WHO ARE WE TALKING TO TODAY?
Who: Steve Kamb
Where is he normally: Steve’s Awesome Site
Why should I care about what he has to say: Steve has the ultimate geek site and I mean that as a compliment … and he’ll take it as one too! When I grew up, I loved to watch films and pretend I was the superheroes and what not. Then browsing the web one day, I found Steve’s site and realised that I really could become like them by following his site. Steve site is full of passionate helpful advice on how to get into the best shape you can by using computer games and films for your inspiration. Needless to say, I love his site! Steve has found a way to make fitness fun for the masses and allow your inner geek to act as a kid again! His site always puts a smile on your face but it’ll also get you into the best shape of your life too!
WHAT DID STEVE HAVE TO SAY?
NLG: Can you please tell us a little about yourself, your journey from average dude to running a hugely successful website? Why do you think that people love your site so much compared to other fitness websites – what is the unique selling point?
SK: My name is Steve, and I was raised on Nintendo: I grew up wanting to be Link from the Legend of Zelda! I’ve always been a nerd, but I’ve also always been fascinated with being active and having fun with exercise. After getting cut from my basketball team in high school (which looking back shouldn’t have been a surprise: I wasn’t very good), I decided I needed to get big and strong before trying out the following year. I signed up for a gym membership the next day, almost killed myself when I tried to lift too much weight, and fell in love with the idea of “leveling up” by getting a little bit stronger, a little bit faster, and a little bit healthier. I spent six years (the rest of high school and all of college) strength training but never making much progress physically. After graduating college, I had a few free sessions with a personal trainer that completely changed my diet and training structure – in 30 days I had more success than in my previous six years of training. Then and there, I knew I wanted to create a place for beginners to learn how to get healthy without having to make the six years of mistakes that I did.
I figured: “I’m a nerd, I like fitness…there HAVE to be others out there like me.” Thus, NerdFitness.com was born – a community for desk jockeys, nerds, and average joes who are interested in leveling up their lives. I’ve been writing articles at Nerd Fitness for almost four years now, and it’s been my full time job for two+ years.
NLG: What do you think it is to be a man nowadays? Do you think we have lost what it takes to be a man? What defines being a man and what should they aspire to be like? What are the virtues that they should adopt?
SK: I think being a man is all about accepting personal responsibility and taking care of one’s family.
We live in the greatest time man has ever seen, and yet everybody is unhappy (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8r1CZTLk-Gk)! I think too many people accept their unfortunate situation and waist their time complaining rather than putting steps in place to make positive changes. They chose to
pass the blame for their unhappiness onto anything and everybody else other than looking in the mirror.
We need to step up and understand that we’re not owed ANYTHING for being born; we need to earn it! We need to understand that every day is an opportunity to live better lives for ourselves and make better lives for our families and children. This is the way I look at it: “Did I wake up +today? Yes? Then it’s a freaking good day! I can build on that.”
NLG: You’re an extremely busy guy, writing e-books, running a mega successful blog and so on – how do you manage to do so much? What do you do to cope with the stress (e.g. an organisation method, meditation, yoga etc)
SK: I get all these things done the same way everybody else does: one thing at a time, one day at a time. I decide what I want out of life (run my own business, travel, get stronger, etc.), and then I break everything down into smaller steps, asking “will this get me closer or further away from my goals?” After that, it’s simple: I put one foot in front of the other and get started.
As far as stress management, exercise is my meditation. I love exercising alone and going for long walks alone, playing my favorite songs on my iPod and just zoning out for a while. My life is so hectic that these moments of exercise, hiking, walking, etc. have become my “constant” in a day generally filled with uncertainty.
NLG: As a fitness guru, what do you consider the 3 physical benchmarks that a guy should aim for in your opinion to be classed as a fit guy? (e.g. complete a circuit in a certain time, lift a certain weight or to simply be strong enough to play horsey with your kid etc). Why do you think guys don’t get into shape? How would you recommend they get in shape?
SK: I think “fit guy” is a relative term, and will be vastly different for people depending on their current situation or preferred method of exercise. Because I’m a big fan of minimalist exercise (due to the fact that I travel so much), my benchmarks will be bodyweight focused, though I could create a completely different set of benchmarks based on weight training.
I feel like these three “benchmarks” below would suggest that you are adequately prepared for most situations when it comes to being fit. For some people, this will seem laughably easy, while for others it’ll seem impossible. To each his own!
5 dead hang pull ups in a row
30 push ups in a row
Run a mile in 8 minutes or less.
NLG: Can you tell me any tips for life or business that you have found that shouldn’t work but do, the ones that sound so stupid and absurd that go against what people traditionally think works but it gets results (e.g. ignoring a girl makes her work harder to get you)
SK: When starting your blog/business, don’t put your focus on making money. Instead, give away as much free content as possible, help as many people as possible, and ask for absolutely NOTHING in return. Build up a tremendous amount of respect and popularity for being the guy that helps people live better lives, and figure out from there how you can offer services or products that improve your readers’ lives and that they will gladly pay for.
