Learn How an Office Worker Lost 100+ Lbs, Saved His Own Life, and Became a Superhero

Meet Mike, or Dilnad as he’s known around the forums. Mike has one of the best transformations I’ve seen. Not only has he completely transformed his life and his body, but more than that he’s transformed his outlook on life. If you are a Nerd Fitness Academy member and community member, you know “Dilnad.” He’s one of the most active and supportive Rebels, and we’re lucky to have him on our team as we battle against the forces of the Empire.

Mike is a Software Quality Assurance Specialist. That mean’s he’s a nerd (and proud of it) who tests software used in tax preparation.

If you feel like you go to work day in and day out, stuck in a cycle of unhealthy behavior, Mike’s story is for you. Here’s how he describes his old self:

“I would go to work, stop at a store on the way home for food and snacks. Watch TV, stuff my face, pass out on sofa, wake up, snack, sleep, shower, work, rinse and repeat. I really didn’t care about much of anything – life was something to be endured.”

I love Mike’s story. He transformed physically, but his mental transformation was nothing short of amazing: he went from not giving a shit about much of anything to loving life more than…well, life itself!

Mike’s story jumped out at me for a few reasons:

  • He tried multiple forms of exercise before finding the right thing for him.
  • When Mike decided it was time for a change, he realized he didn’t know a lot about how to get healthy. But that didn’t stop him – he started doing SOMETHING immediately, and learned as he went.
  • Even though he was losing some weight initially, he realized there was a more complete picture to health. After discovering Nerd Fitness and The Academy, he changed up his diet and incorporated a full exercise picture – things really began to improve.
  • Bonus: Mike can rattle off all 50 states in alphabetical order from memory. What a nerd!

Today, Mike’s in the best shape of his life, a positive influence to everybody in our community, and excited to meet the next challenge.

Desk jockeys, this one’s for you!

How to Make a Chili Stuffed Sweet Potato

This is an article from Nerd Fitness Rebel Chef Noel Fernando

Imagine sitting around a camp fire on a clear desert night. Decked out in ponchos, boots, and 10 gallon hats, you and your posse settle down for a hot meal after a long day of ropin’ and ridin’ and roughhousin’ with outlaws. The Waco Kid lazily strums a guitar while you stir up a steaming cauldron of chili.

Life in the Wild West might be long gone… the closest you can get to this scene is a few nights of camping. But for now, let’s dress in cowboy hats and get down on some Texas-inspired chili.

If you’re looking for a flavorful meal with tons of veggies or a new way to use that pulled pork you learned to make last year, look no further.

A small disclaimer: This is a recipe intended to be a version of Texas style chili. Purists, look the other way. We know how passionate you are about your food. Personally, I try to stuff as many veggies into a meal as I can, and come up with interesting recipes that align with the dietary values we practice on this site. Cool? Cool.

How to Deal With An Unexpected Death.

“What we do in life, echoes in eternity.” – Maximus Decimus Meridius

Life sucks sometimes.

On September 12th, 2015, my friend Scott Dinsmore tragically passed at the far-too-young age of 32 while climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. Scott is one of my best “internet” friends, the creator of LiveYourLegend.net. He was on a trip around the world with his wife, doing what he loved. Chelsea, I’m so sorry for your loss :(

To say I am heartbroken is an understatement.

I like to think our businesses, lives, and communities grew up together; Scott was more like me than anybody else I knew in this online space. In fact, he was always pushing me to be a better version of myself and led by example: he was in amazing shape, with a beautiful family, a thriving business, and had a love of life that was unparalleled.

I’m still trying to make sense of this tragedy, and can’t imagine what his family is going through. My friend Chase Reeves (who designed both this Nerd Fitness site and Scott’s) captured Scott’s personality better than I ever could, and there are already dozens upon dozens of tributes to a man who impacted a lot of people.

Earlier this year I lost another friend at the age of 31. I’ve lost three grandparents since I started my adventures, and two good friends have died far too young. It’s never easy.

I don’t have all the answers, but I know I’m not alone in dealing with tragedy. Life is short, and it can be taken from anybody in an instant.

Today I wanted to write an article about how I’ve tried to cope with these situations in a healthy way, and encourage you to share your stories too.

Want Results? Be like Groot. I AM GROOT!

Most of the time, boring is bad.

A boring date sucks. A boring movie can put you to sleep.

But sometimes, boring is exactly what you need.

You wouldn’t call Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy boring would you? Yes, I’m referring to the talking Flora Colossus (tree, essentially) from Planet X in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. Sure, everybody loves the fast-talking, wisecracking Rocket Raccoon, but there’s something more to Groot than just a simple, stoic character. In fact, it’s Groot’s strength and versatility that turns the tide against the forces of evil.

How the hell does this relate to you getting healthy?

I am groot. (Sorry, I had to.)

4 Steps to Become an 80’s Action Movie Hero. You’re Welcome.

The 80’s were the best.

