Six Months Ago I Recommitted to Fitness. Here’s What Happened…

Six months ago, I decided to re-dedicate myself to health and fitness.

Now, you’re probably thinking, “Steve, you run a site called Nerd FITNESS, what do you need to rededicate yourself for? Were you not exercising this whole time?”

I’ve been working out pretty consistently since I was 17.  I’ve gone up and down 15 pounds over that time frame, depending on how hard I’ve been training, how much I’ve been traveling, how good my diet has been, etc.

Despite running a fitness site and telling other people how to exercise, the business side of Nerd Fitness was getting so busy that I was skipping (or cutting short) more and more workouts. Like anyone else, I was coming up with more and more excuses.

And, despite thinking I was in great shape, I really wasn’t.  

woke up one day in November (after Thanksgiving), looked in the mirror, and decided to make a change.

Starting January 1st, 2014, I re-dedicated myself to my health, both physically and mentally.  Since then, with the exception of my birthday last week, I have consistently exercised 3-4 days a week with heavy strength training, mobility work, and gymnastic movements.

Now, at the age of 30, I’m stronger and in better shape than ever.

Although my physical transformation isn’t as drastic as Joe or Saint, my mental transformation HAS been drastic: my fears about strength training (stemming from a spinal condition) have disappeared and I have more confidence than ever. I’ve become a better Rebel Leader as a result.

Here’s what happened.

Do You Have Drive? Here’s What REALLY Motivates Us.

We’ve been told our whole lives that rewards and accountability are what get us to actually follow through on our promises.

It’s the reward that drive us to complete a difficult or undesirable task; it’s the light at the end of the tunnel that keeps us going when times get tough.

Heck, every RPG in existence is built around this premise too: “just one more quest, because then I’ll get a new level which will let me buy a new sword!”

We then use accountability to drag us out of bed on days when we just don’t feel like doing our job. We can either lose a $50 bet to our friends for skipping, or we can just do the darn workout!

We’re big fans of rewards and accountability around here at Nerd Fitness, but what if that’s just the beginning?

It turns out, there’s another type of motivation that is the REAL predictor of long-term success…and it has nothing to do with punishment or rewards!

If you’ve been on a roller coaster, losing weight and gaining weight and going through months of success followed by months of apathy…

If you’re tired of knowing what to do to get healthy, but just can’t freaking GET yourself to do it…

Today is for you.

What you need to know about P90X, Insanity, Weight Watchers, Shakeology, Cleanses, and Nutrisystem

There are a million and one fitness products and diet systems out there to “help” you get healthy.

Because there are so many options, I get a million fitness emails a week (okay more like a few dozen) from Rebels asking me for my thoughts on certain programs and products that are popular.

Today I wanted to highlight the biggest/most successfully marketed programs out there, and give my humble thoughts on what I think is right and wrong with them, and how they could be better.

Not that they’re asking for my help, it seems like they’re doing quite well!  But for the other few hundred people a week, let’s clear up what works and what doesn’t.

Today is my 30th birthday, and I need your help!

Holy crap, I’m 30!

Almost four years ago to the day, I quit my amazing day job (seriously, my job was to help create floating music festivals) to focus on a small website I had been working on every night as a side hobby for the previous 18 months.  I turned 26, and started the next chapter of my life.

Believe it or not, when I quit I hadn’t actually made any money with Nerd Fitness yet!

I just believed so strongly in the power of this community that I knew I had to take the leap and see if I could turn my “hobby” into something more. I knew there was a group of men and women out there like me: people who loved video games, fantasy novels, comic books, who also wanted to get healthy. People who wanted to use those books and games and movies as inspiration rather than escape, who wanted better lives for themselves and those around them.

Here we are, four years later.  That hobby has evolved into a worldwide community of over 200,000 email subscribers, 27,000 message board members, 40 volunteer moderators, four full-time team members, and over a dozen contractors.  That’s a lot of nerds!

Now, because it’s my birthday today, I’m gonna ask for your help.

