Stuck at the starting line? Find your “gateway” change.

“Greatness from small beginnings.” -Sir Francis Drake

Frodo, before he became the savior of Middle-Earth. Katniss Everdeen, before she became the Mockingjay and toppled Panem. In every great story – especially those of heroes – there’s always a call to action in which the future of a character is changed with a single plot point. More often than not, it’s not something monumental, but rather a personal decision that ultimately results in amazing changes on a grand scale:

  • Katniss didn’t set out to start a rebellion; she simply wanted to protect the life of her sister.
  • Frodo had no plans of saving Middle-Earth, he just wanted everybody at the Council of Elrond to stop fighting!
  • Harry Potter had no clue what he was getting into, he just wanted to get out of that darn house!

This is a crucial point in any Hero’s Journey. It’s fun looking back now at each of those moments and wondering “how would the story be different if they hadn’t done [a seemingly insignificant task or decision]?”

As I’ve looked back over the hundreds and hundreds of success stories in the Nerd Fitness community (a few dozen are here), I realized that almost all health and fitness journeys have that moment too. Maybe we don’t have a dramatic, life-changing visit from an owl or Hagrid, but very often we discover something – an exercise, an activity, a mindset that becomes our “gateway” into finally becoming someone who values health and fitness. Permanently.

Can You Complete The Green Arrow Workout? Save Star City!

Star City is in trouble.

With masked supervillians like Deathstroke, Merlyn, Deadshot, and the League of Assassins terrorizing the population, it’s up to the our friend, Oliver Queen, also known as The Green arrow, to set things right.

Thanks to the popularity of the surprisingly fantastic (and only kinda hokey) show Arrow, Oliver’s battle with the enemies of Star City have been brought to the limelight. If he was a member of the NF Rebellion, Arrow would most definitely be an Assassin.

Admittedly, I didn’t know much about the Green Arrow comic series until I started watching the show; Stephen Amell’s portrayal of the Green Arrow and his training regiment (filmed here at the Parkour gym I’ve visited in California) got me hooked instantly:

Arrow Off Screen Training

And it was his on-screen training with the Ninja Warrior obstacle (the salmon ladder!) that turned me into huge fan:

Arrow On Screen Training

Today, I’m going to take you through a workout that would do the Arrow proud, and make his enemies think twice about once again kidnapping his sister, who can’t seem to stay out of trouble.

We’ve taught you to sprint like The Flash, and train like Batman, now it’s time to dominate life like the Arrow.

Want to live longer? Try building a guild.

As the saying goes, “You can pick your friends, and you can pick your nose, but you can’t pick your friend’s nose.”

Wait. Not that saying. This one: “Happiness is only real when shared.”

We all know that having friends and solid relationships is brutally important to our mental wellbeing, but just how important is it? How about decreasing your odds of mortality by as much as 50%?!

As researchers at Brigham Young University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill discovered, those with poor social connections had on average 50 percent higher odds of death in their study’s follow-up period (an average of 7.5 years) than people with more robust social ties.

So what the hell does that mean? As we are working hard to improve our lives with diet and exercise habits, it’s also damn important to focus on something that can so easily slip away from us thanks to the rise of the internet: social interactions!  Obviously the study isn’t saying that finding a friend will turn you immortal, but it is saying that there is a strong correlation between improving your social connections and improving your chances for a longer, healthier, happier life.

To do that, we’re going to explore a very specific strategy: building a guild. Because it can be tough making friends once we get out of high school and college (or even IN those locations), we’re going to intentionally build a social network.

So, where do we start? We need to create a Round Table like King Arthur.

7 Tips For Parents Dealing with Fussy Eaters

Steve here! I wanted to introduce Dan Schmidt, our newest contributor and wizard. Dan is a long-time Rebel and fatherhood specialist, and will be sharing his expertise in raising healthy and happy Rebels! Take it away Dan!

What have we always said is the most important thing? Breakfast. Family.

As parents who want the very best for our kids, we try to fuel their growing bodies with the best food possible. But as any parent of a toddler, pre-schooler, or even adolescent knows, our kids aren’t always on the same page.

