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  1. Alright! New term, new challenge, new home! Well, I've still seven weeks before we even get the place, but it's a pretty big deal. I'm going to keep this challenge pretty short this time though. Exercise: Grease the Groove: Pull ups and dips have been added to my routine, but they are not proceeding as quickly as I would like. And, on my pull ups, I'm not quite getting to the bar. I feel like I'm getting the full range of motion in my elbow (i.e. I can't flex my arm any more). Maybe I need to widen my grip a bit to allow my back to move more. (Maybe I need to film it?) Plan? Grease the groove. Pull ups and dips before and after every sword class (which means I need to go twice a week), as well as at the gym (now that I have time for three days a week there too). Rest Days: 2 (separated) sets of Weeks 1, 2: 3 Week 3: 4 Week 4: 5 Gym days: 2 sets of 5 (or exhaustion) 1 set to exhaustion If I start the challenge this Saturday, that gives me five days a week, for four weeks, so twenty days. Standard school grading on this then. I need to be getting my chest to the bar each time by the end of the challenge! Diet: Frutta ed Vedura: I did alright last time. But this time, more! I need to get a couple servings of fruit and at least one of vegetables every day. Also strict school grading here! Maybe I should make some carbonated fruit like in this gif. Life: Rasettare: We're moving and I need to get rid of stuff. So, this is a checklist of things to pitch (or give away): Clothes: I've a fair amount I don't wear anymore. Maybe I can get some dough for them too. Comics: Get rid of those extra books that I have lying around. Find some I don't care about and sell them/get store credit. Something! Papers: Clean up desk, get rid of papers that are lying around. Notebooks and Sketchbooks: Pitch old school notebooks. Find something to do with that multitude of sketchbooks I have. Games, CD's and DVD's: get rid of cases of the ones to keep, and get rid of ones that I don't want. Get storage materials for the GameBoy and DS cartridges (recommendations welcome) Toys: Try to see if I can part with any of the toys we have. (Probably, but also probably not much) Additionally: add to Delicious Library all the media that I am keeping. Bonus points: Creatività: I was really wanting to create after C2E2! So, I need to draw or write or practice ʻukulele more. Ideas to kick this off would be appreciated,
  2. apfelstrudi and the path to deadliness - pt 1: Arya I made it my goal to be deadly by the end of the year. As with every good progression, we start with baby steps - one skill at a time. I've moved to the rangers for this challenge because, while the world is still my playground, I'm focusing less on that and more on learning new skills and being all over the place! My spirit animal for this challenge is going to be Arya (can you guess the skill yet?). She's a tiny weakling that's proven to get more and more badass. I'll try and channel her throughout this challenge. Mission 1: Work out. It doesn't matter what type of workout I do, but I want to work out every. single. day. This doesn't have to be a big, well-rounded workout. It can be something as simple as a 5 minute jog around the house or some relaxing yoga before bed. But I need to stop being a lazy bum. There are a few weekly goals to cross off my list of things I want to incorporate. They're split into easy, medium and hard to reach. So instead of saying names of people I want to kill in my sleep, and on every other occasion, I'll be saying the following: Running: 5k 10k 15k Burpees: 200 500 700 Squats (can be with or without weight): 200 500 700 Crunches: 200 500 700 Mission 2: Work on a skill This is where the theme comes into play. In order to get deadly, I need deadly skills. And while I'm great with an embroidery needle, I need the kind of needle Arya has. The deadlier one. I AM SO EXCITED RIGHT NOW. My skill shall be sword fighting. Which, I guess, is enough reason to be excited. But get this! I was talking to this guy on OkCupid that I'd just met, we'd exchanged maybe 2 messages, and I asked him for zombie survival skill ideas and then explained stuff and used swordfighting as an example AND HE IS TAKING ME TO A SWORDFIGHTING WORKSHOP FOR A FIRST DATE. How epic is that?! Sword fighting is my skill now. Over the next couple days I'll be building a makeshift dummy and figuring out where I put my wooden sword and then it's on. ALL the yays! Mission 3: Adventure it out Adventure is my thing. I want to bring back my weekly adventure. I've had loads of fun time spent with friends lately, my social life is incredibly busy and I love it, but it's been more of a "let's hang out on the couch and watch movies/cook something/maybe hook up/go to the spa" type of deal and while I guess some of them can be fitnessy or adventurous, it's not the type of adventure I want. I want to bring back my weekly adventure. Doesn't have to be sunday funday, but there needs to be adventure! Arya's been through lots of adventures. Most of them involuntary, granted, but whatever. She's always found a way to make it work for her, and look at her current adventure! Mission 4: Even it out Because my social life is so busy, I've been slacking on my workout. I've also not taken proper care of myself. I'm not getting nearly enough sleep and I never really have any time to myself, because there's always people to visit and things to do and I love being around people. So I'll make it my mission to have one evening that I don't hang out with people. This sounds so easy but is so hard for me. Because it's hard to evenly distribute my time between my friends, and I just really like dropping in on people after work, or going out for dinner or drinks instead of just going home. But I've been spreading myself too thin, and I know I need the time to myself. Me time is something that Arya could probably use as well. Maybe she'll get some this season, who knows! I'll definitely be working on it for her.
