Nerd Fitness: Own Your Weirdness

Michelle Baumann

Coach and Editor (US)

Eugene, Oregon, United States

Natural Movement, CrossFit

Is attending Comic Con on your bucket list? Are you glued to the television each week for the commentary on “After the Thrones?” Do you daydream about what your super power would be if you were a superhero?


If so, Nerd Fitness was created just for you.



Steve Kamb, a self-proclaimed “goober,” started Nerd Fitness in 2009 as a way to “help desk jockeys, nerds, and average Joes level-up their lives.” The idea is to treat life as a game, going on quests to not only improve your fitness, but also your life.


Nearly 300,000 people have subscribed to the “rebellion,” and community members can pay to become part of The Academy, an online fitness program that is designed like a video game. “Rebels” earn points to move up to the next level by successfully completing workouts or making smart nutrition choices.


More than 20,000 people from across the globe have joined The Academy and connect through active online forums and in local meet ups. In September, members can unite in Georgia for Camp Nerd Fitness for a five-day fitness, health, and wellness adventure.


The most striking feature of Nerd Fitness isn’t the creative platform, but the creation of the vastly supportive community for people who otherwise were fitness misfits.


In a recent Washington Post article, one member commented that Nerd Fitness is the “only online space where she hasn’t been body-shamed or bullied for being a woman who’s into fantasy and anime.”


Every game needs a cast of characters, and in Nerd Fitness, there is someone for everyone. The site identifies six role-playing style guilds based on athletic abilities.


For example, Assassins are into activities like parkour and people in the Adventurer Guild like to hike, rock climb, and travel. Online and at live meet-ups, members take pride in creating an environment that is free from judgment.


Kamb encourages members to design a life that feels authentic and fulfilling. He emulates this principle through his own “Epic Quest of Awesomeness.”


In addition to fitness-related goals like complete five strict muscle ups, Kamb’s bucket list includes “Rock Star Goals,” like write and record an original song, and “Business Goals,” like become a published author, which he recently completed.


Nerd Fitness is a refreshing approach to the traditional workout mentality. When people can find an activity that puts a smile on their face and gets results, their method doesn’t really matter.


Like I’ve said before, life is too short to not have fun with fitness. Find your tribe and own your weirdness.

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