Saturday, September 12, 2015

NerdStrong Panel at LBCC

A few days ago I got a call from coach Kimi from NerdStrong Gym asking if I wanted to be on a NerdStrong Gym panel at Long Beach Comic Con. This was a last minute thing as Long Beach contacted the gym a few days prior and as asked if they wanted to slot that had just opened up. Coach Kimi said that she wanted me to be part of the panel because I'm the unofficial community leader, which I guess is true as I did started and run the "We Are NerdStrong" group on Facebook as well as blog, tweet, Facebook and Instagram the heck out of the gym.

My family is having a BBQ today but I figured I could arrive later and then stay longer then I had planned. So I said yes, I'd be honored be represent NerdStrong at the Long Beach Comic Con.

So this morning I opted to skip the gym because the earliest I could go would be 9am and the panel started at 11:30 and I didn't want to be late and thankfully I did as getting to the con was horrible. It took about 45 minutes or so to drive to Long Beach and traffic was fine but when I got to the convention center itself traffic was at a stand still. There were no police directing traffic and there were cars everywhere. I wanted in line for almost an hour to get into the convention center parking and when I finally got close where I could see entrance they announced that it was full... I couldn't believe it. I drove around for a few more minutes before finding parking at a mall across the street from the convention center. I didn't care what I had to pay.. I was so done with being in the car and traffic.

Once at the con I texted coach Andrew and he explained where I had to go to get my "Pro" badge, I got one for free because I was on the panel. Well since it was last minute my name wasn't on the list so they wouldn't give me a badge... at first. I quickly contacted Andrew and he and David came over and sorted things out so I finally had my badge and it was about 11am. The three of us headed over to the room where the panel was happening.

As we waited Shannon (another NerdStrong member) arrived, she was on the panel as well and we kind of stuck closely together as we were both kind of nervous being on the panel.  When the panel before ours got out we headed inside and up to the main guest table. We weren't sure if Kimi was going to make it on time but luckily she arrived minutes before the panel was to begin. Kimi was the moderator, Andrew and David were the owners and Shannon and I were the members.

This panel was added last minute so all we had in the schedule book was our name NerdStrong. There was no description of what it was or guest names... nothing. But we still had a decent turn out. The room could hold about 100 people and we had about 25 or so through out the panel.

As I said I was nervous at the beginning as I have a fear of public speaking... but once the panel started and Kimi started asking her questions I kind of relaxed and just started talking like I would to a group of friends. Kimi had sent me a list of possible questions the night before so I had an idea of what we were going to talk about. I think all four of us (Andrew, David, Shannon and I) answered the same amount of questions. Of course the coached talked about the gym and how it all started while Shannon and I talked more about the experience and how it's changed our lives. About half way through the panel loud music could be heard coming from the panel next door, but we carried on the best we could. It was a fun time, we had lots of laughs and got the word out about NerdStrong.

Overall I think the panel was a huge success for being a last minute addition. I want to thank Kimi for asking me to join the panel. This was my very first con panel and it was a pretty good experience.

Afterwards Shannon and I headed to the con floor and walked around a bit until I ran into friends Jes and Brett and then walked around for an hour with them. I left the con around 3pm and then headed to my family's BBQ where I had a fantastic time and didn't get home until around 11pm... it was a pretty good day.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Lip Sync Battle, Flash S2 Preview & Harry Potter Books

I so love Jimmy Fallons Lip Sync Battles and there is a new one out where he challenges Ellen DeGeneres. Check it out...

They released the preview of The Flash S2 and all I can say is WOW... season one was amazing but season took looks to be unbelievable... I can't wait!!!

And one more video to share with you guys.. it's a prologue to the upcoming season of Doctor Who. I wasn't thrilled with last season but I'm still looking forward to seeing the new season.

Well the video was removed because of copyright issues.. so I guess I can't share it with you. But we only have a few weeks before the new season starts.. whoo-hoo!!!

A new picture was released by the CW's Legends of Tomorrow showing us the costumes for Hawkgirl and Hawkman.

I like the look of both of these characters. Both outfits are very realistic and would fit into today's world as well as the world of DC that has been created with Arrow and The Flash. Really looking forward to this new series in January. And I heard that both of these character will be showing up on Arrow and Flash to kind of introduce them to the audience before they move on to Legends of Tomorrow.

