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Exercise for Geeks? 160

An anonymous reader asks: "A bunch of friends and I have been wondering for a while how to stay fit (and additionally, how to bulk up). While common suggestions include team sports, few of us are able to get together and play something outdoors since the weather here is abysmal. We would like to know how you geeks stay fit individually in your homes, and are there any ways to do so (while building up muscle) that don't involve expensive equipment? Thanks."
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Exercise for Geeks?

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  • by dnight ( 153296 )
    Screw handholds all over your walls and ceilings, and stop using the floor. Loads of fun.

    You can get handhold sets of various angles and sizes online at places like REI [rei.com] or Mountain Gear [mountaingear.com].

  • I would suggest martial arts (tai chi, judo, karate, yoga) combined with jogging (perhaps to the nearest store that sells jolt cola).
    As for Building muscles, well I've been pretty confident in how I look, but you could always lift a few old IBM PCs =)

    • I would suggest martial arts (tai chi, judo, karate, yoga)

      i would assume that most ppl understand that yoga is not a martial art as incorrectly described in th parent comment

      what seems to be less well understood is th correct use of th word yoga itself

      yoga is a sanskrit word which roughly translates to union - i.e. spiritual union with th cosmos

      it is closed related to th word yoke in english

      yoga is a non-religious sprititual science - it is a body of exercises and disciplines which have been systematised - yoga asserts no definitive dogma and merely suggests that these exercises may help you on yr spiritual path

      most of these exercises are non-physical - however there is one branch of yoga science which is called hatha yoga that teaches a system of postures called in sanskrit asanas - these are what are commonly thought of as yoga in th west

      writing this comment is reminding me of th GNU/linux debate - that aside i do think it is important to encourage th proper use of th word yoga in th west as th word has many thousands of years of tradition behind it and is of course still used correctly in th east - so please try to use th phrase hatha yoga or asanas instead of yoga in this context

      i do not know anything about th ppl behind this website however this page [abhidhyan.org] provides a more indepth discussion of th relationship between hatha yoga and yoga

  • As with all activities: use your mind. What you want to be doing is exercise your muscles. While this can be done without any extra weights, most fit people will only really benefit with extra weights. A good set of dumbbells shouldn't set you back more than some EUR 60 (or $ 60).

    Now, given that, you want to try to target particular muscles. Learn the moves that exercise the biceps, triceps, deltoids etc. Step on and off chairs to train your legs. Do pushups. Do situps. Stretch.

    The problem with all this is discipline: it really doesn't help if you don't at least do this for about 20 minutes every day or 40 minutes every other day.

    Ofcourse, you could also go for ballroom dance, historic dancing, indoor climbing, acrobatics, juggling...
    • I bought a pair of cheap dumbbells from Walmart and have been very pleased with the results. ExRx [exrx.net] is a good source for exercise ideas. They index exercises by muscle group, describe how they are performed, and show how with a short video clip. I exercise wrist, upper arm and deltoids on day one; back and shoulders on day two; with day three as a rest day. I saw pleasing results soon with only light weight (5-10 lbs). I also try to walk for 30 to 60 minutes a few times a week.

      For weight control, I'm trying the Hacker's Diet [fourmilab.ch].

  • Gym memberships really aren't all that expensive. You can find Gold's or Olympus Gyms across the country that cost $20 or so a month, which really isn't bad at all. Look online for articles about how to lift or find a non-geek friend that already lifts to help you. I just started taking a book with me so after my workout I'm cycling for 30-60 minutes and reading.

    A lot of the guys at my office lift/run/bike during lunch. Take a granola bar or two, eat on the way over/back and cycle for 30-45 minutes. Still have time for a shower and you'll feel refreshed during those afternoon low times.

    Drink lots of water too...it actually keeps you more aware than coffee, I think. You'll feel 'cleaner' within a few days if you finish a couple bottles of water during the day, and it's great for keeping your body hydrated during workouts.

    • $20 a month?? Here in New York City, it's more like $20 a visit... I've been using the park as much as possible. Spending lots of time outdoors, running, biking, hiking. Doesn't do much for building muscle, but I have been getting in great shape this year.
    • You don't have to join an expensive gym like Bally's, Gold's, etc. Many YMCA's (come on, sing it with me) have great gyms and their prices are usually well under those of the big gyms. Most of the YMCAs that I've always gone to have pools and basketball courts, too!

      If you are looking to build muscle, I would suggest a personal trainer for like 4 sessions. They'll really help you learn good form and technique, as well as exercises you hadn't considered. (The only drawback is that personal trainers can be kind of expensive.)
  • Most of us with jobs will probably 'fess up that we could walk to a few more places instead of driving a few minutes down the road.

    All that exercise adds up and in combination with a few lifestyle tweaks helps keep you healthy at the end of the day, not to mention saving you gas money for more important things like alcohol!

    Also have you considered swimming - great full body exercise and if you don't feel that energetic just lazing around in a pool is a great relaxer at the end of a day.
  • by Ivan Raikov ( 521143 ) on Thursday August 15, 2002 @08:43AM (#4075967) Homepage
    Well, you can lift weights for strength training (because all that sitting in front of a computer really affects your upper body posture); swim for flexibility training; on weekends you can go hiking and/or biking with your buddies -- that helps improve general endurance, and is a lot of fun, especially if there are beautiful mountains near where you are.

    None of these are particularly expensive, but they do require you to get out of your home -- I think exercising is a lot more effective when you do it with a friend, because you tend to slack off more when you are on your own ("Oh, I feel tired today, I'll just go tomorrow" versus your buddy dragging you to the gym).

    I especially enjoy group outings, because then you get to have fun while getting a good exercise. So do try to be more social in your exercise activities, and you'll benefit greatly.
    • Well, you can lift weights for strength training (because all that sitting in front of a computer really affects your upper body posture); swim for flexibility training; on weekends you can go hiking and/or biking with your buddies -- that helps improve general endurance, and is a lot of fun, especially if there are beautiful mountains near where you are.

      None of these are particularly expensive, but they do require you to get out of your home

      You can do quite a bit at home:
      1) I have a few 100 lbs of weights, a good bench and a power rack in the basement. Purchased over a few years, they cost about as much as 2 years of a gym membership and I've been using them for over 10 years and will own them for decades more.
      2) My live-in gf has a 70 lb punching bag, gloves, and wrist wraps, so she doesn't need to go to the gym or her dojo to practice taekwondo.
      3) Exercise bikes: boring, but effective. personally, I'd just rather get outside on my own bike though.
      4) Calisthenics & jumping rope. I do sometimes.
      5) Martial arts: while you periodically need to get out to go to the dojo, practicing forms/attacks at home can be quite a workout. My only problem is that I study kendo, and swinging a sword overhead doesn't work when you have 8-ft ceilings :-(

      When I began working out years ago I found that I had to discover what worked for me. e.g., I don't like lifting with other people, but I like cycling with a partner. I hate cardio, but love weights. You'll probably go through the same self discovery period until you settle on the things you like and it becomes a daily routine you hardly even think of. Exercise has to become natural, or you will stop doing it. Get in the habit of walking (carrying groceries in a backpack works well) instead of driving everywhere; avoid elevators for less than 4 floors of altitude gain; eat properly. After a while it just comes easily.

