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.redline's Secret Agent Challenge


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Hey all! This is my first post and first challenge at Nerd Fitness! I’m pretty excited about being part of the community and using it to hold myself accountable.

 

As for my background: I’m 23 and about to enter my second year of medical school. I’m 6’ 1â€, 190ish lbs (buying a scale tomorrow!), and my best visual approximation of my body fat percentage is about 19%. I got married in June, and my wife is absolutely my biggest motivator to get in better shape.

 

I was an athlete in high school, worked out sporadically in undergrad, and got myself on the right path last year. I’ve figured out that I have a ton of trouble committing to a healthy routine, so I think the 6 week challenge to form new habits will work out perfectly. I also recognize that my willpower is finite, so I’m definitely going to keep it simple, and make sure my goals are focused.

 

I recently rewatched the Bourne trilogy (I’m not counting the fourth…didn’t enjoy that one at all!), and I’ve become inspired to be a better, stronger, more prepared man. I got my start with Nerd Fitness reading Steve’s article on Training Like a Secret Agent. With that in mind…

 

Main Quest

Be a Jack-of-All-Trades

 

My main goal is to get fit. I want to be functionally strong, efficient, and able to handle my own body. I desperately need to increase my endurance and speed. In short, I want to be a more capable person. I’ll accomplish this by focusing on lifting, cardio, and my diet.

 

1. Get Stronger: Lift or do a bodyweight workout 3x/week.

Jason Bourne can handle himself—that’s abundantly clear. I aim to be stronger and more capable. I’m currently following the RFG Level 3 Outcast plan, and added bench press and deadlift to that plan, so I’ll continue on with that and move forward as the weeks progress. I’m horrible at sticking with the routine however—life sometimes just gets in the way. So to mitigate this, I plan to perform a bodyweight routine on the days I can’t get to the gym. I will give myself a bit of leniency here. I start back up in med school in a couple weeks, so life might just get a little bit messier!

 

A: 15+ workouts

B: 11-14

C: 7-10

D: 4-7

F: 0-3

 

2. Get Faster: Run at least 2x/week.

I’ve NEVER been a good runner. I absolutely despise it. My knees ache, I can’t catch my breath, my heart pounds, I get a headache…whine whine whine. Running is not my friend, despite being in decent shape. I want that to change. “…at this altitude, I can run flat out for a half mile before my hands start shaking.†That sounds great! I’m using Zombies! 5K now, so that will continue.

 

A: 12+ runs

B: 9-11

C: 6-8

D: 3-5

F: 0-2

 

3. Eat Clean: Track diet daily, hit within 10% of calorie and macro goals.

Bourne didn’t become a highly efficient asset by eating junk! I currently use MyFitnessPal, and need to make a good habit of it. With my activity level and fitness goals, I’ve calculated 2520 calories daily, with a Fat/Carb/Protein ratio of 84/252/189 g. I know that dieting isn’t perfect, so within 10% 5 days per week will be a massive improvement.

 

A: 30+ days tracked

B: 22-29

C: 15-21

D: 13-20

F: 0-12

 

 

Side Quest: Simplify

Aside from his assassin duties, Jason Bourne has a pretty Spartan lifestyle. I tend to overcomplicate a ton of things in life. Studying, cooking, working out, etc. etc. I want to tone this down everywhere I can. Not as measurable a quest, but it’s something that’s been on my mind that I need to work on. Pass/fail.

 

 

Motivation

As I said, I just got married, and my wife is a big source of motivation for me. I want to be the best I can be for her. I want to level up for her.

 

 

Wow, that’s a lot! I’m looking forward to this challenge, to building great habits, and to becoming a better person because of it. This is the start of a great thing! Thanks for listening!

.redline  |  Level 2 Warrior


STR 8  |  DEX 3  |  STA 3  |  CON 3  |  WIS 5  |  CHA 1


First Challenge  |  July 29


Second Challenge  |  February 24


Third Challenge  |   April 14

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Great goals!

 

I also used myFitnessPal, it´s the best app I´ve found for tracking calories, but I´m really lousy at tracking continously, by one week of tracking you can have a pretty good idea of what you´re eating and if you´re eating good stuff.

