The Improved Nerd Fitness Academy: Literally Level Up Your Life


Do you hear that? That’s the sound of Nerd Fitness leveling up.

And the sound of YOU leveling up.

When I started Nerd Fitness 5.5 years ago, I created the tagline “Level up your life, every single day.”

I wanted to encourage people to look at life like a game, and look at themselves as the main character. I wanted to gamify how we changed and grew in our lives.

About four years ago, I created “professions” based on different methods of exercise and video game archetypes:

  • Warrior – power lifting
  • Ranger – cross training
  • Scout – endurance training
  • Assassin – bodyweight and gymnastics
  • Druid – yoga and tai chi
  • Monk – martial arts

At the time, I had this vision for a massively mutliplayer online fitness “game” in which Nerd Fitness Rebels could select their classes and start leveling up by completing health and fitness quests. The game was called “Rising Heroes,” and we even spent over a year and significant resources trying to bring it to life.

Ultimately, the timing wasn’t right, and I had to put the project on hold.  This broke my heart, as I knew the NF community was as excited for it as I was!  However, I knew there would be a way to eventually make this massive dream a reality.

Nerd Fitness started as just a blog, then it became a community, and now it’s evolving even further to literally turn life into a game.  Although we have been around for five years, I feel like this is a new beginning.

The start of a new phase in our Rebellion’s history.

Rising Heroes isn’t a reality quite yet, but today we get to take a giant step closer to building the perfect platform for this “life is a game” vision.

After years of idea mapping, planning, and building the right the right team around us to make it happen, we’ve overhauled the Nerd Fitness Academy, our online fitness course and community that’s been helping over 5,500 people get fit just this year.

After months of behind the scene work, we can finally announce all of the epic and awesome changes that have come to the Academy.  

Including, yes… the ability to track quests, earn experience, and literally level up your character on your way to a healthier life!

Personal Video Tour With Steve

Nerd Fitness Academy Walkthrough Video

Video overview:

  • 0:15 – Steve’s original idea (5 years ago).
  • 1:30 – What the Academy teaches (and can help you with).
  • 2:57 – Teleport inside the Academy itself for a walkthrough!
  • 5:00 – How leveling and gaining experience actually works.
  • 5:40 – Quest types and examples of actual quests.
  • 7:10 – Marking quests complete and leveling up (DING!).
  • 8:45 – Available classes and plans for expansion.
  • 9:27 – Walkthrough of the rest of the Academy modules and workouts.

Here’s some more information on what we’ve changed in this new update…

A Leveling and Quest System

quest page

The Nerd Fitness tagline has always been, “Level Up Your Life.”

I wanted to encourage people to look at life like a video game, and themselves as a character in that game – leveling up as quests are completed, missions are won, and skills are learned.  Unfortunately, back then it was just an idea.

Now, when you sign up for the Nerd Fitness Academy, you’ll be prompted to choose which Class you’d like to be, based on classic Role-Playing Archetypes.

If you’ve been around Nerd Fitness or been on our boards, these will be obvious:

  • Warrior – power lifting/strength training
  • Scout – endurance, biking, running
  • Ranger – cross training
  • Assassin – gymnastics, bodyweight training, parkour

Once you’ve selected your class, you’ll have the opportunity to start crossing off and completing missions, quests, and achievements…and yes, leveling up 🙂

We have over 150 quests/missions in the Academy already, and we’re going to be adding more along the way.

And don’t worry, we’ll be adding Druid and Monk in no time!

It’s taken me years longer than I would have liked to bring this to Nerd Fitness, but we’ve finally done it.  I’m excited to work with the Rebels in the Academy over the next few months to make sure, like any RPG, that our quests and achievements are balanced.

Eventually, our goal is to bring this feature to EVERYBODY on Nerd Fitness, regardless of whether or not you purchase anything from NF.  Because development is going to take a long time on making sure we implement this right, I’m excited to share this feature with Nerd Fitness Academy members and work with them to continually improve the experience.

The Nerd Fitness Diet

We know the Paleo Diet can be too restrictive, and we know counting calories can lead to neurotic behavior and confusion.

So we’ve created our own system that is designed to help our community tackle this concept of eating better, which is 80-90% of the battle.

The Nerd Fitness Diet, isn’t really a diet, per se, but rather a tiered system of levels based on your current diet and where you want your nutrition to be.

To start, you’ll select the level of diet that most closely resembles your current diet. Then you’ll complete a two week challenge to graduate to the next level.  Each level has been designed with the NF Philosophy in mind: small, deliberate changes that focus on long-term, sustained results.

We’re excited to help you level up your nutrition, and will be continuing to improve this experience!

A Simplified System

quest page

Getting fit, losing weight, and strength training is confusing work.

One of the biggest issues people have on their journey is getting overwhelmed and not knowing where to start.

