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  1. Continuation of Conquius Moves Like the Myrmidons. Introduction Last year, my partner and their father did a Spartan Stadion. For those of you who don't know, it's the 5k Sprint format, but instead of being out in the countryside, it's held in a Stadium. I got to spectate. That was all fine and well, but I thought if I did one myself, I wouldn't want to do it in a hot, concrete Stadium. Well I voiced this thought to my partner a few weeks ago, who then found a Sprint less than 2hrs away, and asked if I'd do that one with them and their father. I accepted! For a few reasons: Sounds fun, and sounds like a decent accomplishment. Training for the Spartan Race will give me an opportunity to round out some parts of my physical fitness that have been previously neglected: Upper Body, Core, and Running. Gives me a good opportunity to impress my partner with my physical prowess 😏😏😏 So that will inform most of my Challenges for this go-round. Work after Work πŸƒβ€β™‚οΈ First Challenge is to create a habit of working out each day after work. I now have a hybrid work schedule where I work 3 days per week In-Office (T, W, R), and 2 days WFH (M, F). It's a traditional 9-5, so my plan is to have my workout clothes close at hand at 5PM, workout, and then I can continue on with my evening. My workouts will focus on two major areas: Running and Calisthenics. Running * Short Runs: 1 mile. Once I can consistently run that distance without stopping, I'll up the distance by 0.25 - 0.5 miles. * Long Runs: 3 miles. Once I can consistently run that distance at a pace better than 10:00 / mi, I'll up the distance by 0.5 miles. Calisthenics * I'm copying Reddit's BWSF Routine pretty directly, and nixing Squats. My legs already get enough work from Running and Cycling. Schedule: * Sunday: rest * Monday: BWSF * Tuesday: Short Run * Wednesday: BWSF * Thursday: Short Run * Friday: BWSF * Saturday: Long Run I'll assess after a week if this schedule is Too Much. The BWSF is more likely to push me into "too much" territory than the running is. Hitting My Mark 🏹 Did you know that if you fail an obstacle on a Spartan Race, you have to do 30 burpees? Did you know that the most commonly failed obstacle on a Spartan Race is the Spear Throw, because so few people can practice it at home? My plan is to incorporate some obstacle-specific training as the Challenge goes on. * For the Spear Throw, you can buy a replica, and I can throw it when I visit my hometown. * For a lot of the grip-based exercises, my partner and I are planning on spending some time at a local climbing gym. * For the loaded carries, my partner and I have thought about buying Farmer's Walk handles, but for now I'm going to stick with 5-gal buckets loaded with water. Own the Morning β˜€οΈ If you remember Conquius Rises with the Dawn, you'll remember that I've historically had a hard time getting out of bed in the morning. I'm better at it now, but now that I'm going into the office every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, I need to be on point. The goal is to keep a regular schedule of getting up at 6 AM when I have to get into the office, and 7 AM when I don't. Getting up at 6 AM lets me do a few things: * Coffee with my Partner: If my partner is going into the office, they get up at 6. This lets me enjoy the morning with them ❀️ * 7AM Metro: If I'm up at 6, I'm out the door by 7, which puts me on a much earlier metro. Earlier metros have fewer people, and are much more pleasant. * Bike Commuting: If I'm bike commuting into work, I need to be up at 6 anyway so I can get into the office on time. I have a secondary goal here of finding a more suitable breakfast. A bagel with vegan cream cheese doesn't keep my satisfied until noon. Right now I'm eyeing Vegan Chicken Salad made with TVP or Soy Curls. Wish me luck!
  2. Lore: If you read Conquius Audax, you would know that I was hit by a car last week while riding my bike home from work. The above Lore is vaguely based on that. I am fine, but my bicycle is likely totaled. While I assess my next moves bike-wise, my partner and their father have been threatening to sign me up for a Spartan Race with them. I went to see them do a Stadion last year, and it looked like fun, so I agreed. I think that the preparations for this will be fun, they will make me stronger on the bike, and they'll give me something to focus on while the bike situation shakes out. I decided against waiting until the next 5-Week Challenge to start training because what better time than now? The race we’re doing is a Sprint. 5k Run, 20 Obstacles, and it’s some time in September. Since I have a few months to prepare, I’m going to try to do it right: Build a running base, build calisthenic strength, and move towards obstacle-specific movements closer to the race itself. That last part is outside of the scope of this Challenge. Here’s how I plan to train: Building a Running Base. I have a solid aerobic base from cycling, but my previous attempts at C25K had me burnt out somewhere around Week 4 or 5. I found myself often having to repeat weeks, which was demotivating, so I would stop doing it. Instead of trying something that doesn’t work for me again, I decided to take some pages out of my cycling playbook. When I was a teenager (and even now, bearing down on 30), I really enjoyed putting down miles. One of the most satisfying things was getting to see how many miles I had gone in a single ride, and pushing that number slightly higher. So for building a Running Base, I’m not going to focus on running certain intervals, or for certain amounts of time, I’m going to focus on making distance. This way, I can track my progress by racking up miles. The plan is to do two short runs during the week and one long run on the weekend. With that being said, the desire to put down miles may tempt me to go further or longer than I should starting out, so I’m going to temper this plan with Limitations - one of my favorite habit-forming hacks from James Clear. On my short runs, I can only run 1 mile. I can only run that 1 mile on Tuesdays and Thursdays after work. I can increase that mileage once I can run the full mile without stopping to walk. Once I can run the full mile without stopping to walk, I can increase that distance by 0.5mi. On my long runs, I can only run 3 miles. I can only run those 3 miles on Saturday mornings. Once I can run that full 3 miles in a given time limit (miles * 10min), I can increase that distance by 1 mile. Building a Calisthenic Strength Base. I have a solid base of strength from powerlifting. This will help in obstacles like loaded carries, but for the various pulling obstacles, I’m pretty woefully underprepared. Spartan Races also have a lot of Burpees if you miss an obstacle, so I'll work towards those further down