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  1. Superhero Challenge is here at last! I've had this one in the back of my mind for a minute, so this should be fun. It's also influenced by some things I've seen @Tanktimus the Encourager, @Sloth the Enduring and @Atrytone do over the summer, and credit for the title goes to @deftona So I wanted to do a very serious superhero challenge, and I spent a lot of time pondering who the right superhero to model on. Superman? Wonderwoman? The Flash? So many choices... I needed someone who hit all the points and inspired me and suited my personality. And then I figured it out.... Yes, it's THE GREATEST AMERICAN HERO!!!! Now, I know what you are thinking. Wasn't Ralph Hinkley, the Greatest American Hero, kind of a doofus? Wasn't he constantly screwing up and flailing? Didn't he lose his own instruction book? Did he have any idea what he was doing at any given time? All these things are true. But isn't that all of us? I have a constant, ongoing conversation with my training partner, the Mantis, about what I am training for. He helps design my programming, and when we are working on it he's always asking me "what do you want to do? Triathalon? Power Lift? Crossfit? You have to tell me why you're doing this so I can figure out what you need to do." And I'm always like, Fuck, I don't know. I want to do everything. I keep thinking, there has to be more to this. It can't just be about trying look good naked and be less fat and show off in the gym. I would have given up long ago if that was it. (Especially the be less fat bit. Sigh.) There has to be something pushing me other than utter vanity. And a few weeks ago, one of the trainers at my gym happened to be asking me, "so what are you training for? Why are you here?" - the eternal question - and just as we were chatting I happened to look up at the TV in the gym and the news was showing the flooding in Virginia (Louisiana would come a few weeks later) and the shot was of people taking their little shitty johnboats and canoes and whatever they could find, and going BACK into the flooded areas to rescue other people, sometimes people they didn't even know, from the flooding. And in that moment it crystalized for me and I pointed at the TV and said "because I want to be that guy." Look, it would be awesome to be an invincible beast that never got hurt, helped the helpless, did the right thing, showed up at the right time, saved the world, AND remembered to file their taxes quarterly. I would love that. But I'm not. Especially the taxes part. But I can be Ralph. I can be as fit as possible to be as useful as possible, as best as I can. And until I am called upon to save the world, I can be an everyday hero, and I can rescue cats and help the neighbor with her groceries and whatever. It's what Ralph would do. Okay, on to the actual challenge training and goals: Everyday Hero: Be Kind: give one random compliment or helpful thing per day. Be Useful: learn one thing useful in emergencies per week. CPR, emergency first aid, change a tire & jump a battery, evacuation techniques for injured people, etc. Make it better: make one donation or volunteer one hour per week to a good cause. Let yourself fly: Ralph, famously, could fly but never figured out how to land. I have some ideas for stuff that I want to do that I keep shrinking from because I'm scared to fail at them. I need to take those risks and let the landing sort itself out. Strong like Hero: I have three gym workouts per week. They are: PHT A: 10 mins rower then 4 circuits: 1 arm rows glute bridge bench press leg extension delt raise jump rope incline press KB swing tricep extension prowler push pull-up (still working on these) PHT B: 10 min rower 4 circuits: deadlift t-bar row step-up bench press hamstring curl military press jump rope push up kb swing sled pull walking lunge inverted row HIIT/Cardio: I do three rounds of this, with 5 min rest between rounds. I do the rower first, then 3x of the moves in italics, then finish with the sandbag run. Rest and Repeat. 250 meter row 10 kb swings 10 wall balls 30 sec battle ropes 200 meter sandbag run Non - Gym workouts: Bike 2-3x week, plus skate, jog, kayak, whatever, as it fits in the schedule. So that's it! Should be a fun challenge; these are cool workouts and I'm looking forward to them. Let's do this Edited to add: Have to shout out to @Phoenix Burning for introducing me to the book Natural Born Heroes and Georges Hebert and the concept of "be fit to be useful" several challenges back. I stand on the shoulders of giants. (or at least their reading reccomendations)
  2. July 30, 2016. Wausau 24 Mountain Bike Race - 6 hour category. Goal: Top Ten. This is not me. This has never been me. I've done a lot of bike races in the last 27 years. Literally hundreds. I've never podiumed. Never won a prize. Last year at Wausau 24 I went out hard, but I never really pushed it. I was riding for fun, for the challenge. Had I pushed it a little harder, I could have ridden another lap and that would have put me in the top ten and the race podiumed and gave a nice prize bag to the top 10. This year I am going out hard. This year I'll be prepared. GPP: This time of year I have little time to actually ride a bike. This challenge will be the General Physical Preperation phase. I'll use sledgehammers, kettlebells, and maybe sandbags to get a little stronger and build a little endurance. The goal is to train five times a week doing a circuit of KB swings, Shovelglove, and racked lunges. I'd also like to add in sandbag clean/squat/press a couple of times a week. Aerobic Base: I'll maintain my aerobic base with tire pulling, rucking, and, when the stars align, a little biking. Mobility: My hips are the key to a better life. They're too tight, that leads to my back going out (keeping me from training), prevents me from pedaling efficiently, and impairs my bike handling. If I'm serious about this race, I need to be serious about my hips. I'll gladly take suggestions here - my hip flexors and psoas need to relax. Hara hachi bu: If my weight goes above 175# I get sluggish and slow. If it drops below 165# I get weak. I have a few dietary restrictions due to my bad belly and formerly high blood pressure. Trying to eat cleaner or to restrict calories feels like too much deprivation and I can't sustain it. The first part of last challenge I had good results with hara hachi bu, which means eat until you are 80% full. I usually went to 90%, but being mindful kept me from over eating. This Old House: Our house has a honey-do list that is several pages long. It's time to start ticking some of these off.