  3. TL;DR: Looking for a simple program for general strength and endurance that can be done on a Thursday, Friday, Sunday schedule. Has weight training experience, if rusty, but willing to branch out. Ideally would complement concurrent martial arts program. I had been using weight training as my main means of getting fit for a while, but a new job, grad school and my sword fighting training have eaten up the vast majority of my free time. I'm on spring break now, but when the next term starts, I'll be out more days, and would like to have something simple in place that I can turn to. Sorry that this is a bit of an info dump. Limitations: This is the big concern, so I am going to put it first. Schedule: On top of my 9-to-5 (well, actually 8:15 to 4:15) I've got night class on Mondays and Tuesdays, until 9, Grappling and Sword Fighting on Wednesday (7:30 to 10 PM) and Saturday (11 AM to 1 PM), which really only gets me three days at the gym: Thursday and Friday (evenings) and Sunday. The ThursFri join up seems the scariest, as I don't want to lift big on Thursday and then be unable to do anything on Friday. Mornings before work are out as my schedule is already packed between 7 and 10, and I'm rocky enough with my sleep schedule that I don't need to disrupt it further.Gym access: I have access to a gym through my graduate school, which has rather significant facilities including free weights and weight training machines (both plate and cable), four court gymnasium, indoor running track, swimming pool, racketball courts, and even a rock-climbing treadmill (#inorite).Time constraints: I'd like to keep my whole workout (warm up, lifting and stretching) under an hour, but that's not a strict guideline, especially on Sundays.Fitness Goals: (In rough order of importance) Endurance: My big concern is that I get winded and loose power too quickly. With pull ups, I can do a set of 7 beautiful pull ups, but when I get to the next set, even after a minute or two of rest (is this just too short?), I can get only 5 good ones, and on a third set only 2 before I can't pull anymore. Similarly with burpees: first ten are fast with high jumps and graceful flow, but if I have to do a second or third set (as 'punishment' during sword fighting warm-ups), they're sloppy and weak.Core Strength: All of the power for the sword comes from the core. So it's pretty essential if I want to get good at it.Upper body strength: My life history of hockey and bicycling, as well as genetics, has given me better than average leg strength, so I'd like to get the top half to match the bottom.Knee conditioning: I'm concerned about my stance in my sword training. I'll over step and, while it's easy to maintain, I'm worried that I'm slowly destroying my knees.Reflexes: Not super important at the moment, but I would like to get these tightened.Exercise Preference: Ranked in order, GPP, Powerlifting, Bodyweights, Olympic lifting. Current Physical Stats: Male, 28, 5′ 11″ (180 cm), 195 lbs (88 kg), Body fat percentage in the teens somewhere. Previous and Current Training: Group Fitness Training (Aug 2012–Oct 2013): A previous employer had subsidized group training. Trainers would come in on Wednesday and take us through a fairly grueling circuit of lifting, plyometrics and core work, and then assign us lifting homework, which I completed twice a week. I got into the best shape of my life at that time, getting up to 16 stone at about 13% body fat. Then I got laid off and lost access to the gym at the office and to funds to go to a gym regularly. I was also taking parkour classes once a week during this time frame.Sword Fighting (Historical European Martial Arts) (Oct 2014–Present): I've been playing with swords since the end of last October, with grappling added mid December. It's not particularly grueling, but one can build up a good sweat during practice. I'm currently at thrice a week, but as I said, that'll drop next week when classes begin. However, just before that, there's a three day training seminar this weekend that should be hella fun.Self-guided lifting (Dec 2014–February 2015): During this time I was between jobs, and had so much free time. Thus I went two to three times a week, for an A/B split, (ending weights in parentheses; needless to say that my strength is down from a month off) ofBarbell Squats: 3 sets of 12 at 115 lbs Barbell Bench Press: 3 sets of 12 at 105 lbsCable Row​: 3 sets of 12 at 70 lbs (both arms pulling together) Pull-ups: 3 sets totaling 12 repsBarbell Dead Lifts: 3 sets of 12 at 155 lbsDumbbell Shoulder Press: 3 sets of 12 at 27.5 lbs each sideCurrent Diet: Nothing particularly special. I could very much stand to clean up my diet, though making lunches for each day of the week is a bit tight. I've been trying (and failing) at cooking up chicken drumsticks to be eaten with vegetables for lunch. This will probably be a goal for the next challenge. Also, I think that my current medication has driven up my sweet tooth significantly, so that I'm always eating sweets. Go ahead and ask questions if clarification is needed
