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  1. Returning to my original goals with the hope of sticking to them this challenge: STRONGER: GOAL: By the end of this challenge, I will have increased my physical strength by at least 25% as measured by an increase in number of reps to failure of kettlebell single-arm overhead press. HOW: I will pick "heavy things" up and put them back down for at least 20 minutes, three days a week; this will include mostly kettlebell training with some "greasing the groove" using resistance bands, random heavy objects, and my kids. Training will look like this: Sunday -- Benchmark (single arm overhead press to failure, count reps; 30 minute run, note distance) Monday -- Five rounds of: 200 meter run kettlebell clean and press x 2 each side goblet squat x 5 two-handed kettlebell swing x 20 rest 2 minutes Tuesday -- 30 minute run; record time Wednesday -- 5-10 rounds of: 25 double-arm kettlebell swings 30 seconds rest 25 alternating kettlebell swings 30 seconds rest 25 single-arm kettlebell swings L 30 seconds rest 25 single-arm kettlebell swings R 2 minutes rest Alternating kettlebell clean & press x 30 (15 per side) 2 minutes rest Alternating kettlebell dead snatch x 14 (7 per side) Straight leg singe-arm kettlebell deadlift x 30 (15 per side) Overhead triceps extension x 15 Thursday -- 30 minute run; improve previous distance Friday -- 15-45 minutes of: clean with left hand press with left hand one arm front squat with left hand one handed swing with left hand park the kettlebell, recover, repeat with right hand Saturday -- Distance run on trails; mark distance and pace FASTER: GOAL: By the end of this challenge, I will be able to run a sub-30 minute 5k as measured by a 5k run. HOW: I will run for 30 minutes at least two days a week, with a distance/endurance run at least one day a week and sprint/speed intervals at least one day a week (see 200 m run above). SMARTER: GOALS: By the end of the challenge, I will increase my daily use of Duolingo; I will increase my daily reading habit by at least 5 minutes a day; I will learn at least one new thing daily. HOW: I will set a reminder to complete at least the daily requirements to achieve a 30 day streak on Duolingo I will set aside at least 30 minutes of reading time daily I will use apps such as Humane and Kinnu to learn new information, as well as the NPR app and podcasts. CALMER: GOAL: By the end of the challenge, I will improve my mental health by reducing my angry reactions to stress. HOW: I will use a meditation app to increase my meditation/contemplative prayer practice from 10 minutes to 15 minutes. I will take 30 minute mindful walks to help clear my mind. I will write down what I am grateful for and create daily affirmations using the 5 Minute Journal app. I will practice a relaxing breathing technique (short inhale through nose, long exhale through mouth) and apply this technique in moments of stress and frustration. I will listen to music that elevates my mood.
  2. Hi! I have a question I really need help with. I'm a slow runner. I'm 5'11, 165 pounds, 25% body fat - I'm in shape! I have ALWAYS been slow. Over the last eight years I've read about form, I've tried a longer stride, I've tried upping my cadence. I've tried fartleks, hill work, increased flexibility, cardio training and strength training (which I still do and love). I've stuck with it. I run 5 and 10ks regularly. I've run one 10 mile race, one half marathon and one marathon. Ordinarily I might just accept it. BUT I am in the military, and twice a year I have to run a mile and a half in under 15 minutes. Doesn't sound hard, and indeed, I've never failed, but I cut it close EVERY TIME. Which causes two problems. One, it looks bad to always comes in WAY last in an organization where fitness is at a premium, and two, I get horribly stressed before each PT test. Oh also my natural stance is with my toes slightly out like a duck (I also walk like that - instead of toes straight forward). When I bend my knees with my toes out, my knees bend straight forward. When I point my toes forward, my knees bend inward. Because of this I tend to strike on the outside of my heel, roll diagonally across my foot, and launch off the inside of the ball of my foot. I have always worn motion control shoes because of this, my favorite being Brooks Addiction, and recently, Brooks Ariel. This test stress gets to the point of almost making me physically sick. Please, if anyone has any suggestions, or has overcome a similar issue, help!
  3. Grayspeed's February Challenge. Over the last few weeks I've had a few revelations that have changed the way I approach fitness. Much of this comes from acknowledging my previous failings; the biggest of which was setting myself arbitrary goals without any clear progression or plan, and hoping I'd figure out how to get there on the way. Which has probably resulted in more wasted time and setbacks than I care to think about. The most important mindset shifts are thusly: 1) I should set clear goals that act as milestones on the path to unlocking skills that are meaningful to me. 2) I need to set up a process designed with progression in mind. So, first things first. What are my immediate goals? 1) Be able to do an unassisted ring dip. 2) Be able to do a set of 5 reps of good form chinups. That means a hollow body position - no kipping, no half reps, no using knees for momentum. 3) Run one mile in less than 10 minutes. 4) Learn to cartwheel. This will be a precursor movement before getting into rolls, handstands, and other fun stuff. I've decided to focus on four key areas to help build my body and mind: Strength, Mobility, Speed, and Recovery. I've also decided to cancel my gym membership and do my strength training at the local park. I realised that having a gym membership was kind of a waste of money considering 80% of my workouts are bodyweight only and I was becoming increasingly frustrated by only being able to go during quiet times, meaning I'd often skip a workout just because the gym will be busy. So by the end of this month I'll be a playground warrior! Enough backstory. Let's get questing! Quest 1: Strength. Build strength by doing a NF Rings workout at least 3 times a week. Quest 2: Mobility. Build up mobility and bodily awareness by doing a 5 minute flow every day. Link to explanation of 5 minute flow. Quest 3: Speed. Improve my speed capabilities by doing speed/agility based cardio & conditioning workouts 3 times a week. Quest 4: Recovery. Increase recovery time and be more alert by making sure to be in bed by 10:30pm 5 nights a week. Some rules for this one - I must actually be in bed and have finished nightly tasks (brushing teeth, letting dog out, getting glass of water..). No laptop. No phone. Reading and listening to music is allowed, as is chatting with my girlfriend. The other thing that grown-ups use their bed for is also allowed, let's be mature here . Now. Let's get down to business.
