Have you thought about starting a workout routine, or about improving your health, and there is just SO much information out there that it overwhelms you and gives you anxiety? Have you wondered which program is right for you? Should you do all cardio. should you just change your diet, should you follow an IG person you admire, should you do only strength training? The answer is Yes and No. (Right, I know, way to be fucking vague right? Hold your horses).

First step, figure out your general goals. In one sentence, what do you want to accomplish? Do you want to be healthier overall? Do you want to look better? Lose weight? Increase stamina (giggity)? Have a performance goal?  Be more flexible? Be stronger? Do you want it ALL? well don't worry folks! You CAN have it all! (picture yelling this out in a loud, bad infomercial voice).

Second, what are your current fitness levels? On a scale of WoW playing, mom's basement, couch potato (no judgement! I would if I could, trust) to Obstacle Course Racing, Parkour Guru, where do you lie? You never want to start a crazy fitness program if you have no background in fitness. That leads to injuries, overtraining, cockyness and eventual discouragement. Plus, a lot of those programs have no method of progression, so you get to one point and stay there constantly. But on the flip side you don't want to stay in your comfort zone forever either. In order to progress, you have to step outside that box and overload yourself to some degree. The best way to do this is by educating yourself on how to do that, and not relying 100% on a program to do that for you. 

I like to think of exercise, and personal improvement, like stats in a RPG game - you build characters who have attributes. The physical ones include strength, endurance, agility, stamina, etc. So a great fitness program aiming at making you perform better will touch on all of those attributes. 

I am developing a series of general steps to take to help you reach your goals, whatever they may be! First in this series is, what I think is one of the most important parts of improving health, and that is STRENGTH TRAINING.strength training

Read on for proper ways to start and progress your strength training program.....

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simple stretching exercises

Stretching is something that is sorely overlooked in our society. It is amazing how much better you can feel with simple stretching exercises! I mean, stretching can really help you out if you:

  1. Live a relatively sedentary lifestyle
  2. Live a health and active lifestyle
  3. Are a hardcore athlete
  4. Have general aches and pains
  5. Feel tight or sore during certain movements
  6. Are alive in any way

I am pretty sure that, unless you are already a Yoga instructor or guru, or do Pilates on the reg, that you can definitely benefit from simple stretching exercises. Even a little bit of daily stretching can help alleviate general achy-ness, help with back or knee problems, help increase flexibility, and decrease joint pains. With as little as 5 minutes a day! Well, maybe a couple times a day, but lets not get carried away. I am not asking you to morph into a human pretzel, or discover your inner cheese (or is it Chi? I'd rather discover my cheese, yum). Also, to take your health a bit further, check out Health Tips for Lazy People here!

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Are you a fit nerd? Do you aspire to become a fit nerd? Or is there someone in your life you want to be a fit nerd, and get Geeking Strong with? Look no further! Our Fit Nerd Gifts guide has a few items that might help friends looking to become a healthier version of themselves.

From cooking gear, to apps, to apparel, here are some things we here at NerdCore Performance adore. They help motivate us to make a few better choices (even though, it sometimes sucks). Buy some for yourself, a friend/companion/familiar/partner in crime, and make them suffer with you! (I shouldn't say that, I should be more motivating and positive, but being sarcastic is just more much more FUN!). 

Let's disclaimer that we are not associated/affiliated with any of the following companies. We just like their shit. We keep trying to be affiliated with Amazon, but they keep denying us. That's ok, they are still cheap and awesome. 

The pictures next to the description are clickable! They will take you to the appropriate webpage. 

Read on for gift ideas.....

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Spread the Love!

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Sometimes, you just don't want to go to the gym. Whether you want to avoid people in general (don't we all?), or are not feeling like putting yourself on display (zoo much?), or you don't want to get dressed in "socially appropriate gym-wear" (work t naked! We don't judge!), then here are some necessary at-home equipment for you do design awesome workouts and routines, in the comfort of your own home! And no, we are not made of money (that would be really weird, especially when you go to the bathroom, the paper and dripping....I digress) so I try to stay as cheap as possible, and so should you! Health does not have to be expensive.

Read on for great ideas!

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Performance Testing for Power

This is the first of multiple posts talking about the importance of performance testing. So stay tuned and subscribe for more!plyo1

It is no new concept that generally people start a fitness program becuase they want to look better, and hopefully, feel better. But so many cookie cutter programs focus way too much on physical appearance alone. During the beginning part of a program is when the most changes happen to your body, physically and physiologically. It is so motivating seeing yourself lose inches and scale weight! But after a time (usually about 4-8 weeks) those changes become less and less, and eventually you might go weeks without seeing the scale change. Hell,
 you might even see it go up! And that is so de-motivating, when the only thing you have to judge yourself with is weight. But what you don't realize is that so many more changes are happening in your body! Your blood pressure is lower, heart rate is lower (and more blood pumped per beat!), you are faster, stronger, have more endurance, have less body fat, are more flexible, and are better balanced and coordinated. But you really don't know all this becuase the only thing you tested is your weight...

It is so important, for your own motivation and well-being, to focus on things besides weight (and physical appearance). This is why I use a battery of fitness tests, so that I can track any and all improvements. After all, the more changes I see in these areas, the better! I stay motivated, and I might even come up with some new goals!

Below are a few fitness tests I use on myself and clients, to be aware the health and fitness is SO MUCH MORE than scale weight and physical appearance. These tests measure POWER and with any comprehensive fitness/health/wellness program, these will improve with training. Shown are upper body power, and lower body power.

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