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  1. Hi - I have what seems a pretty stupid question, but I can't work it out... Most advice seems to be to test your 1RM for your lifts about every 12 months or so. But how does that square with increasing your strength during your program? That is, if I measure my squat's 1RM as 100Kg, then do a program that involves doing lifts at, say, 80% six months later, won't that 80% calculated from a 1RM taken six months ago be rather lighter than my actual (new) 1RM? Or does everyone just rely on calculators? For example, I'm using strengthlevel.com to tell me what my current 1RM should be, which I then use to work out my percentage lift levels.
  2. Hello everyone, i'm Buddah, or Brett which ever you prefer. I started my fitness journey last year on march 1st. I'm down a little over 100 lbs. So i may be new here but i'm not new to trying to get healthy. I'v been slacked more than i wanted to in February, so i'm hoping getting more involved in this community can help me get back on track. I'v got at least 50 more pounds to lose. Thanks for any and all support.
  3. THE SILVER ARCHER: BOOK II Chapter 4: A Different Path I paused outside Mistral's office to adjust my bracers and tug the strap of my quiver tighter. The Dark Elf's infiltration campaign had been gaining momentum in recent weeks, and it was time for me to take my work in a different direction - up to this point I had watched and listened around the school, seeing signs of his work in harried students and absent faculty; but I needed to go deeper. I needed to go out into the forest and search for him where he lay hidden. My hands were almost fully healed and my powers were growing stronger the more I used them. It was time to see what I could do. I had dressed in my full uniform to speak to my mentor, so she would know I was serious and prepared for this - my snowy-white tunic belted snugly over my loose white culottes; my bright red archer's vest fastened tight to my chest and criscrossed with my quiver and bow; my red leather sandals laced around my winter-white legs and my mother's silver bracers clasped around my wrists. Even my wispy hair was pulled neatly back from my face. This as a very important meeting and I needed her to know that I had given this a lot of thought and preparation. When I entered the room, Mistral was sitting at her paper-strewn desk, writing. The windows were open to let in the chilly spring breeze and ambient city sounds, and she was deep in concentration and did not hear me approach. I cleared my throat softly. "Mistral, could I talk to you for a few minutes?" She looked up, saw my uniform and met my eyes in surprise. "Now isn't a good time, but it looks serious." "It is serious. I've decided to leave the academy." Mistral sucked in her breath sharply and slowly set down her pen. "Sit down. What do you mean, you've decided to leave?" "I mean that I can't properly pursue the Dark Elf and find out why he's building his army unless I have the freedom to set out on my own. I don't have room in this place to seek out his lairs, his tactics. I need to go out and meet him where he is." Mistral folded her hands. "Sky, we've discussed this. You're not ready to go out on your own. You need to stay here and finish the academic part of your training before you're ready to try this alone." I shook my head vigorously. "The academics are slowing me down. I know what I need to do and I know how to use my gifts. You've shown me how to use my powers in new ways, and I've been working with other teachers while you've been gone who have shown me how to do new things, too, like -" "Wait, stop there. You've been working with other teachers?" Her violet-hazel eyes began to gather storm clouds and her brows lowered. "I thought we'd discussed the proper channels for your training. I am your mentor and you're supposed to primarily learn from me." It took a lot of strength to keep my voice even. "We did discuss that. But I couldn't learn from you because you were never here." Her mouth went slack and she sat back in her chair. "I've tried to work with you and learn from you, but you've never seemed interested in teaching me," I continued, breathing deeply to keep my voice even and calm. "You promised Ayre that you would take over where he left off and prepare me to be a Protector, but you've been too busy with your own work and your own concerns to pay attention to mine. Yes, I sought out other teachers to help me with things I knew you didn't have time to teach me. Master Gregory taught me how to control and aim my powers when I throw them; Titus has helped me make them stronger and increase my power to heal. I've been competing in archery tournaments you didn't even know about. I've taught myself, Mistral, and found the resources I needed. If I don't seem ready to you, maybe you haven't been keeping up with my progress very well. I am ready. I know what I need to do and it's time for me to do it." Mistral was angry - dark heat began to rise in her thin cheeks as she folded her hands and sat forward to the desk. But I had fastened my vest tight for a reason - it held my back strong and straight. I was prepared for whatever she was about to say. "You should have come to me sooner and told me you were considering this," she said, her own voice straining against calm. "I've made plans for things I wanted you to learn next semester. This - announcement - of yours will change everything for me." I kept my chin up and my gaze clear. "I'm sorry to hear that. I'll do whatever I can to