  4. So, I stumbled in the last challenge; I aimed too high and faced (minor) injury and didn't complete any of my fitness goals. However, I did complete a life goal: I got an entry-level IT position. Over the last challenge, I was unemployed and therefore actually had gobs of time with which to go to the gym and my sword play studio. Now, however, since I am working full time (on top of a single class of graduate school), I have considerably less time. Therefore, I must use the time I have better, which is what two of the three of my goals for this challenge are. Included in the new job comes with better mood, as I really like this job and I feel that my life is finally going somewhere, which have been major contributors to my poor mental health over the past year. I've decided to take three different aspects of my physical self for my goals: Fitness, Health, Art. Thus: 1. Develop habits of going to work out: My current schedule is a little crazy, and it's only going to get crazier. For work (in River North, if you know anything about Chicago) MW is 10–18 and TTW, 8.30–16.30. And then I have class Tuesday from 18:00 to 21:15 in Lincoln Park, at least for the first four weeks of the challenge. Week five is spring break and then on week six, I'll have class in the Loop, Mondays and Tuesdays from 17:45 to 21:00 (Office hours may have to change then too). Otherwise, sword (and grappling) classes are offered Monday, 19:30–20:30; Wednesday, 19:30–22:00 and Saturday, 11–13. I also am hoping to get to the gym Mondays and Wednesdays before I have to be in at the office, since I have a little extra time there. So, now for the goal: Work out several times a week (up to five): S Work out a total of 30 times (five times a week) A Work out at least 26 times B Work out at least 22 times C Work out at least 18 times (three times a week) 100%100% 2. Practice better sleep hygiene: Staying up too late and not having a regular sleep schedule is probably one of the contributors to the weakness in my mental health and the irregularity of my exercise schedule. So, I need to work at having screens off around 21:30 and to be in bed by 22:30. Doing so should give my sleep better regularity, which means that I should sleep more and better and therefore be able to manage my time better. My biggest enemies to this are my graduate school courses in the evening and those late Wednesday Armizare Foundations. Hopefully, if I get the rest of the week in line, those will follow. (I know I'm thwarting this tonight by staying up late to make this post, but the challenge doesn't start until tomorrow, so technicality.) S Screens off at 21:30 and in bed by 22:30 a total of 30 times A Screens off at 21:30 and in bed by 22:30 at least 26 times B Screens off at 21:30 and in bed by 22:30 at least 22 times C Screens off at 21:30 and in bed by 22:30 at least 18 times 11.11%11.11% 3. Develop better sparring confidence: Every first Friday, the Chicago Sword Play Guild has their fight night. I've participated with one match each of the previous two. However, all the skills that I practice in class fall out of my head as soon as I don the gambizon. I tense up and have a harder time reacting. So I need learn how to relax and how to keep a hold on at least the basics. My biggest foes here are internal, both directly and indirectly, and probably both stem from my ADHD. Firstly, I've never had good twitch skills: I am terrible at FPS type games as the number of things I have to maintain awareness of usually is overwhelming and then my instincts are horrid. Being tense also makes one jumpy, and the flow and grace that gives one control is lost.Secondly, I am on an amphetamine derived stimulant as a treatment for my ADHD; one of the side effects is a reduced reaction time, which is essential for combat. My dosage of this drug when up just before the last fight night and I think that it may have adversely effected my performance. Hopefully I will get used to this dosage and be able to perform better at the following fight nights. Also, if I get my sleep hygiene in check, I should be able to spar with greater skill. Pass: Fight in two spars at the April Fight Night, one against an instructor, and once against one of my novice peers. In the peer fight, win at least three exchanges. PASSED I still don't have a grasp on the ability points. If anyone wants to recommend some distributions, please go ahead. I also may need a lot of cheering, especially as the busyness increases, to keep me here and to keep me on track.