The toddler years especially can be a challenging time for feeding. All of a sudden, a previously easy-going infant who ate anything, begins to reject the same foods being offered.

Don’t panic. This is a completely normal, albeit difficult, stage in your child’s development and we’re here to help you through it.

Let’s jump into looking at why children become fussy eaters, and examine some strategies you can implement today to lighten your load.

2 Big Reasons Why Cheat Meals Are Worse Than Darth Vader


“I’ll take two giant pretzels, oooh and that macaroni and cheese too. Aaand I’ll take two slices of the deep dish pizza, a dozen pigs in a blanket, a chicken parm sub, and a tall Sam Adams. Don’t worry, it’s my cheat day!”

I get asked all the time about my eating habits… ESPECIALLY when I’m out with friends or at a Nerd Fitness meetup. They wonder if I’m going to pick the chicken and broccoli with iced water, and are often curious when I stray outside of the expected norm. In their minds, it’s probably like watching a Jedi stray from the Light and cannonball into the Dark Side.

Speaking of Star Wars…how about that Force Awakens trailer? Holy crap.

But I digest (get it?!).

Anyways, some would look at me, the leader of Nerd Fitness, and ask what my reasoning is behind my meal choices. What’s that? I’ve strayed from the Paleo Diet and decided to eat a bacon cheeseburger with fries? I can see their minds trying to compute: “How can you eat that garbage and then turn around and tell people how to be healthy? Isn’t that hypocritical?”

Others who know I run a fitness site might say something like, “Oh, is this your cheat day?” or “Are you having a cheat meal?” What they’re really asking is “Let me guess, you’ve eaten really well all week and then reward yourself with an unhealthy day of eating whatever you want…aka a cheat day.”

So I tell them: It wasn’t a cheat meal. In fact, I never use the term “cheat meal” or “cheat day.” I think we should all stop using this term!

Just like the Dark Side can appear to solve all of your problems (Cast lightning from fingers? Do a force choke? I look better in black any way), cheat meals can seem like a harmless way to “stay on target.” However, the Dark Side has its own powerful agenda, subtly working its evil behind the scenes to take over your brain, and “cheating” can sabotage your efforts to stay healthy too if you let it take over.

Change CAN happen in an instant. Has it happened to you?

Have you ever had a moment – maybe a conversation, event, or even reading a book that felt like a “moment of insight” – and it literally changed your life?

As we all know, the problem in adopting healthy eating habits, making a lifestyle or job change, or even starting a vigorous new exercise routine usually isn’t the knowledge that we need to do these things (that’s just collecting underpants), but the ability to set ourselves up to actually follow through.

We often think change only happens over a long period of time. And yes, when it comes to changing physically, that’s often true. However, leveling up mentally or making life changes can in fact, happen in an instant. But only if action is taken that solidifies this new life you want to live!

How can we make sure that these moments of “holy crap, things are gonna be different” actually result in permanent, positive changes in our lives?

After all, epiphanies are only life-changing if you apply what you’ve learned.

Apparently Everything Will Kill You. Yes, Even That.

Life was so much simpler when I didn’t know anything.

Happily eating fast food, occasionally exercising but not really. Going to work and living in an “ignorance is bliss” existence.

Then I learned all about how fat and cholesterol are bad for us. So I stopped eating eggs, cut back on meat, switched to low-fat cookies, fat-free muffins, margarine (boo butter!), and skim milk.

I soon read some research that gluten is bad for me. I think I have a gluten intolerance? My neighbor did, so I bet I do too. So I switched over to gluten-free pizza, gluten-free pasta, and gluten-free gluten. I still feel like garbage and everything I eat tastes like cardboard, but I’m healthier so that’s good.

But then I stumbled across this idea of eating like a caveman. Maybe that will solve my problems. And eggs are good again? And so is bacon? Great, those are two of my favorite things. Time to pig out (ha! get it?). Let’s load up on steak, chicken, bacon, bacon-wrapped steak, and vegetables that are also wrapped in bacon.

