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tinkerer builds a fitness gizmo


tinkerer

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Where the parts came from

It has been hard to figure out where to categorize fitness in my life- is it a health choice, a hobby, a chore, or an appearance goal? I am generally fit enough to do whatever activity sounds like fun, from climbing a mountain to running a 5k or wakeboarding. However, I would like to improve, to be able to climb higher mountains, run faster, look “betterâ€, or move heavy things around with ease.

Lately, I have lost motivation. The thought, “I am in good enough shape, why am I doing this?†has re-surfaced time and time again. I don't have a real-life workout buddy, and as my time spent on NF decreased over the last challenge, so did the connection with others on here. I entered into a slacking off spiral to the point where I was not accomplishing much.

The assembly sketch

Over the last few weeks, I've been thinking a lot about how to change this mentality into something more productive. I made a list of fitness values that I want to drive my plans. Here it is again, with “Fun†added at the top:

Tinkerer's Fitness Goals for Life

Fun

Healthy

Normal Blood Pressure and Body Composition

No addictions

Balanced life

Capable

Hiking, Backpacking, Climbing

Lifting and Moving Things

Top 10% -Running -Lifting

Ability to "do anything"

Attractive

Upper Body Definition and Size

Abs

The truth is, I can improve in all of those areas. The goals below are my attempt to move my fitness work into more of a hobby layout, or at least a layout that fits in well with the rest of my life.

The Fitness Gizmo Components

1 – Bodyweight Training: Complete 2 Bodyweight Strength Workouts per Week.

Available Points: 3 Strength, 1 Charisma

Graded as a percentage of total workouts done throughout the challenge.

On these workouts, I will be trying to get to 20 pullups (a personal goal) as well as starting lever work. I built a fancy new pullup bar with more clearance, so now I feel able to do levers! The focus here will be on upper body work and core work. I am going to try and throw in leg work, but not stressing that as much due to goal number two...

2 - Bike and Run: Bike to work once/week and run once/week.

Available Points: 2 Endurance, 2 Strength

These will also be graded as a percentage of total workouts, but I will allow substitutions of a run for a bike-ride or vice-versa.

My favorite exercise is running and biking. In an effort to make fitness more fun, I'm doing more of both!

Officially, these are to help keep my legs and lungs in shape for hiking, backpacking, and mountain climbing, activities in which I intend to continue increase my activity. Work is 16+ miles away and I have a mountain bike, so that is a decent workout. Runs will be whatever I want to do, but I intend to start with 3-5 mile runs and try to find a hill do do some sprint work later.

3 - Maintain normal blood pressure.

Available Points: 3 Constitution

Grading will be on the percentage of the graded weeks where my average is below my target.

I will take my blood pressure each morning for the first week. If I am above what I consider my target, grading will begin the 3rd week. The second week will be used to improve the situation. If I am in-line with where I want to be, grading begins the 2nd week. Overall grading will be on the percentage of the graded weeks where my average is below my target.

This has been an off-and-on issue for me, due to a love of salt, coffee, beer, and stressful work situations. In the last six months, I have greatly increased my activity level, decreased intake of above delicious substances, and moved to a much more enjoyable job. I want to make sure that the life changes have worked as I intended and I always mean to monitor this, but never actually get it done.

There is no excusable reason for my blood pressure to be an issue in my life.

4 - Friendships: Build and Maintain

Available Points: 4 Charisma

Graded as a percentage of the weeks where I reach out to an existing friend out of the area AND take one proactive step to make new friends in my area.

I am bad about keeping in touch with friends and need to do better at that. I will call at least one friend per week.

I am also bad about finding new friends with common interests where I live now. I need to work on this. I have local friends, but we do not share common interests, or really even have common values. I like to fish, tinker in my garage, hike, bike, and snowboard. It would be great to find someone who does all of these things and also shares some of my personal views on the world.

This is the goal for which I am most interested in getting some advice. Many of the things I enjoy are not exactly social (I am not likely to meet someone while playing with my welder). I am currently thinking of joining the local mountaineering club, but really for this goal I have no idea where to begin. Does anyone have some ideas?

