#InfinityGauntletFitness – Intro

It’s that time again! The fog of the holidays has finally lifted (the older I get the longer it lingers.) The weather has been turning warmer and warmer down here in Florida and it’s time to gear up for a brand new fitness series!!

Themed fitness series have been the best thing for me in regards to getting on track with my personal health and fitness. From my #AvengerinTraining series to my #PrincessBootCamp, each one has motivated me beyond just meal plans and fitness routines. These are opportunities to break bad habits, discover new things and make real, lasting lifestyle changes. Even if you only take away 1 or 2 things from each series, that builds up to a really good life. And as my friend Renita always says, #babystepstogreatness.

With Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War on the horizon, I thought I’d start with the franchise that motivates me more than any other franchise out there. Do I think I could be a superhero one day? Yes! Do I think I have some work to do before I achieve superhero status? You betcha. But I don’t like to recycle fitness plans. The thing that worked for me 4 years ago with #AvengerinTraining won’t work for me now. My life is different. My schedule is different. And my body is older. So I have to move at a pace that works for today’s me, not yesterday’s me.

But like my #AvengerinTraining series, I wanted to use Marvel as my inspo. So I came up with a series based on the Infinity Stones. Which have been peppered throughout the Marvel Cinematic Universe for years, if you’ve been watching closely. The stones are the McGuffins that Thanos himself has been seeking since The Avengers hit movie theaters in 2012. They are all powerful gemstones that are tied to all the power in the universe. Each one has a different property and purpose, but when they are all combined in the Infinity Gauntlet, they grant the user…

With that in mind, I devised a 7 week series. 1 week for each of the 6 Infinity Stones (Space, Reality, Power, Mind, Time and Soul Stones) and a 7th week for the full Infinity Gauntlet!

Stay tuned for a full week by week breakdown, starting with Week 1: The Space Stone.

But here’s a little tip if you want to dive into a new fitness series, or anything really…put your money where your dreams are! I’m starting each week by purchasing all my fitness classes up front and creating my schedule right off the bat. That way, I have no excuses. The money has been put aside, the classes have been purchased and it’s just up to me to do the things I say I want to do. So…stay tuned!!

Star Wars Book Camp: Week 2

Week 2 of Star Wars Boot Camp has begun! But before I give you a sneak peek into how Week 2 is going, let’s review Week 1, shall we!

Week 1 of Star Wars Boot Camp was all about the Dark Side, but specifically: Anakin Skywalker. Jedi Padawan and Dark Apprentice. The boy walks the line for sure! And while we find Anakin teetering between the Dark and Light for a lot of the prequel trilogy and know that ultimately his end game is redemption, I’m focusing on his Dark Side this week.

My goal for Week 1 was to work out 6 out of 7 days in the week…CHECK! As well as add on a couple extra workouts here and there…CHECK, CHECK! And as far as food goes, my goal was to normalize better eating habits such as choosing un-buttered popcorn, as a snack, over McDonald’s french fries…BIG CHECK! But because we’re dealing with the Sith in Week 1, it’s important to flirt with your temptations. So, I kept dark chocolate and red wine on my list of approved foods. That will follow me into Week 2, as I’m still firmly settled in with the Dark Side of the Force.

Another distinction about Sith Apprentice Week is that I worked only with what I had available to me. You Tube videos, free weights, runs outside and exercises that utilized my own body weight.

Here’s another look at my morning routine, which I accomplished 5 days of the week and on the 6th day, I swapped my routine out for a cleansing run around my neighborhood and some weights.

Week 1:

  • 1 min of each (3 reps)
    • Jumping Jacks
    • High Knees
    • Squats
    • Butt Kickers
    • Leg Lunges
    • Jog in Place
    • Crunches
    • High Kicks
    • Plank
    • Jump Rope

As we head into Week 2: Sith Lord Week, I have to be honest…I haven’t been as motivated and my early mornings have suffered from Snooze Button Syndrome!! But instead of getting mad at myself (something I do way too regularly) I am forgiving myself and taking the opportunity to give my body a little rest. Apparently, it needed it and when your body is screaming that it needs something and you don’t give it what it needs, eventually it will take it any way it can get it! Sometimes that manifests itself in the form of illness or injury. Which we don’t want!!

