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5 hours ago, RogueLibrarian said:

For three days I've been going "Gotta log those minutes for the mini-challe -- oh right"

 

1 hour ago, UnquietBones said:


That challenge seriously broke my brain... I'm not doing well in detox. :P  *counts the seconds until the next one starts* :lol:

 

In the past, we've run unofficial mini challenges during the off week.  Feel free to start one in the accountability section - I guarantee you'll get a few crazy assassins to join up :)

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Just moving over things now...

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Who's up for some fun? Looking forward to this challenge.

Also, anybody that uses the Academy want to chime in about the exercises? I was wondering if they are easily modified for postpartum issues, since I am not able to do a whole lot yet and feel like I would be starting at level -1 if I were to buy a membership now. Steve mentioned a price change coming so I was curious.

Sent by my Navi-powered device!

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3 hours ago, Alexandrite said:

Also, anybody that uses the Academy want to chime in about the exercises? I was wondering if they are easily modified for postpartum issues, since I am not able to do a whole lot yet and feel like I would be starting at level -1 if I were to buy a membership now. Steve mentioned a price change coming so I was curious.

 

When I saw Steve's email, I was super curious, so I signed up. They have done a really awesome job with it, and I'd highly recommend it to anyone who is starting out and wants a very clear plan of what they should do. The main caveat is that it isn't for someone who already knows what they need to do, has a plan, and is confidently in executing that plan. While they include more advanced stuff in the quest system, I'd say 80% of the value is for people who are struggling to get going on their "fitness journey" and don't know what they should do. So I would absolutely not worry about being "at level -1". It seems like that is the target market. 

 

Based on thoroughly poking around it yesterday, I'd estimate someone would find NFA too easy if all of these are true:

  • You have confidently completed a few challenges here on the forums and plan to continue.
  • You know what your goals are (both in general and specific) and you have found successful methods to make real and sustained progress on them.
  • You are confident in finding and executing workouts and diet plans that fit your goals.
  • You have explored a variety of fitness activities, and have found ones you like.
  • You have adequate social support in your goals.
  • You know how to prepare healthy meals for yourself, and how to make good food choices.
  • You can confidently do a basic strength training workout, appropriate to your level and goals.

But for someone who has maybe tried a few challenges but been discouraged with their lack of progress, or who is really struggling with one or more of the above things, I'd say NFA is well worth the $100. If that is you, and you are ready to start making even tiny incremental progress towards being fitter and healthier, it is worth it! Whether you are 100% sedentary and living on Mt Dew and Taco Bell, or you are relatively healthy but want some clear direction in how to eat right and get fit. You can even pay it in installments, and there is a money-back guarantee for 60 days. (They gave me a refund with no hassle at all.) They've done a really great job with it.


There is a bunch of info on goal setting and finding your motivation and how to make incremental changes that stick. That stuff is so valuable, and something that is usually not directly addressed in these sorts of programs. Especially if you've tried challenges here on the forums and failed or dropped out, that stuff alone is probably worth the membership. Those are skills that can revolutionize every aspect of your life once you get the hang of them.

 

For diet - if you've read Steve's stuff, you can guess what direction the diet advice goes in. It is gradual progression towards a paleo-ish diet. The nutrition progression is exceptionally well done, very approachable and straightforward. Not overly complicated. You can get to level 2 just by keeping a food diary for two weeks, and level 3 by cutting back on soda/etc. Lots of recipes and basic cooking info, including vegetarian options. The lower levels for nutrition are stuff pretty much anyone will agree with - eat more veggies and protein, less sweets and refined carbs - and the progression makes sure you've got those basics solidly established as habits before you worry about anything more complicated. The higher levels are progressively more paleo, topping out with a strict low-carb paleo training-focused diet.

 

For exercise, there is a clear progression of strength training routines, from complete beginner to intermediate, with options for working out at home and for going to a gym. They have a seriously awesome system of "boss battles" to gauge when you should "level up" and a simple benchmark test to place you in an initial level. It isn't a ton of options - it is two or three workouts per level, for you to rotate through. (Makes it simple, which is good, unless you are one of those who likes things super complicated!) To give a sense of where the fitness training starts off at, the early quests are things like "Take a five minute walk today". To give an example of the difficulty of the workouts, one of the Level 1 strength training workouts is three rounds of 10 assisted squats, 10 elevated pushups, and 10 doorway rows, followed by a 30 second walk carrying grocery bags or something. The top level workouts have handstand pushups and assisted muscle-ups. They also have a ton of quests geared towards the various guilds, from dead beginner, to advanced. They've got info on modifications and stuff, but I didn't look into that.

