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.

Plan Your Off Days Like a Training Day

The biggest problem most people have with off days is that they become cheat days! Because they’re not training, they’re not thinking about being fit and it’s much easier to slack off and lose momentum.

This is bad news bears.bear

Remember, exercise is probably 10-20% of the equation: how we eat and rest is the other 80-90%!

So plan your off days deliberately! They’re not off days, they’re rest days, and they serve a vital role in building an antifragile kickass body capable of fighting crime (or roughhousing with your kids in the backyard).

Whether it’s scheduling one of the activities below at the same time you normally train every day, or deliberately adding a morning mobility/stretching routine to your day, doing SOMETHING every day is a great way to remind ourselves “I am changing my life and I exercise daily.”

Personally, I know I am far less likely to eat poorly when I’m doing some active recovery than when I’m not doing anything deliberatelyOn days when I’m not training, I try to block off a similar amount of time to work on myself in some way to maintain momentum, and I encourage you to do the same if you struggle with losing momentum if even taking one day off.

It could be flexibility training, mobility training, meal prep, and more. I’ll cover these below! Whatever it is, do SOMETHING every day, even if it’s for just five minutes, to remind yourself that you are making progress towards your new life.

Let’s dive in to your off-day options!

Work on Mobility

cat rest

We’ve all felt that soreness the day after (or two days after) strength training – our muscles have been broken down and are incredibly tight from all of the heavy lifting.

For that reason, one of the best things you can do on an off day is to work on your flexibility and mobility. After all, what good is strength if we can’t move our body properly to utilize it! Dynamic stretching and mobility work helps prepare our body for the rigors of strength training and keeps us injury free!

Regardless of whether or not you have a training day scheduled, start each morning with a mobility warm-up: a series of dynamic movements that gets your body activated and wakes up your muscles, joints, and tendons. If you live in an apartment or are just getting started, feel free to leave out the jumping jacks:

This gives us a chance every morning to check in with our bodies and reminds us mentally “I am leveling up physically, might as well eat right today too.”

Here’s another favorite mobility routine from my friend (and coach) Anthony Mychal. It says it’s a warm-up for tricking, but it’s quite helpful for those of us mere mortals: 

If you spend all day at a desk, doing some basic mobility movements throughout the day can keep your hips loose and keep you thinking positively. Here’s an article on how to dominate posture at your desk job.

Do a Fun Activity

soccer

We are genetically designed to move, not sit on our asses for 60+ hours a week. Not only that, but we are genetically designed to have fun doing so too!

Which means we can spend time on our off days working on our happiness AND stay active at the same time.

This fun activity can mean something different for everybody:

  • Go for a bike ride with your kids
  • Go for a run around your neighborhood
  • Play kickball in a city league (I play on Thursdays!)
  • Play softball
  • Swim
  • Go for a walk with your significant other
  • Go rock climbing
  • Learn martial arts like Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or Capoeira or Kung Fu
  • Take a dance class
  • Try Live Action Role-Playing (LARP!)
  • Play on a playground
  • Roll down a hill and run back up it

I honestly don’t care WHAT you do, as long as it’s something you truly enjoy doing – it puts a smile on your face, it gets your heart pumping. Exercise does not need to be exhausting or miserable. If you haven’t found an activity you enjoy yet, you haven’t tried enough new things.

The point is to get outside, remember it’s a damn good day to be alive, and that we are built to move.

Intervals, Sprints, Or Walking

run sprint

“But Steve, I have this big party coming up and I really am trying to lose as much weight as possible.”

Okay okay, I hear you – if that’s the case, then 90% of the battle is going to be with your diet (which you can learn about here), but there are SOME things you can do on your off days that can help you burn more calories:

1) Interval Training  In interval training, you’ll be varying your running pace. This means you may switch between jogging and walking, or walking and sprinting (there are few different methods of interval training). This training style can help speed up your metabolism for the hours after you finish.

2) Sprinting If you like the idea of burning extra calories and building explosive power and speed, check out our article on becoming the Flash. Find a hill, sprint up it, walk down, and repeat the process for 10-20 minutes. No need to overthink it!

3) Long walks Walking is a low-impact activity that burns extra calories and doesn’t overly tax your body. What a “long walk” will be is different for everybody based on their level of fitness, but walking is one of the best things you can do for yourself!