Specifically, 80’s action movies. Larger-than-life characters played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Jean Claude Van Damme, Chuck Norris, the Ninja Turtles, and international superstar Ralph Macchio (yeah you heard me!). Although I wasn’t aware of it at the time, the hundreds of hours spent watching these movies instilled within me a lifelong philosophy that has helped me level up my life, my health, and my wealth. Thanks, 80’s action heroes!

Hopefully you’re looking at me like I’m crazy at this point. Which is why I’m going to teach you how to become your own 80’s action movie star, and use your new identity to level up your life.

You can thank me later.

How to Use Primal Movement to Rebel Against Captivity

This is a guest post from Camp NF instructor Jonathan Mead.

I’m no historian or anthropologist, but I don’t think it takes a rocket scientist to see that over time, we’ve come to move less and less thanks to amazing advances in technology.

Simply put, our bodies are capable of amazing things, but we no longer NEED to do these things in order to survive. How did this happen, and how has it changed us as a species?

  • First, the agricultural revolution allowed people to specialize and outsource movement to farmers (the birth of the division of labor).
  • Then, there was the industrial revolution, which allowed for even less movement with the advent of machines to do much of the work for us.
  • Finally, the technological revolution made movement practically obsolete. A meal, book, even a date on OKCupid is just a click away. Hell, you can now order pizza by sending an emoji.

Although it’s not our fault we don’t HAVE to move much anymore, it IS our responsibility to address it. Our lives simply don’t require it any more – the Empire (boo!) took over and changed the way we live by removing ANY physical requirement from existence.

Unfortunately, this sets us up for disaster when we do try to move more often: when we go from sitting for 10-12 hours a day to trying to train martial arts or Parkour, playing kickball or even picking up groceries, it’s no wonder injuries are commonplace.

If you’re looking to improve your physical well-being, remain injury-free, and set yourself up to succeed with whatever form of fun activity you choose to get your heart racing, it’s time to start moving like we are genetically designed to move.

Let’s take a look how to master our body’s controls, and rebel against captivity.

How to Instantly Build Confidence, Backed By Science.

Confidence. Can it be developed?

It’s one of the most desirable traits when it comes to finding a partner, one of the most desirable traits when it comes to employment, and a hell of a way to make a positive first impression.

I’m sure you can conjure up someone you think of as “confident.”

  • James Bond’s uncanny ability to stay calm, cool, and collected under pressure, and then utter a perfectly timed and witty catchphrase.
  • That female friend of yours who can strike up a conversation with anybody and everybody, making them feel like they’ve found a new best friend within minutes.
  • Your buddy who has quickly advanced through a company, and just seems to have “it.”

Whether you’re young or old, gay or straight, male or female, human or cyborg, confidence will make your life better!

Can confidence be built, or is it outside of our control?

Today, I’m going to teach you everything you need to know about confidence, and how you can quickly implement a few tactics to kickstart your leveling up.

Nerd Fitness Yoga is Now Available (Now Closed.)

Nerd Fitness Yoga is finally here!

After a year+ of planning, an intense week of filming back in February, and six months of development, we’re finally launching our first new product in almost two years!

Nerd Fitness Yoga is officially available for the next four days! This course has been designed from the beginning to help people of all ages, shapes, and sizes start improving their health and flexibility, with the same charm, corny humor, and quality you’ve come to expect.

If the initial reviews and excitement (see below!) are any indication, we’re off to a killer start!

In fact, last week we did an early launch to NF Academy members, and OVER 800 people have already joined the party!

I couldn’t be more proud of what we’ve created as a team, and I’m so excited to share it with you today.

How to Make Tortilla Espanola

This is a recipe from Team NF Rebel Chef Noel.

Hard-working Rebels have struggled for years to figure out how to make a portable breakfast to take to work. In fact, for those who aren’t intermittent fasting, you may have a goal of eating a healthy breakfast to start your day off right.

The closest many of us have come to solving this riddle is by making a favorite of The Rebellion: Prosciutto Wrapped Egg Muffins. However, I rarely make them because I’m a hot mess in the kitchen and I get egg EVERYWHERE. Plus, I find prosciutto prohibitively expensive and I have ruined many muffin tins and lost much of my breakfast to…well…them sticking to the pan. Solve this problem for me Jedis of the egg muffin order; you’re my only hope.

I may have discovered a solution for us muffin dunces. Recently I went on an Epic Quest of my own and discovered something called Tortilla Espanola.

This Spanish dish just might be something foreign we can add to our healthy breakfast arsenal. It’s healthy, tasty, and traditionally, there are only 4 ingredients. That means it’s super easy to make!

Tortilla Espanola is a Spanish dish that is essentially an egg cake with potato and onion. It’s cut into triangles or squares and served at room temperature as tapas. You might think: cold egg? Gross! But there’s no reason you can’t warm it up in the microwave before you head out. (But, before you do, give it a try traditionally and keep it chilled or at room temperature.)

