Confession time… I’m a closet geek! I read LOTR, obsess over Game of Thrones and take my video game time very seriously! I’ve been a gamer for as long as I can remember. I’d wake up before my brothers and sneak in some Super Mario World, Zelda and even Final Fantasy III before they would invoke the older brother rule and kick me off! As I grew older, online games flooded the market. I got wrapped up in the World of Warcraft and many First Person Shooters such as Halo and Battlefield. Even today you can find me competitively playing League of Legends or online with my latest passion, Rocket League!
So maybe that’s not too surprising since engineer and nerd tend to go hand and hand… But does nerd and jacked go together? Or geek and ripped? What about fitness and gamer? You may be surprised how many skills and lessons video games can provide that translates into the fitness world flawlessly!
Learn the basics
You have to learn to walk before you can run. Game developers attempt to ease the gamer into this new world, teaching the user how to get better at the game step by step. (older games did a much better job at this) Levels start easier and progressively get harder. As you play a game whether it’s WoW, Portal, or Guitar Hero you need to learn the basic mechanics of the game before you can ever expect to defeat the final boss! This is the exact pacing that should be taken when first beginning your journey into the fitness world. Too often do people try to jump right in and change their whole lifestyle overnight. If you tried to fight the final boss without ever playing the game you will surely fail! Changing your lifestyle is no different.
- Level 1: Create a SMART goal
- Level 2: Start slow, hit the gym or walk/run a couple times a week
- Level 3: Gain control of your diet
- Level 4: Increase intensity and frequency
- …Keep going
- Level X: This constant increase of difficulty forces you to transform into the person you’re trying to become
Focus on learning the basics about diet and exercise and ensure that you start small in order to be safe. Of course this is all relative to your current fitness levels but remember we are working towards a lifestyle change so you don’t want to hurt or hinder yourself right out of the gate!
Consistency is key
Like it or not, Esports are a thing and only getting more popular! I have an extremely competitive nature and when I play games I have the most fun when I’m winning. But to keep that competitive edge you need to constantly be learning and practicing! I’m not proud of this but over the years I’ve put in 1,361 hours into League of Legends…! And the worst part is… I’m still a pleb that gets my ass handed to my 60% of the time! I’ve put in a lot of time but it has been over 5-6 years. I have never consistently and religiously practiced attempting to become better. Interviews with professional Esport gamers say exactly that! These gamers practice and study their game of choice daily. They read patch notes and determine what they need to do to be become the best. Same goes for us with fitness!
We need to be consistent! If you go to the gym for 3 hours one day and then not again for another month or you eat healthy for a week but fall back into old eating habits you will not see the results you want! Consistency in fitness is the ONE AND ONLY way to get the results you want. Make fitness your game of choice and focus on doing at least one thing related to your health daily!
Crunch the numbers
Should you use the cloak that gives your +5 stamina or +3 def and 5% cooldown reduction?? Gamers are faced with similar situations all the time! RPG, MMO, Hack & Slash, FPS, hell even car racing games are filled with stats and specs that as a gamer you need to evaluate and determine what will be the best for your character! It’s not the most fun part of gaming but if you can take the time and optimize you in game toon then why not take the time and optimize your own health! Check nutritional facts before you eat, track and trend to ensure you optimize your weight gain/loss! Use an app like MyFitnessPal in order to keep track of all the information about what you are eating! Also track your lifts or time your runs! It’s hard to see progress if you don’t know where you are. If you want to become better at running you need to record your distances, times and speed. If you want to be a powerlifter start logging your lifts weekly or monthly!
Get involved within your community
MMORPG: Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game. In games like World of Warcraft or EverQuest you created an in game avatar and traveled around vast worlds doing epic quests and leveling up in the process. What made these games so successful (12.5M gamers played WoW during its peak) wasn’t the epic gameplay or story…. It was the community! MMORPGs were the first time people could group up, create clans, and make friendships and bond together over a common interest. The fitness community is even more massive than Azeroth! Join a local gym, sign up for a mudrun or a 5k, get involved with some local sports! There are many activities that can put you in touch with a group of like-minded individuals! Having fitness pals will help keep you motivated and on the right track for success!
Have Fun with it
Video games are developed to be a fun, stress relieving escape from reality but sometimes I find myself brooding over a tough defeat, getting angry at myself or a teammate who’s having a bad game. After it’s all said and done the point of the games we play are to be fun and enjoyable Working out is supposed to be fun and stress relieving too yet sometime I stress out about eating too much or not eating enough or not seeing the results quick enough. Same as video games, working out is a hobby and should be something enjoyable! There will be bad days, days where you aren’t having “fun” with your fitness if that happens then change it up, instead of running, bike, or go for a hike. Make it as fun as possible and you’ll make it a lasting habit!
This is definitely a different type of post for me and was inspired by the guys over at www.nerdfitness.com. I know gaming may not be for everyone but if you did like this make sure you check them out! They have tons of great fitness articles geared towards gamers and nerds like us.
I had to shorten this post down because it was starting to run a bit long but honestly there are so many parallels between gamers and bodybuilders. Personally I always enjoyed leveling my characters up in every game and when writing this it finally clicked why I love weight training to much. I get to customize and strengthen myself; it’s the rare opportunity where you can optimize your own character! Please let me know what you think by leaving a comment below! If you’d like to play some LoL or Rocket Leagues and BS about fitness shoot me a friend request (“latapoxy” for both games).