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  1. Ok, so we're about to run out for lunch, so maybe this isn't the best time to be posting my thread, but I'll just leave as a placeholder here. Quick note about the name change - being a mom is a really important part of who I am and while I am a huge Star Wars fan (hence original name of JK_Mom), I think Aquamom will fit me better as I rehab my two bad feet. My left ankle was sprained earlier this month and has not been healing well, while my right foot may have a stress fracture (I'll find out 11/2) or some more tendinitis. At any rate, this challenge period, I want to focus on mindfulness and upper-body strength. More to come later!
  2. I'm an adult child of 1) an alcoholic and 2) a chronic over-eater. This has left me with no real idea of how to handle stress (and I'm under ALOT of it right now ... see prior threads .....) other than by using alcohol or food as self-soothers. My upbringing left me with this BIG self-destruct button that is ALWAYS waiting to be pushed when things get rough. This challenge is going to focus on taking apart that self-destruct mechanism. Realistically, I won't be able to completely trust that it is gone for good. But I can at least pack it off again for a while so it is not RIGHT THERE saying, "Push me ... you know you want to....." Cue the Mission Impossible Theme ...... Goal #1 - DisARM the button!! (+2 STR, +1 STA) For my daughter's wedding, I'm going to wear a lovely capped sleeve dress. So, by October 9th, I want to have really nice-looking arms. I have made some nice progress toward that goal, but I'll keep working it hard for the next two challenges. Hence .... upper body workout 3 x per week. Grade by simple counting workouts and divide by 18 for a percentage. I'll post the workout below as soon as I work it out. Goal #2 - Lose 3 pound by counting calories (+3 CON) I have been using LoseIt to count calories and keep protein high. I'll revisit IIFYM to get a recommendation on number of grams of protein and number of calories per day. While I hate counting calories, I realize that I don't yet have a good sense of how much I can eat in a day and lose or maintain weight. And if I'm not counting, I can get into mindless eating in a hurry. Grading ... simple .... one point CON for each pound I lose from 168.2 lbs. Goal #3 - Zazen meditation DAILY (+2 WIS, +1 CON) As a preventative measure, I'll meditate daily and grade it by counting days divided by 42 for a percentage. In the past, meditation has been very helpful, and I regret getting out of the habit. It's worth the 10 to 20 minutes!!! Goal #4 - Use a destressing technique from the list daily (+3 CHA) In addition to the meditation daily, I'll pick one of the items from the list below - at least daily. I'll either use my D&D dice or random.org to pick one. I'm a much nicer and more effective person if I have my stress under control. Grade it by counting days divided by 42 for a percentage. Goal #5 - Remove major stressors and barriers (+3 WIS) This one is really hard ..... There are some things that have badly affected my ability to cope for the past year. 1) We've been trying to find jobs in our home town. It hasn't worked yet, and we've been living apart, which really stresses me out. So, we need to buy a house near hubby's work and sell our current house. These are stressful events in their own right, but I think it is worth it in the long run. I already have job interviews in the area where we are house hunting .... a big improvement over our current predicament. 2) I've been having a really hard time with under or unemployment. I don't do well as a housewife, and so I'm working at finding a professional job. Got nibbles already and feel much better about myself already!!!! 3) This is really, really, really hard. We need to put our dog down. I've been nursing her along for the past year, but she's not comfortable. And I have to come to grips with that and let her go. But it will also reduce my stress alot once we get past that point ... this week or next probably. She's licking all 4 limbs raw, and I can't see keeping her in a cone for the indefinite future. Grading .... one point per objective complete.