I came across this "fan" made poster for the new movie Gambit. I think it looks pretty amazing and I really can't wait to hear more about this movie as Gambit has always been one of my favorite X-Men. It's still years away and I don't even know if Channing Tatum is going to play Gambit (rumors is he's pulled out of the project while other rumors say he's signed the deal) So I guess only time will tell.

And the final thing I wanted to share with you guys are these amazing Harry Potter books. Designed by Hungarian Design Student Kincso Nagy these books are one of a kind. Check out this LINK to see the full beauty of these books. I mean they light up and have pop up images.. how awesome is that.

I was disappointed to see that these books were fan made and one of a kind but my buddy John posted a link to new Harry Potter books. These ones are being massed produced and look more like old school literature books and they come in each house color. Here's more info about them...

The complete Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling in robes worthy of the wizard’s place in our hearts.

Each Harry Potter book set is wrapped in one of four custom book jacket styles—Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Slytherin, or Hufflepuff—and packed in a Hogwarts traveling trunk. Books feature illustrations at the beginning of every chapter.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

All books are brand new from the publisher, Scholastic, with jackets designed and printed by Juniper Books on a special tear and water resistant paper. The publisher’s traveling trunk is made of durable cardboard. Note that we are not affiliated with the publisher or author and our custom designs have not been authorized or endorsed by them. They cost $275 for the set.. Not bad and though I'm a Hufflepuff I really like the Gryffindor and Slytherin colors. Click HERE for the website.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Firefly Fluxx & Dawning of the Age of Hufflepuff

I just heard they are making a Firefly Fluxx game. I'm a huge fan of the card game fluxx and an even bigger fan of Firefly so this is Win Win for me.. but it gets even better as my buddy Adam Levermore did the artwork for the cards.. that's gonna make this game that much more special. Can't wait for it to be released. Here is what little info there is on the item.

Working in partnership with 20th Century Fox and Gale Force Nine, Looney Labs will release Firefly Fluxx in early 2016.

Illustrated by Adam Levermore, Firefly Fluxx combines the card game’s unpredictable and ever-changing rules with the futuristic Wild West characters and themes of Fox’s Firefly ‘Verse.

MSRP will be $20.... Can't wait!!!

When asked what "house" I would be sorted into in the Harry Potter world I have always say, very proudly, "Hufflepuff". And though Hufflepuff seems to get the short end of the stick in the movies I think in the real world people are embracing their Hufflepuff-ness and I think it's awesome.

When Hufflepuff won the final house cup on Pottermore J.K. Rowling tweeted "This is starting to feel like the dawn of the Age of Hufflepuff... #FantasticBeasts" 


Looks like Hufflepuff is finally getting the respect they deserve... Also how cool does that sound "The Dawning of the Age of Hufflepuff" 

NerdStrong Gym - Another Bear Complex

Today coach Blair as teaching Strength class and brought us Marla and the Bear workout.

We are doing a Bear Complex I don't know why they are called a "Bear" complex but I'm sure there is a reason. For this bear complex we did 3 sets of 5 reps, 1 rep consisted of a Clean, Front Squat, Push Press, Back Squat and Behind the Neck Press. We had to increase weight with each set.

I'm fairly efficient at each one of these with exception of Cleans. I'm still having problems with these. But Front Squats, Push Press', Back Squats and Behind the Neck Press' are pretty easy. Of course doing this set five times is rough. I'd take a few minutes rest between sets and then do it all over again.

The "Marla" part of the workout was a 140 meter Kettlebell Farmer's Walk, which we had to do four times. I carried the yellow Kettlebells which are about 27 lbs each. Like with the Bear Complex the first few times were fine but the third and fourth time you're arms are alike jello but you continue to move forward.

For a Finisher Blair like to pull out his favorite TABATA Planking. High, low, left and right planking, 20 seconds of work 10 seconds of rest for eight rounds.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Dubsmash War Begins & Man of Steel Hoodie

The Dubsmash war between Team Carter and Team Shield has begun. If you don't have a clue what Dubsmash or this battle is about then please go HERE and check out my previous blog post about this on going battle. If you're too lazy to do that then here's a quick explanation.. Hayley Atwell who plays Agent Carter in the Marvel universe got into a DubSmash battle with Clark Gregg (Agent Coulson) and Chloe Bennet (Skye). It went crazy viral so they decided to do an official battle and raise money for their charities.

Well round one is up and though I'm a huge #TeamCarter fan #TeamShield definitely won round one. This is definitely a popularity contest as Team Shield was a few thousand dollars ahead of Team Carter and they hadn't even put up a video yet. Anyways both videos are now up for round one and you vote for your favorite while donating $1 to their charity... all the money will go to two very worthy charities and us fans get to watch these hilarious videos. Check out the battle videos, vote and make a donation HERE.

