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  1. Happy New Year! I am Mr. L and this is my first challenge. A bit about myself: I have a collection of board games that I do not play enough (current favs right now are Arkham Horror: LCG and Terraforming Mars), I teach high school math, and I am presently potty training a very feisty 2 year old. I am starting this challenge, because I have 3 big things to face this year and I need to be healthier to tackle them. "What are those three things you say?" Good question. I turn 40 in September I signed up for a Goruck Light Challenge in October Child #2 is due to arrive in July My goal for this quest is to lose 15 pounds by the end of the challenge. My quests for this challenge are: No Pop: I am giving up pop (soda, Coke, sugary carbonated beverages, etc) for the year. I drink way too much of it and I often make poor food choices to get more (ie getting fast food or ordering pizza) since we rarely have any in the house. I plan on maintaining this particular quest for the whole year. Be Active: I need some more activity in my life and my goal is to have at least 5 days of activity per week over the course of this challenge. I plan on starting the Stronglift 5x5 program later today and on some of my off-days I will do some rucking (either on the indoor track at the Y or around my neighborhood - weather depending). Eat Better: Eat within my calorie target goal for the day - at least 6 days per week. My non-fitness related quest is: Cleanup Time: Ever day due 15 minutes of cleaning, or other housework while my daughter is asleep. Good luck to everyone!
  2. I am so completely unfocused, lazy, overwhelmed, and under-motivated. So I steal a fantastic quote from Critical Role Campaign 1. I can't think about this too hard, or else it will fail. I really should go through my life and either set better boundaries on my schedule, or, take this challenge and learn how to quit things. The worrisome part of that idea, is that there is 'quitting because it makes sense so I can focus on something else' and 'quitting because I've chickened out'. We only want the former. So. There is one rule to this December challenge. Every morning. Wake up. Write out the plan for the day in BuJo. [And any 'do this week' things too] And then do my best to stick to it. (Excepting reasonable flexibility and sense.) There are things I'd like to get back into better habit of, but if I say I must do them this many times, and I start to fall behind, I will be all the Moop. So we're just going to write them down as 'Think about these things' and if I also do them. Great! Parts of the Plan - Eat better. - Exercise consistently. (Stick to Strong Lifts, it'll work!) - Get back to art stuff. You like it! Keep at it, you will keep improving. - Make time for friends and family. - Invest in church stuff. That's it. Nice. Simple. Not overwhelming.
  3. Hi, It's been a long time since I have done a challenge and I decided that I needed to come back. Since the start of summer my diet and exercise have been terrible and I needed something to inspire me to get moving. Besides setting up this challenge, I just got done registering for my first ever GoRuck Light event. I have a little over a year to train, and now that I have committed myself - I am excited and nervous. In order to prepare myself here are my goals for this months challenge. Lift - I am going to do a total reset on my Stronglifts program and work on making it a more regular part of my routine. I will lift 3 times per week. Eat Right - I will track my meals and stay within my designated calorie goals. I must do this daily. No Junk - I will not eat any fastfood for the duration of this challenge. Good luck to everyone on their challenges!
  4. After experiencing some success with my 1st challenge I have decided to get join up with the Rangers Guild and start a new one. Here are my goals for this coming challenge. Get Healthy: In order to get healthy, I need to lose some weight (about 140 lbs), and the best way (for me) to lose weight has been monitoring my calories. In this challenge, I will stay under my target calorie goal for the day - every day. Get Strong: I have been following the Stronglifts 5x5 program and I need to keep at it with greater consistency. I will do my Stronglifts workout 3 times each week. Get Outside: One of my long term fitness goals is to complete a GoRuck challenge. In order to start working on that I bought a backpack, which I now need to use. In this challenge, I will go for at least 2 rucks a week. Bonus Life Quest Get Off the Phone: I have been wasting too much time on my phone while at home recently, which I need to stop doing. I have downloaded and set up an app on my phone blocking everything but essential communications. I will engage the app when I get home and leave it running until at least 8 PM daily.
  5. I'm rewatching through Boy Meets World right now (thanks Hulu) and I decided to make my theme this challenge based on my very first original TV spirit animal - Topanga Lawrence! There are so many reasons I love her but I think the above two quotes pretty much say it all. If I have a moment of non-motivation during this challenge I'll just ask myself What Would Topanga Do? Be a badass independent woman and do what needs to be done, that's what. Prologue My first love is powerlifting, and have recently-ish started getting back into trying to lift heavy instead of just for maintenance. I'm still living the Stronglifts life right now but will probably be looking to graduate to an intermediate program before the end of the year. I also have semi-seriously been getting into ballroom dancing since December 2017 and it's kind of taken over my life. I love it. I'll be doing my first competition on my own (ie not with the formation team I'm on which I've done one competition with earlier this year) the end of the first week of this challenge doing a waltz to Hedwigs Theme. I recently did a huge decluttering of my apartment and am trying to settle on a good method of keeping-it-that-way. Last challenge I tried small daily tasks, I don't think it worked for me, so this challenge I'll be focusing on a new approach to this. I am really also into mobility (ROMWOD and Unbreakable Feet are my two go-tos, I've been dabbling in GMB's Focused Flexibility program) and fit that in where I can. I am a sufferer of Rangerbrain and earlier this year had to declutter my goals in order to focus on a smaller amount of things more seriously. I'm thinking of maybeeee trying to squeeze one of those things back in maybe before the end of the year? Things I wish I could do but just don't have time for and had to cut out but have potential to bring back: yoga, OCRs, rucking, boxing, rowing. Honestly I've got my eyeball on boxing but we shall see. It may make an appearance this challenge. It may not. I also volunteer for HRC and it takes up a lot of my non-work time. I've got meetings every week if not twice a week with them and then have to actually do the thing aside from that. Between that and dance my calendar is pretty much always full. I like it that way though. Goals 1) Lifty Lift Lift Strength Train 3x/week Self explanatory methinks. 