The Beginner’s Guide to Handstands

This is a guest post from Chris Salvato, handstand Jedi Master.  I’ve spent the better part of the past two years working on handstand balancing, and know quite a few rebels in our Community have as well.  

Chris lives for handstands, so I reached out to him to put together a comprehensive post on how to get started with handstands: it’s an incredible strength builder, a great party trick, and one of those things that makes you feel like a kid again :)

Take it away Chris!

What went through your mind the last time you saw someone perform a great handstand?  If you’re like most of the people I’ve worked with, then you probably thought:

“Wow, what control!”

“What a display of strength and finesse.”

“That looks really cool.”

Unfortunately, when you see a handstand you probably also think “I could never do that in a million years!”

“I’m scared of falling on my back.”

“I’m not strong enough.”

“I’m too overweight, too old, and too weak.”

So, what if I said that you could achieve a handstand in a much shorter time period than you think?  Would you tell me that is was impossible?  That you couldn’t possibly do it?  Might our conversation go like this?

Luke: I can’t believe it!

Yoda: That is why you fail.

Once you start believing that you can perform your first handstand, its amazing how quickly progress comes.  I routinely get beginners and intermediates to their first freestanding handstand within 60 days. 

That’s two months to reach a goal they once thought impossible.

Today we’ll be going over a step-by-step progression to help you make significant progress towards your first freestanding handstand, and hopefully prepare you for the 28-Day Handstand Challenge.

How to Build a Batcave for Habit Change

We all know there’s more to getting healthy than just education.

We need to stop saying to ourselves, “I need to try harder this time,” and, “why can’t I do what I know I need to do?”

There is far more to this process than just trying harder. We need to stop beating ourselves up because we don’t “have enough willpower.”

What need to literally outsmart ourselves.  

In order to do that, we need to build our own environment and set it up for success:

  • Bruce Wayne has his Batcave to help him develop the right tools to fight crime.
  • Superman has his Fortress of Solitude.
  • Tony Stark has his lab and J.A.R.V.I.S. to perfect his Iron Man Suit.

Here’s how you can build your own Superhero HQ, stop focusing on “trying harder,” and use your environment to give yourself a leg up.

Everything You Need to Know About Your Genetics

What body type am I?

How does it affect my training and diet?

Is there a way to change it?

We are all different.  Yes, even you.

We all have different body types, different cellular reactions from foods, different strengths and weaknesses, and thus we each have different behaviors that we’re more likely to succeed with.

Now, although the standard way of thinking tells us that we have three main “body types” (endomorph, ectomorph, and mesomorph; we’ll that address shortly), there is actually way more to it than that.  And as you’ll soon learn, just because you’re predisposed to be good at one thing doesn’t mean you are stuck with that role.

With a bit of help from our favorite Role Playing Games, we’re going to dig into body types, character classes, and ways to buck the genetic lottery.

The Difference Between Inspiration and Motivation

I get a lot of questions on where I get my inspiration and motivation to run Nerd Fitness, not to mention my own personal health and well-being.

I also want to talk about the difference between motivation and inspiration, and how I use both to level up my life.

I’m NOT inspired by actors who have personal chefs, personal trainers, nutritionists, and the time to devote 24 hours a day to getting healthy.  Sure, it’s fun to get motivated by them, but I know any comparisons are, at the end of the day, unrealistic.

I AM inspired by normal people like Joe, who dropped 130 pounds in 10 months while working a desk job and traveling two weeks a month.

I’m NOT inspired by the guys in the gym who spend all of their time doing six different bicep curls and four different ab exercises to make sure their perfect muscles are sculpted more perfectly.

I AM inspired by the sixty-five year old guy I saw last week deadlifting 400 POUNDS.  If I can deadlift half of that at his age, I know I’m doing something right.

I’m NOT inspired by the guy who loads up 315 lbs in the Smith Machine and does 10 “power curtsies” (which are squats that aren’t REALLY squats: they just drop down a few inches).

I AM inspired by the older lady, whose kids are in day care, who is squatting 75 pounds, and is squatting the right way: DEEP.

Yeah, it’s fun to be motivated by this, but I find myself more inspired by THIS little dude who’s trying:

Nike: Find Your Greatness Video

Are you Dragonborn? The Dangerous Power of Words.

Words are more powerful than you realize:

In Middle Earth, they allow you to open Dwarven doors.

In Skyrim, they allow the Dragonborn to rain tornadoes down up on foes.

In Hogwarts, they allow you to levitate, transform, and even kill.

Here on Earth, what we read, write, and speak each day impacts our life in ways we’ve never imagine.

Your words are working behind the scenes to improve your day or sink your chances at living a better life.

“Here goes crazy Steve again,” you may be thinking. 

Well, as Professor Dumbledore so eloquently states: ”Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury, and remedying it.”

And that dude is a wizard, so you might want to listen to him.

Today I’m going to show you how something so seemingly trivial can literally change your fate. Let’s look at how the words we use impact our actions, and how you can use this knowledge to kick ass like the Dragonborn.

Lost and Found

So, the past three weeks have been a challenge.

Between getting sick, visiting family in Boston, losing (and then getting back) my laptop, attending a wedding in New York, hosting 6 friends in my one-bedroom apartment, and launching the Nerd Fitness Academy, I’ve been a complete disaster.

However, I’ve been drawing inspiration from an Scottsman on Lost, a fish from Finding Nemo (who does exist), and a hip hop group formed in the late 80′s.

I haven’t gone crazy yet thanks to Desmond, Dori, and De La Soul.

(Yes, I realize the irony that the two previous sentences would most likely confirm that I have, in fact, lost my marbles.)