the line. I came across Reddit’s BWSF Routine last week, and I’m a fan. I like how they use Pike Push-Ups as a Vertical Press progression towards HSPU; I like how they use Inverted Rows as an exercise in its own right instead of just a Pull-Up Progression. I like the focus on lower-back and core exercises with the Bridge, Hinge, Dead Bug, and Bird Dog. I’m going to utilize this routine, but I’m going to take out Squats since Leg Strength gets worked through cycling. It’s going to be 3x/week, Monday / Wednesday / Friday. I’m going to Habit Stack working out with finishing work by bringing a change of workout clothes with me so I can change into them and then go workout before I can get distracted by anything else. Obstacles No, not the kind from the Spartan Race, but the kind that life puts up. Here are some obstacles that I foresee myself running into: RTO. My office recently announced a Return-To-Office. We’re in-office 2 days per week right now, but we’ll be 3 days per week by the time this challenge is over. That’s Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. I usually either ride my bike into the office, or take the metro. I won’t want to run or exercise after doing either commute, so I’ll bring a change of exercise clothes in my work bag on those days, and exercise before I go home. I have a 1 mile running route planned out from my office, and there’s Calisthenics Equipment in a park not too far away. Travel. I regularly travel to my hometown for my D&D campaign. I often travel down Thursday nights, and return on Sundays. That means that on Thursdays, I’ll go on my run after work, commute home, shower, then travel down to my hometown. Fridays will be interesting, because that’ll be a bodyweight day. I think I have a doorframe pull-up bar that I can use. Saturdays will be my Long Run, which will be equally as difficult to do at home as they will be to do in my hometown, I just have to remember to bring exercise clothes and my running shoes. Diet. Going to increase protein a bit by adding a protein smoothie after my bodyweight workouts. Fatigue. I’m not going to be at my best every day. On days where I’m not at my best, I’m going to keep consistent by turning down the dial. On running days, this will look like walking half or all of my run distance. 3 miles walked is more volume than 0 miles run. On calisthenics days, I’m going to strip my routine down to the most important exercises: Push-Ups, Pull-Ups, Inverted Rows.
  3. Last few challenges have been switching focus towards getting ready for first OCR that was supposed to be in June. But we are taking a bit of a detour on the route to Sparta(n) and making a pit stop in New York. Over the last challenge, it was determined that the Spartan will now be my second OCR as I registered for a Warrior Dash in NY at the end of May(Thanks @RedStone ) Road Trip upcoming! So goals are going to be similar to the last few challenges but adjusted and simplified a bit based off of prior lessons learned and accounting for a slightly shorter schedule before my first OCR. Also, seems like after finding the above GIF, I've been in a Wayne's World mood so at least this post turned into an impromptu Wayne's World gif party! Nutrition Goal 1 - Continue the cut Track food and eat within cutting calorie goal 6 days per week and last day within maintenance Seeing good success on new calorie intake. Cut from 330 to 319.7 during the last challenge. Hoping to keep up this pace (2lbs per week) which should still be possible at these weights. 6 days per week on macros and one within maintenance in order to keep a bit of sanity on weekends. Goal 2 - Hit protein macros Meet 225g of protein 5 days per week Readjusted macros using the new IIFYM calculator during the last challenge and it gave me much more manageable macros, namely 225g of protein instead of nearly 300g. Making sure I hit new macros 5 days a week as an addition to the above cut goal that has a focus primarily on calorie intake. Goal 3 - Waterrrrrr Drink 100oz of water per day Continuing this trend...this time more focus on the weekends which were the only times I was playing catch up or missed anytime with this challenge last month. Exercise Goal 5 - Conditioning Do two conditioning sessions per week Really liking the KB Fit classes on Saturdays so will continue doing those. Getting other cardio/conditioning sessions can be varied week by week though so need to get a little better grip on whats going on. I dont really want to restrict myself to a set schedule but I do want to make sure I map out my weekly plans and get two good conditioning workouts in. Goal 5 - Strength Do two strength workouts per week Favorite part of any challenge...not much of a stretch goal but just want a place to track workouts and make sure that I dont slack on the lifting front. Goal 6 - Mobility Do three mobility sessions per week Knees and shoulders have been feeling better with the little bit of mobility work I have been doing recently. But in general, since cancelling ROMWOD a few months ago, I've been failing with getting any mobility done. So adding in a couple of days of mobility to hopefully help recovery time and improve some of the issues that I have been having with knees specifically. CHECKBOXES!!! Goal 1 - Food ☐☐☐☐☐☐☐ ☐☐☐☐☐☐☐ ☐☐☐☐☐☐☐ ☐☐☐☐☐☐☐ ☐☐☐☐☐☐☐ Goal 2 - Protein ☐☐☐☐☐ ☐☐☐☐☐ ☐☐☐☐☐ ☐☐☐☐☐ ☐☐☐☐☐ Goal 3 - Water ☐☐☐☐☐☐☐ ☐☐☐☐☐☐☐ ☐☐☐☐☐☐☐ ☐☐☐☐☐☐☐ ☐☐☐☐☐☐☐ Goal 4 - Conditioning ☐☐ ☐☐ ☐☐ ☐☐ ☐☐ Goal 5 - Strength ☐☐ ☐☐ ☐☐ ☐☐ ☐☐ Goal 6 - Mobility ☐☐☐ ☐☐☐ ☐☐☐ ☐☐☐ ☐☐☐
  4. Hi Friends We are back again for part 2 of this challenge all leading towards my first OCR in June, the Boston Spartan Sprint! Last challenge was a major long list of a bunch of small things that I was using to try and cover all aspects that I thought would help me move towards getting prepped for a spartan race. I discovered over that challenge that some things were actually already far along while others still need some serious dedication. This challenge will hammer down and bring focus specifically on those weak spots while grouping the already positive spots into a more generic focus. Since this is not really themed...prepare yourselves for random memes and gifs galore! Nutrition Goal 1 - Actually cut for once Track food and eat within cutting calorie goal 6 days per week and last day within maintenance Feeling very motivated going forward with getting nutrition back on track. I hate the way I am feeling lately. Junk food is starting to take its toll and leaving me sluggish and wiped when I try to workout or even just late in the work day. My big issue is willpower. If I ate like I know how I should eat, I would not be sitting at 324lbs. I have a mentality that I haven't gotten past that really allows me to mentally justify eating just about anything even though I know deep down that I shouldn't. Time