This is a guest post from Catspaw, a Nerd Fitness Rebel who thinks deadlifts should be heavy, and healthy food should be delicious.
“Cooking takes too much time”
“Paleo is so boring!”
New recipes can be intimidating, but that doesn’t mean that you have to live in drudgery of yet-another-night of boiled chicken and microwaved broccoli.
One of the best ways to keep food both interesting and easy is to take a basic foundational food and use it in a huge variety of dishes. By just changing the presentation of a recipe or adding a few ingredients, you can create a whole new dish that’s new, exciting, and involves very little additional work.
Today I hope to definitively prove to you that eating Paleo is delicious, and that “I don’t have time” is a big fat lie.
Is done. Over. Finished.
Shouldn’t be forgotten, but learned from. What went right? What went wrong?
Was composed of all the habits and choices you’ve made in the past.
Might have been the best day of your life. Remember it fondly, but don’t live in the past.
Might have been the worst day of your life. Move on.
Note: This is part two in a series of strength training from NF Team Member Staci. Check out part one, which goes over the reasons why you should start strength training.
I have a confession to make.
When I first decided I was going to start lifting, I was scared to death of the weight section of the gym. For weeks before I even walked near it, I did what any rebel would do: I started researching like crazy. I talked to my fellow rebels on the Nerd Fitness message boards, I found tons of lifting videos on how to squat properly, watched them meticulously, and took notes like crazy.
I even bought a PVC pipe so I could practice at home in the mirror, so I wouldn’t look like an idiot at the gym.
The next day, I get to the gym, look around, and see the squat rack. It was empty. Sweet! I walked over, noted that the rack looked a little different than the ones in the videos, but everything else looked right: the barbell, weights, safeties, check. So I went with it. I quickly figured out how to adjust it to the right height, put some weight on the bar, did a few sets, and then went home.
Yes! Everyone was right, this IS easy! I am the master of the squats!
Later that night, while going to post in my thread to say “I did ALL the squats today,” I wanted to show everyone the squat rack I was using, since it was a little different. A quick google search showed me that I had used a “free motion smith machine,” not a squat rack.
Not only was I NOT the master of the squats, but I didn’t even find the squat rack properly, and broke one of the cardinal rules of the Rebellion: NEVER use a smith machine (unless it’s for inverted rows).
Today we’re going to go over the very basics of the gym and the most common equipment you’ll encounter, so that you don’t feel completely lost like I did.
Note: This article is going over all of the main equipment you’ll find in a gym. You don’t need all of this stuff to start strength training (in fact, you don’t really need anything). For all items mentioned, click through the links for a photo of what it looks like.
Eat clean and lift heavy.
If there’s one constant thing we say across Nerd Fitness, it’s that if you want to lose weight, gain muscle, or just look better than ever for an upcoming event, the one thing you must absolutely do is eat clean and lift heavy.
But what exactly does that mean? And how do you get started? And why does this work so darn well? We’ve touched on it a few times before, gone over your diet, and shown you some people it’s worked for, but we haven’t really gone into great detail.
Today that changes.
This is the first in a series of articles from NF Team Member Staci, covering all things strength training. Today we’ll be covering the basics before we tackle each movement in more detail.
1/3rd of a minute.
1/4320th of a day.
Today I’m going to issue a challenge, and it will only require 20 seconds. Sure, twenty seconds doesn’t seem like a lot of time. But I’ve come to learn that when it comes to getting healthy, taking risks, and living a life worth living, twenty seconds is often more than enough to change one’s life.
Right now you probably think I’m crazy. Which is fine, because I definitely AM crazy.
But I’m also right, and I’m going to prove it.
It is said you are the average of the five people with whom you associate most.
Take a few minutes and think who those five people are. Depending on your age, marital status, and job, this is most likely a combination of friends, family, and coworkers. So really think about these people:
Every day you spend time with these people, and part of their personality will rub off on you (and vice versa). All too often I’ve found that Nerd Fitness readers tend to fall into the category of being the ONLY person in their group of five interested in getting healthy; they are the only person that has decided to make a life change.
This presents a conundrum. A riddle if you will, Trebek.
Love it or LOVE it, we consume it in mass quantities, obsess over it, and add it as flavoring on almost every food imaginable.
That’s because it tastes good on just about anything.
However, there’s more to bacon than meets the eye (like Transformers, but with pigs), and we get a lot of questions:
Luckily, you’re dealing with a nerd that happens to love bacon as much as I love doing the nitty gritty research to provide you with everything you need to know about bacon.
I guarantee you’ll learn a thing or two today about this versatile food, with as many pig puns thrown in as possible.
I was a really messy kid.
Growing up, my parents referred to me as Pig-Pen…often. Yeah, the kid surrounded by a dust cloud from Peanuts. I had the uncanny ability to make a mess in a matter of seconds, no matter where I was or what I was doing.
I was a walking crime scene, leaving evidence EVERYWHERE: dirty dishes in the sink, change from my pockets on the counter, a movie case left out on the living room floor, or a blanket left unfolded on the couch.
Now, over the years I’ve gotten a bit better, but it wasn’t until recently that I had a breakthrough, thanks to three simple words taught to me by my friend Brett over at Art of Manliness.
If you can successfully implement this rule consistently, I guarantee that not only will your life improve, but the lives of the people IN your life — roomates, a signifigant other, or your family – will improve as well.
This is going to sound WAY too simple to be effective, but trust me.
Are you ready?
“DO IT NOW!”
I’ll never forget the first time I watched the original Star Wars: A New Hope.
To this day, watching Luke walk out of his home on Tatooine with the binary sunset (listening to John Williams’s epic score) still sends chills down my spine. I imagined I was Luke, and it was destined that I would bring peace and balance to the Galaxy.
Advancing a few years, I discovered Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, and became enchanted with the walk from the comfy confines of the Shire to the Lonely Mountain and Mordor. I imagined myself hiking up magnificent mountains, through cavernous halls, and living out the life of an adventurous Hobbit.
Then came high school, and lost myself in the world of Neo and the Matrix – this was an easy dream. A guy that spends wayyyy too much time on the computer discovers that he is “The One,” and will soon possess the skills necessary to defeat the machines and free humanity from prison? I’m in.
No matter if you’re young or old, male, female, or droid, you probably had dreams growing up that took you from your suburban life and implanted you into a life of destiny, adventure, and magic.
It’s easy to become infatuated with the path of the Hero, for we can envision that it’s us.
But I am NOT the Hero.
Here’s why that’s amazing.
Joe is my hero.
About a year and a half ago, I received a random email out of the blue from a Rebel named Joe. It turns out he had been following the workout and diet advice from Nerd Fitness for about four months and had lost a tremendous amount of weight. Over the next six months after that, Joe continued to email me on a monthly basis with new updates. He continued, month after month, to have jaw-dropping success.
Fast forward to a year ago – we posted Joe’s full story here on Nerd Fitness. At that point, Joe had lost almost 130 pounds in 10 months – to this day it’s still the most epic transformation I have EVER seen. If you’re new to the site, make sure you check out Joe’s story – it’ll inspire the hell out of you!
Well, it’s been just over a year since Joe shared his story, and I tend to get a few emails every week from people asking how he’s doing! Did Joe backslide, give up, or keep going strong?
Well, I’m glad to report that Joe has continued to kick ass, and has even picked up a few new hobbies!