  3. Hey everyone its Leviathan (AKA Miska23) and I am back for my 5th challenge This challenge I am using the viking awesomeness as my inspiration. (ps I have been to these viking swords in Norway, They are awesome!) I will be focusing on 3 aspects of Viking Noble Virtues: Industriousness: I need to build strength in order to fight and pillage to my hearts content! all of that loot can be heavy! Last challenge I noticed that I need a workout routine that I can scale as my body gets used to moving the weight. Also I need some variety in my routines to help with not burning out and getting bored. So for this challenge I will be working on a sandbag routine. I realized that with a sandbag I can add weight if necessary further on in the challenge if need be. I will be following this program: https://www.fitnessblender.com/videos/advanced-sandbag-workout-total-body-sandbag-training-burnout the exercises are: Body Rip One Arm Shouldering (repeat a set on each side of the body) Shouldered Squat (repeat a set on each side of the body) Sandbag Snatch Swing Rotational Deadlift Around the World Clean and Press Upright Row Overhead Alternating Lunge Get Up (repeat a set on each side of the body) For practice wielding an Axe, shield and sword I need to build up my upper body. I will be knocking out a dumbbell routine at least once a week. DB Bench Press - 2 sets 6-8 reps DB Flyes - 2 sets 6-8 reps DB (Military) Press - 10-12 reps DB Side Laterals - 2 sets 6-8 reps DB Front Laterals - 2 sets 6-8 reps Arnold dumbbell press - 2 sets 6-8 reps DB Shrugs - one set to failure Lying DB Tricep Extension - 2 sets 8-10 reps Seated Triceps Press- 8-10 reps Tricep (close hand) Push-ups - 2 sets 10-12 reps, 1 set failure Tricep DB Kickback - 2 sets 6-8 reps (can sub for sandbag exercises) Self-Reliance: Swimming is an essential skill for any viking who ventures toward the west across an open ocean. I will be following the swim exercises on this website at least once a week: http://100swimmingworkouts.com/#beginner Walking while carrying heavy gear and possible loot across open country toward the ships is another necessary skill for any viking. I will walk at least one mile a week with my rock-bag\sandbag backpack that I made currently it weights 50lbs I will use a pedometer to keep track of the distance Discipline: I will be learning from Floki how to build ships. I have a whittling set that I never used more than a handful of times. I decided that I will finish at least one carving by the end of the 6WC and post a picture of it here. I have a couple 3inX2in blocks that I will using. Aaaannnndddd thats it Starting stats: Height: 6ft Weight: 195lbs Waist: 36in Right bicep: 14in Left bicep: 14in Right thigh: 22in Left thigh: 22in Just curious to see if there are any changes in the stats at the end of the challenge.