Because, bacon.

cook bacon

Learn How an Office Worker Lost 100+ Lbs, Saved His Own Life, and Became a Superhero

Meet Mike, or Dilnad as he’s known around the forums. Mike has one of the best transformations I’ve seen. Not only has he completely transformed his life and his body, but more than that he’s transformed his outlook on life. If you are a Nerd Fitness Academy member and community member, you know “Dilnad.” He’s one of the most active and supportive Rebels, and we’re lucky to have him on our team as we battle against the forces of the Empire.

Mike is a Software Quality Assurance Specialist. That mean’s he’s a nerd (and proud of it) who tests software used in tax preparation.

If you feel like you go to work day in and day out, stuck in a cycle of unhealthy behavior, Mike’s story is for you. Here’s how he describes his old self:

“I would go to work, stop at a store on the way home for food and snacks. Watch TV, stuff my face, pass out on sofa, wake up, snack, sleep, shower, work, rinse and repeat. I really didn’t care about much of anything – life was something to be endured.”

I love Mike’s story. He transformed physically, but his mental transformation was nothing short of amazing: he went from not giving a shit about much of anything to loving life more than…well, life itself!

Mike’s story jumped out at me for a few reasons:

  • He tried multiple forms of exercise before finding the right thing for him.
  • When Mike decided it was time for a change, he realized he didn’t know a lot about how to get healthy. But that didn’t stop him – he started doing SOMETHING immediately, and learned as he went.
  • Even though he was losing some weight initially, he realized there was a more complete picture to health. After discovering Nerd Fitness and The Academy, he changed up his diet and incorporated a full exercise picture – things really began to improve.
  • Bonus: Mike can rattle off all 50 states in alphabetical order from memory. What a nerd!

Today, Mike’s in the best shape of his life, a positive influence to everybody in our community, and excited to meet the next challenge.

Desk jockeys, this one’s for you!

How to Make a Chili Stuffed Sweet Potato

This is an article from Nerd Fitness Rebel Chef Noel Fernando

Imagine sitting around a camp fire on a clear desert night. Decked out in ponchos, boots, and 10 gallon hats, you and your posse settle down for a hot meal after a long day of ropin’ and ridin’ and roughhousin’ with outlaws. The Waco Kid lazily strums a guitar while you stir up a steaming cauldron of chili.

Life in the Wild West might be long gone… the closest you can get to this scene is a few nights of camping. But for now, let’s dress in cowboy hats and get down on some Texas-inspired chili.

If you’re looking for a flavorful meal with tons of veggies or a new way to use that pulled pork you learned to make last year, look no further.

A small disclaimer: This is a recipe intended to be a version of Texas style chili. Purists, look the other way. We know how passionate you are about your food. Personally, I try to stuff as many veggies into a meal as I can, and come up with interesting recipes that align with the dietary values we practice on this site. Cool? Cool.

How to Deal With An Unexpected Death.

“What we do in life, echoes in eternity.” – Maximus Decimus Meridius

Life sucks sometimes.

On September 12th, 2015, my friend Scott Dinsmore tragically passed at the far-too-young age of 32 while climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. Scott is one of my best “internet” friends, the creator of LiveYourLegend.net. He was on a trip around the world with his wife, doing what he loved. Chelsea, I’m so sorry for your loss 🙁

To say I am heartbroken is an understatement.

I like to think our businesses, lives, and communities grew up together; Scott was more like me than anybody else I knew in this online space. In fact, he was always pushing me to be a better version of myself and led by example: he was in amazing shape, with a beautiful family, a thriving business, and had a love of life that was unparalleled.

I’m still trying to make sense of this tragedy, and can’t imagine what his family is going through. My friend Chase Reeves (who designed both this Nerd Fitness site and Scott’s) captured Scott’s personality better than I ever could, and there are already dozens upon dozens of tributes to a man who impacted a lot of people.

Earlier this year I lost another friend at the age of 31. I’ve lost three grandparents since I started my adventures, and two good friends have died far too young. It’s never easy.

I don’t have all the answers, but I know I’m not alone in dealing with tragedy. Life is short, and it can be taken from anybody in an instant.

Today I wanted to write an article about how I’ve tried to cope with these situations in a healthy way, and encourage you to share your stories too.

Want Results? Be like Groot. I AM GROOT!

Most of the time, boring is bad.

A boring date sucks. A boring movie can put you to sleep.

