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I Will Not Fail my City... (Assassin's Log)
Vidd posted a topic in Daily Battle Logs and Epic QuestsHey all, I decided to start logging my training after many years of lurking Nerd Fitness articles. My real name is David, but I chose the alias Vidd as the final syllable of my name. It's a simple alias and one that I hope to give meaning to through my actions and journey. I owe Steve a lot for motivating me to workout way back in 2011 in a way that spoke to me, and so I hope if anyone decides to follow this log of mine will find some inspiration within it. My origins were me at 6ft 1, 145 lbs wanting desperately to bulk up to a Thor physique so that no longer would I be the target of bullies, or seen as weak. After many long years, I made it to 190lbs at my very peak and felt incredibly strong in the gym... However, something was missing. I'd gotten the body, and even the respect and recognition from those around me... and it wasn't until this lockdown where I was forced out of the gym that I had the time to think about my inner motivations. Growing up, I'd always admired those who had immense strength for their size. Altair from Assassin's Creed, and as you guessed by the title, Oliver Queen from Arrow. I realized that my warrior aspirations were in part to quell an insecurity I had, and that it's ok to branch out from pure muscle building. I started rewatching the first season of Arrow, and his training in isolation, spurred me on to stay strong during my own isolation. Here's a montage that really inspired me, I hope it's alright to post: My first step during lock down was to become aware of my surroundings. What could I use in my immediate environment to workout with? I was able to find a pull up bar, some old perfect pushup stands for some greater range of motion, and some ledges to practice my vertical jump. Later on, I was even able to find a package of heavy duty resistance bands at a store during one of my grocery runs. The first thing I noticed from the start was my entire body was extremely tight! I had truly neglected my flexibility and balance during all of my gym training. On top of that, my day job, when I'm not out fighting crime, happens to be me in a cubicle as an accountant for 8-10 hours a day. So flexibility remains a big focus area for me. Anyway if I were to envision myself as a super hero much like Arrow, I believe my purpose is to 1. Inspire others and 2. Become strong enough to protect my loved ones and those that cannot protect themselves. With that said, here are my current achievements and goals: Achievements: - Complete a one-armed pushup - Complete a set of 5 reps pistol squats each leg - L-sit for 15 seconds - Assisted one arm chinup Goals: - Improve flexibility and balance Done! But this one is an ongoing goal - One-armed pushup for reps Done! - Do a handstand against a wall and hold it for 30 seconds (I -really- have a mental block being upside down and I need to improve on this) Done! - Do a muscleup Done! New Long-Term Goals: - Two one-arm chinups - Ten One-Arm Feet Elevated Pushups - Fifteen Hands Elevated Handstand Pushups Against a Wall - Ten Muscleups - Five pistol squats each leg with 35lb vest - Five Front Lever Pulls That's it for now. Bit of a long post but I'm excited to share my workouts as I complete them. I workout 3-4 times a week full body. If anyone has any questions, has any tips, or even wants advice from me, shoot me a message. I really can't say it enough that this time we have alone is the perfect time especially for we as assassins to improve our fitness. Challenge Archive: Challenge #1 Muscleup https://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/116791-vidds-journey-to-the-top-of-the-bar/ Challenge #2 Front Lever https://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/117098-vidd-clears-his-name-and-learns-the-front-lever/ Challenge #3 Taking care of business https://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/117312-vidd-becomes-agile-like-arrow/&tab=comments#comment-2626376 Challenge #4 No Excuses https://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/117640-vidd-makes-no-excuses/
Vidd Gets Back Up