So…Monday, Day 1 of Week 2 was spent frolicking at Universal Studios with my friends Courtney and Courtney! We walked 20,000+ steps and ate delicious foods and I let myself enjoy it instead of being a stickler about my Dark Side meal plan. And while I’m happy with that decision it led to…

Tuesday, Day 2 of Week 2. I definitely slept through that alarm and while I ate really well throughout the day (WIN!) and had every intention of working out when I got home from work…I didn’t do that. I put my running shoes on, sat on my bed and then woke up an hour later. The sun was gone, the hour was late and I was groggy from an ill-timed nap. That’s not what I wanted to do. But it’s what happened. And no workout was had.

Which led to Wednesday, Day 3 of Week 2 and another alarm that I slept right on through…this trend was not boding well for my “jump back on the band wagon” state of mind. It was looking more and more like I’d fallen off the band wagon. But I will not let this morning madness deter my determination!

My goal this week is to get 5 workouts in and if I have to double up…I will.

That is the goal I’ve set. That is what will happen. And since I reached my goal in Week 1, I know that this is attainable! In fact, I’m simply building on to what I started doing in Week 1. My morning routine will remain the same with 1 min of each exercise, but instead of 3 reps, I’ll do 4.

If you want to keep up to date on my progress, come on over to my Instagram where I’m letting you in on my daily wins and also my daily losses! Basically the whole thought process through all 6 weeks of Star Wars Boot Camp are right there for you to engage with in my Insta Story!!

Here’s to clearing out the cobwebs and getting back on track!!!

Star Wars Boot Camp

Well, once again I’m standing at the start of a workout series. The last one was very successful. I felt good, I felt fit and then life interjected and while I haven’t completely regressed, I have not been at the level of fitness I’d like to be. The kind of level that energizes me. The kind of level that has me feeling my muscles in the good way!

So…here we go. But this time I want to invite you all into the process. Instead of showing you the results and breaking it down after 6 weeks of hard work, you are going to be my inspiration, my accountability, my reason for staying true to my 6:30am alarm each day!!!

If you want to follow along on the whole journey, come on over to my Instagram and keep an eye out for my stories each day. I’ll show you what workouts I’ll be doing and whether or not I actually do them. As well as daily inspiration to get me going and keep me going!

But I’ve gotten ahead of myself. What is this workout, you ask? I’m glad you did!! Cause it may just be my best idea yet. It’s a Star Wars Boot Camp!! That’s right…I said Star Wars!! The franchise that beats all other franchises IMHO!

You know my deep and abiding love for that galaxy far, far away. Now it’s turn that love into some fitness currency and put that love to work! Here’s a rough outline of week 1, but I’m leaving myself room to adjust each week as I need to.

I’ll be sharing my journey with you as I go and as usual, if you have any thoughts, let me know in the comments below or email me (nerdinthecity01@gmail.com)!! I’d love to hear your thoughts!!

Week 1: Anakin Skywalker (Sith Apprentice)

Week 1 is all about Anakin’s Dark Side, his fight with the ways of the Sith. I’m following the Sith Code this week:

Peace is a lie,

There is only Passion.

Through passion, I gain Strength.

Through strength, I gain Power.

Through power, I gain Victory.

Through victory, my chains are broken.

The Force shall set me free.

This week is all about Passion, Power, Strength and Victory. And since this is Sith Apprentice week, everything I do will be at home utilizing the resources I have at my disposal. You Tube videos, apps, weights, bodyweight exercises. This week is all about quantity over quality. Reps, reps, reps! Going till I can’t go anymore. Channeling my anger and my passions into strong fitness routines that will be explosive. Just like Anakin Skywalker and his decent into the Dark Side.

Here’s my playlist for Week 1:

Let’s talk food. This week I’m going to be eating lots of protein and cutting out all those foods that weigh me down: dairy, bread, bad sugars. And replacing those things with dark greens, black beans, black berries, red raspberries, black lentils, black teas, basically anything dark, black, red, bitter, etc. Things that will keep me on the path to the Dark Side. 

Here is a look at my morning power workout. I’ll be doing this every morning and pairing it with workouts like Power Yoga, Boxing, Arm Workouts and Tumbling/ Acrobatics.

Morning Routine:

-1 min indoor jog

-1 min mountain climbers

-1 min jump rope

-1 min jumping jacks

-1 min skiers

-1 min front kicks

-1 min power skips

-1 min high knees

-1 min squats

-1 min butt kickers 

(Repeat 3 times)

Embrace your Dark Side and together…we can rule the galaxy!!!

#PrincessBootCamp – Mulan Fitness Plan

Disney Princess Boot Camp Mulan Week stick fighting nerd fitness blog post

Princess Boot Camp Mulan Week Disney Fitness Blog

When Mulan runs away from home to join Captain Shang and the Chinese army in her father’s place, she is a stranger to the rigors of boot camp and fitness. She is a veteran’s daughter, so she is not ignorant of what can happen in war. Her father is, in fact, injured from his service to the Emperor. But she truly has no idea what she’s getting herself into.