  5. Inside the World of Longsword Fighting So just saw this on the FaceSpace and WOW I mean ... come on! Fighting with Longswords ... how is that NOT NerdFitness!
  6. I was trying to think of a clever, fantasy-type title, but they all felt too pretentious. I'm eager to begin my first challenge. I've been hanging around these fora since the end of November, just waiting to get to start on the next challenge. I used to work out fairly regularly until life circumstances changed at the end of October 2013. Then I was unable to continue with my group training sessions and parkour classes, and other than biking to work a few times over the summer, have fallen into a rather sedentary existence. Things came to a breaking point mid-October 2014, and I started to attend therapy and taking drugs to manage my depression and ADD. I was doing really well on that treatment, until my life circumstances shifted again at the beginning of December, and I find myself falling back into a moderate, vegetative depression. From my father's experience and my own, I know that exercise will be a significant means to control my depression. I have been taking sword fighting classes since the end of October last, and have been going to the gym regularly since the beginning of December. I've already made some progress on my strength and I'm excited to continue learning the sword. My major worry is that I'll let this depression subdue me again, that my graduate program, which begins next week, will encourage me not to work out as much as I'd like, and if I find a job over the challenge, I'll use that as an excuse not to get the exercise I need. Main Quest: Build up the strength and control to begin working on acrobaticsGoals: Three sets of unassisted chin-ups. 8%8% I've been making progress already at the gym, using the assisted chin-up machine, and at my last work-out, I got a set of five and a set of 4 without the machine. A: 3 × 7B: 3 × 6C: 3 × 5Hold a handstand. 10%10% I've also been working on this as well. A: 15 secondsB: 12 sec.C: 10 sec.Go to Sword Fighting classes and the Gym regularly. 28%28% I have been doing, but as I start grad school and look for work, I need to make sure I keep at these A: 16+ sessions each of Gym and Sword Fighting over the next three weeksB: 13+ sessions for either Gym for Sword Fighting, 16+ of the otherC: 13+ sessions each for Gym and Sword FightingSide Quest: Develop experience working on computers (the insides of them).
  7. IT'S BAAA-AAAAAAACK. Hey Monks! Harris here...now flying under the callsign PointyEnd. To remind me to keep things simple. First lesson: STICK 'EM WITH THE POINTY END. DUH. Sometimes the simplest lessons are the hardest to follow. It's been awhile, Monks. After making quite a bit of progress with help from y'all at NF last year, I've been largely a slug for a great while. Doing some swordfighting and fencing, sure, but not with any kind of sustained diet and exercise plan behind it. And it shows. So, back to basics. GOAL: Make the body engine run better. Here's the four-point battle plan. 1. STRENGTH Twice a week, do an exercise routine from the following: -Gym: 5x5 bench and squat, pull-ups, box jumps, military presses -Home: 3x5 pull-ups, 3x5min jumprope, 55 burpees (10+9+8+7+6+5+4+3+2+1) That's it. Simple. But it can and will kick my ass, as I have discovered in the last couple of weeks of getting back to lifting/conditioning. I may add deadlifts, if I can figure out how to do them properly. I don't have a trainer, and I'm nervous of doing them wrong. 2. BALANCE Twice a week, do one of the following things: -Sword class -Fencing practice -Yoga class -1/2 hour mobility work at home That's it. If I go to both fencing and swords every week, I'll meet this goal. *rolls eyes at delinquent self* 3. MOTION I moved from a rural outpost into the middle of town last fall, and immediately dropped my mile-a-day walking routine. Probably because every time I walk down my street, I have to talk to people. Hah! That's no excuse. I have discovered the secret of obtaining permission for antisocial behavior, O my brothers, and it is HEADPHONES. Also. It so happens that there's a little family piece of land right outside of town. Which I should be checking in on, because I am responsible for it and stuff. And the walk there is about a mile, round trip. So: Mile walk. To the land. Every day. With yon headphones on to fend off chatty neighbors. And every day I will snap a picture there and share it with y'all. It will be a very exciting picture for awhile, full of exciting sticks and mud and things not growing. Whee. 4. FUEL (A.K.A. THE EGG TAX PLAN) I need to eat more protein. I need to eat fewer starchy grainy things and less booze. I've run into some trouble doing the no-grain and/or no-booze diet thing. I tend to do it well for awhile then fall off the wagon spectacularly. So I'm trying something new: The Egg Tax. The Egg Tax is simple. I will boil a big pot of hard-boiled eggs once or twice a week. Every time I eat something on the grain-booze continuum, I have to eat an egg. Beer? Eat an egg. Piece of pizza? Eat an egg. Bottle of wine? Eat a bunch of damn eggs. I'm either going to quit my bad cornflakes habit in a hurry, or I'm going to eat a huge pile of eggs. Either way I win. NF seems to have dropped the stat points thing since I was around here last. But other folks seem to be using it. Maybe I'll award stat points if I pass this challenge. Gonna worry about passing before I worry about how much STR or CON or WIS or whatever is in all those eggs. EXCELSIOR. P.S. I am down for burpee side challenges if other Monks are. I love those goddamn things. Ask Kishi.
