Great Motivational Moments (…from movies…)

21 05 2012

I’ll admit it:  I’m a bit of a movie fanatic.  In fact, I believe there was a time in middle school when I could do the ENTIRE script of “Dumb & Dumber.”  Even looking back now, I’m kind of impressed with myself!

Aside from music, some movies always get me juiced to give my all.  That doesn’t necessarily mean just in the gym, just overall pumped to be great!  Whether it’s the Herb Brooks speech before the semifinals against the Soviets in “Miracle” or something from a comedy,  there’s always that one scene that can make you want to seize the day.

In fact, just to prove that these speeches don’t have to come straight out of sports movies (automatically means no “Hoosiers” or “Rocky” speeches…sorry guys),  here are a few moments that always get me excited to seize the day (you’ll see why I’ve said that twice a little further down this post…)

“Animal House” – Bluto’s Speech (NSFW, gang)


“Stripes” – Winger (Bill Murray) the night before the parade.

“Dead Poets’ Society” – Oh Captain, My Captain…enough said…I’m going to need a minute…

And how can you NOT have this gem from “Dodgeball” when talking about motivation (props to Lance Armstrong for his acting chops):

So what movie moments get you going, GymGeeks?  I’d love to hear it!





Sunday Night Recap

20 05 2012

This week was definitely interesting.  The naming of each day gives TheNerdyGymRat a bit more organization in what stuff gets rolled out and when.  As with any site or blog, consistency is key.  I know I quit reading Gizmodo when they went to a random design and I threaten to quit Facebook every time they change the layout.  GymGeeks deserve better and I’ll make sure to do my part!

Now, here’s what all you newbies missed this week:

  • Mondays will now be known as “Motivational Mondays,” where we’ll come up with a way to get rid of all of your excuses.  This week, we talked about the major guts in a man’s life.
  • Tuesdays are “Tasty Tuesdays!”  This one definitely got the best reception.  We’ll be talking about a muscle building or fat burning food, as well as share a recipe for the week.  We took a break from fish dishes to go with a little chicken stir-fry.
  • Wednesdays are “Workout Wednesdays.”  On these days, you can expect to see ways to spice up your lifting & cardio routines.  Abs and Tabata training were on the agenda this week.  I sure as hell used Tabata before volunteering at Orlando Beer Fest last night.  In four minutes, I was sweating like a mad man!
  • Thursdays…well…let’s just call them “Friday Eve Fit Tips.”  On Thursday,  pay close attention to Twitter and Facebook for some great tips on nutrition, fitness, workouts and just an overall healthy lifestyle.  It also frees us up for the quite-popular “Gym Pet Peeves.”  Hopefully you’re not the meathead that I talked about this week.
  • Fridays will be “Fun Shit Fridays,” where I’ll have interviews with professionals in the fitness industry, as well as some reviews of items and news in the sports technology department.  The Under Armour E39 caught my eye, so I wanted to share it with my GymGeeks!
  • Saturdays are going to be all about supplements!  I reviewed GNC’s “Re-Feed” (which, if Twitter is any indication, GNC loved seeing).
  • Which brings us to today, “Serenity Sunday.”  For most people, this is the “rest day” in their workout/diet regiments.  It’ll definitely have a laid-back vibe, where I’ll share a playlist or even fun things you can do on your day off from the gym.

I also want to take a second to thank everyone that’s been reading here, following over at Twitter and liking the Facebook page.  For something I started up on a whim three weeks about, you guys have been a phenomenal group.  I think a healthy lifestyle is something that needs addressing and I hope I’m helping.  I know I hated being talked at in a way where I felt I was being preached to.  I wish something like this existed when I was 240 lbs., so this is my way of paying it forward.  I can only hope you all do the same 🙂

Now get some rest…we start all over again tomorrow!

Jonathan





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 NerdyGymRat.com 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?

Jonathan





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!

Jonathan





Playlist of The Day (5/10/12)

10 05 2012

Good Morning/Afternoon (for all you readers at lunch), GymGeeks!