NLG: I love the passion and personality that’s in your writing on your blog. What advice would you give to anyone who wants to live life (and/or a website) on their own terms rather than pretend to be someone else? Where do you find inspiration for your blog posts?
SK: Well, I think it’s important to write about something that you are incredibly passionate about – something that you would enjoy writing about even if you weren’t getting paid for it. However, it also needs to be something that eventually people WILL pay money for. If your passion isn’t helping people solve a problem or cure a pain that they have, they might read your site for entertainment purposes, but will never buy anything from you or allow you to turn your blog into a business.
As far as writing style, if you try to be something you’re not, or write in a style that betrays your personality, you won’t write with your own voice, and people can tell. This is a lesson that took me nine months to learn.
I find my inspiration everywhere: books, videogames, tv shows, movies, my childhood. Oftentimes, ideas just pop into my head randomly when I least expect them to: in the shower, while exercising, in the middle of the night, while out at a bar, etc.
NLG: You’ve done some amazing things in your life so far. Can you please explain what your ‘Epic Quest of Awesome’ is, how it benefits you and what advice you would give to any of my readers who wanted to go on a similar journey? How can they ‘Level Up Their Life’?
SK: Up until two years ago, I had never really been outside of North America. I wanted to start traveling and having more experiences and adventures, so I decided to turn my life into a videogame: The Epic Quest of Awesome. I give myself experience points for crossing things off my bucket list that challenge me, give me a unique life experience, or allow me to visit another part of the world. In the past two years, I’ve visited 20 countries on six continents and crossed over thirty things off my list of life goals.
For others, I would start by making a list of activities you’d like to complete or places you’d like to visit, maybe organizing them in order of difficulty or cost. I would then identify ONE place or ONE activity or ONE goal, identifying the steps needed to complete that thing, and then get started immediately. Once you finish one, you can move onto the next one, and then onto the next one. Don’t get overwhelmed and try to do 20 things at once; nothing will get done. Instead, just pick one and start working on it. Right now. Go
NLG: Your ‘Epic Quest’ has inspired me in more ways then I can probably ever tell you. It gave me the kick up the ass I needed to go out and ‘Level Up’ my own life! What do you consider your three best videos/articles and why do you feel they are the best? Please include the web address and I will include these in the interview.
SK: I’d pick
http://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/about-2/rules-of-the-rebellion/ – The Rules of the Rebellion show exactly what Nerd Fitness is. It defines our community, what ideals we stand for, and what we hope to get out of life. If somebody is interested in Nerd Fitness or joining our rebellion, this page will tell them whether or not it will be a good fit for him.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Av5WivuFAzk – a video I filmed of me from all of my travels around the globe. It took 18 months and 120,000 miles of travel, but it was worth it. I’m incredibly proud and happy with how it all turned out!
NLG: The exercise around the world video is epic! What a great idea and that trips must have been amazing. It inspired me to do some more travelling! Talking of role models, who do you look up to as role models in life and why? Are there particular movies or TV characters you always wanted to be like?
SK: Tim Ferriss, Chris Guillbeau, and Richard Branson. Tim’s “4 Hour Workweek” was the catalyst for me buying NerdFitness.com and putting the thought of constant travel and continual improvement in my head. Chris Guiellbeau’s “Art of Nonconformity” encouraged me to start Nerd Fitness as a blog and put my focus on helping people. Chris also helped teach me to travel hack, which allowed me to travel to so many countries over the last two years.
Last but not least, Richard Branson inspired me completely rethink what is possible with Nerd Fitness and the Rebellion – we’re now aiming for complete world domination - on top of that, I love his “Screw it, let’s do it” attitude. I try to make my decisions based on what’s best for the community or what will make everybody the happiest, not what will contribute the most to the bottom line or my bank account, and figure the rest will work itself out. So far, so good!
Growing up, I always wanted to be Superman (everybody wants to fly, right?), though recently I’ve come to identify more with Steve Rogers (Captain America): a weak dude named Steve who stumbled across something life-changing, got stronger and healthier, and now he spends his time fighting to inspire others to be better people and live better lives! I don’t plan on injecting myself with a super serum anytime soon, but I like the idea of inspiring as many people as possible to live better lives.
NLG: Lastly, can you please describe what your latest project ‘Rising Heroes’ is and how can my readers get involved?
SK: I can’t go into too much detail as we’re still very early on in the project, but Rising Heroes is essentially a fitness program/community that combines the incredibly addicting and social attributes of role playing game (RPGs) with getting fit and healthy. Think of it like a massively multiplayer online RPG in which the world is your game and YOU are the main character – in order to level up in game, you’ll need to level up in real life by completing quests, workouts, following the story, and exploring. it’s a massively ambitious undertaking, but I’m so excited about it and cannot wait to see how it can improve people’s lives.
If you visit RisingHeroes.com, you can sign up for our email list and learn more about when we’ll be letting more testers into the process.
SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS
- Check out Steve’s great blog by clicking Here.
- Be part of Steve’s epic Forum by clicking Here.
- Like the Facebook Fanpage Here.
- Follow Steve on Twitter Here.