      Go for it: you can have many jobs and multiple interests, but only one body. Take care of it!
    • I'll agree with those. I'd also suggest just trying to be more active in day-to-day life. I've started biking to work. It's only 40 minutes more a day, but that's a pretty decent amount of time each week.

      Every bit helps.
      • The problem I've found with this is the stink factor. If I bike to work (or to the bus stop), I'll sweat (I'm not THAT fat, I'm in Houston). When I get to work I need to change, and either quickly dirty a clean suit, or have to locate a shower. I can't find a shower near my office.
  • The city where I currently reside has a fairly well-equipped gym, and only costs about $40/year for membership, so that's the most cost-effective route for me. Since I'm currently underemployed, I do my workouts during the day when there's not much of a crowd, so the whole workout is about an hour from start to finish, including the 5-minute commute.

    I do a 3 times/wk workout on the weights, one set each of 15 reps, followed by a 20-30 minute cardio at 140-150 BPM on the heart rate monitor (they have an indoor track, which I like better than a treadmill). Once a week, I do an extra set of weights after the cardio. My workout would be considered a mere warmup by the dedicated muscleheads, but I've found that even a light workout on a regular basis makes a *lot* of difference in how I feel.

    I generally follow the guidelines given in "Weight Training for Dummies", which, despite the title, is an excellent guide.
  • I don't know what quantifies as an exercise for geeks, but I've taken up jogging and biking. I do sail, but in a unique way, I suppose. Everyone I talk to thinks sailing is some high brow sport for the rich and snootie, until they see my boat.

    I made it out of plywood and epoxy, and use a poly tarp for the sail. It may not seem too much like exercise, but I've noticed my arms bulk up somewhat from holding the main and jib sheet lines. As to the geek part of it, there are tons of nifty electronic gadgets to explore when building and rigging your boat. GPS, sounders, VHF, light systems, electrical systems, etc.

    • Got any pics or info on your boat anywhere? Sounds intriguing...
      • It is a PK78, a sailing pram. The designer's website is http://www.bateau.com/ and the plan is available here http://www.bateau.com/plans/small/PK78.php3

        I've quite a few pictures of it, from build to completion, all captured on 35mm since my digital cam died and I've not wanted to replace it with another point/shoot model, but none have been scanned in because I'm lazy.

        Also on the designer's site is a sailing pram much like the PK78 called the D4. A version of plans for the D4 are available for free at http://www.bateau.com/free/freeplans.htm

  • You could try a weighted jump rope [karatedepot.com]
  • Running (Score:2, Interesting)

    by twem2 ( 598638 )
    Start off slow, with walking if necessary.
    Find some nice areas to run, and running can be fantastic. A break from the world, a chance to think.
    Just don't dress up like those '80s joggers...

    Swimming can be good, although I'd combine it with other forms of exercise.
    Cycling is also good, although remember you have to go a lot further and for longer to get the same amount of exercise as running.

    Building up bulk, a gymn is probably your best bet, and they can give you a tailored routine, and should be able to advise you on other forms of exercise.

    And just in general, walk, don't drive where possible. You might need to leave a bit more time to get around, but you soon get used to it.
  • The main problem with geeks, besides our spaghetti arms, is our Beer/Pop Bellies. You can get the 8 min abs DVD from half.com for like $10. If you use this coupon code, you'll get $5 off any order over $10: BUCK17014537
    or go here for more:
    http://www.currentcodes.com/showstore.php?store=79 &x=0&y=0 [currentcodes.com]

    Here's a link to the DVD (it comes with 8 min. arms):
    http://half.ebay.com/cat/buy/prod.cgi?cpid=5264084 &domain_id=1877&ad=1881 [ebay.com]
    • The main problem with geeks, besides our spaghetti arms, is our Beer/Pop Bellies. You can get the 8 min abs DVD from half.com for like $10. If you use this coupon code, you'll get $5 off any order over $10: BUCK17014537 unless, of course, somebody comes out with 6 minute abs. then you're in trouble. Nobody's going to come out with 6 minute abs! You can't get a good ab workout in six minutes!
  • Well, I know of one "muscle" (ah-hem) that can be exercised whilst keep your wrist in pretty good shape at the same time!!!

    All from the comfort of your home as well.

    Oh dear.

    [Apologies to the female audience for this]

    Less child humoured reply:
    One strangely obvious option may be to get a cycling machine which can be adjusted low enough so that you can double it up as a computer chair - hacking and exercise at the same time!
    • One strangely obvious option may be to get a cycling machine which can be adjusted low enough so that you can double it up as a computer chair...

      Don't bother trying to lower the bike- just duct tape a keyboard to the handlebars- it's not like you need handlebars anyway. Rigging a mouse pad next to it should only be a couple minutes' work, too. My wife set that up for herself a few years ago and still uses it.

  • by yashn ( 536620 )
    Definitely Karate. Helps you meet up with some new people, discuss things. Even the research for the history is intellectually stimulating. The very subject stimulates more than just the body. Helps coordination, concentration, focus, etc.. all things you can put to good use when coding and other geeky stuff. Is linked to Kobujutsu and in its past, to Okinawan Karate, to Kung Fu/Wushu, and even earlier to Kalaripayat/Varmakalai, etc... Also has a spiritual accompanying body of knowledge: Budo/Bushido/Taoism/Buddhism/Zen etc..., Chan in China, Dhyana in India. Regards,
  • Not dozens of pounds or anything, but enough to make me "feel" better and more healthy.. losing the mini-gut I had.

    I now walk 20 minutes from the Train to work (and back at the end of the day).

    I've nearly stopped drinking Coke and Pepsi.. once in a while.. Also cut back my beer intake from ~1 per day to a couple a week.

    Stopped eating take-out for lunch -- my GF usually makes my lunches now; she's the best (-:

    And I've reduced my carbohydrate intake. I love my carbs. I love pasta and rice and bread. Sure, I still eat some, but not as much as before.

    BUT, since the question was about excercises, I'd say: "get out more". Seriously, those 20 minute walks suck some days, but I know it's good for me, so I (almost always) do it.

    • I'll second the walks. I used to walk 20mins to work every day at a a fairly brisk pace and it kept my weight down. Since I started driving to work, I've put on about a stone and I really need to start exercising again. I did start swimming, but I broke my ankle the next week which put me out of action for a while and I haven't worked up the resolve to go back.
      • I started walks and hikes last year, after I noticed that I got fatter following graduation. I attributed the weight gain to not walking all over campus. I live in Montana now so there are lots of cool areas for hikes through the hills, but I would think that almost anywhere would have a good place to walk or hike. After you have done it for a while and are getting into better shape, you can move into jogging, if you want.
  • I keep fitish(sic fetish) by having a few hours sleep a night,
    not eating when i should and
    figgetting all the time.

