Why You Should Join the Next Nerd Fitness Challenge


About three years ago, I had an idea.

I was a few weeks away from going on a vacation, and wanted to set some fitness related goals and keep myself accountable. We had just launched the Nerd Fitness message boards, and I thought to myself, “what better way to keep myself accountable than use this epic group of Nerds that are all over the globe!”

And thus, The Nerd Fitness Challenge was born.

Since, then, we’ve gone from a simple challenge of a dozen or so people, to an epic 6-Week Challenge that last hosted over 750 participants!

We’ve now had more than two dozen 6-week challenges here on Nerd Fitness, helped hundreds and hundreds of people build new habits, get started on the path to a healthier life, lose weight, and build some serious momentum.

On Monday, we’ll be starting up another 6-Week Challenge on the Nerd Fitness Message Boards, I thought this would be a great opportunity to explain what the heck it is and how it works so you can join us.

And it’s free! Free stuff is great.

The Six-Week Challenge


Every six weeks (with a week off in between), we launch a new six week challenge on Nerd Fitness.

Through these challenges, you’re encouraged to pick some a few goals that you hope to accomplish over those six weeks.

Most normal people try to pick about a million goals (which we all know is a recipe for disaster), which is why most normal people never actually get anywhere with their progress.

Fortunately, for you, you’re not normal.

You’re a Nerd Fitness Rebel, damnit!

You understand that willpower is a finite resource, that building a small habit and making it permanent is 10 times more important than massive sweeping drastic changes that only last a few weeks.

Which is why you’re only going to pick a few goals (at MOST: 3 diet and fitness goals, and 1 “level up your life” goal), and you’re going to make your goals SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely

Here are some GOOD goals:

  • Run a 5k without stopping
  • Back Squat 150lbs five times (in one set!)
  • Go to the gym four days each week.
  • By the end of 6 weeks, cut out soda completely.
  • Pay $1000 towards my student loans.

Here are some BAD goals:

  • Work out 17 hours per day (not smart)
  • Lose weight (not measurable)
  • Run a 5k in 12 minutes (not attainable)
  • Squat 1,000lbs 5 times (not realistic)
  • Pay off ALL $30,000 of my student loan debt (not timely unless you win the lottery)

Here, less is more. The more goals you pick, the less willpower you’ll have to dedicate to each of them, and the more likely you’ll be to abandon all of them.

Join a group, declare your goals, dominate

Lego Party

Now, once you’ve determined your goals, it’s time to join a group.

One of the BEST ways to succeed is to have a support group around you: people to encourage you when you’re down, celebrate your victories with you, and keep you accountable when you feel like slacking.

Don’t just leave it up to yourself to succeed when you have about 15,000 people willing to help out. 

As to which group you join, read this post, “What Is Your Profession?,” and decide which profession resonates most with you.  After that it’s as simple as signing up on the appropriate page, declaring your goals, and getting started!

Staci, NF’s master of deadlifts and community leader has put together a page that explains EVERYTHING in great detail, so simply read up there and join us 🙂

Join me!

Steve Lizard

Sometimes I have staring contests with giant iguanas. Sometimes, I join 6-week challenges.

This is one of those challenges.  

These are my goals:

Put on 10 lbs of mostly healthy weight: As of this morning, I weigh 174 pounds. I’m hopeful that at the end of my 6 week challenge, I’m 10 pounds heavier, which I’ll be doing by following the eating advice laid out in the Rebel Strength Guide (mixing in some intermittent fasting) and a custom routine that mixes gymnastics and strength training. I know not all of this weight will be muscle, but I’m confident a majority of it will be.

Increase my handstand balance time by 50%: I’ve been working on freestanding handstand balancing for a while now, and I’d like to increase my balance time by 50%.  I’ll record a video of my best attempt on Monday, and then will be working on developing this skill over the next six weeks.

Meditate 5 days a week, for 1 minute. Increasing by 1 minute each week.  This habit has been brutally difficult for me to build, so I’m going to keep it freaking simple.  First week, mediate for 1 minute each day. Second week, 2 minutes. Third week, 3 minutes. And so on.

Seems simple, right? Eat more and pick up heavy things, do more handstands, think more.


Join me in the community, and join me in this challenge.  It’s free, and you have the support of every Rebel around the world.

If you have any questions on anything, we have set up a F.A.Q. page where you can ask anything you want!

The challenge officially starts on Monday, but you can sign up and get set up today!

For the Rebellion!


PS: Speaking of Monday…keep an eye out for another announcement and make sure you visit the site!


photo sources: Batman Lego, Big Six, Lego Party

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    39 thoughts on “Why You Should Join the Next Nerd Fitness Challenge

    1. YES! Gotta come up with some simple goals, stat! I’m thinking, read 3 non-fiction books (got them yesterday), obtain 1200 Mandarin words/characters (I’m at 240) to start. GO REBELS!

    2. Whoo hoo! The last challenge was AWESOME for me, so I’m already psyched for this one!

    3. Did 2 Challenges last Summer and then slacked off and made all kinds of excuses and gained back 10 pounds over fall/winter. This new Challenge will be a great way to get back into building healthy habits!

    4. This is going to be my first challenge and I feel completely hyped and charged to kick some ass, though I’m still mulling over my goals. Not ready to commit to something without spending time until the last possible moment.

    5. You rock, Steve!!! Following your SMART and simple approach, just completed my first challenge here at NF as an apprentice warrior. Made major strength and stamina improvements, met my simple goals, and lost 24 pounds at the same time! I attribute it to the simple SMART goals and the accountability of the boards. I DID NOT want to log on and report failure, which motivated me to grind forward at several low points and win through! I encourage fellow lurkers (as I was) to plunge in with me. It’s good!