2) Dancey Dance Dance Practice outside of dance class/lessons 1x/week I'm going to go to dance class and take lessons regardless of this challenge. I literally rearrange my social calendar so as to not miss classes sometimes so I'm in no way worried about that. I think the next step in upping my game is practicing things I'm struggling with at home. I'm not going to go too hard on this, I just want to get a feel for what it would entail. So 15 or more minutes once a week is all I'm shooting for for right now. That's enough time to practice one figure or something a few times. Or run a routine a few times. 3) Cleanity Clean Clean Comprehensive maintenance cleaning 1 day a week. No more daily tasks, do all of them in a few hour block once a week, for now scheduled for Friday but I think it might switch between Fridays and Sundays depending on the week. Reward I think I want to get a pair of practice dance shoes. I don't really neeeeeeed them, I have a pair of latin (strappy sandal-y) and a pair of smooth (closed toe and bendy) shoes but for days when I'm doing a few classes in a row and my feet hurt, or for salsa and hustle where I don't really want to be wearing either my latin or smooth shoes and feel weird when I do... I would really like to have a plain practice pair. So if I 100% this challenge I will get them - which sounds like a lot but I'm really only asking myself to do 2 things a week (ie goals 2 & 3, lifting is in my habit now so it's not something extra I'm doing but I'd like to keep track of it here), one of which is a 15 minute thing... so 100% is reasonable. I'll probably get black but like, there are also some crazy ones that I really like. I almost certainly won't get them, but look how cool they are: There are also ones with lips all over them hahah. Not sure if I'd absolutely love wearing them or regret it instantly. Anyway, that's my challenge. Here we go!
  6. I think I may have done a Harry Potter themed challenge semi-recently BUT I'm doing it again because I have a dance performance coming up and it's to Hedwigs Theme so I'm feeling pretty Hogwarts inspired right now However since I probably exhausted all the good old fashioned Potter gifs in my challenge a few months ago, this challenge will be hilarious and no-good HP gif themed. #sorrynotsorry Yeah we will see how long this lasts. Some background on me - my two main pursuits are powerlifting and ballroom dancing. Powerlifting I've been doing for a long while now and ballroom dancing I just got into back in December. I did ballet for 15 years when I was growing up so dance isn't super foreign to me but ballroom is SO FREAKIN' different and it's been 13 years since I've danced at all so it's definitely a challenge. I've actually got my first ever competition coming up in September (AHHHHHHHH), even though it's a super friendly not serious between some studios competition and not like... a real one. I did something similar with a performance team back in March but this one it will be just me doing a showcase (it's the Hedwig's theme dance I am basing this challenge around mentioned above). I'm ascared. But also still pretty darn excited. Lifting wise I've been more or less doing as a maintenance activity but the past 2 weeks I've been starting to step my game up again because I want to be stronger and I am finally feeling I am in a place where my body is used to how much dancing I am doing and it won't exhaust me. So far so good. As far as my challenge goes I usually end up using them kind of as a glorified battle log but I here are some goals anyway: Goal 1: Clean Fly Lady Daily Tasks 5x/week Last challenge I mostly focused on decluttering and making my apartment presentable and I succeeded! I have had people over semi-regularly and don't feel a wave of nausea inducing panic anymore at the thought of house guests. My first goal this challenge will be to maintain this as the status-quo. Honestly, I've been trying to do the Fly Lady thing for 3-ish years but I've never had a good baseline to go off of and it always just feels so overwhelming. Now that I've got a clean baseline apartment I feel like I can *gasp* actually do some maintenance cleaning?!?!?!? Should be interesting. Goal 2: Lift Strength workout 3x/week I have generally failed every darn time I tried to re-up my strength training from 2 to 3 days a week over the last few months and I think it was because I was still adjusting to my new dance schedule. The last few weeks I've been actually doing it super successfully and feeling pretty great about it so I want to keep this up. Goal 3: Dance Private lesson 1x/week I probably don't need to make this a goal because I'm going to do it anyway, but it's an easy win and I want an excuse to talk about it so there you go. So there you have it, a few days late but what are you gonna do. Time to do the thing!
  7. The last challenge was primarily about 2 things; getting my squat up to what I deemed an acceptable level and setting a foundation for upper body work by getting my Row form and technique correct. I managed both of those, so for this challenge I'll be building upon that foundation and easing off the intensity of the squats. Despite being overweight for much of my life, you wouldn't be able to tell if you just looked from the waist down. Above the waist, however, I look like a sack of potatoes. Mashed potatoes. And functionally I'm not as strong as I'd like to be. And SL has kinda reinforced this (or at least made the difference more obvious) with squats taking up the majority of time and effort. With this in mind, my challenges for this month are as follows: 1a. Prioritise Upper body. Do my upper body exercises first. Hopefully this will get around the problem of running out of energy in the latter part of a session. 1b. Add 10kg to all 'none squat' lifts. Assuming that the theory above is correct and I have more energy for these lifts, I should be able to add 10kg to my Bench Press, Overhead Press, Bent-over Rows and Deadlifts. 2. Concrete on bracing. Whilst I'm pleased with my squat, I need to work on my technique, especially where my core is concerned. I'll be lowering the weight and concentrating on bracing my substantial middle section. 3. Cardio day. Once a week, do a day of cardio. I hate cardio. But I need to get rid of my substantial middle section. Once a week do something cardio-ish. Half an hour on the exercise bike, go for a walk and so on and so forth. Something. Anything. Not much, but a start. Now, watcha gonna do, Brother and/or sister, when Kong-a-Mania runs wild on you?!