to really break this trend..going to put my head down and focus for the length of this challenge! Over time I have found that I cut weight at a good rate when staying around 2500-2600 calories and maintenance at 3200 so those are the numbers to aim for. As the side effect for those numbers, I should see the scale take a downwards turn back into the 3-teens by the end of the challenge. Goal 2 - Up the protein Surpass 200g of protein 4 days per week Trying to get back into the higher protein days. I have been super carb heavy recently and they are not even clean carbs. My biggest success with weight loss was actually when I went full paleo for 4 months. That kind of automatically reduced my carb amounts and raised the protein balance since I was eliminating most processed junk. But paleo was bit too strict for me and stressed me out when I was not making my own meals. So I am going to try and go paleo-ish and really restrict the processed carbs and in replacement, introduce some more protein to bring me back up to a high protein diet. Goal 3 - Waterrrrrr Drink 100oz of water per day This was successful last challenge and helps my body feel better in a number of areas. Going to keep this up into this challenge. Exercise Goal 4 - Condition Do one strength based conditioning session per week So I am already really locked into a two day per week strength class that has a little bit of conditioning at the end. But I want a good hard conditioning session once per week to shift the training mindset away from powerlifting goals of the past. I am going to work with coach to setup some conditioning workout. Probably going to include lots of sandbag work and steel clubs/maces and kettlebells...oh so fun! The other option is that there is a FIT class which is what my strength class is but with one of the other coaches on Saturday mornings and that coach has a much stronger conditioning background. May just switch to that on Saturdays instead of open gym so I dont have to worry about my own programming. Goal 5 - Cardio Do two cardio workouts per week Last challenge I was trying to run twice per week. That was all well and good but I think my running was a bit further along than I thought. The main issue with it was that I get a bit bored running, especially inside, despite the fact that I have the energy to go longer. This time I am not going to restrict it as much and allow other cardio. This gives a chance to do two or more cardio machines when indoors and not get bored before getting a good full workout in. Guess what is making its glorious comeback...CHECKBOXES!!! ☐ β˜‘ Goal 1 - Food ☐☐☐☐☐☐☐ ☐☐☐☐☐☐☐ ☐☐☐☐☐☐☐ ☐☐☐☐☐☐☐ ☐☐☐☐☐☐☐ Goal 2 - Protein ☐☐☐☐ ☐☐☐☐ ☐☐☐☐ ☐☐☐☐ ☐☐☐☐ Goal 3 - Water ☐☐☐☐☐☐☐ ☐☐☐☐☐☐☐ ☐☐☐☐☐☐☐ ☐☐☐☐☐☐☐ ☐☐☐☐☐☐☐ Goal 4 - Conditioning ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ Goal 5 - Cardio ☐☐ ☐☐ ☐☐ ☐☐ ☐☐
  5. So new year, new goals. The big thing looming which I have been looking forward to for a long time and was one of the main reasons I started my fitness journey is a Spartan Race. I intend on running in the Boston Sprint race in the middle of June. That means that I have 6 months to get into fighting shape for that event. In order to do that, I have 4 overarching goals that will continue up to the Spartan and beyond likely. Drop weight, definitely below 300lbs for race, stretch goal of 280lbs Continue strength training specifically upper body and core Learn to run - minimum 5k distance, stretch is 10k Don't get injured The next few series of challenges will be smaller sub-goals that will contribute to the greater cause hence the part 1 of this challenge. For this current part challenge, I am going to make strides towards all of these 4 main goals with a setup that has them as sections my challenge goals will fall under. Weight/Food Track, track and track again - Track 7 days per week - I seriously do so much better when I track everything. When I only do like 5/7 days in a week, I am not mindful enough on those brake days and end up just putting back 5000 calorie days like they are nothing and ruining progress. No skipping out on little snacks here and there. Everything that goes in my mouth goes in the tracker. Hail Hydrate - Drink 100oz of water per day - Staying hydrated helps me cut down on cravings and hunger. I cover this most work days with my 40oz nalgene at my desk. I easily drink three of those per day when working. But looking at weekends, not sure I had more than one or two glasses of water per day over the weekend. Need to change that. Strength Training Keep Calm and Lift On - Keep up current strength work - Two times per week FIT classes with the bench press and deadlift focuses. Use weekend sessions for overhead, squat, and other supplemental exercises and conditioning. Up and Up - Integrate more upper body work - Looking to increase upper body strength with certain movements that I am not currently comfortable with. Things like pull-up and dip progression as well as grip strength will need improvement if I have any shot at doing things like monkey bars or rope climbs. Not sure how to really grade this yet. Abzzz - Do core work 3 times per week - Looking to build up some core strength more than what I get from squats or other main lifts. Adding in some small ab sessions at the end of workouts or at home on rest days will suffice for now as supplemental work. Running C25K - Do C25K 3 times per week - Feel like a good intermediate goal for Spartan would be a 5K race. There is a race near St Pattys Day that I am leaning towards doing. Starting C25K now would be a good prelude to that. In the balance of training...I would sacrifice a lifting day for a run for this challenge...gasp! Injury Prevention They See Me Rollin' - Foam Roll 3 times per week - Foam rolling seems to significantly help out with knee soreness. Interesting discovery is that tight hips may be a culprit to the knee pain. Trying to change a bit of the focus to hip flexors and glutes to see if I can work out those spots to relieve some knee stress. Sup? - Take supplements every day - Currently stacking Glucosamine to help with joints, Max Adrenal for hormonal support, and Max Capacity for focus and strength boost. Previously max capacity was just a preworkout but going to go with that as a daily from now on as the focus is helpful regardless of the gym. Working with an expert with range of supplements, she recommended that as it continually builds over time so the occasional preworkout usage does not ever reach top potential. Hope you all join along for this journey. Its going to be quite the trip...Sparta is approximately 4700 miles from my front door so its going to take a while...buckle up!
  6. Any fellow Spartans around? I finally did my first Spartan Sprint (Dallas 2014) and loved it! Can't wait for the next one. I'm shooting for the Trifecta in 2015.
