The Lord of the Rings Workout: One Plan to Rule Them All

Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Dwarf-lords in halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Men, doomed to die,
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.

An incredible poem, from the greatest fantasy epic ever told (Tolkien had quite a knack for poetry).  A little while back, we posted a Star Wars Workout on Nerd Fitness and the response was overwhelming: “GIVE US MOAR WORKOUTS!” you said.  ”KEEP THE NERD COMING” you said.

So I said, “Stop yelling at me!” and “Your caps lock is broken!”

And then we made more workouts.

In honor of one of my favorite stories, and a great companion to our “Walk to Mordor” guide, I wanted to bring you another fantasy-themed-workout.

Not only is this workout incredibly nerdy, but it’s also an epic workout that will go perfectly with your Star Wars Workout and  Beginner Bodyweight Routine (just remember to take a day off between each!)

So…shall we…GO to Mordor?

Boards Don’t Hit Back: The Legend of Bruce Lee

Today is a special day.

We are going to discuss one of my heroes, and probably one of your heroes. The man, the myth, the legend: Bruce Lee.  If he’s not your hero yet, he soon will be.

If you are a nerd, you love Bruce Lee.  

If you are into Martial Arts, you love Bruce Lee.

If you like Nerd Fitness, you will also love Bruce Lee.

Bruce is one of my heroes, and I’d like him to be your hero too, so I’m going to be sharing his philosophy and some of my favorite quotes from him. This guy accomplished more in his tragically short life than most people could in 10 lifetimes.

His philosophy drives a lot of the rules we live by at Nerd Fitness.

So, just how much of a badass was Bruce Lee? When Chuck Norris was asked if he and Bruce actually fought to the death, who would win, Chuck replied without thinking: “Bruce of course. Nobody can beat him.”

Let’s get after it.

10 Ways to Level Up Your Life in 5 Minutes or Less

Getting in shape and leveling up your life can be a daunting task.

Like Frodo setting out from the Shire and walking to Mordor, the end of this journey might seem like something that is years and years away.

However, just like Frodo, we have seen time and time again that the most important thing to do is GET STARTED.  Every tiny decision adds up, and these tiny decisions put together can build some serious progress towards reaching your goal.

Around these parts, we like to call this the Optimus Prime Strategy:  He transforms from a mac truck into a giant ass kicking robot…not with one movement, but rather hundreds and hundreds of tiny steps.

So, how do we get started? And, once we’re started, and things get tough, how can we keep that momentum going?

Here are 10 of my favorite ways to level up life in 5 minutes or less, because sometimes five minutes is enough to start building momentum.

How to Make Paleo Tacos

This is a post from our resident Rebel Chef, Noel Fernando.

So you’ve mastered the art of the push up. You can almost do a handstand. Maybe you’ve even conquered the legendary Paleo Spaghetti.

Dang, you’ve come a long way! Would the “you” from a year ago…heck, a month a go even recognize you now? My friend, you are CRUSHING it. Sounds like it’s time to level up your cooking game.

Enter new opponent: The delicious…the nutritious….PALEO TACOS!

If I could date one food, it would probably be tacos. They’re incredibly tasty, easy to make, super versatile, and every time I make them, I marvel at my own cooking skills.

That’s what I want you to feel when you make these for the first time.

Lost in a Labyrinth: Getting Healthy Isn’t a Straight Shot

The maze.

A sprawling complex network of dead ends, traps, adventures, and challenges.

I’ve always LOVED the concept of a giant maze, and I know I’m not alone.

From the movie Labyrinth (featuring an amazingly bizarre David Bowie), the maze in Harry Potter’s Goblet of Fire, the absolutely incredible Pan’s Labyrinth, the labyrinth in God of War III, The Shining‘s Hedge Maze, and MadMaze for Prodigy (remember that game!?), I’m always up for a good maze-run to test my wits and keep me on my toes.

You know the phrase, “it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon?” 

That’s not true at all.  It’s neither.

It’s a freakin’ labyrinth.

Becoming Wolverine: How to Recover Faster and Never Get Hurt Again

This is a guest post from my good friend Jason Fitzgerald over at StrengthRunning.com.

As a kid, I used to debate really important questions, like: Which X-Men superhero would I be?

And over and over again, I always came back to Wolverine. The claws! The mutant healing factor! The adamantium skeleton!

I loved Wolverine because his mutant power is one that we can improve ourselves: his enhanced recovery.

