Jump to content

*** READ THIS THREAD FIRST *** NF Beginner Guidebook

Recommended Posts

Welcome, aspiring heroes of the Rebellion!



If this is your 1st NF Challenge, then you've come to the right place! 



I'm the Professor Oak who gives you your first Pokemon.

I'm the Old Man of Hyrule who gives you your first sword.

I'm the Hagrid that guides you through Diagon Alley.

I'm Luke Skywalker, and I'm here to rescue you!

 Wait, Luke was the hero. 

Maybe I'm Obi-Wan?

Whatever.  I'm the helpful dude you meet near the beginning of your journey.  You get the point.:)


My NF nickname is Hazard.

I'm the Guild Leader for the "Level 1s."

That's you.



And this ... is your Call to Adventure!







This Level 1 subforum is your Starter Zone.  As in pretty much every role-playing game ever made, no matter how much or how little playing experience we have, we all begin a new game in the same place.  The starter zone.  This is the tutorial level.  Don't worry too much about making grand fitness progress in the next few weeks. In the beginning we do make progress, but in the starting zone we're mostly learning/practicing how to play the game.



Please take the time to read the 8 steps in these Challenge Instructions.  There are helpful resources in there for exploring goal ideas.


Here's my streamlined alternative version:


  1. Pick a "Big Picture" goal.  This is your current Main Quest.  Why are you here?  What's something you'd like to accomplish?
  2. Pick 2 - 3 S.M.A.R.T. goals (smaller quests) that support your Main Quest.   These supporting quests are what you’ll be doing during the weeks of this NF Challenge period.  The 2-3 supporting quests should be things that, as you work on them, help move you forward toward achieving your current Main Quest. 
  3. Create & Post your Challenge thread in this Level 1 / First Time Challengers subforum.  In your challenge thread:  Introduce yourself.  Tell us a little about who you are, how you found Nerd Fitness, what ultimately led to you joining in, and tell us some of your hobbies, favorite tv shows, movies, games, etc; doing so is a great way to connect with people who share similar interests. Tell us what your current Main Quest is.  And tell us what your 2-3 supporting quests are.  Over the weeks of this NF Challenge period, post updates on your Challenge thread letting us know how you're progressing on those goals.


The more clear and well-defined your Main Quest and 2-3 smaller challenge quests are, the more likely you'll be to succeed with them.




Quick Note about Tapatalk


If you're posting to these forums using Tapatalk, please log in to your Tapatalk account settings and turn the Tapatalk signature off.   It's advertisement spam, and advertisement spam is not allowed on the NF forums.  Thank you.




About the Guild System


The Guild System was created many moons ago on NF.   Guilds are intended to bring together people who have similiar-ish Challenge Goals.  After you've completed your Level 1 challenge, it's our intention that you leave this starter zone and make your way into the wider NF world, by picking one of the guilds to do your next challenge in. 


No matter what guild you choose for your next challenge, don't worry about your choice too much.  You aren't locked into a single guild.  In fact, when the guilds were created, it was intended that people would do each challenge in whichever guild made the most sense with regard to that person's current challenge goals. 


For example, if you're trying to learn to become better at deadlifting, you might do a challenge in the Warrior guild.  But as that challenge nears its end you decide you've got the basics of deadlifting down and now you want to learn to do pullups, so the next challenge you do with the Assassin guild to learn to pullup better.  Then, realizing you'd like to try parkour but need better running stamina, the next challenge you do with the Scouts to learn to how to run longer.  Then you realize running alone in a park can be dangerous, so you do the next few challenges with the Monks to learn some basic self-defense techniques. Get the picture?


Before each Challenge begins, make sure you have a clear current Main Quest, and then pick your 2-3 smaller goals/quests that will help you move forward toward completing it.  Then think through which Guild would be best for helping you complete those 2-3 smaller quests - (whichever of those quests you think you'll need the most help with). That's probably the guild you should choose to do that Challenge in.




Here is a list of the current Guilds, with a brief description of each:


Level 1 / First Time Challengers:

  • That's here.  Where you're reading right now.  If you've never done an NF Challenge before, this is where you should be.  After you've completed your Level 1 Challenge, you'll move on to play in the guilds below.


  • The Adventurer guild is for people whose quests are achieved by exploring our big beautiful world: often through pursuits such as touring, hiking, climbing mountains, sailing, sea diving, etc.


  • The Assassin guild is for people whose quests involve bodyweight strength training, skills, agility, and flexibility: often through pursuits such as gymnastics, calisthenics, parkour, circus arts, dance, Ninja Warrior style obstacle courses, etc.


  • The Warrior guild is for people whose quests involve strength training via lifting stuff, pushing stuff, pulling stuff, throwing stuff, carrying stuff: often through pursuits such as powerlifting, strongman, weightlifting, etc.