Goal Summary:


  • 2 Bodyweight Workouts per Week – 3 Str, 1 Cha
  • 1 Run and 1 Bike-to-Work per week – 4 Sta
  • Maintain Healthy Blood Pressure – 3 Con
  • Friendships: New and Old – 4 Cha

Suggestions requested for Goal 4.

tinkerer
Level 14 Elven Blacksmith

current challenge - yearlong quest

14 13 12 11 10 9.1 9.0 8 7 6 5 4,2 4.1 4.0 3 2 1

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Solid goals! On the friendship goal, half the battle is to simply get out there--look for opportunites to be around lots of people in a social setting. Giving some of your interests, I'd also spend some time getting to know the people at your local bike shop or tackle store...they'll be able to put you in touch with other like-minded customers via organized events and even casual get-togethers.

Good luck!

drsloomis: level 5 human assassin

STR: 15 | DEX: 17 | CON: 12 | STA: 12 | WIS: 14 | CHA: 8

Current Challenge

 

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Great goals! On the blood pressure goal, have you tracked how sugar affects your blod pressure? I was prehypertensive and after hearing how somw people are actually more sensitive to sugar than salt I reduced my sugar consumption and my blood pressure dropped. It was about the same time I went Paleo and dropped grains, so I'm not actually sure which had the most effect, but there seems to be more data saying sugar is the culprit in many cases of high blood pressure

Wisdom 22.5   Dexterity 13   Charisma 15   Strength 21  Constitution-13

Elastigirl:Luck Favors The Prepared - Current Challenge: August 1 to September 4 - Nerd Fitness Rebellion

"If more of us valued food and cheer and song, above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world" J.R.R.Tolkien

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Solid goals! On the friendship goal, half the battle is to simply get out there--look for opportunites to be around lots of people in a social setting. Giving some of your interests, I'd also spend some time getting to know the people at your local bike shop or tackle store...they'll be able to put you in touch with other like-minded customers via organized events and even casual get-togethers.

Good luck!

Thanks for the suggestions, I hadn't thought of seeing what events the bike shop has going. That (getting out there) is exactly the sort of thing I am going for with the goal.

Great goals! On the blood pressure goal, have you tracked how sugar affects your blod pressure? I was prehypertensive and after hearing how somw people are actually more sensitive to sugar than salt I reduced my sugar consumption and my blood pressure dropped. It was about the same time I went Paleo and dropped grains, so I'm not actually sure which had the most effect, but there seems to be more data saying sugar is the culprit in many cases of high blood pressure

I had not really thought about sugar, thanks for the suggestion! I usually favor savory over sweet foods, but I'll watch and see what happens in the days to come.

tinkerer
Level 14 Elven Blacksmith

current challenge - yearlong quest

14 13 12 11 10 9.1 9.0 8 7 6 5 4,2 4.1 4.0 3 2 1

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Great goals! I especially love your friendship goal. All the activities I enjoy are solitary as well, so I feel your pain. So good luck with your challenge and can't wait to see updates!

Amazon Warrior

 

Stronglifts 5x5 Progress:

Started 7/29/13

Starting Squat Weight: 45         Current Squat Weight: 75 (staying here while working on form)

Starting Bench Weight: 45        Current Bench Weight: 65

Starting Row Weight: 65           Current Row Weight: 85

Starting OHP Weight: 45           Current OHP Weight: 55

Starting DL Weight: 65              Current DL Weight: 105

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Well organized post dood.

As always as I read your thread, it mirrors my own life.

I really like the fact that you put FUN at the top. I suffered in the last challenge from the feeling of I'm in good enough shape so why do this anymore.

I managed to make some goals that I feel will work for me this go around, and I give you a giant thank you for being my sounding board, while brainstorming.

I understand your friendship goal all to well. It was almost my life goal for this challenge, but I teamed up with my wife on a home improvement one. Like we have said before, too bad Oregon is so damn far from Florida.

Your my virtual fitness bud, I will be watching your thread.

Kyliewyotie
 

Level 15 Coyote Tinkerer
STR 27  DEX 18  STA 15  CON 14  WIS 14  CHA 12

Current Challenge

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In my area we have a bicycle club (both road and MTB), a running club, a mountaineering club... pretty much if you do it, they have a club for it. I'd imagine your area will offer at least a couple of options. You could also sign up to volunteer at a 5k or bike race. You'll meet like minded people and will have a great opening to introduce yourself.

