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  1. Hello and welcome! Come on in, grab a warm beverage of your choice, and have a seat by the fire. This is the place we can all chat and get to know each other. Questions? Ask away! 
  2. This challenge is going to be a little different for me. For the most part, those of us that have been around a while use our threads as a workout/progress log and a place for general chit chat, only vaguely related to goals. Being my 12th challenge now, I'm really out of ideas to be honest. There is very little about diet/routine/life that can be improved, at least in a manner that goals would help. But I do get asked a lot of questions; in pm, in my thread, in other threads, I try to answer them as much as possible, I think using my challenge thread as sort of a Q&A forum would prove to be very helpful for people and its something I like doing. That said, ask away, no question is too basic or complex. I think I've got a pretty broad knowledge base and have experienced most situations; I've been underweight, obese, and skinnyfat at some point, lost a lot of weight, and have both bulked and cut a couple times now. I've got a good handle on bodyweight exercise from the most basic levels on up to the most complex and understand all the various programming methods. Plus I've acted as a guide for my wife; she too has been extremely successful (she doesn't just copy what I do). Gohls: #1 - Answer Every Question Posed in This Thread - As noted above, feel free to ask anything, I'll answer as best I can. These sort of threads elsewhere tend to be very successful and helpful. Points Available: CHA +5 #2 - Reduce the Amount of Soda I Drink - This isn't really that big of a deal, I only drink diet soda, and I don't really drink that much. But as of late its been my go to when thirsty and my mind has made the thirsty = craving soda connection. I'd like to get back to where thirst = craving water. On top of that it'll save a couple bucks. My goal will be to limit soda consumption to with meals (lunch/dinner) only, and only 1 can at each of those times. Points Available: CON +2 #3 - Take One Exercise/Diet/Fitness Related Photo or Video a Week - One of the bottlenecks with my website has been having ample photos. Sure I can find stock photos and CC photos, but shots of myself doing things are inherently more valuable. With it being early football season, things will be slow on the website front. But I can still be taking photos/video. Points Available: STR +1, DEX +1, STA +1, CHA +1 #L - Complete All Coursera Class Work I Signed Up For - Last challenge I took the Exercise course with a few other NFers, and really enjoyed the class. Learning things is just something I enjoy doing. I think that I can always have a class going and it would be very beneficial to me. Free education is a hugely valuable resource; not necessarily for people just graduating HS (yet), but I've already got the fancy piece of paper to list on a resume. I'm signed up for "Networks: Friends, Money, and Bytes", a 6 week course that about modern networked life from Princeton University, and another 5 week course starting in 3 weeks, "Video Games and Learning" about the thinking and learning involved with video game play, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I'm really excited about both these classes. Points Available: WIS +4 Character Points Class: Bodyweight Powerbuilder Assassin Level: 11 STR: 30.50 DEX: 24.75 STA: 14.50 CON: 20.25 WIS: 29.00 CHA: 21.50 Workout Log Key: I use a lot of easy to write shorthand in my workout log, which greatly increases the data carrying capability without long written out notes, however it does make it a bit difficult to read without a means of decoding it. Starting with the basic: Exercise Name - Reps or time in a set I try to add the unit (secs/reps) as much as possible, though I do forget from time to time. From there I add a lot of modifiers: / = Forward slash indicates that it is single limb work, and that the set is broken up per limb. I always use the convention left/right. 3/3 means 3 reps on the left, 3 reps on the right. , = delimiter between sets. 3,3 means a set of 3, a break, and then another set of 3. n = negative reps. 5n1 means a set of 5 with a negative rep at the end. 0n3 means a set of 3 negatives. c = cluster reps, can have a modifier in () to denote a nonstandard pause time. Standard pause time is 5 breaths. 3c3 means a set of 3 reps, a 5 breath pause, and then another set of 3 reps. 3c(10br)2 means a set of 3 reps, a 10 breath pause, and then 2 more reps. m{} = myo-reps, I'll usually add a () and note pause time. 10 m{3,3,3,3}(5br) means that I did a 10 rep activation set, took a 5 breath pause, did a set of 3 reps, took a 5 breath pause, did a set of 3 reps, etc... (repeated 4 times total). I often use multiple pause timings when doing myo-reps. Going past what was done, I also have 2 grading scales in use to note how it was done. The following is added to the rep/hold numbers above for each individual set to grade the set. Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE), notes how "hard" the set was. I use shorthand to note the standard RPE scale: z = RPE 10, need to be mentally prepared for that output (making noises helps as well), true failure/edge of failure, very slow grinding final rep. y = RPE 9, might have a highly motivated rep left in the tank, failure or edge of failure when training calm, slow grinding final rep. x = RPE 8, left a rep in the tank (2 or more if highly motivated), rep speed slowed down noticably and there is a slight grind, but not close to failure. e = RPE's 7 and below, several reps left in the tank, did not lose rep speed, easy work. Rate of Perceived Technique (RPT) notes how good set form was. I'm going to use my own form rating system at first: ++ = Very high quality form, no major issues, any issues with the form are extremely minor. + = Average/above average form. No major issues, though there are some definite problems with the smaller details. - = Below average form. Major issues possible (though not severe), smaller details need a lot of work -- = Poor form, major form problems.
