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  1. Edit: now with theme! Last challenge went ok. Still got room for improvement, but, as always, I identified some changes I can make to help me succeed. I am still super tired from the weekend travel, so I'm really not in a creative mood right now, and thus will be adding my fancy theme later. I had an awesome trip, though. My league came in 4th in the adults and 3rd in the juniors! Given our lack of practice space AND not having a track available to practice on, I think we did really well! Watching the teams that came in first and second, I could see that we have the raw materials to do that, just not the ability to execute on it right now. Once we have our track back, I think we'll be right up there with them. Anyone got an empty warehouse in the Seattle area? Building on last challenge... Elennare prepares for battle! Or, the one where I become a roller girl for realz! Like the awesome Wrath and Demi, pictured above. I have a bout on June 17th. My very first bout, in fact. Sure, I've scrimmaged before, but not on the banked track. And, it's always different when you're playing for real. So, my theme this challenge, such as it is, is going to be roller derby! Mostly getting inspiration from the awesome ladies I skate with. And yes, these are all pictures of my league. Some of them are kind of old, but they are awesome pictures, so whatever. On to my goals! Sleep! I needs it. Sleeping on the track is unacceptable, right Wolfie? Doing better, but still got work to do. In bed by 9:30 on non-derby nights, as soon as possible on derby nights. Practice! So I can be super awesome like our junior skaters, the Peeps. Seriously. Do not underestimate junior derby girls. They are tiny, but they will mess you up. The bout where we lost, and took 3rd in the tournament was the best bout of the whole weekend. Better than the adults, in fact! This went really well last challenge. Going to up my goal to 7 practices over the course of the challenge. This number might change in June, because I think there are extra practices scheduled before the bout so we can get on the track before the game, but I haven't seen them posted yet. I should probably check the calendar... The idea is a goal of one less practice than is offered over the challenge period. Edit: I checked the calendar. I have 12 possible practices/scrimmages/bouts over the course of the challenge, assuming I don't get invited to any team practices. So, the goal is 11! Workout! I need to step up my fitness game. That was one of the big things I learned from watching Battle on the Bank. Also, some of the falls that happen on the bank are a bit gnarlier than the flat. For example: (she's not jumping, she's falling. Probably because Cattie knocked her out of the way.) I need to improve my flexibility to help not get hurt when I fall (not if, it will happen, and probably lots because I am not used to the track). Goals: lift weights at least once a week, go running at least once a week, work on flexibility. Might be yoga, but I'm also seriously considering picking up Focused Flexibility from GMB. Anyone have any experience with that program? Move! Hey look, I'm in this one! Smack is about to pass me, because she moves more than I do. The work exercise challenge is still going on. It ends on June 25th, so just a couple days longer than the NF challenge. Goal: maintain 13k+/day steps average. This includes exercise converted to steps. Trying to get 9k/day from walking turned out to be a bit much, but I think I can hit 8k. That is a bonus goal, though. As long as I maintain the average, I'm on track (it's currently a tad over 16k. I've been slacking a bit. ) Handy dandy progress tracker: Sleep! 0/28 days to bed on time Practice! 0/11 practices attended Workout! 0/4 weeks goal met Move! 0/4 weeks 13k+ average maintained
  2. Last challenge I managed to maintain my weight. This challenge my goal is to refocus on my workouts, and to continue to tweak my eating and drinking habits. I will be adding in a Weekly Menu section (complete with pics) and am committing to completely giving up alcohol. Let the saga continue… ULTIMATE GOAL: Gain the Intelligence Report Materiel Report Assault Plan RANGER TRAINING 10 minute Warm Up - Rowing machine - Cycling - Walking (outside/treadmill) Active Work - Pick 3 exercises for 4 sets each - Barbell: Squat / Deadlift / Bench Press / Row - Dumbbell: Curl / Press/ Fly / Kickback / Side Raise / Row - Cable: Pull-up / Pull-down / Extension / Curl / Fly - Bodyweight: Plank / Weighted Russian Twist / Flutter Kicks / Ab Roller Wheel Cardio 1 mile run (treadmill) Scoring I’m doing this the old fashioned way and keeping a straight tally. Only mini-boss and boss fights are worth more: 5 marks for a mini-boss, 10 for a boss-boss. There is no end goal: I want my high ground to be an ever-growing mountain of the skulls of my enemies. Tally W1 ///// - ///// W2 ///// - ///// W3 ///// - ///// W4 ///// - ///// 12 Feb - 11 Mar One mini-boss battle included Grade: F 19 Mar - 15 Apr One mini-boss battle included Grade: A 23 Apr - 20 May One mini-boss battle included Grade: B 27 May - 23 Jun No mini-boss battle this 4WC Grade: Shit that's changed My husband is working a crappy night shift (1pm - 11pm), so I try work my schedule around his as best I can. I get up at 04:30 every morning in order to get a workout in before heading to the office. I meal prep our lunches for the week on Sunday, so everything is grab-n-go from the fridge. I make a point of getting my Domestic Rangering done as soon as I get home from work, to ensure I don't skip it. DOMESTIC RANGERING M Vacuum/Sweep T Clean bathrooms W Vacuum/Sweep Th General pick-up F Vacuum/Sweep Everyday: clean litter box, pick up yard As needed: wash, dry, fold, put away laundry
