The 5 Biggest Life Lessons I Learned in the Arcade

Ah, the Arcade.

As a kid, I remember wandering into the local Ryan Family Amusements in the Cape Cod Mall, enamored with the shining lights and loud noises, excited for what adventures lay ahead.

Armed with five dollars in tokens (dutifully earned from a week’s worth of chores), I’d carefully wander through the aisles, watching others playing fighting games like Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter, old school classics like Rampage or Donkey Kong, and ticket games like Skeeball or Rock’n Bowl.

I’d then settle my eyes on the game that intrigued me the most that day, and devote the next two hours of my life to mastering it….or losing a lot of quarters very quickly :)

Who knew that the basic lessons learned in the arcade could translate over to life and fitness goals; they even helped shape me into the person I am today.

Let’s take a look at some of these awesome arcade lessons.

That Time I Did 2,440 Pull Ups: The 60 Day PLP Challenge


This past Sunday, I finished up what was probably the most challenging workout plan I’ve ever attempted. I managed to stick with this plan, day after day, every day, for 61 straight days.

I honestly don’t think I have ever done ANYTHING 61 days in a row!

It wasn’t easy.  Over the past 61 days, I completed a total of 2,440 pull ups, 2,440 push ups, and 2,440 lunges, in addition to my regular workout plan of 3-4 days per week of heavy lifting (which included weighted pull up, heavy deadlifts, and ring work).

I thought I’d be running on fumes – or that my arms would fall off after the 61 days.   Actually, I feel stronger than ever – more invincible and more anti-fragile.  As I mentioned on my 6-Week challenge Thread, I feel like Wolverine (…which lead to this).

It shifted my perspective on training and what the human body is capable of.

So what am I talking about?

The PLP Program.

NOTE: This is NOT a beginner program, and should not be attempted unless you have been training consistently and can do multiple repetitions of pull ups and pushups with great form.

Camp Nerd Fitness is Now ON SALE!

On September 18th, 2014, 300 brave Nerd Fitness Rebels will descend upon the mountains of North Georgia for an epic long weekend of adventure, education, inspiration, and celebration of all things Nerd Fitness.

I want you to be one of those 300 people for our inaugural Camp Nerd Fitness!

All the details have been posted over at, so you may have already read all about it.

If you’ve been waiting to book your spot, YOU CAN DO THAT HERE!

Space is extremely limited, and with the NF email list now reaching 170,000+ people (whoa!), it’s sure to sell quickly. Also, room choice will be determined on a first come first serve basis, so be sure to check it out soon if you have a preference!

Over the next month, we’ll be adding more speakers, coaches, and events to Camp NF, based on feedback and suggestions from those attending. Besides the Nerd Fitness Team, already confirmed are three incredibly successful and knowledgeable coaches: Jim Bathurst of, Anthony Mychal (my personal coach), and Amy Clover of

We’ll be adding coaches for Parkour, Yoga, Mixed Martial Arts, and more!

Now combine these fun activities with strength training instruction (learn how to squat, deadlift, and more), fun competitions (both fitness related AND nerd related), late night parties, and all sorts of other events celebrating the Nerd Fitness Rebellion; we’re gonna have ourselves 3 amazing days that will surely level up our lives.

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….


Wait, that’s not right…

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


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.


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.

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