  • The Scout guild is for people whose quests involve endurance training; often through pursuits such as distance walking, jogging, running, cycling, swimming, triathlons, etc.


  • The Ranger guild is a hybrid guild that was created for people whose quests involved roughly equal interest in weighted strength training (warriors) and endurance activities (scouts): often through pursuits such as rucking, Crossfit Games, Tough Mudders, Spartan Races, etc.


  • The Monk guild is for people whose quests involve combat/martial training: often through pursuits such as boxing, wrestling, Kung Fu, Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Judo, Jujitsu, firearms, etc.


  • The Druid guild is for people whose quests involve contemplative/meditative training: often through pursuits such as focused/guided meditation, Yoga, Tai Chi, etc.


  • The Rebel guild is for people whose quests don't seem to fit anywhere else.  If you look through the other guilds’ descriptions and find yourself thinking, "None of these specialized guilds seem quite right for the 2-3 quests I'll be pursuing in the upcoming challenge," then you should do that challenge in the Rebel guild.




"Take Me To Your Leaders"


Guild Leaders (GLs) oversee/run the various guilds.  We create content for our guilds, we put together the pinned/stickied threads, we choose/recommend new Guild Leaders to join our team, we choose/recommend new guild ambassadors, and we're here to help you - in general - with anything you need help with.  You may find us making posts in your challenge threads giving you support, encouragement, or advice from time to time.  And, if you have questions, or concerns, please don't hesitate to bring them to your guild leader(s). 

          GLs are also moderators for the forums.  We have the power to delete, move, or edit threads, posts, signatures, profiles, etc, and to ban users if necessary.  If you ever have any questions or issues, again please don't hesitate to bring them to your guild leader(s). 

          Also be aware that you should be seeing a "report post" option at the top-right of every post.  If you see something you don't think should be on the forums, please bring it to our attention by reporting it.


You will also most likely see Guild Ambassadors (GAs) around.  Guild Ambassadors are representatives of the guild that they are 'ambassadoring' for.  Guild Leaders can't be online 24 hours a day checking in on everyone.  So we have Guild Ambassadors to act as helpers.   You may find GAs popping into your challenge threads here in the Level 1 guild, also offering you support, encouragement, and advice.   You may find your challenge thread being visited particularly by ambassadors from guilds whose fitness specialties seem to coincide with your current challenge goals.





I hope that helps answer some of your questions and gets you started.   If you still need help getting started, or with anything, there are many ways to get my attention. 

  • You can post your question in the pinned/sticky thread: Questions for Guild Leader Hazard (Ask Me Anything)
  • You can also send me a private message via the forum's PM system:  Click on my forum avatar at the top left of this post to go to my profile, then click the Send Message button that likes to hang out on my profile banner. 
  • You can also type @Hazard in any post, wait for the popup list of usernames, and choose mine from the list.  See in that last sentence how there's a blue background shadowing my username?  That means it worked.  Using the @Name forum function with my username sends me a notification that somebody mentioned me in a post.   I can click on the notification to go straight to the post you "called" me to.  Neat, huh? :D




  • Like 14
  • Thanks 7

You haven't seen my Final Form

I Stand With Gina Carano

Link to comment

Resource Library


The Nerd Fitness “Prime” Courses


NF Academy:  "A fitness course to help you build long-term, sustainable changes while completing quests, gaining experience, battling workout bosses, and leveling up your life."

NF Rising Heroes:   "An epic, real-time, multiplayer fitness and self-improvement adventure to make getting healthy simple and fun."

NF Yoga:  "Fun, approachable yoga workouts you can do anywhere on your own schedule."

NF Rings & Handstands:  "Fun, easy-to-follow bodyweight training system"



Nerd Fitness Free Training Resources


Beginner Bodyweight Workout: link

Advanced Bodyweight Workout: link

Playground Workout: link

Batman Workout: link

Angry Birds Workout: link

20 Minute Hotel Workout: link


"How to Squat": link

"How to Deadlift": link

"How to Overhead Press": link

"How to Bench Press": link

"How to do a Pushup": link

"How to do a Pullup": link



Bodyweight Strength Training Programs


r/bodyweightfitness "Move" routine: link

Antranik's "r/bodyweightfitness Recommended Routine": link

Nick Janvier's "Start Bodyweight" Routine: link



Barbell Strength Training Programs


Mark Rippetoe's "Starting Strength Novice Program": link

"Stronglifts 5x5" Program: link



Jogging/Running Programs


Couch To 5k: link






End Note: I'll be updating and/or adding to the Guide and Resource Library periodically. 


