The 11 Rules of The Nerd Fitness Rebel Army

Welcome to the Rebellion, my friend.

With all this talk of the Nerd Fitness Rebellion, Rebel HQ, Rebel Army, etc., I realized that I hadn’t exactly established what we’re rebelling against or what we stand for as a group.  No more!

Below are the eleven…commandments? rules? regulations? that make up the core of the Nerd Fitness Rebellion. I apologize for the length of this article, but this is going to become a cornerstone of the NF philosophy so I wanted to lay it all out there and get your opinion.

Let’s get started.

#1. We don’t care where you came from, only where you’re going.

400 pounds overweight? Welcome aboard.

50 pounds underweight? Glad to have you.

This army doesn’t care where you came from or how you got here, as we all have different backgrounds, genetics, social statuses, and commitments.  Like creating a random character in a role playing game, we’re all “dealt a hand” that we had absolutely no control over – it’s now up to us to play that hand to the best of our ability.   We ask that you don’t complain about your past, and don’t use it as an crutch.

Don’t make excuses, offer solutions.

Everybody has baggage they’re dealing with (sh** happens, remember?) – luckily this is a kick-ass group of people pushing each other to level up our lives.  We figure out what went wrong, and then we work together to find a way to fix it.

#2. When you join, you’re in for life.

None of this “dieting for three weeks” crap and then going back to the way things were.  We promote permanent changes that can be sustained for the rest of your life; slow and steady will almost always win out over quick and easy.  Small changes on a daily basis can add up to incredible changes over time if you allow the momentum to carry you forward.

The rebellion is where the light is. Don’t fear it – embrace it.  If your friends won’t join you on your mission, then you’ll have to lead by example until they decide to follow.  It’s a heavy burden to bear, but one that will absolutely make your life more fulfilling.  You may be an army of one in real life, but here on this website you have over 1000 brothers and sisters who have your back, and a leader who wants nothing more than for you to succeed.

#3. We train as naturally as possible.

Bench press machines, squat machines, ab machines, inner thigh machines – forget them.

These are tools created by the empire to lull the uninformed public into a false sense of security. Weight machines only work your muscles in a straight line – forward and back, up and down, etc.  Because of this, there is NO opportunity for your muscles to build up stability and balance that you would get from using dumbbells, free weights, and body weight exercises.  You’re pretty much training your muscles for situations that don’t really exist.

Because of this, when you DO need to use these movements in life, your body isn’t prepared and you get injured.  Suck!  Luckily, stuff like this doesn’t happen around here because we train for the real world by training with real world movements.  It’s going to require some research on your part, but don’t be afraid of the free weights – they will keep you injury free, more in balance, and far stronger.  This is true for both men and women (pssst, ladies – here’s why you should lift heavy) Here are some changes you can make:

  • Don’t do squats in the smith machine, take the time to learn to do a real squat with the bar across your shoulders.
  • Don’t use a bench press machine, do some dumbbell chest presses or push ups (even if you have to do them on your knees).
  • Don’t do lat pull downs, do pull ups instead. If you can’t do pull ups, do inverted rows or assisted pull ups.

Here’s my complete stance on weights vs. machines.

#4. We understand that you can’t outrun your fork.

If you don’t change what you eat and how much you eat, there’s no amount of exercise that will get you where you want to be.

What we put into our system is 80% of the battle (sorry G.I. Joe) and will determine how successful we will be on the battlefield of life.  This is why the first thing that must change when joining the NF Rebellion is your diet.

Now, I’m not talking about switching to all salads and water, but I am talking about making small calculated changes to what you eat over a long period of time.  We understand that although the total number of calories we eat certainly impacts our health (eating less will make you lose weight), WHAT we eat is just as important, if not more so:

#5. We understand that fat is NOT the enemy.

Fake foods, sugar, high fructose corn-syrup, and simple carbs are the enemy, and here’s why.  We’re rebelling against the notion that low-fat meals are healthy for you, “healthy choice” meals loaded with chemicals are somehow good for you, and fat is bad for you.  The government has been telling us for years that fat is the enemy, and it clearly isn’t true.

What’s sad is the government and FDA know it, they’re either too stubborn or too scared to admit it.

Here’s my stance on fat, carbs, and food in general: How to Lose Weight Without Doing a Minute of Exercise.

#6. We train with conviction and intelligence.

When exercising, we have a plan for what we’re going to do, and we know how hard we need to push ourselves to be better than the day before.

Then, we do it.