  4. Hello, I'm 37, 240, and 6'4". In the past, I tried my hardest to try to bulk up in muscle mass, but I never could, no matter how much I lifted or how clean I ate. However, I was able to walk a full marathon and run a few half marathons about eight years ago. I swam a full mile in a lap pool here and there as well. I just read recently that one main reason ectomorphs like me have such a hard time building mass is because our limbs are so long, so doing a full rep of anything is significantly harder than it would be for someone shorter...which makes a lot of sense (less distance to move the weight, pushing or pulling it). Anyway, I am a software developer, and a gamer (shoot-em-ups and JRPGs are my top genres) and I consider myself a warrior at heart. But with my bent towards endurance activities like swimming and running, my past failures with weight training, and my interest in boxing, I could be a monk, could I? I never played regular sports. Only sports I ever liked were combat sports like boxing, martial arts, etc. I played competitive laser tag for all seven years I was in college...lot of what you use in the maze would carry over to the ring (agility, footwork, speed, accuracy, cunning, strategy, etc.). So where would be a good place to begin? I know I need some weight training and I haven't done any in over a year, and I'd like to eventually get into good enough shape to spar someone in the ring and maybe compete in an amateur bout or two. I just want to start seeing some results and making some progress of some kind. Thank you! - Bradford
  5. Mike_d85

    On your left.

    OK, time to speed it up. I'm training for a half marathon in November and I have no doubt I'll get the distance in, but I want to tick my speed up a little. From a bit of research it seems the two things that will kick up my speed a notch are sprint training (which trains short twitch muscle fibers giving me anaerobic speed over short distances) and fartlek (teehee) training which raises VO2 Max (the oxygen efficiency in your muscles for distance). To sum up research in a few sentences and grossly simplifying things: Sprinting will improve my over all pace slightly, my "gear switch" to a fartlek, and the final sprint at the end of the race. Farklet training will increase my VO2 max allowing me to run faster overall AND get me used to speeding up the pace for a while then recovering at a slower pace. This results in an overall faster average pace. So I'm going to do a little of both for the four week challenge. Sprints: I'm going to train sprints on Mondays during my short run (7-8km). I'll be doing a ~2k warmup run and then hitting the track at a nearby school. For whatever reason they have 110 meters marked off clearly so I'll do that. 3 sprints at about 70% of effort and jogging around to the line again, then 2 sprints at maximum effort and walking to recover. Then I'll have about 3k left to run as a cool down. Fartlek: I'm going to train fartleks on Wednesday with my medium runs (9-11km) and include a 1 minute fartlek every 3 km. On top of this I need to keep to up my lifting (I got injured doing marathon training as soon as I dropped the weights - I'm convinced that's no coincidence) and get my distance increased to 22 km (over 13.1 miles). I've got spreadsheets because I'm me here. I'm not using the lift schedule on there. I haven't set up my October schedule yet (which will be easier), but here is September.
  6. am currently undergoing a preliminary test to see if I can qualify for rescue swimmer school (search and rescue SAR swimmer) in July. that means I have to attain at minimum the following: run 1.5 miles in under 12 minutes swim 400 meters in under 11 minutes pushups at least 30 situps at least 50 pullups at least 2 The qualifying test it THIS FRIDAY!!! So I better be on my a game this week! I proved a few weeks ago that I can accomplish these things, however it was a real kick in the teeth to realize how much I've lost in time on the run (or gained rather) and how the pushups didn't feel as easy as they used to. I am challenged most by the run. I can do it in the time required, however it is not easy and I really have to keep my pace and not get distracted! Here is my challenge summary and grading criteria! goal 1: Run faster: current run time is 11:50 for 1.5 miles. I want to shave that down to 9:30 someday, but just "better" for this challenge will satisfy this goal A = run 3 miles 3x per week aiming for a 7:30 pace (if this becomes easy to obtain this will drop) B = 2x per week C = 1x per week F = < 1x per week goal 2: I have very little control of my diet, so I'm going to put stretching in here as it will force me to moderate the quantity A = 7x a week B = 6x a week C = 5x a week D = 4x a week F = 3x a week goal 3: hand balance training = better/stronger upper body for pushups A = 7x a week (an hour minimum focused training session) B = 6x a week C = 5x a week D = 4x a week F = 3x a week Life goal: Circus performance means moar ROUE CYR spinning! A = spun 3x a week (one hour minimum can be cross trained with handbalancing) B = 2x C = 1x F = <1x my starting stats: age: 23 height: 5'3" weight: 141 May 20 I hope to update my page consistently at the very least weekly, however, thanks to my occupation, I will have trouble with contact for loads of weekdays so expect updates mostly on weekends. The best way to be encouraging to me is to simply post a little check up blurb should I be late in posting for a week. Also, ASK ALL THE QUESTIONS YOU HAVE!!! I am a true introvert at heart but I love to push my limitations and I am in no way reserved about my love of circus so you can actually HELP me by expressing your curiosity about all the crazy apparatus and things I do! (what a great way to fulfill both objectives) this also will help me be more clear to begin with because all these terms and phrases have become so familiar I sometimes forget what "normal people" understand .
  7. Okay guys! I need your help. For those of you who don't know my challenges but running distances is an intergral part. I finally reached a marker i was aiming for. I can't tell what due to a pvp challenge going on. My next target is increasing my running speed but i have no idea how to go about this. So annyone anny advice?
  8. So I have been training for a few years now, I am 20 years old and weigh 94kg. I'm not too strong, last time I tested my strength I was able to do following: 1. Squat: 120kg x3 2. Bench: 100kg x2 3. Deadlift: 120 x2 . I used to train mainly bodybuilding style with a 5 day split. Lately (last 4 months) I tried to incorporate a bit more strength work, powerlifting style, and really got to like it quite much, But I do miss the bodybuilding style. I don't want to train purely for one "type". I want to be strong, athletic and look good at the same time (duh... like almost everyone...). So I researched a bit and stumbled upon this webpage: http://swolefit.com/swolefit-v2-cycle/ He mixes it up a bit, Day 1 & Day 4 is Strength and Conditioning (Metcon style), Day 2 & 5 is Power/Speed & Hypertrophy. What do you guys think?
