Community Campfires

The r/Fitness Community Campfire threads are for users who have had success in overcoming a specific kind of challenge for their fitness to share their experience with the community (as one might share tales of victory around a campfire) of what worked for them, and answer questions that anyone might have about it. The intent is to have the feeling of a group of people with the same goals sitting around a campfire sharing their experience for the benefit of everyone listening.

Working Out in the Morning

If you work out in the morning, what challenges have you had to face and how did you overcome them?

Managing Your Diet When You Don’t Fully Control It

This topic is for those who have had to count macros/calories, ensure they got enough food to meet their training needs, or otherwise kept their diet on track in a situation where they don’t have full freedom in their food and food options. The most common examples of this are:

  • Teenagers living with their parents (who just don’t understand!)
  • School cafeterias and meal plans (college or otherwise)
  • Military
  • Prison
  • Extended recovery in a hospital

Those of you who have been in these situations and successfully managed your diet to your needs, what worked for you?

Keeping On Track During the Holidays

This topic will be for those who have been able to keep their pursuit of dietary and exercise goals on track when faced with some of the conflicts of the holidays – prying relatives, an abundance of food, scheduling conflicts, and so on. What have you done that’s worked?

Time Management and Fitting Exercise Into a Busy Life

This topic is for people who have been able to successfully fit their pursuit of fitness into a busy schedule that doesn’t have a whole lot of wiggle room. How did you budget your time to make room for exercise? What did you change or have to compromise on?

Getting Over First Day Jitters

This topic is for people who had trouble with anxiety, nervousness, or were generally uncomfortable with starting to work out for the first time. What did you do to get yourself in the gym anyway? Was there something that you did that made it go away? Was it something you did that let you power through until it went away on its own?

This topic is also not just for going to a gym specifically – It can be for working out in general, going for a run or biking, getting in on some local casual sports. Anything involving getting started with being more physically active where you were anxious or nervous is fair game.

Social Conflicts with SO / Friends / Family / Co-Workers About Diet or Exercise

This topic is for people who have had friction with others in their personal life over their fitness pursuits – be it changing your diet or getting more active. Did the crabs at your office give you grief for not participating in Donut Friday? Did you have trouble going out with your friends because you started paying attention to your food? Did your SO start making snarky comments about your “obsession” with working out? Did your mom start sending you re: RE: FWD: FWD: re: WHY PROTEIN DESTROYS YOUR KIDNEYS articles several times a month?

How did you deal with it and keep these conflicts from derailing you? Were you able to resolve it? Did you end up having to cut ties with some people? What did you do?

Sticking With It When You Feel Like Giving Up

This topic is for those who have felt the stab of adversity and were able to keep on going. Did you hit a period of stagnation and get discouraged? Did something happen in your life that made it hard to keep your fitness pursuit as a priority? Did you find yourself wondering what the point of it all was?

What happened with you that made you feel like giving up, and how did you get through it?

Managing Alcohol While Pursuing Fitness

Obviously, the best thing to do is generally to avoid drinking altogether, especially in excess. Practically speaking, however, alcohol is a big part of our social culture and many people simply enjoy drinking. This thread is for those of you who are pursuing fitness goals without cutting alcohol out of your life completely.

What steps do you take to maintain a good balance? How do you keep drinking from interfering with your goals? Have you changed your schedule to minimize the impact of your nights out on your exercise and training? Have you changed what or how much you drink? Have you had to resolve any social conflicts with your drinking buddies?

Getting a Friend / Family Member / SO Into Fitness

This Campfire is for those of you who were able to get someone you know started with pursuing fitness. What did you do to help them beat their inertia of being inactive? How did you support them? What were the challenges you helped them overcome?

Eating Less Sugar and Junk Food

One of the best ways to generally improve your diet, regardless of your overall fitness goals but especially if you want to lose weight, is to be judicious about how much excess sugar and junk food you eat and cut down on it. But it isn’t always easy to do that.

This Campfire is for people who have had success in reducing the amount of junk food and excess sugar they eat. What was hard about it for you? What did you do to get past the hurdles or break the habit?