In this way, we have one up on Mulan. This is Week 4 of Disney Princess Boot Camp and while the workouts are revolving, the level of fitness and healthy eating has been maintained. But if you’re doing this Boot Camp and thinking to yourself “There’s no way I can dive into Chinese martial arts”…think again. Mulan did it and so can you!! And so could I!

Here’s a list of Chinese martial arts to choose from.

-Shaolin Kung Fu

-Tai Chi

-Karate (another form that has links to China as well as to Japan)

-Stick Fighting (Kendo and Bōjutsu are both Japanese forms of stick fighting, but Mulan and Co. do a lot of stick fighting in the movie. So if you have those forms available to you, even though they are Japanese and we are focusing on China, you can substitute them.)

-Sword Fighting (also look into stunt choreography to access the same kinds of skill building.)

Based on our location, what’s available to you may vary, but with the wonderful invention of the internet you have a lot more options than ever before. Take advantage. Here’s a look at what I did:

Tai Chi

I found a posting in my local paper for a Tai Chi class run at a church close to me. It was only $8 for the class and the instructor really focused on core muscles and strategic, precise movements. It’s amazing how little steps can really challenge your body! I also found some great videos of Tai Chi on You Tube and did those as well. Here’s one to kick off your intro to Tai Chi:

Stick Fighting

In Orlando, we have a Kendo Club. To reiterate, this is a Japanese form of stick fighting. And I don’t like to mix around Asian cultures as they are all unique and different and incredibly interesting to learn about. But since there were few choices in my area regarding stick fighting, I went with the closest thing I could find which happened to be Kendo. I cannot stress enough that if you have the chance to take a stick fighting class of any kind, you should take it! Stretch your body beyond what you think it can do and surprise yourself!!

Disney Princess Boot Camp Mulan Week stick fighting nerd fitness blog post
Karate

This should be the easiest for you to find in your area. Karate is another art that crosses the borders of Asian cultures. It has roots in Japan as well as in many other forms of Chinese Martial Arts.

Shaolin Kung Fu

This had to be my favorite thing this week. Shaolin Kung Fu is no joke and it is a purely Chinese martial art. Derived from the Buddist Shaolin temples in Henan province. Shaolin Kung Fu “combines Zen and martial arts.” I did these videos because I wasn’t able to get the Kung Fu classes available in my area on my schedule this week.

Here’s a really basic introduction:

Another great one that I enjoyed in the mornings:

This one is short, but this guy isn’t playing around!!

I hope you find time to enjoy challenging your body with these techniques. I know they challenged mine!

#PrincessBootCamp – Pocahontas Week Fitness Plan

Disney Princess Boot Camp fitness blog post nerds Pocahontas Week

Princess Boot Camp Pocahontas Week Disney Fitness Blog

Pocahontas is easily the fittest Princess in the bunch. She climbs willow trees, canoes rivers, free runs through the forest and swims. This week I did as much of that as I could with my main focus being on running and canoeing.

This is my canoe, her name is Grandmother Willow. There is a lake with all kinds of canals leading to other lakes right near my apartment. I strapped Grandmother Willow to my roof and we went canoeing 4 days this week.

As an added bonus this week, I took a class at Orange Theory Fitness. They offer a free 1-hour trial class and since they incorporate a rowing machine, treadmill and free weights, I thought it would be a perfect addition for Pocahontas Week. I was right! This class is a hard hitting, interval workout that and hits every muscle group. I walked away pleasantly sore and I believe it would be a great class to incorporate into a weekly schedule. But I couldn’t sign up, because I had other princesses to focus on.

#PrincessBootCamp – Cinderella Week Fashion Inspo

Cinderella Week Princess Boot Camp Fitness Blog Disney

When I’m in the middle of a fitness series, especially one that has such a specific theme, I like to do all I can to stay in theme, as you could tell from my other blog posts this week. The foods I ate reflected Cinderella, the movies I watched, the music I listened to, the fitness activities I did and since I do consider myself a fashionable person, my fashion reflected Cinderella this week too. From my workout clothes to my nails and beyond.