Today, my shoulders & traps feel PHENOMENAL…but they won’t in the morning!  Soreness will surely come (new highs in barbell shrugs & lat raises).  Remember to use your supplements after your workout to do damage control in that department.  I recommend L-Glutamine, as it’s been shown to not only repair muscle, but to also reduce inflammation.  Pop two pills before and another two after your workout.  Your body will thank you for it.

I went a little old-school garage rock & indie rock with the new additions to the playlist.  You have to shuffle things up, just like your workouts.  If you hear the same stuff over and over, you’re going to pick up cues when to get into the zone and when you can rest.  Your brain is a big-ass muscle and like all other muscles, it needs confusion for overall growth!

What are you guys listening to today?  Share tunes with me and you’ll get credit in the next posting!





Playlist of The Day (5/9/12)

9 05 2012

Good Morning, GymGeeks!

Today, I did a little bit of elliptical training (of course as a form of HIIT).  I know I’ve touched on the subject of HIIT in bits and pieces in previous posts, but I will be writing up a full post later today to explain and prescribe a few starter routines!

Rap DOMINATED my headphones today, as you’ll notice.  I didn’t really get into the genre until I was much older.  Before age 20, if it wasn’t metal, it was CRAP.  Now, if it’s got a good beat, it finds its way onto whatever player I’m using.  I try to find the rock remixes on Spotify (since those are the ones I actually use), but sometimes the Travis Barker remixes aren’t there (ex: Flo Rida today).  An hour of this once a day (twice a week) keeps the doctor away!

Enjoy!





Five Fitness Apps For Your Smartphone

8 05 2012

I’m sure by now, you guys are wondering why I’m the NERDY gym rat.  I mean, all I’ve talked about to this point is protein powders, lifting weights and how to make good nutrition choices.  All that does is solve two-thirds of the name!

Well good news!  The nerdy side is coming out with this post!

I think we can all agree that setting goals with health and fitness are crucial if we’re going to see improvements.  We can also agree that 90% of the world has a smartphone permanently attached to their hand for 16 hours a day (because we’re all getting our eight hours of sleep, right?).  The great thing about this is that we can use that addiction to our advantage, with the development of apps for each format (Windows Phone, Android, iOSwhatever-version-they’re-on).

Now, like most apps, there are good-to-fantastic ones and there are those that are…well…not.  Here are a few of my favorite from each of the platforms.  (Note:  I’m reviewing the FREE versions of these, since I’m a bit on the cheap side with the apps on my phone.  Sadly, CheapskateNerdyGymRat.com was taken.)

RunKeeper (Available on Android & iOS)

I’ve had this app on my Motorola Atrix (and before that, my iPhone 3Gs) since the date of purchase.  As a person who hates long distance running, the integration with my playlists makes the run a whole lot easier on me (especially the one a few weeks ago that went for 8 miles).  Whenever I have that moment of wanting to just stop, I have the music to help me push through (as well as an optional coach, updating you on your current pace/distance at certain intervals).

Psh…someone’s doggin’ it!

My only complaint with the app is that, while it has an on-board GPS to track where you’re running, it can get a bit spotty, depending on your provider. Mine being AT&T, I haven’t had that big of a problem running around Orlando.  However, if I go on a jog in Gainesville or New Smyrna Beach, I’ll fall off the map.  For a free app, it’s pretty fantastic, though!

MyFitnessPal – Calorie Counter (Available on Android and iOS)

Weight Loss 101:  Calorie deficit = loss of pounds.  With this app, you can track your caloric expenditure throughout the day.  It actually has a pretty good database to pick and choose from (restaurants included) and also lets you punch in the serving size of whatever it is you ate.

Very Nice Design!

This may be me being a little nit-picky, but I have one big problem with calorie counting apps (including the Weight Watchers one).  Sure the less calories you take in/burn off in the gym, the lower your weight will be…but what about the other important nutritional information?  This is sort of like seeing a 100 calorie pack of Oreo’s.  Sure, it’s 100 calories, but they’re EMPTY calories.  If this app allowed you to also punch in information like, say, grams of protein or fiber, I’d find it to be much more effective in assessing your overall health.