I am running for my challenge this round. SIGH. I do not like it like you seem to. Don't suppose you can lend me some of your run appreciation? ;)

Wolverine

Level X Mutant

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So I originally read your goal as run to work; so when my eyes skimmed ahead to the 16+ miles, I was highly impressed. I was a little disappointed when I realized my error. Nevertheless, I still like the goals.

Number 4 is great. I also struggle with this from time to time. Essentially, I make an active effort to meet people for a while, get a good group of friends, and then as life happens people move away until I realize I have a tiny social circle again; I then repeat the process. Are you looking for ideas for meeting new people or reconnecting with old friends?

Yesterday is gone...FOCUS ON TODAY!...Let God worry about tomorrow.

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Looking forward to your lever progress!

I really like the friendship goal: that's something I need too. I feel like I live in a hermitage. :) I like drsloomis's idea about getting out there. Joining clubs that share your interest is a good idea. Good luck!

Sea Level

Vintage Sea-elf Assassin

Current Challenge: Sea Level I : Respawn
Pro Aris et Focis

"To the Sea, to the Sea! The white gulls are crying, The wind is blowing, and the white foam is flying."

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I'm with the rest! I especially like the Friendships goal!

Check with your bike shop, ask a friend to go riding with you. And hit up google for clubs and interest groups in your area.

I'm looking forward to seeing how you progress! Stay positive!

Fortune Find You!

~ Fear

Fear, level 3 Blade Runner AssassinSTR 5|DEX 6|STA 6|CON 4|WIS 7|CHA 5

 

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Wow, thanks for all the feedback everyone!

Great goals! I especially love your friendship goal. All the activities I enjoy are solitary as well, so I feel your pain. So good luck with your challenge and can't wait to see updates!

Thanks! I always figure there are lots of people out there doing their own thing who'd like to have someone to do it with, but they have no way of meeting up. Goal: change that!

Well organized post dood.

As always as I read your thread, it mirrors my own life.

I really like the fact that you put FUN at the top. I suffered in the last challenge from the feeling of I'm in good enough shape so why do this anymore.

I managed to make some goals that I feel will work for me this go around, and I give you a giant thank you for being my sounding board, while brainstorming.

I understand your friendship goal all to well. It was almost my life goal for this challenge, but I teamed up with my wife on a home improvement one. Like we have said before, too bad Oregon is so damn far from Florida.

Your my virtual fitness bud, I will be watching your thread.

Thanks, man! It was awesome of you to reserve me a seat in the accountibiililili-whatever-group. At first I thought it was filled up, then I saw my name on the last slot...I'm IN!

Hi, accountabilibuddy! I really like your friendship goal. I'm very shy so this is something I'd like to consider for the future. Good on ya.

I have to remember that nobody knows I'm shy, and just pretend that I'm not. (While I whistle a happy tune;)) Will be reporting back on how well this actually works...

In my area we have a bicycle club (both road and MTB), a running club, a mountaineering club... pretty much if you do it, they have a club for it. I'd imagine your area will offer at least a couple of options. You could also sign up to volunteer at a 5k or bike race. You'll meet like minded people and will have a great opening to introduce yourself.

I am running for my challenge this round. SIGH. I do not like it like you seem to. Don't suppose you can lend me some of your run appreciation? ;)

Good idea to volunteer at some of those things. With some of those things, you never really get to know anyone because you're busy running/biking/etc. Working with a group would be great! Thanks!

So I originally read your goal as run to work; so when my eyes skimmed ahead to the 16+ miles, I was highly impressed. I was a little disappointed when I realized my error. Nevertheless, I still like the goals.

Number 4 is great. I also struggle with this from time to time. Essentially, I make an active effort to meet people for a while, get a good group of friends, and then as life happens people move away until I realize I have a tiny social circle again; I then repeat the process. Are you looking for ideas for meeting new people or reconnecting with old friends?

Haha...I really hate disappointing people, but there is no way that I am going to do anything productive after running 16 miles!

What I'm looking for is really ideas of how to "run into" people. I understand I need to go do things, just looking for brainstorming on what that might look like. Perfect example is Dillpedo above suggesting I volunteer for an event instead of running in it.

The one that really baffles me is where to run into the other guys who spend evenings in their garage just tinkering around.