  8. (yeah I know that title sounds real intense and then it's just a cartoon hahah - bait and switch!) Background: For those just joining - I'm Raxie! This will be my 33rd challenge here. I recently got really into ballroom dancing and have been focusing a lot on that, but my other love is lifting. I have three kitties that I love dearly and I have a severe case of RangerBrain(TM). So! I really love how I set up my last challenge where I went hard on the goals, but also gave myself a lot of cushion to fall back on if I needed it. I ended up really needing that cushion in the last week, and that's fine! I passed, and I had a high bar that was quite ambitious that inspired me throughout the challenge. This challenge I am going to do kind of the opposite. I am going to set up some really rigid rules that are simple and not too ambitious... but I'm not going to give myself much leeway in terms of a grab bag of freebies. I find jumping back and forth between these two approaches has really helped me up my game slowly over time and I love it! Part of my problem with a lot of my goals in the past is I have an x times/week goal and I'll push it off and try to squish it all in towards the end of the week, but then it's the weekend and then I either don't do it or rush it. This time around I'm going to assign specific tasks to specific weekdays. If I don't do them, I can't "make them up" later. I just didn't do it, move on and I will do the task for the next week day. AND THAT'S OKAY. My inspiration for this challenge is Rick and Morty's Get Schwifty song -- two of the most inappropriate non-musically talented people on the planet went for it and created a song that won an intergalactic song contest, saving the earth from certain doom. If they can do that... my sometimes uncoordinated self can certainly go out on a limb and do The Scary Thing that is different dance styles and start competing in the future! (OK so that's a stretch - real talk I actually I don't have a theme that relates to my goals for this challenge and just wanted to throw some Rick and Morty gifs around because I love that show.) Big Picture Stuffs: I will be dancing. A lot. My goal is to do a non-group competition before the end of the year. That may be under ambitious but knowing me and my imposter syndrome that line in the sand needs to at least be drawn somewhere. As long as that line is there I could be convinced to move it to sooner, but I want to have it far enough away for now that I don't feel like I need to push it back if that makes sense. I want to focus on Foxtrot, Jive and a yet-to-be-determined Latin dance (I'm thinking maybe Rumba because it's so darn pretty). I will also continue to lift because I love it so. I re-started the beginner Strong Lifts progression for my OHP and Rows last challenge since I've been not doing them, the other lifts (DLs, Squats, Bench) I'm in intermediate Strong Lifts, but I'm shopping around for a more progressive intermediate program that I'll probably move on to either this challenge or the next. ROMWOD has become my backbone throughout the last two challenges and I will keep on keepin' on with that as well. Cleaning. Ugh. My eternal enemy. I feel like I would be the perfect adult and have my life together SO HARD if I could just keep my freakin' place clean! Why won't it just stay clean?! I am going to go full Fly Lady this challenge in terms of daily tasks so I have more of a direction in my cleaning, since last challenge I feel like I cleaned every day but nothing really... got done. Food. I've been eating kind of boarderline bad lately. I was away a bunch last week and am feeling I need to be more accountable about it, so I'm thinking I will report every day what I eat. No calorie counting, no paleo-compliance, I've just got to say here what I ate. That's it. The accountability will inspire me more than trying to meet macros and probably forcing "compliance" upon something that I know I'm just trying to game a system with. Goals: Under the spoiler is my "skeleton schedule" that is my baseline. Each Monday I will post a slightly altered schedule based on travel or volunteer meetings I may have to skip stuff for (I'm traveling almost every weekend this challenge so that will probably be the biggest struggle for sure). Grading: Points for each week will be out of 14 - basically each day I did the things I said I'd do I get a point, and each day I report what I ate I get a point for a total of 2 possible points a day. At the end of the challenge I need to have accumulated at least 55 points out of a possible 70 to pass! I'll be starting now, in week zero. Let's do this thing!
  9. Dear Bent-over Rows It's not you. It's me. I know I struggle to get your form quite right. I know that when time is running short on the gym, you're the one I skip. You deserve to be treated better than this. I'm sorry. But I can change. I'm going to treat you better. I'm going to give you the love and attention you deserve. Ahem. Yes. I don't like the bent over row and I do neglect it sometimes and that's not good. But I'm going to start taking it more seriously. Working on the things I don't like as well as those I do, being considerate of all aspects, that's the order of this challenge. With that in mind; 1. Love the row. When it's time to do it (every second workout), then I do it, regardless if I'm running late or feeling tired. And take my time getting it right. 2. Squat my bodyweight. Not, to be clear, bodyweight squats. But the equivalent of my bodyweight on the bar. This one is ambitious; doable but with a decent risk I may not get it done in the allocated time. But I should be able to work my way up to that by the end of the challenge. 3. Fix breakfast. Ok, I love breakfast but I love sleep more. So weekends tend to be pretty good. But weekdays breakfast tends to be just a slice of toast at home and then a porridge or pot of Arla at work. Not bad for a regular day, but now that I'm strong lifts it's not enough. Make this better. 4. Love tea breaks. I've been at my 'new' work over half a year now. I still use the machines for coffees and teas. Expensive and not great tasting. So my final challenge is to bring in my own mug and coffee and tea bags. Should be an easy win.
  10. I've been putting on 2.5kg every time I lift (as per strong lifts) and I've been progressing which is great. But it's also really tiring. I've found that squats are taking up a lot of my energy and that the follow up lifts are so much more difficult. Is there any benefit to putting the squat progress on pause and keeping the weight constant for a few weeks (either for just squats or for all lifts), letting my body get used to the weight? Or is it best just to keep pushing on?