Nike Training Club (Available on iOS)

Now THIS is an app I can get behind!  While aimed towards the female demographic (something the interface design does quite well in conveying in tone and color scheme), men can appreciate the exercises listed in here if you’re looking to tone up.  The Nike Trainer Club allows you to customize your workouts, as well as work out to your playlists.

Perfect Form!

The only fault I could find in this app is that it only allows tracking of one user at a time, so no sharing between mother & daughter.  However, this is something that I’m sure Nike will fix, as they have with their other apps (Nike+, for example).  Once they refine it a bit more (and maybe have it join forces with its male counterpart, the Nike BOOM), they’ll have domination of the fitness app world, especially since you don’t need to buy a special $100 pair of sneakers for it to work!

Bodybuilding.com (Available on Android and iOS)

I’m actually a big fan of Bodybuilding.com as a website.  The store usually runs good deals, the database of workouts is solid and there are countless articles that span over years of research from credible people in the fitness world.  The app is a great extension of that.  In its most recent update, it allows for you to shop from their store, something that wasn’t available in older versions.

Yeah, like I was going to miss a chance to screencap Jamie Eason!

The biggest problem with the app, however, is its tendency to freeze and shut down on Android phones.  With so much traffic going to the site, it may just be an issue of a lack of bandwidth to handle everything at once.  I’d suggest a purge on the website of articles from 2007.  Maybe that will help reducing the frequency of crashing.

Restaurant Nutrition (Available on Android and iOS)

I will admit: I’m the guy who researches nutritional information PRIOR to going out to dinner with friends.  I’m sorry that I’m not sorry for that.  This has been a staple on my phones since my first smartphone and has been a godsend.  Knowing every detail of information from most major chain restaurants lets me know that I’m better off with two “fresco style” tacos over a grilled stuffed burrito at Taco Bell (a bit obvious, I know, but still a good example!).

Big Macs are unhealthy, you say…

Unfortunately, it only does chain restaurants.  It may just be me wishing, but with the capabilities of GPS location in this day and age, there should be a way to access local restaurants nutritional info, if available.  For example, chains in the southwest (i.e. In-n-Out Burger) should pop up when I’m in Las Vegas.  Again, I’m sure this is something that can easily be fixed as we move ahead in the world of technology.

Well, hopefully that gives you a good starting point of apps to download (if you haven’t already).  With the help of some of these, you should have no problem keeping yourself accountable.  Your phone will happily be your buddy on the road to a healthier lifestyle.





Playlist of The Day (5/5/12)

5 05 2012

Good Morning!

After a good night’s sleep (and an even better morning’s breakfast – I’ll get to my usual daily intake a little bit later), I’m getting pumped to head over the CrossFit Orlando for a 9:00 session.  I’ve always done the body weight WODs, but never an actual session.  As I’ve mentioned before in my “Cinco de Mayo Survival Guide,” I hate static cardio on a treadmill.  It’s right up there with the mere THOUGHT of a colonoscopy on the list of things I find enjoyable.

With CrossFit, I’m hoping to mix it up, get that muscular endurance and keep my body’s metabolism burning at a crazy rate.  I’ll let you all know how it went down a little bit later today!

Since I can’t exactly wear headphones for this kind of workout, I did put my mix onto my iPod to plug into my car on the way over the facility.  THIS is what is going to put me over the top for my last workout of the week (I believe in the one day of rest…we’ll talk about that tomorrow):





Cinco de Mayo Survival Guide

4 05 2012

First of all, may the fourth be with you (for all you Star Wars Day observers, like me).

This also means that tomorrow, everyone becomes of Latin origin (much like everyone’s Irish on St. Patrick’s Day), as it’s Cinco de Mayo!

Fiesta Time!

Of course, like most holidays, this can be chock full of pitfalls and it’s my job, as the Nerdy Gym Rat, to do the proper research and give you pointers on how to do as much damage control as humanly possible (humanly being the operative term: moderation is a beautiful thing).

#1 – The Pre-Party Workout

I know I know, the last thing you want to do on such a great holiday is work out, but think of it like creating a caloric deficit.  Mentally, you’ll feel better about that taco or extra Corona if you can say to yourself “Well, I did run a couple miles today…”

CrossFit: ALWAYS a good decision!