We hear ya.  So we’ve simplified the hell out of the Academy, and structured it in a way so that ANYBODY, whether you’re 18 or 80, will know exactly what to do to get started:

  • Which missions and quests are critical
  • Which side quests can be completed at a later date
  • Specifically which workout plan to follow, and for how long

Along with ALL of that, you’ll get every tool and feature you need for the confidence to get started, a few dozen workout plans applicable for ANY situation (gym, home, park, outer space, etc.), dozens of recipes to help you get started with cooking, and a special supportive community of Academy students who are going through the Academy alongside you.

We’ve taken all of the great stuff that’s helping 5,500+ people get healthy, and we’ve made it even easier to get started. We want to remove any barrier between you and your leveled-up self, whether those barriers are mental, physical, or emotional.

Rebels of All Shapes and Sizes Getting Results

I wanted to share with you some testimonials and success stories from people already inside the Academy.

It’s easy to hear me say “Here’s why this is important,” but I want you to hear from actual students too.  Here are REAL people with jobs, children, and busy lives and are still having success:


testimonial 5




Join us this week for special bonus

bonus video graphic

We’re just getting started.  

You know how Marvel used Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America to set up The Avengers?

Think of the NF Academy as the first piece in a master plan over the next few years to truly bring the Nerd Fitness philosophy to life! 

The NF Academy will continue to improve, character pages and leveling will be introduced to all parts of Nerd Fitness (both paid and free), and I have no doubt this community will be prepped and ready for world domination.

Now, I like people who take action, and I know one of the best ways to succeed is to invest in yourself.  On top of that, I want to get your thoughts and results on the new and improved Academy. 

So I’m gonna sweeten the pot: for the next four days (until Friday August 1st at 11:59PM PST), we’re offering a special bonus to people that join the Academy (don’t worry, current Academy owners – you’ll get this too).

If you join the NF Academy before Friday at midnight (or if you’re already in the Academy), I’ll be hosting a LIVE webinar and exclusive Q&A on Thursday Evening, August 21st.  

We’ll be focusing the half-party, half-training webinar on the best way to APPLY every part of the Academy to your own life. We’re going to make sure this sticks for you – and for you to see results even in the first few weeks.

And I’ll be hanging around for as long as necessary to answer any and all questions you have about your first three weeks in the Academy. (We’re recording it all for you, too).

If you’re one of those people that says “oh I’ll join eventually” or “meh, maybe some day” consider this the fire lit under your ass to FINALLY TAKE ACTION.

I’m so proud of what the NF Team has been able to put together.

Thanks again for being part of Nerd Fitness, and make sure you’ve got sunglasses: the future is bright and we’re just getting started.



PS: I hope you join us in the Academy – this course comes with a LIFETIME money back guarantee, because I want you to feel confident that this is the best way you can help yourself level up your life (literally!).

See you on the inside!

PPS: Keep an eye out for our article on Thursday – We’re sharing the biggest success story in Nerd Fitness History! Anthony who dropped 210 pounds over the past 12 months following the Nerd Fitness philosophy – his story brought me to tears.  I can’t wait to share it with you.


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  • The 15 mistakes you don’t want to make.
  • The most effective diet and why it works.
  • Complete your first workout today, no gym required.
  • These are the tools you need to start your quest.
  • hey Rita!

    if you watch the video on this page, about 3 minutes in I walk you through the Academy quests so you can see plenty of examples!

  • Hey Murilo! Email us at and let us know if you’re still having issues and we can figure out an alternate solution with Paypal or something!


  • hey Jean!

    Right now you pick one MAIN class (and you earn an XP bonus for the quests in that line), but we encourage you to complete quests across all classes.

    Our goal is to eventually be able to allow you to pick a subclass that then also earns you a bonus, so you can be a Ranger-Assassin….i mean Street Ninja 🙂

  • hey Jason!

    The education portion is focused on helping beginners, but its definitely applicable to people of all skill levels. I’ll tell you that I’m currently a Level 13 Assassin and Staci is a Level 14 Warrior, and there are plenty of quests I am unable to complete yet! Our goal is to continue expanding that quest line, and as mentioned above, eventually bring this to the ENTIRE NF community (regardless of whether or not you purchase a spot in the Academy), it just might take a bit. Yay development! hahaha

  • Nathan Irving Lannan

    Clarify these things for me, and promise I will sign up in a heart beat:

    I’m a vegeterian, and am kind of put off by entirely meat-centric thought, or an option for veggie folks being completely nonexistent. Would I get any benefit from the nutirition area, or are there plans to someday cater to the nutritional needs of us veggie folks?

    I do Strong Lifts 5×5 and Olympic distance Aquabikes (a type of triathlon without the run leg). I identify as a ranger, but it seems like the NFA version of the ranger class is more cross fit oriented which is really not the training I do. The strength training and endurance are two very separate workouts. Where would I fit in? Would NFA try to convince me to workout in a different way than I’m currently enjoying?