  3. Hey rebels, long time no talk. My name's Justin. I was on the Facebook men's group for a while but ditched Facebook at the beginning of the year indefinitely. Freedom never felt so good Anyways...on topic. I've been doing Stronglifts more or less on the proper schedule for...3 months plus now? Here's the numbers so far... Squat 205@5x5 Deadlift 235@1x5 Bench 130@5x5 OHP 105@5x5 Row 130@5x5 My last squat attempt, I made it to the 4th set at 210 and chickened out. Deadlifts are still going strong. Bench feels like it is starting to top out, but no failures yet. OHP I've failed 3 times now, but not in a row. I started failing quite early...85lbs I think. The row is also going strong still. I feel very under-stressed on this lift. The SL bible says that I'm supposed to have 3 de-loads before essentially changing up the rep scheme for a given movement. But that requires 3 failures in a row for a single de-load. I haven't really found any other literature that supports that much failure before changing things up. On top of that, I'm not sure I have the patience. On squats, I'm having to wait 3-5 minutes between each and every set to get them done and it is stretching the length of the workouts beyond what my schedule can manage. Back when each lift was hyper-easy, I could get the whole thing done including warm-up and cool-down in 40 minutes or less. I've had my wife, who is a certified trainer and CF coach put my form for various lifts under a microscope to make sure there wasn't something obvious holding me back...nothing really to report there. My primary intention was to build a foundation of strength and then begin a more varied routine to help me lean out more and increase intensity/explosiveness (vs just strength or endurance). So the big question...what should I explore from here on? Should I adopt a SS 3x5 scheme? What kinds of thresholds should I be looking for with each of these lifts? Any help or guidance would be useful. Many thanks!
  4. This will be my first challenge. The time frame is actually close to perfect. I'm traveling to Europe for the first time on the 19th of May. I guess I'll start two days early and end two days early. I am 5'10" (177.8 cm) and weigh 260 lbs. (117.934 kg.). I am overweight and I feel that my health is greatly suffering. My goal weight is probably to be somewhere around 180-190 lbs. I plan to accomplish this goal over time and definitely not by the end of this challenge. I plan to lift weighs, run, do some Jiu-Jitsu, and eat right. There's a Jiu-Jitsu tournament in August, and I plan to compete. I'm also currently unemployed and as a Life Goal, I'd like to gain some employment, because you kind of need money to pay for things like food, gas, and a house. So I'll be job hunting, trying to get some certifications, stuff like that as a long-term deal. For the purpose of this 4-week challenge, here are my goals: tl;dr Lose ~ 80 lbs. Get ready for a tournament in August Find a job Diet and Fitness 1. Go to five Jiu-Jitsu classes a week. It's often said that if you want to improve your Jiu-Jitsu, do more Jiu-Jitsu. So I plan to go to five Jiu-Jitsu classes each week. This shouldn't be too much of an issue schedule-wise. The gym where I train offers three classes Monday - Friday at 6AM, Noon, and 6PM. For the purpose of this challenge, I'll count an open mat as a class as well and I have multiple options of open mats on the weekends. I'm going to try to focus on my Half-Guard/Deep Half game. Criteria: C: The Bee attended 5 Classes B: The Bee attended 7 Classes C: The Bee attended 10 Classes 2. Do 400 Push Ups a week. I don't really lift or run or anything. I'm definitely planning to lift and run during this challenge as well but for what I want to track is 400 push ups in a week. I think this is achievable. If I split up 400 push ups in a week, I'm doing less than 60 a day. If I split it into morning and evening sessions, I'm doing 30 each sessions. This of course is a bottom line and the bare minimum. Criteria: C: 400 Push Ups B: 500 Push Ups A: 600 Push Ups 3. Limit eating out to twice a week. I'm a foodie. I love food and I got a body that shows it. I'm not huge on meal prepping all my meals a week ahead of time especially grilled chicken because I find it tends to be on the dry side. Since I am, unemployed and have more free time than most people. I'll try something out. Every Sunday and Thursday will be my prep day. I will prep all my food, but cook it the day of. So, my proteins will be marinated. My veggies will be chopped. Then the morning of, I'll cook up some rice (because if Filipinos don't have rice, we die) then cook up my meals for the day. I'm thinking the food will taste better as it's more fresh an I would be more likely to eat it and not just decide to order a pizza or go out for burgers. I'll also meal plan for the week on Sundays and check out the recipes threads to keep from getting bored. This should also help me out financially from not eating out so often. Criteria: C: Went out to eat twice. B: Went out to eat once. A: Didn't go out to eat. I want to try to keep my goals relatively small as I'm kind of just starting out. The push ups are also supplemental. I plan to re-evaluate the criteria for these goals at the end of each week to see if I maybe need to adjust the criteria if I'm not being challenged enough. I will only make the criteria more difficult with the exceptions of illness or injury. Lifestyle Goal: Study 10 Hours a week So for my lifestyle goal, I'm going to look into getting certifications or short classes to increase the different types of jobs I can get. I'm currently studying for an A+ Certification Test, which consists of two exams. I passed the first one and I take the second one on Saturday. I bought a few classes on UDEMY and I plan to take some MOOCs as well. So to make this measurable, I'll devote hours throughout the week to study something. I'll go for a minimum of 10 hours a week. That's two hours Monday - Friday which still gives me time to pursue my other goals and still enjoy the freedom of being unemployed. Criteria: C: Study 10 Hours/Week B: Study 15 Hours/Week A: Study 20 Hours/Week So yeah, there are my goals for the next four weeks. Any feedback would is welcomed and appreciated.