  8. Hey guys, I just finished three months of martial arts training in Thailand. More specifically I did a lot of Muay Thai, Krabi Krabong (Thai style sword fighting) and a lot of strength and conditioning exercises. I was involved in a combination of these for six hours a day, Mon - Sat. Thought I'd share my experiences with you guys since I've seen a lot of questions about Muay Thai and sword fighting on this forum. If you've ever wondered what it would be like to train at a martial arts camp, if you've ever wanted to do it yourself but have been too scared, just ask me anything and I'll answer your questions. Just so you know, I'm no athlete or professional fighter. This is the first time I've ever done anything like this. I'm just a nerd like you guys. I'm an entrepreneur and I do freelance web dev and design to bootstrap my ideas. I'm 5'8", extremely lazy and weigh 60kgs, most of which used to be fat. Before I started training here I had a tiny beer belly. Now, three months later, I have a 6-pack and a leaner physique. The changes have been pretty dramatic and awesome. So go ahead... ask me anything! Cheers, Sid
  9. Hello! Are you someone who enjoys Medieval combat? I've taken it back up again after a not-very-dedicated beginning and long hiatus, and want to get my sticky paws on any resource I can. I just bought Sigmund Ringneck's Knightly Arts of Combat (clicky), and it looks really useful on the practical advice side, but I'm wondering if there are any other practical guides that anyone really likes? Thanks for your help! Sarah
  10. Aaargh! As some of you might know, my laptop burned some time ago, and I had no chance to start my Challenge earlier. Now it's finaly repaired and I'm back. This my first Challenge as a Monk, and I'm excited to join you all, awesome people. Normally, when starting late I would work hard and catch up. But I think I'm putting too much pressure on myself and my plan is usually so overfilled with to-do things that I can't find time to sit back and look at everything from wider perspective. During this Challenge I will ignore White Rabbit.What does it mean? I'm going to try new things and do the ones I never had time to do before. Fitness goals:- Learn new exercise every week.- Find sparring partner to train with- Train with my langsax when I need to blow off some steam- Find new route for running Diet goals:- Try at least one new recipe and one new ingredient per week- Write down what and when I'm eating Mind goals:- Define things that are outside my comfort zone and try to deal with at least one per week- Read at least one book that could help me with my goals per week Life goals:- Start saving- Find new people who will help me and Zorion with training - we need helper (the "victim") with rescue training
  11. This isn’t going to be long or fancy. I’m a sword fighter – not a belly dancer… Main Quest: Achieve 20% Body Fat - Goal 1: Substitute healthy foods for sugar cravings (I have an addiction) - Goal 2: Consume sugar only once every seven days (still too much, I know) - Goal 3: Eliminate all grains except some rice (basically paleo) Life Quest: Have a violin or Spanish lesson daily. I guess I’m not allowed to have side quests yet. Motivation: I have discovered TRUTH about food/fitness/weight management and want to LIVE by it – not just know it – so when I tell others about this life-changing truth, I’ll be living it, not just preaching it. I want to eventually get to the point where I'm certified to help people change their eating habits for scientifically proven health benefits, and I can't start unless I live it. Peace and Courage be with you all.
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