Taking Up the Cause Full-Time.

Dear Nerd Fitness reader,

Today is certainly one of the most important, exciting, terrifying, and bittersweet moments of my life.  A few weeks back, I informed my company Sixthman that I would be leaving the company to work on this website full time.

That’s right, I’m devoting all of my time and energy to Nerd Fitness and the Rebellion.

Today will be my last day of work here in the office, and then tomorrow I depart for the Bahamas along with a dozen of my college friends for a wedding on Harbour Island.  That day of the wedding also happens to be my 26th birthday; I’ve enjoyed the first twenty-five years on this planet; I’m eager to see what’s I’m capable of in the next twenty five and beyond.

Why I Made This Decision.

Nerd Fitness has become something bigger than just a guy and a blog; it is now a full-blown community of people turning their lives around and helping others do the same. After many sleepless nights, I came to the realization that the longer I waited on putting my full effort behind this site, the tougher it would be for me to eventually take that leap.  I told myself, “if you’ve found what you’re meant to do, why wait any longer?”

Since starting Nerd Fitness sixteen months ago, my excitement for this site and its future has grown with each passing day.  Every new email, every new member to the NF message boards, and every new comment on the site makes me smile just a little bit bigger.  I know I’m doing something right.

There were a few other reasons that I really wanted to free up my time:

  • I want to see my family more. My brother lives out in California, and my parents and sister live up in Massachusetts.  With me being down in Atlanta I only get to see them a few times a year, and often only for a day or two.  I want to have the freedom to go spend an expended period of time in both locations because I really do miss them.
  • I want to travel more. Ever since discovering Chris Guillebeau’s Art of Nonconformity blog two years ago, I’ve become addicted to the concept of travel hacking.  There’s a whole world of travel hackers out there that I didn’t even know existed!  I now have 120,000 American Airline miles and 110,000 British Airways miles, enough for a few round trip flights to some pretty exotic locations.  I’ve already begun planning trips to Australia/New Zealand and Europe.  Why those locations? Why not!
  • I want to acquire more skills. Yeah, I realize I sounded like Napoelon Dynamite there.  My hobbies are incredibly varied and mostly ridiculous; I want to learn more stuff and get better at the stuff I already know.  I want to get better at the piano, better at the guitar, start taking Capoeria classes (yup, breakdance fighting), become a better break dancer, go rock climbing and hiking, try out hashing, learn how to cook, take a kettlebell class, acquire more personal trainer certifications, read a lot more, etc.
  • I want to volunteer more. I’ve been volunteering at the Children’s Hospital here in Atlanta for the past year and a half and it’s usually the most fulfilling part of my week.  I plan on identifying some other great organizations here in Atlanta that could use some help and go spend time with them.  If you live in Atlanta and are associated with any volunteer programs, let me know!
  • I want to sleep. The past six months have been incredibly challenging for me as I’ve been truly burning the candle at both ends for my day job and Nerd Fitness.  Sleep and my own personal well-being have taken a backseat to everything else in my life and it’s really caught up to me recently.  I’m looking forward to actually taking care of my body, eating well, and getting more than a few hours of sleep a night.

What’s the Plan?

You’re probably wondering, “um, Steve…how is this a company if you’re not making any money yet?”

Great question.  Ultimately, I have big plans for this site and I can’t wait to get started on them (beginning with the Nerd Fitness rebel guide) – the only thing I’ve been running terribly short on lately is time.  I believe so strongly in this site and this community that I’m willing to “risk” my future for it.  I put risk in quotations because I believe strongly enough in myself to do whatever it takes to make this plan work.

When failure is the only other option, I will do whatever necessary to succeed.

In the meantime, I’ve got quite a few things in the works to cut my expenses way down until I’m turning a profit.  I plan on channeling my inner Baker by selling all of my crap that I no longer use – my digital piano, electric guitar and amp, old video games, dvds, and books.  I plan on channeling my inner Everett and Leo by living far more minimally than I’m used to.  I have some great contacts here in the Atlanta area and a few backup plans to help pay the bills until I’ve established a positive cash flow.

I am incredibly sad to be leaving Sixthman; coming to work for this company has been the best thing that’s ever happened to me. If you EVER get a chance to go on a Sixthman cruise, I guarantee you’ll have the time of your life.  I told myself the only way I’d ever leave this company would be to go work for myself – that day has finally come.

Hope is a Good Thing.

I’m headed to the Bahamas tomorrow, where I’ll be completely unplugged from the world for a few days.  I’ll celebrate my 26th birthday with my friends on Saturday, return to Atlanta on Sunday completely recharged and refreshed, and then Monday morning I’ll be putting on my “hard hat” and going to work for Nerd Fitness.

I leave you today with a slightly modified quote from my favorite movie, The Shawshank Redemption:

“I find I’m so excited, I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it’s the excitement only a free man can feel, a free man at the start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain. I hope Nerd Fitness will be successful. I hope to see my friends and shake their hands. I hope the Caribbean is as blue as it has been in my dreams.  I hope.”

Get ready.

-Steve

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If you want to stay up to date on all rebellion news, please sign up for the RSS Feed of Nerd Fitness, get NF posts via email, or join the kick-ass conversation over on the Nerd Fitness Message Boards!

photo: flynutAA

9 Geeky Gateway Activities to Get You Fit

This is a guest post from George Titsworth over at GeekIntoShape.

