We all know the gamer stereotype: People who spend all day in front of the computer or console, barely moving a muscle. When they do move, it’s usually to walk to the kitchen and grab some potato chips or a plate of cookies with a soda to wash it down. As a result of this lifestyle, gamers are often incredibly skinny if they are blessed with a quick metabolism or overweight if they aren’t. Did we describe that right? Are gaming and fitness hard to match? Or is there more to be said?
The good news is that your fitness style can assume many shapes, adjust and change over time. There is no single best way to get fit. All sorts of physical activities can help you tone up, shed bodyfat, boost your energy levels, help you produce good hormones and overall make you feel better. What matters most is that you enjoy your workouts and look forward to each one. To that end, we’ve put together this ultimate guide. In it, we’ll go over absolutely everything gamers need to know about fitness. We’ll also go over actionable steps you can start applying right away.
Calling all muscles: What do the experts say?
I sat down with two of my favorite fit gamers Sebastian and his partner Julian to talk about how they organized their lives around gaming and fitness. These men have not only focused on getting themselves in top condition, they even started a company called Apex Nutrition and write about work out regiments for beginners and gym rats alike. I asked them to shed some light on the topic.
Sebastiaan, 35 years old, bachelor in Communication in Rotterdam the Netherlands. He built a diet app in VBA, started a nutrition business and started bodybuilding and fitness since he was 18 years old in combination with a variety of sports. He was 12 years old when he laid eyes on a bodybuilding book featuring Franco Columbu, one of Arnolds Schwarzenegger’s best friends,
two-time mister Olympia, Guinness Book world record holder, and a well-known chiropractor. Truly
How do other people combine gaming and fitness?
It may come as a surprise to some that in my spare time I enjoy playing videogames, read manga and watch anime. Gaming is a stress relief (at least when I’m winning). Honestly, I just want to be able to dive into a game and shoot some enemies to oblivion. Even if it is just a 30 minute play session, due to my busy schedule. I mostly play Call of Duty, Warzone and Rocket league. I would play Halo if I owned an
Xbox so I might switch to the new Xbox X when I buy a new console.
I do take my gaming time seriously, but prevailing wisdom connects gaming to unhealthy living. And I like to show people that that doesn’t need to be the case. Because, despite what you’ve heard, fitness isn’t difficult or time-consuming. So long as you’re willing and have access to the proper knowledge, you can start making better choices right now.
Exercise For Beginners: What Should You Focus On?
There are numerous training videos on YouTube for beginners. However, the people in these videos have seemingly been in that life style for quite a while. And just by watching these fit people can either be a motivator, but more commonly it deepens our belief that this could never be us, or that fitness is just not ‘my thing’. So we have to deal with the psychological part of making changes in our lives.
Four Simple Steps to Start Working Out At Home
A huge reason why many people never start exercising is that they feel self-conscious, which is entirely understandable. Socializing, navigating a gym, and getting used to structured exercise can be a lot to handle at once. But, as earlier mentioned, fitness is fluid and can assume many shapes and sizes. So, here is how you can start working out without leaving your room:
1. Do Something Small
First of all, what you want to do is to experiment with various exercises. Don’t pressure yourself; simply move your body and get your heart rate up. Slowly but surely, your self image will change and you can take on more.
The first few workouts aren’t about doing something incredible or getting fit. Instead, they should get you going and help you build some momentum, so don’t worry about being perfect, and don’t get frustrated if you’re not as fit as you would like. It’s all going to change in the upcoming months.
For example: Forget sprints, heavy barbell squats, and complex circuit workouts. Begin with a few bodyweight squats. Do a few repetitions, take a short break, and repeat for two to three more sets. Then, transition to some jumping jacks. Hold a plank (or knee plank) or do wall sits for 30 seconds. No exercise is off-limits here. Remember, we are still getting into the right mindset at this stage.
2. Be Consistent to build the habit
Most of us rely on will power when trying to accomplish a goal, establish a new habit, or similar. Then we get frustrated and quit all together. We see it all the time: Someone wants to get fit and decides to go on a strict diet and follows a demanding high-frequency training program. The approach works for a little while. Unfortunately, making huge and sudden changes rarely works in the long run because we are creatures of habit. The more things you change at once, the more you will struggle to stay consistent.