  11. Considering that my user name is a Doctor Who reference, and that it is one of my most intense nerdoms (I’ve seen almost every episode of the old doctors 1-8 from 1963 and on, even sat through some horrible animated and audio recovered versions of the “lost” episodes) I was shocked to realize that I’ve somehow never done a full up Doctor Who challenge since I joined in 2013?! I think I subconsciously wasn’t ready to do something so close to my heart and have the chance to screw it up, so a few times I’ve considered it and said to myself “next challenge” or “oh I’ll have to put more thought into that before going forward with it”. Well you know what? It’s time. After a couple of taking-it-easy challenges ramping back up from taking a while off last year for my wedding planning, wedding itself, and honey moon, I’m ready. Last challenge was the most successful I’ve had in a really long time, and I have recently discovered a new love (ballroom dance) and started really diving into it, and am ready to ramp it up to full gear. I’ve got my sonic and I’m ready to travel time and space and get. shit. done. So as still not to dive in too quickly, because I've learned my lesson there, I’ll be ramping up my goals all through the challenge, each week I will face off against a new Doctor Who enemy alongside a different regeneration of the Doctor. By the end of the five weeks (I’m starting this week in zero week!) I’ll be all up to speed in All The Things. Well, not all the things because I’ll still be focusing on dance and lifting (continuing to suppress the Ranger Brain and not add other things in like a nut job) but I’ll be diving in HARD. I’m also going to go back to lifting 3x/week and give up doing barre once a week. I wanted to do it to get posture work in, but I’ll just add in more core-type accessories to my lifting days instead. I miss it too much. So without further ado, I present Raxie’s Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey Challenge!
  12. Illness. The January Blues. The NFL playoffs (and accompanied snacking). Not adjusting my weights correctly for my post Christmas gym return. Just some of the reasons why my last challenge was a bit of a bust. This time I have adjusted accordingly and added in some extra ones to make life better. Here we go; 1) Rejoin the 100 club. Before Christmas I was squatting 117.5kg (5x5) with Deadlifts not far off. Afterwards even 100 was a stretch. The main goal of this challenge is to work my way back to 100kgs (5x5) for both squats and Deadlifts. Where these liftsvlead, other lifts will follow. 2) Cut out the junk. A goal last time round. A goal missed, despite a good start. No excuses now. No takeaways. No chocolate bars. no fizzy pop. 3) check out the new gym. My current gym is good, but it's out of the way. There is a new one opening soon, that's much nearer and much more convenient. It promises a "massive free weights area". If it delivers in this promise, it'll make things so much easier. 4) quit vaping. It's better than smoking. It's not better than not vaping. 5) meditate more. I enjoyed it when I found time to do it. Have to find time more often.
  13. Scalyfreak slowly creeps up against the large of the big building that claims to be a “guild hall” for “warriors” and peeks in through a window. It’s very bright in there. Lots of lights and a welcoming fireplace. Lots of people too, who seem to have a great time doing whatever it is they are doing… lots of lifting with barbells? And is that a water cooler in the corner? Scalyfreak thinks this looks like a good place to stop for a while, and is just about to enter, when she notices that the demon twins who follow her everywhere, are peeking in through another window. “I don’t like this place”, Procrastination whines. “No one here likes me.” “You’re a selfish and sabotaging bitch, no one ever likes you,” Scalyfreak mutters, while thinking to herself that if Procrastination dislikes this place, that’s another good reason to settle down here for a while. Self-Indulgence says nothing, as usual, though the large buffet table laden with food is making her purr a little. Tired, irritated, and thoroughly fed up with lots of things at this current stage of her fitness journey, Scalyfreak decides to stop caring about her annoying entourage for a while. She leaves the demons by their window, walks around to the front door, and pushes it open. ...and thus begins the third challenge. First off, hi everyone! *waves* Ignore the two, um, “things”, that follow me around everywhere and whisper to me non-stop. I promise they’re completely harmless to everyone except me, and the less attention we give them, the better. For this period’s challenges, I need to start broadening my scope a little bit. Challenge two was really nothing but an extension of the first challenge, in large part because I started up the first one halfway through that challenge period. Of course, broadened scope needs to happen with the overall quest objective firmly in mind: Defeat Procrastination and Self-Indulgence. In order to win this boss fight, I need to do the following things: 1. Continue with all good habits formed through previous challenges Walk every day (with the Loyal Sidekick) Not drink soda Go to the gym three times a week and do some form of light activity on off days (preferably yoga) 2. Stay with Stronglifts Due to an unexpected and highly inconvenient knee injury, this goal is on hiatus for the foreseeable future. This is going to be both easy and challenging to do. Stronglifts takes all the hard work before and after the workout out of it. I don’t even had to think about it (except to do plate math), I just go to the gym and do what the app tells me to do. This makes it incredibly easy even on stressed or tired days when I really don’t feel like putting in any effort at all. The struggle is that the lifts themselves are a bit of a struggle. Progress is slow, and based on struggles with form and the lifting itself, I feel like it’s trying to progress faster than my body is on board with. I’m trying to at least partially address this in the next two goals. 3. Continue cutting liquid calories from my life. I have stopped with the sodas. Now, it’s time to look at the rest of the calorie-filled drinks around me – fruit juice, coffee drinks, and of course the wine and whiskies. All of these need to go. I already drink my coffee black at home, but it’s probably a bad sign that every employee at my local coffee shop know my name, and that I always ask for soy milk in my chocolate lavender latte. I probably don’t need to have wine with dinner several times a week just because I want to, (it makes dinner so much better!) and I know for a fact it’s possible to enjoy both books and video games without a single malt nearby for sipping. All these habits will be firmly broken, and once they are, they will be reintroduced as special occasion treats, since it is much easier for me to do it that way than to gradually cut back. And for someone who never talks, Self-Indulgence has a very shrill voice when she starts yelling and screaming... 