Your “Fun Sh*t Friday” Primer

25 05 2012

We made it, GymGeeks!

Sorry, but a 41/10/3 stat line gets you a Friday shoutout!

It’s finally the end of a long-ass work week.  Hopefully your workouts got you primed for a long Memorial Day weekend.  I know I’m looking forward to some downtime in Fort Lauderdale this weekend with the family.  I’ll be catching the Marlins/Giants game on Sunday at the new Marlins Park, so if any of my South Florida GymGeeks are going to be there, come by and say hi!

Today, we finally have the moment I’ve at least been waiting for…and interview with a fitness professional!  I’ll be posting my talk with Natania Goldberg (@NataniaGoldberg on Twitter) later today.  She was a blast to talk to and is as enthusiastic about the battle against the bulge as I am!

Also, I’ll finally get to putting up my “Gym Pet Peeve” for this week.  This one will have a bit of geek flair to it (and not too many pieces of flair…first person to tell me where that reference comes from gets a special “Follow Friday” on Twitter).

Other than that, I hope everyone finishes their week out strong.  I know I did, with yet ANOTHER new high on squats thanks to the “Shortcut to Size” program (11 reps of 265 lbs.).  Not bad for a guy just short of 160 lbs. and 5% body fat, huh? 🙂  I’ll leave you with a quote from one of the finest movie trilogies of all time…

“Do or do not…there is no try!” – Yoda

Your “Friday Eve Fit Tips” Primer (5/24/12)

24 05 2012

I have to start this week’s primer with a bit of a mea culpa…

As you may or may not know, last week’s “Gym Pet Peeve” was one that I had encountered while in the gym working through my Shoulders/Traps/Calves day in the Jim Stoppani “Shortcut To Size” program.  The mayor of the machines, as I came to call him, was back in form this morning.  At first, my initial thought was “FML” (want to keep it safe for the younger crowd reading) and that I’d be stuck waiting or modifying my routine AGAIN.

You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry…

Instead, I was on such a rush from a new high in leg press machine calf raises (20 reps at 630 lbs.) that I just simply went over and asked the guy how many sets he had left.  Truth be told…he was actually a really nice guy!  He asked if he could knock out one more set at the seated calf raises before I jumped in, mentioning that he noticed I was “killing it” and didn’t want to “mess with my groove.”

I was in total shock and awe.  We even ended up chatting after our workouts about how much leg presses suck and how we both believe in stretching prior to lifting (he’s a couple years older than me…I’d say mid-30s).  It just goes to show you to never judge a book by it’s cover, GymGeeks.  While it’s still a total pet peeve of mine, don’t be afraid to ask or talk to someone if what they’re doing is really in the way of your routine.  You might even make a new friend.

And that’s only the FIRST of your Friday Eve Fit Tips!  Expect to see more posted all over Twitter and Facebook (and even Google+, as I start getting that profile running).  If you have any you want to share, don’t hesitate to use the hashtag (#FridayEveFitTips).  I’ll get a notification in my e-mail and you’ll be re-tweeted to all my followers.  As I always bash over your head, it’s a group effort to get everyone into a healthy lifestyle.  I refuse to let us get to that 40% obesity rate by 2030!

Have a great morning, GymGeeks!


Gym Pet Peeves: 5/17/12

17 05 2012

Before we get into my Gym Pet Peeve for this week, let me just say that some of these suggestions you guys are giving me via e-mail, Twitter, etc. are awesome!  I think I have enough material for the next year, so keep them coming!

I actually had one ready to go!  I was going to write it up last night, look over it this morning and post.  It’s a good thing I didn’t though, since I ran into one of my BIGGEST pet peeves this morning while doing my 5:00 AM workout…

The Mayor of The Machines

“One down, four more machines to go!”

You can spot this guy from miles away!  There is absolutely nothing more annoying than the jerk who takes over five or six different stations at once, ESPECIALLY when one of those is what is standing between you and getting ready for work.

Now, I’m all about circuit training.  In fact, that’s part of how I was able to lose weight in the first place.  Conceptually,  the combination of strength training with the cardio benefits of the exercises being in succession is fantastic.  What makes THIS guy so freakin’ special is that:

  • He has his “territory” spread out all over the gym floor like it’s a game of “Monopoly”
  • Take ages to get through the circuit because he…
  • Puts enough weight on each station where “working in” isn’t an option, and most importantly…
  • At the end of the circuit, he takes time to chat with other people instead of taking the minute or two rest and starting over again.

Aside from simply calling this meathead out (which, at 5 in the morning, is a totally reasonable thing to do), all you can do is adapt your workout.  Today, for example, the last part of my routine was four sets of seated calf raises.  Since this week in Jim Stoppani’s “Shortcut To Size” prescribed high rep/low weight sets (and this idiot had every 45 lbs. wheel in the joint on the machine),  I wasn’t about to ask the guy to work in.  Instead, I was forced to do a variation using some cables, steps and creativity.