Managing Hunger While Losing Weight

One of the practical challenges that comes with weight loss is that eating at a calorie deficit will almost necessarily result in feeling hungry at some point. This thread is for those of you who have felt that hunger while pursuing weight loss and found strategies to keep it in check and keep yourself from caving in. What worked for you?

Managing Your Diet While Traveling

Keeping yourself on track with your diet can be more difficult when you’re traveling and may not be able to stick to groceries and cooking, do meal prep, and so on. This thread is for those of you who have found strategies to keep yourself from getting derailed from eating in a way that meets your needs while traveling – on anything from road trips to long holidays. Share what has worked for you.

Exercising While Traveling

As a close follower to our last Campfire, keeping up with your exercise habit while traveling can also be difficult – especially if you’re used to having a certain variety of equipment and end up with a crummy hotel gym or no equipment access at all. This thread is for those of you who have found effective strategies for keeping up with your exercise while on the road. What do you change about how you work out? Do you have a different routine altogether that you use? Do you just wing it as long as you get some work done? What has worked for you?

Managing Sweat, BO, and Sweaty Clothes

Sometimes, in order to fit your workouts into your schedule, it’s necessary to run them right up against other events in your life. Examples are working out on a lunch break or stopping at the gym on your way to work in the morning. This can cause problems with BO, sweat, and sweaty workout clothes that aren’t as easily solved as if you have the time to go home, shower, and do a full hygiene pass.

Those of you who have had and solved these troubles, this thread is for you. What have you done to keep from looking, feeling, and smelling gross when you have to stay on a tight schedule with your workouts?

Maintaining Fitness as a New Parent

As any parent knows, kiddos are very disruptive to your life and schedule, especially when they’ve first popped out. This thread is for those who were able to maintain an exercise regimen as new parents. What did you have to change? How did you prepare? How did you balance taking care of your tiny fleshy potato with your pursuit of fitness goals? Share what worked for you so that others can learn from your success.

Building a Home Gym

This topic is for those of you who ditched the commercial gym life and built one of your own to share what you’ve learned and how you did it. What equipment and accessories have you found essential? What did you buy but never actually ended up needing? What did you do to keep it affordable? How did you work within the space that you had available? What problems did you have and how did you solve them?

Meal Planning on a Budget

This Campfire is for those of you who have figured out effective strategies for putting together a meal plan that meets your fitness needs while you are financially constrained. How did you manage your spending on food? How did you determine the most cost effective buys for your nutrition?

Tracking Your Progress

This Campfire will be for sharing the strategies you’ve used for tracking your progress. What did you track that you found useful? What did you think was going to be useful but turned out not to be? What methods did you use to track or measure these things?

Choosing the Right Gym

This Campfire is for those of you who have developed a system or strategies for finding a gym that meets the needs of your fitness goals. How do you evaluate your options in relation to your goals? What, specifically, do you look at and look for? What do you avoid?

Choosing a Program

This Campfire is for those of you who have developed a system, strategy, or decision tree for choosing a new training program. How do you evaluate your options in relation to your goals? What, specifically, do you look at and look for? What do you avoid? What criteria do you use to judge the coach or organization who created a program you’re thinking of running?

Eating a High Protein Diet

When looking at the guidelines for protein consumption, it can seem fairly daunting to try to get it all in every day. This thread is for sharing your personal success strategies for eating a high protein diet that meets your muscle building or muscle preservation needs – either in a mass gain or fat loss phase. What are your targets? How do you make sure you meet them?

Stress Management

The negative effects of chronic stress are well known, especially when it comes to the pursuit of fitness goals. This Campfire is for those of you who have found strategies that worked for you to manage and reduce stress in your life as it relates to your physical fitness.

Improving Sleep Quality

Sleep is the human body’s #1 tool for recovery from physical exertion and like it or not – there is no substitute. There is a lot of advice and information out there on good sleep hygiene and how to improve your amount and quality of sleep. This is for those of you who have experimented and found strategies that actually worked for you to get more and better sleep. What worked? What didn’t work? And most importantly – How could you tell?