  7. Kara gritted her teeth as she raised her shield up to ward off the blow of the sword arcing through the air. Metal met metal in a clang that resounded through the air and jarred all the way up through her arm and her body, shaking her with it's strength. A flurry of curse words flew past Kara's lips as she countered the attack, bringing her own hammer up and sending it crashing down on her enemy. He brought his shield up to deflect the blow then twisted in a maneuver she had not seen before that allowed him to block and attack almost simultaneously. The shield on her forearm was brought up to counter the swift attack and he simply shrugged the efforts off and continued to rain blow after blow at Kara. She struggled to protect and defend and find a way to attack herself, even as her strikes seemed to show little to no effect on her opponent. The young Valkyrie cursed and attempted to roll away from her opponent as he let loose a barrage of attacks swifter than she could anticipate or protect herself from. She let loose with a torrent of curse words as she put some space between the two of them and warily eyed the man moving after her. She had the strength of the Gods, she stood toe to toe with the denizens of the Nine Realms, and yet to him it was as if he was under assault from a fly. If not for the shield in hand there was no doubt that her body would be a mass of cuts and injuries. As it was head to toe throbbed, every slash and thrust deflected sending jarring pains and aches all over. The shield arm was suffering the brunt of it and Kara knew the next day her limb would be unusable and numb with bruising and pain. The rhythm of battle was interrupted by a sudden shift in tactics on the part of her enemy. A sword was brought up as if to attack and Kara moved to block it. Out of the corner of her eye she saw, too late, his shield coming up to be used in the attack as well, the dual attack shifting her focus to move away. But it was too late,. She had already moved her own block and shield and even as she turned to roll from both blows the shield caught her entire right side firmly across her breastplate. She flew back on to the ground and he followed her down. With one hand he slammed the shield down, pinning her weapon in place, his weight upon her shield and his sword brought to her neck. A sharp sudden motion and she felt the sting of the cut as the sword slid across her neck, leaving a shallow cut to mark his victory. Ò€œYou lose Curly OneÒ€ Ò€œI know. No need to state the obvious, you Old Goat!Ò€Expletives followed her comment and he managed to raise his brow even as he pulled back and stood up off of her. Ò€œI was not aware one could do that with a hammer, my face and a sheep. Perhaps you can demonstrate with your own at the next feast.Ò€ Ò€œPerhaps I can use my hammer on that tiny excuse for a manhood you claim instead?Ò€ Ò€œSuch a violent young woman.Ò€ He reached down and grabber Kara's hand, yanking her to her feet with a smirk. Ò€œOne would think you could channel that into fighting better yet I find you, once again, laying on your back before me.Ò€ She shot him a dirty look, practically snarling at him and his comment. Ò€œI fought fine you Goat! I would have had you in another few blows.Ò€ Ò€œPah. You had nothing Valkyr. You're blows were like that of a gnat biting at a horse. You were exhausted swiftly, easily. You did not anticipate or react quick enough to my change in tactics, too stuck in the idea of hack and slash. No doubt you are still swimming in last nights mead. You are ill prepared for the battles ahead with the abysmal training you've received. How are you to survive battlefields the world over much less Ragnarok when you cannot even spar with me. You will take no souls for Asgard and Valhalla the way you are now!Ò€ Ò€œWhat shall I do then?Ò€ Her insults were gone, the bravado shattered with the truth. Her eyes shifted to her teacher seriously and he nodded with a smile. Finally she would take this seriously. Ò€œYou will build up your strength. You will exercise your body. You will train in battle and defense. Stop filling your body with bread and booze. Being a cup bearer does not mean you have to drink enough to pass out every night, Curly. You will prepare. You will listen. You will rise as a Valkyrie, not a silly girl any longer.Ò€ Goal One: Strength "Come, Curly. Follow me and I will show you what you need to do with that hammer of yours and a few other items I have." Her teacher guided her through the practice yard and took her to piles of discarded leather from armor crafting cut offs. "Stand here. Hit the leather. Don't stop until I say." "You want me to hit....leather? Why?" He sighed and eyed Kara fiercely. "Do as I say Valkyr, or leave and let me find another student who can listen." Growling the Valkyrie lifted her hammer and began to slam it into the pile of leather over and over. Being born with the strength of the Gods is all well and good but when the Gods and other beings of the 9 realms are your enemy and are stronger than you that must change. You need to build that strength up to stand toe to toe with Giants. For this challenge I will do 3 strength exercises a week, a combo of Maces and Crossfit. Goal Two: Endurance "Keep running." "I haven't stopped, Goat!" "You're slowing down, Curly. Keep moving or they'll get you." "They haven't got me yet!" "Shutup and run or they'll bite you!" The gnashing of teeth as one of the hounds chasing Kara lunged at her calf reiterated the point and the Valkyrie turned to keep running, trying to ignore the pain in her side as the weight of her armor slowed her steps and burned in her lungs." Being strong and facing down Frost Giants or a handsy drunken Thor is only one aspect. Valkyries live on battlefields and collecting souls sometimes means taking part. Being strong doesn't help if battles are long and drawn out (or if you're running around tables to elude Thor until Sif can knock him cold and drag him off.) To be the best Valkyrie you need the endurance to withstand enemies in battle. I will do four endurance/cardio based workouts a week, any mix of Rucking or C25K sessions. Goal Three: Defense "Why don't I have my weapon?!" "Because I took it from you." "And?" He growled, turning to backhand her, the blow ringing through her face and ears, leaving her gaping at him. "Because if an enemy manages to take it from you it won't be a slap you'll be facing." Any further comment was cut off by a growl as Kara leaped through the air to land on him and begin pummeling him with her fists, making him laugh. "That's it, girl. Now you understand!" Knowing how to swing a hammer and block a shield is one step in being able to fight. Learning more than one way of fighting and moving is useful along with improving agility and flexibility. One can never say when they may be stripped of their weapons in battle. To this end I will do one Krav Maga session minimum a week. Preparing for battle of any kind is the task of a true Valkyr! Goal Four: Buck Furpees! He watched the young woman as she cleaned out not only her armor and weapons but even the sweat stained under tunic. He hovered, making sure every last drop of moisture was dried, that no rust would be forming on her gear. Then observed her sharpening her sword and checking over the mace for any weak points are cracks. "I would have thought hitting you with this would have made it crack, as hard headed as you are, Old Goat." "There you go, thinking again." She snarled but he merely