  5. Edit: Added theme coolness Last challenge went ok. Not super well, but not terrible, especially when you consider how much of it either I or someone in my family was sick for. It did point out to me how much I need to work on improving my sleep, though! Which brings me to this challenge : I'm a Space Marine! I moved from Aspirant to Neophyte in February, and very soon (most likely in the middle of May), I will get promoted to full Battle Brother. Assuming I can impress the Sergeants enough, that is (there's 4 of them thinking about taking me for their squads). If I'm going to impress anyone, though, I've got to make sure I keep up my training. So. On to my challenge goals! Goal the first: A space marine can go for two weeks without sleeping, but we also know we need to take good care of ourselves when we're not out on a mission. If I want to do well at the trials, I need to make sure I'm well rested. So, I will get to bed by 9:30 every night I don't have derby. Get to bed ASAP every derby night. Goal the second: Train for battle. I have an evaluation of my progress soon, and a real mission shortly thereafter. After that brush with the Nurgle cultists, I really need to spend more time training. Get to practice! 6 practices/scrimmages over the course of the challenge. Also, keep working with the trainer. 4 workouts over the course of the challenge. Goal the third: The endurance of a space marine is legendary. Mine...is not. This is unacceptable. Get a minimum of 13k steps /steps equivalent exercise per day. Aim to have at least 9k of that be from walking/running, and try to go run intervals twice a week. Bonus for meeting this goal through the end of June: $100 gift card (thanks employer!). (To explain in real-world words what I've got going on, last February I passed evals for my roller derby league to become eligible to be drafted onto one of our home teams (we have 4). They decided to hold off on the draft until after the next evals. Which are on May 14th. On June 17th, we are starting our season, and I will be skating in my first real bout. I am equal parts excited and terrified. Also, my place of employment does a yearly exercise challenge that runs for 2 months, which will be starting on May 1. We can win gift cards if we meet the goal. There are 3 levels, and I want to get the top one.) Handy dandy progress tracker: To bed on time: 0/28 Practices: 0/6 Trainer Workouts: 0/4 Step goal met: 0/28 Times gone running: 0 Also, I highly doubt I need to say this here, so apologies in advance if it seems rude (and in that case, it's almost certainly not directed at you), but I've run into too many ass-hats, both in person and on-line to risk not saying it. If you have an issue with the idea of female space marines, I don't want to hear about it. I'm not going to discuss it, period. Go somewhere else.
  6. Last challenge I managed to maintain my weight. I did, however, noticed that my "mermaid gills" have been reduced, and I am feeling less pudgy overall. This challenge my goal is to continue to tweak my eating and drinking habits: I will be adding in a Weekly Menu section (complete with pics) and am committing to only drinking outside of my home. Let the saga continue… ULTIMATE GOAL: Gain the high ground. Intelligence Report Materiel Report Assault Plan RANGER TRAINING 10 minute Warm Up - Rowing machine - Cycling - Walking (treadmill) Active Work - Pick 3 exercises for 4 sets each - Barbell: Squat / Deadlift / Bench Press / Row - Dumbbell: Curl / Press/ Fly / Kickback / Side Raise / Row - Cable: Pull-up / Pull-down / Extension / Curl / Fly - Bodyweight: Plank / Weighted Russian Twist / Flutter Kicks / Ab Roller Wheel Cardio 1 mile run (treadmill) Scoring I’m doing this the old fashioned way and keeping a straight tally. Only mini-boss and boss fights are worth more: 5 marks for a mini-boss, 10 for a boss-boss. There is no end goal: I want my high ground to be an ever-growing mountain of the skulls of my enemies. Tally W1 ///// - ///// W2 ///// - ///// W3 ///// - ///// W4 ///// - ///// 12 Feb - 11 Mar One mini-boss battle included Grade: F 19 Mar - 15 Apr One mini-boss battle included Grade: A 23 Apr - 20 May One mini-boss battle included Grade: Shit that's changed My husband is back to a regular shift just started working 12 hour shifts. We get up at 04:30 every morning. In support of his renewed interest and commitment to working out, I have switched to an after-work gym schedule. This frees up my morning hours before work, so I am committing to conducting my daily Domestic Rangering before heading out the door. DOMESTIC RANGERING M Vacuum/Sweep T Clean bathrooms W Vacuum/Sweep Th General pick-up F Vacuum/Sweep Everyday: clean litter box, pick up yard As needed: wash, dry, fold, put away laundry
  7. Hi Rangers! I'm Elennare. I've been on Nerd Fitness for a while now, and have spent that time with the Assassins. I had a hard time picking between there and the Rangers when I joined, but at the time the Rangers seemed to be focused a lot on running, which I was not into, so I went with Assassins. I think my real class is Waywatcher, which in my head at least is a hybrid class between the two. And now my training has most definitely shifted more to the Ranger side of things, so I'm going to come play with you for a bit. What I want to do: I play roller derby. My season is coming up soonish. Slightly less soon than originally thought, as our "fun" bout in May got cancelled, but we start in about 4 months. I am currently eligible to get drafted to a team, and that will hopefully happen prior to the season starting (the next draft is most likely in May). I need to get in better shape before the season starts, and that will also help my chances of getting drafted. I would also love to reduce my body fat %, but I've decided to focus more on improving my sport performance for now. How I'm going to do it: Roller Derby: Attend at least 6 practices and/or scrimmages over the course of the challenge. They can be any combination of league practices, league scrimmages, team practices, and PFM (Potential Fresh Meat - a non-competitive derby club) practices. Weight Lifting: One session of weight lifting and/or other conditioning exercises with my trainer per week. Diet: Track what you eat. Bonus points for staying mostly paleo or for recording calories. Bonus goals: Run or do yoga on non-practice or weight lifting days. These will probably become "normal" goals next challenge, depending on how this one goes.