  9. Next challenge, let's go! Why sharks? Why not! Sharks are cool. Sharks are social creatures. I want to be more involved with people. No reason to be shy, right? This challenge, I am going to read YOUR topics more than I read my own. I am going to follow and comment and support. Sharks keep moving. It's a myth that a shark will die if it stops swimming, but it is true that they need to keep water flowing over their gills in order to breathe. I am going to be a shark and keep moving. This will be a balancing act. I have so many hobbies! I have so many interests! Sometimes I get lazy or drag my feet about things, and I can't do all the things I want to or need to do, and that bums me out, big time. This is especially true about working out - no more spending half an hour trying to figure out the "best workout" or the "best route" when I only have 45 minutes to work out! Just do it! I'm going to stop dragging my feet. I will get things done and then move on to other things. Sharks cover great distances. I'm still adding to my Mordor mileage, and I'll be adding long runs (over 2 miles) with my sister once a week to my schedule. During the week I'll keep it under two miles. I'm aiming for 8 miles a week. Apparently, the average shark speed is 5 mph, so I'm going to throw in some treadmill runs to see if I can't push myself to run that fast, even for 30 seconds. Mainly, I want to just go after the things I want instead of just sitting around waiting for them to come to me.
  10. Some Assembly Required Challenge Number 6: still plenty of work left to do on the Year o' Fitness. Through the first five I've taken great strides toward transforming my old squishy body into something strong, resilient, and capable. Along with physical fitness I've also been developing daily life habits to improve my mental and spiritual well-being. I haven't been perfectly successful at all of my goals, but the continued effort is really taking root and helping me become the Ranger I want to be. Now it's time to put it all together. Fitness Quest Goal 1: Thor's Mindset I'm making it a priority to stay in touch with my God by reading His book and spending time in prayer for the first 15 minutes of each day. This challenge I'll read through the gospel of John. 42 possible points. Goal 2: Hulk's Strength Lift heavy things—get stronger. Run—get faster. In this challenge I'm continuing with my barbell program, but I'm incorporating HIIT sprints to my week so I can build speed and endurance for continued improvement on the soccer field. Rest days are planned again, too, so the only off-days are Sundays, when I'll actually be playing soccer. 36 possible points, with up to 6 extra credit available for exercise on off-days. Goal 3: Ironman's Intellect Make a plan, execute the plan. Mostly this involves planning and tracking my food. I'm calculating my intake for a programmed deficit of 1/2 pound per week. As usual I'll lean pretty firmly toward Primal eating, and I'll organize my macros around my activity levels (i.e., higher carbs on lifting days). I'm not interested in losing weight (other than off-week bloat), but I'm still in cut mode to keep burning the last bits of body fat. 42 possible points. Goal 4: Captain America's Virtue Bedtime discipline continues to be needed. The plan spreadsheet will track bedtime, which is to say I'm under the covers with all lights and devices off at the scheduled clock time. 42 possible points. Measurements I'll track everything as I have before with one exception: I'm not getting on the scale again until the end of the challenge. For the sake of my spreadsheets I'll use weekly estimates during the challenge and then replace them with interpolations at the end. Here's the start table, and as you can see my scale weight took a serious leap in the off-week. Life Quest – Lead, Love, Protect As I get more comfortable and habitual with my physical fitness I want to start leveling-up other areas of my life. This time around I'm going to place emphasis on my Dad skills. To improve my fatherly attributes, I'm programming the following three sub-quests: SQ1: Lead – we're a pretty traditional family, so Dad is the head of the household. In this role I vastly prefer to operate more as a team captain than as a king. Still, I'm responsible for providing this team with direction and purpose, and I'm on the hook for making sure we function together as a family. The Minions are old enough now that I think we can start doing a weekly family meeting to discuss issues in the household and work together to sustain and improve our family dynamic. Goal is to meet on Fridays at 7 pm for no more than 45 minutes, which also includes a family board or card game. 6 possible points. SQ2: Love – It's been said that the best thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother. MrsFeelgood and I have no family within 1,000 miles of where we live, and all of our local friends are also large homeschooling families with young kids. It's been difficult for us to find babysitters; in the last ten years we've probably gone on a date-night less than 20 times. In this challenge I'm going to try and find a more reliable sitter so we can have at least two date nights. 1 point for finding a sitter and 2 points for actually getting out of the house on two occasions. SQ3: Protect – there's less here to work on since protecting my family physically and financially has always been foremost in my life. Sometimes I've been a little too cavalier with their emotions, though, and I think that's a prime area to focus my attention for this sub-quest. To help me understand them better, I'm making it a goal to read a parenting book during the challenge and see if there are practical recommendations for improving my interaction with the kids when they're being difficult. 1 point available for this one. _________________________ I was deliberately undisciplined in the off-week, and I've grown quite squishy for it. It will feel good to get back in the swing of my fitness routine. And away we go...
  11. I'm currently packing up my whole life so it'll fit into my car (plus a few extra things my parents agreed to ship to me later...) to drive, by myself, from Virginia to Los Angeles and settle in a new city. Where I know noone. Crazy, I know, but I have long dreamed of writing for television and I'm not going to have much of a career out here. This has put me in the spirit of change and brought out a "yeah! I can do anything!" kind of enthusiasm that has led me to decide to try my hand at another challenge after a couple failed attempts. I think my last tries didn't work out partly because I was picking goals that I thought were easy but actually were harder than I realized, and I didn't really have a solid main goal. But, this time around I do and I have the momentum of huge and terrifying life changes to help me stay the course. Main goal: get my 5k time below 30 minutes Or as close to it as possible within 6 weeks. Last week I ran 5k just around my neighborhood and finished in 35:43. I eventually want to get back into running long distance again (I ran the Marine Corps Marathon about a year and a half ago but haven't done much running since, it's a long story), but this time around I want to work on my speed more than I did before. This sunday before the challenge officially starts I'll do one more 5k run and use that as my baseline. Goal one: run 3-4 times a week. I'm already going out 2-3 times each week, so this is stepping that up a little more. My move will take place during week 4, so since I'll be in strange cities by myself and not always have access to a treadmill, that week my goal will be to do some kind of cardio I can do in a hotel room. Youtube workout videos, I guess? Goal two: strength train once a week. Focus mainly on legs, core, and back, but with some upper body as well because my arms are laughably week. I have a few workouts saved on my computer I've done in the past and found results in, so I'll be using those (I hate to admit they're from Buzzfeed, but look, Buzzfeed does occasionally post useful things, and in all fairness their 30-day get fit challenge was what got me to start exercising regularly again. Also I really love their makeup tips and cat videos). Goal three: crosstrain once a week. It'll probably be mostly yoga since I enjoy it, can do it easily at home, and could use the flexibilty work. I have access to an elliptical as long as I'm still in my current apartment and may try it out but as far as other common crosstraining stuff, I don't know how to ride a bike (I KNOW) and I don't have access to a pool. So yoga it is! I'm not doing a life goal this time around because my life is changing enough as it is. I really need to fix my diet as well, but food is such a touchy thing for me, and I think I'll be more likely to actually finish this challenge if I just focus on exercise. I really need to finish one successfully to keep me motivated for next time! Plus, I actually have been doing better at eating healthier just on my own, so I'll just try to keep that up outside my challenge goals for now. Thank you to everyone who actually read this essay of a post (I just have a lot to talk about right now!) and I look forward to going through the next six (or seven since I'm posting this early) weeks with you all!