We geeks have an unfortunate dilemma when attempting to go from geek to super awesome fitness geek of infinite power.

Our hobbies — gaming, coding, reading, correcting people on the internet — tend to be measured in hours and days of time commitment and normally involve some sort of social commitment as well — guild raiding, project deadlines, book club meetings, a lot of dumb people on the internet that need to be corrected. Adding a new heavy time commitment like proper nutrition and exercise seems like an impossible thing to do with all of our other interests and commitments.

But don’t feel like you don’t have time to get fit, and don’t feel like if you dive in to fitness, you will have to leave your geeky hobbies behind. There are so many ways to merge fitness into your geeky lifestyle and incorporate your geeky lifestyle into fitness. And that is exactly what this list is intended to help you out with.

So dial in the 9th chevron, because we are about to open a gateway to new fitness worlds…

Note: the goal of this list is not to get you to peak physical performance (I’ll leave that job to Steve and the Nerd Fitness Rebellion), but rather to give you fun ways to kick start the transition to a healthy lifestyle.

1) Paintball

Put down the the controller, take off the headset, and get thee to a paintball field! You may think nothing is more fun than owning newbs on the console, but wait until you pull off a double kill of colorful bliss with your semi-automatic paintball gun.

Note: I do not claim responsibility for you lack of leet-ness on the paintball field. Not only do you get to have fun fragging your friends, but a half day of paintball is one hell of a workout. You will be running, squatting, crawling, and more!

Some estimates show that ~400 calories are burned during an hour of paintball. The best part is, the adrenaline from the battle keeps you from feeling fatigued like individual exercises might. This means you often get a 2-4 hour workout without even noticing it.

2) Martial Arts

Two words: Cobra Kai. Who wants to let those tools run the place?

I sure don’t.

That’s why martial arts is number two on my list. Whether you focus on Jujitsu, Karate, or Taekwondo, practicing any form of martial arts is a fantastic way to get fit — build strength, master body control, and boost mental focus — you will get it all.

Most schools that teach martial arts have fantastic programs and classes that accommodate for novices and experts alike for a reasonable cost. You even get colorful belts as you level up – that’s right, a real-life achievement reward. Plus, who doesn’t want to be a ninja? So find do some dojo research around your town and find your very own Mr. Miyagi – and get one of those cool spinnung hand drums while your there.

3) Hashing

I have to thank Branwyn32 from the Nerd Fitness Community Forums for letting me know about hashing. The international group called the Hash House Harriers is, in a simple phrase, a “drinking club with a running problem.”

While there is not anything inherently geeky about hashing, the open and social atmosphere makes it a perfect gateway activity for anyone with an adventurous side and a good sense of humor to get into running. Hashing is basically a bunch of people following a leader down a trail, normally non-established (through urban areas, woods, etc.), that usually ends at bar serving some good brew.

The trails are often set up so it can accommodate all fitness levels and running speeds, though don’t think it is just a walk in the park. Some clubs even celebrate the person who comes in DFL (Dead F-word Last) with extra booze… and who doesn’t love extra booze. Find a local hash near where you live!

4) Disc Golf

You might be asking how disc golf made my list. Well, because: I love disc golf!

I suppose I relate disc golf to geeky activities because this was where my computer science buddies and I would go to blow off some segmentation fault steam. The game is simple, get the Frisbee in the basket in the fewest tosses possible and repeat. All you need to get started is a basic Frisbee or you can spend a little extra to get specialized disc made for long distances or slower discs for putting.

In the past, there were only a few dedicated courses to play disc golf on, but there has been an explosion of new, free disc golf courses: on university campuses, in parks, on green-ways. One rule my friends and I like to add to is no walking. Run everywhere — after drives, between holes, everywhere. Doing this always adds enough movement to the game to get a great workout and have a great time by yourself or with friends.

5) Zombie Walk

Zombieland Rule 1: Cardio. Rule 19: Blend in. Well you can knock out two birds with a single stone by going on a zombie walk. Zombie walks have been gaining popularity over the last few years, and I think that’s awesome-sauce.

Zombie-fy yourself and then go for a long walk with hundreds of your un-dead kindred. Zombie walking not enough for you? Some places have even been starting up Zombie 5k’s. I can’t think of a better time than running my ass off while dressed as a zombie Vanilla Ice.

Ice Ice Braiiiinnnnssss.

6) LARPing

I have never been live action role playing (LARPing), but I will be the first to admit that it looks freaking fun.

Now, I know this activity is considered by many to be radically geeky (Lighting Bolt!), but who wouldn’t want to don some epic armor and smash some skulls? Many approaches can be taken for a LARP event, from a theatrical event to a full fledge role playing game with quests, boss fights, and mass battles.

Most LARPing events take place in a large open field or wooded area, so there is plenty of room to run, duck, jump, and fight — the perfect way to get a full body workout. The cost of LARPing can vary. The upfront cost of buying a costume can be a big expense, but most events are relatively cheap – between $5 and $50 normally.

If you are a big RPG fan, I highly suggest searching for a local LARPing group. Stop sitting at a table rolling dice or clicking a mouse and start running through the wood swinging a mace! +5 to Dexterity. -5 to Flab.