Personally, I plan on doing at least one body weight WOD (Workout of the Day, for those who aren’t up on the CrossFit lingo).  Reading through the .PDF I have, I’m thinking about the Angie and/or the Chelsea (both on Page 1 of the document).  The beauty of these WODs is that it builds up muscular strength and endurance, so your metabolism will be working overtime long after you’re done, as opposed to 30 minutes of static cardio on a treadmill.  The dirty secret behind static cardio is that the moment you hit “stop”, so does the calorie burn.  Think about that…

#2 – The Food

If you end up at ANY Tex-Mex place in your city, you will be getting loads of complimentary chips and salsa.  I remember a pseudo-pub crawl friends of mine put together back in college.  By the end of the day, we were so sick of everyone’s special homemade pico de gallo.

Yeah, THIS won’t get old quick…

Remember that it’s not the salsa that’s the trap (in fact, it’s one of the healthiest condiments you can find, as long as it’s not full of salt).  It’s the fried chips that will not be your friend!  If you can control yourself to 10-15 chips and load them with salsa (or guacamole, as long as it’s homemade and not pre-made), you’re in great shape!

Tacos, burritos and main dishes are also tough things to get around.  If at all possible, try to avoid sour creams, cheeses and pick lean meats (chicken or steak) as your fillings.  Also, while taco shells at most restaurants are flour-based and not corn, burritos usually have the option of a whole wheat tortilla (and option I know places like Tijuana Flats has).  Another thing to consider when you’re placing your order:  if it goes into a deep fryer (i.e. chimichangas), if does NOT go into your body.

#3 – The Libations (That’s right…the booze!)

What Cinco de Mayo would be complete without tons of drinking??? Yours!

I don’t always drink beer, but when I do, I prefer something light if I’m going to indulge.  Most likely, Dos Equis and Corona will be the beers on special.  Lucky for you both have light options (and with a lime, you won’t notice a difference in taste).

Then there’s the always-delicious margarita.  Unless you plan on making your own mix, you should stick to a “one-and-done” mentality to save yourself the sugar spike (Example:  A Red Lobster “Lobsterita” will set you back 890 calories and 183 grams of carbohydrates – not to mention the loads of sugar from the mix).  If you’re going to have more than one, the phrase “on the rocks” will soften the blow, as they are usually less liquid and more ice (bartenders are not going to heavy pour you, as opposed to a machine).  If your restaurant or bar of choice has a “skinny” option (I know Chili’s does), go that route!

Another thing to note: a shot of Patron Silver tequila is 69 calories of hangover juice.  Keep those to a minimum not only because of the lack of nutritional value, but to keep yourself from making some bad decisions (you don’t want a “coyote ugly” situation on your hands).

These steps shouldn’t keep you from having a good time, though!  Remember, you’re out there to spend time with friends, make some new ones that you’ll be Facebook friends with by the end of the night (not to mention the awful mariachi music at every turn).  Keep these steps in mind and you’ll have a blast without the guilt the following morning!





Playlist of The Day (5/4/2012)

4 05 2012

So a bit of a mea culpa before I show you guys the playlist…

I’ve been totally going about the postings the wrong way.  Looking at the stats, it seems as though the home page is where you guys spend most of your time.  I didn’t realize how much of a pain in the arse it is for me to post links to other pages.  Not only does it mess with functionality, it also effs up the SEO of the whole freakin’ thing!  From now on, all new articles/posts/reviews will be on the home page and then archived under the tabs for future reading so you don’t have to scroll down!  Sorry about that.

Yup, pretty much how I felt after realizing my stupidity…

Now, today’s leg & abs day was amazing!  As part of Jim Stoppani’s “12 Week Shortcut to Size,” Week 3 calls for 6 to 8 reps on each move (I modified the abs so I’d hit each part until failure with resistance), which allowed me to lift a lot heavier than last week.  I will say this: there is nothing more swagger-inducing than watching the bar bend over your delts while you do squats at 5:00 in the morning, ESPECIALLY with this list.

Enjoy!








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