What to Do When You Hit A Plateau

Ugh, the dreaded plateau!

We’ve all been there.  Whether we’re trying to lose weight, add muscle, or even develop a new skill, we hit that point in our progress where everything seems to stall:

  • “I’ve been losing weight at 2 pounds a week for months, and yet I’ve been stuck the past two weeks despite doing all of the same stuff, what gives!?”
  • “I’ve been adding 5 lbs a week to my deadlift for half a year, but this week I lifted less than before! WTF?”
  • “I’ve been running faster and faster miles for a year now, but I can’t seem to break past the seven minute mark. Not cool.”

Today, I’m going to talk to you about plateaus.  Are they real?  What happens when you get stuck on one?  How can you break through?

Plateaus: it’s game over for you.

For the Love of the Game

Last week, I wrote one of my favorite articles ever for Nerd Fitness.

I discussed my love of looking at life through the eyes of a gamer.  I explained how I love to build levels and identify elite players to emulate them.

Research has shown that humans derive happiness from progress.  We gain satisfaction from reaching goals, receiving rewards, and seeing that we have moved in the right direction…towards our “goal,” whether that goal be fitness related or career related.

These are the reasons why:

  • We love leveling up characters in World of Warcraft to the point of obsession
  • I let out a primal yell whenever I hit a new personal best on handstands or deadlifts.
  • I get excited every time my phone tells me a new upgrade is complete in Clash of Clans.

Goals and progress can help us become better people.

However, there is more to this story and more to this life than just setting goals.  In fact, I’ve come to learn that goals can actually negatively affect us!  

Can goals be bad?  What about games without beginnings and ends?  

If we don’t have goals, what are we supposed to do instead?

Can we find a healthy balance between the two?

Strength Training 101: Where do I start?

 This is a post from NF Team Member Staci.

If you’ve been reading Nerd Fitness for a while, you know that we are huge proponents of strength training.  

If you know me, then you know I also love cats.  Which is why we’re starting this post with a picture of a cat and dumbbells.

You’re welcome.

Anyways!  You’ve read Strength Training 101, you know the equipment, and you know how to find the right gym.  If you’re a woman, you know that you won’t get bulky.  You know that strength training will help you meet your goals, no matter what they are.

You know that strength training can be the most efficient path to weight loss.

You know that a strong body is a healthy body.

You know you SHOULD be getting stronger, but let’s be honest: starting a whole new way of working out can be daunting. It’s the reason so many people stick to the same old habits (that don’t work).

Today we’re going to go over exactly how to get started with strength. No more hours of mindless cardio, no more aimless wandering in the gym – we are going to get healthy in a fraction of the time and teach you exactly what to do.

Let’s A GOO!

The Star Wars Workout: Begin Your Jedi Training!


A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far, away…

So begins one of the greatest sagas ever told.  You’re reading Nerd Fitness, which probably means that the initial orchestral noise that opens any Star Wars movie is enough to make your heart skip a beat.

Right? Come on.

Star Wars Intro

As soon as those trumpets sound, we know we’re in for an epic adventure that makes us our imaginations soar, fill us with hope and glee…and reminds us of at least one character that we want to punch in the face.

No matter who we are, there is a character we can relate to:

  • Luke was just a random guy raised by his aunt and uncle…or so he thought; he goes on to bring balance to the Force.
  • Princess Leia was a princess that needed saving, until she went on to help saving the world.  Turns out, not all princesses need saving!
  • Han Solo was a selfish smuggler who found redemption and learned the power of teamwork.

Star Wars has influenced my life tremendously.  Heck, Star Wars is the reason the Nerd Fitness Community is called “The Rebellion!”

And let’s be honest, we’ve all watched Star Wars and said to ourselves, “how cool would it be to ACTUALLY be a Jedi?”  

In luck, you are, my young Padawan.

Today, your training begins.

Follow the workout below and combine it with a quality diet, and soon enough you too will help bring balance to the Force.

Why You Should Level Up and How to Crush 2014

I’ve been playing video games since I was old enough to hold a controller.

Whether it was guiding Mario across the screen to the flag, or taking Link on an exploration of Hyrule, I loved the concept of “what’s next?”

  • What’s across that ocean?
  • What’s in that cave?
  • What’s down that pipe?
  • What’s in that treasure chest?

That constant possibility of exploration, increased skill, and a more challenging difficulty kept me wanting more.  There was always a new bad guy to defeat, a new location to explore, or new weapon/spell to acquire.

I’ve dedicated the past five years to Nerd Fitness, and the study of this giant video game we call “Life” has taken over my life.  

Today, I want to talk about the importance of video games in improving ourselves and show you how exactly to live a leveled up life, even if you’ve never picked up a controller.

Press start.

The Nerd Fitness Academy is Open!

Class is in session!

After a year of development, months of testing, and more than a few late nights and early mornings hard at work (Staci and Taylor, you are my Heroes), the Nerd Fitness Academy is officially open for enrollment!

Starting today, you can join us in Men’s Fitness 101 or Women’s Fitness 101!