Vidd posted a topic in #95 02/14/2021Hey everybody, so I sort of vanished last month for my previous challenge, and I feel real bad about that. My track record for successful challenges lately hasn't been great, and I'm feeling beat down. I have a ton of fatigue out of nowhere and also feel like I'm sort of 'along for the ride' in my life currently. I seem to be at the mercy of my work hours increasing out of nowhere, or recently, a snow storm. The excuses keep coming as to why I haven't been consistent with my goals but I still believe in the challenge process and so this challenge is all about getting back up cause I feel like I've been knocked down over and over again. It'd be cool if I could summon up a surge of motivation and learn some awesome new skill but I think that's a factor in my downfall is trying to do too much. So right now I'm in the boxing arena of life. I'm not out, but I'm not making any plays either, I'm just dodging the punches, conserving my energy, and searching for an opening for when I make my big comeback in life. So with that out of the way, here is a quick summary of the current events of my life. Before I disappeared, I recently was promoted at work after working my butt off. I'm making enough now, that I realistically could get my own place. Where I live right now is so cramped that I do not have space for a pull up bar, and because I live with at-risk people who have not been vaccinated, I have still avoided the gym up until this point. In my Limitless challenge, I became very interested in getting my finances in order. I was approved for my first ever credit card at the credit union I bank with, and have opened a Fidelity investment account on 2/1/21, that is still pending their review for me to start funding it. The two week delay is concerning me because there is still time for me to contribute to a 2020 ROTH IRA if I can get this done before tax day. Anyway I basically feel like I'm in a sort of stasis where in fitness, I'm waiting for either the weather to clear, or for people to get vaccinated so I can progress in my strength training. And in finances I'm waiting for Fidelity to finally review my documents. As far as moving out goes, I've never gotten my own place alone without any roommates, and with no credit score, my chances of getting approved are low. So I need to continue saving, and use this new credit card I've gotten so that I can achieve true independence. For now though, I'm trapped between forcefields, just waiting... Now then onto the goals. These are going to be really easy because the goal is to just stay in the fight and not tap out. So here goes. Goal #1 Stretch/Rehab daily. I still have a foot injury that I am working with a PT on. But I have been slacking on the exercises I've been given and I also have been feeling very stiff throughout my body. This is a daily goal, for 30-60min. I've underlined this goal because this one is my biggest focus on this challenge. If I can get more flexible by the end of this, I'll call it a win. Goal #2 Update this log daily, and interact more with other people's challenges. It is said that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. A lot of the people I'm around are providing a lot of negative inertia and I think the more I expose myself to other people on the same path of self improvement as me, the more momentum will build. I used to do this much more often but I admit it's been harder for me to keep track of everyone since we merged all the guild threads but it's something I'll get more used to with time. Goal #3 Strength train at least three times a week. Ideally every other day. Even if I'm just metaphorically treading water and unable to advance and do the exercises I want to improve on due to weather, job, or whatever comes up, I need to at least do something. Goal #4 Read nightly, 15-20 min, or more if the book hooks me. I've gotten out of the practice of doing this but now is a good time to change that.
Vidd Becomes Limitless
Vidd posted a topic in # 94 01/03/2021Hey everybody! A lot has changed since I took my hiatus from the forums last month and I'm hoping I can get back into the swing of things and back in action. In short, December was the most difficult month of the year for me. I had to put out massive fires at work, relationship problems, and, for those of you who have followed along on my journey, you know I can't go a month without injuring myself xD With the weather conditions here in WA making calisthenics challenging to say the least, I took my workouts indoors. One particular exercise, the seated band row, literally put me out. I sat down, roped the 80lb purple band around my feet two times and began repping it out. I did not get any negative feedback during the exercise, but the next morning I could barely climb out of bed, and even to this day my back still feels rough but improving. That's what I get for not easing into new exercises 😕 Anyway life update aside, it's time to dive into this challenge. I've heard many times that we only use a fraction of our brains. As a kid, thinking about it left me in awe, and made me wonder what could happen if anyone could ever tap into it fully. Many years later I watched a movie called Limitless a couple years out of high school, and was fascinated at the premise of this mysterious pill that transformed the main character into a productivity machine. Fast forward to today and I am brainstorming how I want to set the tone for the new year and this theme resurfaced and seemed fitting. I want to get so much done that