger's have said you could help me. There is a sickness at the core of this land. I need you to journey to the core and plant a very special seed." The Lady held out her hand, in the palm was a tiny seed.GoodDoug nodded, he was afraid his brutish voice would somehow offend this being. The Lady smiled and glided over to the half-ogre. Grabbing his hand and placing the seed within it. While she was touching him, he could feel the life inside of the seed, sense the potential for what it could become with the right nurturing. When she released his hand, all that was left was a vague impression of what he had glimpsed. "You must go into the Cave of Larkin and journey from their to the core of this land. It is a difficult journey and there are those who would hinder you," she paused for a moment, "When you reach the core, you must nurture and protect the seed until it sprouts and can survive on its own." GoodDoug knew he would have to ask at the Ranger's Guild to find out where the Cave of Larkin was located. He had some experience with growing things, but hadn't done it in a while. "Why me, Lady?" he finally asked."Because the land needs you, and you need this task. You have strength, but need more. You are nurturing, but need to learn how to be more nurturing. The land needs your commitment, and you need to reaffirm your own commitments to yourself. That is why you were chosen." GoodDoug held the seed gingerly, looked The Lady directly in the eyes and said, "It will be done as you ask, Lady." Core RoutinesMy first goal is to make sure that I keep up with the routines I started last challenge. That means running and lifting every week. I won't be as exact on how far or how many pounds, but I want to make sure I run two days a week and lift once a week minimum, and average over 100g protein per day (as measured each week). No making up next week for missing a workout this week. I'm hoping to follow my routines from last challenge to keep ahead on this one. Str +1 Dex +1 Con +1 Core StrengthI want my core to be stronger. I will do a series of bodyweight exercises and poses to increase my core strength. First, every day I will do at least one minute of planks and 5 pull-ups. Two days a week, I will do some sort of crow pose and headstand. Once a week, I will do yoga for 15 minutes for strength and flexibility. The everyday exercises will be done as soon as I get up in the morning. The balance exercises will be done on run days at a minimum and I will do the yoga one of the weekend days. I'm worried this is too much to keep track of, but I'm hoping that knowing I need to do the weekly checkin here will motivate me to do the yoga and inverted poses. Str +3 Dex +2 Fueling the CoreIn the beginning of the year challenge, I started eating primal. I have been mostly doing that, but have drifted away from it lately. I can feel the difference and so I want to get back into it. I will eat according to the Primal Blueprint. That means that except for special circumstances, I will avoid processed sugar, and all grains and legumes. I've done it before, so I know I can do it this time, no excuses. Sta +2 Wis +2 Nurturing the CoreTaking inspiration from Katinka's challenge last time, my life goal will be to do better in the garden this year. Last year was our first year at our new place and I really dropped the ball with the garden. I planted a bunch of stuff and just didn't weed and water like I should have. For this challenge, I will tend to my garden at least 4 days per week. I plan to do this by heading outside when I let the dog out (after my planks and pull-ups) and watering or weeding the garden. Wis +2 Cha +1
  22. Did a plank last night and set a new PR of 2:30. If you had asked me a couple months ago if I could break two minutes I would have laughed you out of the room. YAY ME!
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