  8. After refinding is faith, the Vikingr Assassin, Lokesbrah, understood that his calling required more. This life required him to disciplined himself and strive to impress the gods. As such, he drew inspiration from the tales, and begun his life, dedicating himself to work hard. Body: Goal I - Parkour Training (+3 STA, +2 DEX) First up, it's parkour training. have trained once in the small Christmas vacations (one week off school and work, so good) It was clear that I do not need a particular skill in parkour... I NEED ALL OF THEM. I haven't trained in AGES and that worries me, because it is something I love. One PK training a week (if possible more than one, even if it is half an hour at night.) Goal II - Be like Thor (+4 STR, +1 CON) I finally took that one extra step and got a gym membership. I'm in no way leaving basic callisthenics behind me, because let's face it, it's fun as it can be, but I hope to improve in power (and if the looks get better, it's a bonus thing. I'm going to start with a basic 5x5 program, so I guess that's 3 times a week a workout. Goal III - Be like... I dunno, Ullr? since tracking? I don't know... (+1 CON) Still struggling to track my food. I use FitnessPal, but sometimes either I don't have the recipe, or I'm not sure of the ingredients, or something at all (or I am just lazy sometimes) and I loose track. Since I'm still not thinking about a particular diet, and more of creating a baseline, I'll keep doing this until values are set. Spirit: Goal IV - Follow the Nine... AGAIN (+1 CHA, +2 WIS) Last time I started loosing track. however I do want to set up this habit of checking out how I did following the Nine Virtues. So let's give it another shot.
  9. Though I have been at the gym pretty consistently for 3 weeks or so, I will restart my battle log with my reborn alter ego of Gaelic Samurai. Inspired by my heritage, my deep interest in Japanese and eastern thinking, my family in Japan, and by the picture, Wolverine and his relentlessness despite all the troubles. Yesterday was a weight session and I started with bench after the warmup. Then it was arm day, good choice doofus it was a Monday AND the New Years crowd, and all went swimmingly. Bench 3x5 @180lbs EZ Bar curl 3x10 @50,60,60 DB Hammer Curl 3x10 @25 EZ Bar reverse curl 3x10 @40 Triceps Pressdown 4x10 @ 50,57.5,57.5,65 Push-ups 2x20 Overhead Tricep extension 2x15 @15,20 Weight Lifted this session = 9925lbs
  10. Hey everyone! See, I'm on the gym 3 months so far; been doing everything slowly, focusing on the proper form and challenging myself for the gainz. The thing is, yesterday I successfully tried the cable crossover with supervision of one of the gym's trainer, but after my body cooled I could feel that sensation of "scratching" on the rotator cuff, as soon as I bring my arm up to shoulder level. I'm not feeling any pain today, but I'm super aware of the shoulder motion and some positions give me that feeling of the bone touching muscle. Are there any exercises to improve my shoulder stability? Is this a dangerous sign? Should I stop training right now and look for a doctor? Os this is actually normal and can be improved on with some more training and lower weights? Today is shoulder day so I'm a little worried Thanks in advance.
  11. Main Quest To live a healthy and balanced life by exercising and trying to eat healthy. My motivation I've successfully dropped weight by counting calories so my diet will mostly be staying the same with 1200 calories per day M-F and then blow meals on the weekends. I've managed to put on some muscle in an effort to become stronger by weightlifting and I’ve discovered that I love lifting heavy things! I enjoy doing themed workouts and for this challenge it will be werewolves. For several reasons but mostly because 1. I love them 2. they’re the best fantasy monster and 3. they’re amazingly fast and incredibly strong beasts not to be messed with. This is perfect for a warrior challenge! Smaller Quests 1. Weights It’s time to get back to lifting all the heavy things! I’ve missed it, so it’s time to re-set and lift stuff again. I like it, it makes me feel better about myself and it’s got practical, real-world purposes. This time though, I’m going to be focusing on arms since another small quest will be devoted to legs. Werewolves are, first and foremost, destructive forces with incredible strength. Most werewolves are particularly strong in the upper body, although they’re really just all-over slabs of muscle. Scoring: x/5 (1 for each weight achieved) Bar Curls: 20lbs → 25lbs = with good form! Bench Press: 70lbs → 80lbs Overhead Press: 40lbs → 50lbs Pull Downs: 60lbs → 80lbs Tricep Pullovers: 20lbs → 30lbs Reward: +5 to STR (+1 for each completed) 2. Dutch I’m going to Bonaire in May 2017 and one of the native languages spoken there is Dutch (the island is owned by the Netherlands) so I want to try learning a new language. This time, rather than M-F for a set amount of time, I want to try just practicing daily. And since it’s the holiday season this should be a good challenge for this time of year. Not particularly werewolf-themed, however there have been stories regarding werewolves in the Netherlands. There are a lot of werewolf stories from Germany, so since Dutch is in the German language family, I’ll take it. Scoring: /28 Reward: +4 to WIS 3. Running I still don’t like running, but even I have to admit that it’s a good workout. And, it actually cuts my time I have to be at the gym down since I work up a sweat much faster. I want to run at least twice a week. This will also be my leg workout for this challenge. Not only are they incredibly strong, but werewolves are faster. Often faster than the human eye can even track. They are silent, deadly predators that not only rely on their inhuman strength, but also on their blindingly fast speed. Running is an endurance sport and werewolves do a lot of it. Hopefully, I’ll be able to increase my own speed by continuing to practice running. Scoring: x/4 Reward: +3 STA & +3 to DEX