    Believe it or not if you have a deskjob then figgetting is a good way to keep fit
    • fidgeting helps, as evidenced in this article. [efit.com]

      they guess that about 330 extra calories are burned a day.

      more links: here [value.net] and here [google.com]
    • The sleep loss doesn't help - holds you down from activity. If you're tired, you don't feel like doing anything.
      Depending on when you eat, you might be improving things. Moving the bulk of your eating earlier in the day makes you able to be more active. I like a big breakfast, medium dinner, and a small supper, with lots of water throughout. Of course, I'm in front-range Colorado, and my old Indiana body was never intended to conserve water.
      And finally, that fidgeting thing can be more useful than you might think. It's easy to develop habits. Usually, we pick up annoying, useless ones, but semiconsciously keeping up leg bouncing burns calories and builds capacity.
      If you have a wheeled chair, for instance, you can drag yourself forward and backward on your chair while not having to manipulate the keyboard. I often have periods wherein I'm reading a manual or report, and need press pagedown only maybe every 20 seconds. Sometimes, I switch to a larger font, and stand up while reading, allowing me to do shallow knee bends, and even sloped pushups on my desk, (feet back behind you, breastbone and hands at the edge of the desk).
      Lately, of course, I haven't been able to practice what I preach much. It's hard to type code without holding still, and loading a complex problem for analysis often puts me into almost a trance state. I don't exercise much when I 'm not in my body.
  • DDR (dance dance revolution) is good for an aerobic workout. If you supplement extensive DDR playing with some of those wearable weights on your ankles and wrists, you can probably build some muscle as well. Particularly if you make a point of pumping your arms like an idiot as I do.

    If you get a soft pad for DDR, then you'll need to put something heavy on the corners to keep it in place. If you buy a small weightlifting set, you can get a little upper body workout by putting the weights on the corners of the pad, and during the game as you constantly readjust them.

    There's other games you can play too. I forget what it's called, but there's an arcade boxing game played by actually punching with pair of gloves. The gloves are fairly heavy, and your arms will get a workout if you play the game very much.

  • I do 10 sets of 20 reps on a Sun 4500 Enterprise.
    I'm saving up for an E10k. Woohoo! see my bulky arms and tremble, all yee flabby and skinny geeks!

    Seriously... the key to keeping weight down is to listen to your body and only eat what you need, not what you want. I know how hard that is-- I want mocha all day long but I do resist except for my morning one and sometimes one additional.
    For exercise, I walk. I park my further (but not so far that it can't be watched and monitored by passers-by) and walk the extra distance to the building. I also swim in the neighborhood pool a couple times a week with the kids, mow, and pull the car out of the garage and throw some wood through the saw.

    It's not a great plan... I would like to lose a little poundage around the middle. But I can't stand gyms or exercise places. I need to take up walking/running and basketball again when it cools down.

    • the key to keeping weight down is to listen to your body and only eat what you need, not what you want.

      Sounds a lot like the Hacker's Diet [fourmilab.to], written by an engineer for engineers. In it, he uses the concept of an "eat watch," an imaginary watch whose alarm goes off when you've eaten what your body needs. People who are too skinny have eat watches that go off too soon. Overweight people have eat watches that go off too late. The trick is to compensate for a faulty eat watch by carefully tracking and adjusting what you eat vs. what you really need. It's the classic engineering problem of tuning a system with inherent feedback. I lost 35 lbs in 10 weeks on his plan - highly recommended.

      But since this article is about exercise, I'll also mention that he includes a very good exercise plan as a supplement to the diet. See the same page linked above. It's easy stuff that you can do without any extra equipment in your own home. Like the diet plan, it's very structured so that you always exercise at your level and can move up as you improve to increase the effectiveness of the workouts.

      That said, I still prefer getting out of the house over doing something inside. My wife and I walk in a park for an hour about 5 days a week, and I try to do at least something like basketball or biking on the weekends. Works for me.

  • When I was a little tyke, we used to have gym class. Started with stretching, then maybe a short job. Push-ups, sit-ups (or crunches if your back is not so good) and jumping jacks are always good. Jumping rope, if your ceiling is high enough, is very very good also.

    And remember, basketball is a "team" sport, yet it can be played one-on-one.
  • Okay, let me fire off a couple of statistics. First of all, something like 90% of all exercise equipment purchased for the home are not used.

    Second of all, if you are working indoors all day, it would probably be healthier for you to get out.

    If you really really want to exercise indoors at home, your choices are, in order of cost, (1)buy a book on calisthenics, (2)buy some kind of video on aerobics or tae-bo, (3)buy some dumbell type weights and a book on soemm weight training, or (4) buy some kind of exercise machine, be it soloflex, or a treadmill or whatever.

    If you are willing to leave the building, join a gym! Just go and exercise, get out of the house, have some fun. Go for a walk or a run. Tons of info on walking and running on the web, its cheap and its healthy.

    DISCLAIMER: I am not, nor have I ever been, knowledgable of either medicine nor exercise. In fact I am just another fat middle aged programmer, so be careful whatever you do.
  • And use them. Worked for me. I've lost 15 pounds since I started regular bike riding, putting me at my ideal weight. Biking takes care of your aerobic exercise and lower body strength. Just don't get run over by a car.

    For upper body, use the weights. Buy a good book on strength training or spend a little time with a trainer. Do some ab crunches for the beer gut (not situps - they're hard on the back).

    Don't spend money on fancy gym equipment and bowflexes and ab rollers - they take up space and are less effective than a cheap set of weights.
  • I live in a small town, we get 1 buss an hour and the nerist rail station is about 4 miles away.

    If I can't cycle to where I want to get to I try and cycle to the rail station, where there is a cycle lockup.

  • Lots of good suggestions here.

    Personally, I go walking during half of my lunch hour, go bike riding on the weekends, and use dumbbells for upper body.

    The main thing, though, is to enjoy whatever it is you decide to do and that it fits well into your normal weekly schedule. Because none of it will do any good if you only do it for a couple of days.
  • Work! (Score:2, Informative)

    by qurob ( 543434 )

    Broken elevator, and you've got to move 4 PC's up to the third floor?

    Load the van up with ladders, boxes of cat 5, tool boxes?

    Brute force of moving big servers, 48U racks, 21 inch monitors!

    Big printers are heavy as all hell!
  • Go to a gym, try it out first. Pay the one time fee for a trial if you have to, it's worth it. Make sure the gym has a lot of cardio as well as a lot of weights. Some gyms have cardio equipment in front of TV's with headphone jacks on each machine which is great, because then you can go during your favorite show and "not waste time".
    Also, check that the machines are good. Personally I hate chain driven machines and I really hate hydraulic machines. Weights are better than machines but machines are easier to get started on.
    See if your friends go to any gyms and get their opinions. A lot of gyms are crap and a lot of others aren't.
  • I agree with /.ers suggesting martial arts, and I'll just add that lots of the geeks I now enjoy them, even if they wouldn't practice any sport. Probably one of the reasons is that they let you exercise your mind too.

    Another good way to exercise is swimming, that helps you improve your whole body at the same time (if not your mind, like martial arts do).