  • Like 13
  • Thanks 2

You haven't seen my Final Form

I Stand With Gina Carano

Link to comment


Hazard's Recommended Progression to Chinups



I made some progression demo videos a while back for someone on NF who wanted to be able achieve a chinup.  Since people found my videos useful (and since I don't want to have to re-post the videos every time someone asks for chinup help), I've decided to include them here as part of this Beginner's Guide Resource Library.  Please keep in mind that I'm not a professional videographer or editor; these videos were made at the end of my regular workouts, recorded on a potato phone.


Also, I have music streaming during my workouts.  If you don't want to hear the music in the background, mute your speakers.



Don't be in a hurry with these progressions.  They'll get you to a chinup in time, if you put in fairly consistent training effort.  Start with the first exercise.  Get reasonably good at each exercise before challenging the next one.  Relax.  Have fun with it.  And let progress come as a natural result of you getting better at each stage.




Level 1


The dead hang


The dead hang is a type of exercise we call a "static hold."   Static hold exercises are ones where you get into a position, and stay there.  For the dead hang:  grab the bar, feet off the ground, and hold on for however long you safely can.  Use a count-up timer or a clock to see how long you can do it.   Do it a few times in a row per workout - training it one, two, or three days per week, and you should see your hold times improving.   Train your dead hang until it's solid.   The grip strength you build with the dead hang will serve you for all of the subsequent exercise levels. 


Here's the dead hang demo vid:






Level 2


The full flex hang


This is another static hold.   This time you'll be building your strength at a fully bent-arm position.  Use a chair, stool, box, the safety bars on a rack, or even just jump up if you're able to catch yourself in position.  Whatever method you have, or prefer, for getting up into the top position is fine.   Once you're there, hold on as long as you safely can.  Just like with the dead hang, the strength you build with this exercise flows into the subsequent exercises.  Train your full flex hang until it's reasonably solid. 


Here's the fully flexed hang demo vid






Level 3


The chinup "negative"


Whereas the previous two levels were static holds, this is a dynamic exercise.  Meaning, you'll be moving during it.   The "negative" portion of a chinup is the part of a chinup where we're lowering ourselves back down.  You'll be building the strength to lower your body down in a controlled manner.  To do a chinup negative, get yourself into the fully flexed hang position (like in Level 2).  Then, lower yourself as best as you safely can in a controlled manner down into the dead hang position (Level 1), at which point you can put your feet down and let go of the bar.   That's one repetition of a chinup negative. 


At first, doing even one repetition of this exercise is probably going to feel hard to do.  You should expect it to.  Your first ever chinup negative will probably result in you kind of just dropping from a full flex hang down into the dead hang without much time between them.  Expect it to go fast.   Do your best to resist gravity on the way down, trying to lower yourself slowly and controlled, but please don't feel frustrated when your first chinup negative goes quickly.  That's normal.   By training it, you'll get stronger.   You'll be able to resist the pull of gravity more, and lower yourself more slowly.   That's why we're training it ---> To get better at it. 


Here's the demo vid:






Level 4


90 degrees flex hang


We're back to a static hold with this exercise.  You'll know when you've gotten strong enough at chinup negatives to move to this level.  It'll be pretty obvious, because you'll find it happening almost accidentally anyway when your negatives get strong.  The 90 degrees flex hang is essentially doing the flex hang at roughly the half-way point.  Get yourself up into the full flex hang position (like in Level 2) and begin lowering yourself down (like in Level 3).  This time, however, when your arms at a roughly 90 degree angle, stop lowering yourself and hold yourself in that position for as long as you safely can.  Train this until you've got a reasonably solid hold.


Here's the demo vid:






Level 5


The top "quarter-range" partial chinup


This is a dynamic exercise.  A "partial" is anytime you're doing a dynamic exercise through a restricted range of motion (ROM).   In this instance, you'll be doing a chinup partial, restricting yourself to the top 1/4 of the chinup range of motion.   All the work you put into getting good at the previous exercise levels has lead to this.  You've developed your grip strength on the bar.  You've developed your flexed arm strength on the bar.  You know you can resist gravity, and you should feel pretty comfortable doing so by this point.  Now, we begin building your pulling strength.   To perform this 1/4 range chinup partial, get yourself up into the full flex hang position.  Lower yourself just a small distance and then immediately pull yourself back up into the full flex hang position.   That's 1 repetition. 


Here's the demo vid:






Level 6


The top "half range" partial chinup


This is exactly like Level 5, except that now you'll be lowering yourself to the mid-point before pulling yourself back up.  Get yourself up into the full flex hang position.  Lower yourself to roughly the 90 degree point, and then immediately pull yourself back up into the full flex hang position.


Here's the demo vid:







If you're working through my recommended progressions and need extra help beyond what's posted here, or have any questions, don't hesitate to track me down on the forum and ask me your questions.  It's all good.  I'll be happy to help.





  • Like 1

You haven't seen my Final Form

I Stand With Gina Carano

Link to comment
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Create New...

Important Information

New here? Please check out our Privacy Policy and Community Guidelines