The Women’s Fitness Academy is Now CLOSED!

[update: class is now closed and will reopen later on this year!]

Class is now in session!

After announcing this idea 18 months ago (sheesh, Kamb…way to be on time), and spending an equal amount of time developing, working, and researching, we’re officially ready to launch the first course of The Nerd Fitness Academy!  Oh yeah, and it took about 8 gallons of green tea :)

Note: This is a course specifically designed for Nerd Fitness Female Rebels!

First off, congratulations to the five Rebels who won scholarships to The Academy!

  • Jesasaurus_Rex
  • Kari Anna Klay
  • Kantoi09
  • Sarah K. (down 40 lbs already!)
  • Aretamarie

Now, we’re only opening ‘enrollment‘ in the academy for women for the next four days.   You’ll be able to sign up until 9 PM EST on Friday evening.  After that, we’ll be shutting down enrollment for at least four weeks and most likely raising the price a bit.

Why is that? 

Because we are trying something BRAND new for this setup (a course rather than a collection of downloadable eBooks), we’re throwing a few new goodies.  The NF team and I will be working with those who join us from the beginning, finding out what works to improve the course and add new content.

I truly want to make the Nerd Fitness Academy a place where women (and men later on this year), can can find the confidence, education, inspiration, and motivation that they need to get healthy and stay healthy.

Like any “academy,” my goal with this course is to allow you to graduate to the real world and be prepared for any and every situation –  at home, at work, on vacation, with kids, pets, or whatever else life throws at you.

However, unlike the normal “academy,” I’m offering a lifetime guarantee on this sucker.  Seriously – if at any point after six weeks you decide that it’s not for you, just email us and I’ll give you your money back.  If this course doesn’t get you started down the path to a better life, then I don’t want your money.  My goal is to make you happy and healthy :)

So, head on over to the Academy page and check it out. I’m excited to hear from first class of ladies in the course and work with them to make this course even better.

I’m also excited to sleep, because it’s been a while since I’ve done that :)


PS: Regardless of whether or not you ever buy ANYTHING from Nerd Fitness, thanks for reading and sticking around! It’s the occasional launch of products (like this one, the first new course in almost a year!) that allows me to keep Nerd Fitness ad-free, the message boards free, pay Team Nerd Fitness, and reinvest as much as possible into making this site the best place on the internet to help people get healthy and have fun.  Cheers!


The Nerd Fitness Academy Will Open TOMORROW (Tuesday)!

Happy NF Academy Day Eve!

Yeah, weird holiday name, right?  I have a bit of bad news, and a lot of great news.

With yesterday being Breaking Bad’s finale, I spent my evening nervously twitching, then crying profusely for hours after.  As a result of this unexpected emotional breakdown, I’ve decided to push back the launch of the Nerd Fitness Academy by one day.

Hmmm, okay so maybe that’s not the real story :)  We’re in the process of doing final tests and fixing bugs in the course – it’s close, but not perfect yet.  Although this is a beta launch, I want everybody to have both a seamless and enjoyable experience.  I hate delaying anything, even if by a day, but I know these 24 hours will be well worth it in the end.  I think you’ll agree with me when you see the final product.

So that’s the bad news.

The great news?  The Nerd Fitness Academy is really pretty slick.  I was testing out a lot of the new organization and functionality this weekend and kept smiling while thinking, “this is the future of Nerd Fitness.” Although I’m bummed we have to wait another 24 hours, I’m confident you’re going to love it and I’m so excited to open the doors tomorrow.

First and foremost, we’ll be announcing our scholarship winners (from Staci’s article last week) in tomorrow’s article!  This is another reason we’re pushing back the launch – we had almost 500 (!) responses to go through, and I want to make sure each response gets the attention it deserves.

Next: The Academy page is complete - if you head on over to The Academy Sales page you can see and learn everything you need to, including pricing, sample videos, screenshots, and more.

Tomorrow’s a big day, and I’m so excited to open this course up to our first class. I hope you are too.

Have a great Monday, and we’ll see you tomorrow in The Nerd Fitness Academy!

-Steve and Team Nerd Fitness


An Update With Staci: OUR Powerlifting Superhero

You know Staci, right?

Yeah, THAT Staci.  The woman who transformed herself a few years back after finding Nerd Fitness.  The one that can deadlift 385 lbs and squat 255 lbs ?

That one :)

After Staci transformed a few years back, she started helping with the Nerd Fitness Community, soon after with Nerd Fitness itself, and is now a full time team member!  I wanted to put together an interview with Staci to find out what’s happened since her transformation and what her routine looks like now!

She’s also going to answer the most popular questions she’s received over the past two years.

How to Look Like “Famous Celebrity” in “Big Action Movie!”

“How to look like James Bond in Casino Royale!”

“The Taylor Lautner Twilight Workout!”

“Exactly how Scarlett Johansson got in shape for the Avengers!”

These articles are fun to read.  They sell magazines.  They turn heads, grab your attention, and give you a plan to follow so that you can look just like your favorite celebrity in your favorite movie.  And it’s easy to see why.  I’d be lying if I said I didn’t wish I looked like Ryan Reynolds in Blade:Trinity.  I’m sure any lady reading this site would love to look like Scarlett Johansson in The Avengers or Jessica Biel in Blade:Trinity.

After years of running this site (and even a few years studying a few of these famous actors and their routines), I’ve finally cracked the code.

I want to share the secret with you – this will allow you to look like any celebrity or actor you choose, provided you’re willing to follow the things below step by step.  Miss just one and you’re going to come up short and disappointed.

Ready? Let’s do it.

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