    If you really want to do geeky things you can always mod a bike to power some computer with it, maybe a bike powered mame station or similar stuff, but then I'm afraid that in such ways you can exercise only some parts of your body, so you're going to need other different kind of exercise for the other parts.

  • by Trak ( 670 )
    I'm no fitness trainer but I can share with you my personal routine.

    1) I bike 2 miles every night, even in the rain, around my block. Get yourself a cheap little $20 radio that straps on your arm and the laps just fly by.

    2) While you are watching TV at night, lay on the floor and do crunches and leg-lifts to work the abs and lower back.

    3) Cut down on the fatty foods. Surf over to the websites of all your favorite fast-food restruants and check out the nutrition information on their meals.
  • I eat whatever doesn't eat me first. Four eggs, scrambled with cheese for breakfast, three or four chili cheese dogs for lunch, pizza, burgers, steak, potatos, bread with butter, heck yesterday I had two slices of cheezecake for lunch ... BUT - no snacking between meals, no soda, no sugar in my ice tea (I drink lots of ice tea, half gallon or so per day.)

    Exercise consists of sitting behind a keyboard for 8 - 10 hours, but with a lot of nervous energy. Ever see those folks that don't sit still, always have to have their legs wiggling or bouncing ... that's part of it. Some people call that 'high metabolism' - and that's me. Oh yea, and one solid hour of wild sex per day. No joke.

    Results :
    6'1" at 165lbs, a thin build but legs are rock solid, arms are rock solid, trim belly and the muscles in the small of my back are world class.

    No joke. I would post pix but you guys would /. my server so fast it would make my head spin.
    • Look for opportunities to 'exercise'.

      Whenever you go to the store, park way out in left field so you have to walk 4 minutes to get inside (actually I do this cause I hate door dings, but same result.)

      Take the stairs instead of the elevator. I live 4 flights up.

      If you are going to eat candy, eat EXPENSIVE candy. The stuff I eat is marbled chocolate covered malt balls, $8 a pound (about $20 a kilo) The really good stuff that I eat (marzipan balls coated in dark chocolate, then a hard candy shell) is $13 a pound (close to $30 a kilo) - lets just say I don't eat too many of them at once, and I savor every one.

      With high metabolism comes high anxiety - did you really lock the door? Up 4 flights of stairs, check it, down 4 flights of stairs. Did you really turn off the headlights? Down 4 flights of stairs to the parking garage across the street, up two flights of stairs, check the headlights, down two flights of stairs, cross the street and up 4 flights of stairs ... did you remember to check that the car door was locked after you checked the headlights? No .. go back .. check check check ... then finally slump into your chair and relax.

      Anybody that parks in the front row deserves to be fat.
  • Sex. It's a team sport too :) I even know some geeks who engage in this activity regularly.
  • A couple of things (Score:2, Informative)

    by Gudlyf ( 544445 )
    Here are a few points to consider:
    • I think one poster already mentioned this, but when you have a choice between an elevator and stairs, always take the stairs, even if you're carrying something. If you can open the door to the stairwell and don't have a bumm leg/foot/kneee, there's no excuse.
    • Small but helpfull, get a stress ball [asisupplier.com]. They're not only good for stress relief, but they do build up wrist/forearm muscles if you use them long enough.
    • Go find an arcade that has the Dance Dance Revolution [ddrfreak.com] game and throw a few dollars into that. Better yet, get the home version [ddrfreak.com].
    • Like to play console games do you? Why not make it impossible to play the games without exercising? Take the power source of the Playstation or whatever console you're on and make it so that it is only on if the treadmill belt is rotating at a certain RPM.
    • I've heard of some other video games that incorporate exercise, like bicycles and treadmills. Look/ask around.

    Hope that helps!

    • Or, slightly less harsh, just put the PlayStation in front of the treadmill/exercise bike, and start a game that encourages you to sit there for hours at a time. Say, any of the Final Fantasy games, or anything by Square, really, Legend of Dragoon, RPGs of that type.

  • Uh, hello? You know that the most popular form of geek exercise is masturbation. No expensive equipment needed either, just a hand, a penis, and optional lube and visual materials.

    Sorry, I'm not posting links. You already know where to go, I'm sure.

    • Before any of you say it, no, a penis is not required. I just assume most geeks are equipped with one, rather than the more interesting alternative.

      Stupid 2 minute wait. Someone is going to beat me to it.
  • Where I work they put in a gym in the main building with all kinds of wieght eq and tread mills etc...

    That was about a year ago. You can join for 15 bucks a month, and they will take it right out of your pay check.

    I thought sweet!! So I joined as soon as it opened.

    I have never been in the place... I know that sounds sad - but I'm the network engineer here and pretty much work 10 hours + a day. And I try and keep weekends for the family. I do a little fishing and golf now and then but thats about it.

    If you really want to get in shape - MAKE THE TIME. Go for a walk every day - do pushups/situps - work out - buy video tapes, its doesn't have to cost much at all. But you have to make the time for it...

    I get exercise from lifting servers into the rack and twisting a screwdriver - I can crush your skull with my hands - but I couldn't run to the end of the parking lot - I just don't make the time and I'm kinda lazy about the hole exercise thing :)


  • Clean the dishes, mop the floor, dust....Then you'll get your excercise and have a clean house.

  • I think after I quit driving my car I noticed an improvement in my overall fitness. I walk or bike the 1.5 miles each way to work everyday. On the weekends I usually go skateboarding at the skatepark [stosberg.com] for a couple of hours.

    I juggle a bit everyday (at work and at home) and Sunday mornings I like to go joggling [stosberg.com]. (Juggling while jogging). I use weighted juggling balls to make it more of a workout.

    I think eating healthy is important, too. For me, that means a vegatarian diet, with an emphasis on maximizing fresh fruits and vegetables, and minimizing dairy.

    There's also all the little things you do to put more exercise in your day-- park a little farther from work if it's not practical to walk all the way. Use a hand basket instead of a a push cart at the grocery.

    In my case, I'm spending 40+ hours at my desk every week, doing things I already enjoy-- walking, skating and juggling, and eating food I like. Because all this is integrated to my daily routine, I don't feel much like I'm trying to get exercise, and age 26 I'm the same weight I was in high school-- and in better shape.

  • > how you geeks stay fit individually in your homes

    The "in your homes" part is your first mistake. Sure, do some pushies and sitties, but also get out and walk, swim, ride a bicycle, etc.

    And do it in the daytime now and then; sunlight is necessary for proper vitamin D management in humans. Contrary to a myth common among geeks, sunlight doesn't really destroy us.

    And eat right and sleep right and take regular showers, while you're at it.

  • www.CompuTrainer.com [computrainer.com]. Can even be connected to the internet!
  • Having spent my first two years at university sat infront of a computer far too much and doing way too little exercise (glandular fever, laziness etc etc), I found myself getting serious pains in my wrists and forearm tension whenever using a computer. Numerous sessions with a physio had no effect. I've since started going swimming / to the gym 3-5 times a week and feel MUCH better. General fitness is up so I feel better at work, the exercise seem to loosen my wrists up, and desk posture is much improved.