  4. I wasn't sure I was going to participate this time, but then an email inspired a theme and a purpose for the next 6 weeks ..... fixing a bunch of bad habits that have stalled my weight loss efforts!!!! As I skimmed this article from Fitocracy, I realized that I'm guilty on 5 of the 6 counts. If I want to succeed, I need to fix a bunch of mistakes and stop setting myself up for failure!!! Thankfully, I am usually a good shopper with only a weakness for the deli counter, but the others ..... I have my work cut out for me. So, this challenge will be a bit different for me. And newbies be warned - I'm breaking a number of the guidelines for RP challenges. So don't use me as an example. I'll be setting goals that primarily will increase wisdom and constitution. But, since 80% of success happens in the kitchen (and the grocery store), I think this challenge will set me up for success in the future. So, watch this space for details ..... I'll be editing it through the weekend to make measurable goals that help me fix my mistakes and use lots of exclamation marks!!! Mistake #1 - Eating out/Take out The good news is that I have historical data on how frequently I eat out or grab take out. The bad news is that ...... out of 42 days in the challenge, I ate out or grabbed "healthy" foods from the deli ....... get ready for it ..... 37 days!!! 88% of my challenge days involved buying prepared foods, most of which I can prepare easily at home. FIX #1: Stop eating out so much, DUH!! (2 WIS, 1 CON) To be reasonable and yet make progress, I'm going to reduce the number of days in which I eat out or grab something from the deli .... Scoring based on days that I mess up: 4 days: A 8 days: B 12 days: C 16 days: D 20+ days: F Mistake #2 - Snacking This isn't SUCH a big problem for me as eating out is ... or so I thought, until I went back through my data. YIKES!!!! 34 days out of 42 had a snack, and often NOT something light. FIX #2 - Reduce unplanned snacking (2 WIS, 1 CON) I am going to plan for truly healthy snacks, especially for after hard workouts. And I will aim at reducing the number of days when I give up and eat something just because I am bored, because hubby is having a snack, or because I didn't plan ahead and eat properly at the prior meal. Scoring based on days that I mess up: 4 days: A 8 days: B 12 days: C 16 days: D 20+ days: F Mistake #3 - Not planning for splurges In fact, I have not been planning meals at all!! Breakfast (eggs) is on autolock, but the rest of the day has been done by last-minute inspiration. At the end of the day, when I enter in what I've eaten, I might be pleasantly surprised ..... or completely shocked. Logging is a good first step, but planning needs to be a close second. FIX #3 - PLAN!!!! (3 WIS) I'm usually a big planner, but a lot of things have been up in the air for the past two years, and I just stopped planning meals. In part, because when I'm home alone, it doesn't seem like I NEED to plan meals. Not like when I had a family, and we needed to know what we were eating so it could be accomplished before dashing off to the evening activities. So, time to stop moping about the empty nest and a hubby who lives a couple hours away. I'm going to sit down this weekend and create interchangeable menus on index cards. That way, I can have some variety within limits. And I'll be better about cooking (see fix #1) and freezing the extras. I have the big freezer plugged in downstairs and can just call this "cooking ahead". To keep accountable, I'm entering the weekly plan into LoseIt. And I'll post pics here!!! So, watch for food porn. I AM a pretty good cook. Scoring based on SUCCESS days: A: 38 B: 34 C: 29 D: 25 F: 21 or fewer Mistake #4 - Food as medicine As an athlete, I was just interested in food to support my activity level and provide the needed macros. I've fallen a long way from that stance since 2005 and now routinely use food and wine to make me feel better, to reduce boredom, as part of socialization, and as celebration. The problem is that .... it doesn't work. And often, I not only feel worse physically but also then beat myself up emotionally. But I keep falling back into those patterns, in part because hubby encourages them. Fix #4 - Food as fuel (2 WIS, 1 CON) Measuring the mental shift might be a bit of a challenge, but I'm going to try this strategy: Identify 20 triggers or situations where food becomes more than food Construct 20 alternatives - one per trigger - that can be played to combat the problem situationScoring: A: 20 B: 18 C:16 D: 14 F: 12 or fewer Mistake #5 - Inconsistency in exercise Looking back over my logs, I see that I have episodes of high activity, burning 400+ calories in exercise. And then, I have days when I don't really do much other than a gentle 30 minute walk. To some extent, that's fine, and I am exercising most days. But it also means that it is hard to plan meals when I don't know how much I'll be burning, and I've often eating as if I were going to have a big workout day ..... but then end up on the couch and stockpiling that extra calorie intake as fat. Fix #5 - Plan workouts and even out calorie expenditures (1 WIS, 2 STA) Well, the theme of the challenge is planning and consistency, I think. It's OK if I don't workout every day, but it is essential that I PLAN for rest days instead of letting them just happen. So, the aim is to plan my work and work my plan. At the beginning of the week, I'll sketch out planned activities as well as meals. That means that I ADJUST meal plan for the planned rest day(s), if necessary. I've been fighting a bit of a sore hip and knee, which means that I may end up adjusting workouts to prevent injury. Scoring based on days that I mess up: 4 days: A 8 days: B 12 days: C 16 days: D 20+ days: F Attribute points ..... A 100% B 90% C 80% D 70% F 50% for trying ..... PLUS MINIs!!!! Week 1: +1 STA Week 2: Week 3: Nada Week 4:
