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JkA3's Blog
Incorporating Fitness Into Sports Gaming 
Posted on September 16, 2009 at 11:12 AM.
I've always been big on fitness. I've always loved video games - sports in particular. Let's face it, the sports genre of video gamers is probably the fit, purely based on the fact that many of us at one time or another played sports on an amateur level. However, playing videos can be compared to being a couch potato. I mean no offense to anyone, but it's the nature of the beast. For instance - take a sim style sports gamer - he's all about the stats, and ensuring that his play emulates the real deal, to a tee. This type of gamer is going to not only play 15 minute quarters, but also, multiple games.

Most people find that fitness is a small need in their life. Not because it's not important, but because they can't find the time to sacrifice to it. Personally, I've never reached that feeling completely, but there have been periods when I just don't feel like doing anything - because I'd rather play a game of Madden, or whatever.

So, I started incorporating some workouts into my video game playing. Sounds corny, I know. But, follow along; this could be of interest you.

On the outset, this isn't something I do all the time. I work out roughly 5-6 times per week - because I always find a way to include fitness, whether it's waking up 4:30 AM to get a workout in, or, if it's utilizing the method laid out below.

My video game workout system founds its inception when I was in college. I found it so hard to find time to go to the gym for at least 4-6 weeks after the release of NCAA Football and Madden. If you recall, NCAA and Madden use to release about 2-3 weeks within each other.

Cutting to the Chase

I set up my workout plan to be dependent of my video game play. Here's a quick glimpse of a portion of a typical plan that I followed when playing Madden/NCAA, in the earlier years:

CPU Touchdown - 50 sit ups
CPU forced turnover
fumble recover - 20 push ups
interception - 25 push ups
CPU big play
15 yard run - 20 push ups
20 yard completion - 20 push ups
User 4 and out - 10 burpees
User pick in red zone - 10 burpees
User stopped at goal - 10 burpees
User missed field goal - 10 burpees
*I executed the exercise directly after the bad play.

This seems pretty simplistic, I understand. And it is. But, what it did for me was very rewarding. I focused on my game more, and played more honest (no cheating). And, I received a double reward - playing a good game of football, while getting a decent good workout.

My college roommates and neighbors thought I was crazy for doing this, AT FIRST. But before I knew it, we found it to be a great system of managing a cheese free and healthy way to play video game football. Yes - there is a time extension because it takes time to conduct these exercises, but - it brought the best out of our games. When playing against another user, no one wants to be the one to do 25 pushups for a bad play, so pass selections, running, and defense was executed much better. I tell you, there were about 50 people in my complex that used this or a similar system in their game personally and in group settings.
*When playing in a user vs. user setting, we would conduct the exercises at the end of each quarter. We would keep a tally sheet so we didn't loose track.

Today, my exercises of choice are much more complex; incorporating pull ups, different core exercises, multiple pushup exercises...all utilizing bodyweight only. It's too cumbersome for me to utilize dumbbells or barbells in a workout of this nature.

Now - this isn't a workout system that I suggest someone should follow 100% of the time. However, for people trying to get back into shape - this is a great way to get started. Everyone has access to a floor - where they can conduct many bodyweight exercises. And, for those that already have a gym membership - this may not be for you, if you find that you are able to keep up your time in the gym. But, if you find that video game sometimes take precedent, and then you might want to give it a try. I personally use this method once a week maximum.

Sure, I can play my wife's Wii Fit, or Wii Active...but that's not my style - not at all. I'm more hardcore than that. Not to offend anyone who uses those methods. itís just not my style.

Keep in mind that this is simply a supplemental workout. I'm not trying to sell you on anything. I just figured that I'd share something that has worked for me. If it sounds interesting, give it a shot. I'm sure you won't hold back if you find this stupid...but I'm all good with that.

I have some decent programs put together that I utilize. The one that I quickly detailed above is pretty novice. Keep in mind that you can create any rep counts that you'd like for whatever scenarios. The goal is to incorporate fitness into your life - this is an easy way to find time for it.

If you'd like more details or some suggestions...let me know and I'll hook it up.

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