The “do a few bicep curls, walk on a treadmill for three hours, and talk on my cell phone the whole time” doesn’t work for me.  Get in, take care of business, and get out.  If you’re going to the gym, you should leave drenched in sweat, knowing that you gave it your all.  If you’re going for a run today, you’re going to run at least one second faster than you did the day before.

Make sure you don’t suck at working out.

Plan out who you want to be, and work every day to become that person.  I have NO doubt in my mind that if you’re willing to dedicate yourself to the cause, you will accomplish your goals.

Settling is not an option, so don’t even bother trying to justify it.

#7. We exercise because it’s fun.

If the idea of spending two hours on a treadmill sounds like hell to you, don’t do it!  If you don’t like lifting weights (after giving it a FAIR CHANCE), don’t do it!  Find something that makes you happy, gets your heart pumping, and will keep you in shape.  There is something out there for everybody, so keep searching and keep pushing until you find something that drives you to succeed.

Luckily, because our diet is responsible for 80% of our success, this exercise is just the really enjoyable icing on the cake.  Yoga, karate, ultimate Frisbee, cycling, Belegarth, whatever it is – find it, and do it. A lot.

#8. We never leave our wingmen.

We’re all in this together, and we’re here to support each other.

Although we have friendly competitions on the site to see who can get in shape the fastest or lose the most weight over a certain amount of time, it’s all in good fun.  We have over 170 members now on the Nerd Fitness message boards, and everybody is extremely supportive of each other.

If you are training with friends in real life or online, pick them up when they’re down, motivate them when they’re tired, push them when they need encouragement, and yell when they need tough love.  They’ll do the same for you one day, and we’ll all be better off because of it.

Never leave your wingman.

#9. We question everything.

Just because the FDA says it’s good for you doesn’t mean that it’s true.  Just because you heard it on TV or read it in a magazine doesn’t mean it’s true.  Hell, just because it’s on Nerd Fitness doesn’t mean it’s true either!

I promise to continue researching every article and testing things on myself before I present my findings, but I’m just one man doing what I can with my limited time, experience, and resources.  I’m no expert, I certainly make mistakes, and I’m sure new studies will come out in the future that will make me rethink my stance on certain things.  However, I’m going to do my best to give you both sides of the story and then tell you my thoughts before opening the floor for discussion.

This is probably my favorite “both sides of the coin” article I’ve ever written: Is Barefoot Running Better For You?.

Nerd Fitness and the Rebellion exist to open our minds to a whole new world (You’re damn right I linked to Aladdin) of possibilities.  It’s then up to us to take what we’ve learned, question it, and find a way to apply it to our lives.

#10. We take care of business

Anybody who says they don’t have time for exercise is either lying or lazy. However, I don’t encourage people to shirk their other more important duties to make time.  You just need to get creative.

If you’re a gamer, keep gaming (unless your addiction has become truly unhealthy).  If you’re a family man, you better put your kid’s soccer game before a trip to the gym.  We all have things that we love in life, that are important to us, that make us who we are.  As long as these things aren’t detrimental to our health, then I encourage you to keep doing them.

Your exercise and diet can become part of what you are, but not at the expense of who you are.

#11. We take pride in ourselves.

Too many people blame their unfortunate situation on the government, the weather, their genetics, global warming, the economy, their parents, etc.  Not us.  We don’t expect anything to be handed to us on a silver platter; we are not owed anything by anybody.  We know that we can get in great shape without a gym membership, using just our body weight as resistance.  We want to be better people, we want to be stronger and healthier people, and we know it’s going to take a lot of hard work and determination to get there.

We welcome the challenge.

I want to be the best damn Steve Kamb that I can be, and part of that means I need to be in the best shape of my life and help others to do the same.  I’m building an army of incredibly intelligent, efficient, informed, and fit nerds.  Don’t worry Mom, when we take over we’ll be using our powers for good, inspiring others to transform their own lives.

Ultimately, we just want to make Optimus Prime proud.


These are the eleven most important rebel rules that I can think of.  I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments on which ones you agree with, disagree with, and what I left out.

After that, I only have one question left:

Are you in?



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  • The 15 mistakes you don’t want to make.
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  • These are the tools you need to start your quest.
  • Nice guide, do you have a forum?

  • Nice guide, do you have a forum?

  • Yes sir!

    Go ahead and click on Message Boards at the top of the screen and you’ll find us 🙂

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  • Kate Mclemore

    Dude, this is badass. I’m so in!

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  • Zander

    I only came on this site to have a quick look and it is seriously motivating me to do more. This is great guys.

  • Zander

    I only came on this site to have a quick look and it is seriously motivating me to do more. This is great guys.

