<iframe width="560" height="315" src="
Collect more experience points!
I was introduced to the concept of experience points during my first game of Dungeons & Dragons. They work like this: in order to grow in power your characters must gain experience by achieving goals. You might be climbing a mountain, fighting a dragon, or saving baby bugbears. The point is - as you progress through your adventures, experience points are earned and you can use them improve your stats.
To this day, my life has been dedicated to improving myself just as much as my D&D characters. I spend every day trying to pile on real-world experience points and improve my real-world stats. So, imagine how excited I was the day I walked into Nerdstrong, and the theme of the workout was Dungeons & Dragons.
Nerdstrong is high intensity, like a CrossFit gym, except more fun because - Nerds. Anyone who's done high-intensity training will recognize the barbells, bumper plates, battle ropes, and squat racks. What will be new to you is the collection of squishy RPG dice, used for determining the number of reps for various workouts, or the library of books, video games, and comics free to borrow for every student. The gym's interior space is painted with superheroes, space invaders, and twenty-sided dice. It's about the best-looking space I've seen for high-intensity workouts.
The gym is run by Andrew Deutsch along with a team of excellent coaches, who are certified in a number of different styles of fitness, over the year the wall of certifications has grown, as the coaches are just as eager to learn as the students.
Nerdstrong, Storytelling, and Fitness
The key, in my opinion, to the greatness of this gym, is how it incorporates storytelling into fitness. It's way easier to swing a 30lb mace when you're smashing goblins than it is to swing it simply. It's also easier to push yourself when the rest of the class is a party of adventurers who you're working with to defeat a boss-monster than it is when you're alone.
The pinnacle of this year's storytelling workouts was coach David Nett's five-week Dungeons & Dragons fitness workout called: Night of the Zombie King. It was a larger version of their weekly Saturday workouts called Boss Monsters.
David started by setting up the adventure: We're all a bunch of adventurers gathered together after a war. Eventually, the tavern is attacked by a swarm of undead. Each of us needs to do a series of exercises to defeat them. Just when you think the workout is over, the big bads come: everyone has to band together and fight till their last drop of sweat. Each week the workout got tougher until we finally battled the Dracolich and the Zombie King. I've been involved with fitness for most of my life, and these few weeks easily the most fun I've had in a gym.
What made it better? David wrote up the adventure after and put it on the blog! How awesome is that?
Dungeons & Dragons might not be your nerd preference. Never fear, other workouts include: Indiana Jones, Star Wars, Marvel Comics, DC comics, Hamilton, Video Games, History, Mythology and just about everything else a nerd could want. Want to check it out? Every Sunday they have free themed workouts. You can also visit them during their game nights, movie nights, and through a variety of other free events the offer at the gym.
If you're a nerd, and you're looking to get in shape - Nerdstrong is the place.
A few of the workouts:
Indiana Jones/Holy Grail workout - Choose wisely.
Nerd Supremacy - Memorize 16 digit codes while pushing yourself through four rounds of activity.