7) Geocaching

So I have mentioened ways to become a ninja. And I given you tips on how to become a zombie… What’s next? You guessed it:

Pirates!

The internet and GPS enable smartphones have brought treasure hunting back to the masses. Geocaching is basically a game of high-tech hide and go seek. People plant hidden treasures (caches) and provide clues on how to find the treasures. Your mission is find the caches with the help of GPS and good ol’ fashion brain power.

While some geocaches will take you across a city, some are localized to a smaller area, which is great for running and biking from treasure to treasure. The Groundspeak iPhone app for geocaching is a great tool to get out and find caches near enough to walk, run, or bike, making for a great day of fun physical activity. So get out there and hunt some treasure (you get bonus points if you do it with a parrot on your shoulder).

8 ) Kendo/Kenjutsu

While Kendo technically falls into the category of martial arts, I had to list it separately because of it’s incredible radness.

I spent upwards of 1 trillion hours watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles when I was a kid, and I loved Leonardo. Why? Because he was the leader, and leaders carry giant swords. Like Master Splinter taught the turtles, Kendo teaches you mold the mind and body and always strive for improvement. It is a great way to get fit while learning fun skills at the same time.

I only caution you to wait until you have trained a few months before moving to a real sword. You have been warned. Cowabunga.

9) Wii Fit

And, of course, a list of geeky things to help get you fit is not complete without mentioning Wii Fit. Play video games and exercise at the same time. You can’t beat that. ‘Nuff Said.

What geeky things do you do to get fit?

The list doesn’t stop here. I’m sure there are things that you do every day that I haven’t even thought about. So please post a comment and tell me and the other readers your favorite geeky activities that launched you into the world of fitness.

What else would you YOU add?

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George Titsworth is a father, MMO geek, and software developer who is in the process of converting his flabby software into rock solid hardware. He blogs at GeekIntoShape.com and you can follow him on Twitter @geekintoshape.

Photos courtesy of: the name is josh, kaibara87, silent7seven, .Mitch, JamesMalone, William Hook, fighter-arts, and jk5854

Nerd Fitness Rebellion Update – End of 28-Day Challenge #3

How the hell is it already June 7th?

May ended up being really freaking crazy: I spent ten days at sea on two different cruises for work, while also managing to raise over $3,300 with my friends for Camp Sunshine by running in the Warrior Dash dressed up like cavemen.  I didn’t sleep much, I didn’t get to update Nerd Fitness nearly as much as I would have liked, I missed a bunch of workouts, and I often forgot to eat (oops).

Still, I survived, and I’m ready to get back on the horse. Or wagon. Or whatever.

A few big updates today, so let’s get to it.

End of 28-Day Challenge #3

Yesterday marked the end of the third Nerd Fitness 28-Day Challenge. How did you do?  Last month was a complete wash for me, and I didn’t even get a chance to compete in my own challenge (insert sad face here).  In fact, I’m so far behind that I still haven’t picked our winners from LAST month’s challenge.

I’m getting there, I swear.

If you participated in the challenge and made it all the way through the 28 days, go ahead and post on the NF Message Boards how you did and give yourself an honest grade. Later on this week I’ll take a look through the grades and pick two winners to get NF t-shirts (which are ALSO coming soon, I swear).

The next 28-day challenge will begin on Monday, June 21st. Why two weeks away?  Because I actually want to participate in this one alongside you!  I’ll be out of the country on vacation for almost all of next week, so June 21st will be a good starting point for me to get things going again.

Oh, and speaking of message boards, have you been over there yet? There are 249 people helping each other kick ass and level up their lives.  It’s pretty freaking awesome.

Nerd Fitness Rebel Fitness Guide

I spent a good portion of my weekend working on my first paid product, the Rebel Fitness Guide!  It’s really starting to come together, and I get more excited with each passing day.  I also made a big decision over the weekend – instead of finding a way to password protect the individual videos of me doing all of the exercises used in the guide, I’m going to give those away for free.

Starting tonight and continuing throughout the week, I’ll be uploading to the Nerd Fitness YouTube Channel over one hundred different videos of me doing all the exercises that will be used in the Rebel Fitness Guide.

Yeah, I said “hundred.”

I’ll also be adding a new page to the blog for these videos, with it broken down into different exercise sections like “chest, shoulders, legs, biceps, etc.”

Now, the 4 months of daily exercise routines USING these exercises will only be available in the guide which I will be selling for a still undetermined price (but I have a pretty good idea of what I’ll charge). This is a project that I’ve been working on for months, a project that I’m extremely proud of, and one that will hopefully really help a lot of people turn their lives around.

Thanks for your support, hopefully these videos and this guide can make a difference.

Big announcement coming next Monday

The rest of my week will be consumed with editing, posting, and hosting exercise videos, but you’ll still get a new article here on Thursday.  Next week is huge for me in so many ways, and I can’t wait to tell you ALLLLLLLLLLLL about it…but I can’t tell you til then.

Keep kicking ass, keep leveling up, and get ready.

The Rebellion grows stronger…

-Steve

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If you want to stay up to date on all rebellion news, please sign up for the RSS Feed of Nerd Fitness, get NF posts via email, or join the kick-ass conversation over on the Nerd Fitness Message Boards!

