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15 Minutes of Fame: Discover your inner ShrinkGeek Part 2


What sets ShrinkGeek apart from other fitness blogs?
Other than the handsome [colorful adjective redacted] in the Utilikilt you're talking to? *grin* The obvious answer is, "It's written by folks who are geeks first, fitness people second." I'm the token meathead on the site, and I'll just as happily regale people of the time I ended up #3 in the Damage In, Damage Out and Total Healing numbers for a raid as I'll go on about how eating better helps you lose weight, or which weight to lift to build a certain muscle group.

We're not gonna be shy about the fact that we play video games or tabletop or go to cons -- we're just like the folks we're talking to in that respect. And more to the point, not only do we bring an understanding of where these folks are coming from, we're not going to ridicule folks for being bookish or unfamiliar with some of the basic concepts.

I do a daily crawl through some places that take the opposite approach -- think of it as Elitist Jerks for weightlifting fanatics. There's a place and a need for that sort of stuff, too. But you're not going to jump into the EJ forums when you hit level 12. You're going to look for something more your speed.

Plus, we're more broadly focused than a fitness-only site might be. We want to talk about cool games and gadgets, or movies, or whatever else appeals to us as geeky people, but still touches on the subject of getting and being healthier. For instance, one of my mini-tips for WoW-session workouts is, "When you're in flight, get out of your chair and do an exercise until you touch down at your destination. This can be pushups, or jumping jacks, or just marching in place -- whatever's comfortable for you -- make use of the built-in break or downtime to do something good for yourself."

What would you consider your favored fitness strategies? Any particular methods or trainers or systems that you admire?
Adapt, and be willing to try new things. I've read a lot of different things -- stuff from personal training certification manuals that focus on balance and flexibility to powerlifting articles on how to push yourself to do more weight -- and I try to glean something from everywhere, especially if it resonates with how I know my body and seems like it will help me reach my goals. That said, there are a few things that I prefer and a few things I will take pains to avoid.

I'm sure that my day-to-day regimen would drive any sort of certified fitness instructor absolutely bananas. When left to my own devices, I'm screwing around with my kettlebells, playing basketball or soccer, doing free weight work, and all of it with only the merest nod towards conventional wisdom as far as training techniques. It's a very ad hoc approach -- "What do I feel like working on today (or what's sore from yesterday and needs a rest)?"

Mind sharing with readers your current fitness goals? What are you doing specifically to get there?
It's incredibly vain and shallow, but I want to see my abs for my birthday and keep them for Dragon*Con. (Incidentally, I'm working as a volunteer on the MMORPG track this year. I'll be the tireless guy with the big mouth in the Utilikilt. Come say hi!) I've got some pants from the days when I was going dancing four nights a week that I'd love to fit back into. I've lost about 30 pounds and cut my body fat percentage in half. From the reading I've done, abs tend to show up in the mid- to upper single-digits, so I'm almost there but have a little ways to go.

To that end, this month, I'm doing a fairly extreme diet and exercise regimen called the Velocity Diet 3.0 (by the folks at Testosterone Nation). I half-jokingly refer to it as the George Jetson diet, since for four to six weeks, I get to live on pretty much nothing but protein shakes and supplement capsules. It's not a lifestyle plan the way, say, Weght Watchers is; it's a short-term, goal-oriented program.

Earlier this year, I ran my first 15k race. I'm not even going to pretend to tell anyone it was fun, but I finished right in the middle of my target time range (1:24), so I'm pretty pleased about that. I'm going to run a 5k with Mike in a few weeks. It will be his first, and I'm just fantastically proud of what he's been able to accomplish (not that he needs me cheerleading, but I'm gonna do it anyway).

I also have some somewhat esoteric lifting and strength goals in mind. I want to be able to bench press twice my bodyweight and deadlift three times what I weigh, for example. Stuff like that. Like hitting 2,500 spellpower the first time, when I was able to pick up 300 pounds, it was a bit of a rush. Pushing that envelope and hacking my body to get there is just fun.

I've also established a friendly monthly competition at my office , where folks are trying to improve on what they've done the previous month in four basic bodyweight exercises -- pull-up, pushup, situp and squat -- and because I'm kicking everyone's butt, they're all gunning for me, so I can't rest on my laurels. Plus I want to see how many I can manage to do and keep improving myself. I'd love to be able to do a set of 50 pullups, and I want to be able to do 10 with 100 pounds strapped to a weight belt.

I've also been ... "dared" seems like the right word ... to bench press a couple of my former guildmates (not simultaneously).

Sounds like a lot of change.
All that having been said, you're talking to a guy who formerly subsisted on 3 liters of Mountain Dew and a 14-oz. bag of Cool Ranch Doritos at the office, Hungry Man Turkey dinner (or two) and then whatever beer or liquor happened to be on sale that week in the evening pretty much every day for a few years. Yeah, we're fairly bulletproof in our mid-20s, but that's pretty much asking for trouble. I got my trouble a few years after that, with a cholesterol screening well into "oh @$&%" territory, which is when I got more serious about getting healthy.

My recent push towards getting strong and buff comes in the wake of having entirely too much fun at Dragon*Con's "Men In Kilts (with Leafblower)" unofficial event, hosted by Jennie Breeden of The Devil's Panties, and meeting a like-minded dude who was a former weightlifter, who turned me on to more serious ways to go about doing this sort of thing.

Ahh, the kilt. What's the deal with the kilt?
The kilt? It's got pockets. And you've doubtless noticed the distractive properties.

Don't get distracted from your own well-being – work out and keep up with Rafe at his various blogs:

"I never thought of playing WoW like that!" -- neither did we, until we talked with these players. From an Oscar-winning 3-D effects director to a custom action figure artist, catch it on 15 Minutes of Fame.

Filed under: Features, Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

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