4. Become Sleeping Beauty. Not this one: This one: Just so we're clear. I have noticed that lifting is much easier (and more enjoyable!) when I get a good night's sleep before doing it. Unfortunately, sleeping isn’t really something I prioritize and even when I do it never seems to happen anyway. A part of that is my insomniac tendencies, another part is that it’s never really been important to me before. I can function perfectly well on 4-5 hours per night and there was never a reason to change that. Until I started actually pushing myself at the gym and my body suddenly developed a genuine need for more sleep as a result. In order to meet this particular goal I will need to figure out what exactly I’m going to de-prioritize or drop in order to free up at least three hours in the evening for going to bed and sleeping. I also need to set a sleep schedule, so both my mind and my body can learn a new routine, and make it possible for me to actually sleep. I actively avoid going to bed early because all that leads to is tossing and turning for at least two boring hours before my brain stops spinning and even contemplates sleeping. (That in itself is incentive to stay up late, by the way.) My Fitbit claims to have tools that can help with this. I will investigate them and learn how to use them. Meditation might help with the brain spinning as well. Another thing to investigate… 5. Fifth and last goal: Unfuck Dragon Mountain (My room is my dragon cave, because "woman cave" sounds stupid, so obviously the house the room is in, must be a dragon mountain. It all makes sense.) And while it’s not really a horrible a mess, it's kind of cluttered and there are areas of concentrated messiness, largely because we both hate doing household chores. Using the philosophy and methods of Unfuck Your Habitat, I will start making my home less messy and more relaxing, one 20-minute challenge at a time. I am still fuzzy on the details, since I still need to fit in gym visits and set a bed time, but I am excited to make it nicer around here. Ahem. Apologies for the Great Wall of Text. If you made it all the way to the end, thank you. Good to meet you.
  14. Raxie

    Reclaiming Raxie

    Hooray we have made it to 2018!! I am pretty excited. The last year was a year full of ups and downs for me, but overall it was just horribly busy. Busy in both good ways and bad, but just when I look back at the year it just seems like a whirl wind of emotion and stress. I really lost track of my goals and a bit of the fun-loving, motivated person I have grown into over the past few years. This is the first year in YEARS that I don't already have 100 things planned, I can actually look at my calendar and it isn't CRAMMED full of things every single weekend. I am so beyond excited about this. I want to take this year to breathe - settle back into my habits that kind of got lost along the way, and reclaim myself, my time, and really focus on me. The last challenge was kind of a mental cleanse for me, I abandoned a lot of the side fitness projects I had been trying to do and overwhelming myself with. I really like what I ended up with, while I still want to pursue archery, OCRs, rucking, boxing, and gymnastics... I needed to break it down to the top couple of things to really focus on and I am really glad I did. I am going to continue with that for this challenge, but instead of focusing on the Rangerbrain decluttering portion of it, I am going to focus on really diving deep into those couple of things I have chosen to focus on. Those things are lifting, dancing, and food. The goals are below. Passing is meeting my goals 100% of the time for all 5 weeks. Variances are already worked into each goal so this isn't unreasonable. Fitness Goal 1: Pick Things Up and Put Them Down I did really well with reducing my lifting days to twice a week from three times a week and I'm going to keep on with that. Stronglifts 2x/week Variance: Can shift a workout to the next week and do 3x/week as a make up ONCE this challenge Fitness Goal 2: Dance Dance Dance I completely fell in love with ballroom dancing last year while learning our first dance for my wedding and I want to really focus on it. I did ballet for 15 years when I was younger, and I'm eyeing a ballet studio that I might hit up for adult classes when I work up the courage. If I don't, that's OK, I'll do online barre classes in my room. Either way I need to do stuff to work on my posture. Dance Class 3x/week Barre or ballet 1x/week Variance: Can do a quick 10-minute pilates workout instead of barre ONCE this challenge. Fitness Goal 3: Recovery ROMWOD (Range of Motion Workout of the Day) has done wonders for me, and I picked up with it regularly again last challenge and I want to stick with it. I'm going to try to start doing it in the morning instead of before bed and see how that works for me, since I really miss my morning yoga practice but I don't want to add anything extra to my plate. ROMWOD 5x/week Variance: ROMWOD Warrior (a once a week twice as long WOD) can count as 2 sessions once a week as a make up TWICE this challenge Food Goal: Eat Clean My definition of clean isn't quite paleo or gluten free, but I know it works for me. Last challenge I took it easy and just wanted to not eat like an a-hole through the holidays... which aside from one holiday and pet-loss induced binge session I did really well. I'm ready to drill this down to be more specific. Here are my rules: No added sugar to recipes or beverages Gluten-free-ish. Whole grains are OK (and not like bread, like actual whole grains I can see and pick up, like farro or wheat berries) and this is limited to once a week. No cheese or milk. Dairy is OK in the form of ghee and sometimes butter in cooking. Eat out only once a week Drink alcohol once a week, and only up to three drinks are allowed that night. Try to stick to wine and cider, one of the three drinks can be beer only. Variance on sugar and cheese is allowed once a week (probably will co-align with eating out but it doesn't have to) Life Goal: Laundry & Decluttering I've been so busy my apartment has become my dumping grounds as opposed to my sanctuary. This needs to change. 15 minutes of decluttering per day 5x/week Laundry twice a week and put away clothes within 24 hours of washing them. Variance: Can skip TWO declutter sessions throughout the challenge. Laundry can be done less if it isn't needed.