I came across this very cool Man of Steel Hoodie. The moment I saw it I thought to myself.. I must have this. But it's my birthday month so I have opted to not buy anything and wait and see what I get for my birthday as people always say it's so hard to buy for me. And I'm so happy that I didn't just make an impulse buy as the more I looked at the hoodie the more I didn't like the gold emblem (not a big gold person), I wish it was more yellow or even silver. Though I do still think it's a pretty awesome looking hoodie.

NerdStrong Gym - My First Pilates Class

After work today I headed back to NerdStrong Gym for their very first Pilates class.  One of the gym members, Corrin, is a Pilates instructor so they added an 8pm Pilates class on Wednesday night. I have never done Pilates but I figured I'd give it a try. Of course our gym doesn't have any of those large Pilates machines so we are doing this "old school". Pilates emphases alignment, breathing, developing a strong core, and improving coordination and balance.

It was a good turn out for the first class and Corrin (now calling her coach Corrin) was fantastic. I really didn't know what to expect. I was told Pilates was all about core work and breathing and they were right. Pilates breathing is very interesting and something I will need to work on.. and after an hour of work my core was not happy with me. For me Pilates felt like an hour long stretch and core workout. A few of the positions were difficult for me to get into but for the most part it wasn't bad and something I look forward to doing again. Thanks to NerdStrong Gym for adding this evening class and thanks to coach Corrin for teaching.

NerdStrong Gym - Retesting the Intro

We started today's workout with a good banded warm up. Banded Pass Throughs, Banded Figure 8's, Banded Good Mornings, Banded Air Squats and then regular Air Squats to feel the deference between banded and not banded.

Before we got to the actual workout we re-did the Intro test. This is the test that you do when you come in for your intro class. Eight months ago on February 3rd at 11:15 after having a nice conversation with coach Andrew explain what I hoped to get out of this gym he texted me with this intro. 250 Meter Row then 3 Times 5x Push Ups, 10x Ring Rows, 15x Squats and finally a 230 Meter Run. I surprised myself and finished at exactly 7 minutes. But a few seconds after I wasn't feeling so hot and immediately went to the bathroom and laid on the cool floor going in and out of conciseness. Needing to throw up but not being able to. I was in there for about 45 minutes. Come to find out I had severely low blood sugar as I'm Hypoglycemic, but that didn't stop me from coming back two days later for my first class and loving it.

So I haven't done a retest of the intro since then, so I was really looking forward to seeing if I could improve upon my 7 minute mark. My goal was to just try and get a few seconds under 7 minutes.. I just wanted to make an improvement. Well as I crossed the finish line I looked up at the clock and it read 4:53. Yeah I knocked just over 2 minutes off my time (2 minutes and 7 seconds to be exact), I couldn't believe it. And the best part was I didn't feel sick at all and recouped in a matter of minutes as we still had the workout to do. I was extremely happy with my results.

Now for the actual workout, it was a 10 minute AMRAP (As Many Round As Possible). 20x Spiderman 15x Kettlebell Swings and a 230 Meter Run. I manged to do three full rounds and just had enough time to come back into the gym and do a few Spidermans for my fourth set before time ran out.

It was a good day.. I just want to thank all the coaches, if it wasn't for them I wouldn't have been able to shave off over two minutes from my Intro.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

NerdStrong Gym - Like A Ninja

Today's workout was all about being a Ninja. It was also one of the smallest class I've attended in a while.. only 4 of us today.

We started with a fun and different kind of warm up. We ran around the parking lot 230 meters and then had to get in touch with our spirit animals. We started with the Bear Walk, which isn't bad and I was able to channel my inner bear pretty easily. Next was the Crab Walk (forward), this was the hardest thing we did for the day. We had to keep our finder facing forward as we crab walked. That did a number on my wrists and I would take a few steps and have to stop a few seconds before continuing. Frog Hops were next and after the Crab Walks these were a piece of cake and we finally did the Monkey Walk (lateral). Once you got the rhythm down these weren't do bad. And when we were done we had to do them all over again for a second time.

Next we worked on a skill, Leg Scales. This consisted of 10x Front Scale Leg Lift (each side), 10x Back Scale Leg Lift (each side) and then 10x Frong to Back Scale (each side). I don't mind doing leg workouts as my legs are pretty beefy and mobile.