If you want to take a more active recovery day, the most important thing is to listen to your body. Destroying ourselves for 6+ days a week can really wear us down, causing long term problems if we’re not careful.

Yoga for the win!

yoga-interest

You might not realize it, but yoga is the perfect complement to strength training:

Strength training makes us stronger, but it can tighten up our muscles and make us sore.

Yoga, on the other hand, lengthens our muscles and tendons, aids in their recovery, and helps our body develop better mobility and flexibility.

It’s the perfect way to create a strong AND mobile body, ready for anything and everything we throw at it. It’s kind of like turning your body into a swiss-army knife: prepared to be strong, flexible enough to avoid injury, and truly antifragile.

Now, if you’ve never been to a yoga class before, it can certainly be intimidating, especially if you’re a ones-and-zeros programmer wary of the practice’s more spiritual aspects. That was my concern years ago before I got started with it; I had to muster up 20 seconds of courage to attend my first yoga class, and I’m so glad I did.

Here’s how to get started with Yoga!

  • Nearly any commercial gym you join will have yoga classes.
  • Most yoga studios have classes throughout the day.
  • Follow a plethora of videos online if you want to get started at home.
  • Check out Nerd Fitness Yoga launching soon!

Nerd Fitness Yoga is something we’ve been working on for months and I can’t wait to share it with you!

When you sign up for more information here we’ll be sharing a cool flexibility challenge to help you gauge just how flexible you are and how you can improve your flexibility.

what do you Do On Your Off Days?

maldives relax

As we know, a healthy body is made in the kitchen, not in the gym. It’s important to stay diligent with healthy nutrition even on days when you’re not hitting the gym.

One of the best ways to do that is to use one of your non-training days to prepare your meals for the week! NF Team Member Staci Ardison does all of her meal prep for the week on Sundays, and looks at it like an activity that is furthering her fitness journey.

I like to use one of my off days to break a mental sweat too! On Tuesdays, I take fiddle lessons, which is a mental workout so taxing that I can’t wait to get back to deadlifts!

Here’s another thing you can do on off days: Have fun. 

Whether it’s playing a video game, getting caught up on a movie or TV show, or reading a book, it’s important for us to do the nerdy or fun things that make us who we are. As the Rules of the Rebellion state: fitness can become part of we do, but not at the expense of who we are!

I’m currently playing through Batman Arkham Knight (add me on PS4 and Xbox One: “RebelOneNF”!), and as I collect the Riddler Trophies, I think to myself: “I am rebuilding muscle like Batman.”

How do you stay on target even on days when you’re not “training?”

I’d love to hear from you – do you take the day off completely? Do you challenge yourself in a different way?  Do you try to do something every day to keep the momentum up, or do you actually take days off?

Leave it in the comments!

-Steve 

PS: Speaking of flexibility, I’d love for you to join the Nerd Fitness mobility challenge that kicks off soon. We’ll be sending out an email series to all people on our Yoga Interest List with exercises, videos, and challenges to test your flexibility.

We put a lot of work into it and we can’t wait to help you get more limber!

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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.

What The Study Revealed

donut

“Of 278,982 men and women, the study found that only 1% of people who were obese at the start of the study were successful in losing weight AND maintaining the weight loss.”

The pointed out that the prescribed “count calories, eat less calories than normal, and exercise dutifully” failed 99% of people after 10 years.

There are two ways to look at this study:

1) Once we are overweight it’s nearly impossible to create lasting results. It’s like we are trying to hold back the tide, or fight an army of White Walkers with both hands behind our back. This self-limiting belief can crush us and convince us to give up.

2) Conventional medicine’s current strategies to tackle obesity are failing to help the majority of obese patients shed weight. A prescribed “eat less and move more” regimen fails to factor in dozens of other elements that create lasting change! Something needs to change.

But, as the home page of Nerd Fitness says: You don’t have to take advice from the Dark Side. There’s a better way to get healthy, a way that creates actual change in our lives and long term results.

After all, we have a MASSIVE community of people here in the Nerd Fitness Rebellion who HAVE drastically changed their lives, so what’s going on here? We are the Watchers on the Wall, and we are fighting off the white walkers – how are we getting results while most of the mainstream are stuck on this up-down roller coaster?