    Moral of the story, exercise is good, both physically and mentally, so get to it! Good luck.
  • I use a small coffee cup, so that i have to get up and walk down to the kitchen more often...
  • A rowing machine is really nice. You set it up and go. Then you take it apart and put it away. It exercises your whole body, and is really great cardio-vascular exercise. I lost about 20-30 pounds in 3-4 months using one. I also do some calisthenics, like sit ups and pushups. A pull-up bar is good.

    While the article did specify cheap, I should think that if anyone can afford this thing it would be a geek. However, I did get mine for a discount because I know someone who works at Concept2...

  • You burn more calories per hour than in most other sports. Play each day for an hour if you have the time and inclination, or at least two or three times a week. No expensive equipment required, only a court, a racquet and another person. In some cities it might be tough to find courts--many sports clubs have them, including the Y, but that (usually) requires (often expensive) membership. Alternatively, check with your local university. Most unis have courts, and if you're an alum they often let you play for free. My university does, and the courts are very decent quality. Plus there's an ample supply of young people with great game skills and stamina to keep you going and humiliate you. Not to mention the ample supply of babes to impress with your new good looks.
  • If you can't stand the though of sloggin out a jog every two days, or getting you little arms into the stinky gym - do somthing fun that just happens to have excercise component.

    Here, in the Northwest US - you can hike trails, climb rocks,kyayak, scuba dive, bicycle in the counry, hang-glide, climb mountains and wind surf. You could also go splunking, paint-balling, mountain biking and sky-diving. If you're still have high-school ambitions - team 'sports' are considered fun by some people

    Do somthing fun, and motivations won't be a problem. You coulden't get me to jog every day, but any one of the above and I'm there.

  • A lot of the fencers in my club are engineers and the like - or at least, engineers in training, as it's a university club. But fencing can be easily practiced individually, and all you need is two people to have a friendly match. The competitions are a blast, and a well-executed parry-riposte can keep you feeling good for days afterwards.

    Look here [usfencing.org] for fencing clubs in your area. Most clubs will have all of the equipment that you will need in the beginning, as long as you own comfortable shoes and moderately loose exercise clothes. Be warned, however, that as you get more involved, you will want to get some of your own equipment.

    Be warned again that some of your past enjoyment of flashy sword-fights in movies might diminish, but you can gain some enjoyment as well from criticizing what they do, and knowing that if you were faced with someone using a sword like that, you could probably take it out of their hand in next to no time.
  • The subject line says it all. Those types of exercises do not require any type of equipment, while toning and strengthening your muscles.

    The only drawback is that depending on your fitness level, you might not be able to do enough reps. If you manage to do about 10 in a row, that's a good start, you'll be able to increase that number later on. I started off doing 4 sets of 10 pushups, and about a year later I was doing 4 sets of 25 every day. Needless to say, they were helping me stay into shape, even though I was not going to the gym.

    But don't expect to bulk up while doing pushups or situps. If you want bigger muscles, then you really do need to go to a gym or to invest into a weight set. However, any kind of physical exercise helps.

  • At the beginning of this year I also decided that it was time to get off my butt more! I had been swimming for a while anyway, but have increased my swimming routine to a swim a week. I try and do at least 1km breastroke, though recently I've been focussing on some front crawl as well.

    I also cycle a lot - I'm currently working my way up to doing a 300km cycle down the West coast of Sweden from Gothenburg to Malmö, combining the cycling with some chances to swim in the sea and some tenting!

    I started running as well to pad out the disciplines. I try and run in interesting areas as much as possible and preferably off-tarmac!

    Put the 3 together and you have the basis for triathlon or multi-sports (or adventure sports). This is my motivation - to get out in the countryside more and hopefully enter some beginners races that include different disciplines. As well as swimming, running and cycling one can expect to include kayaking, climbing and other fun events.

    My main criteria was that I could train myself and *not* need to go to a gym (ugh!). I complement the outdoors activities with some abdominal workouts at home and I try and use my body as much as possible instead of taking the *easy* option.

    I'm never gonna be an athlete, but I do enjoy my workouts. The big test will be the winter period, but again I'm trying to look at it from the POV of the training in itself being enjoyable and something of an adventure. As long as I continue to feel that I should be able to keep it up.

    Good luck!

  • I started going to the gym where I work a couple of months ago. After a few weeks (the initial "I think I'm going to die!" period) I signed up with an outside gym to take advantage of the more suitable hours. I'm now going 5 days a week and have lost 20 pounds. It's the best I've felt in years.

    My routine: 40-60 mins cardio every visit (elliptical trainer or bike), abs every visit (stomach crunches and lower back), alternate arms/shoulders/chest or legs between visits.

    START EASY!! A major factor in people not continuing to exercise is that they start too hard and find it too tough. I had to take time to work my way up to a full hour on the elliptical trainer - at first I could only do 15 minutes. After your first couple of outings try 15 minutes to start, then do your weight stuff, then come back for another 15 later. You want your heart rate to be up and to be sweating, but complete overheating and exhaustion are counterproductive.

    For home exercise, motivation is the worst. If you want inexpensive equipment, EXERCISE BALL! It is fantastic for MANY different exercises (most directly useful for abs and back which is of critical importance for us stationary geeks). The advantage of the ball over traditional machines is that you have to BALANCE yourself, which brings entire muscle groups into play as opposed to targeting only specific muscles.

    You should really think of a gym as opposed to home exercise. There is a wider range of services, as well as professional help through personal trainers. I'd recommend paying for a trainer for your first few outings so they can lay a foundation workout routine for you.

    Good luck
  • Bulking Up (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MrIcee ( 550834 ) on Thursday August 15, 2002 @11:31AM (#4077170) Homepage
    Exercise boils down to one thing... ya gotta keep doing it and doing it. That brings in motivation - and I've found that having someone to work out with is the #1 BEST motivator on the planet - because if one of you feels not like working out, the other usually convinces you to do it.

    Most people buy equipment and let it rot in the closet. I had done this a number of times in the past myself. However, a year ago I decided I was sick and tired of the situation - and I had been watching Bowflex ads. I did some research on the Bowflex and most magazines and reviews spoke well... so I broke down and bought their least expensive model.

    Does it work? YES! When my partner and I started to use the Bowflex... at the most I could press and curl was 15 pounds (per arm) - pretty pathetic. Now I'm up to curling 80 lbs per arm (160 lbs total weight) and rowing 90 lbs per arm. This after about 9 months of use where we use it every other day for about 20 minutes.

    My arms have muscles now... and I feel much better and want to keep going. (my partner actually has abs showing now... but I need to lose more weight before mine start to pop out)

    The other important thing is to try to get outside and hike/swim etc... as well. Being in Hawaii, this is easy year round, but for those of you in other climates you will have to substitute other activities during the nasty months.

    As per bulking up... avoid all the mixes/drinks/drugs that aid you in doing this. Build your muscles the natural way.