put my affairs in order before I leave." "You can't leave." Her voice was flat. "You're not ready and I need you." I slowly stood and rested my fingertips on the desk, looking down at my teacher. Everything about this felt wrong; but I knew in my heart that it was right. "I am ready - I told you that before. And the work here at the Temple isn't my primary responsibility. I have a mission of my own that I have to pursue. I was given the title of Silver Archer before I came here to the academy; it's something I have to follow even if it leads me away. It's time, Mistral. I'll help you get your work ready before I go - I'll do everything you ask me to do. But I can't stay. My mission lies out there and I have to follow it." Mistral's eyes were expressionless as she stared up at me; her jaw worked back and forth slowly for a long moment. The silence was heavy, but I waited. She had the right to say her piece, too. "I'm disappointed in you," she finally said quietly. "I'm disappointed that you didn't feel you could trust me. You're wrong that I didn't want to teach you - ever since I took you on as my student, I've tried to understand you and find your heart, but you kept it to yourself and didn't confide in me. I would have helped you with those things you went to other teachers for, if you had asked me, but you never did." I didn't know what to say. Guilt started to gnaw at my resolve. Maybe she was right - maybe this was my fault for not talking to her the way I talked to Ayre. Maybe if I had listened to her and followed her instead of seeking my own path, things would have been different between us. "I'm sorry," I stammered, and had no other words. "I'm sorry too." Mistral pushed back from her desk and stood, once again taller than me. I almost - almost - fell back into my deferential, guilty manner as I looked miserably up at her - but my spine connected with the stiffness of my vest, reminding me of everything I had decided before coming into this room. I couldn't pursue the Dark Elf here - I couldn't do my best work here. I felt in my heart the call to leave and to follow my mission into the forest, to whatever people and experiences lay out there. Yes, it was unfortunate that my time at the academy hadn't turned out the way either of us thought it would, but that didn't change the fact that I needed to go. I stood up straight and looked up at my teacher. "You've taught me more than you realized," I said quietly. "I will take you with me in my heart as I follow the Dark Elf and try to hunt him down. I hope you'll be proud of me one day." Mistral was surprised; her eyebrows lifted slightly. "Sky," she said, "I am already proud of you. I don't understand you, and I don't think you're doing the right thing, but that doesn't mean I don't respect you and think you're a gifted archer and healer. I'm interested to see what you accomplish." Impulsively, I reached across the table to give her a hug, which she received stiffly. "I can't promise to accomplish anything great, but I can promise to do my best, no matter what happens; and that is a promise you know I will finally keep!"
  4. I've been racking my brain for a challenge theme but I've got nothin' except LIZARDS. Specifically mine. I mean, all lizards are cool tho'. They are v. happy and bring a heckin' JOY to the world!!!!!! And also quite STRONK AND FIERCE >:[[[[[ I also play a big ol' lizard in FFXIV - YOU KNOW, THAT GAME I OFTEN HONK ABOUT - here is his current look of rocking a springtime festival skirt and WIELDING AN ENORMOUS AXE 'cause he's quite fabulous and that's how we do. Full of MAJESTY I TELL YA'~ A - ny - way. Oh yeah. My challenge. My last challenge was all about staying afloat, and I'm really proud of myself 'cause I nailed it. I'm managing my stress and my emotions better, and because of that I've been able to slowly get back into a workout routine without burning myself out, which in turn helps me manage my stress and emotions better, etc.! (A good cycle~) Work is still a big question mark right now; I've quietly put that on the backburner for now as not to overload myself and send myself spiraling back to square one - one thing at a time. We've still got a fair bit going on with putting the house on the market next month, but I've powered through a lot and things seem to be much more manageable than they were. This challenge I actually have some ACTUAL TRACKABLE GOALS instead of me just babbling about Twitch streaming and dragging myself out of bed in the morning WHOA WAIT SHUT THE FRONT DOOR I know, right? Look out, here they are: 1. Gym. GO. At least twice a week. Possibly more depending on day-to-day fatigue and soreness levels. DON'T PUSH YOURSELF. But don't die either, v. important. Getting back into a routine slowly but surely first is crucial. 2. Log What You Lift I haven't been doing this for... uh, quite some time, and I think it's about time I slowly start re-tracking my gains. In a way I feel like I've circled back around to the start of my lifting days which is kinda cool because I've got my enthusiasm back, but kinda also like HEY I'VE BEEN HERE. At least I know what I'm doing now, yeah? Right now while I'm eyeing two workout days I'll split them into legs & general upper body/shoulders/arms, and if I hit three I'll toss a bench/back/row day in there. 3. Talk About Food Well, I guess, if I HAVE to. (That's sarcasm.) I'm not at a point where daily MFP tracking would be viable (to be fair I much prefer eating intuitively right now), but I HAVE found out over the past couple of weeks that posting my meals/snacks in my thread at the start of the week has really kept me on track with eating well and sustaining myself. So I'm gonna keep doing that! Somehow seeing it on the screen solidifies all my good choices in my brain. I'm startin' in zero week, y'all. LET'S GOOOOO~~