chuckled, causing her to shake her head at him in disgust. She muttered obscenities under her breath but keep working on her gear and making sure it was ready for battle. Preparation is a key to battle. Going into a fight means taking care of yourself, your armor, your supplies. It means knowing what you may face and being ready for whatever is thrown at you. Being prepared for me means facing the dreaded Burpee head on. I will be doing the Spartan in June and Burpess will inevitably be a part of that. I must prepare, even as I curse them. Every week I will do Burpees before bed and when I wake up. Each additional week I will add on 5 Burpees until I can easily do those I need to in preparation to become a Spartan Valkyrie! I will start with 5 my first week. Goal Five: Nutrition Halfway through throwing back the cup of mead Kara found it wrenched from her hand and thrown to the floor. The young woman turned to face the einherjar she was sure it was and found her face to face with her teacher. The snarl that had been forming died on her lips and she stared at him pouting. "That was my mead." "What did I say." "To stop swimming in my food and gorging myself." "So..." She frowned and bit her lip but reached out and grabbed some meat and cheese and fruit to eat along with a tankard of cold, refreshing....water. Ugh. Swilling wine and mead and beer is all good for any Cup Bearing Valkyrie. But feasting and drinking until one is swimming in it is not. The body must be ready for battle along with the mind and reflexes. Stuffing my face is not part of that. The holidays are over. Time to Ranger Up! I will eat 2 primal meals a day every day of the week, allowing myself one day to eat Primal only once. The day is my choosing but it does not mean I will gorge. Only that I can relax and let myself embrace my inner Valkyrie with a little good food and good drink. Life Goal: Live Winning a battle is all well and good but one must learn life is not always about the next battle, the next fight. One must enjoy and live. Fear must not hold back your life. So every challenge I will pick one new thing to do, one thing I am uncertain of or afraid of. I will do it and will conquer it. I don't know what it will be each time. It may be something small and simple. It may be life changing. But it will be done and I will post in my wrap up what I did each challenge. Completing each challenge I will award myself a static set of stat points (subject to change with tomorrows release of more info) based on what my focus for each challenge was. At the end of everything if I have achieved all my goals I will reward myself with something from my list. My newest tattoo. Piercing. Massage. New athletic gear. Kara listened to all her mentor laid out for her and nodded with a sigh. She looked at the looming edifice that was Valhalla and watched those inside. The souls of countless warriors in battle taken before she had come along and there would be countless more she would add to the teeming mass. She could not approach this as casually as the others may. She was collecting souls for battle, for Ragnarok and she was determined they would not lose, no matter what the Norns and the prophecies claimed. Asgard would stand strong, she would serve the All Father. She would do what it took. Ò€œLet us train some more then, Old Goat.Ò€
  8. Alright. I'm bowing out of the challenges for a bit. Well, at least for this one. I've got the World Championship Spartan Beast this coming Saturday. After that, I've got about a week of easy training. And, then I'll be ramping it up once again with a new training plan. But, I don't feel that the confines of the challenge make sense for what I am doing right now. So, screw it. Here's a battle log.
  9. So today is the big day... Day one of my first challenge, and the first rebellion challenge of 2016. I was hyped and ready to go. My alarm was set to go off at five am, my wife was dubious (she is within her right considering how many times I've started then immediately stopped any kind of diet/training), and at 11 pm on Sunday I was off to bed. Then my old friend Insomnia decided to show up and tell Morpheus to take a hike. So after an hour of laying in bed I finally got up, and took a seat in front of the computer (I know, not recommended, but when this insomnia strikes I'm screwed. I've had it show up at random since I was 12 or 13). Spent the night watching tech videos and reading the rebellion forums. 5 am rolled around, and I was debating actually doing day 1, or just blowing it off until tomorrow after a good's night rest... Then I remembered that I want to chew coal and spit diamonds!!! I've got a Spartan Sprint on June 4th. A half marathon on December 25th! So I grabbed my gear, strapped on my VFF and headed out the door. 30 minutes, and 3.1km (1.9 miles) later Day 1 Run 1 was DONE! I've been awake for 28 hours now, and after a busy morning of dealing with computer issues at work I've finally decided to post this rambling introduction. My Goals for This Challenge: Wake up at 05:00 Monday through FridayRun 30 minutes 3 times a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday)Calisthenics (push-ups, squats, and plank*) 3 times a week (Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday)NO BOOZE FOR THE DURATION OF THE CHALLENGEMinimal/No sugar waterFollow the Spartan Race Elements Training Program http://www.spartan.com/en/race/2016-year-resilience/mind?article=34438Use the Hacker Diet algoritm to track my weight daily (don't worry, I don't really care about my weight, but it is the only thing I can track easily) https://www.fourmilab.ch/hackdiet/online/hdo.htmlBonus Try to run/walk a 5km (3.1 miles) on Sunday OR Walk the 12km (7.4 miles) to and from the supermarket (wife takes the train with the basket)*I wanted to add dead hangs to my calisthenics, but I don't have a pull-up bar easily accessible Anyone have any coal? EDITED (11/Jan/2016)
  10. Here it comes again. The fabled Fenway Spartan Sprint. A bunch of us nerds ran it last year and a bunch ran it the year before that... it's time to start up another team! This is definitely an all-levels course and I was shocked that I was able to get through the race semi-well last year without much strength/conditioning background. I registered and made a Nerd Fitness team. A few of us were talking yesterday and decided on the Saturday race so that we could chill out afterwards somewhere without worrying about work the next day. (even though the Sunday race is cheaper and has a groupon right now ) The afternoon heat is cheaper and I picked the earliest time (11:15AM). If everyone else also does the same we have a better chance of actually getting that time slot, I think. Team start times will be based on the preferred time that the majority of the team chose. Last year our race time was changed because everyone ended up putting in different times, I believe. As of 8/10/15 the promo code Γ’β‚¬ΛœFinish10Ò€ℒ works to get you 10% off. Still, the end cost after the mandatory insurance and processing fee is $128.66. There were groupons last year but since they added a Sunday race, I donÒ€ℒt think weÒ€ℒll see a Saturday groupon. Last year the groupon was available in July. Spectators need to register and choose to "RSVP" to be allowed into the Stadium to watch the Race, but itÒ€ℒs free. The link can be found here. Also make sure you pick up the waivers that are needed, which can be found at the same link under "Important Race Documents." Did I miss anything?! WhoÒ€ℒs in??