As we have seen through countless studies, YES: consuming less calories than you burn – and continuing eating that caloric deficit for an extended period of time – will result in weight loss for a strong majority of people.

This is where most of the mainstream advice that those 278,982 people were following stops. Implementing strategies such as diets does result in people having short term success. We’ve even seen a turning of the tide here in America, where we’re finally starting to consume fewer calories as a whole.

It’s not so much that this advice doesn’t work (it does!), it’s that this is only one part of a much bigger picture). In turn, they’ve failed in ACTUALLY getting people to follow their advice over the long term. And that’s the only thing that matters.

As Morpheus tells Neo, “There is a difference between knowing the path, and walking the path.” 

Frankly, the results in the study don’t surprise me! I get emails daily from people saying “Steve, I know what I need to do, I just can’t get myself to do it.”

Here at Nerd Fitness we understand what it takes to implement something for the long haul:

Instead, modern medicine is telling people to move more and eat less without the rest of it. It’s obvious this is a recipe for failure: when your environment is working against you at home, when society is designed to make eating healthy so difficult, and when your social circles are working against you, of course only 1% of people are going to succeed.

That would be like trying to: 

Sure, it’s possible. But less than 1% of us can actually do it! If we look at our success through that lens, it’s clear we’re failures… but we can adjust the constraints to work FOR us rather than against us.

Or, in gamer terms: why not just press the damn A button?!

Let’s learn how.

Use all your tools

yoda

I’m proud that the Nerd Fitness Rebellion is a group of average Joes and Jills who think differently. When I started Nerd Fitness seven years ago, I knew that mainstream diet and fitness advice sucked, and it wasn’t getting people lasting, long term results.

That was the whole point: rebelling against this insanity!

So, let’s take a look at how to use more than the joystick, and ensure that ALL of us get healthy. Like Batman with a fully equipped utility belt, we need to use all of the tools at our disposal in order to succeed long term:

Set yourself up for long term success with habits that last PERMANENTLY: This is the most important thing you can do for yourself. Once you understand how your brains work and how to build new habits, you can start attacking them with small, deliberate, permanent changes. If you struggle with willpower, you’re not alone. You have to understand how willpower works first!

So we start with tiny changes we can live with, and then we slowly expand them as we build momentum. We prove to ourselves we CAN change. “I just need to try harder” never works – you need to understand HOW to try, and then try smarter.

Diets don’t work. No, I don’t mean “the Paleo Diet” (which is a lifestyle change or nutrition adjustment, not a temporary diet). What I mean by “diet” is a temporary change to one’s life for a short period of time. You can also add things like juice cleanses and detoxes to this list, also known as destroying yourself 90 days at a time unsustainably. I cover all of these popular weight loss tactics that perfectly fall under the reasons 99% of people struggle to keep weight off a decade later.

We don’t do short term changes; our goal is long term, permanent solutions. We need to be deliberate in our efforts to change our lives: this is not a short term fix. It’s a fundamental adjustment to how we make decisions daily that sets us up to succeed.

Build an environment that supports you: We are products of our environment, and we are affected by everything around us subconsciously all day long. For that reason, like Bruce Wayne and his Batcave, we too need an environment that creates effortless success for us rather than tempting us back to the darkness.

We know that really focusing on hacking the source code of our lives can have a drastic effect on every decision we make, and can set us up to succeed long term:

  • We adjust our environment so we have to rely less on willpower to say no to certain foods: not keeping junk food in our house, not driving past our favorite fast food place, only going to healthy restaurants so we’re not tempted.
  • We set ourselves up to succeed by lowering the barriers between us and healthy choices. Sleeping in our running clothes, blocking time-wasting websites, preparing healthy meals for the whole week. We need to make our new default effortlessly “healthy.”

A great support system: Fighting this battle alone is like going up the toughest dragon in World of Warcraft solo – why not build a great team to fight alongside you? As the saying goes, “you are the average of the five people you associate most with,” so surround yourself with a killer Justice League.

We need people who support and inspire us to get healthier rather than drag us back down. If a great support system can cure drug addicts, it can certainly help with living a healthier life. It starts by surrounding yourself with people that care and want you to succeed, not sabotage your efforts.