  5. The big goal this challenge is to decrease the amount of sugar that hubby and I consume. He is non-insulin-dependent diabetic but needs to improve his blood sugar levels STAT. So, this guy is public enemy number one at our house: I don't think that he is ready to go cold turkey; so I've devised a transition plan - based in part on the NF Academy nutrition guidelines. I've already dropped my sugar consumption about 25% - compared to last month. Gotta love data!!! I'm using LoseIt to track what I eat, and have the premium plan so that I can drill down on my macros to see what I'm actually eating. So Quest #1 is to transition to a Whole30 (which will be next challenge's goal). Each week, I'll add another improvement to our diet, and I'm going to be tracking it using HabitRPG. At stake: 2 CON, 2 WIS - with grading by percentage of days that I manage to stick to our improvement plan. During the break, I've convinced hubby to eat a high protein breakfast ... and he's already feeling better. That was no big deal for me, but next week ... I need to substitute a vegetable in for a starch at lunch and dinner. I'm not a big veggie eater ...... (0/42) The other big thing I am working on is to be able to complete an obstacle course race. I've been a bit discouraged at how long it takes me to improve my upper body strength, but I'm going to keep at it while working on my running and my general agility. So, Quest #2 is to do strength training 3 times per week. I mix it up and do a routine at the gym (including assisted pull ups), kettle bells at home, and sandbag training at home. At stake: 3 STR, and grading is also a percentage of goal. (0/18) Quest #3 is to get through C25K again. This should be pretty darned easy since I'm on week 4 already and am an experienced runner. But I'll (hopefully) be transitioning to outdoor running by early April. Yes?? 2 STA awarded for getting through it; 1 STA if I get to week 6. Quest #4 is to work on agility weekly (at least). I have my FitDeck agility cards. Or I can go climbing or take a related class - such as yoga, zumba, pole dancing, martial arts class, etc. I'm allowing myself to play with this and have some fun .... and be flexible with how I work on improving my agility for 2 DEX, based on percentage completion. (0/6) Quest #5 is to work on my dead drop assassin skills - using geocaching and Ingress. I'm going to pull a number out of the air and say that I'll do this 20 times during the challenge for a possible 2 WIS and 2 DEX. Geocaching in the harsh winter can get to be a bit problematic ... so the augmented reality game, Ingress, is a good substitute to get me out of the house. Scoring is also by a percentage. (0/20). PLUS - Assassin's Guild minis:Week1 - Pullups and Mountain Climbers (+STR)Week 2 - RUN!!! (+STA)Week 3 -Week 4 -Week 5 -Week 6 - AND, I'm competing in an exercise consistency challenge that Bekah put together on FB. AND WAIT - that's not all!! I'm putting together a simple Fitness RPG. It has a long way to go, but I'm playing it while designing it. So, I'm really hoping to have fun and improve my body composition this challenge!!!
  6. Hello fellow Nerds!! I am moving to Murrieta CA so if there are any Nerds in the San Diego who want any of the listed stuff, let me know Tomb Raider Anniversary (PS2) Tomb Raider (XBOX 360) Fallout 3 Game of the Year Edition (XBOX 360) Dragonball Z Budakai Tenkaichi (PS2) Legend of Spyro (PS2) ATV Offroad Fury 4 (PS2) Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (PC) Metro 2033 (XBOX 360) Ratchet and Clank (PS2) Sonic Generations (XBOX 360) Ninety-Nine-Nights (XBOX 360) Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell (PS2) Final Fantasy VII: Dirge of Cerberus (PS2) Fullmetal Alchemist: Broken Angel (PS2) DDR Max 2 (PS2) (No dance pad, sorry) Assassin's Creed Assassin's Creed 2 Collector's Edition, Ezio action figure, tin case, OST, Collector's walkthrough hardback, and art book included Assassin's Creed 3, Collector's Walkthrough and tin CD case included Red Dead Redemption Walkthrough Tomb Raider Anniversary walkthrough Tomb Raider walkthrough Sandbag with 6 10lb. sandbags and 1 40lb. sandbag, from Dick's Sporting goods and..... Mitika a 17 y/o Chilean Rose Hair tarantula. She will come with her tank, water tray, alligator figurine, and rock cave. She's sweet and has never bitten me, very non-aggressive. I need a good home because I can't take her with me Any games not taken will be traded to Gamestop for cred
  7. I'm planning to continue sculpting my bodacious beach bod this challenge using sandbags, but I can't decide if I want to go for the buff "King of the Sea" look: Or a more streamlined surfer look: This is really just a placeholder. I'll get my goals typed up this weekend in time to kick off on Monday!