  3. Hey you lovely bunch of fitness nerds! I'd love to take a minute and introduce myself here. I've been a long time lover of the Nerd Fitness blog, and an occasional guest lurker on the forums. Well thanks largely in part to the really cool mini challenge on the scout 6 week challenge, I am stepping out of the lurker shadows. I'm too late to hop in on this challenge, but here is hoping that the next one will be just as cool. Getting to know Jack O'Lantern: The Basics: What is your name? Nathan, or Nate if you prefer nicknames. How old are you? I'm 21 Where are you from, and where are you living? Well I'm from Vernon, CT. It is a small New England town about 15 minutes north of Hartford, CT with a fantastic diner and bike trails. I'm living on Walker Creek Ranch in Petaluma, CA and will be here for 3 more weeks. What are you doing with your life? Since October, 2012 I have been in AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps. It is a 10 month, government funded, team based, full time, residential community service program for 18-24 year olds. Sort of a domestic peace corps for young adults that travels a bunch. What have you done so far in AmeriCorps NCCC? I've built houses for Habitat for Humanity in OR, responded to Hurricane Sandy in NY, taught inner city kids in LA, and built trails in rural CA. I am also my teams physcial training coordinator, so I have led 45 minute physcial training classes, for 10 people, 3 times a week, for the past 6 months. What are your future plans? Return home to CT in July and finish up my degree in Secondary Education at Central Connecticut State University. Hopefully land a nice teaching job someday or maybe get set up managing a nonprofit. What are some of your hobbies and interests? I love doing really elaborate and intricate Etch A Sketch art work. I like to write poetry and recently have taken to trying my hand on stage at open mics. Biking and running are fuel for my soul. Every Halloween I go a little overboard with my pumpkin carving. The Nerd Fitness Oriented Stuff: What class do you most closely align yourself with? I am most closely a Scout. Somehow in the crazy course of fitness development I've transformed from the hating cardio and loving strength training to finding freedom and exhilaration in running/biking/swimming and boredom and monotony in free weight strength training. What are you nerdy interests? I'm kind of a fringe nerd. I am very much into mainstream TV nerd culture. I'm all about The Walking Dead, Doctor Who, Breaking Bad, and Game of Thrones. I will gladly over think any of these shows with you. As for games, I still love playing generation 1 and 2 pokemon, and Skyrim. Harry Potter was my first nerdtastic interest and will always have a place in my heart. What are your current fitness goals? Short term: I want to bring my body fat low enough to see all six abs, and conquer the Walker Creek Ranch mountain. When I first got to Walker Creek 5 weeks ago, I got winded walking up this monster, 1.5 mile, steep uphill trail to the Ranch's peak. I made it a goal to be able to run all the way up before I leave. So far my best is making it up with alternating 45 seconds run/15 seconds walk up to the top. I have 3 weeks left. Long term: I want to bike across the United States with a program called Bike and Build. I would also like to finish a triathlon. What do you have to offer the rebellion? I am a poet and a writer, I offer up my creative ability to sculpt words and stories. I am a amateur graphic designer, I offer my ability to make ideas become images. I am a social young man, I offer up the opportunity to meet other local rebels and help build a community beyond the board. I really look forward to getting to know all of you. If there is anything you'd like to know more about me, or if anything here struck your interest, let me know!
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