  12. Ok, so I have a terrible idea: I'm going to do my lifting workouts in January outside. I live in a small apartment with neighbors that sleep late and I don't want to be lifting in the house at 5 am moving furniture and otherwise making a rukus. I don't mind being outside in the winter and last January didn't prevent me from getting my runs done outside. To make matters worse my gym is under construction so the weight room is smaller than usual and everyone is using the boys' locker room which is half the size of the men's. That's going to suck with the new years resolutioners start coming in. I CAN do this I just don't know exactly WHAT I'm doing. That's where you guys come in. Any ideas for how to get weightlifting done in the cold outside? I figure if I follow some simple rules I'll be fine: Nothing under 10* F (same as when I run) Warm up indoors (same as when I run) Nothing that requires taking gloves off or fine motor skills (no changing weights on my dumbells for example) I have access to: Dumbbells (adjustable up to 50 lb single dumbbell) Several parks one has an outdoor circuit training, but I'll have to look if it's safe for winter one has a 1/4 mile track and a heavy athletics throwing area one is a few feet away from my apartment but it's basically just a small lawn with a path. Several field areas that probably aren't being cleared if it snows. A rucksack (my Xmas gift to myself) A hardware store and basic hand tools. I'm thinking something in the vein of the Scotland highland games might be a good idea. Maybe make some weights/kettlebells out of concrete and see if I can press or throw them? Load things into my rucksack and press that? Any ideas or thoughts would be welcome.
  13. After eight successful challenges and a number of unsuccessful ones I've decided that switching to a Battle Log format is going to be a better way to track progress. Especially since I have no idea what that progress will look like, aside from getting a small human at the end of it. GOALS Don't eat like utter crap Get some movement in every day Lift as long and as much as you can Stretch This battle log will probably consist of food diaries, exercise notes, complaining about pregnancy symptoms, and bump pictures. Follow along if you're interested.
  14. If any of you followed my last challenge, thanks! I haven't lost any weight since then, but I have started weight lifting so I don't expect too for a few months since I am building muscles. This time around I am looking more to dropping inches as a minor goal. My main goal this challenge is to socialize. Which is a big challenge for me as an introvert. I have become more active in our chat room, but I want something more than that. Totally clueless on how to do that. I tried social Apps, even dating Apps with more of a networking feel, I got scared and deleted all my accounts. Maybe I am afraid of judgement. I originally didn't want to socialize until I was at a lower weight, but I decided to take a chance. Lets hope this goes well.....
  15. I'm a frequent poster on Mark's Daily Apple, but I've been wanting a change of scenery. For now, I'll just post stuff about food & workouts. Goals: get strong. Be able to run around & lift things without much hindrance. Be able to do a pull-up. Deadlift my own bodyweight (closest I ever got was within 25 pounds). Carry my husband on my back 50m (I was able to do this when I did CrossFit, so I know I can get back to it). Food history: Started eating primal 4 years ago, switched to paleo when I realized that dairy wasn't doing me any favors (RIP). I'm about 90% adherent. I have a tendency to undereat and that always messes me up mood-wise. Physical history: I was not super active as a kid, but naturally very thin. I'm well within a normal/healthy weight range now. I've felt tired for years (since puberty hit? around age 13), no answers to that. I bicycled to work (7 miles per day) for 2 summers, but was unable to this year. I did CrossFit over the winter and that started an interest in barbell training. I got Carpal Tunnel Syndrome & bilateral tendonitis in my wrists this winter from shoveling, then weakened my wrists and shoulders during that healing period. Now doing PT for my shoulders, my wrists are healing up finally w/ very light wrist workouts (3lb hand weights). It's been a very slow process. Mental history: Generalized anxiety disorder and depression. Mostly under control these days, but I used 5-HTP periodically to get through bad episodes. I prefer not to use prescription meds, I've been down that road before and I'm not a fan. Nerd history: I'm a Linux systems admin, as of last November, so still relatively new to it. Prior to that, lots of Windows work. I'm a PC gamer, love Fallout III & NV, Elder Scrolls Oblivion & Skyrim, Diablo III, used to play WoW. Started playing Witcher 3 and am hooked, even despite the rampant gross sexism. Star Wars, Star Trek, LotR, Hellboy... all that good stuff --- I have a free week membership at the gym closest to my office. Sadly, the barbell area only has Olympic bars, which I can't use yet. 45 pounds is too heavy for me except to deadlift. I made due with kettlebells. 5 min Warm-up w/ some kind of elliptical thing (plus warm-ups with lighter weights before each lift) Squat 5x3 25# 5x2 35# OHP 5x3 20# 5x2 25# DL 2x5 45# 4 min on the rowing machine I'll go again on Wednesday morning as long as my wrists feel okay. They're a bit sore/tired today and I don't want to set myself back in this very slow recovery. I'll do some kind of dumbbell bench press instead of the overhead press. After I finish reading Starting Strength, I'm going to join a local weight lifting club that has a lot more equipment. They're right up the street from my apartment, only open on weeknights. --- Food so far today Breakfast: shredded chicken & green beans Lunch: pork chop, mixed veg, sweet potato Snack: two Larabars Dinner: will probably be more pork chop, veg, & sweet potato I don't like to count food, so that seems a bit light, but I really have no idea. I'll be prepping for some beef stew tonight. I think I'll use russet potatoes, since my husband doesn't like sweet potatoes.
