Strength Training 101: How much weight should I be lifting?

This is an article written by NF Team Member Staci.

How much do you think Hefty Smurf is lifting here? How much weight did he warm up with?  How does he know when to start lifting heavier?

When many Rebels first get into weight lifting, the process of figuring out what weight to start with can be daunting and even cause some to not bother starting at all.

We often hear questions like:

  • What weight should I start with? How much should I be lifting?
  • If my program wants me to be doing 5 sets of 5 at 80% of my 1 rep max, how do I figure out my 1 rep max?
  • And what if it doesn’t give any percentages at all?  How do I know what weights I should be doing?

Today we’re going to take a look at how exactly to get started with your program and make sure you have picked the right amount of weight.

How Much Water Do You Really need?

Aquaman lives in it.

The Waterboy will tell you that it’s the only thing you’ll ever need.

Conventional wisdom will tell you that you need eight glasses a day.

We all know we should drink water and stay properly hydrated, but how much do we REALLY need?  How much is too much?  What about sports drinks like Gatorade – is there a time and place to consume them?

Today on Nerd Fitness we’re going to bust all of the myths associated with water, determine how much water you should consume, and how that changes if you’re exercising regularly.

Don’t Want to Exercise? Use the Braveheart Technique

We all have those moments when we don’t feel like exercising.

If you’re a New Year’s resolutioner, “it” tends to happen right around this part of January.  Some have already given up, while others didn’t even bother starting.  Not Nerd Fitness Rebels though!

We know that when building habits, missing more than a day in a row is recipe for disaster.  This is why we follow through with our Hard Hat Challenges and make sure we stay on target until that habit becomes automatic.

But what do we do on those days when it seems like everything is working against us?

  • It’s REALLY cold outside, and we don’t feel like running.
  • We just got home from a long day of work, and don’t feel like doing the Star Wars Workout.
  • The alarm clock is going off, it’s dark outside, and it’s all warm and cozy in our beds.

How do you get from that point of lethargy to exercising, when you just don’t feel like it?  You know you should, you know it’s good for you, and you know you need to…but you just struggle to put one foot in front of the other.

Use the Braveheart Technique.

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!

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