  5. Hello, my name is Tobi, I'm 29 years old, I am 175cm tall and my weight is 60kg. I am a vegan. I try to eat as healthy as possible, lots of vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, tofu, rice,... and I only drink water. Since June I walk at least 8000 steps a day and I work out 5 days a week for 30 minutes. I use an app called Sworkit (it uses body weight excercises) which tells me what to do. For example, I do push-ups for 30 seconds, then sit-ups for 30 seconds, a 30 second plank,... and every 5 minutes I have a break for 30 seconds. After doing this I am completely exhausted and can't move anymore. The problem is, I don't see any progress. This program works quite good for me because it works well with my schedule and the workout is doable for me, I could not do a harder workout (yet). I don't want to look like a bodybuilder, just get a flat stomach. My ideal body shape would be something like this. Example 1 Example 2 I'm not sure if I'm doing something wrong or if it is even possible to reach my goal with this method. I just need something that can still be easily implemented in my daily routine. What bothers me the most, is the fat on my lower belly. I just can't get rid of it. Maybe someone can help me. Thanks for reading. Tobi
  6. Hi friends, nerds, rebels, strangers, spies from the Garlean empire, honored visitors of House Fortemps, and sky pirates! Welcome to my August (and some of September) challenge!! I’ll be frank - 2016 has been one of the hardest years for me that I can remember. It’s fighting me ruthlessly with all it’s got. Work stress, life stress, financial planning and worry, dealing with (and working to combat) physical and mental exhaustion, and a recent and very sudden kitty passing has left me flat out exhausted - unmotivated - overwhelmed - unhappy - depressed - flat - broken. BUT NO MORE. I’m done being sad. I’m done feeling sorry for myself. I’m packing away my grief. I can't live there anymore. I’m done with just floating along as the bad things happen. I’ve had the time I needed to mentally and emotionally deal with these things. And I have hope that the dust is beginning to settle, and I’m ready to reclaim myself. When the going gets tough, the tough put on their Herklaedi armor set, build up their Wrath stacks, and GET TO MURDERIN’!!!* (*Bad situations and feels, not people.) (it me) This challenge is all about completing a variety of goals to activate my Limit Break and hack myself out of this shitty hole life has booted me into. If you’ve played Final Fantasy you’ve probably come across the Limit Break, but if not, here it is: As you fight you build up your strength, and once your Limit Break meter is full IT’S CLOBBERIN’ TIME~ I’ve assigned a point value to a wide range of goals this go-around. My Limit Break meter is set at 50 points to activate and I can do this in a variety of ways, picking and choosing the goals that are working and what’s most important to me. Some goals, however, will be more important than others, and thusly have higher point values assigned.... But I’ve also calculated in a failsafe, that in the event I can’t complete a big goal (a piano falls on me, I catch bird flu, etc.) I can still make do with other accomplishments and power through. I’ve also made a variety because for Week 3 I’ll be road tripping up to New England for a week, and there are some important and fun local-based goals I can hit, too! So without further adieu: Challenge will be completed if/whenever I hit my Limit Break goal of 50 points. I AM SO VERY READY.
  7. So I started my lifting career with Stronglifts 5x5, and it seemed great, except my deadlift was always either equal with, or even slightly below my squat. And I never could seem to get it to progress any faster than that, despite the fact that everyone else (not just here, but pretty much everywhere, with only a few world class athlete's, or half squatters as exceptions) had a bigger deadlift than their squat. I've since moved onto the Texas Method for powerlifters, and do RDL's on Monday for pulling volume. And sure enough, my deadlift keep creeping up, but once again, only at the same rate as my squat. In fact, I struggle more to finish my deadlift reps at the end of Intensity Day than I do to finish my squat reps at the start of intensity day (and I know, I'm tired by the end of the workout, it shouldn't be that much of a surprise). And before anyone asks, yes, I did check my depth on my squat to make sure I wasn't cheating my way up on squats. Anyway, this week I've taken 10% off of my squat training max, and managed all my reps on squat in a single set (hasn't happened since I last broke 180kg as my Intensity day squat weight), hit my bench (which I was expecting to fail because its now put my training max equal with my last virtual comp max), and then proceeded to hit my 5 singles on deadlift easier than last weeks weight. So the point of all of this is (and I'm sorry for going on quite so long about it): should my squat training really be impacting my deadlift training so much that a 10% deload in the squat resulted in immediate improvement in my deadlift? tl;dr = my deadlift suddenly seems easier despite being heavier simply by reducing the intensity of my squat training. Is this normal or am I just broken?