Start with some daily exercise without worrying too much about optimizing things or making progress. Simply show up, get some work done, and take a break. And if you skip a day, just get back to at it the next day. It’s not about perfection. So much of what we achieve comes from discipline, yet so many people rely on feeling motivated or inspired to take action.
3. Pick Up Essential Equipment
Aside from doing simple bodyweight exercises, if you have gotten used to working out, you could consider picking up some essential fitness items such as:
- A pair of dumbbells
- Resistance bands
- Foam roller
- Core sliders
- Exercise mat
- Ankle weights
You might want to pace your self and only buy what you need. For starters, having a pair of dumbbells is excellent because they don’t take up much space but allow you to do shoulder pressed and dumbbell rows. In addition resistance bands are compact, affordable, and great for the road.
You can use foam rollers for self-myofascial release and improve your upper back and hip mobility. Or you might want to use a yoga ball to help you with mobility and help with training your core.
Core sliders and ankle weights are used for movements that strengthen your midsection. Examples include weighted knee raises and mountain climbers.
The exercise mat is perhaps the only ‘mandatory’ item from the above list because it offers a solid and comfortable base for you to exercise. Plus, you will use the mat for the majority of exercises.
4. Aim For Steady Improvements
The difference between exercising and training is progress. Exercise refers to the physical activity you do without having clear plans for improving your performance in the future. Training is detail-oriented and aims to improve your performance, leading to better long-term results. This will also help you stay disciplined at moments when the motivation and inspiration is lacking.
Regardless of where you stand now, you should focus on training. To do that, you want to track your training performance and aim for steady improvements over the weeks. Doing so is vital for losing fat, toning your body, and improving your athleticism. For example, if you can only hold the plank for ten seconds initially, work to improve that; if you can only do three push-ups, work to increase the number.
Tracking your progress will keep you on… track
Progress will rarely be linear, meaning you might feel weaker and less capable before your performance improves. But, so long as the trend points up in the long run, you’re on the right track.
Tip: Something that gaming and fitness have in common: tracking your results keep you motivated. Have you ever tracked your achievements on paper? You could do the same with your work outs. And there are tons of fun notebooks like this one online to keep next to you while training.
Three Simple Full-Body Workouts Beginners Can do at Home
Tip: The routine described below is meant for beginners. After you finished and dominated them, Apex Nutrition offers great advanced training schedules to take your training to the next level. But let’s start from the beginning.
Workout 1 (Beginner-Friendly No-Equipment)
The first workout requires no equipment and works great for everyone just starting. Do the session as outlined and give yourself enough time to recover between sets.
- Bodyweight squats – 3 sets of 5 to 10 reps
- Knee push-ups – 3 sets of 3 to 10 reps
- Glute bridges – 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps
- Plank – 3 sets of 10 to 60-second hold
- Step-ups (onto a sturdy chair) – 3 sets of 5 to 10 reps (per leg)
Tip: If you have gotten a taste of doing equipment free sets, you can also try our very own geeky workout series.
Workout 2 (Beginner-Friendly Intense Session)
The second workout is more intense and takes less time to complete. It develops whole-body strength, but it emphasizes cardio and calorie-burning. Here are the exercises and how long you must perform each:
- Jumping jacks (10 to 30 seconds)
- Mountain climbers (10 to 30 seconds)
- Knee push-ups (20 to 30 seconds)
- Squats (20 to 30 seconds)
- Plank holds (10 to 30 seconds)
- Tricep dips (onto a sturdy chair) (20 to 30 seconds)
- Wall sits (20 to 30 seconds)
- High knees (running in one spot) (30 to 60 seconds)
Perform each activity for the recommended time and take up to 20 seconds to recover between each exercise. Work down the list. After that, take three minutes to recover and do another round. You can start with just one round but work your way up to five as you develop your fitness.