  16. Overview / Motivation: Keeping with the Arrow theme, now that I've escaped the island I am making my way home. Getting off of my 'island', I really want to explore my mindset and start to shift my perspective to one of positivity and optimism. I'm too good at letting the little things get in my way and ruining my view of situations. I don't want to be an energy vampire - I want to be an optimistic and charismatic person. As a result, on top of focusing on health related quests, I also want to keep digging into the mind and mental state and grow from that perspective too. I'm actually writing this up a week late since my wife and I just returned from our European Vacation. It was relaxing, but also had an unfortunate level of stress as well. We left for Nice, France a day and a half after the Bastille Day tragedy and I personally couldn't quite get my mind to fully relax until over 1/2 way through the trip. We almost considered cancelling the trip, but I am happy we decided to not let the fear around what happened stop us from going on our adventure. We did go on a run together while away, but I will be starting from a bit of a deficit going into week 2. Main Quest (revised for 2016): Hit the following benchmarks in strength and stamina: Bench Press 250 lbs. Squat 250 lbs. Complete 20 Pull Ups Side Quests: Average 2 Weight Training Sessions / Week Points Potential: STR +3 Grading: A= Average > 90% B= Average > 80% F= Average < 80% Complete 1 - 2 Mile Runs per week Points Potential: STA +5 Grading A= Average > 90% B= Average > 80% C= Average > 70% F= Average < 70% Average 4 Planks / Week - hold for 2:00 Points Potential: DEX +2 Grading A= Average > 90% B= Average > 80% C= Average > 70% F= Average < 70% Life Quest: Read & Explore: Ryan Holiday's 'The Obstacle is the Way' Robin Sharma's "The Leader Who Had No Title" Points Potential: WIS +5 Grading Pass / Fail
  17. This 4 Week Challenge’s theme will be… Things I learned during the last challenge: What I’m doing new this challenge: Goals Must be done same day for points = Running o 2x a week o Track and post all runs on Fitbit / Fitocracy o Report run on 4WC thread (mi/mm:ss) Weightlifting o 2x a week o Track and post all workouts on Fitbit / Fitocracy o Report run on 4WC thread (mi/mm:ss) Hike/Bike - OPTIONAL o May be substituted for other exercise goals o Track and post all hikes/cycling on Fitbit / Fitocracy o Report hikes/cycling on 4WC thread (mi/mm:ss) Domestic Rangering o Prep all lunches throughout challenge (nightly OR weekly) o Track M-F meals daily on MFP throughout challenge - Report daily calorie total on 4WC thread o Clean kitchen after dinner o Layout workout and work clothes every evening prior to bedtime o Go to bed at 20:00 every night Scoring Method · 1 pt - Exercise accomplished · 1 pt - Lunch prepped · 1 pt - Calories tracked · 1 pt - Kitchen cleaned · 1 pt - Clothes laid out · 1 pt - In bed on time · 1 pt - Goal met & recorded on 4WC thread
  18. While backpacking this weekend I had an epiphany: My backpack probably weighs 20lbs.... and that's probably about how much weight I need to lose. Damn, 20lbs is heavy! I'm sick of carrying this around. My problem (and please don't take this the wrong way, everybody has a different body and a different idea of what is healthy for them)... but my frame can hold an additional 20 lbs pretty easily. I gain weight evenly all over my body, and most people wouldn't call me fat. Some people wouldn't even call me over weight. But at 5'4" and 165 lbs I know that I'm not as lean as I would like to be for my athletic goals. I want to be able to run faster, hike further, and rock climb better. I want to be a fit little outdoor animal with endless energy who can scale mountains. I wouldn't mind looking better naked too, but that's not really my main motivator. All of these will be easier if I have less mass to move around. So I'm starting a challenge, I'm calling it 100 days at 100%. I'm not going to focus on a number on the scale or a pound goal, instead I'm going to work my butt off for 100 days, working to build better habits and lose fat. Then I'll go into a maintenance phase and see where that puts me. I'm also going to work in four week segments with every 4th weekend being a "break" where I can stop tracking my food for a few days, relax my eating a little, and just give myself a mental breather. So ultimately it will be a little more than 100 days, and will end on November 4th when I hop on a plane for Peru. Challenge Goals: 1a) Don't Get Injured! - Prehab How: Foam rolling, stretching calves, running warm ups. Note: I've been doing some of these for a few weeks already, but I need to be more consistent. After having to take off nearly six weeks due to a running injury this spring I'm putting more emphasis on injury prevention moving forward. 1b) Don't Get Injured! Strength training 2x weekly. How: Follow bodyweight workout from NFA and mix in some kettlebell training. 2) Increase weekly running mileage while maintaining aerobic zone. How: Week 1 - 13 miles, Week 2 - 14 miles, Week 3 - 14.5 Week 4 - 16 Heart rate Sub 150 bpm. Note: Roughly 10% increase each week. Also, I can skip some milage if I go on a long hike (hike mileage must be double what run mileage would have been) since right now I'm really working on training my aerobic zone so I can ultimately run faster at the same heart rate. 3) Eat at a caloric deficit. How: 1800 calories on rest days, 2100 calories on training days. Fit in more walks to increase total caloric burn in a mellow way. 4) Personal Goal: Get a new job! How: Finish updating website by end of week 1, then ask any/everybody for leads, and send out all the resumes! It's hard to say if I'll be able to accomplish this in one challenge, but I feel I've hit a progression ceiling at my current job and it's time to move on.