  8. "It is time to stop lurking" - Tippeh, 6/9/16 at 9:53pm Well okay I said that a few times before but this time, I mean it I'm tired of being tired. I'm tired of recording my "progress" on scraps of paper I end up losing anyways. I'm tired of starting over multiple times and being just as confused as before. I used to do full body HIIT workouts mainly doing calisthenics 2-3 times a week during the start of my college years and I remember just how AMAZING I felt and looked everyday. Then family issues, changing majors, not eating enough, and life happened. Therefore I fell of that luxurious wagon. So it is time! In fact what really helps is that my fiancee will be gone for most of the week for the next 2 months on business so that leaves less temptation for me to eat out/grab fast food with her. Therefore I'm hoping to establish a pretty solid habit of eating clean and working out regularly before I start my last semester of school this fall (will still miss you hunny!) Long-term Goals: To bulid a habit of working out 3 times a week (minimum) To eliminate processed foods out of my overall diet and instead fuel myself with wholesome foods To feel more energized and full of life for every waking moment To be stronger, especially in my upper body and hamstrings To someday be able to squat double my bodyweight To someday be able to do 10 pullups with relative ease Lastly when I succeed at the above, I know I will look much more lean, "toned", and strong. So my last goal is to look aesthetically awesome! Like Wonder Woman awesome! Short-term Goals (now until Sept. 1): Go to the gym 4-6 times a week Lower body twice a week Upper body twice a week HIIT 1-2 times a week Have 3 meals and 2-3 snacks everyday. No counting calories, just going to listen to my body when its hungry and when its satisfied Rotate between chicken, beef, pork, and fish for variety For example have chicken every other lunch and pork chops on the alternate days, etc. 1-2 servings of veggies per meal (whatever is in my fridge) 1 serving fruit per meal Fruits and nuts for snacks Be able to squat 100 pounds comfortably (hopefully more but we'll see!) Be able to 2 pull ups Be able to do 20 pushups in 1 minute Get a part time summer job (hopefully Rita's will call me in the next few days)! Wow it is cool seeing my goals written out so neatly. In a way, I hope it's not too much, too soon for me but I have a feeling it'll be okay. I'm definitely open to your guys' thoughts and tips though. Otherwise, creep away
  9. So this is it – the beginning. Although actually, everyday there is a beginning, a middle and an end to something. Anyway, it is the start of me being here, pursuing my current goals, trying to become the person I’d like to be. The status quo: I am currently about 10 kg overweight, with about 10 to 15% excess body fat. I have an issue with my self-image, self-imposed pressure and loneliness, resulting in a strong tendency for emotional eating. Fixing my diet without overdoing it is quite hard for me. I suffer from slight hypothyroidism that is sometimes hard to get controlled, which often leads to dizziness, weakness and depression. Allergies and some food intolerances complete the picture. Another thing I struggle with is relaxing and be easy about things. I stop having fun when I feel I HAVE to do something instead of CHOOSING to do so. I am shifty, headstrong and sensitive and need to live in balance with my intuition and instincts. What I like: - running, hiking, swimming, biking (except in winter) - ballroom dancing, archery, skating (I suck at the latter) - yoga and meditation - singing, drawing, books, movies, games and podcasts and cooking the BIG WHY 1. SELF-CONFIDENCE: I want to be proud of myself. I want to feel like someone who could impress others, or someone who might be capable to be a hero if I'd have to be one. Also, I want to live a lifestyle that makes me feel secure by knowing that I choose wisely. 2. ATTRACTIVENESS: I want to buy various clothes, not only those that hide my stupid body the best :-/. I want to recognize myself in the mirror. I want to wear a swimming suit or attractive underwear without any second thoughts. 3. CARELESSNESS: I miss the way I felt when I was so fit a few years ago. I want that feeling again, lighthearted and simply fine with who I am, never being afraid of being judged by others. 4. FAMILY AND FRIENDS: I want to feel at level with my friends or old classmates. Especially my sister - I don't want to feel second class anymore every time I am with her. I cannot get closer to her as long as this stands between us. And she sets the standard preeettty high! Also, all my family is constantly talking about their fitness classes and I don't want to feel so left out. 5. HEALTH: I don't want to feel controlled by any sickness, nor struck down with any of the symptoms. No pain, no sadness, no weakness. 6. SKILLS and TRAITS: I want to have skills and traits that I can say, represent me. I want to be elegant, gracious and have the petite body my build is actually structured to have, I want to be cat-like, a little mysterious, strong and most of all: free and full of emotions. Who I want to be: Just recently I realized, being shifty isn’t bad at all. It means, I am curious, that I value freedom and do my own thing. It means I am versatile, giving my body and mind always new challenges, and that I am open to new ideas and impressions. I can imagine myself roaming around the city, doing whatever I feel like to do, taking a nap when I am tired, going for a run if my feet won’t hold still, lazily sipping on coffe while drawing a picture for hours, trying to do things I suck at simply for fun, or being grumpy and chill out. If I follow THAT ideal, I MAY do anything, instead of HAVING to do any of it if I don’t feel like it. Challenge #1: Reduce my body fat percentage to less than 30% until end of April 1) not eating any sweets/unhealthy snacks during lent 2) 2 workouts a week 3) one nap a week (at least 5 min) 4) one yoga session a week (at least 5 min) 5) try out archery this year DONE!