  11. Got a question for you guys. Can you think of anything else I can add to these different sections? Just a heads up, I am a rock climber, so I don't really want to bulk up, but at the same time, I want to do a Spartan race next year, so I need to be in shape for that. Here is the schedule I am planning on doing this challenge. Any input is welcome. Monday: Chest/Arms/Back -100 pushups -50 pullups Tuesday: -Stretch and Climb Wednesday: Core -200 bicycle points -50 situps -50 swim kicks Thursday: -Stretch and Climb Friday: Legs -150 Lunge Walks -50 Jumping squats Saturday: Rest Sunday: -Stretch and Climb I have done workouts before, but nothing this intense. Since none of these require a machine or bench (except pullups), I am free to do them throughout the day. I will go to the gym in the morning for an hour and see what I can get done then, and finish up the rest throughout the day. Thanks for the help
  12. Hi, I just heard that he Spartan 300 obstacle course race was coming to my area in October, and in my exuberance, I immediately signed up because people here always talk about how fun such events are. Problem: I am not a runner, I have only jogged and power walked. Obviously, I could always jog this race, but I want to try attain better than 4mph if possible, haha. Anything else a n00b should know/do for the race? I've got about 2 months. THANKS!
  13. EDIT BY RP: Here's a link to the arrival-leaving-plans spreadsheet Biggum's made MORE RP EDITS: Spectators need to register and choose to "RSVP" to be allowed into the Stadium to watch the Race. The link can be found here. Also make sure you pick up the waivers that are needed, which can be found under the "Race Day" tab, filed under "Important Race Documents." Here it comes again. The fabled Fenway Spartan Sprint. A bunch of us nerds ran it last year... and it's time to start up another team. Who's in? 2013 Team Nerd Fitness
  14. I'll give it a go in the dailly battle logs. Seems like a good way to help myself keep on-track. I chose the user name, M.O.S., to represent Master of Self/self-mastery which is my number one goal right now. I've done P90X a couple times and I met my goal of completing my first Spartan Race. Now what I need to do is find consistency on a day-to-day basis with my fitness and nutrition. I'll use this battle log for greater accountability.
  15. This is challenge #10 for me. I'm basing my challenge on this: I'll bold the lyrics Leonidas says that inspired the goal: 'SPARTANS! Let's start this! Show this petty officer who's the hardest. The biggest mistake that you've ever made, I'll toss you like a frag grenade I'll stomp you in the face with my sandals enraged and tonight we shall rhyme in the shade Your puny fans are fat nerds on computers Jerkin off to games giving themselves first person shooters Your armor's hard but my abs are harder You're in my hood now chief - THIS IS SPARTA Ha! I've had better battles with my 6 year old son I don't need fire power when I'm rocking these guns I'm king! You sleep in a freezer in outer space I'd look you in the eyes, but you're too much of a b*tch to show your face' --------------------- 1) Whole 30. It's mandatory now to not feel like a pile of pig s@#t. 2) SPARTANS! Let's start this! / THIS IS SPARTA - Complete the Spartan Race in roughly 3 weeks. This is pass or fail. Nervous as hell. 3) Your armor's hard but my abs are harder - 1,000 Ab Twists / 300 Seconds of planking ( total) 4) I don't need fire power when I'm rocking these guns - 1,000 Pushups (total) 5) I'd look you in the eyes, but you're too much of a b*tch to show your face - Be brave and post a picture of myself on here. Stats not determined yet. --------------------- I think this challenge is very different from what I normally do. Usually goals should be given a grade. Two of these are only pass or fail - either I do or I don't do them. The others are a specific number, as opposed to consistency-based. Normally, I try and just get into a rhythm of doing something consistently. The time for that has changed. I now have a very, VERY clear goal of getting through the Spartan Race during this challenge. Even if I come in dead last; that's still better than all the people that were too scared to try. Because of this looming deadline; I'm technically starting the challenge tomorrow - 5 days early. I can't afford to wait until challenge time to get my warface on. Every day I slack is a day wasted. Any and all 300 / Spartan related pics or gifs are welcome. I'm going to need all the motivation I can get. Last challenge, my mini-challenge lie to myself was 'I am a Spartan'. I aim to make that lie a truth.