  19. The day of reckoning approaches. I signed up for this Tough Mudder way back in January, at @Oramac's suggestion. At the time, I was training for a 5k, and feeling pretty good about life in general. I thought 'sure, no problem, I can do anything with the way I'm feeling right now'. Well, the day's almost here, and I've spent the last three weeks almost totally out of the game, thanks to a nasty series of illnesses. My strength and stamina are down, instead of at their peak like they were supposed to be. BUT! It's not going to stop me, oh hell no. Full tilt toward the craziest thing I've ever done, because who needs fear anyway? Other than this craziness coming at me on June 18, the rest of the month is going to be what May was supposed to have been. I'm at the end of these illnesses... at least, I really hope so. Which means that at the end of this week, once the antibiotics run out, and assuming I don't immediately head downhill again, it's time to bring out the kettlebell and start working my way back up to where I want to be. Goals are simple: 1. Kettlebell every other day after the antibiotics run their course. Starting back at 10x10 2-hand swings, 15 seconds on, 30 seconds off 2. Survive the Tough Mudder 3. Attend every Kung Fu & lightsaber class that I can (the 17th is out, as I'll be heading to Boston in prep for the Mudder) 4. Meditate. I lost the thread and the habit on this again. I've been getting up early (thank you, early-morning sunrise!), there is NO reason I can't take 10 minutes to meditate. *Bonus: don't totally botch up my broadsword form at this weekend's WMAF tournament in Boston That's it, gang. Simple as can be. I don't feel at all prepared for this major event--in fact, sitting here at T-minus 11 days, I feel weak, sickly, and totally incapable of anything like it. Except that I know I'm not weak, because I built, lifted and carried ~120-150lb wooden gates just last Saturday. I think it's just the anxiety of the unknown making me feel this way. No room to look back. Charge straight ahead and give it everything I've got. Kein Blick zurück. Here goes nothing.
  20. Forgive me, Dread-Father, forgive me Night Mother, and forgive me, my Brothers and Sisters - I have turned my back on the Path for far too long.Give me a chance to regain my strength so that I may fulfill Contracts once more. Life has a way of grabbing a hold of you and not letting go - and over the last couple years mine has done just so. This challenge will be my attempt to grab at least part of my life by the horns and lead it in the right direction. GOAL: Lift Heavy Things [Starting Strength, 3x a week] I will be going back to the beginning of my Starting Strength program, since it's been a while since I've done any heavy lifting. I will be doing simple lifts from home three times a week - 3 lifts each day. I am pretty much going from just the bar for most of the lifts, so I have a ton of space to improve here. GOAL: Sneaky Assassin Fitness [Bodyweight, flexibility, gymnastic, HIIT and combat training, 3x a week] In addition to lifting weights, I'd like to be able to touch my toes and throw some punches again. Hence, this goal is exactly that. I want to improve my flexibility, strengthen additional muscles, improve my speed and add back some basic combat training to my weekly routine. This will be quite simple this first challenge, just to get the ball rolling. GOAL: Watch What I Eat [Primal/Paleo for the duration of the challenge] My diet has fallen by the wayside this last year. Therefore, this goal has been designed to get started with a small step in the right direction. I'm not logging calories, checking ratios, or limiting my food intake - I'm keeping it simple. This challenge my only goal is to eat all primal and paleo foods. Going from spoonfuls of sugar to healthy, more balanced meals will make a huge difference and is a great starting point (my weakness? Sugar. This is not going to be easy for me). GOAL: Excellence in Music [2 hours of daily guitar practice] My life quest for this challenge is pretty simple - two hours of focused guitar practice, every day. This time will not include warm ups or breaks - with those included, I'm looking at two sets a day of 90 minutes each. Putting in the time is my only goal this challenge - though I have some specific things I'll be working toward and that I will be elaborating on as the challenge progresses. That's it for the goals. Some quick linkage: My Epic Quest Log - From Apprentice to Master... My Character (and goals) Monkey Tamers United (YAY ACCOUNTABILIBUDDIES!)
  21. This may be a dumb question, but... If I'm doing a dumbbell press with two 25 lb. dumbbells, is it considered 50 lbs. since I'm using two or 25 lbs. This has always confused me and I have never thought to ask before now. There it is, my dumb dumbbells question. Thank you.