  10. Greetings to all of you! I am Lunael and I set out on my path to live a life closer to nature. I want to roam the forests, climb trees and learn about all sorts of animals and plants. I want to explore the wilderness, quick with my feet and quick with my bow. First of all, I want to get my diet in order, freeing myself from emotional eating, sugar addiction and guilt feelings. I want to increase my fitness, but slowly this time, and start to do archery again. Thus, I began my first official challenge this year at 5th of February and those are the rules CHALLENGE GOAL: Reduce BF-percentage to under 30% (thats about 3%) until 1st of April Food: Absolutely no unhealthy sweets/snacks during lent Fitness: Strength workout at least twice a week (current Level: Bodyweight 1) Relax: One nap a week (at least 5 min) Fitness/Relax: One yoga session a week (at least 5 min) Personal: Try out archery this year DONE! So far, the challenge runs fine. I track everything I eat and all workouts in my fitbook. I found a new and very nice archery club and shot some arrows for an hour (now I am waiting for the wheather to be suitable again). Until now I have done three workouts a week, but I try to keep the pressure low to avoid stress and emotional eating. I increaed one rep of one exercise in every workout to make tiny progress every time. Week 1: Structured my workout schedule, completed the recruit training and chose the exercise levels as well as cool down and warm up programs. I took all measurements and a before photo. Started to increase daily water intake and made more healthy food choices. Week 2: Started the "no sweets/snacks during lent"-Quest and got a membership in an archery club. Completed Yoga Water 1. Week 3: Continued to follow my plan, did some more research and decided for some loot/rewards to keep being motivated. Also created my alter egos origin story. That's where I'm at! If I am lucky, I can practice some archery on sunday - hopefully, the weather will allow it!
  11. Great Creator, I see my enemy, but they're cunning and fierce. I plan to attack on the dawn of the second sunrise. I know I cannot face them in battle alone, and you have provided the allies I need to succeed. It will all end with them or me, and if it's war to my dying day, so be it. These spirits of the Shadow do not oppress me alone, but every living creature in this land. It was you who saved me from the Shadow's deadly grasp. It was you who appointed me with the sight to see beyond this physical realm into where the spirits deal, your realm and the enemies'. You gifted me with great skills, talents and admirable qualities as the means to help rescue others from the Shadow and his followers. I ask for your strength and perseverance to under this quest and pursuit against the spirits of Gluttony and Sloth. Spirit Chaser a.k.a Sachiko, the Golden Hind (These battle entries will continue to be directed as personal letters to a higher power that Sachiko turns to for daily wisdom and guidance.) *The Great Creator appears to Sachiko as a mighty Golden Eagle of Guidance in the Sky.
  12. I made an effort to start tracking my progress at my gym for the weights I lift, but I have a problem: How much to the dang bars weigh? One odd-ball is labelled as 20Kg, but the 3 other (apparently unlabelled) barbells are different. Barbell type 1: I assume most of the barbells are the same weight (around maybe slightly heavier than the 20Kg?)Most of the barbells have round stoppers (whatever holds the weights out from the center of the bar) and seem to be about the same weight.Seems to live on the bench press (no one moves that bar around like the others)Barbell type 2: hexagonal stoppersNoticeablyheavier than the round ones. Barbell type 3: chrome barsshorter weight holding area (grip area is the same size)significantly lighter than the others.I'm trying to use the same type of bar, and I'm just tracking the added weight instead of total weight. To be honest saying "I benched 40 lb this morning" isn't very satisfying.
  13. I've always been a very tiny girl (5 feet, 88 lbs) and for as long as I can remember very weak. I'm 21 now and I've just recently started going to the gym in hopes of getting stronger and bigger but mostly just stronger, thankfully I have noticed a difference in my body from when I first started but as I continue going to the gym i'm not sure if i'm seeing any more results. I think it may have something to do with my exercise routine, I do a split routine for all my major muscle groups but I don't really switch up the exercises. For example, whatever exercises I do for leg day, I would just repeat for every leg day using heavier weights and doing less reps and more sets. So my question is can you get bigger and stronger doing the same exercise routines but increasing the weights you use for those exercises ? My routine usually goes something like this LEGS AND ABS Plank Side bends bicycle crunches or in and outs some times i'll do weighted bridges sit ups leg press hamstring curl calf raises and i'll either do deadlifts or barbell squats ARMS AND CHEST bicep curls dips pull ups hammer curls overhead extension dumbbell flys dumbell bench press incline chest press sometimes i'll do deadlifts as well on this day SHOULDERS AND BACK deadlifts bent alternating dumbbell rows cable row dumbbell shoulder press dumbbell raises both side and front one handed dumbbell rows dumbbell shrugs If I continue doing these exercises but using heavier weights will I be able to get bigger and stronger ?