How to Create Your Own Jedi Council

A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, the Jedi helped keep the peace.

Today, they’re going to help you level up your life.

How? By teaching you to surround yourself with the right people!  If you spend your days sitting around listening to lazy bums who eat poorly and make fun of you for exercising, you’re going to struggle in your quest to a healthier life.  Conversely, if you surround yourself with positive people who are constantly doing things to better themselves while encouraging you to do the same, you’ll be influenced and far more likely to actually make changes in your life.

Alrighty, let’s build you a council!

Why have a  Jedi council?

Having your own Jedi council will put you in the right frame of mind. The people on your council can offer advice when you are confused, support you when you’re down, encourage you when you need encouragement, and provide you with a constant source of motivation, inspiration, and education.

In fitness, finances, business, and life, having a Jedi council has pushed me to become a better person.  On days when I feel like sleeping in, on afternoons when I feel like skipping the gym, on weekends when I feel like stuffing my face with terrible food, my mind always reverts back to the lessons and words of wisdom I’ve learned from my “council.”  Even when they’re not there to inspire me directly, I can always feel their presence.

The Force is strong with them.

How to pick your council

It’s time to start assembling your own personal Jedi council. You want to pick people that have already had the type of success that you’re after and have shared or are willing to share their wisdom on how they did it.    These can be authors of how-to books, bloggers, TV stars, your local gym trainer, a friend of yours, whoever.  You don’t need to personally know the people on your council; they can still be a mentor to you.  Here’s what you’re looking for in a potential Jedi council member:

1) They are true masters of their craft. The 12 members of the Jedi council put in the work, did their time, and worked incredibly hard to rise to the highest level of the order.  People looked to them for advice and guidance because they were truly the best of the best.

You need to pick people who are masters of their respective craft too, whatever that may be.

If you need to lose a lot of weight, choose people like Tyler over at 344 pounds to be on your council, because he’s BEEN there and DONE that, while writing about it the entire way.  If you are trying to pack on muscle, pick guys like Jason Ferruggia who has made a living from transforming people into athletic powerhouses.  Select people who have already traveled the path that you’re beginning to walk, and follow where they lead.  You’ll soon have a chance to venture on your own path, but when starting out why not learn from the best?

2) They are honest and just. Let’s be honest, there’s a lot of crap information, false advertising, and useless products out there (I’d guess 90% of fitness stuff you see on TV/read on the internet is effing useless or dangerous).  Don’t pick people that have sites loaded up with ads for diet pills and/or achieved success through questionable means.  If a fitness guru makes an outlandish statement or promises incredibly results in a short period of time, he better back it up with scientific evidence and personal proof.

It’s okay to be skeptical. Unless you have a medical condition, the only things you need to get in shape are diet, exercise, and willpower.  That’s it.  Anybody who tells you otherwise is probably a Sith lord in disguise.  Booooo Dark Side.

3) They are constantly vigilant, always learning, always improving. Jedi never stop training and never stop learning.  Even Jedi Grand Master Yoda continued to train, mediate, and learn new things until he died at the age of 900.  You need to learn from people that never want to stop learning and improving themselves.  The fitness industry is constantly evolving as new discoveries are made and studies are concluded – you need people who are excited to learn about all this new stuff and share their theories and opinions with you.

4) The force is strong with them. Everybody learns at a different pace, has different starting points, and different goals.  Do you need to be yelled at to work harder, or do you need to be encouraged?   Do you like a straight forward approach or do you need your fitness information disguised as something else before you’ll actually read it?  Are you a self-starter or do you need constant sources of inspiration to stay on target?

I can’t tell you what will work for you; you need to figure that out for yourself. Find what works for you, and find council members who resonate with your beliefs and training styles.  Determine if you need daily reminders, weekly reports, humor, etc. whatever to be successful.  The internet is a big place, which allows you to be incredibly selective on who gets to give you advice.

Your attention is the most important currency of all – spend it wisely.

My advice - subscribe to the websites of authors you enjoy, and sign up for email updates from authors that you never miss.  Instead of skimming 100 fitness blogs a day, pick a dozen that you really truly love and concentrate on learning as much as possible from them.

Who’s on MY Jedi Council?

Below are the people who have qualified to be on my Jedi Council. These are people who have earned my trust and thus get my undivided attention.  I’ve haven’t met most of them (yet), but that doesn’t diminish the impact they’ve had on my life.  They all do things differently, but one thing is certain – the Force is strong with all of them:

  • Craig Ballantyne – I consider Craig to be the Yoda of the online fitness industry. He’s one hell of a guy and gives away a RIDICULOUS amount of free workouts and instructional videos.  Don’t let the infomercial-style approach of some of his products fool you, this guy knows what he’s doing and gets results.
  • Jason Ferruggia – I’m a huge fan of Jason’s site and his training philosophy. Sometimes foul-mouthed, often politically incorrect, Jason tells it like it is with a no-BS approach to packing on muscle and improving athletic performance.  He’s one of the strongest dudes I know, and he’s a vegan!
  • VIc Magary- Vic runs  GymJunkies.com and puts himself through Hell with each workout. This dude pushes his body harder and farther than most would even dream, which is why he’s a constant source of inspiration to me.  Vic’s also a former US soldier; I have the utmost respect for him and the the other members of our armed forces.  Thanks for your service Vic.
  • Mike Rickett - Mike is my personal Yoda, and actually the only guy on my list that I’ve actually met. Mike was the teacher of my personal trainer certification class a year and a half ago, and since then I’ve gotten a chance to really get to know him.  He’s easily the most knowledgeable fitness expert I’ve ever crossed paths with, which is why I’m so excited to work with him on creating the Nerd Fitness Rebel Guide (like the Death Star, it’s not fully operational…yet).
  • Mark Rippetoe – If you want to get really strong, you need to be doing squats, deadlifts, presses, pull ups, and chin ups. If you want to do those things well, you need to read Starting Strength (affiliate link) by Mark Rippetoe.  I completely restructured my workouts and my form on almost all exercises after reading this book.   If you’re serious about lifting weights, I can’t recommend Starting Strength enough.
  • Mark Sisson – Mark runs Mark’s Daily Apple, a site dedicated to living a primal lifestyle. After reading a few books on the Paleo Diet, I stumbled across Mark’s site and I’ve been reading it ever since.  As far as a diet is concerned, the Primal/Paleo diet makes complete sense to me, which is why I endorse it and try to abide by it when possible.  Mark’s site is a daily reminder to improve the quality of food that I’m shoveling into my mouth on a regular basis.  Thanks Mark!
  • Mark Twight – Mark is the man who trained all the actors for the movie 300. Mark’s also the guy who said “appearance is a consequence of fitness,”  something I repeat to myself daily.  I’m trying to pack on some muscle (going for the Ryan Reynolds in Blade 3 look), but I’m not doing it with iso-dumbbell curls and calf raises.  I’m just concentrating on becoming stronger by lifting heavy weights and letting nature do the rest.

Because I’m trying to pack on muscle, get strong as hell, and improve athletic performance, my Jedi Council is composed of people who are really good at doing those things. If you’re more like Jabba the Hutt and you want to slim down, your Jedi Council should have at least a few people who have had specific success doing exactly that.

Who’s on your council?

I’ve showed you mine, now show me yours.  Where do you get your inspiration and motivation from?  Who am I not learning from that I should be?  Share in the comments below and we can put together a resource of great books, guides, sites, and sources for people getting started in the whole level-life journey.

If you’re forming your Jedi Council now, hop on over to the Nerd Fitness Rebellion message board and share your findings with your fellow rebels.  This is a battle we’re all fighting as a group, and the more we can work together and inspire each other to level up, the better chance we’ll have at success.

Hopefully I’ve earned the right to be part of your council. If I haven’t yet, let me know what I need to do and I’ll make it happen.

-Steve

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photo source: Manga Monkey

Nerd Dash 2010 = WIN.

To say Nerd Dash 2010 was a success is an understatement.

We had a freaking BLAST running in the Warrior Dash dressed up like cavemen.  Even better, we managed to raise $3,395 for Camp Sunshine, enough money to send half a dozen kids with cancer to summer camp.   If you want to see the rest of the pictures, head over to NerdDash.com

Here’s a recap video of the day’s events:


Nerd Dash 2010 Recap Video

Honestly, it was already a day I’ll never forget, and then it got even better. Zack (Zac? Zach?), a Nerd Fitness reader, tapped me on the shoulder after the race was done and told me that he was a fan of the site!   This was my first ever encounter in real life with somebody who knows about me just through Nerd Fitness.  It’s maybe the coolest thing ever.

So Zack, thanks for making my day man, and thanks for reading!

The End

This weekend marked the end of a few pretty important things. I’m a big Lost fan (hopefully not a surprise), and I have to say that I was actually really pleased with how it all ended.  I won’t spoil anything in here, but given the scope and often convoluted story lines involved with the show, I think the creators did a fantastic job tying up the series and doing the show justice with its finale.  If you want to talk Lost, we can hop onto the NF Message Boards and debate there (spoiler warning).

This weekend also marked the end of my crazy Spring: we’re done with the Spring season of cruises (I went on five of our six events), and the next one isn’t until early September.  I sure do love the cruises, but they’re quite exhausting and certainly throw off my sleep/eat/exercise schedule, so I’m looking forward to getting back into my routine, putting some muscle back on, and maybe sleeping every once and a while!

Now that I’m done with Nerd Dash, I’m already starting to think about how to make Nerd Dash 2011 even bigger and better. Cooler/funnier costumes, more sponsors, more runners, more support…it will be epic.  Details to come in early 2011.

And now it’s time to put on that hard hat and get to work on finishing the NF Rebel Fitness Guide.

Once again, thank you all for your support for Nerd Dash, and thanks for reading Nerd Fitness.  I’m grinning from ear to ear this morning.

The Rebellion grows stronger…

-Steve

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Warrior Dash – It’s On.

Yup.

This Saturday, me and a dozen of my friends are going to dress up like Cavemen and run in the southeastern Warrior Dash.  Why Cavemen?  Because we managed to raise over 3,000 dollars for Camp Sunshine, enough money to send half a dozen kids with cancer to Summer Camp!

Win.