Rebel Acts of Kindness

NF Dallas Meetup

The part of Nerd Fitness of which I’m most proud has to be our community.

We have rebels that fly across the country to support folks at races and events they’ve met through Nerd Fitness.  We have relationships that have popped up as a result of Nerd Fitness (I wonder how long before we have our first Rebel wedding?).

Heck we’re even having a freaking CAMP NERD FITNESS this fall to bring Rebels together for an epic weekend of adventure.  Yesterday, we had a Rebel buy a ticket to Camp Nerd Fitness that’s flying all the way from AUSTRALIA (Hey Jade!).  I hope to see you there too!

If you told me four years this is where we’d be now my head would have exploded.  Luckily my head is still intact!

Now, want to know WHY this community works so well?  Because we’re dedicated to helping each other.  We support each other when support is needed. We pick each other up when we’re down.  We offer assistance, help, and guidance to whoever, whenever.

We try to make our lives better, and we try to make the lives of people around us better too.

Though I don’t actually want to grow up (and don’t plan on it), I think today is a cool opportunity to introduce something to Nerd Fitness that many of you are probably already doing:

I want you to complete a Rebel Act of Kindness. 

What’s that, you ask?   

It’s simply a small (or large) act of kindness that you complete to make somebody’s day better:  

  • Sponsor somebody’s gym membership for a month.
  • If you eat out for lunch or dinner tonight, leave an unusually large tip – they work hard.
  • If you see somebody struggling in the gym, give them a spot.
  • Pay for the coffee of the person behind you in line – unless it’s full of sugar, haha! (kidding)
  • You know that homeless guy on the street you see EVERY DAY…have a conversation with him. He’s a person too.
  • Go through your closet, grab the things you haven’t worn in FOREVER, and donate them.
  • Find a member of the armed forces, shake their hand, and thank them for their service.

If you have the chance to write a note with your RAK (Rebel Act of Kindness), write “For The Rebellion! Pay it forward :)” on it.  We’ll see how many of these random acts make their way back to us :)

Last year we built a freaking library down in Peru, raising THOUSANDS of dollars more than we had hoped to raise.  That was us just getting started.

I’m not gonna lie, I totally expect Nerd Fitness and the Rebellion to take over the world some day.  After all, we’re building an army of super smart, super strong, travel hacking rebels!)…and that means we have a responsibility to leave the world a better place than it was the day before.

So, for my 30th (!) birthday, and for Full-Time Nerd Fitness’s (4th birthday!!), I want you to pay it forward, and encourage the random folks you help out to do the same.

Let’s make today better than yesterday, for ourselves and for everybody else.

Thanks for being here, and thanks for being a part of the Rebellion.  We have some great things to announce and update over the next few weeks, but for today – let’s just focus on our RAKs.  I love this community and I’m honored that I get to spend every day working on it.

ONE FINAL REQUEST: If you happen to RECEIVE a random act of kindness today, I’d love for you to share it in the comments for this article – it’ll be a good reminder that there are awesome people out there who do good things just for the sake of doing good things.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some Rebel Acts of Kindness to carry out!

For the Rebellion!

-Steve

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The Legend of Zelda Workout

The Legend of Zelda is one of the greatest video game series of all time. 

A unique mix of role-playing elements, exploration, genius boss battles, and a fun (albeit generic) story come together every few years to blow the doors off everybody’s expectations.

We’ve written extensively about why this game is a perfect example of drawing inspiration for living a better life here on Nerd Fitness.

Today, we pay homage to this great game series with a workout worthy of the name. 

Just as we’ve done in the past with the Konami Code Workout, the Star Wars Workout, and the Lord of the Rings Workout, here we have a unique workout plan inspired by one of the world’s most popular video games.

Even if you’ve never played a single second of Zelda, and you have no clue what The Master Sword is, you’ll still get a fantastic, balanced, challenging workout.

Introducing…

How to Make Paleo Shepherd’s Pie

This post is from NF Rebel Chef Noel

Fellow adventurer, it has been a long day of travel and your party is hungry.