  14. Hello, everyone! Wow, what an usual post for this part of the forum, no? I thought I'd do so here, though, not as a means of picking myself back up after failure, per se, but to really become reacquainted with the forums, and to state where I'm at personally. When I first signed up several months ago, I was not in good shape. Digestion was a wreck; turns out I had a case of S.mall I.ntestinal.B.acterial.O.vergrowth. I was still fighting my past as a former vegan, trying to push away ANY opportunity to eat animal foods, and eating soy from tempeh and tofu, which it turns out my body absolutely HATED. On top of that, I was committing to taking too many aerobics classes at my gym, which basically canceled out any progress I would make when it came to lifting. In my personal life, I was struggling to find work as a newly certified yoga instructor; I was so consumed by yoga that I was in a state of denial, thinking that all I had to do was teach yoga and be happy. Other aspects of my life were out of control, from the minute things such as cleaning up my workspace, getting my workouts in (yeah… I skipped, a lot), setting up priorities, surrounding myself with things that brought me down (I was subscribed to a lot of vegans waxing poetical against paleo and meat eating, as well as believing that all meat eaters deserved to die; not a good state of mind to have I believe, even if you're vegan- I also was letting myself be guilted by former friends I knew way back in high school who were essentially bullying my lifestyle and choice to not go the traditional route and enroll in college…). Anyway, I had things that needed to be straightened up pronto. Around mid April I should say, I first decided to slowly add back in some meat. I still do not eat animal foods every day, but I am getting close to doing so. My stomach acid is very low, especially after having SIBO, so I'm currently supplementing right now to boost it up; major improvements so far, as it no longer feels like there's food sitting in my gut for hours. I also kicked the SIBO infection to the curb, which is no easy feat. Digestion is still a matter of maintenance, but so far, I've improved dramatically. With my workouts and nutrition, I'm going to preface by saying I'm a natural hard-gainer, with a bit of endomorph thrown in; I can certainly feel an improvement or change post workout. But visually, I'm an ectomorph through and through. I've tried the old fashioned approach of eating everything in plain sight, but because of my former IBS struggles, yeast infections, and recently, SIBO, doing so was not good both for my digestion and state of mind. Now, I just try to focus on investing in nutrient-rich, whole foods; leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, squash, fermented foods (kefir, kraut, kimchi, pickles, miso, kumbocha), chicken liver (don't knock it till you try it), eggs, fish, chicken/turkey, etc; I take L-Glutamine (post workout and in the afternoon, mainly for gut health), a good multivitamin, HCL (for low stomach acid), probiotic (doctor's orders), and a fermented greens powder that's also good for gut health (Vitality Greens by Body Ecology). That's it. At the gym, I lift 4X a week; 2X Upper, 2X Lower. I work on my core once or twice a week. HIIT once a week. Long Hobbit walks a few days a week, depending on time and the weather. Yoga/Foam Rolling/Deep Stretching (YIN) DAILY; good for the body, good for the mind, and good for the spirit. I used to struggle at using the 20 pound barbell back in March, now I'm at 30 pounds, and am close to using the 40 pound one. I use the machines as well, and have varying set weights I've managed to improve upon; too much to list here, but I'll say I've jumped up quite a bit since April on all of them! I can see some improvement physically; there's a bit of size to my lower body now, and some of my workout pants are actually starting to tighten up a bit. My upper body, though still thin, has gotten a bit of definition at last. Same for my core, which is the hardest to really 'tone', as my IBS can flare up and cause a bit of bloating on occasion (which is why I avoid eating out whenever I can). Otherwise, I'm finally starting to see some 'gains', even if they are small. The best results have come from my performance. Well, I think I'll stop here, but I just want to say to all of you reading this, that consistency truly is key, and fine tuning along the way isn't so bad either. Just commit. Persist Until Something Happens Yours Truly, The Dragon
  15. Heyo! I'm Storm (or at least I wish that was my name, because it's awesome) I am starting my focused storm of fitness and health on Monday. Clinical for FNP is ended for 6 weeks, so it's a great time for me to focus. Although I still have work and other homework I think it will be a good time. Over the years I have been up and down on my weight. I'm about 5'7 after nursing school and marriage I went form 150 to 180. I have never been "sporty". I have spent most of my life in the band in high school, playing video games, doing homework, watching and reading nerdy things. but after a few years of odds and ends I am back down to about 155-157. Now I am gonna start focusing on being healthy and find in the exerciser in me. I will post some big and smaller pictures of me sometime or another. Been posting a little here and there. Done a 6 week challenge that ended not as well as I expected, clinical kinda threw some hurdles at me that I didn't overcome. So here's to starting again with more focus. More to come about me and my storm of fitness!!!!