  15. Goal 1 — Paying the Iron Price: Continue the Stronglifts Program Last challenged I started Stronglifts. I took a break for a week for the holidays. I will continue lifting, reach Week 8, which will leave me with 4 more weeks for the next challenge. Week 1 ✘ ☐ ☐ xx% x Week 2 ☐ ☐ ☐ xx% x Week 3 ☐ ☐ ☐ xx% x Week 4 ☐ ☐ ☐ xx% x Week 5 ☐ ☐ ☐ xx% x ~xx% ~x Goal 2 — A Warrior's Flexibility: I will stretch after every workout. I'm terrible at this. I always forget it, do some half-assed stretching while I cool down in the shower but I will make stretching as part of my workout routine as every great warrior does. Also, to counter the effects of sitting and because I've been suffering from low back pains since I can remember, I will do some 30s/1m spinal decompressions between Pomodoro breaks while working on the computer or whenever I'm leaving/entering my house. Week 1 ✘✘ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ xx% x Week 2 ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ xx% x Week 3 ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ xx% x Week 4 ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ xx% x Week 5 ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ xx% x ~xx% ~x Goal 3 — A Warrior's Discipline: Track with diligence I'm also terrible at this. I forget to take pictures, take measurements and I always end up frustrated that I don't see any progress. I will take pictures, measurements, track sets/reps and weights properly and share them here. I have an appointment with a nutritionist in a couple of weeks and I'll sit down with her to set some more solid goals in terms of losing weight/body fat. If there's something I envy from the warriors, is that they're very diligent with tracking everything. Week 1 ✘ ✘ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ xx% x Week 2 ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ xx% x Week 3 ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ xx% x Week 4 ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ xx% x Week 5 ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ xx% x ~xx% ~x Life Goal: A Warrior's Soul A significant of my focus for this year will develop, grow, and strengthen certain qualities of spirit, to work out my character and inner life as much (or more) than I do my body. I will pursue certain spiritual disciplines and make them part of my daily rituals. And just to keep me accountable and go with the tracking goal (and in case you're wondering which spiritual disciplines I'm pursuing). Meditation and Contemplation Week 1 ✘ ✔ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ xx% x Week 2 ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ xx% x Week 3 ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ xx% x Week 4 ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ xx% x Week 5 ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ xx% x ~xx% ~x Fasting Week 1 ✘ ✘ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ xx% x Week 2 ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ xx% x Week 3 ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ xx% x Week 4 ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ xx% x Week 5 ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ xx% x Silence and Solitude Week 1 ✘ ✔ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ xx% x Week 2 ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ xx% x Week 3 ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ xx% x Week 4 ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ xx% x Week 5 ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ xx% x Journaling and Gratitude Week 1 ✘ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ xx% x Week 2 ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ xx% x Week 3 ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ xx% x Week 4 ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ xx% x Week 5 ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ xx% x Fellowship and Confession Week 1 ✔ ✔ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ xx% x Week 2 ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ xx% x Week 3 ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ xx% x Week 4 ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ xx% x Week 5 ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ xx% x Study and Self-Examination Week 1 ✘ ✔ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ xx% x Week 2 ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ xx% x Week 3 ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ xx% x Week 4 ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ xx% x Week 5 ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ xx% x unicode: ✔✘☐
  16. Hey fellas! Ok so here's the situation. I've started the Stronglifts 5x5 program which includes doing a lot of squats. Aaaand... my underwear can't hack it. Sadly several pairs have bit the dust, ripping from the movements. Any suggestions for sturdy underwear that is not too expensive?
  17. It's a new year. Holidays are over and it's back to work tomorrow. Illness has (mostly) cleared, however my belly is full of turkey, mince pies and many many alcoholic beverages. Its time to get back to work. 1. Continue 5x5. 3 times a week. Keep pushing myself to the following goals by the end of the challenge: 1a. Squat my own bodyweight. This is likely to change a little bit either way, but likely to be mid-120kgs. 1b. As above for Deadlifts. 1c. 80kg for Bench-press 1d. 70kg for row 1e. 50kg for OHP. 2. Refuel. Eat well (no takeaways) whilst getting my protein in. 3. Recharge. Get enough sleep. 7 hours a night is the target. Not ideal but will be better than what I've been getting for a while. My white whale. 4. Meditate. A bit druidy but a good one. My mental health is good for now and I want to keep it that way. I don't want to wait until something happens again before I pay attention to it. So for now, not long, maybe 10 minutes a day, do a little meditation. Let's see how this goes.
  18. For those just tuning in, I'm Raxie! I'm returning to the boards after taking a hiatus for my wedding, honeymoon and Thanksgiving... all of which basically happened in rapid succession. It's been an AMAZING couple of months, but my brain, and my life, are in need of severe decluttering. Confession: I have a ridiculous case of Rangerbrain. I cannot. stop. wanting. to do. ALL. THE. THINGS. If I enjoy something, I try to make it so I can work it into my workout schedule (tried boxing at Camp Nerd Fitness and loved it? TAKE A BOXING CLASS! Decided rucking is great training for hiking? RUCK EVERY DAY. Went to a Nerd Meetup at the DC Spartan Race and decided it looked amazingly fun? TRAIN FOR 100 SPARTANS! Oh, and do it all at the same time!!!!). Seriously I am out of freaking control. OUT OF CONTROL! I am getting burned out and need to chillllll outtttt. I've basically made a list of all the things I want to do, and what is most easily attainable, while keeping in mind that going after a goal now doesn't mean I can't, for example, sign up for a spartan at a later date and switch my training over to focus on that for a bit. The idea here is I need to focus on something, not everything. After some brain storming I came to the conclusion that the two most important things to me right now are lifting and dance. I did ballet for 15 years when I was a kid, and then stopped when I went to college. Taking private ballroom lessons for my first dance at my wedding reignited my love of it, and I am completely obsessing over it. So I'm going to build a SIMPLE schedule around training to improve my dancing, and actual dance classes. I really want to get good at it and I haven't felt so great about myself and had so much fun in an incredibly long time. I will never be able to fully give up lifting because it is so fundamental to me and my training now, but I will *GASP* lower my number of lifting days a week from 3 to 2. (And I need to keep telling myself this is OK). It's going to be OK. So here's the goals: Fitness Goal 1: Dance! 2-3 dance classes a week, depending on holiday and work schedule. Fitness Goal 2: Lift! 2-3 lifting sessions a week, depending on dance schedule Fitness Goal 3: Accessory Work 1 Cardio Dance session a week 1 Ballet Barre session a week 3 ROM WODs a week Life Goal: Don't eat like an a-hole Declutter my belly. Self explanatory. Grading Post my plan for the week every Sunday or Monday. At the end of the week - did I do it or no? If I do it all 4 weeks, LEVEL UP.. If not, reassess and try again next time I know this is harsh, but I'm going super simple this challenge so I'll have to really slack to not meet my goals.
