Geek Into Shape Podcast Episode 1: A Hero’s Origin.

Well, it is here, the first episode of the Geek Into Shape podcast! The goal of this podcast is to give you quick tips, advice, and motivation to get you fit, GEEK STYLE! Each episode should be short, between 5 and 15 minutes. I plan on starting with some solo podcasts, and I will hopefully add in interviews and videos as I go. Like this blog, I am doing this purely for fun, experience, and to help others, so I don’t expect me to be Johnny on the spot every week, but I will try not to go more than a few weeks without a new episode.

I am brand, spanking new to this whole podcast producing thing, so the audio quality isn’t the best, but I hope to explore and learn as I go and always improve it.  Let me know if you know any good tips!


I will get the feeds submitted to iTunes soon, but until then, you can subscribe manually if you like using this feed.

UPDATE: iTunes page is now up!

Episode 1 Show Notes and Overview:

Six Steps to get started on your fitness journey:

Step 1: Know your past – Make a list of the things that led you to the unhealthy point you are today.

Step 2: Discover Your Powers – Take a fitness assessment: President’s Challenge Adult Fitness Test. Take critical measurements: Weight, height, waiste size, arm size, leg size, BMIBody Fat %Lean Body Mass

Step 3: Set Your Goals and Build an Attack Plan – Make a list of all goals. Start by attacking the most attainable goals first.

Step 4. Gear Up – Make a home gym or get a gym membership.

Step 5. Build your alliance – Get gym buddies, online support, etc.

Step 6: Monitor the battle – Start a fitness journal.

Agile Health and Fitness: Part 1 – The Manifesto

Image curtesy of Dashu Pagla

Image courtesy of Dashu Pagla

I was reading a post by Leo Babauta over at Zen Habits about sticking to a meal plan, and I immediately recognized the same patterns and thought processes that I follow at work everyday doing agile software development.  When I was first introduced to the agile frame of mind, it seemed to fit with the way I imagined software was supposed to be developed.  But this article helped me realize how easily agile practices can be applied to our everyday health and fitness.  Instead of building software to meet requirements, we are executing a plan to meet our health and fitness goals.  I thought I would start a series of posts related to this topic, with the first post starting with the basics: the values in the Manifesto for Agile Software Development itself.

1. Individuals and interactions over processes and tools

Since the text above is primarily referring to a team of people and a customer of some sort, I will narrow the scope of the statement to be “Individual and Self-Interaction.”  What this means, is that is is much more important to be honest with yourself when it comes to your own well being.  It the world of health, you are your main customer (wife is a close second).  You have to acknowledge the fact that you are responsible for your destiny, and the more often you interact with yourself (that’s called thinking) about your requirements, goals, and progress, the better chance you will have at meeting your expectations.  This does not mean processes (workout plans and diets) and tools (exercise equipment and nutrition trackers) are not important, but they will only take you as far as you allow them to take you.  So next time your office-mate waves a box of Thin Mints in your face, make sure to do a little self-interaction and say NO!

2. Working software over comprehensive documentation

Well of course we aren’t talking software here, so I will relate working software to your intermediate and end goals and I will relate comprehensive documentation to your exercise and nutrition logs you keep along the way.  I know I have preached the importance of tracking your fitness results in past articles, and I still do; however, the more important thing is making significant progress against your health goals.  If you want to lose 10 pounds, it is much more important to meet that end goal that to track every step along the way.  That being said, I believe that the end goal can be met faster by constant progress updates, which can be obtained by keeping those metrics along the way.

3. Customer collaboration over contract negotiation &
4. Responding to change over following a plan

When applying these rules to health and fitness, it is easier to take the last two statements together.  Earlier, I mentioned that you are your main customer for your own health.  It is critical you are constantly reiterating to yourself what your goals are, what your health requirements are.  You may try to set a goal up front, a contract for your future health.  You may develop a plan to meet those goals, and that is great.  But the more important thing is to allow yourself room to modify your goals and your plan as things change.  In the world of health and fitness, the requirements (goals) don’t change as much as new requirements come in and take priority (baby, work, 6 seasons of Lost).  Always reassess what is important to you and be flexible in your plans to adjust to any changes in goals you might impose on yourself or changes in the environment you are in trying to meet those goals.  On a deeper-dive into the day-to day planning, response to change is a key to meeting the individual milestones to meet you goals.  If you are training for a 5k and mother nature decides to dump two weeks of rain on you, don’t just push off your schedule and miss your “deadlines.”  Go to the gym and hop on a treadmill, go buy some water resistant clothes and water-proof ear-buds and go running in the rain, or just change the workout to something new altogether.  Just be agile.

