Earlier this week we passed a few big milestones for Nerd Fitness and the Rebellion:
- 4,000+ email and RSS subscribers
- 50,000+ visits in the past 30 days
- 2000+ threads and 22,000+ posts on the Nerd Fitness message boards.
To say the “little community that could” has grown up is an understatement – every day I wake up more excited than the day before to meet new rebels, exchange posts with new message board members, and read comments from new readers. Because things have started to grow surprisingly quickly around here, I want to make absolutely sure that everybody is here for the right reasons.
About ten months ago, I wrote a post entitled “11 rules of the Nerd Fitness Rebel Army.” These rules explain who we are, why we’re here, and what we’re doing. It was one of my favorite posts I’ve ever written, and one that I refer back to often whenever I’m faced with a dilemma on which path to take. The community has more than tripled in size since that post was written, so I think today is a good time to revisit these “commandments.”
Without further ado, I present you with the Nerd Fitness Rules of the Rebellion.
#1. We don’t care where you came from, only where you’re going.
400 pounds overweight?
50 pounds underweight?
Glad to have you.
We don’t care where you came from or how you got here, as we all have different backgrounds, genetics, social statuses, and commitments. Like creating a random character in a role playing game, we were all “dealt a hand” that we had absolutely no control over – it’s now up to us to play that hand to the best of our ability. We ask that you don’t complain about your past, and don’t use it as an crutch.
Don’t make excuses, offer solutions.
Everybody has baggage they’re dealing with (sh** happens, remember?) – luckily this is a kick-ass group of people pushing each other to level up our lives. We figure out what went wrong, and then we work together to find a way to fix it. The past is just that: the past. Today can be the first day of the rest of your life if you truly believe that.
#2. When you join, you’re in for life.
None of this “dieting for three weeks” crap and then going back to the way things were. We promote permanent changes that can be sustained for the rest of your life; slow and steady will almost always win out over quick and easy. Small changes on a daily basis can add up to incredible changes over time if you allow the momentum to carry you forward.
The rebellion is where the light is. Don’t fear it – embrace it. If your friends won’t join you on your mission, then you’ll have to lead by example until they decide to follow. It’s a heavy burden to bear, but one that will absolutely make your life more fulfilling. You may be an army of one in real life, but here on this website you have thousands of brothers and sisters who have your back, and a leader who wants nothing more than for you to succeed.
#3. We train as naturally as possible.
Bench press machines, squat machines, ab machines, inner thigh machines – forget them.
These are tools created by the empire to lull the uninformed public into a false sense of security. Weight machines only work your muscles in a straight line – forward and back, up and down, etc. Because of this, there is NO opportunity for your muscles to build up stability and balance that you would get from using dumbbells, free weights, and body weight exercises. You’re pretty much training your muscles for situations that don’t really exist.
Because of this, when you DO need to use these movements in life, your body isn’t prepared and you get injured. Suck! Luckily, stuff like this doesn’t happen around here because we train for the real world by training with real world movements. It’s going to require some research on your part, but don’t be afraid of the free weights – they will keep you injury free, more in balance, and far stronger. This is true for both men and women (pssst, ladies – here’s why you should lift heavy). If you are working out in a big commercial gym, make sure you’re doing so properly.
Here are some changes you can make:
- Don’t do squats in the smith machine, take the time to learn to do a real squat with the bar across your shoulders.
- Don’t use a bench press machine, do some dumbbell chest presses or push ups (even if you have to do them on your knees).
- Don’t do lat pull downs, do pull ups instead. If you can’t do pull ups, do inverted rows or assisted pull ups.
#4. We understand that you can’t outrun your fork.
If you don’t change what you eat and how much you eat, there’s no amount of exercise that will get you where you want to be.
What we put into our system is 80% of the battle (sorry G.I. Joe) and will determine how successful we will be on the battlefield of life. This is why the first thing that must change when joining the NF Rebellion is your diet.
Now, I’m not talking about switching to all salads and water, but I am talking about making small calculated changes to what you eat over a long period of time. For example, if you’re interested in the Paleo Diet, ease your way into it. Make a few changes each week that you can live with permanently – too many changes at once is a recipe for disaster.
We understand that although the total number of calories we eat certainly impacts our health (eating less will make you lose weight), WHAT those calories are made of is just as important, if not more so.
#5. We understand that fat is NOT the enemy.
Fake foods, sugar, high fructose corn-syrup, and simple carbs are the enemy, and here’s why. We’re rebelling against the notion that low-fat meals are healthy for you, “healthy choice” meals loaded with chemicals are somehow good for you, and fat is bad for you. The government has been telling us for years that fat is the enemy, and it clearly isn’t true.
What’s sad is the government and FDA know it, they’re either too stubborn or too scared to admit it.
Here’s my stance on fat, carbs, and food in general: How to Lose Weight Without Doing a Minute of Exercise.
#6. We train with conviction and intelligence.
When exercising, we have a plan for what we’re going to do, and we know how hard we need to push ourselves to be better than the day before.
Then, we do it.
The “do a few bicep curls, walk on a treadmill for three hours, and talk on my cell phone the whole time” doesn’t work for us. Get in, take care of business, and get out. If you’re going to the gym, you should leave drenched in sweat, knowing that you gave it your all. If you’re going for a run today, you’re going to run at least one second faster than you did the day before.