 

Hope you learn to love running!

 

Keep posting progress!

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Love the way you formatted your post and used the Bourne series as inspiration!  I popped in here looking to see how other were doing their initial posts.

 

I am with you re: simplifying.  This may or may not help, so disregard if not, but one thing that helps me when I am struggling with overcommitting/overcomplicating things is to remind myself that closing the door to thing x actually opens the door to thing y.  Real life example: saying no to the awesome concert this Thursday night means I am saying yes to getting a full night's rest before a big travel day, and preventing the stress of last-minute packing.

 

I wish you success with your goals.  I may need to re-watch some of the Bourne movies now.   :peaceful:

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." -Attributed to Ian Maclaren.

 

"I must be cruel only to be kind;

Thus bad begins, and worse remains behind." William Shakespeare, Hamlet.

 

Support me over at my first challenge!

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I'm with you there Sebastian. It's tough to commit to it, but I got it done the past two days, and I'm right on track! 

 

 This may or may not help, so disregard if not, but one thing that helps me when I am struggling with overcommitting/overcomplicating things is to remind myself that closing the door to thing x actually opens the door to thing y.  Real life example: saying no to the awesome concert this Thursday night means I am saying yes to getting a full night's rest before a big travel day, and preventing the stress of last-minute packing.

 

I wish you success with your goals.  I may need to re-watch some of the Bourne movies now.   :peaceful:

 

Thanks! That's a great way to think about it, I'll have to remember that.

 

As an update, I'm 100% so far. Ran about 4 mi yesterday, and didn't have time to make it to the gym tonight, so I did Steve's advanced body weight workout. It was killer! And I kept up with MFP well. Went a little over on calories today, but within 10%, so I'm good! Thanks guys!

.redline  |  Level 2 Warrior


STR 8  |  DEX 3  |  STA 3  |  CON 3  |  WIS 5  |  CHA 1


First Challenge  |  July 29


Second Challenge  |  February 24


Third Challenge  |   April 14

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I should definitely clarify that! I use Zombies! 5K, so my total distance was 4.14 mi, but it was walking and running. I wish I could run 4 mi!! It's definitely getting easier though.

 

Today's update: 100% so far! I've been alternating lifting and cardio and it's working pretty well for me. Today wiped me out though. I use RFG and do squats instead of overhead squats. 3x8 at 225 lbs wears me out. I added bench press as well, and determined my 1RM, something I haven't done since high school. Very pleasantly surprised to push 205 lbs, more than I've ever been able to bench. Had I not started working up from 185, I might've been able to push two plates! That's definitely my next goal. Also hitting all my dietary goals by watching MyFitnessPal carefully. Things are looking up! Thanks guys!

.redline  |  Level 2 Warrior


STR 8  |  DEX 3  |  STA 3  |  CON 3  |  WIS 5  |  CHA 1


First Challenge  |  July 29


Second Challenge  |  February 24


Third Challenge  |   April 14

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Hey, 4 miles=impressive.  1 mile=impressive.  No matter how you slice it, if you're running, I'm impressed.  :)  

 

Well done on the squats and weights!  Keep going!

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." -Attributed to Ian Maclaren.

 

"I must be cruel only to be kind;

Thus bad begins, and worse remains behind." William Shakespeare, Hamlet.

 

Support me over at my first challenge!

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High time I make an update! I spent Saturday-Tuesday moving into my new house and getting everything set up, but I did manage to get a bodyweight workout in.

 

1. Get Stronger: Got a bodyweight workout in Tuesday and RFG Outcast workout 7 on Thursday, so only 2 for the first week. B/C level there.

 

2. Get Faster: Did my two runs with Zombies! 5K, so I'm feeling great about that one! I get an A here.

 

3. Eat Clean: I did great in this area. Tracked Monday-Friday and hit all my goals. The weekend was dicey, with moving into a new house and way too much eating out, but I got my 5 days for the first week. Giving myself an A.