  3. Over the last couple years my goals and challenges and whatnot have bounced around like crazy, focusing on speed and strength and flexibility and weight and diet and balance and all sorts of things (generally whatever’s pissing me off that week). I set lofty goals that I stick with for, like... a week? Sometimes two or three weeks. Four, tops. I might stick with one or two of the easier challenges for the entire six weeks, but I somehow declare that a victory while leaving the other ones behind. I think that, at the moment, a lot of those issues are now considered ‘good enough’. I hit fast. I hit hard. I’m pretty flexible. I like where my weight is going. I am mostly happy with my food intake. My balance isn’t perfect (it only really falls apart with the huge lunging straight rights and the switch-foot head kicks), but for the moment it’s good enough. In fact, all of that is ‘good enough’ right now. This isn’t a concession to failure... this is me acknowledging that, for the first time in at least a decade I’m not actively hating how I look, how I feel or how I move. I am reinforcing all of the successes that have gotten me here. I am taking a quick moment to pat myself on the back and tell myself that I did good. Not great... but good enough. There are a couple things that ARE NOT good enough, however, and that’s going to be the focus right now: core power, upper body strength, and endurance. Whenever anything happens at MMA involving pure core power (situps, full-guard stands, thai knee drills), I gas out before almost everyone. A great example: I pretty much quit jiu-jitsu entirely because I lacked enough core muscle to actually do ANYTHING. Whenever anything happens at MMA involving pure upper body strength (resistance calisthenics, clinch drills, cage flips), I not only gas out first, I’m sometimes not even capable of performing the activities. A great example: I can’t to a pull-up. No, not one. And not just MMA but many things in general that involve endurance (jogging anywhere faster than a brisk shuffle, bagwork elimination drills, 17 flights of steel stairs to the top of the Canfor digester building), I feel like I’m dying by the end of it, if I even make it to the end. A great example: Doing laps at the gym, I can do 1min 30sec laps easily, but 1min 20sec laps nearly make me barf. Just that slight increase in speed causes me to gas out after three laps, top (I can do between twelve and twenty of the slower ones). So rather than challenges that focus on specific ACTIVITIES, these challenges will focus on specific PROBLEMS... those parts of me that aren’t good enough. Yet. Challenge #1 - Rotten To The Core Abs and obliques. I need to do some abdominal exercises every single day. Situps, jackknives, crunches... and not just 'banging out ten' when I remember. I need escalating resistance, 'train to fail' style. For whatever reason, I show the best gains and improvements when I do that. Planks are also a good one... and I hate planks, so that's probably what I should use the most. Challenge #2 - Push, Pull, Drag Upper body time. For the Mudd Sweat and Tears I've changed up my whole workout regimen to upper body stuff, specifically escalating pull-downs. This works biceps, triceps, shoulders and back (and boy howdy hell, am I feeling it). Throwing into this mix will be wall stands, which was the FOCUS of my last challenge and I only did it two or three times. Now that it's warm we (me and the family) go to the park a lot more, and I want to be able to do a pullup on those various structures by the end of the summer. Once I can do one, just ONE real one, I know I'm going to want to do them as often as possible. And get up to two. And three. And four... Challenge #3 - You Can’t, You Won’t, and You Don’t Stop Endurance. Let's face it... I'm a big guy. 6'4", big shoulders, big hips, 250 pounds ± 10 at any given time. Tons of research into this, and discussions with many professionals I know (boxers, MMA fighters and coached) all tell me the same thing, which is the thing I really, really don't want to hear: the best way to build endurance is intermittent exertion. HIIT. Tabata. Tempo runs. Sprint chains. Power bursts, short rests. I hate that stuff... but there's not really any way around it. I'm doing sprint chains at the gym (well, slightly faster jogging chains right now... I still can't sprint a WHOLE lap), but I need to do more of that outside of the gym now that it's hot outside, so there will be some running in the evenings (non-MMA nights). Also, I can combine this with my other two challenges with tabata, and combining bear crawls, plank-to-push-up and broncos. I will start doing these in the mornings on NON-workout days, 15 to 20 minutes. Important Timing Reminder: Mudd, Sweat and Tears is Saturday, June 13th. For the first week of this challenge, I will actually be somewhat taking it EASY on these challenges, so I don't blow myself out before, well, I completely blow myself out. AFTER June 13th, I really want to go hard on these, and would really appreciate some help sticking to things. This is a no-frills challenge. I didn't go overboard on animated gifs, because I can't think of any way they'd really help this one out. Rather than get all excited with a carefully-crafted, entertaining and hilarious original post, I'm just putting up a bunch of words and some straightforward language.