We know that types of food we consume factor in greatly: consuming 600 calories of Twinkies is not a great long term solution compared to 600 calories of chicken, fish, avocado, and leafy vegetables.

In fact, most of the processed junk we eat today is designed to target certain parts of our brain that make us say “MORE MORE MORE” – if you’ve ever eaten one of something and then can’t get yourself to do anything else until you’ve eaten the whole bag, you know what I’m talking about. It’s tough to restrict calories when your brain has been hijacked!

If you want our nerdy take on this, read: “Star Wars Explains Why We’re Fat.” 

We CAN win.

sword

I know we have a lot of people reading Nerd Fitness who are just getting started on their weight loss journey, many of whom who probably have gone up and down in weight for years (wondering if it’s hopeless).

This study is going to divide people into two camps:

  • I knew it. This is why I can’t lose weight – I’m doomed! Why bother! I’m off to McDonald’s.
  • Okay, clearly something’s not working. I need to try something different. I need to try smarter, not harder.

I have a hunch most of society probably fits into Group A, and most of the Nerd Fitness Rebellion fits into Group B.

I’d love to hear from you:

Have you successfully defeated the evil forces of long term weight gain?

Did you fail one way before succeeding in another?

If you’ve struggled, what keeps you trying? And how are you trying differently?

-Steve

PS: Nerd Fitness is Hiring! We’re looking for some more help delivering fun, approachable, and meaningful content. Apply at the links below!

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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!

The State of the NF Rebellion (Plus: Nerd Fitness Yoga!)

Greetings my dear Rebel friend!

8 years ago, when I bought the domain NerdFitness.com, I had a big dream of helping a few dozen nerds get started with health and fitness. Too scared to actually do anything for a year, I finally got the courage to launch the site in January 2009.

I still remember the napkin I drew the first Nerd Fitness logo on, getting the idea for the “level up your life” tagline, and begging a friend to set up the initial site for me.

Six years later, hundreds of thousands of men and women from dozens of countries consider themselves part of the Rebellion. We have a powerful Academy community, a sold out yearly Camp event, and a growing team of Nerds dedicating themselves full-time to Nerd Fitness!

Whether you are brand new to Rebellion (welcome!), or you’ve been with us since day one (hey mom!), I think it’s important to fill you in about the current state of NF, what we’ve achieved to date, and most importantly, the direction we’re all going together.

What is the Rebellion philosophy?

Steve Fitness Skeptic Goggles

Now, if you’re brand new to NF, you might not know what we, members of the Nerd Fitness Rebellion, stand for. Or, maybe you’ve been reading for a few years and you need a way to explain to your friends what the hell Nerd Fitness is. It’s more than just push ups, protein, and pride.

We members of the Nerd Fitness Rebellion believe in a few key ideas (11 rules specifically!). These are the three most crucial:

RULE #1: We know diet is 80-90% of the battle, so we do our best to eat as well as we can as often as possible, and occasionally choose to eat what we want.

RULE #2: We know that we need to have fun with our fitness, so we pick activities that make us happy and get our heart racing.

RULE #3: We also know that a strong and mobile nerd is a healthy nerd, so we make an effort to get stronger through bodyweight exercises or training. Strength makes every other activity in life easier!

We know all of the above is easier said than done, so we make sure we set ourselves up to win:

We are products of our environment, so we build ourselves epic batcaves that minimize the amount of willpower we need to make better decisions

We believe life is a giant game, and we get to be the heroes of that game! I actually turned my life into a game, giving myself experience points for going on adventures and completing quests and missions.

We only compare ourselves to who we were yesterday. Comparing ourselves to others is a recipe for disaster, as they have different genetics, lives, and so on.

That’s the Nerd Fitness Rebellion in 20 seconds. So, how the hell did we get there?

Where we are now…

NF Decal

This community is something pretty damn special. I want to share with you how the community has grown up over the past few years, and specifically how our team has grown up too!

About 18 months ago, we made the decision to take down our fitness training ebooks and instead dump all of our effort into The Nerd Fitness Academy – our flagship course for helping people get started with health and fitness. Last summer, we did a major overhaul, completely redesigning the Academy, adding a class system (Warrior? Ranger? Monk? Druid?), and even adding quests to complete to gain experience points and level up!