it actually feels like I've entered a limitless state. Of course, I'm keeping things all natural For placebo purposes, I do plan to implement fish oil, black coffee, L-theanine, and creatine which all have evidence suggesting to boost brain function. Confidence is of course a huge thing in mental clarity. If I believe I'm operating at a higher level then well, I might just do that. I also have other reasons for wanting to use these supplements as I think they're all generally good for health or athletic performance. But anyway time to break down how I plan to go about this: Goal #1 Five Tasks a Day - Every night before bed, I will jot down in a small notepad five small, quick to complete tasks or errands that I need to get done the next day. If I think of my brain like a computer, it runs very slowly if I have a ton of processes running at the same time. Once you close some of those processes, things start moving faster. My brain has the same effect where my mind will out of nowhere be like '...Don't forget to get new car tabs', and then for a moment I worry about it, and have to recollect myself and refocus on the moment at hand. If I can knock out these errands on a regular basis, every single day, my mind will be so much more clear. I will consider the week a success if I complete at least 30 out of 35 tasks written. This means in a month I'll have performed 120 things to advance my life. Goal #2 Find Balance - I tend to get surges of motivation and then burn out. It's like the saying, the candle that burns twice as bright lasts half as long. And if I didn't put this goal in with this challenge, I think I might get too carried away with its theme and burn myself out in a week and no way am I letting that happen lol. So the plan here is to consistently do my active rest workouts like I used to. This means go for walks, ideally without staring at my phone, and stretch either yoga or just what feels right. This releases tension out of the body, and brings me back to the present. And lastly, I bought a brand new gaming PC and I am giving myself permission to use it, enjoy it, and immerse myself in it guilt-free. And of course, I need to balance rest with work and play. So I will be sleeping 7-8 hours a night. Goal #3 Be Purposeful - Something I saw from Mad Hatter's challenge a couple months ago really made me realize something in myself. A lot of the media I consume, I do so without much engagement at all. The goal was to internet mindfully, and when you do read or watch something, actually engage in the process. When I first began my fitness journey way back in 2011, I'd actually sit down, watch a fitness video with my undivided attention, and oftentimes even take notes. Now, I see a bunch of videos that I'm remotely interested in, and I'll open a bunch of tabs and swap between videos whenever my attention span wanes, and I end up spending a lot of time, while learning and absorbing nothing. So, I hope you don't mind I sort of steal some inspiration from this idea @Mad Hatter. So some examples of how I'm going to apply this. If I'm working out, instead of using my rest periods to aimlessly wander the internet on my cell phone, I'm going to instead spend that time visualizing, and mentally preparing for how I'm going to perform the next set. I'm not going to let myself leave that focused state on what it is I am doing. Secondly, I will be proactively reminding myself to engage in anything I am doing and remind myself to stop letting my attention get dragged in twenty places at once. I read once that multi tasking is a myth and that singularly focusing on one thing at a time not only improves your performance, but you get more done. Goal #4 Front Lever Raises - Yep, it's back. Many months ago, at the end of my very first challenge where I landed a muscle up for the first time in my life I was eager to keep up the momentum up and learn another move. Well, I bit off more than I could chew, and I was greatly humbled afterwards when I came nowhere close to the front lever. Since then, mastering the front lever has still been on my mind. I made the L-sit a priority, knowing it to be a building block, and have also been able to hold a tucked front lever for 20 seconds after a lot of work. This time, I'm going to try something easier, the front lever raise. To do so, I'll be following the advice of Jeff Cavaliere https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXYCKTwK9EI So there it is. Eventually I'm going to run out of errands, and end up having to think outside the box on what I can do to learn, and grow. These goals are very similar to ones I've had in the past, just new packaging to keep myself engaged. I think these will all work synergistically. I'll have less tasks weighing me down, I'll have less stress, and I'll have greater engagement. All three, will be great building blocks to a sharper mind.