  16. So I figured since I have been dorking around on this site a whilke it is time to make a log and put a little solidarity to my goals. I have a tendancy to be flighty A little back story... I spent almost 3 years working steady night shift and fully living on nights. I usually spent my off days in my basement playing games so as to not wake the rest of the house. I also have a very very sedentary job, like I can't believe they pay me to be here sedentary. So all those factors led to me being very weak, out of shape and flabby. Back in March 2014 I had my moment when I had to dig some petrified ash out of a very small firepit. 5 minutes pounding a dig/tamp bar had me hurting bad for days, and I used to use this thing daily for my old job. I have never been inclined towards fitness my whole life. Before school, I always worked physical jobs or was forced to exercise in the military and kept in good enough shape, so I was starting from (mostly) absolute scratch! So I tried P90X3 and hated it, Focus T25 and really hated it (Shaun T really aggravates me lol) and got into weight training. I started on Strong lifts and really enjoyed it but about 5 months in I hadalready had a real good left shoulder injury and a couple small right shoulder injuries from piss poor bench press form. Now I'm back on the wagon with a gymnastic ring training program and using free weights for lower body work. I have been using the rings for about a month for pull/chin ups reverserows and dips, but today I started the Gold Medal Bodies Rings One program. I also got my copy of Allen Carr's Easy Way to Stop Smoking today and really hope this works. Short Term Goals stop smoking...forever get below 20% BF 20 strict ring pull ups...at 5 currently lol Long Term Goals finish Rings 1 and 2 without being a punk or running towards a new shiney get below 15% BF Longer Term Goals I'll reassess that a year from now lol Stats Height : 5'7" starting weight : 167 current weight :161 starting BF% 27ish Current BF% 22ish ( guessing off pictures of other peoples BF% )
  17. megnaripd

    First Flex

    A curious thing happened yesterday. I was sitting, leaning forward with my elbows on my knees when I happened to clench my hand to grab something and I caught a movement out of the corner of my eye. It was small and subtle but it was definitely there. Now do bear in mind I have been working at the drop weight/increase exercise effort for about 7 months now. But I did it again and there was no doubt, my triceps and biceps flexed, both arms too. Quite a feat for a nerdy fat kid I’ll tell you. Now let’s not get crazy, it could have been mistaken for a twitch. If you were standing over a vanquished foe a movement like this would not constitute proof of life. But for me it was momentous. Is this leveling up armor or weapons? J Just thought I’d share, thanks for listening
  18. 5/4/2015 - Re-joining the Ranks - new updates till next challenge! Current PR's: Deadlift: 195 lbs (x3) Back Barbell Squat: 150 lbs Bench Press: 75 lbs (x3) My new goals until our next fitness challenge: * Up my cardio - shooting for 150 minutes/week (as suggested to prevent cardiovascular disease) * Go to the gym 5 days a week Lofty Goals: * Double my bodyweight in deadlift - end goal of ~260 lbs (long term), reach 200 lb deadlift (short term) * Bench Press 100 lbs (medium-long goal) * DO A BLOODY PULL UP - can still do a handful of chin ups, but no pull-ups yet! :| ~~~~~~~~~~~ OLD: Hookay - to keep me honest for I'll be adding my challenges and work-outs here! ~~~~~~~~~~~ 4/17/2014 - Challenge #1: Do an unassisted Pull Up (by May 25th)
  19. Call of the Wild - Grant intuition, might, and swiftness to yourself and nearby allies. I figured I would go into full swing with the ranger vibe, so each challenge I will be learning a new ability based on ranger skills. For this challenge I will be focusing on gaining intuition, might, and swiftness. My Main Quest: Be able to deadlift my body weight, this is a focus for the beginning of the new year so this may take more than just this challenge. I am focusing on strength instead of just weight loss in order to see results more regularly, and keep myself going through plateaus and rough patches a bit more easily. Side Quests: Intuition (Food): Be mindful, observe, and listen to my body. Plan breakfasts and lunches, prepare meals ahead of time, and eat what I know is good for my body. 80/20 ratio (4 cheat items per week max, this would include a meal or more than 1 actual glass (not bucket sized glass) of wine, ect.) for occasional indulgences, and at least 8 cups of water per day. Track everything in MFP (or note if you can't track it on here as well as notify my trainer), and take advice from my trainer on eating properly. A - 80/20 ratio all 6 weeks B - 80/20 ratio 4/5 out of the 6 weeks C - 80/20 ratio 3 out of 6 weeks F - Anything less Might (Weight Training): Weight Train 3 times a week. A - 3 weight training days all 6 weeks B - 3 weight training days 4/5 out of the 6 weeks C - 3 weight training days 3 out of 6 weeks F - Anything less Swiftness (Cardio): Have at least 2 dedicated cardio sessions. A - 2 cardio days completed all 6 weeks B - 2 cardio days completed 4/5 out of the 6 weeks C - 2 cardio days completed 3 out of 6 weeks F - Anything less Life Quest: Save up for an elliptical machine (this may take more than 6 weeks, but make sure to put money away each paycheck).