Last fall we had our first ever in-person major meetup: Camp Nerd Fitness! We brought 150 brave nerds to the mountains of Georgia for a long weekend of adventure and fun, and it changed my life. We had so much fun we decided to do it again this fall, and we’ve already sold all 300 spots for the event this September!

It has me thinking we need to do more of these things in 2016! :)

Now, none of this stuff would be possible without our incredible team, which has exploded in size in the past year. Many people still think that NF is just a one-man operation, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Believe it or not, there are dozens of things that happen behind the scenes every day to make this site and community run properly.

We have Staci (Rebel Ops), Taylor (Managing Editor), Baker (Product Development), Darryl (Rebel Design), and Lauren (Rebel Support and Events), in addition to a dozen other folks who help with all sorts of other tasks in the background. We’ve come a long way from just me and a blog :)

In addition to all of the fun information above, here are some fun stats about the community:

  • 699 articles published
  • 268,000 email subscribers
  • 36,000 message board members (with 40 volunteer moderators!)
  • 13,000+ Academy members
  • Millions of monthly visitors

Honestly, those are some cool numbers, but they all pale in comparison to what’s really important: emails and messages and success stories from community members:

Steve before and After

Bronwyn Before After

before and after ron

I love hearing from you guys (yes, we read every email that hits in the NF inbox!), and nothing makes me happier than hearing about how NF helped you help yourself level up your life.

So, that’s where we’ve been… where are we going?

Nerd FItness Yoga is Coming!

NF Yoga

For the first time in nearly two years, we are putting out a new product! I’m excited to officially announce Nerd Fitness Yoga, coming out later this month. 

You see, strength is nothing without mobility. If you can’t get your body to sit down and stand up, it doesn’t matter how strong those muscles are!

Mobility and flexibility help you stay injury-free and feel younger, which makes every other part of your life easier.

But how does one get started with boosting their mobility and flexibility? Most of us have heard about Yoga classes. We know it can come with fantastic benefits, but what if you’ve never been to one?

Getting started can be freaking intimidating:

What if I don’t know how to find a yoga studio? Do I need one?

What if I’m too intimidated too start? I don’t want to look like a idiot!

I don’t have time to drive to a studio, can I try at home?

Those are just a few of the issues and concerns we set out to solve with the creation of Nerd Fitness Yoga.

We partnered with certified yoga instructor and (NF Rebel!) Kate Marolt to put together a course that includes everything you need to start improving your flexibility and mobility immediately: 6 full-length yoga routines, a deep stretching routine, and a handful of extra, shorter mobility videos you can view daily.

We want to eliminate any hurdles you have had with trying Yoga in the past. You can do these workouts anywhere, with anyone, at anytime. Daily routines as short as 5 minutes, with the advanced yoga routines taking up to 45 minutes. No matter how much time you have, we will help you jump in and get started.

It’s done with the same fun, inviting style you’ve come to know and love from Nerd Fitness (yes, including a few corny jokes from yours truly). We even designed the yoga studio to pay homage to Super Mario!

Yoga Set

We’ve done our best to create a product that will work for any member of our community, whether you’re 500 pounds or 100 years old – every video features instruction for any level and any body type.

If you’re somebody that wants to try yoga but is afraid to go to a studio, or just can’t find one in your town, NF Yoga will be a great fit for ya!

I’m not gonna lie: I’m really freaking proud of NF Yoga. We don’t have many things for sale at Nerd Fitness, so when we put something new, we make sure it’s something worth checking out! We’ll be releasing Nerd Fitness Yoga towards the beginning of August, and I couldn’t be more excited.

If you’re interested in learning more about the product and to get some extra content between now and then, sign up for our NF Yoga List to be notified of all the things we’re putting together.

PUT YOUR EMAIL IN THE BIG BOX BELOW!






For the rebellion… next!

team super hero

While there is a lot of excitement around sharing NF Yoga next month with you, that’s not the only thing coming in the near future.

I hate making promises when I don’t have specifics or a deadline, but I can fill you in on a few more things you can expect over the next 12 months!