If you’re “that guy,” I do have some suggestions to make you look less like a douche and blend in with your surrounding gym patrons:

  1. If you’re going to superset or do circuits,  try to make sure the exercises are all in the same general area (i.e. keep it to the power rack for squats, calf raises, shoulder press).
  2. More power to you if you can lift a ton of weight.  I can’t fault you for that, so go read rule #1 again.
  3. The idea of the superset is to be efficient with your time.  Talking to someone about whether or not FSU is going to the Big 12 is not efficient.  Neither is watching the same Sportscenter that’s been on since 3:00 in the morning.

I hope this has been as educational for you as it has been calming for me.  Keep the suggestions coming, GymGeeks!  Hopefully next week, I won’t have a last second moment of inspiration at the gym…

Welcome to “Friday Eve Fit Tips!”

17 05 2012

Ah yes, another “Letter from the Editor” moment…

Since I like to consider Thursdays as “Friday Eve,” this seems like an appropriate day to share tips on health and fitness!  It also gives me a chance of throwing a ton of good material on to Twitter and Facebook.

Now, this doesn’t mean you get zero content HERE at  What “Friday Eve Fit Tips” does is allow me to make today a “wild card” of sorts with what I can write about.  Today’s going to be a “Gym Pet Peeve” kind of day, since I ran into a really good one this morning on my shoulder/traps/calves day of Jim Stoppani’s “Shortcut to Size.”  Here’s a hint: it’s “that guy” who does something I normally love, but in such an awful way…

While I leave you to ponder what pet peeve I’m talking about, I’ll just remind readers that they can find some “exclusive” content on Instagram (TheNerdyGymRat) and on Pinterest  The more places you follow, the more information you can get to help you on YOUR journey to a healthy lifestyle.

Have a great day and remember:  it’s about how you FINISH the week that matters most!

Welcome to “Workout Wednesdays!”

16 05 2012

I’ll tell you: the revelations you come up with at 5:00 in the morning on a cardio day are very underappreciated…

Well, as you can tell by the post, I’m now declaring Wednesdays as “Workout Wednesdays.”  What does this mean for my GymGeeks? 

This means that all posts on this day (and over on Twitter and Facebook) will be about different ways to spruce up your workout routines, whether it be changes to your cardio days (today we’ll be looking into Tabata training) or on lifting days.  Today’s switch will be on how to work your abs using crunches…but with a slight modification that (hopefully) some of you already know about and are using.

Speaking from current experiences, I’ve actually had to modify an exercise in Jim Stoppani’s “Shortcut to Size” program.  Since my current gym only has dumbbells that go to 75 lbs., I’ve had to resort to barbell rows, as opposed to the prescribed dumbbell rows on Back/Biceps/Abs days.  I’ll admit it’s not as good at getting rid of possible imbalances in the muscles of my back, but it does allow me to control the movement a bit better, without losing the full range of motion that I’m a big fan of.

So what types of variations would you like to see up on NerdyGymRat?  I’d love some fan/follower/reader participation.  Hell, it’s how I knew that “Gym Pet Peeves” is a keeper on a weekly basis!

Let’s get through this hump day and keep the eyes on the prize!


Motivational Mondays!

14 05 2012

Good Morning, GymGeeks!!!

I have decided (after an awesome start to Phase 2 on the “Shortcut to Size”) to sort out what gets rolled out at on what day.  As you can tell from the title of this post, Mondays will now be forever known as “Motivational Monday.”

Now, what exactly does this mean for you guys?  It means that you’ll be getting all sort of motivating stuff from me, including playlists, movie quotes/clips (depending on if YouTube hasn’t shut it down yet) and even some good articles to kick your ass into the gym, even though you’re dreading walking into the office after an awesome weekend.

I always feel re-energized after my rest day and want to hit the weights (and hit them hard), so that’s all the motivation I need…but what about YOU, GymGeeks?

I’ll leave a link to the playlist on Twitter and Facebook from now on so that you guys can subscribe (as some of you already have…you guys rock, by the way), but I’ll also embed it in this “Letter from The Editor”-esque Monday morning post I’ll start with every Monday.

So I’ll ask one more time…what motivates YOU?


Playlist of The Day (5/5/12)

11 05 2012

Happy Friday, GymGeeks!

Today is a big day for yours truly: Week 4 of Phase 1 in Jim Stoppani’s “Shortcut To Size” program is in the books!  There is nothing quite like squatting 300 lbs. four times, stopping for a 15 second count, THEN going for another three reps to burn out.  Only proves I’m ready for more in four weeks!

I’m really digging the concept, too!  By next week, you go BACK to 12-15 reps per set, but you’ll have physically (and mentally) prepared yourself for more weight.  As long as you’re following the diet plan (remember, 80% of fitness is the diet), you’ll definitely see gains.  I sure as hell have!  I’d show the results after four weeks, but I don’t want to be one of “those guys” who puts up camera phone pictures.  Looks cheesy to me.

Now, because of the intensity of the workout today, I stuck with the same leg playlist as last week.  A ton of nu-metal (hey, I was in middle school when this stuff was popular!) and a classic warm-up with AC/DC:

So what’s going into YOUR ears, this morning, GymGeeks?  Tweet, comment on Facebook or even leave a comment!  I’m always open to new music!


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