How to Touch Your Toes: Become Bendy Like Gumby!

It’s something we’ve talked about since we were kids in gym class: “can you touch your toes?” We even had the “sit-and-reach” test in the Presidential Fitness Test (remember that!?).

Is there a point to it though? Why does “touching your toes” actually matter?

Well, to start, developing proper flexibility and mobility is crucial when it comes to strength training – not being able to touch your toes can reveal a plethora of muscle imbalances that leads to poor form (and potential injury) when performing major movements such as squats, deadlifts, olympic lifts, and more.

But we’re not just talking about injury – better flexibility and range of motion boosts our strength gains (and vice versa!).

As this study shows, “short-term strength training increases flexibility and strength in sedentary adult women… strength and flexibility can be prescribed together to get optimal improvements in flexibility.”

And according to Dr. Alexander Rosado, DPT, not being able to touch your toes could be a major indicator of an issue or future issue (ranging from plantar fasciitis to lower back pain).

It’s tough to get strong as hell if you injure yourself, and what’s the point of a lot of strength if you can barely move your body to take advantage of it?

If you are unable to touch your toes, it’s most likely because of one of these five major reasons:

A Nerd’s Guide to Yoga: 4 Movements to Try TODAY.

WTF is a “downward dog” anyways?

Is there a downward cat?

Do I have to shop at lululemon now?

When somebody mentions they practice yoga, these might be some of the questions that enter your mind. I know it’s what I thought about!

Although I was initially afraid of trying yoga for years, I now freaking love it and practice it whenever I can. It’s my favorite solution for improving mobility and flexibility, staying injury-free when strength training, and even quieting my overactive mind.

Regardless of how you choose to level up your life, I’m going to convince you in the next 10 minutes that yoga is a great activity to mix in between strength training or running sessions.

And I can be quite persuasive. These aren’t the droids you’re looking for. See?

It’s also something you can get started with TODAY: I’m going to challenge you to complete a 4-move routine at the end of this article that you can complete anytime, anywhere.

Let’s do some yoga!

What Should I Do On My Off Days?

“Steve, what am I supposed to do on days when I’m not training?”

We get this question all the time here at Nerd Fitness. Since we advise most people to train 3 days per week with full body strength training routines, many Rebels have a few off days each week.

When you complete a full body workout routine, or do lots of compound movements like squats, push-upsoverhead presses or deadlifts, our muscles get broken down. Then, over the next 24-48 hours hours, those muscles get rebuilt a tiny bit stronger.That’s why it doesn’t benefit us to work out every day; we don’t want to destroy our muscles without giving them a chance to grow back stronger.

That then begs the question: what are we supposed to do on those days? How can we keep up the habit of exercise and not let a day of non-training derail our progress?

Are there things we CAN do on our off days?

That’s why I’m here, my dear Rebel friend: you ask the questions, I answer them! You set em up, I knock ’em down!

So let’s dig into what you can do on a day “off” from training.

Study Suggests We’re Doomed to Stay Fat. Wait, What!?

We’re all screwed!

And we’re going to stay fat forever.

At least, that’s what a recent study conducted by researchers at King’s College, London, suggested: “The chance of returning to a normal weight after becoming obese is only one in 210 for men and one in 124 for women over a year.” If the person is severely obese, the chances are even less.

Ruh roh.

It had me thinking that maybe we’re already doomed. After all, we’re doing all of this hard work, trying our best and making changes…and yet years later we end up back where we started. Crap.

And then I dug into the study.

And it gave me hope for Nerd Fitness and the Rebellion.

My 7 Favorite Push-Up Variations and the NF Push-Up Challenge!

The push-up is my favorite bodyweight exercise.

Although I personally love training with free weights in gym, a big portion of my workout revolves around bodyweight exercises- and that means lots of push-ups.

In fact, I once spent a year exercising around the world and did so without setting foot in a gym – it gave me a chance to really focus on bodyweight exercises as the only way to get fit, and changed my perspective on working out.

Today I’m going to share with you some of my favorite variations of the push-up that show you just how versatile and fun they can be. With this one movement and its variations, you’ll never have an excuse for not getting stronger again :)

Let’s crush push-ups!

How to Survive Sitting All Day

Although it’s “just a desk job,” working in an office can wreak absolute havoc on our bodies.

If you’re somebody who spends all day at a desk and computer (which I’m guessing applies to a majority of the Nerd Fitness Rebellion), you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Whether it’s lower back pain, wrist pain, a really tight neck, or a lack of mobility, when we spend all day at a desk to pay the bills, our bodies often get stuck picking up the tab.

What can we do to counteract this office life we have to live?

Although I’ve done some crazy things like exercise around the world, most of my time is spent sitting at a desk for 10+ hours a day, connecting with readers, writing articles, and watching stupid cat videos on YouTube.

I feel like I’ve cracked the code for staying limber despite sitting all day, and I want to share it with my fellow desk-dwellers!

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