 

Side Quest: Simplify

I made an effort to trash or sell things I didn't need as I found them moving in, so that was extremely helpful in simplifying.

 

 

Overall, a great first week for me. With my previous problems committing to routine, I'm very pleased that I came close to acing every goal here. 

 

 

 

My second week got started late, but I worked out this morning and hit a big milestone for myself. Deadlifted 1x8 225 lbs to warm up, then 3x8 275 lbs. I'm going to have to check my 1RM soon and see where I'm at. My big achievement was pushing 225 lbs on bench! I wasn't able to bench 225 when I was in my best shape, so I'm super happy about that one. 

 

Let's go week 2!

 

Edit: With Meta as inspiration, I obtained some measurements to track going forward. Couldn't figure out the formatting  :playful:

 

Measurements for Week 2:
Weight (lbs)                  190
Neck (in)                    15.50
Chest (in                    41.50
Left Bicep (in)            14.00
Right Bicep (in)          14.00
Waist (in)                    35.00
Hips (in)                      40.25
Left Quad (in)             23.25
Right Quad (in)           23.25
Left Calf (in)               15.00
Right Calf (in)             15.25

 

.redline  |  Level 2 Warrior


STR 8  |  DEX 3  |  STA 3  |  CON 3  |  WIS 5  |  CHA 1


First Challenge  |  July 29


Second Challenge  |  February 24


Third Challenge  |   April 14

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Update time! Went for a run yesterday, but I didn't do as well on the dietary aspect. Didn't get up to my calorie goal and was WAY under on protein. Getting to 190g can be tough if I miss protein in a meal or forget the shake. I'll catch up on that today. 

 

Tracked food today, but had to travel all day long, so tomorrow I'll go lift and run Sunday. Just realized that I finished the 8 workouts in the RFG Outcast level. Excited to jump into the next workout!

.redline  |  Level 2 Warrior


STR 8  |  DEX 3  |  STA 3  |  CON 3  |  WIS 5  |  CHA 1


First Challenge  |  July 29


Second Challenge  |  February 24


Third Challenge  |   April 14

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Well done sir! You're on the right track!

Thank ya!

 

 

Well, long time since an update. I started my M2 year Monday, so hell has definitely broken loose. Between that and moving, it's been hard finding time to keep up. I'll definitely make sure to make time this week, however. I know how my schedule is gonna be now, so that helps.

 

Week of Aug 11-17: 

 

1. Get Stronger: Worked out twice out of three, both bodyweight workouts; I think I get a C there!

 

2. Get Faster: One run out of two, but I did great on that one run, so I feel alright about this goal. B!

 

3. Eat Clean: Booooo. Did horribly here. It's like I forgot I even have the MFP app! 1/5 days tracked. I don't think my eating was terrible, but I definitely ate out way too much. I'm thinking a D here.

 

Side Quest: Simplify

Actually made some great headway on simplifying my life. I suppose this was the main focus of the week. 

 

Next week will definitely be different. I know my schedule, all I have to do is make a plan and stick to it. Here we go!

.redline  |  Level 2 Warrior


STR 8  |  DEX 3  |  STA 3  |  CON 3  |  WIS 5  |  CHA 1


First Challenge  |  July 29


Second Challenge  |  February 24


Third Challenge  |   April 14

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Oh man, where did the last two weeks go?! So it turns out that splitting my time between two towns, driving a bunch, and good ole Pharmacology are more difficult to handle than I thought they'd be. I actually looked back at it, and I didn't work out or run any last week, but I did eat a lot cleaner. Baby steps I suppose.


 


Week of Aug 18-24: 


 


1. Get Stronger: F


 


2. Get Faster: F


 


3. Eat Clean: A. Got a new grill, so that's what I spent last week doing. Steaks, chicken, pork chops, and any veggies I could throw on! I did well on tracking as well.


 


Side Quest: Simplify


With only spending 2-3 days/week at this new house, I haven't gotten a ton of stuff done here, but I'm making progress.


 


 


This week, so far, has been better. Bodyweight workout Tuesday and Today, and did Zombies! 5K for 4.58 mi yesterday. I felt great about that run, so I'm gonna keep it up with that. Also planning on joining another gym when I get back into town so I can get in and lift heavy things in both places. I miss deadlifiting!