  12. SIDE QUEST II The Explosive Letterball https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6OYQSSKWDI (Pay attention to 2:12) We, as good members of the rebellion, know how to create a workout regime based on our needs, especially those as martial arts students. We focus on cardiovascular exercises, weight lifting, calisthenics using our bodyweight, yoga and stretching for our flexibility, and most importantly, our martial arts practice. However, one of the things that set us apart from the rest of the Rebellion is the speed and explosiveness for what martial artists have become famous. This week’s Side Quest will help us become more athletic and move faster, as well as improve our hand — eye coordination using something called The Letterball. Why? We already know that hand-eye coordination is essential for martial arts students. Nevertheless, we often fail to include it in our workout routine. Sure, we nerds play many video games, shown and proved to improve hand-eye coordination but this is Nerd Fitness, after all. It was this, or doing burpees every loading screen. How? I can tell you, or I can show you For those who asked, that is not me. I just saw the video and stole the id— thought it was a brilliant idea. What you will need - Command and Knowledge of your ABCs* - A sharpie - A Tennis Ball - A wall - A partner (optional but recommended). If you are an English Teacher, I’d strongly recommend using other techniques to teach the ABCs to your students, apparently this is not a proper pedagogic technique, as my boss repeatedly tells me. Advanced Level Go for explosive. With a partner, play it like a violent, sadistic squash game. Without a partner, juggle and add more letter balls to the game. Play Jiggly Ball.
  13. Introduction Hello, I'm ElfiKay! This will be my second challenge, and I'm very excited about it! [You can see my first challenge here: http://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/51982-elfikay-embarks-on-her-first-quest/ ] I've lost 10 pounds since jumping in here, and have gotten up to full 30 minute runs! Now it's time to start developing the attributes every good Ninja needs: dexterity, strength, and stamina. Main Quest Increase my Ninja attributes [dexterity, strength, and stamina] Goals 1. Stamina/Dexterity: Run 3 days a week, and follow the stride workout for speed listed below. Strides - at the end of a regular run, accelerate for 15-20 seconds, then slow down to a jog. Rest by jogging or walking for 1 minute, then repeat for a total of 4-6 times. Week 1: 4 strides once Week 2: 4 strides twice Week 3: 5 strides once Week 4: 5 strides twice Week 5: 6 strides once Week 6: 6 strides twice 2. Strength: Workout 3 days a week - pilates class twice a week, and Convict Conditioning for the third workout. This will mean slow progress through CC, but slow progress is better than no progress and pilates will ensure that my body is still progressing. 3. Dexterity: Stretch before every run and workout, and spend a minimum of 30 minutes on my rest day doing more intensive stretching. Life Quest So last challenge I said I was going to finish my Ivysaur cross-stitch and start on Venusaur... which didn't happen. It turned out to be a bit of a struggle to just get a small amount of work done on Ivysaur. So, this time, I'm going to focus on just regularly progressing my cross-stitch. So, Life Quest: noticeable progress on current cross-stitch project every week. Hopefully this will help me turn cross-stitching back into a habit, rather than a single project I'm desperately trying to finish. Here is what Ivysaur looks like right now: Measurements Height: 5'9" [not expecting that one to change, but it's a measurement, so there it is] Weight: 165 Waist: 28.5 Hips: 41.5 Grading Each goal will be graded weekly & be worth 1/3 of that week's total grade. My final grade will be the average of all six weeks + 5 points extra credit if I complete my Life Goal. I need to make at least a C (70%) to pass the challenge. Running - percentage of completed runs and strides. Strength - percentage of completed workouts. Stretching - 1 point for stretching before each workout, 4 points for my big stretch on Sunday. EXCEPTIONS FOR GRADING: Any workouts and their accompanying stretch scheduled for days that I am sick or injured are excused. HANGOVERS DON'T COUNT. If I have an interview, or a career fair during a pilates class, it may be replaced by either CC or the abdominal 5 that evening. The same applies to fall break. I will post my weekly grade every Sunday evening before bed, along with a progress picture of my cross-stitch. Motivation I've decided that I want to be competitive for the Highland Games track events! I get really shy in front of people (don't ask how I managed to perform on stage for dance, I really don't know past a theory about not actually being able to see the audience thanks to all the bright lights) so I don't know if I'd have the nerve to actually enter, or if I'd even qualify to enter since I'm just a casual runner, not a super-serious athlete. But it's the dream I've got right now, and I'd at least like to BE ABLE to match times with the runners, even if I'm too chicken to go do it in front of spectators. However, this means I really need to get speedy - this year's winner in the women's 1-mile race had a time of 6:05!! So, if I want to be competitive, I have got some serious work ahead of me. Of course, this work will have to take place over a long, long road to successfully train up without injury (I only started running regularly again two months ago), but I think it would be worth it! I actually imagine myself on the track with the sounds of bagpipes playing when I feel like giving up on my runs. It's weird, but it works. (I'm Scottish, of course my blood heats up when I hear bagpipes! Maybe I should have a bagpipe running playlist, haha.) Also, as mentioned in the last challenge, I want to look good again! Those 10 pounds I've dropped have made a huge difference in my appearance already, but I want to be a lean, mean, toned and sexy machine, hahaha. (I've been there before when I was dancing for hours and hours every week, and I'd like to get back) Furthermore, [again, as mentioned in the last challenge] there's my family of tall, slender women to contend with. I may never be as tiny as my sister, who was called the elfen child by my aunts when we were little because she has such a delicate frame (and perfect porcelain skin, and a pretty, petite nose >.