  20. William smiled as he looked over his latest email from his handler. They were impressed with the patience he had shown in removing his first mark and were ready for him to move forward. The next one they wanted him closer though. They wanted to see how he could do if he had to be close up with the hit. His handler told him the information would be dead-dropped within a day or two and he would be sent the location. He knew that this one would take more subtly. Now all he had to do was wait. (Goals for this challenge) (100 push-ups/Sit-ups in a single session) Currently at 4 sets of 25 (improve free-running skills) Training progress on Kong and Side jumps Training on Wall Run and Cat (10 miles running, at least 3 times a week) (must be running, not walking) Can do it walking, but running still a challenge
  21. I really want to sit on the couch, watch some TV, and maybe drink a beer. This challenge will be about me resisting that desire. This battle will consist of 4 rounds: Round 1 - Physical Fitness Homer is seen here performing one armed push-ups with a baby on his back. I have been progressing towards one armed push-ups since the beginning of the summer. My goal will be 3 sets of 20 uneven push-ups. An acceptable alternative would be actual OAPs. Round 2 - Physical Appearance When Homer really put his mind to it, he was able to get in shape. I'd like to lose a couple of inches of my waist in the next few months. My goal this time around will be to hit 5 days a week of 16/8 Intermittent Fasting. Round 3 - Father Figure Homer may not be the ideal father figure, but he manages to find time to do things his kids like. My goal will be to focus on my kids more. Yes, I realize this is an extremely nebulous goal. Refinement forthcoming. Round 4 - Husband I realize that my initial statement was that I want to resist the temptation to sit on the couch and watch TV, but no beer and no TV could make a guy go crazy! Actually my wife loves quality time and "couch dates" are one of our favorite activities. We are excited that the Fall TV season is starting up again soon and have a couple of shows we like to watch together. My goal will be at least 5 couch dates over the next 6 weeks where I let her pick the shows. And who knows, if I hit all my other goals, I could wind up in a situation like this:
  22. And he stepped out on to the road...
  23. Hello, I'm Ani and this is going to be my first challenge. A friend of mine gave me this idea and since I love challenging myself for progress in general, it would be amazing to have even more motivation to train. Main Quest: Most important for me is to get in shape, not only to look good, but to feel healthy also. Main goals: - To lose 4 more kg (from 58 to 54kg) and so to lower my percent of body fat - To be able to do 150 crunches - To run longer and faster (4km for 25 minutes) Work-outs: I work out mostly at home, since I live a bit far from the city center, where the gyms are at, but that has never been a problem. I live near a park and I mostly run there and in the area around the big lake in it. At home I do also cardio-exercises like jumping jacks, squats and crunches. I always make time for a workout every day of the week, so I basically train every day to stay in shape, even if sometimes not so intense. Generally my goal is 6 workouts per week, each no less than an hour. Dieting: For more than a year now I am eating absolutely healthy. No soda, no chips, no alcohol, no fast food, of course with some exceptions only sometimes. At first I used myfistenspall to count my calories, then it just became a healthy habit. I don’t find it difficult, exactly the opposite. I am used to it and it makes me feel healthier (probably because of the vitamins ). Life Side Quest: - To have enough time for studying and so to graduate from high-school with a perfect diploma - To dedicate more effort and time into my hobby, which is art Motivation: - My friends, who always support me - A better life through better looks and better personality J
  24. Okay, for the past 5 weeks now I've been doing the BBWW three times a week, and the circuit style has been kicking my ass regularly. I have seen some strength gains, specifically 45 second planks up from 15, and proper push-ups up from knee push-ups. My question is around when s it right to move onto a more traditional strength based routine, with 3-5 sets of 5-10 reps of a handful of exercises spread over a multi day split, etc, etc, etc? I'm asking because I really want to progress to a pull-up, and while I'm fairly sure the BBWW can get me there with progression added to each of the exercises (push-ups into decline push-ups, dumbbell rows into bodyweight rows, backpack or dumbbell weight squats and lunges, etc), I'm just not entirely sure it's the best way to go about progressing my goals. Any thoughts?
  25. Hi Nerd Fitness Community! I've seen various blips of information filtering into my life for a while now from Nerdfitness; the community on facebook, Steve's blog and email updates etc. t-shirts!!! and I've decided to do something about leveling up my own life overall. I've got a tonne of aspirations and a life full of tasks and chores, no shortage of motivation, or enthusiasm to get the stuff done (that I'm good at) but I'm permanently tired from having too much going on at once. What I could do with is pointing in the right direction to leveling up generally. I seem to remember seeing categories for structuring these goals to level up in all aspects. Does anyone know where the list is as I can't find it. Once I've got those categories set down then I can work out what needs to be in them and where from this list of tasks - big small or otherwise, and set to with working out how to get them done - THE FUN WAY!!! If I structure my goals in the same way that you're all structuring yours then it becomes measurable and I can join in with you all on the 6 week challenges! - thanks for having me on board
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