Plan out what kind of super hero you want to be, pick your own super power, and work every day towards becoming that hero. I have NO doubt in my mind that if you’re willing to dedicate yourself to the cause 1o0%, you will accomplish your goals.
Settling is not an option, so don’t even bother trying to justify it.
#7. We exercise because it’s fun.
If the idea of spending two hours on a treadmill sounds like hell to you, don’t do it! If you don’t like lifting weights (after giving it a FAIR CHANCE), don’t do it! Find something that makes you happy, gets your heart pumping, and will keep you in shape. There is something out there for everybody, so keep searching and keep pushing until you find something that drives you to succeed.
Luckily, because our diet is responsible for 80% of our success, this exercise is just the really enjoyable icing on the cake. Yoga, karate, ultimate Frisbee, cycling, Belegarth, whatever it is – find it, and do it.
#8. We never leave our wingmen.
We’re all in this together, and we’re here to support each other.
Although we have friendly competitions on the site to see who can get in shape the fastest or lose the most weight over a certain amount of time, it’s all in good fun. We have almost 1400 members (!!) now on the Nerd Fitness message boards, and everybody is extremely supportive of each other.
If you are training with friends in real life or online, pick them up when they’re down, motivate them when they’re tired, push them when they need encouragement, and yell when they need tough love. They’ll do the same for you one day, and we’ll all be better off because of it.
Never leave your wingman.
#9. We question everything.
Just because the FDA says it’s good for you doesn’t mean that it’s true. Just because you heard it on TV or read it in a magazine doesn’t mean it’s true. Just because you read it on Nerd Fitness doesn’t mean it’s true either!
We know that companies do their best to market their unhealthy products as healthy – luckily we’re smarter than that.
I promise to continue researching every article and testing things on myself before I present my findings, but I’m just one man doing what I can with my limited time, experience, and resources. I’m no expert, I certainly make mistakes, and I’m sure new studies will come out in the future that will make me rethink my stance on certain things. However, I’m going to do my best to give you both sides of the story and then tell you my thoughts before opening the floor for discussion.
This is probably my favorite “both sides of the coin” article I’ve ever written: Is Barefoot Running Better For You?.
Nerd Fitness and the Rebellion exist to open our minds to a world where the impossible is possible. We want to show you a world that you didn’t even know existed (think the Matrix). It’s then up to you to take what you’ve learned, question it, and find a way to apply it to your life.
I want the articles on Nerd Fitness to inspire you to want to learn more. Become a sponge, and never stop learning.
#10. We take care of business
Anybody who says they don’t have time for exercise is either lying or lazy. However, I don’t encourage people to shirk their other more important duties to make time. You just need to get creative.
If you’re a gamer, keep gaming (unless your addiction has become truly unhealthy). If you’re a family man, you better put your kid’s soccer game before a trip to the gym. We all have things that we love in life, that are important to us, that make us who we are. As long as these things aren’t detrimental to our health, then I encourage you to keep doing them. However, we know that our health and wellness is a huge part of why we’re successful in other areas of life, which is why we can always carve out at least 20 minutes a day to get a workout done.
Your exercise and diet can become part of what you are, but not at the expense of who you are.
#11. We take pride in ourselves.
Too many people blame their unfortunate situation on the government, the weather, their genetics, global warming, the economy, their parents, etc. Not us. We don’t expect anything to be handed to us on a silver platter; we are not owed anything by anybody. In fact, I’d go as far to say that it’s our responsibility as humans to live the best life possible.
We want to be better husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, people. We want to be stronger faster, and healthier – we know it’s going to take a lot of hard work and determination to get there.
We welcome the challenge.
The more daunting the task, the sweeter the victory. We like being the underdog, because everybody loves a good underdog story. Life is hard, and it’s those that shut up and get things done that succeed.
I want to be the best damn Steve Kamb that I can be, and that means I need to be in the best shape of my life and help others to do the same. I’m doing what I can to help build an army of incredibly intelligent, efficient, informed, and fit nerds. Don’t worry Mom, when we take over we’ll be using our powers for good, inspiring others to transform their own lives.
Ultimately, we just want to make Optimus Prime proud.
Are You In?
These are the eleven pillars of the Nerd Fitness Rebellion. For those who are interested in joining us:
- Sign up to receive blog updates via the Nerd Fitness Rebel Newsletter, along with 4,000+ other rebels.
- Join us on the message boards - 1,390+ people are ready, willing, and able to help you with your quest.
- Join the Nerd Fitness Facebook Page – 1600+ others have already done so.
- Tell your friends. Share this article with them, and let them know you want them to be part of something special too.
If you want to be part of a underground movement of underdogs that’s starting to make more noise with each passing day, join us. If you want to be part of a group of rebels dedicated and committed to getting results and encouraging others to do the same, join us. If you want to find out what you’re physically and mentally capable of, if you want to take action today rather than dreaming about tomorrow, join us.
Now, if this sounds like too much work and you’re unwilling to make changes in order to live a better life, no worries. Thanks for your time, and we wish you the best of luck in the future. We’ll still be here when you’re ready to come back.
So, are you in?