<), but dangit I can be toned and in-shape and all hourglass-y and stuff! So my super silly (as if the others haven't been silly enough already) motivation for strength is the mental image of using the big tree in the farmhouse's yard for one-arm pull-ups, being generally muscled and toned and in-shape and impressing my family. It's completely idiotic, but whatever, it works. As for super-concrete motivation - I have rewards! Passing the challenge will earn me another workout shirt from Activate Apparel. They're my favorite, and I want all their shirts, haha. At least I have challenge rewards for the foreseeable future! If I lose 5-10 pounds I can go hunt down a copy of the first Assassin's Creed game. Attribute points will be assigned as follows, for a total of 15 possible points. (That's the max for each challenge, right?) DEX(max 5) - 1 point for doing at least 1 stride workout each week, another for making it to 6 strides by the end of the challenge. 1 point for completing at least 70% of my stretches, another point for completing 90-100%. Final point achievable by being able to sit cold splits by the end of the challenge. I can still do splits warm; but I need quite a bit of warming up to it, and I don't sit them very well. STR(max 3) - 1 point for completing at least 70% of my workouts, another point for completing 90-100%. Final point achievable by getting to Step Two on any of the Big 6 in Convict Conditioning. STA(max 2) - 1 point for completing at least 70% of my runs, another point for completing 90-100%. CHA(max 2) - 1 point for every 5 pounds dropped (this will carry on from challenge to challenge. eg - if I lose 7 pounds this challenge, and then 3 next challenge, I will earn 1 CHA this challenge, and then another 1 CHA the next challenge for hitting the next 5 pounds.) I cannot gain more than 2 points each challenge, as that would mean I'm losing more than 2 pounds a week, which is not healthy. CON(max 3) - 1 point for maintaining my diet. 1 point for averaging at least 6 hours of sleep a night (use SleepCycle app to track). 1 point for not getting drunk more than once or twice a week. Alright, I believe that's everything! Thoughts?
  14. Never thought I'd end up as a belligerent tavern-dwelling NPC. Time to unleash the cool rogue it is inside. Main Quest +STAMINA: 5k under 30min. Broke all the rules and did a mini 4 week challenge before this cause I just couldn't wait. For my first real challenge the goal is to run that 5k under 30 min. My current time is 40 min. Here is the plan. Starting out at 4.5mph, I will increase speed by .4mph every week until week 4 when I reach 6mph, then play it by ear from there. Side Quest 1 +CONSTITUTION: Keep doing physio exercises everyday. Following a program like this. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dgIhzlp474A and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mpxGJjx_Ovw per my PT. Can't really tell if my back hurts less. But I can feel my posture is way better. Also my gut actually stays in place when I run instead of flopping all about. Side Quest 2 +STAMINA +DEXTERITY: Quadrupedal Gallops and Footwork Getting pretty fast at Bear Crawls. If my wrist stops swelling I'll try doing QM gallops: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7iHtOosxZo For footwork I'll practice 4x30s each of Quarter Turns https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3rSHB7lSR4 and Side-Steps. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wY0HYR7ROCc As a Berserker I got my ass handed to me half the time and it sucked. Not during, but the week after when the booze and adrenaline wears off and you are all swollen. Basic Quadrupedal Movement and 5 Basic Boxing Movements My heart says yes but my wrist says FU! No plyometrics on my wrist, just can't handle that shit. I'll continue my bear crawls and add pike crawls [lateral, forward and backwards]. Minimum of 46 reps each per training day [every other day] to build muscle memory. As for the evasive footwork I think I'm getting ahead of myself. My balance is kinda wonky so I'm gonna start out fresh with the 5 moves in this noob video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-cB4Uhpmvps&index=2&list=PLYhbuLiV970FgBaztRzhNQDsiQSfB9Uoc 23 reps each everyday. Side Quest 3 +STRENGTH: Babby's 1st Pull up. I got about halfway throught the NF how to do a pull up finally article, then I got stuck. I figure I got 6 weeks to get unstuck. This quest will also require some weight loss. Currently on lvl 2 body weight rows. http://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/2011/04/25/do-a-pull-up/ Life Quest +INT: Add a portfolio piece every week outside of work. I found I haven't been drawing enough outside of freelancing and my part time gig. Make that not at all. Once my current project is over in January I'll need a brand spanking new portfolio. Maybe I'll go to a cafe to work because being in my apt is very distracting. The goal is to have 6 new pieces by the time the challenge is over. Motivation: I want to get to a baseline fitness level and blow off some nervous energy. Also get a degree-related job finally and start my career already. But mostly its because I want to look good and have money to buy cluthes and video games. So...vanity and greed? Yup.
  15. The earth is getting hotter. The trees are drying up and strange creatures are starting to appear. There are insects and reptilians of every description taking over the land. To touch the ground means pain, agony and burns. To be out in the environment, you cannot last more than a few minutes without respite. This is life in Tucson, AZ. Dizz wanders the desert, watching it change from a temperate paradise to a burning hell. She must adapt or die. She meets a lizard and it is glowing with a strange iridescence. The lizard is friendly and climbs her clothes to her shoulder. It whispers in her ear: I give you a gift. SUDDENLY, Dizz is transformed! This transformation into a tiefling changed her into a beast! A beast of strength and speed and superhuman powers! Strength: Lizards do push ups and so do I now! This new form is strong , it must be mastered. Goal by the end of the challenge is to do 100 pushups. Bonus points for a pull up. Speed: Continue running 2-4 days a week. Now that I can do a 5K, I must now maintain the distance and increase speed. My 5K race was a 16/min mile. I want to get to 12/min mile by the end of the challenge. With the mornings at 80 and the high is at 108, I must adapt. I will start running on a treadmill in AC or at sunset if it's cool enough. I don't like the treadmill, but it's better than overheating. Superpowers: Contact juggling and juggling! Nail the bridge down solid, (roll the ball on arms over the head and down without losing control) Behind the neck rolls solid. 3 club passing, if I can find a partner, and joggling. Want to lose 5-10 lbs this challenge. I'm 215 lbs now. Weist 36" Hip 48" Arm 14" Let's lose some inches and be a beast!