  • Fitness Padawan

    THis makes me think of the famous line by an old Jedi Master…”Try not. Do or do not. There is no try.” I have been inspired by this site and I hope to be a leaner, fitter me come next year when I try for the Warrior Dash here in PA. 

  • Wolf

    Dude, you really inspire me, i’m going to give the gim another chance and if i don’t like it, i will manage to do really good workout in my home, thanks for everything.

  • Ann

    i love this page…. it combines everything i have ever loved, and im glad people are joining for a great cause! and i thing its really trustworthy, but you gotta check anyway! but i love it! honest! im very glad i found it!

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  • Arkbuilder78

    This is a really cool group/idea you put out..I think me and one of my friends are going to “join your ranks”

  • Winkblu

    I just found your site. I’ve been a fan of MDA for a while, and while I “know” how to be paleo/primal, I’ve been slipping up WAY too much.  So….COUNT ME IN !!  Let’s do this!

  • Sicarius Umbra

    You have no idea what we do you are a disgrace to the brotherhoods everywhere

  • T.A.N.O.

    I wanna join

  • knopfler

    I have a friend of mine who’s an fitness enthusiast blogger who linked to you, so here I am. You both have the gift of writing well and keeping interest! You lost me, though, at “We exercise because it’s fun.” I’m 36, and have never had that statement be true, not even for 6 seconds. It’s never fun. Ever. Ever ever. Not even when I was 5 years old. How do I buy in to the rest of your stuff when one of your major assumptions flies so totally in the face of every minute of my own life experience? Perhaps worth a blog post.

  • This looks like a kick-ass cause. Where do I enlist?

  • Ivan

    I’m in!

  • I’d love to be part of this innovative Elite. Im purely inspired, not because it sounds good oris new. But i want to take a step forward and if not a step a jump.
    Nothing is im-possible, a human body and mind can go beyond measures!
    I want in and am in!!

  • Paul H.

    two words……… I’M IN!!

  • I’m IN!! (For those who think exercise SUCKS! I was with you, but I found my Power Up. I use music and turn it up LOUD! There IS a work-out Power Up to make it fun, you just have to find yours!)

  • Cindy

    Lets go! I’m in.

  • theredwriter

    Absolutely in. See you at the finish line.

  • Wm

    Steve I would like to, I’m working on left side weakness from a stroke and balance issues are almost all done. Any suggestions?

  • dontneedone

    Typical comunism right here bro join the barbrotherhood and ull be unstopable

  • Danielle Macias

    Just signed up to be a Rebel.

    I found out recently that I have a high allergy to corn and soy (4+). I did not have this allergy when I was younger. The Doctor told me….as a women age our body and food tolerance change 🙁

    I am excited and look forward to my new life style. Any additional guidance and help is appreciated.

  • jillicusmaximus

    I’m in! So tired of feeling like crap!

  • Im In

  • I’m in

  • Deanna1687

    I am so in! I absolutely love how IU talk about not using machines to work out. I’m all about what is natural!! I’m telling my husband and all our friends about your website and the rebellion!! You’re great.

  • Kgoldman1231

    Well, you got me pumped, so you’re either a very good salesman or a friggin genius. Either way, I’m sure I will benefit because it doesn’t look like Ill suffer if I follow your advice!
    Thanks for speaking out, ill do the same.

  • Miguel

    How old do you have too be

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  • VinceTheOtaku

    A little late, but I’m in 🙂
    Each and every one of these principles are almost identical to mine!

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  • joel hutchison

    already in decent shape, but I’m going to get better, see you when we overthrow the government… I mean, uhhhhh, come together to make the world a better place

  • Inugami

    ooooh…nice. Interesting places one find when flitting through a comment section, picking out a person and voila…

  • Haley

    What self-respecting nerd wouldn’t be in?

  • Fractal

    I’ve been lurking the forums the past couple days, and this community looks like it could be good support for me to achieve my goals. While I do have some concrete goals, my main goal is to build consistent habits so that I can progress faster. I know from experience that habits help me more than anything else. Once I’m happy with where I am, maybe my only goal will be that consistency: to keep doing what I’ve been doing so I can maintain what I’ve gained. I don’t think I’ll be posting regularly “for life,” but I like the idea of the community always being there so we can encourage one another. I figure that jumping in and trying it is the only way I’ll know if the rebellion is a good fit for me. Can I be in? 🙂

  • LordOfDaZombiez

    I’m so in! This group is my kind of people. Lets do this!

  • Omunique

    How do i join?