While we can’t fuse our bones with a virtually indestructible metal alloy that makes us practically invincible, we can improve our own healing factor so we can work out more without getting hurt.

For many of us, overuse injuries stop us in our tracks. Whether it’s that weird pain in our back when lifting or a burn in our Achilles while running, injuries are an unfortunate reality for Rebels who are leveling up their lives.

Unfortunately, this isn’t a rare occurrence. Some reports place the annual injury rate for runners at over 50%, and over 40% for triathletes. As a coach, this is unacceptable to me.

So what should we do? Stop exercising because we’re afraid of getting hurt? There’s no fun in that.

Instead, you can change how you exercise to lower your injury risk – so you can keep running, jumping, lifting, throwing, and playing.

Wolverine has unparalleled regenerative capabilities – and so can you.

But first…

What Supplements Should I Take?

The best Nerd Fitness email I’ve ever received started like this:

“Just want to let you know, your website is totally and completely useless.  It doesn’t talk about supplements and it discourages use of machines (WHY???)”

Then, he asked for my best advice. I couldn’t help but chuckle.

Thinking back, it was the nicest thing anybody could have said about Nerd Fitness.

This poor gentleman wanted to use machines and pump his body full of supplements to receive the fastest results possible without putting in the hard work and dedication required.  He grew discouraged when he saw Nerd Fitness promoted the consumption of real food and the lifting of actual weights rather than quick fixes.

Every week we get dozens of emails from people asking about supplements: which ones are bogus, which ones are legit, and if they even need to bother at all.

Honestly, there’s a reason it took me 5.5 years and nearly 600 articles to finally publish something on supplements: it’s a tricky freaking subject!

I’m not a doctor. Just a nerd trying to shed some light on a ridiculously overcrowded industry full of shady marketing and dubious claims. Like anything else, track your own results, do your own research, talk to your doctor, and draw your own conclusions.

Any recommendations here or any brands mentioned are simply because we like and use them.

Deep breath…and here…we…go!

How to Set a New Personal Record Every Day

When it comes to strength training, or even exercise in general, getting consistently better and increasing the challenge is the key to success.

If you repeat the same workout day after day, month after month, your body will adapt and learn to become more efficient at that workout, burning  less calories and making less progress.

So, in order for us to continually force our bodies to adapt and grow stronger, we must consistently introduce a slightly increased challenge every day.

Today, we’re going to cover the science behind all of this, why setting a new record is important for your mental momentum, and HOW you can set a new record every single day.

The 5 Biggest Life Lessons I Learned in the Arcade

Ah, the Arcade.

As a kid, I remember wandering into the local Ryan Family Amusements in the Cape Cod Mall, enamored with the shining lights and loud noises, excited for what adventures lay ahead.

Armed with five dollars in tokens (dutifully earned from a week’s worth of chores), I’d carefully wander through the aisles, watching others playing fighting games like Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter, old school classics like Rampage or Donkey Kong, and ticket games like Skeeball or Rock’n Bowl.

I’d then settle my eyes on the game that intrigued me the most that day, and devote the next two hours of my life to mastering it….or losing a lot of quarters very quickly :)

Who knew that the basic lessons learned in the arcade could translate over to life and fitness goals; they even helped shape me into the person I am today.

Let’s take a look at some of these awesome arcade lessons.

That Time I Did 2,440 Pull Ups: The 60 Day PLP Challenge

Wow.

This past Sunday, I finished up what was probably the most challenging workout plan I’ve ever attempted. I managed to stick with this plan, day after day, every day, for 61 straight days.

I honestly don’t think I have ever done ANYTHING 61 days in a row!

It wasn’t easy.  Over the past 61 days, I completed a total of 2,440 pull ups, 2,440 push ups, and 2,440 lunges, in addition to my regular workout plan of 3-4 days per week of heavy lifting (which included weighted pull up, heavy deadlifts, and ring work).

I thought I’d be running on fumes – or that my arms would fall off after the 61 days.   Actually, I feel stronger than ever – more invincible and more anti-fragile.  As I mentioned on my 6-Week challenge Thread, I feel like Wolverine (…which lead to this).

It shifted my perspective on training and what the human body is capable of.

So what am I talking about?

The PLP Program.

NOTE: This is NOT a beginner program, and should not be attempted unless you have been training consistently and can do multiple repetitions of pull ups and pushups with great form.

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