  16. Continuing Main Quest:Under 200 Lbs by 30th birthday (12/04/14). Mini Quests: 1. Get Stronger [sTR +3]Increased upper body strength through Push-Ups, Pull-Ups, Chin-Ups, Bench Press, DB Fly, etc. A = 10+ Pull-Ups In A RowB = 5 Pull-Ups In A RowC = 10 Chin-Ups In A RowD = 5 Chin-Ups In A RowF = <5 Chin-Ups In A Row 2. Run Faster [DEX +3] [sTA +3]Beat high school best 1 mile time of 8:00/Mi through interval training and increased mileage. A = Faster than 8:00/MiB = 8:00-8:30/MiC = 8:30-9:00/MiD = 9:00-9:30/MiF = Slower than 9:30/Mi 3. Clean Eating [CON +3] [WIS +1]Incorporate larger amounts and greater variety of produce (Fruits/Veg) into my diet.Fast food and Beer negate all progress for the day. A = Average of 7+ servings of Different Produce per day in a given weekB = Average of 6+ Servings of Different Produce per day in a given weekC = Average of 5+ Servings of Different Produce per day in a given weekD = Average of 4+ Servings of Any Produce per day in a given weekF = Average of <4 Servings of Any Produce per day in a given week 4. Life Quest [WIS +2]Put away money to fund our Europe Trip ($1500+) A = Saved $1000+B = Saved $750-1000C = Saved $500-750D = Saved $250-500F = Saved <$250 Starting Stats (14 Apr 2014):Weight 218.6 lbsWaist 42"Hips 42"Chest 40.5"Biceps 15.5" & 15.5"Legs 25" & 25"Calves 16" & 16"Neck 15.5" After a rough end to the last challenge, I'm back at it with new goals, new drive, and greater success. I have revised the grading system to be more encouraging, as the points system last time did not work. No more daily goals, instead focusing on weekly averages to maintain morale and focus. I'm also not going to follow 30+ people like last time, as I ended up reading everyone's posts many days later and without contributing much. This approach will make me a better community member by being more producer than consumer. The focus of my workouts is on doing upper body workouts at home with dumbbells (Bench, Fly, Shoulder Press, Front Raise...etc) during the evenings (commercials lol) roughly every other day, and Interval running in the mornings before work. I'll be eating a loosely paleo diet, with the main emphasis being on more vegetables. I considered adding a Walking Dead / Survival theme to this challenge like I have done in the past, but don't want to get too distracted by this.
  17. Hello! This is my first post here on Nerd Fitness, and I wanted to start with a blast, here's my fictional backstory: "Fidel Sebastián is pretty much what you would call a shy guy who doesn't like to talk a lot. He's always reading a book, or playing videogames, Minecraft is his newest videogame addiction. He has a solid group of friends, but overall, he's your typical shy guy. But not all the time! He recently discovered that he can come with an answer to almost anything people ask him. He has a special power to think to a solution to anything possible. Heck, he already tasted the power of justice one time or two! He started discovering a lot of new abilities, and decided to create an alter ego to protect the world: His name is "The Crafter"! But who is exactly The Crafter? Unlike lots of superheroes, or anti-heroes out there, The Crafter doesn't have a dark past. Ok, he has a not-so-dark past, but he has learned from it. His alter-ego (Fidel) is really into computers, though. The Crafter has begun to gain notoriety on his hometown of Tijuana because he will (or as he says, "craft") the perfect solution to many problems in matter of seconds. Strength is not his kind of tea; The Crafter is lighting-bolt fast! His body is adapted to last several hours in long journeys, and because his normal alter-ego is a bookworm, he has a vast knowledge of a lot of things. He has one drawback -he really has troubles controlling his mind (a.k.a his "bad side" (Evil Crafter) gets out of control and The Crafter loses it, delivering justice in a really brutal way. If you meet The Crafter at 3 A.M, he completely loses it, his powers get really out of control, he transforms in "Corrupted Crafter" and he only can think of one thing: destroy.) Recently, evil forces around all Tijuana have emerged. Creepers, skeletons, giant spiders, giant slimes, dragons, Ghasts, even zombies are roaming ALL OVER the place. The Government can't keep up with the pace, Tijuana is crumbling in fear and screams... But who has created this? The Evil Block Leader Herobrine. He wants to take control of Tijuana and use the airplanes this city has to conquer the world. Tijuana is the perfect place to build an evil base of evil blockiness. The weather is out of control. Trees are appearing in unnatural places, caves are being generated out of nowhere, and hills are being populated by bad guys. Structures are appearing out of nowhere, and lots of portals are out there, unleashing lots of hordes of enemies. Can you help The Crafter on his adventure to defeat Herobrine? Two dimensions are in big danger: The Minecraft dimension and our dimension cannot co-exist. Reality is being distorsionated, and both dimensions are in danger of being destroyed! The Crafter has never seen anything like this before (and he's still a newb in this whole superhero thing, he only has defeated two zombies and one Creeper!). Although he can craft a plan to defeat Herobrine, he recognizes he can't do it alone. He needs help. YOUR help! He isn't on the proper shape to tackle the Evil Empire Of Blockiness Herobrine is creating. He needs the help of the Rebellion!" So? Will you help me? I really want to be lighting fast, and parkour is my dream. I'm starting my new lifestyle tomorrow, because I can't exercise in midnight or I will wake up all my family! The really cheesy story I just wrote really pumps me up to get fit. I just wanted to tell you guys that The Crafter has entered the fray, and he won't leave! The Crafter's theme song is "Alpha" by C418. Evil Crafter's theme song is "Twisted Metal Main Theme", the main theme for my favorite PS3 game: Twisted Metal! And Corrupted Crafter's song is "3 A.M" by Eminem. I really hope you guys help me to reach my goals! The Crafter will also gladly assist you in anything he can do, fellow super partner!
  18. Hi my lovely fellow scouts, I'm back (late as per usual) with you for a bit ! When on holiday in Cornwall, I managed to break my back - at least it felt like it - while body boarding. A wave smashed my upper body down while hurling my lower body up, resulting in a very unhealthy forced back bend. Not good. I had been training back strength (pull-ups) and back bends (bridges and all) with the assassins and that, right now, is definitely off for the time being. My GP says not to worry, but when I do push ups, pull ups, or even slight back bends, I still hurt. So I'm back with you for my next great fitness goal, which is running faster. To achieve this I will 1) run a 2K-fast every morning 2) eat low carb paleo (with beans and a little dairy) 6 days a week with an obligatory cheat day 3) do some basic yoga and strength training every day after my run to regain flexibility It's not much - twenty minuts, maybe half an hour every day - but it should be enough to lose a few pounds and beat my post-race and post-injury lethargy. (Yes I did do that half - don't ask ! Another typical Nanako story ...) So, consistency it is. Happy to be here again ! PS If I feel like doing more I will. I know my running club "friends" will harass me into running more, and on top of this, I'm resolved to join the Pilot Gig Club from next week - another group of irresponsible friendly drinkers with an exercise problem ! Let's see how that pans out. PPS I forgot to say that I don't eat after 7pm (ish), which has really helped (I've been doing this for a week now).