 


Keeping up with my routine has been difficult this time around. I remember Steve's article about our finite amount of willpower, and I'm definitely expending all that willpower quickly each day. Wake up early, run, sit down and study, clean up the house, cook, drive 3 hours, readjust to new setting, etc. etc...Definitely having trouble keeping up. It feels like there isn't nearly enough time in the day (I don't even feel like I have the time to update this thread!), but I know that isn't true. I see myself burning ridiculous amounts of time at my desk 'studying'. That has to stop--especially with an exam coming up on Tuesday. Time to study efficiently so that I can have the time to spend with my wife and take care of myself. Any tips, Rebels?


.redline  |  Level 2 Warrior


STR 8  |  DEX 3  |  STA 3  |  CON 3  |  WIS 5  |  CHA 1


First Challenge  |  July 29


Second Challenge  |  February 24


Third Challenge  |   April 14

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Week of August 25-31: 

 

1. Get Stronger: I did 2/3 bodyweight workouts. B-?

 

2. Get Faster: Got my one run in earlier in the week. 1/2 for a C.

 

3. Eat Clean: C. I did a bit better at the beginning of the week with tracking, but it fell off.

 

Side Quest: Simplify

No progress here.

 

 

Studying really took it out of me this weekend. I spent Friday-Monday working really hard at it and did well on the test Tuesday, so that's good! In the future I plan to work to make sure that my goals don't suffer during busy weeks.

 

This week has been better though. Got a gym membership in my new town now, worked chest/bis/tris yesterday, and went for a run this morning. Tomorrow is leg day. Nutrition has been much better, and I'm making some meals ahead, so that should help. Let's finish strong!

.redline  |  Level 2 Warrior


STR 8  |  DEX 3  |  STA 3  |  CON 3  |  WIS 5  |  CHA 1


First Challenge  |  July 29


Second Challenge  |  February 24


Third Challenge  |   April 14

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Hey hey .redline!

 

So, you live in Arkansas?? I don't know if I should apologize, lol! What part abouts?

 

Sounds like you have been going strong on your goals! Awesome you want to be better for your wife. That's cool! You earn my respects.

 

Plan on heading into the next challenge?

 

And have you and running gotten to be any better of friends, lol? :playful:

 

Well, nice to meet you! Not much left of this challenge so Consider me a follower if your headed into the next!!

 

Best Wishes! ;) 

Level 6 Pixie Assassin Rangerish Adventurer
Current Challenge: Guess What??
Previous Challenges:

Spoiler

 

1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 12th 13th 14th  Battle Log
-We can't always change the things we've done, but we can change what we do next.

-I don't have a choice. I deserve a better life and this is what I have to do to get there.
-Whatever doesn't kill me....Had better start running.

 

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Born and raised! I'm in Little Rock now for med school. Not too fond of the capitol, but I do like it here ;)

 

I do plan on doing the next challenge. Without having to transition into school and moving, I think I'll be able to stay on task better this time around.

 

Running has gotten better! Using Zombies! 5K is pretty fun--it actually motivates me to go run just so I can listen to the story. 

 

 

Thanks for stopping in!

.redline  |  Level 2 Warrior


STR 8  |  DEX 3  |  STA 3  |  CON 3  |  WIS 5  |  CHA 1


First Challenge  |  July 29


Second Challenge  |  February 24


Third Challenge  |   April 14

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Well, I meant no insult to the state, mostly just my location! lol I'm in Conway-which is actually only an hour from Little Rock. My hubs actually attends meetings there fairly often.

 

If you don't mind my asking what is Zombies! 5K? Sounds interesting! ^_^

Level 6 Pixie Assassin Rangerish Adventurer
Current Challenge: Guess What??
Previous Challenges:

Spoiler

 

1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 12th 13th 14th  Battle Log
-We can't always change the things we've done, but we can change what we do next.

-I don't have a choice. I deserve a better life and this is what I have to do to get there.
-Whatever doesn't kill me....Had better start running.