  4. Bit of long winded medical intro but hey, its called NERDfitness, expect science Last August I was pretty good. I was skating with two roller derby leages (2-4 times a week) as well as skating to work, going to the gym up to 3 times a week and I was considering a career as a personal trainer. Then I went to hospital (well firstly I got fired because I was crap at my job, but turns out in hindsight I was pretty effing ill) with abdominal pains. To cut a long story short I am missing a section of my Inferior Vena Cava, the vein that carries bloody back from your legs and kidneys to the heart (see the below picture). My body solved this by forming lots of little bypassing veins, these clotted easily and threw clots all over my abdomen and legs causing a LOT of pain. Two different anticoagulants and another return to hospital later I'm at home but on sick leave. Later I get a temp job, only to have nerve pains in my left leg. I am given strong painkillers which make me sleepy and dizzy and crap at this job. I am fired, but not before I am admitted to hospital again on Boxing day just gone with pain in both legs. This is under control thanks to painkillers (which I've now adjusted to) but its still unknown what causes it. Tl;dr : Circulation is knackered, on strong pain meds for leg pains As such, due to sick leave then leg pains I havent skated in 4 months, I've barely exercised. I'm not sure if I should exercise my legs too much as I'm still suffering this leg pain (when not on painkillers) and as such I dont want to do any damage Luckily, my body is MASSIVELY out of proportion. I have quite muscular toned legs and the most ridiculous skinny arms (owing to poor motor control in my hands and so poor muscle tone) and awful upper body strength. On the whole, I'm feeling good, if unfit. I'm unemployed and I think some exercise will help improve my mood as well as improve my confidence So my rough goals are: Slowly build up to some kind of fitness with light cardio. Eat Healthily and reasonable (Tablets have really increased my appetite) Do upper body workouts to improve tone and get some exercise in. (oh, and find a job)
  5. Hi guys, first of all I want to thank you all for keeping this community up. It's great to have something like this on the internet. Now to my question, I want to train my upper body, mainly the arms but I don't know how. I'm a teenager and I'm really skinny. I'm 1,80m tall and weigh about 60kg. I started working on a small routine, just to get used to do some training at all. I began with simple push-ups and did as many as I could. 3 weeks ago, I couldn't even get 3 done. Now I can do 20. I know I got stronger, but my problem is that there's no real visual difference at all. I'm not expecting a miracle to happen but I don't want to do anything wrong. So before moving to an actual training-routine, I wanted to ask you about some help. I know that diet is also very important and I'm trying to eat more. My body gets slowly used to it, but I don't know if I'm really eating healthy. I often left out my breakfast in the last week. Everytime I get a bit hungry, I eat 2 eggs and drink a glass of milk. As I said, I'm not sure if that's good or not. Maybe you could help me a bit out there too. I appreciate every help I can get
  6. Right: This is going to be horribly self indulgent, so be warned. I’m currently putting off/building up to writing an article I’m submitting to a magazine so here’s a warmup. I suck at keeping to stuff, I have no willpower and horrible organisational skills. Many of the latter springs from developmental dyspraxia which also affects fine motor control, balance and spatial awareness. So naturally I took up roller derby. Its possibly the worst thing I could’ve chosen, but hey, some mother******s are always trying to iceskate up hill. I love roller derby as a spectator and as a participant in the community. I’m currently studying towards my minimum skills and referee tests to be a referee for Severn Roller Torrent of Gloucestershire, England. It’s a big ask for someone like me but I never don’t like it. The problem with this is although it is great for my legs and core, it does nothing for my upper body (on which I have awful muscle tone!) so in between thrice-weekly practices, I’m going to try and work on my arms and shoulders a bit more, with the ultimate aim of being able to do a full proper push up (trust me, that’s bits) On top of all this, it’s a confidence thing. I am very anxious and often suffer from my anxiety. Exercise+Eat well= feel better. It also means I’ll do better at derby and that will improve my confidence too. Meditation couldn’t hurt either Day Minus 1: Per Dyspraxia Ad Astra Didn’t start well, dyspraxic organisation skills kicked in and I forgot to pack shorts and t-shirt for derby practice! So I had to go and buy some from the charity shop in the business park near where I work. This meant I couldn’t change my outdoor wheels for indoor as I ran out of lunch. So I decided I would skate from the bustop on my outdoor wheels. This was a mistake given the awful quality of the paths, In the end I walked half, got back on my skates and skated all the way to practice and straight in but was still late! I’m really pleased I even tried it and picked up some decent speed when the pavement was smooth. I didn’t want to go to practice, but put my hard hat on and go. (My helmet is a literal hard hat ) Practice was okay. Softer wheels were good for crossovers (stepping over in corners) but rubbish for stopping. I’ll stick to harder wheels for now! My positional blocking was okay but I kept getting pushed forward by the jammer. When doing a core warm up planking was harder than usual. However Squats were easier. I took hits quite well and even knocked someone down myself! I might have a few bruises today though Oh, I also ate quite well, carb heavy by most standards but I was short on time for lunch and dinner. This is all really meandering. I guess it wasn’t necessarily for you.
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