Work, work, work, work, work…

Cinderella Week Disney Princess boot Camp workouts nerd blog post

Top Knot…

Cinderella Week Disney Princess Boot Camp fitness nerd blog post

On the steps of the palace…

Cinderella Week Disney Princess Boot Camp fitness nerd blog post
Photo by Cristina Fowler @thelittlestfowler

Nailed it…

Cinderella Week Disney Princess Boot Camp fitness nerd blog post

Tea Time…

Cinderella Week Disney Princess Boot Camp fitness nerd blog post

Dancing through life….

Cinderella Week Disney Princess Boot Camp fitness nerd blog post

After the ball…

Cinderella Week Disney Princess Boot Camp fitness nerd blog post
Photo by Cristina Fowler @thelittlestfowler

Squad goals…

Cinderella Week Disney Princess Boot Camp fitness nerd blog post

Happily Ever After…

Is there something that helps you focus on your goals?

#PrincessBootCamp – Cinderella Week Fitness Plan

Princess Boot Camp Cinderella Week Fitness Blog series Ballroom Dancing

As I mentioned in my Meal Plan Post, Cinderella is an easy Princess to find fitspiration in. She is a hard working girl. And we know she’s fit cause she didn’t even break a sweat running down all those stairs, in high heels no less. Well…high heel!

Cinderella Week Princess Boot Camp Fitness Blog Disney

Here’s what I did for Cinderella Week in regards to a fitness plan. For all 8 weeks of #PrincessBootCamp I challenged myself to work out at least 4 days a week. I could do more, of course. I could even do smaller workouts on some days, but if I got in 4 days of fitness, I considered it a win.

In order to create some variety for myself, I created this list of Cinderella inspired activities to choose from:

-Stairs

-Deep Cleaning (house, yard, garage…whatever you can find)

-Ballroom Dancing (classes, DVD’s, You Tube videos)

Doesn’t matter which activity you choose to do. You can pick all of them or just one that you find yourself enjoying. Me? I chose to do all the activities as much as I could throughout the week. Whenever I had some extra time on my hands I was running the stairs to my apartment or doing a Dancing with the Stars DVD. Anything to keep myself motivated and stay in a Cinderella state of mind.

Princess Boot Camp Cinderella Week Fitness Blog series

Gym memberships are really expensive, and Cinderella simply didn’t have one in her budget! So instead, I offered my cleaning services and in turn got a serious workout in. I felt good about helping my parents (a very Cinderella thing to do) and I burnt major calories organizing, weeding, moving boxes, sweeping, etc.

Princess Boot Camp Cinderella Week Fitness Blog series Ballroom Dancing

Finally, I took a ballroom dancing class at my local Arthur Murray. I explained to my instructor what I was looking to accomplish and he was so game to teach me the Waltz and Viennese Waltz as well as discuss why Cinderella might have been exposed to those dances specifically. He was also very sad there was no Latin Princess that I could come back and do another lesson for. (Obviously he’s never heard of Elena of Avalor, but unfortunately, she’s not on my list this time around.)

Like I said in my post yesterday, I gave up the scale for this whole 8 weeks and started trusting my body to tell me what it needed, how it felt, what kind of progress we were making together and after week 1…I felt pretty great!

Clean eating had flushed out a lot of the bad stuff that I’d been relying on and broke the hold sugar had on me. I know the first couple pounds are the easiest to lose, but I took that feeling and held on tight!

#AvengerinTraining – Recap

After 6 weeks of weekly challenges, superhero meal plans and different classes all around New York City, I lost 15 pounds and I feel stronger than I ever have. 15 pounds is by no means as extraordinary amount of weight to lose. But it’s a good amount and it’s enough to be very proud of. There were times I faltered. Times I gave in to the temptation to fall off track. But it’s the getting back on part that makes the difference!!

If you decide to take this #Avengerintraining challenge, remember that any amount of activity is better than none.

-Staying motivated is sometimes hard, but never impossible.

-The second you make it about more than just a number on a scale…that’s when you find out the reason you want to do it in the first place.

-Never compare yourself to someone else’s goals or progress. Not the models in a magazine or fit actors in a movie or your coworker who is always hitting the gym. Their plan isn’t your plan. Their plan might not work for you. Find what does and ignore the rest!

Thank you for reading! I’ve got a couple ideas for some new nerdy workouts in the future. So I hope you’ll check back! And come follow me on other social media platforms! I love to connect with new people.

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Iron Man Week (photo by Cristina Fowler)
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Hulk Week (photo by Cristina Fowler)

 

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Black Widow Week (photo by Cristina Fowler)
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Thor Week (photo by Cristina Fowler)
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Hawkeye Week (photo by Cristina Fowler)
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Captain America Week (photo by Cristina Fowler )

Let me know what you thought about my workout. Did you try it, did you like it? And which week was your favorite?