 

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Haha yeah, central AR isn't the best, and Conway traffic is horrible. I have family there so I get that!

 

So the Zombies! apps are iPhone (and maybe others) apps that are like running trainers. the 5K app goes through an 8 week program to run a 5K. The important part is the story! You're a runner for a human settlement in a post-apocalyptic world overrun by Zombies, and you go on little missions and things like that, and they have people talking in your ear giving you instructions and whatnot. It's pretty fun actually, and it definitely motivates me to get out and run. In fact, here's the NF thread that talks all about it! If you run, definitely give it a try.

.redline  |  Level 2 Warrior


STR 8  |  DEX 3  |  STA 3  |  CON 3  |  WIS 5  |  CHA 1


First Challenge  |  July 29


Second Challenge  |  February 24


Third Challenge  |   April 14

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Hey, cool! Thanks, it sounds like fun! ^_^

I'll take a look!

Level 6 Pixie Assassin Rangerish Adventurer
Current Challenge: Guess What??
Previous Challenges:

Spoiler

 

1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 12th 13th 14th  Battle Log
-We can't always change the things we've done, but we can change what we do next.

-I don't have a choice. I deserve a better life and this is what I have to do to get there.
-Whatever doesn't kill me....Had better start running.

 

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Woo! Had to get caught up in life before I could get my summary up! 

 

Week of September 1-7: 

 

1. Get Stronger: I really turned it around and saved my challenge this week. Got 3 great lift days in. A+!

 

2. Get Faster: Two good early runs for an A+!

 

3. Eat Clean: Having a good plan this week really helped--so that's something I'm definitely going to continue. A+!

 

Side Quest: Simplify

Made huge progress on my house! Yay!

 

 

 

So for the overall summary:

 

1. Get Stronger: I completed 11 workouts, mostly lifting with a few bodyweight workouts scattered throughout. I scraped a B here. Hopefully getting to a sense of normalcy in my schedule and with traveling this will get better. However, I do feel that I had some great strength gains over the challenge. My final leg day was 225 lbs 4x8 on squat, and it felt great!

 

2. Get Faster: Ran 8 times for a C+ grade. Running has been fun, but I have more fun and may get better results by incorporating some HIIT in the gym. We'll see how that goes in the next challenge.

 

3. Eat Clean: I tracked my diet and hit my goals 15/30 days of the challenge for a C-. This was definitely a difficult point of the challenge. With all my traveling my diet is very sporadic. Some day I get to eat at home and make all my meals, and some days I'm running around and don't have much time to cook. I think planning meals out and having a good idea of what I'll eat throughout the day will help.

 

Side Quest: Simplify

I was definitely able to simplify my life over the 6 weeks. I got moved into a new house, cut down on a lot of the junk I have piled up, and just about have the house organized the way I want it. It's been a fun transition to make.

 

 

Fitness-wise, I definitely feel better now than I did at the beginning of the challenge. Running has been much better, I feel stronger, and I've made progress on figuring out how to balance my diet with my life and time constraints. This 6 week challenge was really a great way to motivate me to get in the gym and get active, and I'm looking forward to the next one!

.redline  |  Level 2 Warrior


STR 8  |  DEX 3  |  STA 3  |  CON 3  |  WIS 5  |  CHA 1


First Challenge  |  July 29


Second Challenge  |  February 24


Third Challenge  |   April 14

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Awesome work .redline!!!

 

So proud of you! You have done an incredible job in killing this challenge!!

 

Here is a Congratulatory Happy Dance!!

 

:triumphant: :triumphant: :triumphant: :triumphant: :triumphant: :triumphant: :triumphant: :triumphant:

 

Looking forward to having you join the next quest (Monday, lol)!

Level 6 Pixie Assassin Rangerish Adventurer
Current Challenge: Guess What??
Previous Challenges:

Spoiler

 

1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 12th 13th 14th  Battle Log
-We can't always change the things we've done, but we can change what we do next.

-I don't have a choice. I deserve a better life and this is what I have to do to get there.
-Whatever doesn't kill me....Had better start running.

 

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