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The Lifehack Editors’ Fitness Challenge: Week 1

The Lifehack Editors’ Fitness Challenge: Week 1


    Well, we’ve finshed up the first week of the Lifehack Editors’ Fitness Challenge and there is one thing that both CM and I have in common as of right now: We are both very sore people.

    Let’s get into our own experiences with this challenge so far, shall we?

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    Mike’s Take

    I’m certainly glad we took on the Rookie level of the NerdFitness Rebel Fitness Guide because for me that was a challenge from the get-go. I haven’t done any real exercise in many months (almost a year) and the 2 routines that are part of the guide are tough. One of the things I’ve been concerned about is proper form, as I don’t want to injure myself and/or not get the true benefits of each exercise.

    I’m using resistance bands for my workouts, as I’ll be traveling several times during the course of this challenge. So I’ve had to watch videos on how to adapt certain exercises to be performed with resitstance bands rather than free weights. As a result, my workouts are taking longer to do than I’d initially thought – but once I’m in the groove I am pushing through. And that’s a good thing.

    The running hasn’t been as challenging, as I’ve only been away from that for a few months. Still, the first half of each Run 5K app routine seems way longer than it should. Luckily i’ve got my own custom iTunes playlist to keep me company, along with a solid set of earbuds that manage to stay in my ears throughout (Note: If you’re in the market for some new earbuds, Lifehack Deals is currently offering BodyGuardz Moxy Earbuds for 50% off). Next week the stakes get a little higher as the time spent running during the routine will increase. I expect that’s when I’ll start to really feel the burn.

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    Speaking of feeling, did I mention that I’m very sore?

    I’ve not altered my diet too much, but am definitely noticing that I really can’t eat as much pasta as I have. Same goes with breads in general. Maybe it’s time I start to look at going Paleo…

    As for my weight, it has actually gone up by 1.2 lbs since I started. Go figure.

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    So, where am I at after the first week? My starting weight and measurements are in parentheses below, preceded by my current ones in this shortened week of the Lifehack Editors’ Fitness Challenge

    Tale of the Tape: Mike Vardy

    • Weight: 178.6 lbs (177.4)
    • Waist: 36 inches (35.75)
    • Hips: 41.75 inches (41.75)
    • Biceps (flexed): 12.5 inches (12.5)
    • Legs (mid-thigh): 18.5 inches (21)
    • Total inches: 108.75 inches (111)

    CM’s Take

    I have to admit; I sorted of cheated a little on this fitness challenge as I started “working out the kinks” for the past couple of weeks. Because of that a lot of my soreness was worked out initially. To compesate for that I ended up doing higher amounts of reps this week in the Rookie level of NerdFitness. That made it challenging and kept me pretty sore. I realized after today’s NerdFitness workout that I need to add some weight to my squats and step ups at the beginning of next week. I will also add 5 pounds to all of my shoulder presses and rows.

    As for the running portion of our challenge, I feel like it’s the perfect balance of walking and running. The first half or so of the workout is pretty easy, but once I get above 20 minutes, I really start to feel the burn in my legs and the workout becomes hard.

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    My diet has been somewhat paleo for almost a year now. I haven’t touched any bread since Fall 2011. The biggest change in my diet this week was to cut out processed sugars completely as well as make sure to drink around 8 to 10 cups of water a day. I haven’t necessarily had too much trouble with process sugars since I’ve gone paleo, but I made sure to cut them all out, at least initially to really cut the fat.

    I have to say I am pretty happy with my first 5 days of results; I’ve lost weight and lost inches where it counts and am highly motivated to continue with the challenge. Also, as an indirect result of working out, I’ve found that my energy levels during the day are much more balanced.

    Tale of the Tape: CM Smith

    • Weight: 203.4 lbs (208)
    • Waist: 42 inches (43.5)
    • Hips: 43 inches (43)
    • Biceps (flexed): 14.25 inches (14)
    • Legs (mid-thigh): 23.5 inches (23.25)
    • Total inches: 122. inches (124)

    (Photo credit: Flexing via Shutterstock)

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    Mike Vardy

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    Last Updated on January 21, 2020

    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

    Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

    your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

      Why You Need a Vision

      Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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      How to Create Your Life Vision

      Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

      What Do You Want?

      The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

      It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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      Some tips to guide you:

      • Remember to ask why you want certain things
      • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
      • Give yourself permission to dream.
      • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
      • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

      Some questions to start your exploration:

      • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
      • What would you like to have more of in your life?
      • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
      • What are your secret passions and dreams?
      • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
      • What do you want your relationships to be like?
      • What qualities would you like to develop?
      • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
      • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
      • What would you most like to accomplish?
      • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

      It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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      What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

      Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

      A few prompts to get you started:

      • What will you have accomplished already?
      • How will you feel about yourself?
      • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
      • What does your ideal day look like?
      • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
      • What would you be doing?
      • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
      • How are you dressed?
      • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
      • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
      • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

      It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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      Plan Backwards

      It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

      • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
      • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
      • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
      • What important actions would you have had to take?
      • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
      • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
      • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
      • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
      • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

      Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

      It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

      Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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