  • Our sold out Camp NF 2015 goes down in September
  • A super secret project launches in January 2016 (to be revealed soon! I can’t share it yet, but it’s a big one…)
  • A character creation and leveling system for ALL members of Nerd Fitness
  • An improved Nerd Fitness Academy experience: more quests, new recipes, and improved workouts
  • Our next premium product (We’ll be asking directly what you’d like to see us build next, so keep an eye out for a survey soon! )
  • More in-person events to meet members of Team NF and other passionate Rebels near you

I’ve had this grand vision of looking at life as a game for as long as I can remember, and only now are we at a place where we have the tools, the talent, and the time to pull it off.

Things have certainly taken longer than I would have liked them to, but I’m fired up for what’s to come. I truly expect Nerd Fitness to become a worldwide juggernaut that puts a dent in the universe.

Thanks for being here, and thanks for putting the words of the Rebellion into action. I can’t wait to bring all of the above to life and show you what the team and I have been working on behind the scenes for a long time.

-Steve

PS: here’s a link again to sign up for our Yoga interest list. Excited to share more info with you on it towards the end of the month!

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How Ron the Lay Pastor Lost 100 lbs

Meet Ron, an office manager for a retirement and investment firm, a lay pastor at a local church, and a badass nerd.

Ron and his family (wife of eight years and two girls) live in western Indiana, where they raise some of their own food, and work their butts off in the yard.

Not long ago, Ron was stuck feeling as though he was just drifting through life –  sapped of energy, unmotivated, and overweight.

But after coming across Nerd Fitness, going Paleo, and implementing exercise strategy from the Nerd Fitness Academy, he’s turned his life around both physically and emotionally. Ron is down over 100 lbs (and 10 inches off his waist), and is hungering for the next thing to keep him challenged. 

Let’s find out how he did it.

How to Cook the Easiest Steak Ever

This is a recipe from Rebel Chef Noel Fernando.

When people think of the Paleo Diet, it seems like the first thing that comes to mind is a big, juicy steak. (Okay, so maybe bacon is first. Then steak.)

Many of us do love steak, but are afraid of trying to cook it at home. A nice piece of meat, even at the grocery store, can be expensive, so we don’t want to risk over-cooking or seasoning incorrectly. I understand where your fears are coming from, friends, and I’m here to talk you through it.

Believe me, steak intimidated me for a long time. If you’ve been wanting to try cooking your own steak at home, this recipe couldn’t be any simpler. Get ready to level up your cooking game and make yourself gosh darn proud!

This steak is super easy. It takes 15 minutes and only uses 4 ingredients.

Enough talking. Let’s get to cooking!

Fat Shaming vs Body Acceptance: Is it okay to be fat?

Love who you are! But don’t settle!

That person must be vain. They’re way too in shape.

Get that girl a burger! She’s too skinny!

I’m full-figured and proud of it! Strong is the new skinny!

You can’t go five minutes these days without everybody chiming in on body acceptance, fat-shaming, or just expressing their opinion about what a human body should look like. (Not to mention the recent controversy surrounding /r/fatpeoplehate on Reddit.)

Today, we’re gonna dig into some of the tension between those supporting body acceptance, those actively engaged in fat shaming, and those looking to simply improve their health and the health of their loved ones.

Regardless of your current physique and situation, I bet you’ve contributed to this problem without even noticing it.

Let’s get after it.

Your Most Popular Diet Questions Answered

“Help! I know should eat better but I don’t actually know what that means!”

We get emails like this all day, every day, because “eating better” is a confusing subject.

  • Go to a doctor and he might tell you to eat more “heart healthy whole grains.”
  • Read another blog and it might say “eat 30 bananas a day for optimal health” (seriously, that’s a thing apparently).
  • Open the latest fitness magazine and you’ll be taught about belly-fat banishing super foods.

What’s the truth? How the heck does one “eat better?” How much should I eat? Why are we here? What’s the answer to The Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything?

The answer to all of these questions and more are covered below in an easily-digestible (heyo) article.

Let’s dig in.

11 Most Common Workout Questions Answered

Why, hello there!

The goal of Nerd Fitness is to remove every barrier and excuse, both mental and physical, from helping you build a body you’re proud of and do the things you want to do.

Not that any of us would ever use excuses to skip exercise :)

A big part of that is having confidence: confidence to walk into a gym or start a workout and know exactly what to do. It means having the confidence that what you’re doing will help you reach your goals, and that the time and energy you’re putting in is worth it!