    Honestly, I heart you guys so hard I might just sign up anyway, but it would be totally awesome if some folks at NF got back to me on these. =]

  • Tinessael

    Just the push I needed at the right time! Thank you!

  • JeanG

    Thanks a lot Steve!

  • Jack Bower

    If you have not already…….PLEASE PLAN TO CREATE PARTY QUESTS!!!!! How sweet would it be wrangle some people from all over the world (or your home town) and achieve larger quests for some bonus xp?
    Something like the Goron Eye Drops quest in Ocarina of Time (, but in the structure of a relay race. Or a “Seek your Yoda” quest where a group of players has to find a Monk (or other class) and master a specific skill of combat or fitness.

    Then you’ll be playing with Power. Super power.

  • staciardison

    Hey Nathan!

    We’re working to create some vegetarian meal plan options, but honestly – the Academy is more about learning how to do these things on your own and how to create habits that stick, so it’s completely modifyable for your own personal goals.

    Our classes aren’t catered towards crossfit at all – and you do whatever kind of training you want 🙂 We have NFA workouts but you can continue to train as you are. There are different quests (which we will be adding a ton more of as we go). We will also be adding more classes, and subclasses eventually.

    The Academy is more of a lifestyle course right now with quests built in. We want you to learn as you go, and learn how to make everything work for your personal situation 🙂

  • Chelkie

    I agree with the vote for stat points. One of the things everyone
    loves about RPGs is being able to customize your character and make it a little bit different from everyone else. Quests/Leveling/XP are definitely the way to start, but for it to be more like the forum game that we all know and love, it’s an important addition!

    A few other ideas I was hoping for from Rising Heroes:

    Along with the basic quests as well it would be nice if you
    could have multi entry/tiered quests where you could do a small bit every day and track it towards a larger more long term quest. Example, Run 100 miles where you could enter how many miles you ran every workout session and it would have a tracking bar you could fill up to 100.

    Stat points are great, but I love the idea from Zombies, Run!
    Where every workout you do earns a certain amount of supplies (could be gold/points/ect) that you can spend on things. Things to help improve your account/character.

    Pvp/Group Quests. Someone mentioned on here earlier how much
    they would love to have group quests and I agree. A lot of the reason the forum game works is that you have the support and motivation to do better because other people are pushing you. Being able to group up with people to do a quest or group up together to go head to head with another group would be a great addition.

    I feel like every fitness site out there has a small piece
    of the puzzle and i’m just hoping someday someone will put all of them together so I only need one program/game/app that I can use to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

    Overall I love NF though and I will probably hop on the Academy
    bandwagon to show my support and be in at the ground floor, but i’ve got my fingers crossed for bigger better things!

  • Murilo

    Just sent. Thanks

  • Nathan Irving Lannan

    Thanks Staci! I feel assured enough to take the leap.

    I’ll see you and everyone else in The Academy!

  • Red Foot

    This is awesome! Looking forward to joining up as soon as I get some money!

  • Christophe Olinger

    Wow. You are fulfilling my “make RPGs real!” dream right now. I am definitely going to pony up the 99$ if you answer me one question:
    – I do bodyweight training (YAYOG) 4 times a week and go running (10K highest ambition) 3 times a week. Would I choose assassin as main class and ranger as second? Or does the ranger class have bodyweight training stuff too?
    P.S. I remember sitting for hours before the screen when starting a new game in order to select the RIGHT character class/race/attributes/…. I just loved that part of the RPG games.

  • Very cool concept. I like how you developed the idea into reality and how it literally captures the title “Nerd Fitness”. Might sign up in the future. Keep it up!

  • Rita

    Sorry – I just don’t have video-watching capabilities at the moment, so I can’t see your video example. I was hoping for a little written description. Thanks Steve!! Love your site!!!!

  • Name

    You can still do quests in each class regardless of which you choose

  • Murilo

    Hey Steve/Satci!

    I paid via paypal! sent you an email with the receipt.

    Please, set me up!


  • daniellejones

    This is incredible! How long until Druid is on board? I’ll be signing up then for sure 🙂

  • Jim Dreste

    It disappoints me that you lay out this cute little spiel about your system and neglect to say until the very end that you’re charging $100 for it when you don’t even have it complete. I feel duped. Your website and blog have great articles and information, but this whole site just became a money-grab in my eyes.

    No, thanks.

  • Nerd_Ninja

    Do you have to re-enroll in NF Academy? I paid for it last year, do I have to pay again?

  • Nerd_Ninja

    Also, I am so excited to hear about all the amazing changes and updates made to the academy. I was literally on the edge of my seat while watching the Youtube video, lol. Great job, Steve and the NF Team!

  • Jason Williams

    Thanks Steve – really appreciate your time and response! Just signed up over the weekend. Looking forward to leveling up and watching this grow.

  • Am

    This is awesome!! The best idea ever! I am looking forward to signing up 🙂