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15 hours ago, Akuyo said:

I've heard about this minichallenge in whispers so far.. LETS DO IT!

 

I've discovered in the last couple of months that the mini-challenges are super fun and motivating. I was a little shy about participating when I first joined NF this year, but do it. It's worth it for the camaraderie and friendly smack-talk alone.

 

8 hours ago, Alexandrite said:

Also, anybody that uses the Academy want to chime in about the exercises? I was wondering if they are easily modified for postpartum issues, since I am not able to do a whole lot yet and feel like I would be starting at level -1 if I were to buy a membership now. Steve mentioned a price change coming so I was curious.


Darth Yoga sums it up well -- though I am a noob compared to him and do not find it too easy at all -- and I'll just add that there's a lot of attention paid to making the exercises scalable to your own difficulty level. Nearly every exercise in the library has 3-4 alternate versions (all with video).

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It wasn't just the "too easy" thing, though I definitely think it'd be more valuable to a beginner. I could have gotten a lot of mileage out of the workouts. Primarily, it was that I don't want to do those workouts! I want to figure out my own workouts. I don't want someone to tell me what my next step should be in cleaning up my diet. I know where I want to to with my diet. 

 

The funny thing is that I have this love/hate relationship with structured programs, and with being told what to do in general. I really crave an externally imposed structure, and have found that I thrive under one when it is the right fit, but unless some other factors are pushing me, I am usually too stubborn to go in on it. You don't know how many times in high school and college I decided I was going to enlist in the military (despite being an asthmatic, non-violent sissy) and then backed out. Then I decided I was going to look into joining the Benedictine monastery that is near here, which was an even dumber idea because I am not even remotely Christian. 

 

So anyway, I really needed to check out the NF Academy first hand, but I really should have known it wasn't a good fit for me. It was just my eternal craving for more structure.

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When I saw Steve's email, I was super curious, so I signed up. They have done a really awesome job with it, and I'd highly recommend it to anyone who is starting out and wants a very clear plan of what they should do...

Wow, thank you so much for the review! I really wasn't expecting to get so much detail, so I really appreciate it. I think you are right in that I probably am fine on my own since I have a pretty regular challenge habit going already and plenty of support and resources. I think the only thing driving me to wanting it in the first place is the "new shiny" aspect and wanting to know what it was all about. Good to know if I tried it that the refund part is painless if needed.

My husband is a physical therapist and has given me exercises to start out already, so I guess I am good now!

Sent by my Navi-powered device!

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Important semantics question!

 

Is the challenge really running from Sunday the 12th through THURSDAY the 7th of july? I mean that's what it says but I would like to confirm pls?

 

1 hour ago, Darth Yoga said:

It wasn't just the "too easy" thing, though I definitely think it'd be more valuable to a beginner. I could have gotten a lot of mileage out of the workouts. Primarily, it was that I don't want to do those workouts! I want to figure out my own workouts. I don't want someone to tell me what my next step should be in cleaning up my diet. I know where I want to to with my diet. 

 

The funny thing is that I have this love/hate relationship with structured programs, and with being told what to do in general. I really crave an externally imposed structure, and have found that I thrive under one when it is the right fit, but unless some other factors are pushing me, I am usually too stubborn to go in on it.

^ I think this is the most important part about the academy. If you really love having a set routine to follow, or a very well described work out progression, than the academy is perfect. if you really love researching and evaluating and choosing your own workouts, then I would say it's probably not the best. and all the food stuff is pretty much obviously available on the NF page too, so that's not something you'd need to pay for.

 

 

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I signed up for the Academy a few months ago.  I actually haven't looked at the workouts yet, but I really like what I've looked at so far.  My biggest issue has been, I know what I need to do, but I've struggled putting it into action.  Having the stuff laid out in a step-by-step format, with fun shiny game-elements included has been useful in getting over my sticking points.  I've found another one (actually following through on some stuff), but having the steps laid out for me makes it easier to know what I should try next.  I am not disappointed with my purchase even though I already know pretty much everything in there.

 

If you're specifically looking for postpartum workouts, I highly recommend you check out breakingmuscle.com.  They have a "mommy" section under their workout plans that has a lot of great stuff in there.  I used their diastasis rectii program to fix mine, and it was excellent.

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