This has been an incredible learning experience for me (and hopefully will be a great experience for these kids), as I’ve never done anything like this before in my life.  Here are a few things I’ve learned:

  • Picking a great cause is key. Camp Sunshine has been an absolute delight to work with, and they’re a such a great cause that I don’t think I could have picked a better partner.  Thank you Camp Sunshine!
  • Helping people is fun! I had an absolute blast making the Nerd Dash announcement video, and I had a lot of fun learning how to build the site for Nerd Dash.  That’s right, I built that damn thing all by myself.  +1 Nerd Cred.  Hopefully I have some fun running the race too…even though I hate running, and the last time I ran one of these I lost to a 10 year old girl.
  • Make sure you have time to train. So I’ll be running this 5k on Saturday, and the last time I ran 3.2 miles was….November?  Hell the last time I ran at all was probably November.  I’ve been sick for the past three weeks since Kid Rock, but who cares, it’s for a good cause and I’m not trying to win this thing…I’m trying to have fun and look ridiculous in the process.
  • Make sure you have time to dedicate to the cause at hand. Aiming high was a good plan, but launching a fundraiser while spending half of the fund-raising time out of the country wasn’t smart.  I didn’t have time to promote the event or dedicate more time to making more videos to stir up excitement.  Oh well, now I know better.

I’m already thinking of plans on how to improve this whole system for next year, but I’m ready to make an ass of myself and have a good time on Saturday. I have tomorrow off, so I’ll be running around Atlanta trying to track down leopard print and brown fabric so we all have costumes to wear.  Sounds like a nice little Friday.

After that, we’re headed up to camp out and make our costumes (while enjoying the occasional adult beverage) Friday night and then racing on Saturday morning at 11AM. If you’re going to be at the race on Saturday, make sure you swing by and say hello.  I’ll be the kid in the middle of the pack, dressed up like a caveman and covered in mud, smiling from ear to ear.

Expect lots of pictures and videos.  And stories.  And hopefully no broken bones.

Let’s do this.

-Steve

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photo: Imamon

“It’s Deja Vu All Over Again”

See if this sounds familiar: By the time you read this, I’ll be out at sea on a cruise for work.

This week I’m sailing on the Malt Shop Memories Cruise, which caters to a slightly different demographic compared to last week’s Kid Rock Cruise.  This cruise is going to be awesome for a few reasons; the biggest one being that my entire family is going!  We haven’t had a family vacation in years where we’re all together, and although I’ll be working most of the time I’m looking forward to hanging out with them here and there when I can.

My Other Yoda

You’ve all been introduced to my fitness Yoda, Mike Rickett.

I now have a blogging Yoda too, and his name is Baker.

I had a chance to talk to Baker from ManVsDebt.com the other night about blogging and Nerd Fitness.  In only fifteen minutes he managed to absolutely blow my mind by providing some much needed clarity for my future plans of a worldwide Nerd Fitness Rebellion.

Baker is the man, and if you aren’t reading his blog already, you’re missing something special.

Putting On My Hard Hat

When I get back from this cruise, I’m going to spend a few weeks really focusing on finishing the Rebel Fitness guide.  I realized I’m pretty much addicted to answering emails, twitter, and the NF message boards, so I’m putting myself on a self-imposed restrictive access until I get this damn guide done!

I ask that for the time being, instead of emailing me directly with any questions, post it on the Nerd Fitness Rebel Army message boards.  There’s 230+ members on there who are more than willing and able to help out.

Speaking of the message boards, are you signed up for the NF May 28-Day Challenge?  It started on Monday, but you can still jump in there.  We’d be glad to have you.

Warrior Dash

The Warrior Dash is coming up at the end of next week.  So far I’ve raised 3,000 bucks with NerdDash (waiting on a BIG $1000 check to post), enough to send six kids with cancer to Camp Sunshine for a week.  I’m realizing that launching a ridiculous fundraiser during a month in which I’m out of the country without internet access for half of it.  That being said, I’d still like to get to at least $5,000 so we can dress as Ninjas.

5,000 is also enough money to send a cabin full of kids to camp!

1 week. 2 grand.

Can we do it?

I sure as hell hope so.

If you have already made a donation, thanks so much for your generosity.  If you haven’t, consider tossing in 10 bucks today.

Visit NerdDash.com to make your donation today.

Let’s Do This

Off on a cruise, running the Warrior Dash, and writing a book.  As the great Mario once said as he jumped into a painting, “here we gooooooooooooooo!”

-Steve

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If you want to stay up to date on all rebellion news, please sign up for the RSS Feed of Nerd Fitness, get NF posts via email, or join the kick-ass conversation over on the Nerd Fitness Message Boards!

photo: MDanys

Real-Life Role Playing: What is Your Profession?

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Today, let’s delve deep into the nerd aspect of Nerd Fitness and turn life into a giant role-playing game.  Why?  Because it’s damn fun, nerdy, and quite applicable.  If you’ve played World of Warcraft, Everquest, Final Fantasy, or practically any fantasy-based RPG this article will feel right at home.

If you have no clue what I’m talking about, this will still be a fun exercise for you.

Let’s get started.