They’re counting on you to feed them a warm, hearty meal that will replenish their life bars and energize them for upcoming challenges on your shared, mighty quest.

Should you choose to take this challenge, you will gain new skills (+3 to wisdom), and the mouths you nourish will gain you their respect and love (+2 charisma).

Now, I must warn you, this recipe is more complex than the others we’ve conquered. If the Easiest Chicken Ever was a level 1, and Paleo Spaghetti was level 2, this shepherd’s pie is a level 3.

Do you accept this challenge?
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If so, read on, brave warrior.

Here’s what you’ll need.

Do Something You Suck At!

This past week, I strummed a banjo for the first time. I sounded like I was completely unfamiliar with the concept of “music.”  Heck it took me an hour of messing around to learn this (and I’ve been playing the guitar for years!).

Last Wednesday, I had my first violin lesson, and it sounded slightly better the howl of an asthmatic alley cat.

Two Saturdays ago, I had my first ever Krav Maga lesson, and I looked like one of those wacky-waving inflatable arm tube guys getting tackled by Terry Tate.

When was the last time you did something you absolutely suck at, purely for enjoyment?

Today, I’m issuing a challenge. I want to see how much you can suck at something that you enjoy.

Today also happens to be the latest 6-Week Challenge on the NF Message Boards, and a perfect time to up the stakes.

Let’s all suck together! (Wait, that came out wrong.)

100 Ways to Join the Nerd Fitness Rebellion

Holy crap!

At some point last week, we added our 200,000th rebel to the Nerd Fitness email list. That is a lot of rebels

About five and a half years ago I had a simple idea: “hey, I’m a nerd and I like fitness, maybe there are other nerds who want to get fit too?” 

Nearly 600 articles later, from the Angry Birds Workout to explaining the science of cholesterol, we’ve tackled any topic that can help people live better lives.

But one email we commonly get is, “Uhf, okay where do I start?”

So, because we have so many articles and workouts, we wanted to make things easy for you. I know, I know, we’re THAT nice.

If you haven’t yet officially joined the Rebellion, here are some of the best ways to get started in your Epic Quest to get healthy and level up. If you HAVE joined, check out some of our favorite articles, success stories, and achievements that you may have missed.

Remember – you don’t need fancy equipment, a personal trainer, or thousands of dollars to get healthy.

All you need is the start button.

Start

Ready, player one…

The “One Week, No Excuses” Challenge

“Well I would have, but __________.”

“If it wasn’t for ______________, I woulda made it!”

“I’m sorry, but it wasn’t my fault, because of _____________.”

We all do it.

Things go wrong in our day-to-day life. We look back on what could have been, and it’s very easy for us to blame outside forces for those setbacks.

Everything was going great except for that one thing that we never expected to happen. And we get pissed, rightfully so. 

We all have that friend or coworker who always has everything go wrong for him or her; they’ll loudly complain to anybody that will listen about how the world is out to get them…that they’d be supreme high chancellor of the world if it wasn’t for those damn outside forces. 

Unfortunately, this excuses-first mindset is holding us back in our fitness, our health, and oftentimes our lives.

Strength Training 101: The Overhead Press


Here at Nerd Fitness, we love
the Legend of Zelda.  

In fact, it was an article I wrote on the Legend of Zelda years back that led Staci to Nerd Fitness: she’s now a full-time team member and author of this article!  Take it away Staci :)

There’s no greater feeling in a Zelda game than stumbling across the big treasure chest in a dungeon, anxiously watching Link  retrieve its contents, wondering what the treasure is.

And then comes that sweet, familiar sound as Link raises the new item over his head…

Duh, nuh, duh NAHHHHH!!! 

Now, what if Link COULDN’T press that item over his head?  What if he couldn’t complete one of the most basic moves of fitness: raising an object overhead with good form?

How can we expect him to save the world from impending doom if he can’t even raise a sword or treasure over his head?”

GOOD QUESTION.  

Luckily, for you (and the world), Link is a master at the overhead press, and after today, so too shall you!

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