  19. I recently followed someone else's lead and made a plan for 2016. These are the goals I want to accomplish during the year. They are intentionally not SMART goals. All of my challenges in 2016 will be aiming for the goals laid out here by setting smaller SMART goals along the way. This will serve as a dedicated place to keep track of my progress. So here are my goals for 2016 Or you can jump right into 2017 1. Get weight under 200, even better 180, or bf under 25% a. Stabilize meals. I've gotten into the habit again of weekly variances. They tend to be big variances that undo all the work I've done and I end up trying to outrun my fork. I need to incorporate smaller variances more often rather than have big variances. Other than birthday dinners and a few holiday dinners, I would rather be evenkeel with eating b. Follow macros but adjust as needed to fit fitness plan 2. Badassery. It's time to level up again. a. Conditioning. There are three events in 2016 that I will be specifically training for. 1. GoRuck in July 2. 5K in August 3. HammerRace in October. b. Strength. I need to make this a priority. It will help me lose the rest of the fat, reach BAMF level, and help prepare for my events. 1. Start some lifting with the barbell. I've put it off too long and let my anxiety increase. 2. Work on pushups. I can barely do a regular pushup. I want to move from incline pushups to real pushups and be able to do a least a set of 25. 3. Pullups. I would feel pretty badass if I could do a single pull up by the end of the year. 3. Be the Best Me a. Read more. Fiction, non-fiction, classics, anything. b. Keep a clean house, routinely. c. Be anti-fragile. Be Smart, don't get injured. Don't forget the stretchy bits. d. Balance - basically mentally anti-fragile. relax, be kind to myself and others, be positive, and be productive. This to this to this
  20. Posted a form check links awhile back (in october), and thought I'd update. I couldn't find the old post (was going to link it here). Today was stronglifts A day (squat, bench, and barbell rows). Below will be the links to the vids. Any and all advice is appreciated, my ego can take it (as in I tested my ego this morning...errr...more like tested the safety pins on the squat rack, as you'll see) 175 lbs failure 170 lbs work set 110 lbs bench, side view110 lbs bench, shoulder view 130 lb barbell row B day lifts coming up on Monday (if I'm brave enough)
  21. Bit of background; I am - and have always been - fat. I currently weigh about 125kg and last year topped out at 130 (which was a bit terrifying tbh). I've tried on numerous occasions to get healthy, and it always tails off for one reason or another (as my limited posting history will show). Recently I've started doing Stronglifts 5x5, and I'm really annoying it. I'm starting week 8 tomorrow and it's sticking better than I'd have thought. My worry is that, sooner or later I'm going to have to start increasing how much I eat. Obviously what I eat needs to be on point (and my diet is improving all the time). But it still worries me. I tried to calculate how much protein I should be eating and I'm getting results of between 150 and 230 grams a day and this seems like an awful lot (especially since most places say there's no point eating more than 30 grams in any one go). I can probably fit more in at breakfast quite easily, but any advice on how to increase protein intake without eating like the obese man I am would be greatly appreciated.
  22. Figured out how to record some sets. Will try to post them here, looking for any feedback on my form. This is my portions from this morning, B workout on stronglifts, week 4 first day. Figure it'd be better to get a form check early before a stall. Squat Squat set #1 Squat set #2 OH Press Overhead Press video Deadlift Deadlift video Apologies for the linking and not embedding the vids. I don't know how to do that. Best I can do is link to the vids on my google drive. -10 internets for me Thanks for the insight oh wise ones!