Vidd Makes No ExcusesHey everybody! It's time for me to get started on my 4th NF challenge. My last challenge was just me taking care of business and updating once a week, but it's time to start building that same momentum I used to have when I first ended up gymless back in March. We're approaching the holidays, and the weather is getting cooler. Now is the time when it feels natural to slow down a little, and maybe let your goals slip with all the great food abound, and the days getting shorter and shorter. This challenge is going to be a pattern interruption. Instead of chilling out it's going to be back to go-time. There are going to be temptations everywhere and finding excuses are going to be easier than ever. But I'm nipping that in the bud right now and making the primary goal of this challenge to not make any excuses, and come out of this winter feeling better and more accomplished than ever. Rule #1 - No excuses! If it's raining out, if its snowing out, go anyway. If it's pitch black outside take out the bands and do an indoor workout. The name of the game with this rule is to adapt and make it happen no matter what. This goes for getting things done in life, but also in my fitness journey. The schedule is a resistance day every other day, and off days are either walking, stretching/yoga or abs. Rule #2 - Update Daily. It can be an update to this challenge thread or to my battle log, and this feeds into rule #1 because these updates are my report card at the end of each week as well as a source of accountability. Rule #3 - What gets Measured gets Managed. I will be walking around with a notepad and jotting down how much protein I'm getting from each meal, how much sleep, and also weekly weigh ins to ensure I'm on track with my goals. I've had these final 5 lbs that I've been wanting to lose for ages now. I won't be going super in depth with tracking every macro nutrient my strategy is going to be substituting meals and snacks with lower calorie and more filling options. As always I will be using intermittent fasting to make dieting easier. Rule #4 - Practice the L-sit Every Other Day. I can't think of a better no excuses movement to focus on for this challenge here. All I need is a small space on the floor and my parallettes. I almost wanted to make this a do the L-sit every day kind of thing because it sounded more hardcore and fits with the no excuses theme but I'm a big believer in rest and recovery lol. This is going to be a great time to build up my core with this movement, and when Winter passes and I can get back on the bar daily to try out some new calisthenics moves I think I'm going to be glad I put in the time on this move. Now to keep the motivation rolling I'm going to be finishing my rewatching of the Arrow series just to get into that superhero vigilante mood haha. And also if I'm really lacking in motivation, I'll find some Greg Plitt videos. That man has been motivating me since I started in the gym way back in 2011. Anyway I'm excited to do this challenge and follow along on everyone else's too.
Vidd Becomes Agile like ArrowHey Rebels, here we go again, third challenge on Nerd Fitness! For those of you who followed my second challenge, you'll know I had some setbacks and came to the realization that I wanted my third challenge to be a building block into something greater. This is going to be a period where I take a break from chasing what looks shiny and instead put in the work that needs to get done to set me up for success in the long term. I'm going to focus this challenge on agility If you notice from the clip below, Oliver Queen wastes no time in immediately setting up base in his lair. He arrives with only two bags of supplies and efficiently sets up base in no time. I want to enhance my capacity to get more done, in less time. And I'm going to break this goal down into 3 goals with bonus objectives. Goal #1 Build an Agile Mind and Body - The primary marker of success with this goal will be 3.5 hours of flexibility/yoga per week, or, 30 minutes a day. My intent is 30 minutes a day but since I am setting a weekly number, this allows me to spend a full hour on one day, if I know life will get in the way the next. The second part of this goal has to do with getting my mind right, and the best way I've found to do that is to declutter it and get nagging errands done that I keep putting off. I plan to do 2-3 of these errands a week and the most critical being dentist/eye/general check up appointments before year end. Goal #2 Become Technologically Efficient - As we see from the video, Oliver is very proficient in technology setting up all of his computer's with relative ease. I work as an accountant as of last December and have noticed that some of my peers have an advantage over me when it comes to their knowledge of excel. I plan to spend at minimum, 2 hours a week studying an Excel for Accountants free course, from a youtuber named ExcelIsFun. This should up my work capacity at my job and allow me to stand out more for future promos. BONUS: Upgrade my computer alone. I spend a lot of time gaming on computer's but know nothing about upgrading them. My little brother used to always help out, but he is still social distancing at my dad's place and isn't around like he used to be. To run newer games I've come to the realization I'm going to need more RAM, and also upgrade to an SSD. I know nothing about any of this and am scared the