Your Race is Already Determined

Before you pick your profession, let’s talk about your “race.” Every RPG always has elves, hobbits, ogres, trolls, humans, wood elves, night elves, etc.  Each race has their own particular attributes that make them who they are.  Take a look in the mirror RIGHT NOW.  That’s your race.  300 pounds overweight, 50 pounds underweight, average, tall, short, beer gut, 6-pack abs, etc.  These are attributes about yourself that you cannot change immediately, so that’s your starting point.  Depending on your “race,” certain professions will be easier or harder for you to obtain.

Here’s an example: If you are an ogre (really tall and quite overweight), it’s going to be more work for you to become a really good Assassin (Parkour traceur), but if you’re willing to put the time in, anything is possible.  Maybe you’re an elf (incredibly thin) and you want to be a super-strong Warrior.  You’re going to need to spend months and months eating insane amounts of calories and lifting heavy weights to get results, but it is possible.

Make sense? Good!  Let’s check out the different professions.

Warrior

Lego Warrior

This tank is incredibly strong and powerful, pushing weight like it’s his job.

Which is good, because it IS his job.  If you ever see any battle, warriors are the first responders, defending their party while attacking the enemy.  Strong as an ox, Warriors constantly try to push themselves to be bigger, better, stronger.  Eating and lifting are the only two things Warriors worry about.  You do NOT want to go punch for punch with a Warrior.  You will get destroyed.

Primary attributes: Strength, power

Training: Pure strength-building weight training.

Real life example: Any World’s Strongest Man competitor.

Scout

Lego Scout

Scouts can cover great distances in a short amount of time.

Built for distance and efficiency rather than strength and power, these guys can outlast any animal on the planet.  They eat a diet higher in carbohydrates than most (though they can still be healthy carbs!) to give them enough fuel to survive these grueling treks cross-country, and their muscles are designed to last for hours rather than minutes or seconds (like a Warrior).  A growing contingent of scouts have moved to barefoot running, returning to their ancient ancestral roots.

Primary attributes: Stamina, endurance.

Training: Lots of distance training, long bike rides, high volume exercises with any sort of weight training.

Real life example: Marathon runners, Ironman athletes.

Ranger

Ranger Lego

Rangers are a hybrid of Warriors and Scouts, built for strength AND endurance.

A jack-of-all-trades but master of none, Rangers are well-equipped for any situation.  Their weight training revolves around varying the reps, sets, and downtime to continually force those body to adapt to new situations.  Usually Rangers follow a Paleo Diet, eating things that can only be found in nature.  Thanks to this type of training and diet, Rangers have incredibly low body-fat percentages.

Primary attributes: Functional strength, adaptability.

Training: Lots of weight training but with minimal downtime (think crossfit and 300 training).

Real Life example: Gerard Butler in 300.

Assassin

Lego Assassin

To assassins, the world is one giant playground.

Every building can be climbed, every gap can be jumped, every obstacle can be conquered.  Assassins spend most of their time training with functional body weight exercises as that’s usually the only thing they need to lift.

Fearless, calculated, and efficient, Assassins have low body fat percentages because extra weight could mean the difference between life and death on a mission.  They have solid endurance as well, allowing them to progress through an obstacle-filled environment without breaking a sweat.

Primary Attributes: Agility, stamina

Training: Parkour, free running, rock climbing.

Real World example: Parkour traceurs, free runners, most athletes on Ninja Warrior.

Monk

Lego Monk

This isn’t the type of monk you’d want to run into on a bad day…

These monks can kick your ass with their fists and feet, and they will do it before you even knew what happened.  Incredibly agile, lightning fast, and loaded with power, Monks specialize in martial arts to stay in shape and destroy the opposition.

Training is mostly spent in dojos and in the ring, with some weight training thrown in to help produce stronger punches and kicks.  Monks only carry enough weight and muscle to provide maximum efficiency with each attack.  Muscles are compact and powerful, core strength is high, and speed is favored over size.

Primary Attributes: Agility, power

Training: MMA, Capoeria, Muay Thai boxing, Tai Kwon Do

Real life example:Georges St. Pierre (MMA fighter).

Druid

Lego Druid

Druids are one with nature.

Oftentimes consuming a plant-only diet, they specialize in being one with themselves, finding balance in everything.  These peaceful folk spend a majority of their time training in the arts of yoga, meditation, and tai chi.  Strength training is only done if necessary, as  most druids aren’t interested in massive muscles or explosive power.  Druids also follow a minimalist diet, high in vegetables, fruits, and nuts.  Some eat meat, but only enough to get sufficient protein.  Processed foods are the enemy.

Primary attributes: agility, flexibility

Training: meditation, yoga, tai chi

Real life example: Yogis, tai chi instructors

My Profession

Lego Berserker

I was born an elf (thin, tough to build muscle), and I want to be a Warrior/Ranger hybrid…let’s call it a Berzerker class?

I’m generally a pretty happy, calm, goofy guy.  But when I’m in training mode, I turn on berserker mode: I start foaming at the mouth, I walk around with this crazy look in my eye, and I push myself hard than I ever thought possible.

I focus on lift like squats, deadlifts, presses, handstand push ups, pull ups, dips, and chin ups.  I vary my rep range and downtime between sets to build strength, power, and muscle size.  I mix in assassin (gymnastics) training and monk (capoeira) training whenever possible.