  19. Hi All, As you may note in my signature, I came to a realization recently that my Dexerity (aka speed and agility) is severely lacking. My husband and I are planning on moving onto a sailboat in the next year and it is very important to me that I be able to react very quickly in dangerous situations and not freeze. For example, the other day I watched as my son ran into my husband on his bike because he wasn't looking forward. I easily should have been able to yell to my husband to move out of the way or to my son to stop, but instead I just braced for impact and they were both hurt (not seriously thankfully.) This type of reaction seriously puts my family at risk if I can't react quickly and appropriately in a more dangerous situation. If the boom of our boat is flying toward another person, I need to yell duck, or they could be thrown from the boat, knocked unconscious or even killed. It's something that has really been worrying me if you can't tell. So, I've figured out that I need to improve my reaction time, but I have no idea how to actually accomplish that. Can anyone give me some suggestions? Bonus points if it's something I can use in the next 6-week challenge. Thanks!
  20. I have long watched heroes like Black Widow take out baddies while tied to a chair, or James Bond scale a building and still be ready for a fistfight once inside, and wondered to myself how I would fare in the same situation. I could care less about the suits and spandex, but as I watch these heroes or read about Frodo climbing Mount Doom, I feel a flicker of doubt. Would I be able to do the same? I'm also a bit of a flaming feminist and well, if women in Hollywood are going to be outnumbered 3:1 (true fact) then I'll just have to be my own hero I want to be strong. Whether it be for the next alien invasion of Manhattan, the next tornado season, or just the next crisp evening when I feel like a good long run, I want to be physically capable of lifting the rubble or charging up that hill. I would like to strengthen my body and increase my endurance. And if I decide to be Wonder Woman for next Halloween, then the costume is just an added bonus. My goal is to be stronger and run faster by the end of the challenge. Main Quest:To be stronger, faster, more physically confident and capable by the end of the questWork out 4x per week minimum, as per a schedule I have created Walk (or do something!) every morning when I wake (3. does not apply) 30 push ups in the morning/at night every day Side Quests: I'm currently on foreign exchange. While I am eagerly immersing myself in the new culture, I also do find down time and often find myself itching for something to get my heart pumping. Also my host family loves to feed me, which is great, but I do not want to look at this year as one of pure decadence. My host father and host sister are both in the midst of their own fitness regimens, and I see no problem with having my own. My lifestyle side quest is to improve my Romanian. I'm also running a blog for inspiration/anything really, so feel free to check it out. http://operation-blackwidow.tumblr.com Good luck to everyone else in their quests!
  21. "Dominated 27 as a Ranger" I'm 27. WOW! Twenty.....SEVEN! Having my birthday 30 days after the New Year - the time where the "resolution" death, depression trend, and freezing temperatures skyrocket - is interesting to say the least. And myself? I'm happy! Like every birthday, I am ready to take on the new age, my new year - the new me! It's an exciting time to reflect on the person I was with the person I've become and plan for the person I want to be. Freaking awesome time! Then, a few weeks before I had to say goodbye to 26, I FREAKED! I didn't want to let 26yr old me go. I didn't want to start a new chapter. I didn't want to be in my....LATE 20's!!! (Dun dun DUUUN). Although I have Leveled Up tremendously with who I am as a person, my "New Birthday Year Resolutions" of finances, physical transformations, travels, eduction, etc. have barely made any significant progress in the last 10 YEARS! Dread...Happy Birthday to me, One morning, without knowing it, I Leveled up my character. I appreciated, respected, and embraced time. I appreciated that I was given yet another day to add to my life - the opportunity to make a change. I respected time for being true, equal, firm, and non-bias with all of us - in this game, we are destined to die. I embraced getting older in a radically awesome ranger way; I stopped going with the flow of time and began taking charge of it. In a Kill Bill vol 1 and 2 style, the past 4 months I began to work off my New Birthday Year Resolution list - one task at a time. Without being a Nerd, I started the rebellion. I've paid my debts. Have set my new travels. Have my eyes on my education. Plus heading to the new transformation quest (6 week challenge friendly). Yes, HAPPY 27th! Now, I'll continue to dominate 27 as a ranger. "It's Empowerment Time!" Mission #1: Find Hercules For this mission I must complete and properly follow the Wendler 531 + Boring But Big (5x) Strength Program for 1.5 cycles (6 weeks). An individual week starts on Monday (from waking up) through Sunday (before going to bed). The goal is to increase my 1 rep. max by, at least, 10lbs for the Deadlift & Squat and 5lbs for the Shoulder & Bench.* *5 & 10lbs are roughly 3%. 5% was the original goal but it may be unattainable for the 6 weeks especially since these are new PR's and 5% would require about 2 additional weeks of programming. *Shoulder Press: 110lbs+ (105 current) *Deadlift: 345lbs+ (335 current) *Bench Press: 180lbs+ (175 current) *Back Squat: 265lbs+ (255 current) To attain this goal, I must go workout at night (at XSF and after my two jobs/finishing at CFC) to maintain some consistency with he hours I lift. Attention to nutrition and rest must continue to be important. Due to the busy schedule, the plan is to do 1 lift per day, leaving a 3min rest period between each set. Following this plan, I should be in and out of the gym in 45mins (no more). Other attributes such as gaining weight (currently averaging at 155lb) and adding mass/muscle definition are important but they are not the focus of this mission. These will come with the proper work, so focus on the rx'd weight for the week. Weight should be tracked once a week (before lifting), pictures as well as measurements will be taken. Stats: +4 (Strength - STR) Grades: 24 points (1pt each lift) A - 4 (24 points) B - 3 (18-23 points) C - 2 (12-17 points) D - 1 (6-11 points) F - 0 (0-5 points) Mission #2: Don't Let Down that Cucumber Every hero has a loyal companion. In my case I have a 75lbs cucumber who is my dog: Pepino. (Pepino is cucumber in Spanish. His full name is Pepino Limon or Cucumber Lime). A hero won't let such loyalty down, so my mission is to: *(Daily - Mornings) - Walk Pepino for a minimum of 30mins. every morning. This will be used as a warmup for the quick (10min or less), at home, body weight, workout. *(Nights w/1 job) - Take Pepino out for an additional nightly stroll for minimum of 20mins. This must be done before finding Hercules and cooking dinner. *(Weekends w/job) - Play fetch with Pepino for at least 30mins *(Swimming) - Enroll Pepino in hydrotherapy for an additional exercise. *There will be 7 consecutive days where this mission will be exempt - I'll be out of town for a wedding in New York.