    6. This is going to be my first nerdfitness 6 week challenge and I am so excited. The goals I’m leaning toward are more on the strength side of things as it will be at least 3 months before I can start running again. Anyway I’m considering several goals in my head right now, including adding weight to my bench press, fix my form in body weight squats (maybe by the end of six weeks I will be able to squat without any weight shit to my right side?), and making a grocery list and ONLY getting whats on the list for 6 weeks.

    7. Steve I love your goals! (especially the meditation one–I struggle with that too). Keeping it simple keeps them in the front of your mind and makes them more attainable. Good luck and keep us posted on your progress!

    8. I actually considered NOT doing the challenge this 6 weeks, but after some thought, it would damn near be blasphemous for the one and only NF Tatted Wicked Pixie to NOT have a challenge. Let’s kick this thing in the balls shall we!

    9. My very first 6-week challenge 🙂

      Goal 1: cut out all or nearl all grains from my diet.

      Goal 2: be able to do an actual real push-up.

      Goal 3: get at least a 90 on my math and science regents’ (regents’s?).

    10. This sounds great! Never tried one of these challenges before, but it sounds like a fun idea and best of all it’s made me stop and think about the goals I want to achieve in the next six weeks. Signing up now!

    11. First time!!
      Goal 1: Limit my Diet Coke addiction to 2 or less per day.
      Goal 2: Run continuously for 5 mins ( ex smoker-gotta get the lungs conditioned.) Currently at 2 min intervals before I’m gasping.
      Goal 3: Build up to a 1 min plank
      Goal 4: 3 mins of deep breathing exercises per day.

    12. In words an idiot can understand, could someone please tell me what to do for the challenge? Think I am signed up. What now please?

    13. Hi Steve!

      Love your stuff! One thing about SMART goals, Attainable and Realistic–what’s the difference there?

      In my project management work, I’ve always known the “R” as “Relevant.” Attainable answers the question “Is it really possible to achieve?” Relevant answers the question “Is this related to my overall values and goals?”

      For example, the goal “I will be able to balance a bowling ball on my head for 30 seconds within 6 weeks” definitely meets the S, M, A, and T criteria, but is probably not Relevant for most people! Unless they are in the circus 🙂

      Maybe just a matter of semantics, but to me Attainable and Realistic are too close in meaning–just a bit confusing.

      May the Force be with You,

    14. I had a to laugh a little bit when you referred to meditation as “…think a little more.” That might be part of your struggle…

      If metrics are your thing (which I’m fairly confident they are), check out Insight Timer for iOS and Android. It comes in a paid and free version. Both are essentially the same, the paid is an option for those who want to give something back. Great tool for tracking your meditation progress and also dialing into a community of meditators from different disciplines all over the world. How could that be anything BUT awesome?


      I like this app and found it through the Insight Meditation community:


      They have some wonderful, free, non-religious programs to introduce oneself to Meditation and a great community to help support ones progress and answer questions.

      I started a Nerd Fitness Group in the Insight Timer app. From within the app you’ll be able to dial-in to other Nerd Fitness group members, easily become meditating friends and be notified when a NF friend is meditating.

      I can’t really think of a nerdier way of meditating.

    15. Pick a group and make a post in the challenge thread for that group. In your post, list your goals for the challenge (3 health-related goals and 1 “other” goal). You can also go into more details, but that’s where it starts. Then come back every few days and update your progress.

      Does that help?

    16. This will be a third try at a challenge for me – I admit I’ve not completed the first two, but I have at least carried through one goal from each.

      I’ve learned that the problem is the last two challenges have corresponded with major assessment deadlines for my MA – so, this third one is after my last deadlines, and I’m looking forward to tackling it without insane study pressure!

      I tend to start a challenge as a way of keeping some structure during the last bit of assessment; I tend to maintain the structure but fail on the specific/new goals. Though it’s a good way to remind myself to keep going for walks/swims, and not just living on cereal for a month…

    17. Check out Insight Timer and look for the NF group I started there.

      I plan on making some daily meditative practice part of my next challenge. The last time I did a challenge it was specifically to do a sitting meditation every day. I also practice Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan, so that is a movement based meditative practice for me. Finally, running is really meditative for me. If I were to sit, practice Tai Chi or run once a a day, I’d be pleased and call that a daily practice.

      I think that’s a good way for me to stay reasonable about the whole thing, especially when the demands of work start to kick back up.

    18. Pingback: Still Dark @ Heart
    19. I currently meditate 20 minutes per day, 10 in the morning, 10 at night. I highly recommend it to everybody. Heres a link that got me started:


      One of the reasons why I do it:


      Also this link might help with the 6 week challenge, lets go:


    20. The challenge sounds a bit hard for me, but I might try some of theme since I find them very interesting at the same time.

    21. Awesome blog! I’m for sure a nerdy fitness freak fits me perfect. This is my fist time to visit the site I’ll definitely be bookmarking it. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely brilliant. Also it’s cool that you throw meditation in your program many people neglect the spirit when it all one. Body, mind, and spirit baby!! Let me get started on my 6 week challenge.

    22. You ought to appreciate the effort and dedication behind such delicate research. It is sad that posts like these are not widespread among general public!

    23. Comment on this Because this has helped us to reduce the weight of ten kilograms gclub . Inspires great.

    24. I love the whole concept of fitness challenges, something about the word challenge that makes things sound so much more appealing than the word workout. I’m going to incorporate some of these into my yearly routines and really focus on setting better goals.
      I came across the following site yesterday that let’s you track your challenge goals against other people, and I think the proceeds go to charity.

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