Final scratches

I know all of this is obvious.  But it is sometimes easy to forget the priorities to meet our goals.  Remember, the priority is to meet the goal, not to do it perfectly to a plan and have every calorie and mile mapped out. Just get out there and do it.

I plan on going into more detail on some of the 12 Principles of agile software in a future post, so stay tuned.

George’s Fitness Podcast Pick of the Month

I am always listening to podcasts.  Driving, working, cleaning, exercising, all the time.  It drives my wife nuts, but I find so much useful information about anything and everything by flipping off the TV and putting in those little white ear buds.  One thing I am new to, though, is fitness podcasts.  And there are a bunch of them out there.  Some, I have found helpful and interesting.  Other can be boring and useless.  I have been sifting through a bunch of them recently and thought I would let you know about the ones that are climbing to the top of my “must listen to” list.  And of the ones I review each month, I will pick my favorite one so that ye with little time will always be able to trim down your playlist and only listen to the best.  So enough with this introduction rubbish. On to the reviews!

My Pick: Being Healthy for Busy People

(Review based on Episode 9)

This podcast rocked!  I had to listen at this podcast just for the title; try to find geek that isn’t busy (and I do consider playing Lord of the Rings Online “busy work”).  The funny thing was, the episode I listened to wasn’t even about being busy.  It was about the health benefits (and decrements) of tea, coffee, and Venti Carmel Mochas with extra whip cream.  This really hit close to home since I am a café junkie.   The information provided was detailed and very well researched.   Yet it remained very concise, understandable, and helpful.  But most importantly, this one little 20 minute show actually motivated me to start changing one of my habits by providing me with all the facts and options I need to know to do so.  I was so impressed by Episode 9 that I downloaded and listened to all of the episodes.  This podcast seems really seemed to hit all the high points for me and I strongly suggest it for everyone else.

Other Reviews This Month:

Motivation to Move (Review based on Episode 161)

I enjoyed this podcast.   It was light, upbeat, and knowledgeable.  They sure have been doing it for a while, seeing that they are on episode 161.  The length is good: only 30 minutes.  Long enough to have in depth topics, but short enough to listen to on the commute to work or walk to the store.  The website seems to have a big community as well.  It did, however, have some cheesy, “self-help” style music playing in the background.  That always drives me nuts.  This was a good podcast, but it wasn’t great.  If you are dedicated to fitness podcasts or have a lot of time, I say listen away because this was a good show.  I personally have plenty of other podcasts on my play list that I would listen to first, and this one would probably fall into the “Mark as not new” category.  I do plan to listen to a few more episodes, and I’ll let you know if I have a change of heart.

Nutrition Diva’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Eating Well and Feeling Fabulous (Review based on Episode 7)

I love the whole Quick and Dirty Tips line of podcasts.  I think they have the perfect format for a podcast.  They all take one topic or user question a week and provides a 5-7 minute tip.  The Nutrition Diva is one of their more recent additions to the lineup.  The host seems knowledgeable and professional.  The episode I listened to wasn’t necessarily the best podcast I have ever heard, but, hey, it only took 5 minutes out of my day (and those were just audible minutes)!  Even though this specific episode wasn’t anything special, I am biased to the overall quality of QaDT productions, so I have added this to my subscriptions.  Hopefully I’ll have better things to say in the future.

And that’s it for Septembers reviews.  If you have agree or disagree with anything I have said, please leave some comments.  Also tell me if you have any other podcasts that you enjoy.  Next month, I plan to look at podcasts featuring workout music, which should be fun since I really don’t like electronica, and that is what all fitness music podcasts play.  Have a great week and remember to stay active!