It’s the little things… (Plus NF Shirts and Camp NF On Sale MONDAY!)

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

-Lao Tzu (and millions of fortune cookies)

We recently talked a lot about the importance of enjoying the Journey.  We’re not racing towards an end goal at all costs, but rather finding our rhythm and a pace that works for us. Not asking “ARE WE THERE YET!?”

However, it’s tough to stay motivated when we’re not seeing drastic progress or we’re not quite sure if we are moving in the right direction.  It’s tough to not feel like a one-flippered seal “just swimming around in a circle, freaking out his whole family,” right?

So, how the heck can we stay motivated during the slow months? After all, it can often feel like a grind, and grinds aren’t fun.

The solution: We become Hawkeye, and identify each and every tiny metric that shows us we’re heading in the right direction.

We create the new person that we’re trying to become (our Level 50), and then we prove to ourselves each and every day that we’re getting just ONE experience point closer to leveling up and achieving that reality.

We celebrate each small win.

And we reward those small wins with things that reward us back.

Strength Training 101: How to Squat Properly

This is an article by NF Team Member Staci.

Squat squat squat squat squat squat squat squat squat squat squat….

Everybody!

Wait, that’s not right…

But that’s what I hear, because I love squats.

Why?

Even though the squat is considered by many to be a “leg” exercise, it’s really a full body movement that works just every muscle group in the body.

Not only that, but it mimics a ton of natural movement patterns in everyday life.  In this nerd’s opinion, squats are the most useful exercise we can do when it comes to strength training.

Whether your goal is to gain strength or lose weight, squats are one of the fastest ways to get there.

If you’ve never squatted before, you might be a bit intimidated about the idea of starting a big new exercise. Never fear! Today we’re going to go over everything you need to go to start squatting RIGHT NOW.

Squats are a big part of the Nerd Fitness Academy, and today we want to give you the confidence you need to START.

How to Saute Kale, Bacon, and Tomatoes

This is a post from Noel, our new Rebel Chef! Over the past 7 year, Noel has experimented with various types of foods and diets. She was a vegetarian/vegan for 5 years, during which she discovered a passion for making food taste great. She has since moved on to eating like a cavewoman. Take it away Noel!

What if I told you that you could have bacon for dinner? (And breakfast for dinner doesn’t count.)

For some of our fellow Paleo companions, bacon is life. For others, it’s just breakfast. Although bacon for dinner can sometimes mean cooking bacon and eating that and only that for dinner, I’m here to teach you that you’re capable of so much more.

I want to be honest with you. The real star of this dish is kale. Personally, I love my dark leafy greens. And we could all probably use a little bit more of them in our diet. But when you see kale in the store, you might think, “what the heck am I supposed to do with that?” Maybe you even went out on a limb and bought some, but when you brought it home and put it in your salad, you found it sort of bitter and hard to chew. Big. Green. Disappointment. Believe me, guys, I’ve been there.

The good news is that this dish is super easy and quick to make (cooking the bacon takes the longest out of the whole recipe). Oh, and it tastes amazing. My lady friend won’t come near anything green or leafy, but she devoured this side dish in a bowl all by itself. So, consider this dish level 1 of cooking with dark leafy greens.

Are We There Yet?

Remember being a little kid on a road trip with your family, and five minutes into it you’re already asking, “Are we there yet?”

Generally the response was something like “we’ll get there when we get there,” or “it’ll be just a little bit longer.”

Five minutes later, we’d ask again “how about now?”

Ever since I started running a website about health and fitness, I’ve noticed a key difference between people who find long-term success with getting healthy and those who don’t.  When dealing with people who will NOT find success, I feel like a parent on a road trip.

These are the questions I get that make me feel like a parent:

  • How long will it take to lose these 50 pounds?
  • I’ve been at this for a month, am I there yet?
  • How long do you think it’ll be before I have abs like Saint?

Today, I want to have an open and honest discussion with you about how long it will take to get healthy, to lose that weight, and to get that body you always wanted.

And I’ll answer the question, “Are we there yet?”

Supermarket Sweep: How to Dominate the Grocery Store

Remember watching that absolutely ridiculous show, “Supermarket Sweep?” 

Contestants participated in shopping sprees in an actual super market, where they had limited amounts of time to find certain items or fill up their shopping carts with the most expensive items.  I promise you, it was compelling at the time.

I remember watching this show with my sister Emily (hey Em!) when were little kids, and we couldn’t help but yell at the TV screen when the dummy shoppers went for the cheap large items, and yelled even louder as they skipped the big bonus items to grind more coffee (ugh).