  16. I'm traveling. And, don't have a ton of time to write up a challenge. But, here's my current thread. Spam away.
  17. This challenge is Batman themed, in honor of Batty's 75th. Overarching Goal: Building A Better Bat My continuing and overarching goal for this entire NF journey has been to build a better/more healthy/more fit/whathaveyou version of me. What does that look like? I don't know. There's the image in my head and then there's the more modest and realistic goal - and I'm guessing reality is going to lie somewhere in-between. (vaguely - 15% body fat & guns ala Linda Hamilton in T2) To achieve this goal, I've leveled up my food (mostly and some cycles better than others), I've participated in a couple of muddy obstacle courses (and plan to do more), "run" a "real" 5k (also plan to do more), followed a few fitness-oriented programs, and have made working out a priority 4-5 times a week. I still have a ways to go, but I think I'm on the right track - I just need to keep this trajectory going + add some more specific challenges into the mix. Goal 1: Fitness - aka be capable enough to escape the Joker whenever Always fitness. I like my 4-5 days a week workout schedule, so I'm sticking to that. The Spartan WODs seem to be working well for me so far, so I think I'll continue down that path with yoga worked in on the days I don't want to do the WOD/can't because it's raining or something. This is dangerously close to one of those pick your own adventure plans that I suck so horribly at, but since I've been able to keep it up for a week, maybe I can keep it going? I would also, ideally, like to work in one of my other side goals here - like being able to do an unassisted pull-up - but we will see how drained this kinda intense workout plan makes me. Goal 2: Metrics - aka Sciiiience! Like Poison Ivy? (go with it) Metrics make me happy and they work for me, so I'm sticking with them. As a refresher, my metrics are: 100 grams or under of carbs, 70 grams or over of protein, under 100 grams of fat and around 1500 calories. Water is the recommended by FitBit 64 ounces, and on the weekends I like my step count to be over FitBitÒ€ℒs recommended 10,000. I track food with My Fitness Pal and exercise, sleep and water with the FitBit Flex. Weight and BF are tracked with my FitBit Aria scale. Although I don't eat cow dairy any more, this was too great not to share Moving on. Goal 3: Socials - Like With Superfriends & Shit Ok, so I'm not really talking about social media here, but stick with me I feel the need to force myself to be more social. Mostly because my comfort zone is warm and snuggly Ò€¦ also because I realize that snuggling in my comfort zone doesn't really get me what I want in life. I'm not 100% sure what that is, mind you, but it most likely involves someone paying me for doing something I find more fulfilling than what I'm currently doing. So I should probably speak to humans. In meatspace. Life Side Goal - Get My Wardrobe Dialed-in Like Harley Quinn Wardrobe restructure. I've been really into building a minimalist wardrobe lately and think I might be ready to make the jump. Sites like this and Pinterest are fueling this current obsession. My need to purge crap from my house is also driving this desire. Diet Side Goal - NaNa NaNa NaNa NaNa I'm pretty dialed in here. More 'Batman Does Not Eat' shenanigans here. More Bats And More Bats Starting Measurements Neck: 11.5 inches Under Bust: 29.5 inches Waist: 26.5 inches Hips: 38.5 inches Arm (left): 9.5 inches Thigh (left): 19 inches Body fat (calipers): 19.6% Weight (at wake up): 119.3 lbs
  18. So hey everyone. I'm back for round 8! Man, it is hard to believe it has been a year already since I signed up. Before I move onto the goals I have for this challenge, I figured I would take a look back over the year. I put together 3 pictures of me today from where I think I was my heaviest (396lbs) up to a picture I took today. The middle picture was during my first challenge at Nerd Fitness. I can button that jersey up now that I was wearing in that picture I have still struggled with weight over the year. Mostly moving in the correct direction. I have been adding my weights into the fitbit site to help give me a graph over the year I was actually at my lowest weight of 267lbs in December. Right before my Spartan Race. I was getting close to it again last challenge, but have gotten back to the 280's today. I've have pretty much been doing this since December. So Time to get back on the ball! Another data point I have tracked over the year was step counts with my FitBit. I got my FitBit One just at the start of my first challenge. So over the year, this is what I have done. 881.15 miles I have tracked! 100k away from 2 million steps. I was pretty shocked when I saw the graphic up there. Now I need to aim for higher next year! I also wanted to make a quick video to sort of talk about these things, and a little more from the past year. Looking back over the past year, I find I am really pleased with how things have been coming along. Not perfect, and plenty of room for improvement. Just reading through some of my old threads gets me re inspired to do well. The support I have gotten from you all here has been amazing. A year ago, I would have never thought I would make it here a year. Even quitting one challenge, and failing in other goals, I still learned from then. I feel I still made good progress even if I slip back somewhat. I've been inspired to try more vegetable then I would have ever tried a year ago. I have done whole 30, ran a Spartan Sprint race, and ran for over a mile. All things I thought were probably never going to happen in my life. It's been a pretty amazing run last year, and this year looks to be even better. I really want to thank everyone here. Without you all, I don't think I would be doing as well as I am. On to the new challenge! My Main Quest! I am still am working on become that better, stronger, and faster version of me. I would really like to focus on weight loss. BMI suggests I should be at 165lbs. I always felt that was too low. I think I would be better off at a 185 or so. So that is more of the end game for weight. I would be ok being heavier too with extra muscle. Of course sorter term, I want to hit 250lbs. I have been dancing around the 275lbs mark for awhile now. It's time to get lower. I also want to be able to run a 5k. Just so happens I am signed up for on on the 29th of June. I am in need of serious training to be ready for that. Goal #1: Sleep I really need to get myself to bed earlier. It seems to be key to the whole day. I usually wake up by 8-8:30am even if I go to bed at 3am. So once again, I have the goal to be in bed between midnight, and 12:15. This should give me plenty of time to get the rest I need to execute the rest of my day. Goal #2: Whole 30, IF, No snacking! It is time for Whole 30 again. I have let myself slip off into then endless eating cycles filled with sugary regrets. So I will do Whole 30 for the entire challenge. I might start a correct re introduction phase between challenges, but it's just easier to focus on staying Whole 30 all 6 weeks. I will also still be eating in the Intermittent Fasting style. So probably last meal by 6pm. Then I can have first meal after 10am. Along with this, there will be no more snacking! Snacking has been one of the bigger downfalls for me. Snacking leads to me eating all the time. As a bonus in the Whole 30, I want to use my weekends as cook days. Prepare enough for me to have simple reheating options during the week. Goal #3: Exercise #1 I am going to finish C25K. I might have to pick up again at Week 7, but I will finish it this challenge. I have a 5K to run on the 29th, and I plan on running it all! I want to get back into exercising more too. So i am going to follow the neila ray 30 days of change workouts. The only two days off I will have is when I am running the 5K. I want to make sure I have plenty of rest the day before. I am