Now for the actual workout we had to do 3 rounds of :30 seconds of work and :30 seconds of rest for Box Jumps (Quiet like a Ninja), Dumbbell Push Press, Jump Rope and Lay to Stand Rope Climbing. I've always been good at box jumps and I've been practicing at quieting them so I had some extremely silent box jumps that folks who were right next to me couldn't believe I was actually jumping. Dumbbell push press' aren't so bad as long as you don't over do it with the weights which I did so coach Christy asked that I drop down which I was happy to do and it was much better. Jump rope is a hit and miss with me, sometimes I'm great at it and sometimes I can't last longer then 10 seconds. The rope climbing didn't look bad but man was it tough. You don't really think about the fact that you're pulling your entire body weight up this rope.. and for me that's a lot of weight.

Great DEX workout today.. thanks coach Christy and coach David for your continued support.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Sportsball II

Today is labor day so no work for me and no workout (day off).. so I woke up and spent about three hours actually waking up and getting out of bed.. it was pretty fantastic.

My buddy Derek was hosting a Sportsball day at the park. We did this a few months ago for 4th of July and it was a huge success so we figured we do it again. We had it at the same park we did last year. It was a bit later in the day as it was a hot one so we figured if it was later in the day the cooler it would be.. yeah we were wrong. We also had it later in the day because folks who were doing the special Labor Day workout needed time to recoup before coming out. So we started Sportsball day around 3pm.

We had a great turn, not only a bunch of NerdStrongers but Derek's friends as well. The first game we played was Ultimate Frisbee. I played this for the first time at the last Sportsball and it's a ton of fun. It's lots and lots of running.. it kind of reminded me of when I use to play Qudditch. And the heat did take it's toll on us. We had to rest several times during the games and in between new games.

Next we played some Kickball but that one always seems to bring out the game nazis. For me I go out to play these games for fun. If we miss a rule or something it's no big deal.. I wouldn't even keep score if I had my way but some folks were really into it and like before it took some of the fun away.

We then moved on to Whiffle ball. Again like with kickball 99% of the folks were great and had fun trying to hit this little tiny ball with a giant blue bat (we upgraded to the kids bat as none of us were able to hit with the bat that came with the ball). I actually manged to get a few good hits in.

Overall we were there for about 3 1/2 hours, it did cooled down a bit as the day went on so it was nice temperatures for about half of the day. It was good times with a bunch of nerds trying to be sporty and doing a pretty good job. Though I didn't workout today I got a great cardio workout, especially with the ultimate Frisbee.

Thanks Derek for organizing this.. I think we doubled the attendance... can't wait for the next one.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

NerdStrong Gym - The Sorting Hat

Today at NerdStrong Gym we did another Harry Potter workout. This one is completely different then the one I did few months back.

We started with a nice Indian Run before doing 10x Perfect Stretch, 10x Air Squats, Should Stretches, Tricep Stretches and Shoulder Rolls.

First thing we had to do was be sorted into our houses (about 5 or 6 people per house). I was sorted into Gryffindor (though coach David had me in Hufflepuff, which is my house but I wore my Gryffindor robes and tie so he changed me to that house instead, which I'm cool with as I was sorted into Gryffindor on Pottermore). We had the smallest house with only 4 members.

Now for the workout there were four classes (stations) we had to attend. Defense Against the Dark Arts (Spell Casters), Herbology (Squats), Potions (Steel Club Front Press) and then Transfiguration (Step Ups). We had to do 2 minutes of work with a :30 second transition to get to the other class. If a single person wasn't ready after those :30 seconds the entire class would have to do burpees, needless to say nobody lingered.

We had to do each class three times for a total of 24 minutes of workout. It was a tough workout especially the "Spell Casters" We had to take a dumbbell and hold it to the side of our body and then it up and out to the middle of our chest and then back down to the other side. And though it's only two minutes it feels like forever when you're just getting started. After that we had to do squats which are bad in themselves but we spiced things up and did weighted squats which meant we held a kettlebell while doing them. Step Ups were fine but again we spiced things up by holding weights and doing the step ups. The steel clubs were rough as you're holding this piece of metal about chest high and then extending your arms outward, like with the spell casters at first it's okay but a minute in you really start to feel the burn.

As always group workouts already one of my favorites and this one was no different. Loved the theme and the workout... Thanks to all the coaches for helping me get through it.

And just note besides wearing my robes I brought my eight wands to share with everyone for the photo.