Looking forward to your lever progress!

I really like the friendship goal: that's something I need too. I feel like I live in a hermitage. :) I like drsloomis's idea about getting out there. Joining clubs that share your interest is a good idea. Good luck!

Thanks man! So far on lever work - I need to look up step one again! :)

I'm with the rest! I especially like the Friendships goal!

Check with your bike shop, ask a friend to go riding with you. And hit up google for clubs and interest groups in your area.

I'm looking forward to seeing how you progress! Stay positive!

Fortune Find You!

~ Fear

Sounds like the consensus is we could all work on finding some like minded awesome people! Thanks for the support!

tinkerer
Level 14 Elven Blacksmith

current challenge - yearlong quest

14 13 12 11 10 9.1 9.0 8 7 6 5 4,2 4.1 4.0 3 2 1

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The one that really baffles me is where to run into the other guys who spend evenings in their garage just tinkering around.

Google is your friend. I'm sure there are forums out there dedicated to you tinkerin' types. See if you can't find one and have a look at members. Or even just post asking for something random in your area. Maybe ask where a good place to get supplies is?

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What I'm looking for is really ideas of how to "run into" people. I understand I need to go do things, just looking for brainstorming on what that might look like. Perfect example is Dillpedo above suggesting I volunteer for an event instead of running in it.

The one that really baffles me is where to run into the other guys who spend evenings in their garage just tinkering around.

Hmm, well I will keep this in mind and post when things come to me. What type of tinkering in the garage do you do? Metal or Wood work? Smaller Projects for just around the house stuff? Cars? Electrical? Crazy crap just to see if you can make it work (ended up building a trebuchet that could throw a bowling ball 250 feet because of this one)?

Yesterday is gone...FOCUS ON TODAY!...Let God worry about tomorrow.

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Hey tinkerer I had the same friendship goal a few challenges ago. Getting involved with organizations at school is what helped me reach it. I still don't really have anyone that I'd consider a really close friend though.

The only suggestion I have is to maybe check out http://www.meetup.com/ to find a group you might have stuff in common with and make yourself go and interact with new people.

Good luck, I'll be cheering you on!

Level 6 Half-Pony Warrior Assassin
STR 9.5 | DEX 6 | STA 12.5 | CON 12.5 | WIS 15.5 | CHA 13.5
Current Challenge: Working out for two

"Sucking at something is the first step to being sorta good at something" - Jake the Dog

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So much activity on this thread I love it!

You inspired me with your goal to stay in touch with old friends. I was looking at a website the chive, and found some funny pictures and texted them to some old buds. We had a short conversation. Just saying hi was enough.

Thanks for the inspiration.

Also wowey on the run! Glad you like it, god I hate running.

Kyliewyotie
 

Level 15 Coyote Tinkerer
STR 27  DEX 18  STA 15  CON 14  WIS 14  CHA 12

Current Challenge

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Hi team mate! With your accountibilibudies we'll be sure to help keep you active ;-)

Rock solid goals. I wish i could help with the friend department but i struggle with that myself.

Lvl 5 Penguin Warrior:  10 Str, 3.5 Dex, 6.5 STA, 23.5 CON, 12.25 WIS, 5.75 CHA

Intro | Current Challenge Thread | Character sheet
My Personal Blog | My Food Blog


There are no failures, only learning pains

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Nice goals! I feel you on the meeting people problem - tough to run into people when building stuff, unless you count the inevitable trips to Home Depot/Lowes. Not sure I have any suggestions, but I'll be interested to see what works for you! Good luck on this challenge.

Level 13 Elven Assassin
Challenges: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | Current
Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. - Goethe

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You guys are blowing me away with the response to this friend goal! I always assume it is kind of a "me" thing so just seeing how much it resounds with everyone has been kind of eye-opening. Thank you for all of the posts.

Google is your friend. I'm sure there are forums out there dedicated to you tinkerin' types. See if you can't find one and have a look at members. Or even just post asking for something random in your area. Maybe ask where a good place to get supplies is?

I'll keep poking around the interwebs for a groups and shops that supply my hobbies...I just need to remember to quit poking around and get out there once in a while!

Hey Tinkerer!