#AvengerinTraining – Hawkeye Week

Pushing Through

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After hitting the wall during Thor Week, I was back on track and pushing through Week 5. Spring had returned, making morning runs a joy to complete! I really love to workout in the morning. I feel like it’s my personal time to get things done. Like the rest of the world is asleep and the early morning hours were made just for me. I live right across from Astoria Park in Queens and I love to run along the water. It’s a gorgeous view and if it’s a particularly warm morning, the breeze from the water feels wonderful. It’s definitely one of my happy places!

Week 5: Hawkeye Week

Watercolor Art by Blule
Watercolor Art by Blule

Clint Barton was introduced to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Thor, when he was sent to the compound to keep an eye on a certain grounded Asgardian Prince. Barton, aka Hawkeye, is a proficient marksman in archery and joined the Avengers to help save the world from it’s biggest threats.

Jeremy Renner has been doing action films for a while now, The Hurt Locker, The Bourne Legacy, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, so stepping into the role of Hawkeye seemed like an easy fit (though I’m sure the workout regiment was not easy.) Renner is 44 years old, though you’d never know it. Take a look at his fitness regiment over at Muscle World.

Inspiration

Movies

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Avengers, Age of Ultron… duh. You can also go ahead and rewatch Thor if you’d like, since Hawkeye is introduced to the MCU in that one. I also added a couple excellent films starring Jeremy Renner. In Bourne Legacy, Renner takes Matt Damon’s place and runs around being awesome! Also, try Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol to keep with the spy spirit. And for good measure and an extra dose of archery, go ahead and watch The Hunger Games.

Music

Hawkeye is a warrior and a soldier, so I put a lot of music in this playlist that made me feel that way. Like I could run through bootcamp and finish the toughest challenges.

Meals

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For Hawkeye’s meal plan, I took my shopping list from CelebritiesExercise.com Honestly, I really believe that if you are watchful in your eating and keep to the simple rule of moderation, you could eat just about anything and maintain your health (with glaring exceptions of course.)

Weekly Workout Challenge

To channel my inner Clint Barton, I worked on my abs and did a crunch challenge. I know we see a lot of arms from Jeremy Renner, but the core always comes in handy, no matter which Avenger you are channeling! And since I have a serious sweet tooth, my stomach is one of my problem areas. All that sugar just sits right there. So working on the core and getting it strong was a big priority for me!

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Day 1: 30 Crunches (Middle, Left, Right)

Day 2: 60 Crunches (Middle, Left, Right)

Day 3: 90 Crunches (Middle, Left, Right)

Day 4: Rest Day

Day 5: 150 Crunches (Middle, Left, Right)

Day 6: 175 Crunches (Middle, Left, Right)

Day 7: 200 Crunches (Middle, Left, Right)

Make sure to take all the final day’s challenges from each Avenger with you into Captain America Week.:

-2 sets of Full Front Planks (60 second hold, rest in between)

-Chest Flys, Dumbbell Chest Presses, Standing Shoulder Presses, Arm Curls (25 reps)

-40 Squats (2 reps)

-20 Kettlebell Swings/ 20 Pushups

-200 crunches (Middle, Left, Right)

Extra Credit

Archery @ Big Apple Archery

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I loved archery! And Big Apple Archery in Queens is a really great place to learn. They do a great job of showing you proper technique and give you plenty of time to practice what you’ve learned. They have excellent equipment and a great range on which to practice. The class had a decent number of students, but wasn’t so full that it seemed overcrowded or anything. Plenty of room on the range for everyone in the class. I used a Groupon deal to take this class, but the first equipment rental is free and if you purchase a bow from there, the first class is free. Definitely worth a try!

Sports Conditioning @ Velocity Gym

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Photo from Velocity Sports Performance

Hawkeye is a warrior, a soldier, an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. So I figured he’d have done a lot of different things to train. I took an intro class at Velocity where they focus on conditioning the whole body for different sports. We pulled weights, ran sprints (thought I was gonna die after the sprints) and worked with resistance bands. It was indeed a full-body workout! Every inch of me ached the next morning. An introductory class is free and when you walk in you might be a little intimidated, but don’t be. The instructors are really great and will help you make it through the whole class and finish strong. I trained with 3 other men on my team and it was a really great experience!!

Stay tuned for the following Avenger: Captain America. Check out Iron Man week,  Hulk weekBlack Widow Week and Thor Week in case you missed them.

And make sure to comment below with any questions, comments, etc! And let me know if you are trying any of these. I would love to hear from you!!