Think of this like the instruction manual that comes inside the case of a video game called Exercise.

Now available on all platforms!

Why you should do less. Or maybe even nothing at all.

We’re always encouraged to do more if we want to get ahead in life.

To run further. To work out longer. To work more hours. It’s freaking exhausting!

What if the solution to our problems is to do less?

I know, it sounds counter-intuitive. How the heck do you accomplish ALL THE THINGS you want to get done if you do less?

Our culture has become addicted to “more.” If we don’t feel busy, we feel like we’re not contributing. We feel the need to tell everybody else how busy and stressed we are as if it’s a badge of honor.

In fact, I’m a recovering addict of “more” and “being busy.” I never had enough time and proudly told people how busy I was. It wasn’t until I started doing less that I got my act together and got MORE important things done!

It started with, “DO LESS YOU IDIOT!”

We’re going to tighten up our workouts, our productivity at work, and our lives. Ready?

Let’s do less!

9 Mistakes Skinny People Make Trying to Get Bigger

I’ve been trying to get bigger for as long as I can remember.

It started when I was 17, days after being cut from the basketball team. What began as a simple quest to pack on a bit of muscle and feel a bit better about myself eventually evolved into a love of health and fitness (and ultimately, Nerd Fitness!).

We receive a few emails every day from skinny men (and some women) who are trying to get bigger. As a former very skinny guy, I’ve made all the mistakes one can make over the past twelve years.

In the past 18 months, after a decade of making inconsistent progress, I’ve cracked the code, and figured out how to finally gain some muscle. I’m still not big by many people’s standards, but I’m the Incredible Hulk compared to where I used to be.

Make sure you’re not making these mistakes!

In Case of Emergency, Follow This Workout Strategy

“Aw hell. I’ll get back on track when things settle down.”

Whether we have a sick kid who’s keeping us at home, or we go on a trip that’s crazy and our schedule is all over the place, or even just a stressful few weeks at work trying to hit a tight deadline, our personal health tends to be the first thing that goes out the window when the shit hits the fan.

And then we have our first day back to exercise. Ugh. We feel like crap, we have ZERO momentum, and getting back into the gym feels like walking into the depths of hell. On top of that, we’ve put on weight, our strength numbers are down, and we feel like we’ve backslid by months in mere weeks.

Well, I say NO MORE!

Today I’m going to give you an emergency plan to follow that will allow you to weather any storm, endure weeks of chaos, and get back on track with minimal backsliding.

Use this in case of emergency.

What’s the deal with GMOs? Are they ACTUALLY unsafe?

BOOOO GMOs!

Down with Monsanto!

These days, it’s quite popular to hate on Genetically Modified Organisms, or GMOs for short. From genetically modified crops to genetically modified animals, mentioning the term GMO is like discussing the intricacies of Soylent Green or a dystopian future in which everything sucks and we’re ruled by robots.

Like aspartame, GMOs have been widely banned and labeled as dangerous and unhealthy. This stuff is all over the news lately:

However, with us being both fans of the Paleo philosophy AND skeptics at Team Nerd Fitness, I too questioned my own personal anti-GMO bias and wondered: am I just falling in line with public opinion? What does the science actually say? Are we part of a marketing campaign, or is there truth to what’s happening?

If we’re going to question EVERYTHING, as the Rebellion Rules say, can we question scientific advancement as well?

Let’s don our sleuthing caps, Sherlock, and find the truth!

Quick note: I’m not a doctor or scientist, just a nerd dedicated to helping people find out what works for them. I have zero connection to ANY companies mentioned in this article. This post is GMO-free.

Too Lazy To Work Out? Try Temptation Bundling

“Damn you Netflix, how did I just watch 12 episodes of House of Cards! I have stuff to do!”

We’ve all been there. There are the things we know we SHOULD do, the things we NEED to do, and the things that we WANT to do.

More often than not, the WANT wins out over the NEED and SHOULD.

It’s like trying to win a tug-of-war against a tractor pulling in the opposite direction. It’s why you struggle to get to the gym after a long day of work. It’s why you opt for Taco Bell instead of taking the time to cook a healthy meal.

Today, we’re going to give you a quick life hack that can help you start leveling up your life and actually get things done that need to get done!

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