Nerd Fitness Is All Grown Up (Come LOOK!)

That’s right little dude, Nerd Fitness is all grown up!

If you’re looking at this message from an email, you should probably click over to the site and check out the awesome new look of Nerd Fitness.

Seriously, DO IT!

I have tons of announcements and all kinds of fun stuff to talk about today, so let’s get into it.

Nerd Fitness 2.0

About three months ago, I was staring at the free template I had been using on NerdFitness.com for over a year and knew I needed a change. When I started the site I didn’t have much money, so I picked a free template and devoted all of my free time to writing good content and building the community instead.

I had spent a few weeks looking into the cost of finally paying for a custom template to bring NF up to 2011 standards. I had created a successful company and community and wanted to make sure the site reflected that.

Enter Michael Bridgman.

Out of the blue, I received an email from Mike who said “I love Nerd Fitness and love what you’re doing here, but I think we’re both in agreement that it could use an updated look.”

I wholeheartedly agreed, but let Mike know that I was leaving for an expensive seven-month business trip, and that I needed to start traveling and figure out my traveling cash-flow before dedicating a few thousand dollars to design.

“Oh I’m okay with that. Actually, I’d like to design a template for you free of charge. I’m trying to get back into the designing/programming world and need some quality material for my portfolio.”

I replied with a “sure,” but admittedly didn’t expect much – I mean, custom WordPress templates are expensive (if they’re good), and this guy was going to redo my site for free? I kept my hopes low, but knew that pretty much anything he produced would be a step up from what I had.

Over the next three months, Mike and I exchanged emails back and forth as he meticulously put together the masterpiece that you see around you. Every suggestion I had was implemented, many innovative ideas that he had were pleasant surprises, and with each new revision I saw I became more and more excited.

I think my last email to Mike was “can we launch it yet? I’m dying here because I can’t show this to anybody and it’s too badass to keep under wraps!”

Finally the day has arrived.

I have no problem saying that Mike as been a pleasure to work with in every way possible. He’s a great designer, takes plenty of initiative, but listened to every one of my ideas and tried to implement them in the best way possible.

If you’re looking for a new design for your site, I wholeheartedly recommend Mike. You can get in touch with him over at his site (check it out).

So what’s new?

So other than the face lift, what other innovations are there? At the moment, the functional changes are small but welcome…and there is potential for a lot more cool stuff that I’m working on right now.

These are the big changes:

  • Steve’s Twitter Bubble – Twitter is the easiest thing for me to update on the road, as I can do updates from anywhere on my Amazon Kindle. Ha! Take that expensive New Zealand internet! I’ve fallen in love with twitter and my kindle, so that bubble at the top of the page is the best way for folks to see what I’m up to.? If you’re not already doing so, make sure you’re following me on Twitter.
  • Steve’s Epic Quest Photostream – I’ve been taking lots of pictures while on my epic quest, and I’m putting the best of the best up on my Flickr page. Simply click on any of the pictures to the right and you’ll get there as well.
  • Where the hell is Steve? – Everybody is always wondering where I am these days…probably because I’m pretty much all over the place. Mike installed this handy-dandy map that I keep updated to let people know where I am. The dark blue line is where I’ve been, and the red line is where I’m going, and the little dude is where I am currently. You can click on the link underneath the map to explore where I’ve been and where I’m going.? Thanks to Matt for the inspiration.
  • Contact Page – I finally have a contact page! Although I haven’t really kept my email a secret (it’s steve@nerdfitness.com), I never had a contact page simply because my old template couldn’t do a tiered menu bar and I ran out of space! Now I can finally have a contact page – I feel so professional. I’m working on some other tiered items to come off the menu bar that you see now, but that’s the big change.
  • Message Boards – Back in January we upgraded to new message board software, and I’m so glad we did. Well, Mike has another trick up his sleeve: next week we’ll be giving the message board template a facelift too so that it’ll actually look like the true home of the Nerd Fitness Rebellion. If you’re one of the 1400+ people that are on there, you’re getting new wallpaper soon!

Rebels With A Cause

Back in January, when I announced my goals for 2011, I made a decision that I wanted to start identifying great causes to give back to. Since I’m in New Zealand at the moment, I can’t think of a better cause than the support of the rescue and recovery efforts for the city of Christchurch after the earthquake

For the next month, 10% of every sale of the Rebel Fitness Guide will go to the relief efforts. After this month is up, we’ll decide where the donations should go next, but I already have a pretty good idea.

I’m sure it’s trademarked like crazy, but I think “Rebels With a Cause” is a perfect name for the eventual NF charity I hope to start, don’t you?

We’ll work on that.

If you’re interested in donating directly to the New Zealand relief efforts, you can do so here.

The Rebel Strength Guide is coming…

This past weekend was a big one for the Rebel Strength Guide.