moment I take my PC apart I won't be able to get it running again, so I'm going to need to do my homework before I attempt. Goal #3 Reestablish my Base - This is just a fancy way of saying I need to clean my living condition and set it up in a way that lends itself to success. There is an article on this site about building your bat cave and I plan to use it for inspiration/ideas. I need to make sure things are always clean enough for me to get in an ab workout, or to get into a yoga position at home. I also want to be agile in the sense of being able to travel lighter and be able to change locations with relative ease. This is because I'm reaching a point financially where I don't need to live with friends or family anymore(Currently living with family). If I were to try to move out I'd simply have too much stuff currently. So I will dedicate 2 hours a week to this goal or, roughly 15-20 min/day. BONUS: Prepare for Winter. This may involve building a pull up bar, or it may involve purchasing winter workout gear to continue my bodyweight workouts in the park but this weather is going to sneak up on me before I know it, so now is the time to get thinking. So in total I am committing to an extra 7.5 hours a week to these goals per week. I think I can make this work and I hope this challenge allows me to bounce back and position myself in a good way. I will continue my bodyweight workouts over in my battle log and still be chasing those strength goals like I always do. Even though this challenge is a bit of a step back, it's also going to require a lot of self discipline. Thank you to all who read this and good luck with your challenges as well
Vidd Clears His Name (And Learns the Front Lever)Imprisoned for crimes I did not commit... It's been four months since self isolating, and during this time I have been preparing so that for when the doors to civilization reopen, I would be ready. Yet nothing could have prepared me for what came next. In my quest to make a difference in my life, and for those around me, it was to be expected that the villains of Seattle would eventually not take too kindly to my presence. I just never expected they'd find me so quickly... It all happened so fast. I was walking back from the park when everything went dark. The next thing I knew I awoke in a cold cell, on charges for a whole host of crimes I never committed. I need to get out of here - and fast. The longer I sit in this cell the colder the trail becomes. I need to find out who did this, and why. It's only been a few days, and I've mostly kept to myself and observed the other inmates. Because of the new hostile environment, my body-weight workouts have become an even greater priority. I need to be able to defend myself, and maintain my resilience. Security is tight. But I have a plan. My cell has a pipe running along the ceiling, and we're checked on by a set of guards every evening before lights out. If I can fake a disappearance, they may open my cell doors to investigate further, giving me an opportune moment to escape. Unfortunately the pipe is so close to the ceiling I can't fit my feet around it, and if I hung from it they'd easily see my legs dangling. My only option is to perform a front lever for a minimum of three seconds... if I time this correctly, that will be enough time to rouse the guards and get them to check my cell. It's time to get out of here and clear my name once and for all... it's time to master the front lever. Hey so I'm obviously not actually in jail I just needed a cool theme to start this little front lever challenge I've got going I'll admit, this move's been intimidating me some. I have a feeling this is going to be a whole nother beast compared to the muscle up. In fact in my research a lot of people were saying it took them anywhere from 3-12 months, if not more, to get this move down. So will I be able to break out of prison and clear my name by Sep 5th? It's gonna be super tough but that's part of the fun. Like my last challenge I'm going to break my challenge down into three categories so here we go: Goal #1 Lean Down: Like before, I am still aiming to lean down some. I am sitting at 171.5lbs and my goal is to lose 5lbs by the end of this challenge. Instead of a dietary change, I will be implementing a lifestyle change. My challenge will be to hit 8,000+ steps per day. As a sedentary accountant-I mean prisoner, this is going to be very difficult, and I may have to actually take my two 15 minute breaks I get each day and go for brief walks just to aid in getting these steps in. This is a good thing because prolonged sitting has a very negative effect on health and so breaking that up some is a good idea Goal #2 Get to know the other Inmates: The goal is to call a family member at least once a week to check in on them and keep in touch. I'll also aim to call my friends more often, and set aside some extra time to try to follow along on more people's challenges on NF this time around too. I'm also going to throw in one other item in this goal, and that's to do at least one productive errand/task that is out of the ordinary each day. That could be me washing my car, cleaning up around the house, just something to keep the needle moving forward. Goal #3 The Front Lever: This is the big one, and my primary focus for this challenge. In fact the stakes are so high if I don't perform it I guess I'm stuck in jail lol. This is important to me on another