But sometimes, boring is exactly what you need.

You wouldn’t call Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy boring would you? Yes, I’m referring to the talking Flora Colossus (tree, essentially) from Planet X in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. Sure, everybody loves the fast-talking, wisecracking Rocket Raccoon, but there’s something more to Groot than just a simple, stoic character. In fact, it’s Groot’s strength and versatility that turns the tide against the forces of evil.

How the hell does this relate to you getting healthy?

I am groot. (Sorry, I had to.)

4 Steps to Become an 80’s Action Movie Hero. You’re Welcome.

The 80’s were the best.

Specifically, 80’s action movies. Larger-than-life characters played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Jean Claude Van Damme, Chuck Norris, the Ninja Turtles, and international superstar Ralph Macchio (yeah you heard me!). Although I wasn’t aware of it at the time, the hundreds of hours spent watching these movies instilled within me a lifelong philosophy that has helped me level up my life, my health, and my wealth. Thanks, 80’s action heroes!

Hopefully you’re looking at me like I’m crazy at this point. Which is why I’m going to teach you how to become your own 80’s action movie star, and use your new identity to level up your life.

You can thank me later.

How to Use Primal Movement to Rebel Against Captivity

This is a guest post from Camp NF instructor Jonathan Mead.

I’m no historian or anthropologist, but I don’t think it takes a rocket scientist to see that over time, we’ve come to move less and less thanks to amazing advances in technology.

Simply put, our bodies are capable of amazing things, but we no longer NEED to do these things in order to survive. How did this happen, and how has it changed us as a species?

  • First, the agricultural revolution allowed people to specialize and outsource movement to farmers (the birth of the division of labor).
  • Then, there was the industrial revolution, which allowed for even less movement with the advent of machines to do much of the work for us.
  • Finally, the technological revolution made movement practically obsolete. A meal, book, even a date on OKCupid is just a click away. Hell, you can now order pizza by sending an emoji.

Although it’s not our fault we don’t HAVE to move much anymore, it IS our responsibility to address it. Our lives simply don’t require it any more – the Empire (boo!) took over and changed the way we live by removing ANY physical requirement from existence.

Unfortunately, this sets us up for disaster when we do try to move more often: when we go from sitting for 10-12 hours a day to trying to train martial arts or Parkour, playing kickball or even picking up groceries, it’s no wonder injuries are commonplace.

If you’re looking to improve your physical well-being, remain injury-free, and set yourself up to succeed with whatever form of fun activity you choose to get your heart racing, it’s time to start moving like we are genetically designed to move.

Let’s take a look how to master our body’s controls, and rebel against captivity.

How to Instantly Build Confidence, Backed By Science.

Confidence. Can it be developed?

It’s one of the most desirable traits when it comes to finding a partner, one of the most desirable traits when it comes to employment, and a hell of a way to make a positive first impression.

I’m sure you can conjure up someone you think of as “confident.”

  • James Bond’s uncanny ability to stay calm, cool, and collected under pressure, and then utter a perfectly timed and witty catchphrase.
  • That female friend of yours who can strike up a conversation with anybody and everybody, making them feel like they’ve found a new best friend within minutes.
  • Your buddy who has quickly advanced through a company, and just seems to have “it.”

Whether you’re young or old, gay or straight, male or female, human or cyborg, confidence will make your life better!

Can confidence be built, or is it outside of our control?

Today, I’m going to teach you everything you need to know about confidence, and how you can quickly implement a few tactics to kickstart your leveling up.

Nerd Fitness Yoga is Now Available!

Nerd Fitness Yoga is finally here!

After a year+ of planning, an intense week of filming back in February, and six months of development, we’re finally launching our first new product in almost two years!

Nerd Fitness Yoga is officially available! This course has been designed from the beginning to help people of all ages, shapes, and sizes start improving their health and flexibility, with the same charm, corny humor, and quality you’ve come to expect.

If the initial reviews and excitement (see below!) are any indication, we’re off to a killer start!

In fact, last week we did an early launch to NF Academy members, and OVER 2500 people have already joined the party!

I couldn’t be more proud of what we’ve created as a team, and I’m so excited to share it with you today.

Previous Next View Archive