    Bottom line? The equipment doesn't matter... what DOES matter is that you STICK WITH IT. To do that... get a partner who has the same goals in mind (it doesn't hurt either, if your partner is in better physical condition than you... since it gives you more motiviation to reach their body).

    Oh yeah... and put a picture of a big fat man on your fridge :)

  • Related previous question on AskSlashdot [slashdot.org]

    Although you should reconsider the group thing. Groups are awesome for motivation which can make them worth more effort than you might initially be willing to expend. Hearing real people ask why you didn't work out yesterday is often far more effective than hearing your consceince ask. And if you do a lot of strength training and less aerobics, do yoga too to avoid pulled muscles.

    On the don't-wanna-buy-anything note, do a ton of yardwork like planting those cheap trees from Hechingers, raking leaves (get a magnolia tree, they'll let you do this year round), and planting tomatoes. Moderate though so you don't break your back. Or fill milk jugs with varying amounts of sand and use them as dumbbells. Or (more for the males) deck your friends everytime you see them. It's good strength training to wrestle, plus you'll learn to brace yourself better for sudden impacts. Also if you can get an old Charles Atlas body-building kit, they work really well for that strong, but not steroid abusing strong look.
  • 90% of getting into shape is nutrition. Stop eating pizza, and have a chicken breast and some rice or something. Also, if you're trying to gain muscle, divide your current weight by 1.5, this is the number of grams of protein you'll need a day to gain muscle most efficiently.

    I use Isopure [isopure-outlet.com]. It's the *ONLY* product that is totally 100% ion-exchange whey protein. Other brands have whey protein concentrate and totally suck compared to isopure. Also, you can mix it with a spoon, you don't need a blender.

    You *may* want to look into taking Creatine if you're not seeing results in the first month. It works for some, but not for all. I'd read up on it before you take it. Creatine and protein powder are probably going to have the most effect for you. Of course, you need to eat right too. If you eat 6 small meals a day instead of 3 big ones, it will raise your metabolism and you'll lose fast quicker too.
  • by phoenix_orb ( 469019 ) on Thursday August 15, 2002 @11:42AM (#4077250)
    As a geek who also has a social life and (what the women call) a hard body, let me let you in on the two secrets to staying in shape.

    Excercise and Food intake.

    The first thing that I would do if I were you would be eliminate soda's. I still drink coffee in the morning as I probably only get 3-4 hours of sleep a night (thank you WebObjects), but because I eliminate soda, I have kept off tons of weight when I see the geeks around me slowly adding a gut. That is just a start, and you may want to change other eating habits as well. I have found that because I no longer drink pop (at 170 calories a can x 5-6 cans a day) I save almost 1000 calories. That leaves me enough room to pig out occasionally. Also if you excercise your metabolism will speed up, allowing you to burn off more calories, even when you are just sitting there.

    I personally work out maybe 30 minutes a day, with 10 minutes of warm up streching and 5 minutes of cool down streching. That is 45 minutes a day. Yes, it sucks, yes it takes time out of my day, but YES I LOVE the eventual benifit. As an aside, I have more energy, and feel better about myself. As an aside, streching is VERY important. You will be stiff and sore the next day, and get burned out on working out IF YOU DON'T STRECH OUT. If you do the soreness is kept to a minimum.

    The workout program is simple, but I know that you may want to taylor this to your own. I run two miles, which I can do in 10 minutes, then I work out my upper body and abs, and I alternate between the two of them. I have free weights at home and a curl bar (the bar was $30 at play it again sports, the weights are about 40 at wal-mart) As a person who has obnoxiously strong legs (I used to race bicycles long ago) I run with leg weights on, but that is something that you may not wish to start out on.

    There are a couple of books which I use as a guideline to help me out, and I recommend them highly.

    They are the "Stronger Abs and Back: 165 Exercises to Build Your Center of Power"

    I am finally getting close to a rock hard 6 pack thanks to this book alone. WOW.

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/088011558 0/ 104-1080760-7878365

    The Body Sculpting Bible for Men

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/157826085 X/ 104-1080760-7878365
    Great book, hints on eating correctly, and hints on using what you have to achieve what you want.

    Strength Training Anatomy

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/073604185 0/ 104-1080760-7878365

    This book is very good if you wish to get into a gym and you really want to know which excersices work what. It has diagrams and walk throughs of dozens of machines and free weights, and shows you drawings of what muscles it works.

    I have been working out for 4 months now. I have lost 15 pounds, went from 14 to 7% body fat, and really started toning up. I have found that it has really done a lot more than just make me look better. I hope that you find what you need and start working out yourself. :)

  • by Kwirq ( 43822 )
    Not the ram; the game -- Dance-Dance Revolution Although it may be a teeny bit expensive to get the mats and the game (though now that there's a domestic release, it's a bit better), but it's good fun, and a great cardio workout.
  • Beer is a useful tool for bulking up.
  • Yoga.

    Yoga is a great way to get in all sorts of shape. It will let you work on your flexibility, breathing excercises, concentration and focus, and has many other benefits besides. My mother used to do yoga, and has been trying to get back into it. I plan to do so this fall when I go off to university. Perhaps you should look into doing the same, it would make a great compliment to strength training, if you were doing that, and can help you maintain a relaxed and stress-free lifestyle.

  • Good sport that geeks seem to enjoy alot, great workout, good for bad weather (just bundle up if it's wet out), and it's not hard to get into, 'cuz everyone can throw a frisbee.
  • I climb rock -- fake or real, it doesn't matter. I love it. Rock climbing has this amazing ability to work out large and small muscle groups. The large muscles are for power (ie. to lift yourself from hold to hold) and the small muscles are for stabilization (balance, etc.) It also works every part of the body if you do it right (arms, shoulders, chest, back, abs, legs, forearms). I think there are several excellent things about climbing that would please a geek:

    • Think of it as a puzzle: get from point a to point b using these holds or in the smallest amount of time, or with the greatest efficiency. Think of it as an NP-complete problem. :-)
    • You put on muscle mass: however, your body is fantastic at optimizing the amount of muscle for your efforts. Look at climber's bodies. They are well-defined and not ugly-bulky. Women dig climber's bodies.
    • Flexibility: climbing requires flexibility. Fortunately, flexibility is the easiest of (flex. strength, endurance) to enhance. Flexibility means you can look like spiderman and impress others.
    • Endurance: You try hanging on some rock for more than 30 minutes as a newbie and you'll see what I mean. After a bit (6 months) you'll be able to campus some trick routes (ie. only hands, no feet).
    • It's damn fun and a great feeling to know that you can climb a vertical surface that resembles a pane of glass
    • It's can be done in solitude (as bouldering, which is within 1-5 metres of the ground). Appease the anti-socialness in you! :-) On the other hand, getting together with others is far more rewarding.
    The cost is low: you can try it with a pair of sneakers and some crushed chalk. A pair of shoes will run you between $80-$160 (Cdn or US), though the shoes are something that can be had second-hand (I don't recomment anything else be used second-hand though). I gained 35 lbs of muscle mass in about 8 months just from climbing. My fat percentage is very low (about 8% -- it shouldn't drop below about 5% which can be unhealthy). Of course, diet is important, but if you excercise, you can increase your metabolism which can enable you to burn calories just by breathing. :-)
  • by krs-one ( 470715 ) <vic@ope n g l f o r ums.com> on Thursday August 15, 2002 @12:25PM (#4077669) Homepage Journal
    That I need to get in shape as well. I am a large person, and I knew that all that sitting in front of the computer downing Dr. Peppers and pizza slices was not good. The first thing I did was give up drinking Dr. Pepper, cold turkey. In one summer, from not drinking Dr. Pepper (I drank water and iced tea occasionally instead), I lost 27lbs, just from not drinking 300 wasted calories.