level. Those who've been in my shoes may look back and chuckle but, this is actually my last challenge as a twenty-something. I'll be 30 on Sep 12th and I know that's not old but I'd just feel so much better entering into that decade knowing I'm in the best shape of my life. And being able to perform a front lever would surely be some evidence to that. Last challenge, I followed the advice of Chris Heria as my basis for progression, and he didn't steer me wrong. For the front lever, I see no reason to change coaches. I will be following the following video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ev2caBjnwRo Here is what he lists as the requirements before starting his technique guide. Once I can do all four requirements I'm to do the Front Lever hold workout which is all 4 moves performed for 3 rounds for 2-3 weeks. I'd like to be solid at this workout in two weeks, to give me three weeks for the technique guide. Perfect hanging L-sit hold for 20 seconds Tuck Front Lever Hold 15 seconds Upside Down Deadlift 10 reps - This requires toes to bar just to get into position, I can't do that yet so lots of work here Upside Down Hold 15 seconds - Top portion of the upside down deadlift
Vidd's Journey to the Top of the BarHows it going assassins? I've been active for a few weeks over in the daily battle logs, but decided now was a good opportunity to try my hand at a challenge. I hope to meet new friends along the way, and also really focus in on a skill I've been wanting to have for a long time now. So, a bit of background on me. For anyone who has read my original log(link in signature), I started off really skinny, and began bodybuilding as a way to overcome that insecurity. I went from 145lbs to 190lbs in the course of six years, but then the virus struck, and the gym that had been my anchor and source of confidence at the time was now no longer an option. This time led to a lot of introspection. I've come to the realization that a lot of the people I've admired growing up have always been those that were strong, yet also agile and had mastered their bodies. I don't need to be bulked up to feel comfortable in my own skin. I'd much rather look like Ezio/Altair from assassin's creed, or Oliver Queen from Arrow who has currently been a big motivation for me. And so this brings me to my overall goal: Main Quest: To do all in my ability to train to become a modern day super hero. This will mean that I will need to develop a diverse array of skills such as calisthenics, parkour, and eventually, perhaps some form of martial art. At this time I believe to reach the goals I have for myself, I need to first build myself on strong foundation. If I can master my bodyweight, everything else I attempt to do physically, should come much easier. And so the theme of this log will be to string together a set of goals that will allow me to accomplish the Salmon Ladder in the next month! Okay I'm kidding on that! I just wanted an excuse to add this cool Arrow gif of something I am still dreaming of being able to. I gotta remember I need to set SMART goals not ones that will get me killed The real goal will be to do my first Muscle-up. I've used this metaphor before with calisthenics movements I'm trying to learn but I envision a skill tree, where you need to level up lesser versions of the skill before finally getting to put points into that really cool ability. I've selected each of these goals carefully in hopes they will build up to that first ever Muscle Up. So let's get started! Goal #1 Nutrition-related: For the duration of this challenge I will be implementing Intermittent Fasting utilizing a 16 hour fast, with an 8 hour feeding window. How this works is I will wake up at 8, and my first meal of the day will occur around noon. I will stop eating anything as soon as 8PM hits. The purpose of this is for me to still feel like I'm eating big meals, despite still being at a caloric deficit. How this ties into the muscle-up is the leaner I am, the stronger I'll feel on the bar, so long as I preserve my lean muscle. My goal weight loss is 5lbs which may not seem a lot, but I want to do this very slowly to ensure I'm not losing muscle at the same time. Goal #2 Lifestyle-related: Sleep has been a theme in my battle log, and it's going to be one in this challenge as well, but this time I want to quantify it. I will aim for 56 hours of sleep per week. This averages out to 8 hours a day. The reason I am doing a weekly tally is life happens. If I only get 7 one day that doesn't mean the entire challenge is ruined, it means I need to sleep 9 hours the next day. I need to really watch this because I can very easily get into a sleep deficit. How does this tie into the muscle up? With an explosive movement like the muscle up I need not only my muscles to be recovered, but also my central nervous system. Rest is critical for this aim. Goal #3 Fitness-related: I will be continuing my every other day full body routine schedule, with my off days being active rest that will consist of abs, yoga and walking. However the focus will be on muscle-up practice, and working on the component movements. Movements I've identified as components are as follows: Speed Pullups(Chest to bar), Hanging Knee/leg raise, straight bar dips, and muscle-up negatives. That's all for now. Yes I can write a lot, I'm grateful to anyone who enjoys reading about my goals. I can't wait to check out all of your challenges too