also not doing all the cardio since I will be doing C25K instead. Though there is some I will still do. Also as a part of doing all this exercise, I am going to focus on doing the Beginner Stretching routine after each workout. I'll also do warmups before exercising. My goal is to do the exercises in the morning when I first get up. Get them over and done with so I can have the rest of the day to do other things. Then I will run at night like normal. Now for my side quests: Goal #4: Hit the lanes Yup, my bowling goal returns. I want to get in at least 3 extra games of practice per week. To add in a little more to this challenge, I am going to start adding in some drills to practice at home in front of a mirror. Things to really help my form, and improve my bowling. I hope. Goal #5: Be more active So overall, I still want to get in 10k steps per day at least. The thing is I don't want it to require me to have to go for a walk last minute to get in that last bit. Instead, I would like to be more active during the day. I am setting my Jawbone Up to buzz me whenever it detects I am not active for a certain amount of time. I figure each time it buzzes, I need to get up and do something. Even if it is just to go walk around the house a bit. This should help to free me of sitting at my computer all day, and hopefully get my step count up Grading: Going with a simple points each day system for each goal. 0/7 to start each week. Measurements: I am tracking these in fitbit as well, so i am only using let side for biceps, calf, etc since they only have input for one number. 06/09/14 Height: 5ft 9in Weight: 284lbs Neck: 18.3in Forearm: 12.2in Waist: 52.59in Thigh: 27.55in Bicep: 16.41in Chest: 48.74in Calf: 19.52in Body fat %: 41 using US Navy Calc Week 1 wrap up - 27.5/35
  19. It's time to Spartan The Fuck Up (STFU)! The last couple of months, I've kept up with my running. But, I should be doing more. I need to focus on getting faster, stronger, and mentally tougher. Over the course of this challenge, I have a Spartan Sprint on June 28th, and a 10 mile trail race on July 12th. I've got some serious work to do before them. Goal 1 - Speedwork At least two speed-centric workouts per week. Can be a track workout, hill sprints, tempo run, or fartlek's. That's right. Fartlek. Everyone loves to fartlek. Goal 2 - Buprees, Push Ups, and Pull-ups - oh my! I need to get some consistency back into some of these basic movements. Considered doing a PLP... but, I think for my needs right now I'm going to do it this way... Everyday - 30 Burpees and 30 Pushups in addition to whatever other work I am doing. 30 is light, right? Right. So we are starting with 30 this week, just to get back in the groove. Then, week 2 will be 40, week 3; 50, week 4; 60, week 5; 70, week 6; 80. Per day. Those sets can be broken up however I need to to get them done. But, they need to get done. Also, variations on the move will be happening to spice things up. Pull-ups - Back to the 20 Pull-up program. So, that's essentially pull-ups every other day... follow the program. Goal is to be at 20 strict pull-ups in a set by the Beast. Goal 3 - Go long. At least one long run per week. I have been running between 5 and 8 on the regular. Time to mix in some 10+ mile runs/week.
  20. I've been away for a while, but now I'm back! And this challenge couldn't come at a better time for me. On July 22nd I'll be heading to Hawaii for a week and I'd really like to feel confident in a swim suit. Vain I know, but there you have it. HOWEVER! This challenge will not be about weight loss, instead it will be about something much more frightening than being on a beach in a bikini with my boyfriend. Because on June 9th I start training for the Spartan Ultra Beast. If you don't know what that is, it's basically 26+ miles of trail running up very steep hills, with some crazy obstacles (20-30) thrown in for good measure. It's the only race of its kind held in North America, it has less than a 50% finish rate, and I'M DOING IT! In September. So the majority of this challenge will be about shifting my mind to an athletes perspective, training hard, eating to fuel that training, and treating my body with respect like an athlete does. I figure if I can put together the eat well, sleep lots, and train hard equation for 6 weeks I'll be ready for Hawaii without having to calorie count or measure myself. I'll be checking in frequently, as well as doing a grading/evaluation each week on Sunday to look at performance and identify places where I can improve. Without further ado, my goals: 1) Complete all workouts prescribed by my coach - including foam-rolling or yoga on rest days. I didn't hire a coach to write this training plan just to bail on it. So training has got to be a top priority. Plus, I have the power of fear and the desire to finish this race fueling me. A - Complete all workouts + Recovery B - Complete all workouts with modifications (lower weight, longer intervals, etc) + Recovery C - Complete all workouts, but skip recovery D - Complete all workouts with modifications, and skip recovery 2) Eat 90/10 Paleo and practice "CAN" instead of "CAN'T." No counting calories (except for those from my treat meal), no measuring macros, learning to eat when I'm hungry, eat to fuel a workout, and eat to promote recovery. - I CAN have some drinks 1-2 days a week in a social/group outing - I CAN have a small treat on Sunday (less than 600 cals) every week I don't miss a single workout or recovery session. 3) Sleep 8+ Hours every night. A - 8-9hrs every day of the week B - 1 night under 8hrs C - 2 Nights under 8hrs D - 3 or more nights under 8 hrs **** BONUS POINTS FOR MORE SLEEP**** 4) Drink at least 1 gallon of water every day. A - 1 gal every day of the week B - 1 day under 1 gal C - 2 days under 1 gal D - 3 or more days under 1 gal Wish me luck! The Spartan Ultra Beast is the hardest physical activity I've ever undertaken, and I'm excited to see what my body can do with proper training and nutrition.
  21. Alright, here we go. Goal 1 - Sub 20 Minute 5K. Fairly self explanatory. My body is slowly getting used to running faster. I have a 5K on the calendar in May. And, I might squeeze in another one before that. Either way, my goal is to race one with a finish time in the teens. Last 5K was raced on 3/16 & I finished in 20:15. I'd love to be sub-19, but that may be a bit aggressive right now. So, I will keep with a goal of Sub 20. Goal 2 - Strength training at least 3x a week. Last couple of months, I have focused more on my running. I ran a Spartan Sprint this past weekend, and finished... ok. Obstacle Course Races tend to have a way of highlighting your weaknesses. And, my lack of consistent strength training affected my finish time. I'm not going to allow that to happen again. Goal 3 - Complete the GORUCK Challenge on 5/24 ... preferably without embarrassing myself too badly. Simple enough - in theory. My life has been a bit busy lately leading to lower NF participation than in the past. I can't guarantee daily posts. But, I will finish this challenge with posts. Here we go now. Aroo!
  22. Main Quest: To be able to complete more obstacles in the Spartan Race in August. (Added Bonus: To fit into my bridesmaid dress for July.) Missions: Work out >=3x/week - focusing on arm, shoulder, back strength Ride bike to work >=3x/week - every day as possible Do an aerial class every week and improve on a skill I struggled with the week before.Life Quest: To complete the cross stitch I designed.
  23. Hello All! After reading the NF articles I fell in love with the website, and I decided to get involved in the forums as well. I'm 23, 122lbs, and it pretty good shape. While I'm not new to fitness, I would like to kick it into high gear and start eating right. My biggest goal is to successfully finish a Spartan Race this year. Good luck to everyone on here, and I hope to meet some like-minded people trying to get healthy
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