  23. Hi there, Sorry if this is in the wrong place. I joined this forum a while ago but this is my first time posting here. I'm a 5'9", 29 year old guy and currently weigh 56kg/8 st 12 lbs. In the past few weeks I've been thinking of getting more into weight training and powerlifting. I'm not looking to compete or anything but I want to get stronger and build a bit more muscle. I'm not completely new to lifting weights as I had been doing bodypump classes twice a week. Whilst this helped me get lean I'm not seeing the results I'd like. I stumbled across the Stronglifts 5x5 program. This week I took the plunge and switched gyms from the small gym in my local leisure centre to a gym with a dedicated weight training and functional strength training areas. I am genuinely enjoying the Stronglifts program but I do have a few concerns about how much food to eat and how low the workout frequency is. Everything I read about building muscle states that you need to eat a lot. The Stronglifts program also suggests only working out 3 times a week with little to no cardio. About 8-9 years ago I used to weigh 89kg/14 st. I was really unhappy and had no self confidence. Between changing my diet and doing a lot of cardio (at one point I was cycling 13 miles a day) I started losing weight and managed to get down to a healthy 67kg/10 st 10 lbs for my wedding day. I maintained this weight until I joined the gym at my local leisure centre last year and reached my current weight. My worry is that by eating more and doing less cardio the weight will just go back on to my stomach and face. Is this worry completely unfounded? Everything I've read suggests that as long as I eat right (whole foods, high protein, etc) that I won't regain the fat I had before but instead will go to fuelling muscle growth. In the days between heavy weight sessions should I do any cardio? Currently I'm going on 4-5 mile runs but I'm not sure if this is too much. Thanks for taking the time to read this. Any advice you can give would be greatly appreciated. James
  24. I have been wanting to do a Dark Tower themed challenge FOR EVER. This series is probably my absolute favourite of all time. I’m encouraged by the movie hopefully providing a wide availability of gifs so I'm finally doing it! I won’t be following the movie plot though, I’ll be sticking with the book characters and locations. This is going to be a 3 challenge long theme, with pre-planned variations and additions each challenge. This triple-challenge is all leading up to Mr. Raxie and I’s wedding in October, and then our honeymoon in early November! The first major thing I’ll be working towards is Mr. Raxie’s and I’s first dance. We started taking dance lessons last week I want to continue that. I also want to start taking group dance classes when I can because I remembered how much I truly love to dance (I did ballet for 15 years of my life growing up but it’s been quite a while since then) and every time we leave a dance lesson I feel so unbelievably happy and light. I want to get more of that feeling. A few weeks after the wedding is the honey moon! We were originally going to do something relaxing like going to an all inclusive resort or Disney or something like that and then realized that’s just not us, no matter how much we would love to pretend it is. So instead we are going to do a ~2 week backpacking trip across the Great Smoky Mountains via the Appalachian Trail! About halfway through we’ll be submitting Clingman’s Dome, which at 6,643 feet is the highest mountain on the Appalachian Trail and the third highest mountain on the east coast. It’s going to be really tough. I’m not concerned about being out in the middle of no where for that long as I feel adequately prepared in that sense, the terrain itself is just going to be hard as heck compared to what we are used to… so we are going to have to get really serious about training for that with as much hiking as possible between then and now, and rucking around the city when we can’t get out to nature. With all that said, I’ve got a pretty rigorous training plan for the next three challenges, and my challenges will include zero weeks so they are each 5 weeks long. Each challenge will be a leg of Roland’s journey to the tower with his Ka-Tet (for non-constant readers: the Ka-Tet is Roland’s tightly bound group of travelling companions through the series. They are so tightly bound they are essentially family and their destinies are entwined) and will be traveling towards a confrontation with one of the Dark Tower big-bads. The main Ka-Tet will come with me for each challenge, and each challenge will also have a guest member from the series for that challenge alone. Note: The characters that do and do not come with me, the potential deaths of big-bads, and how each relates to the locations of that particular challenge will have no correlation to book events, so it’ll all be pretty spoiler free.
  25. NNNNNEEEEEEERRRRRRDDDDSSSSS <3 <3 <3 My goodness it has been FAR TO FREAKIN’ LONG! After Nerd Fitness being blocked at work, losing my personal computer to cat aggression, and then slipping a disc in my neck my NerdLife™ has been severely lacking. But I finally got a new computer, am more or less recovered in terms of my neck, and am ready to start moving forward again. I need to get over my mental hurdle/fear of lifting again since I’m so terrified to put weight on my back again. Mind you, I messed up my neck SLEEPING, because sure that’s a thing now. But barbells are looking awful scary to me these days. And if I know you Nerds I know I can get some support in helping to get through this fear here For those of you who don’t know me – HI! I’m Raxie! I have been on Nerd Fitness since September 2013 and did not miss a single challenge cycle up until December 2016, when I dropped off for the above reasons. I am a sufferer of RangerBrain™ but my primary fitness focus is power lifting. I supplement this with rowing and yoga, and once I get back into the swing of things again will be trying out boxing! I went to Camp Nerd Fitness in 2015 and 2016 and it was life changing. And I just returned from Tank’s wedding in TX feeling extra inspired and full of NerdLove™ and needing to get back on here by any means necessary! I have a tendency to go really above and beyond for my challenge set ups, but since it’s been a while I need to ramp up a bit slowly. This challenge I’m going to go simple and straight forward. I need to start really working on my strength again – I’ve been primarily just been doing yoga and walking since I hurt my neck in February. Next month I can hopefully get my normal challenge on and do some fun nerdy D&D kinda stats and storyline. I figure for now I need all the energy I can get and no one brings energy and sick dance moves like the Backstreet Boys. (Except for myabe NSYNC. *shrug*) The plan is to do 2 weeks of body weight work to build up to getting back to the barbell, and then taking up Strong Lifts again. I also need to get my brain back in the game so I want to make this challenge about participating on the forums, and keeping my home life in order to make sure I am always in the zone! So without further ado – my goals are below. EVERYBODY -- ROCK YOUR BODY {get moving} Beginner Body Weight Workout + NF Rings/Handstands 3x/week for the first 2 weeks Strong Lifts + NF Rings/Handstands 3x/week for the second 2 weeks OH MY GOD THEY'RE BACK AGAIN – BROTHERS SISTERS EVERYBODY SING! {communicate with my nerds!} Post to my thread 3x/week Post to mini challenge 1x/week Post to guild hall 1x/week GONNA BRING THE FLAVOUR SHOW YOU HOW {eat dat good healthy food} Eat out only 1x/week GOT A QUESTION FOR YOU BETTER ANSWER NOW {create a positive environment for my fitness adventure kick-start} Clean per Fly Lady plan 6x/week Meditate via HeadSpace 5x/week ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ And that's that -- let's do this thing!!
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