  8. My sandbag is pretty much my best workout friend (except after a workout when I'm tired and have to lug it to the car). I was just wondering if any of you fine nerds can share your sandbag workouts if you do them. Currently I use my sandbag (40lbs) to run bleachers, squats and presses, and some general work out on the football field. I'm kinda getting stalled out with it and was looking for some new stuff. Thanks in advance for sharing.
  9. Greetings, all! My name is Greg and this will be my 7th challenge. I'm 36 and a husband and father of two. The short version of my story is that I'm a lifelong skinny guy looking to build strength and bulk up. After finding Nerd Fitness, I have decided to make it my destiny to finally get in shape and stop looking like a skinny kid! For this specific leg of my epic journey to buff-ness, my goal is to get in shape for a trip to Jamaica that my wife and I are taking in exactly 6 weeks!!! So, here are the quests I will undertake in search of the LGN/Beach Body: Quest the first: Get Lean (+2 CHA +2 CON) I was able to drop 2 inches off my belly last challenge and I would like to shoot for 2 more this time. By the Navy Body Fat Percent Calculator, I'm currently at 19% and losing 2 inches would get me to 17%, which is considered 'fit' as opposed to 'acceptable'. Last time I used a combo of eating below my caloric maintenance level, walking on the treadmill 2x a week (Low Intensity Steady State Cardio), and strength training 3x a week. This time I am planning to bump up my calories as well as my strength training and I will switch out the LISS cardio for sprinting and interval running to burn some fat. I am also going to try and limit the number of servings of grains/pasta/rice/potatoes I have each day. I follow the If It Fits Your Macros diet, so I'm going to shoot for 1g of protein per pound of body weight each day, and then balance my fat and carbs to hit my calorie goal. I use My Fitness Pal to track my calories. Quest the second: Get Strong (+4 STR) I made some good strides last challenge regarding building strength. I focused on basic leg/push/pull lifts using sandbags. I will continue that this time by following the Barbell Battalion workout from the Rebel Strength Guide, only substituting sandbags for barbells. I found this blog on sandbag workouts and it has been helpful for learning the sandbag versions of the basic lifts (squat, deadlift, push press). My goal is to follow the Rank One workouts as prescribed for 6 weeks, increasing the weight in my sandbag by 5 pounds each session. At that rate, each of my lifts (including weighted pull-ups) will increase by 40 pounds. Quest the third: Get Loose (+4 DEX) My dexterity has been lagging behind according to my RPG attribute points, so I'm going to add one day of yoga/flexibility/mobility to my weekly routine. Gotta get bendy if I'm going to hang loose in Jamaica! I currently plan to use the Yoga DVD included in Tony Horton's Ten Minute Trainer, but I'm open to additional tips for increasing flexibility. I've looked in to the MWOD videos, but haven't tried them yet. Quest the fourth: Get Organized (+3 WIS) I actually have about 4 different things I'd like to set as my "life goal" for this challenge, but I'm having trouble picking one as more important than the others. I'm going with organizing my desk and papers at home because it is part of a previous challenge goal that I failed to achieve. So, my goal is to clear all the papers off my home desk and create and maintain an organization system for the mail at home. My wife and I get a lot of mail and it tends to stack up in the kitchen until the stack eventually gets moved to my desk. My current plan for incoming mail is to sort it into 4 categories: To Pay, To Follow-Up, To File, or To Read. My wife gets a lot of medical journals and I get a couple of magazines and we never can get through them all! I have files for the stuff on my desk, I've just been terrible about filing since our second kid came along - 19 months ago. It's way past time to get it under control and keep it that way. There you have it. I take measurements on Sunday nights, so I will add my starting measurements on Monday. I also plan to use calipers as well as a tape this time, but probably not every week. We'll see what some extra data can tell me!
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