Starting Your Fitness
The quest to health and wellness is not easy. In these pages I’ve covered a great deal about your food intake, what to eat and how to cook it. Really, that’s the focus of Grinds 4 Gamers – The food! But it’s fairly obvious that to optimize your health and wellness, some form of fitness is required. You may not be ready for it, physically and mentally. I completely understand. If you visit G4G strictly to lose some weight by changing your diet only, I think that is amazing and courageous. I will support your endeavors with all of my heart and ability. But for some of you, there is a fire burning inside. That fire is pushing you toward improving your overall health and fitness. This is where you will truly see the most gains.
Remember, leaning out your frame and unleashing the hero within you is a game of calories in and calories out! What? Basically, when you consume quantities of the right calorie sources, you will naturally lose weight by replacing the wrong calorie sources with better ones. It make sense, right? But wouldn’t it also make sense to push unwanted calories out the door, as well? When you are actively working out, you are assisting those unwanted calories with their exit strategy. In the meanwhile, you’re also building lean muscle mass, improving flexibility, agility, strength, balance, and increasing your mana pool. Ok, I added the last one to give it an MMO feel, but really, how is this real-life comparison any different from your video game characters?
Video game characters become more powerful as they level up, right? Leveling them up requires work, play time, and advancing them through their adventure where they battle enemies, climb mountains, conquer quests & defeat bosses. As your characters level up, you choose which stats to improve. What makes your fitness any different? It’s all pretty similar, right? Have you ever really thought about how incredibly bad ass your game character would have to be to actually pull-off those feats of heroism?!
I sure have. Take for example, my Skyrim character, “Oaken”. He’s a Wood Elf Archer and let me tell you, he is a walking dealer of death. He’s traversed snowy mountains, survived the depths of some nasty dungeons, and literally slayed flying herds of dragons. Oh, how I’d love to actually be that fit! So think of how he actually got there – Hard work, experience, commitment and consistency!
Try to think of yourself as your favorite video game character. In order to achieve optimal results as a real human, it will take hard work, experience, commitment and consistency. As you gain levels, you’ll get stronger, faster, more agile and be able to handle more of whatever life decides to throw your way. You can choose what stats to level up! Are you more interested in endurance? Then you might lean towards performing more metabolic conditioning such as running, rowing, swimming, and biking. Are you more interested in looking like a warrior tank with rippling muscles and giant pectorals? In that case you’d be more suited to Olympic weightlifting or possibly body building. In my case, I opted for functional fitness that encompasses a bit of many disciplines to maximize my ability to react to life’s ever-changing environment. Therefore, I’ve chosen a more circuit-based training system.
Whatever your poison may be, just know that you can scale anything to work for your current fitness level. I don’t care if you’re a veteran lifter or you’ve never lifted a weight in your life. There is something out there for you. Before we get started, however, let’s dispel some common arguments against beginning a fitness program.
First of all, you must go into this endeavor knowing that there are many factors working against you in beginning and maintaining a fitness program. Not knowing how, battling motivation, not having equipment, no time to spare, or a general disdain for fitness are just a few. Let’s sort this out.
NOT KNOWING HOW:
Ok I hear you. I certainly understand why someone would hesitate to start a workout program if they didn’t understand the movements. Coaching is expensive and not readily available in many areas. Guess what I found? I found a website that has numerous video demonstrations of workout movements and the proper techniques! It’s called YouTube ™ and it is an amazing resource. If you live in the sticks and don’t have access to a trainer or if you can’t afford one, this is the option for you. This is exactly how I learned to do many of the movements I use in Crossfit today. Keep reading below. As we begin to get into some beginning workouts, I’m going to reference YouTube ™ quite a bit. You’ll get the hang of clicking on the button to get to the demos. So I guess that will take care of the “not knowing how”.
Let’s start this little pep talk off with my favorite saying. “Suck it up, buttercup.” I’m not trying to push you into doing something you don’t want to do. If you want it, you’ll go after it. It’s plain and simple. I can preach to you about the benefits of incorporating fitness into your life and how sweet the rewards can be. But I can’t MAKE you do anything. That’s on YOU! I’m here to give you the HOW, WHY and WHAT. You have to provide the WHERE and WHEN. What I can tell you is: You can do this. Even as a busy Mom, Dad, student or professional. You can make the time. It all depends on what your heart tells you and having power over your own mind.
I love this excuse. Guess what? You’re carrying the equipment. Every time you get up from the couch to grab a drumstick from the freezer, you’re lugging around the equipment. Even if you’re already lean, doing pushups, squats, burpees, jumping-jacks, planks, lunges, situps and bear crawls will kick your back side and tear you some new lung tissue – All without equipment, just what the good Lord gave ya. With the introduction of some minimal, inexpensive equipment like a jump rope, pull-up bar or a kettle bell, you can add a myriad of additional exercises to challenge you. Remember, if it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you!
NO TIME TO SPARE:
Just like the motivation section, here’s another dose of tough love. Quit B.S.’ing yourself. You DO have the time. You CAN make the time. It’s a personal choice. You don’t have to spend 2 hours working out. But you can certainly spend 30 minutes on a quick warm-up, workout and a stretch. Only have 20 minutes? Fine then! It is do-able! I am a huge believer in quick, intense workouts. I don’t like to linger around and chat. I like to get in, get out and get on with my day. Look man, I got gaming to do. That is the exact reason I left the traditional Globo-Gym establishments for a Crossfit Gym. To take it even further, I built a Crossfit Gym in my garage to make it more convenient. Do you need a full gym in your garage? No, you don’t. All you need is some square footage in your house to move around a bit. But you’ll just have to make the time!
WHAT IF YOU JUST HATE TO WORK OUT?
Ok, I understand this too. Fitness is not for some people. You may not enjoy stretching, lifting weights or sweating, for that matter! However, I would be remiss if I didn’t stress the benefits of getting your heart pumping and moving some blood through your system. The combination of a healthy diet and a fitness program of some type is integral to maintaining your overall health and wellness. So even if you don’t like to work out, do something to be active. Play a sport, go for a walk, run around with your kids, take the stairs, take the long way around – Do something! Activity promotes an increase in your heart rate, movement of toxins to your body’s filtration systems, increases agility, flexibility and metabolic conditioning, even at the lowest levels. So even if you don’t follow the G4G fitness plan, promise me you’ll follow something.
MAKING THE BIG STEP
Now that I’ve countered a few of your arguments against getting active, are you ready to take the next step? The next step is to take an honest assessment of your personal fitness. Would you rate your fitness level and experience as NOOB (Newbie), Casual, or l33t (Elite/advanced)? The following ratings will give you an idea of where to start with G4G Fitness. Here’s a little guide to help you decide.
NOOB Fitness Level: This level is for someone who has invested little to no time into their fitness. Non-athletic types who have never heard of a burpee or a plank will apply in this category. If you fall in this category, don’t worry! I’ll teach you the basics!
CASUAL Fitness Level: This level is for someone who may have an existing workout program, but doesn’t stick to it very well. You may be a weekend athlete who plays on the company softball team or you may go for a run a couple of times per week. You know what you should be doing for your fitness, but you haven’t truly committed yet.
L33t Fitness Level: This area is reserved for the existing badass. This gamer works out several times per week and really makes fitness a priority in life. He or she may or may not have a good grasp on the fundamentals of the workout program they are currently performing, but dang it, they’re doing it regularly. Or, this person might just be the next Splinter Cell agent with tons of athletic skill, endurance and agility. Either way, this dude will get the toughest G4G workouts.
Once you’ve placed yourself into a category, simply click on the link in the description or use the drop down menu under the FITNESS tab to find your selected page.