Me and my friend/fitness guru/black belt/army veteran Vic Magary (who I’ll be interviewing for the site soon) are hard at work on the guide and I should have a rough draft done by the end of today. All of the workouts are done, the diet guides are almost done, and we’ve come up with some clever names for the different workout routines.

In short, I’m f***ing excited.

Here’s how it’ll work: when you buy the Rebel Strength Guide, you’ll have the option to go through ”Basic Training”, a four-week beginner course to building strength and muscle, and then you can decide to join one of three units:

  • The Bodyweight Brigade – for rebels who don’t have access to any gym equipment but want to build strength and muscle.
  • The Dumbell Division – for rebels who have dumbbells but nothing else.
  • The Barbell Battalion – for rebels interested in pure strength training and want to learn the power way to power lift.

Each unit has months upon months of exercise programming with varying levels of difficulty, specific sets, reps, and routines, all organized in a easy-to-digest format. We’ll also have written descriptions and videos for each exercise so you know what you’re doing.

Because I’m on the road, I’m actually using the Bodyweight Brigade Routine as we speak.

Well, not RIGHT NOW, because I’m typing, but you get the point.

On top of that, we have two complete diet books, one for folks looking to bulk up and a book for folks looking to slim down while building muscle and strength at the same time.? Both books come up tons of advice, tips for success, recipes, and our opinions on which diets work the best.

This is a heck of a product, and I’m damn proud of it. Right now, we’re looking at a launch date of April 4th should everything go according to plan, which it never does. I’ve rescheduled some of my epic quest flights to make sure I’m in a place with decent Internet (don’t let me down Brisbane!) for so I can focus on the launch week and make sure everything goes smoothly.

I’m also hard at work on a cool contest that will kick off on that same day. I can’t discuss it yet, but it’ll be cool, I promise.

American Express Starwood Preferred Guest Card

If you have NO interest in credit cards, travel hacking, or anything of that nature, skip this quick update.

I received an email yesterday from American Express offering me double points if I can refer anybody to sign up for the Starwood Preferred Guest card, which I’m more than happy to do because it’s a kick-ass card.

I have both a business and personal AmEx SPG card, and it’s the ONLY card I don’t mind paying the yearly fee to keep. I decided that this will be the one card that I don’t cycle, and I expect to have this card for years and years.

What makes it so great? It comes with a decent sign-up bonus, is an AmEx so it comes with all sorts of extra bonuses (which you can read about on the site). It has a lower annual fee than most other cards (the first year is free), and the points are worth more than other Airline cards.

What do I mean? Every time you transfer 20,000 points from this card into pretty much ANY airline, they give you 5,000 bonus points.

Here’s my story: before I booked my epic trip, I only had 90,000 American Airline points, and I needed 140,000 to complete my booking.

Where the hell was I going to get 50,000 points at the last minute?

Fortunately, I had 40,000 SPG points. I went online, converted my SPG points to AA points, received 10,000 point bonus (5000 points per 20,000 transfer), and within two days had the miles posted to my account.

Bam, 140,000 points…hello ridiculous itinerary.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to acquire a simple link for the card yet, but if you have ANY interest in signing up for a card, please EMAIL me at Steve@nerdfitness.com with SPG somewhere in the subject line and I’ll email you a special link so that I get the referral points.

Again, this might not be for you – but if you’re in the market for a new credit card and don’t like the idea of signing up and canceling for multiple cards, go with this one.

You get a good card, I get extra points to help me cross off a few more things on my Epic Quest, and everybody wins!

Just email me at Steve@NerdFitness.com with SPG in the subject and I’ll email you the details.

Nerd Fitness Hoodies

They’re coming, I promise. It’s tough working with designers and printers from halfway around the world in a country where I’m paying for internet by the megabyte in some places, but they’re coming.

I’ve spoken with Decatur Screenprint, the folks who are handling the NF shirts and will be handling the sweatshirts: we’ll be able to offer BOTH a pullover hoodie and a zip-up hoodie.

I know spring is around the corner up there in North America, so I’m trying to get them ready to roll as soon as possible!

Staying busy

If you couldn’t tell, I have a tendency to work too much and write too much. I’m doing my best to make sure I see the world and get out there and do stuff, but the truth is I’m so fired up right now with Nerd Fitness and the NF community that I’m finding it hard to stay away from my computer.

I do frequently remind myself I’m on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, which is why I do things like underground glowworm cave tubing or pilot a stunt plane (which I did on Saturday, WOW…details/video coming on Thursday). I hope to go sea kayaking tomorrow through Abel Tasman National Park, and then it’s off to hike on some glaciers before heading down to Queenstown where I’ll be skydiving and bungee jumping for the first time.

If you can’t tell, I’m writing this post with a big smile on my face. That’s the kind of mood I’m in.

For the Rebellion!

-Steve

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