(existing members, sign in here)

These beginner self-paced courses have everything you need to get healthy, lose weight, build muscle, and actually STICK with your resolution to change your life.  We’re actually not big fans of giant sweeping declarations and overly drastic New Years Resolutions, which is why our courses are designed the way they are.

If you’re somebody that has woken up on January 1st for years and said “This is the year I’m going to change!” and then given up three weeks later…the Academy might be for you.

If you’re somebody that has been reading Nerd Fitness but hasn’t “found the time” to get started with exercising, the Academy might be for you.

If you’re somebody that is ready to get started, but overwhelmed and just wants somebody to tell you how to work out and what to eat, the Academy might be for you.

If you’re somebody that is half human and half robot and fights crime, then I’m glad you’re a reader of Nerd Fitness, Robocop.

Now, if the Academy doesn’t sound like something you’re interested in, or you’re a bit more advanced and don’t need instruction, that’s cool too. Either way, thanks for being a part of the Nerd Fitness Rebellion. I like you.

Congrats to the contest winners below!

Win a Scholarship to the Nerd Fitness Academy!

In less than a week, we’ll be opening the doors to the Nerd Fitness Academy!

It’s kinda like Hogwarts, but less “magic wands and long robes” and more “awesome Nerd Fitness Rebels and all the info and tools you’ll ever head to get healthy.”

We’ll start by launching our two flagship “courses”: Men’s Fitness 101 and Women’s Fitness 101!

You can click on the big links above or below to get more information about each sales page, sign up for the interest list, and potentially win a free ride:

I know people have weird schedules this week and next: some people are working and others are not working, some are out of school and some will be going back.  Some are fighting crime and building robots, and others are taking a break from being a superhero.

So, I figure today is a good day as any to announce a contest to give away some free scholarships to The Academy!

I love giving away free stuff, and from what I’ve gathered over the years, you all love GETTING free stuff too.

Here’s how you can win!

For The Rebellion: A Rebel’s Holiday Poem


The snowy morning was dark and cold.

Most content to sleep and snore away.

There was but a lone misfit person,

Who thought, “I think I’ll start today.”

 

As he walked towards the breakfast table,

Covered with waffles, pancakes, and toast,

“Just eggs and bacon please!” he said.

“Oh, and black coffee, dark roast.”

Stop Doing That. Seriously!


Are you tired of doing way too much and not seeing results?

Are you sabotaging your own efforts to get healthy?

Are you sick of reading these questions and want me to stop?

It’s time to knock it off!

Today, we’re going to look at some of the top mistakes made when trying to get healthy; things that hold us back from succeeding.

Although changing habits isn’t an overnight process, simply making yourself AWARE of these behaviors is a step in the right direction towards improving.

So, seriously. If you’re doing anything below and you hate doing it…this is my doctor’s note that tells you it’s okay to stop.

Onward!

How to Level Up Your Wardrobe: A Primer on First Impressions

Today’s post might be one of the more important articles we’ve ever posted on Nerd Fitness.  Last week’s article on body image was incredibly well received, and today we’re going to take a look at the stuff we wear OVER our bodies, something I ignored for far too long but didn’t know where to find help.  A few years back, I met Barron of EffortlessGent.com through the blogosphere and we have become good friends since then.

Last fall I decided it was time to level up other parts of my life and stop dressing like a mismatched college kid.  So I emailed Barron: “Here’s a small budget.  Can you help me not dress like an idiot?”  He helped me pick out a few key items, and almost overnight, I was transformed…into a sharply dressed idiot!  

Because I had started taking pride in my appearance, I felt better about myself and thus exuded more confidence.  I immediately noticed a change in how I was treated: from the stranger at the airport counter, to the cashier at the grocery store, to the cute girl at the coffee shop.  Seriously, I couldn’t believe how my clothing changed how I felt about myself and how others perceived me.

At a conference this past summer, with lots of friends who only see me once a year, I couldn’t go more than five minutes without getting complimented on my appearance.  My physique honestly hadn’t changed much – it was just that I finally started wearing the right kind of clothes for my body type!

I figure I can’t be the only one who is clueless, but didn’t know where to turn or how to get started.  I can help you level up your life; Barron is going to help you level up your armor.

Note: this article is mostly beneficial for the guys in the audience, though quite a bit will be applicable to ladies as well.  Sometimes we’ll have articles that are more beneficial for guys (like this one), while others we have published (like this and this) will be more helpful to women.  We’ll end up doing a similar article helping out ladies soon!

Take it away Barron.

Your body is a complicated tool, an intricate system.  The moment you are mindful of its well-being, changes start to occur.

If you’ve committed to improving your body, whether you’re already a modern-day Leonidas or simply a work in progress, today I invite you to also level up the way you present yourself.

After all, why work hard leveling up everything else in your system, only to neglect the very last and easiest upgrade: your clothes.

Think of it this way: In every role-playing game you spend time leveling up, gaining skills, spells, and new attacks to defeat your enemies. But you also have to suit up with armor, either for protection, to enhance your overall strength, or to simply strike fear into the hearts of your enemies.

Today we’re going to learn how to treat your clothing the same way!

Suit up let your clothes enhance your already awesome self, helping you put your best foot forward in completing the quest at hand.

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