    Then I started to work out. I do a lot of cardio exercises to get my heartrate way up. Thats when you start to loose a lot of weight. And it can be fun to. Find an exercise bike, get a good book/magazine, and start reading. In an hour, you will have lost a ton of calories, exercised a lot, and finished 50+ pages in your book. There really isn't a downside. If you can't get a book, find a TV. Two episodes of The Simpsons and you are done. Thats it.

    After I do cardio, I go lift weights extensively. Mainly upper body since the cardio takes care of the lower body. In just 3 weeks of doing weights, I've increased my bench max from 115lbs to 155lbs. Its that easy (wow I sound like a piece of SPAM).

    The last thing to do is aerobics, especially kickboxing. Its fun, its really a good exercise, you get your heartrate up, and usually there are tons of dainty, hot chicks in the room with you. ;)

    At any rate, just eat right and work out is what it comes down to. You don't have to look like Ahnuld, but then again, you don't have to look like Jabba.

    Hope this helps. -Vic
  • I've used just the diet portion and the eatwatch program and I lost almost 20 lbs by doing nothing more than watching what i eat.

    Hacker's Diet [fourmilab.ch]

    -- Tim
  • I'm not 100% what your constraints are since you state I have been wondering for a while how to stay fit (and additionally, how to bulk up) and then are there any ways to do so (while building up muscle) that don't involve expensive equipment?. The obvious answer is to get a membership at a gym. That way you don't have to junk up your house with bulky weight lifting equipment. Since that's so obvious, I'm going to make the assumption that you're not so afraid of expensive equipment as you are of spending a lot of money.

    First, I'd like to state my opinion that a good weight lifting gym shouldn't cost a lot of money. A good gym should have some good quality free weights and not be cluttered up with fancy machines that look pretty and cost a mint. Look in the yellow pages and call every single gym you can find. Even those that don't take out half-page ads. For any that fall within your budget, go there and check it out. Don't be concerned with whether it's pretty and clean and has lots of hot babes running around. You might find a cheap gym that helps its members focus on the basics of building muscle.

    Now, let's suppose that no gyms are suitable for you for whatever reason. You desire a way to "bulk up" and "stay fit" that doesn't involve outside sports (and I'm making the assumption that you don't want to spend much money either). That's starting to get a bit more difficult, particularly the "bulk up" portion. The key to building muscle is progressive resistance. Without a nice selection of weights, that's going to be pretty difficult. You can try isometric exercises (exerting force against an immovable object -- like trying to "curl" a doorknob) but I'm personally skeptical how much strength you can build that way. You may want to look into those elastic band resistance exercise things. They're not going to be as good as free weights but they will be cheap and I believe you can adjust the resistance they deliver because they are elastic media and obey Hooke's Law. Another possibility is to get your friends to go in with you and buy some basic free weights. Go for basics here: a power rack, a barbell, a bench and some weights. That's all you need. Don't waste your money on a leg extension table or crap like that.

    As for the simple "stay fit" portion, this is much easier than the "bulk up" part. Some El Cheapo ways of getting in shape: jump rope, walk up the staircase of a building for 30 minutes, go running early in the morning inside a mega-mall (you'll see old people doing their morning walks in here a lot of times), look into sports indoors (indoor soccer, martial arts, etc.), sign up for an aerobics class (not just in the expensive gyms, check out adult ed centers, local colleges, etc.).

    You might also get some ideas from simply skimming the "Sports" section of Yahoo or Google to remind yourself of the wide selection of athletic activities available to you. You might have to adapt some of them to fit your specific constraints, but that's a chance to apply your geek problem solving skills. The biggest challenge for you, as I see it, is to build muscle on the cheap. Hopefully you can find a back-to-basics gym in your area. And if you're really serious about building muscle, I strongly recommend you check out some of the books and magazines published by Hardgainer [hardgainer.com]. They publish weight lifting instruction that is ideally suited for people who don't have incredible genetics which is probably the majority of geeks and slashdot readers. The methods we need to use are significantly different from what you're going to read in all those Weider Inc. glossy magazines in the bookstores. You know the ones I'm talking about: they all feature a super-muscular guy posing next to a silicon-enhanced bikini girl. Following the advice you find in there is a sure fire way to frustration.

    Good luck!

  • The 12oz curl, laps around the mousepad and...

    cuff-weighted carrot cuffing.
  • I've taken up watching TV while I do exercises on the couch and floor. Good couch exercises include situps and crunches; there are a ton of good floor exercises like push-ups of various sorts, weight-lifting, squats, etc. I don't know about you, but I get mesmerised by the TV no matter what's on, so it makes the exercise a lot less boring.

    By the way, the best TV show to watch while doing exercise (I think) is the anime classic "Dragon Ball Z". This show, if you haven't seen it, essentially consists of 30 minutes of straining in preparation for unleashing a gigantic fireball, or getting hit by a fireball, or struggling to get up after being hit by a fireball. When I see each of the characters reach the next ultimate power level, it really helps me do those extra 50 sit-ups.
  • This is someone that can assist you in following a solid diet/exercise plan. Additionally, a trainer will ensure that you are exercising effectively, and correctly thus less likely to injure yourself. Nothing as dicouraging as an injury to sour someone to fitness.

  • Look for a local martial arts club. The best place to look is for a township-sponsored type. The kind where they distribute flyers to school kids. Those are usually the cheapest (and since the instructor isnt in it for the money, you get teachers who only care about teaching, and not their wallet).

    Ive been involved in a program like this for over 10 years and have had alot of good experiences. Excercize, self defense, and lots of the good "mental things" like self-respect, self-esteem, discipline, etc.
    • As a long-time Comic Book Guy Physique Geek (tm) who finally decided to lose some weight a year ago, what kind of shape does one need to be in before starting in on martial arts?

      There's a Kung Fu place just up the street (behind the Subway, oddly enough), but I always wimp out when I decide to go check it out. I started off weighing in at about 285lbs (at 6'3) of mainly fat last year and have by now dropped down to 220 (my goal being 185), but I can't help still feeling like a lardo. I mean, I'm only now after months of running (admittedly with a month or so break in the middle) getting up near 2 miles a day and it still takes me nearly a half hour to do it.