Sure, it’d be a much quicker path for me to become a scout (as I already have the body type), but I love getting stronger and training in things that I truly enjoy, so I picked a different direction.

Why?

Because I can, and because it makes me happy.

How About You?

Profession

Leave a comment with your current race and what profession you’d like to be. 

I picked six classes up above to keep things simple, but let me know if I left out one that should be in there.  Feel free to combine two classes like I did as well.  Just so we’re clear: all classes are gender-neutral, so you can be a female warrior or male druid.  There are no restrictions!

Once you have your profession selected, feel free to join us in the Nerd Fitness message boards (it’s free!) and join up with your guild!  

Want to take things a step further?  

Check out Rising Heroes, a game/program/community of sorts we’re developing around this very idea…

So, I ask you: “What is your PROFESSION!?”

-Steve

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Photo: KennyMatic, Lego berserkerWarrior Lego, Scout Lego, Ranger Legos, Druid Lego, Lego Assassin, Lego Monk, Lego Profession

Back from the Dead…Sorta

I’m alive!

Barely.

Honestly, I haven’t been this wiped out after a cruise in quite a while, so this week has really been a blur for me.  Sleep has been in short supply and high demand, my sentences don’t form properly when talking on the phone, and I’ve had a headache that’s been fairly constant since Monday.  My room’s a mess, I haven’t shaved in a week, I’ve run out of clean clothes, and I managed to fall asleep sitting up in a chair the other day while my roommates were playing Halo while screaming at the top of their lungs.

Despite all of that, life is pretty damn good.  I’m not gonna lie though; I can’t WAIT for this weekend to recharge and recover.

So what else is new?  Quite a bit.

May 28-Day Challenge

I haven’t been on the NF message boards since last week, so I haven’t got a chance to go over how everybody did in the last challenge.  Tonight I’ll get around to it.  In the meantime, I set up the new part of the boards for the NEXT challenge, which kicks off Monday, May 10th.

Join the 28-day challenge for May here.

Jillian Michaels

Part of the reason I’ve been so exhausted this week is because the day we got back from the cruise, we launched a new cruise here at my job – the Jillian Michaels Ultimate Wellness Cruise, sailing October 21st to 25th, 2010.

A few months back, my boss approached me and said that we had partnered with Jillian to produce a fitness and wellness themed cruise, the first cruise we’ve ever done that isn’t centered around music.  When he told me that I was going to be the lead ‘warrior’ for the event, I put down my box of donuts and tub of lard and said “HELL YEAH!”

So, I’ve been working on launching the cruise website for the past few months, and this week it finally went on sale to Jillian’s premium members.  It’s in the pre-sale phase for another few weeks and then it goes on sale to the public on May 25th.  Pretty damn cool stuff, so you can expect some fun updates from me about how this is going from now until the cruise.

Congrats to Tyler

Tyler over at 344pounds.com weighed in the other day at 199.8 pounds. Tyler has been dealing with quite a bit lately and managed to still continue his inspirational journey into the 100′s.  Tyler, congrats man.  You’re a hero to everybody and you’re changing lives.

Keep kicking ass dude!

Guest Posts and Emails

I probably received a dozen emails from NF readers who are interested in writing guest posts for the site.  If you’ve emailed me in the past week and a half, tonight and tomorrow I’ll finally get a chance to reply.  Thanks for your patience guys…didn’t expect to be still destroyed at this point in the week.

Oh, and I go back out to sea on another cruise next Thursday…won’t nearly be as crazy as the Kid Rock Cruise though, which is nice.

So, how YOU doin?

-Steve

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photo: lrargerich

Back on Land: Worn Out, Beat Up, and Happy.

And I’m back!

Right now it’s early Sunday evening, but when you read this I’ll be departing from Kid Rock’s Chillin’ the Most Cruise down in Tampa, FL.  This was easily the craziest cruise we’ve ever done as a company, and words cannot truly describe what happened.

Didn’t stop me from trying though!

Here’s a recap of the second day of the cruise: The Most Memorable Night in Sixthman History?

If you don’t feel like reading and you’d rather watch a video, check out this quick video I put together from the first day of the cruise:


Kid Rock Cruise Day 1 Video

End of the 2nd 28-Day Challenge

The 2nd 28-day challenge has ended!

I don’t have time while sailing to do my complete report, but I’ll get to it as quickly as possible once I’m back in Atlanta.  After slipping two weeks ago, I got back on track this week and got in all of my workouts, including one in the Tampa hotel and one at the gym on board the cruise ship.

If you participated in this 28-day challenge, please go ahead and post how things went for you on the Nerd Fitness message boards.  Instead of me picking the winners this time, I’d like the community to decide by nominating a few candidates and then voting on the winners.

This is something new, and I’m coordinating it while floating at sea, so bear with me!

As for the next challenge, we’ll take a week to recover, reevaluate, and readjust, and then we’ll start the next challenge on MAY 10th! Stay tuned for more details.

Back to Work

Updates will be back to normal on Thursday, and I’ll be sending emails to all the people who inquired about guest posting.  There are some awesome ideas in there and I can’t wait to see what comes out of it.

I can’t tell you how excited I am to sleep in my own bed tonight…and then it’s back to work at the office tomorrow morning.

-Steve

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