* I will accomplish this through determination and focusing on Pepino's well being, I will set his leash closer to the door for walks and adjust my alarm clock to take into consideration his walks. Stats: +3 (Constitution - CON; Wisdom - WIS; & Charisma - CHA) Grades: Amount and types of walks will be determined by my work schedule. I will keep track on the days I have to walk him (total walks) with days I failed to do so (or days I have walked him). The percentages of effort will determine my overall success. A - 3 (100%) B - 2 (90% - 99%) C - 1 (75%-89%) F - 0 (0% - 74%) There was a saying by an unknown source who said something along the lines of "If you are over weight, then your dog needs a walk." Although I am not over weight, I do feel as if I am when I chose to put my rest before my 4 legged, nub wagging, begging for food, pup's life. That is why in order to get 3 points, I must accomplish this at 100%. Mission #3: Start Flashing A Blizz by Six For this mission I will implement the running/sprinting skills found in "The Flash Workout: How to Gain Superhuman Speed" Nerd Fitness article to lower my 5k time. (UPDATED: 06-10-13) After much thought and soul searching, I found that the original mission #3 to Start Flashing was lacking some meaning. I am motivated to do the other missions but this one seemed expendable. Although running and increasing my speed is still of high importance to me, cutting down my 5k time wasn't. So I am giving myself a new mission. One that grasps speed, stamina, agility, and endurance with competition and strength. For this mission, I will reduce my "Blizz" time to be under 7mins. The "Blizz" is a CrossFit workout created by one of the trainers at my box. This WOD goes as follows: 400 meter run 15 reps of 45lbs Thrusters 2 rounds of ---20 Air Squats ---20 Sit Ups ---20 Push Ups ---10 Burpees 400 meter run 04/27/13 -> 8:17mins 06/07/13 -> 7:25mins GOAL -> 6:55 (or less) Stats: +4 (+1 of Dexterity - DEX; +2 of Stamina - STA; +1 of Strength - STR) Grades: A - 4 (Time is reached 6:55 or less) B - 3 (Time is between 6:56-6:59) C - 2 (Time is between 7:10-7:00) D - 1 (Time is between 7:24-7:11) F - 0 (Time is 7:25 or higher) Mission #4: Build the Avengers Mission is to continue staying in control over the small habits that I have been working on. These are small habits that can make a great impact on my life. These habits are moments where I become empowered and stay in control or moments of weakness where I fall to old habits and make my life a bit more difficult. - Punctuality - Be on time for work & other occasions (no later than 5mins; only exceptions are with dire and uncontrolled situations). - Don't Text & Drive - Do not use the phone (aside from listening to the GPS) while driving. A point can be earned or lost every time I drive a car. - Morning WOD - After walking Pepino, complete a quick morning workout (less than 10mins). Strong strategy is to create these exercises a week in advance. - Call Mi Mama - Call my mom every day (she worries about her youngest, rebellious, adventurous, and last to be single kid - woo). - Clean the House - Stick to a weekly cleaning schedule. Although I live with 3 other people, it is important to me to have a clean house. - Productivity - Be more productive at work. Start a reward program to make work better. - Meals - Prepare my meals for work. - SMART Goals - This is for extra credit, no punishment if it doesn't get accomplished. (for extra motivation to excel). If I complete a task from my current SMART program then I get an additional point. This may help me when I mess up in other parts of this mission. Stats: +4 (All of the Above) Grades: The total amount of points will be determined by the times I get exposed to these mini challenges and the times I succeed vs. fail. A - 4 (100+%) B - 3 (85-99%) C - 2 (70-84%) D - 1 (60%-69%) F - 0 (0%-59%) Please share your input, I am still new to this. How did I do? I rushed at the end, but I am confident with these missions for the next 6 Weeks. Thanks!!
  22. Just out of curiosity, would it be possible to use the C25K program to increase my speed? I learned to run about 4 years ago using the program, but I live perpetually stuck at a 10 minute mile pace for a 5K. I'm thinking it might work if I were to jog during the "walking" parts of the program, then push myself much harder during the "running" parts. Or does anyone know of a program designed for increasing speed? I really like the C25K format, and the apps you can get to go with it, so I'm hoping either that will work or I can find something similar.
  23. So, I'm a pretty strong guy. My body has no problem mustering power for a big pull or push for a max effort, but get me in a workout and I crumble. I actually think my conditioning is getting worse, too. Today for example, I did a strength workout of 7x7 deadlifts at 375#, which is 75% of my 1RM. That smoked me. So, I had no gas left for the WOD: 25 rounds of 1 power clean, 3 front squats, 1 push jerk at 135#. The workout was capped at 20 minutes. I eeked out 15 rounds. Most of my gym's workouts are capped and I hit the cap most of the time. I'm a big guy so I modify most of the body weight movements, but should I do the same for the weight? I can do most workouts with the recommended weight. Would it be better to go lighter and build speed, or should I keep the heavier weight and keep plugging at the slower pace?
  24. My mission: to run the Marine Corps Marathon and not get picked up by the sag wagon (~12 min/mile). Goals: Run 5 miles at least 3 days a week Do a hill run at least one day a week Cross train at least 1 day per week Do a long run each weekend
  25. Hey All. I'm in need of a workout routine that can help me excel as a fighter/warrior/martial artist. At the moment I'm extremely fat, and it needs going now. I just need a plan that will include what to do, for how many reps then the next item! I'm initially looking for strength and cardio workout. Currently I just dally about the gym picking random machines and random stuff to do!
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