      So be bluntly honest; what does it take to make it as a beginner martial artist? Are there any particular physical requirements that I should be sure I can achieve before I even think about signing up?
      • If you go to a good school that caters to beginners, then your physical shape wont matter one bit.

        We have a couple of guys shaped like you, and while they occasionally have problems with the dojo getting too hot, they are fully capable of doing what we do.
  • I went from a pathetic 125-130lbs to a much more respectable 155-160lbs over the last 10 months. My target is 185lbs by Xmas. I'm 6'2 btw, and previously, I had more in common with a stick than a body builder. I got into racing cars and karts, and that means you need upper body strength. Besides, being able to smash stuff is cool. Ugh ugh ugh. Once you see results it is very encouraging, but it takes a LONG time.

    My advice is to get yourself the cheapest set of weights walmart has and the cheapest bench you can get. I spent about $200 total to start. Get some gloves. Forget clubs, forget fancy diets. Eat mad protein. Cows provide it. It's called milk. Put the bench someplace you'll use it, and religiously use it EVERY SECOND DAY for 6 months. You absolutely must stick to it. Like the poster said, that is the most important thing. You MUST stick to it. Get yourself a $20 chinup bar. If it's in your house, nobody needs to know you can't bench 50lbs. :)

    The most important thing is STICKING WITH IT. Do NOT make excuses, and do NOT deviate from the plan.

    If -and only if- you can stick with that for 6 months, upgrade to something more sophisticated. I want a bowflex for christmas, those things work like magic - sprung weight means you can push limits without worrying about a bar falling on your neck.

    After that, without being cliche: "I know kung-fu" - go get into a contact martial art. This is my next step, more for the thrill of sparring than anything else.

    Chicks really do notice, too. :)

    • Did you use any supplements or power drinks? I'm still trying to figure out whether they are science or just product marketing hype.

      I've been trying to put on weight, but I've only gained about 10 pounds over the last year. I guess I'm afraid to eat too many extra calories, fearing they'll turn to fat before they turn to muscle. :-\ How much milk did you actually drink?

      • I tried some whey protein. It was largely a waste, when I tallied up the protein intake and whatnot I was better of with milk and water. Water good. They're largely hype unless of course you like the taste. Protein suppliments taste n-a-s-t-y. Just drink more milk :). I am for at least a liter to 2 liters of milk a day, which is pretty easy to do.

        Weight is a slow process. I can eat whatever I want and not gain a pound, so I'm not the typical case. The 30lbs or so I put on is all muscle, and it helps. If I don't have muscle fiber to repair though I gain almost no weight, but that's just me.

        The biggest thing is consistancy. 20-30 minutes a day, small numbers of reps (6-8). You don't need anything else.

  • Many places (fedex, ups, probably usps) need people to take stuff off of trucks, and put stuff on trucks.

    These positions typicially pay around $10/hour, and you get a workout included. I was working as a package handler for fedex for a few weeks, and I know if i stayed there I'd be 'ripped' in like two months.

    Of course, I quit cause I was tired of bruises and cuts from the darn packages, oh well.

  • I find that the only way to get me excersising is to have other people depending on me and that means team sports.

    And there is no better team sport than indoor cricket!
  • Best for geeks (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ehiris ( 214677 ) on Thursday August 15, 2002 @06:56PM (#4079562) Homepage
    Dyna-Flex PowerlBall Gyro [dynaflex-intl.com]. It makes cool lights and it is also meant to eliminate the main physical problem we are all exposed to: carpal-tunnel.
    I can't even describe how quick my fingers fly on the keyboard and mouse after using it.
    It also provides a very cool way of tracking your progress with data that looks almost like process utilization metrics.

    Sorry if I sound like a comercial but I love it.
  • It's fun, it's inexpensive, and it's a good workout. You might want to work somewhere that has a shower though. Long rides are good too. I used to ride a total of 20 miles a day commuting to my old job. Needless to say, I was buff.
  • I think the perfect geek exercise device would include a keyboard, a mouse and a controlled screen so that the screensaver would kick in if you failed to walk/jog/pedal/climb/etc...

    That way you would *have* to exercise to check your email in the morning.

  • by bruckie ( 217355 ) <slashdot@brucec.net> on Thursday August 15, 2002 @11:21PM (#4080688) Homepage

    There have been some excellent articles and discussion on this subject over the past few months over at kuro5hin [kuro5hin.org]:

    I've found the articles very informative and well-written. They include references to more information (books, web sites).

    As a side note, I find the topic of this Ask Slashdot a little funny. Geeks aren't some separate species; they're humans, and can eat and exercise the same way as all of the other humans. :)


  • Dance! (Score:2, Interesting)

    Dancing is a great way to stay fit, not to mention meet people. You'd be amazed at how many computer/engineering types dance. I'm a professional ballroom dancer/dance teacher, and staying fit isn't a problem; eating enough to keep up with my metabolism is! Social activity is a wonderful thing, and ballroom dancing is a great way to meet like-minded people. You don't need to bring a partner; just stop by your local studio and sign up! (disclaimer: some studios can be quite expensive; call around for price as well as for certified instructors)...
  • Yoga (Score:2, Interesting)

    by lpq ( 583377 )
    Yoga can be a very good workout. It can help back flexibility and reverse bad curvatures of the spine. It is also shown to be successful in treating RSI problems -- carpal tunnel among others. There are upper level asanas that require a great deal of strength and flexibility. It isn't for wimps. It can also be a good counter remedy to stress (what -- geeks, stressed?...na...we don't need no stinkin' schedules). Whole bunches of health benefits.
  • I'd definitely recommend martial arts training, though you'll have to do your research to find a good school. (E-mail me if you want some specific pointes on what to look for.) Not only will a good style improve your strength, stamina, and flexibility, it will also develop your mind and spirit.

    Shameless self promotion: my dojo's web site. [seidomd.com]

  • Sometime in the future, a version of Quake were released where your run speed and endurance in-game were dependent on your real life run speed/endurance.

    Suddenly you'd have hardcore gamers becoming athletes. :)

    No "endurance hack" needed - Just keep playing and shape up. :)
  • But check out the dojos in your area... a lot of them seem to be contract dojos where you basically pay for whatever belt you want to get. Try to find something intense and focused on self-defense/personal development, rather than one focused on merely attaining some color of belt.

    Personally, I study kyokushinkai karate (and highly recommend it, though I'm biased) which is fairly hard-core, but I know that there are other styles that are similar in their intent. The nice thing about such a dojo is that you can practice in your living room and the only real expense you've got is your gi and possibly a fee for the instructor.

  • After reading the recent article in the NYT about the Atkins diet, I decided to give it a try. I was a 6'2" almost 300 lb. smoker. In one month I've lost 30 lbs., quit smoking, started bicycling every morning before work, and I feel great. Better than I have in over 10 years. The diet has been trivially easy to follow, and I don't feel starved or deprived. I think the most helpful thing I did, besides quitting smoking, was eliminating the soda. I used to drink 5-6 cans or more of Mountain Dew every day. Eliminating that took out 1000 calories a day right off the bat.

We all like praise, but a hike in our pay is the best kind of ways.