Thanks to that show, my brain has been trained to operate as efficiently as possible when navigating the treacherous aisles and crowded checkout lines of my local grocery store.

Today, I’m going to provide you with a game you can play every time you can set foot in the store; you’ll be in and out of there before you can utter the phrase, “wait, Supermarket Sweep actually existed?”

Two Words That Will Level Up Your Life

When was the last time you stopped reading a book halfway through?

Walked out of a crappy movie?

Stopped playing a video game before beating it?

If you’re anything like me, you have an affinity for finishing whatever you’ve started.  Heck, there are even sayings out there that tell us, “Don’t start what you can’t finish.”

Well, I’m here to tell you today that this can actually be the wrong attitude to have.  In fact, there are PLENTY of reasons why you need to stop he unfinished. Not only that, but we often say “yes” to things only out of obligation and end up regretting our decision.

Today, we’re going to start using two important words in our life to stop doing crap we dislike, and start spending more time on the things that are TRULY important to us.

Those words are “STOP” and “NO.”  

Well, four words, because my parents taught me to say “No, thank you.”

Life Lessons Learned From Summer Camp (Camp Nerd Fitness Update!)

“We run, we jump, we swim and play…”

So begins the theme song to one of my favorite shows growing up, “Salute your Shorts.”  If you’re familiar with the show, you’re already probably singing the rest of theme song in your head right now, and will most likely be doing so for the rest of the day.  Sorry bout that :)

Although I didn’t spend a significant amount of time growing up attending long summer camp trips, I spent enough time in a cabin, making friendship bracelets, canoeing on a lake, and playing “Capture the Flag” to get the full camp experience.

Over the past few months, we’ve been hard at work planning and preparing for Camp Nerd Fitness, ultimately a kickass Nerd Fitness experience for 300 rebels.  We just updated the site with a TREMENDOUS amount of detail, including pricing and our on-sale date, so make sure you head on over to the site to check it out.

Anyways!

During that time, I couldn’t help but think back to my time in camp, and my afternoons spent watching Salute Your Shorts, Heavyweights, Camp Nowhere, I began remembering all of the amazing lessons I’ve learned and applied to my life as a result of those times.

Let’s take a trip down memory lane shall we?  Grab a s’more and let’s get after it.

Strength Training 101: How much weight should I be lifting?

This is an article written by NF Team Member Staci.

How much do you think Hefty Smurf is lifting here? How much weight did he warm up with?  How does he know when to start lifting heavier?

When many Rebels first get into weight lifting, the process of figuring out what weight to start with can be daunting and even cause some to not bother starting at all.

We often hear questions like:

  • What weight should I start with? How much should I be lifting?
  • If my program wants me to be doing 5 sets of 5 at 80% of my 1 rep max, how do I figure out my 1 rep max?
  • And what if it doesn’t give any percentages at all?  How do I know what weights I should be doing?

Today we’re going to take a look at how exactly to get started with your program and make sure you have picked the right amount of weight.

How Much Water Do You Really need?

Aquaman lives in it.

The Waterboy will tell you that it’s the only thing you’ll ever need.

Conventional wisdom will tell you that you need eight glasses a day.

We all know we should drink water and stay properly hydrated, but how much do we REALLY need?  How much is too much?  What about sports drinks like Gatorade – is there a time and place to consume them?

Today on Nerd Fitness we’re going to bust all of the myths associated with water, determine how much water you should consume, and how that changes if you’re exercising regularly.

Don’t Want to Exercise? Use the Braveheart Technique

We all have those moments when we don’t feel like exercising.

If you’re a New Year’s resolutioner, “it” tends to happen right around this part of January.  Some have already given up, while others didn’t even bother starting.  Not Nerd Fitness Rebels though!

We know that when building habits, missing more than a day in a row is recipe for disaster.  This is why we follow through with our Hard Hat Challenges and make sure we stay on target until that habit becomes automatic.

But what do we do on those days when it seems like everything is working against us?

  • It’s REALLY cold outside, and we don’t feel like running.
  • We just got home from a long day of work, and don’t feel like doing the Star Wars Workout.
  • The alarm clock is going off, it’s dark outside, and it’s all warm and cozy in our beds.

How do you get from that point of lethargy to exercising, when you just don’t feel like it?  You know you should, you know it’s good for you, and you know you need to…but you just struggle to put one foot in front of the other.

Use the Braveheart Technique.

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