Love your goals, especially the friends goal. I also struggle with keeping in touch with friends, but you might be just the inspiration I need :)

I'll keep everyone posted on how this is going. Hopefully me getting over the awkward "but it's been months, what should I say" thing will be encouraging!

Hmm, well I will keep this in mind and post when things come to me. What type of tinkering in the garage do you do? Metal or Wood work? Smaller Projects for just around the house stuff? Cars? Electrical? Crazy crap just to see if you can make it work (ended up building a trebuchet that could throw a bowling ball 250 feet because of this one)?

Oh man, that sounds AWESOME! Do you have any photos of said bowling-ball-launcher?

I do some of all the things you mentioned with the exception of electrical. I do wire things up, but I am terrible at soldering so anything that small is unlikely to actually happen. (I still try occasionally, but usually fail in a comically large ball of solder sort of way). Right now I am working on a motorcycle and rebuilding my BBQ (rusted parts - making new stuff on my own). In the last year I've built lamps, an awesome metal/wood shelf with cable and chain tension members, outdoor furniture and worked on my and my wife's cars. Really just whatever sounds fun.

Hey tinkerer I had the same friendship goal a few challenges ago. Getting involved with organizations at school is what helped me reach it. I still don't really have anyone that I'd consider a really close friend though.

The only suggestion I have is to maybe check out http://www.meetup.com/ to find a group you might have stuff in common with and make yourself go and interact with new people.

Good luck, I'll be cheering you on!

I have gone to some work related networking things. They are fun, but don't seem to happen all that often. I'll keep looking into that one though. Thanks for the meetup link...I have looked there before but never taken the leap to try something. I'll re-open that possibility.

So much activity on this thread I love it!

You inspired me with your goal to stay in touch with old friends. I was looking at a website the chive, and found some funny pictures and texted them to some old buds. We had a short conversation. Just saying hi was enough.

Thanks for the inspiration.

Also wowey on the run! Glad you like it, god I hate running.

I am blown away by everyone's support, especially with this friend goal. You are already ahead of me on it though...but glad I could provide the kick you needed!

Hi team mate! With your accountibilibudies we'll be sure to help keep you active ;-)

Rock solid goals. I wish i could help with the friend department but i struggle with that myself.

It's awesome having you guys, already! Looking forward to learning more about everyone's goals as we progress!

Nice goals! I feel you on the meeting people problem - tough to run into people when building stuff, unless you count the inevitable trips to Home Depot/Lowes. Not sure I have any suggestions, but I'll be interested to see what works for you! Good luck on this challenge.

Haha...trips plural is correct!

Good luck with biking. It sounds great!

Thanks! It's far enough that I feel like I need some luck. :)

tinkerer
Level 14 Elven Blacksmith

current challenge - yearlong quest

14 13 12 11 10 9.1 9.0 8 7 6 5 4,2 4.1 4.0 3 2 1

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Strength Training 11/13/12

Random warmup exercises

Handstand Pushups - 5, 5, 5

Tuck Front Lever - 10, 10, 0 seconds.

I tried to extend a leg on third shot. I wrote in my log "Haha" as to how successful that was.

Tuck Back Lever - 3 holds with bad form 1 with good

I started videoing on the third hold to watch form. That was eye-opening, but disappointing.

Elbow Level - 5 minutes practice, 0 seconds success. More research needed.

Rolling Plank 'o Doom - 2 rounds @ 30 second intervals.

I felt like I needed to add something and this seemed like a good idea.

This whole workout was a lot of fun, but kind of unstructured. I need to maybe add the levers one at a time as skill work until I get the form correct...then I can work on the strength elements. Pretty funny though I was at 45 degrees and thought I was flat doing back levers.

tinkerer
Level 14 Elven Blacksmith

current challenge - yearlong quest

14 13 12 11 10 9.1 9.0 8 7 6 5 4,2 4.1 4.0 3 2 1

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Sometimes unstructured is a good break. I did the Rolling Plank o' Doom today too. I decided it was rightly named

Wisdom 22.5   Dexterity 13   Charisma 15   Strength 21  Constitution-13

Elastigirl:Luck Favors The Prepared - Current Challenge: August 1 to September 4 - Nerd Fitness Rebellion

"If more of us valued food and cheer and song, above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world" J.R.R.Tolkien

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