  22. I started writing this long tale for Ki, my NF alter ego, but it started to become a stand alone story rather than a post, so I'm posting as me, or this post will never happen! I'm back on track and feeling amazing. I had a few weeks away. I caught one of those awful viruses going around and it took me out. I basically slept all the time. During recovery, my sinuses took a beating and I picked up a sinus infection. And after 6 weeks of being seriously down and out sick, sickness depression set in. It took a lot to drag myself out of that hole, but I'm not only back, but back on track and already digging into this challenge. First, the last challenge was my first, and I definitely bit off more than I could chew. Too many small challenges, too much to track. I hung in there, but i was a bit overwhelmed. This time around I'm keeping it simple and doing more to set myself up for success. So here's my take this time around: Work out 5 days/week - 3x StrongLifts/week - 2x swimming - 1x spin class - 10k steps/day I'm really focusing on the walking for the next month because SDCC is coming up and I am not ready. Last year I walked 53 miles in 4 days, and I don't feel like I'm up for that just yet. So putting in some walking miles is my goal between now and the con. Track food every day. This is so huge for me. When I log, I stay on track. I've also started intermittent fasting this week. I'll be honest, I wasn't sure I could do it, but day 2 is down and I'm still alive and I have no bodies to bury. It's definitely something to adjust to. What I can see already is that I eat out of habit, or not even paying attention. The urge to eat is there even when I'm not hungry at all. It's tough, but I promised myself I would stick with it for two weeks and see how it goes. So far, so good. It definitely does curb how much I eat, but I have to work to find a balance. On the first day, I only ate 850 calories, which is insane. My daily calorie goal is 1460. But I ate two big meals and I just wasn't hungry, not even for snacks. Today I did better, but I still had to eat until I felt a bit overfull, just to reach 1400 calories. Either I'm not doing something right or it's just an adjustment my body will make. It was a quick and dirty post, but I felt like I really needed to get something on the board and get going. Last goal is to drink 64-80oz of water a day. And that's it. Work out, log food, drink water. I'll add more to it next month, but after the past couple of months, I need some wins. Now I'm looking forward to catching up with how everyone else is doing!
  23. The Challenge Focus more better, be less all-over-the-place. Take challenge both less and more seriously, at the same time. (Simpler goals for the purpose of more consistently building habits.) Workouts 3x lifts per week 3x cardio per week 3x yoga per week (No points off for injury, walking 20+ minutes counts as "cardio", and yoga only needs to be low impact & 20+ minutes.) Diet 1600 calorie weekly average (not grading this, but tracking it) 95g+ protein daily (grading this) 85% whole/nutritious foods at least 6 days a week (grading this, 15% leeway is pretty doable as it adds up to about 240 calories of free eating a day) Get better at going out. 2 drink maximum. No unplanned massive plates or desserts. Applies to ordering in as well. Life Study 2 chapter from the MS 70-461 book per week (Writing goals to come back once MCSA Sql Server is acquired.) Start stats Weight 104.8 lbs Height 5'0" (almost) waist: 25.5" at navel: 29" hips: 34.5" widest spot: 35.5" r. thigh: 20.25" l. thigh: 20.25" r. calf: 12.25" l. calf: 12.5" r. bicep: 10.5" l. bicep: 10.25" chest: 30" bust: 32"
  24. I have been working for days to come up with a good challenge theme and I just wasn't having any of it, so I figured my birthday coming up (tomorrow) would be a good way to reflect and set some new goals up for the year. Reflections/Plans: As some of you know I started work on opening a fitness apparel online shop with a friend (updates on this to come soon, we have our first official design created and I seriously can't wait to show you guys). This was in part due to the fact that I want to move home to MI, and need to find ways of making a decent income once I get there. My second idea has been to start training people, and maybe run a set of cross training type classes. I know I have the passion for it, and I have learned a lot (yet have a lot left to learn) so I spoke to my trainer about it and he had no hesitation in saying I was good enough to train people. My current self-imposed issue is I don't look like a trainer because I don't know that I would go to someone who didn't. The initial plan is to get back up to MI in June of next year, so I have 1 year to get into a better physical form and learn all I can from my trainer about the business and see what certifications would be best for me. For my plan to work I need to focus on 4 main things, and honestly these may be my goals for far longer than this 4 week challenge. Goal 1: Training Plan for a 6 day program, 3 days strength/circuit training, 2 days cardio, 1 day stretching, and 1 rest day. Goal 2: Drink water like it's going out of style. A minimum of 64 oz every day. I have made this easy to track because my boyfriend got me a bucket of gatorade (took like a week to drink it, and he was helping) which is 64oz. I have to empty that at the least every day. Goal 3: Find a proper nutrition plan that doesn't hinder training, but is also effective for weight loss. The Ketogenic diet worked really well at losing weight, but I was exhausted all the time, didn't have any want to eat, and lost some decent strength. I need to find a more balanced approach that I can stick with long term, and maybe it will eventually help others Goal 4: Get my Ducks in a row. In order to be able to move up north again I will need to pay off any frivolous debt and practice living on a smaller scaled budget. We will also need some training in home repair/fixing up, and sell both our places. So this will be a multi functional goal. Part 1: Debt payoff plan, and proper grocery allowance followed. Set a debt payoff plan that is manageable (because I am known to be overzealous in paying off debt so I have to use a CC to get gas, ect....), and find a proper grocery budget and follow it.
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