Workout 3 (Dumbbell Home Routine to Tone Your Body)
The third routine is also relatively intense and combines dumbbell and bodyweight exercises to train all major muscles in your body. Here is the routine:
- Standing shoulder press (30 seconds)
- Bent-over row (30 seconds)
- Plank (10 to 30 seconds)
- Goblet squat (30 seconds)
- Romanian deadlifts (30 seconds)
- Knee push-ups (30 seconds)
- Standing bicep curls (30 seconds)
- Overhead tricep extensions (30 seconds)
Like the previous routine, you want to perform each movement for the recommended period and take up to 20 seconds to recover. Once finished, take a longer break to recover and do another round. Two to four rounds will be the sweet spot for most people.
Once you become more advanced, you can increase the length of each exercise to 60 seconds, but always maintain proper technique, even if it means doing fewer repetitions.
The 5 Healthiest And Most Effective Fitness Supplements
Ever heard of the phrase “You cannot outrun a bad diet?” It means that you cannot get stronger, fitter, leaner or bigger, unless you adjust your diet to get these results. Eating nutrients and ditching the empty calories, can help you maintain energy and perform better. However, there are some items that will help you get to that next level of your fitness goals. Like everything else in life, you need to make sure they fit your lifestyle.
Turkesterone is a naturally-occurring steroid hormone found in plants and arthropods. Research shows that Turkesterone is beneficial for promoting muscle growth and improving your athletic performance.
The ecdysteroids, while potent, do not seem to bring any adverse health effects that can be seen with steroid use. It has been used for centuries as a remedy for all kinds of ailments. Unfortunately high quality Turkesterone is difficult to find because the plant only grows in specific regions in Uzbekistan and is protected. So you might want to only buy lab tested Turkesterone of 10%.
Tip: Apex Nutrition provides lab tested Uzbekistan 10% Turkesterone, complexed with Amberkick and Leucine to improve bioavailability and to improve it’s effect.
Shilajit also known as mineral pitch, Salajit or Mummiyo, is a tar-like decomposition compound found in the rocks of the Himalayas and other high mountain ranges, and also in Chile, where it is called Andean Shilajit. Due to decomposition of plants during a course of centuries, Shilajit can be formed.
Shilajit is a natural product that is said to increase libido, natural production testosterone and above all clear the mind. It will actual improve your mental state.
3. Protein Powder
Protein powders are beneficial supplements that provide a concentrated dose of the nutrient, allowing you to hit your daily goals more easily. Research suggests that protein powder can stimulate protein synthesis rates quite effectively. So, if you want to maintain muscle mass, it is recomended to eat 0.55 g of protein per cm of body height.
4. Creatine Monohydrate or Creatine Boosters
Creatine is an organic acid that speeds up the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). These molecules are essential because they provide energy for all cells of the body. Adequate ATP production is crucial because it leads to better training performance that can result in quicker progress. You can find (plantbased) Creatine Monohydrate or Creatine Boosters that help your body maintain the creatine production by supplementing Hyaluronan, B vitamins, vitamin C, and zinc.
5. Seaweed Oil
Seaweed oil supplements supply your body with two fatty acids: EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). Both are crucial for our health and bring about many benefits, including:
- Heart health
- Skin appearance and elasticity
- Bone mineral density
If you live in an area with less sun, you might want to try to find a seaweed oil that contain the right fatty acids in combination of Vitamine D, which is also important for regulating your mood.
Multivitamin supplements provide a hefty dose of essential vitamins and minerals. Each product is different, so it’s best to pick one that aligns closely with your nutritional choices. For instance, if you follow a vegan diet, you’re at a higher risk of iron, calcium, zinc, and iodine deficiency. As such, it would be best to pick a multivitamin formula that emphasizes these nutrients.
How to Eat Cleaner As a Gamer: 3 Crucial Steps
1. Improve Your Environment
The first step to making positive changes in your life is aligning your environment with your goals. For instance, if you’re interested in exercising at home, clear some room and put your training equipment somewhere you see it all the time. If your goal is to read more, put a book on your nightstand. If you want to be more productive or stop wasting time on social media, then keep your phone tucked away in a drawer.
Same goes for your nutrition. If you’re interested in eating better, create an environment that supports a healthy diet. Stop buying processed junk while shopping hungry and replace it with whole and nutritious alternatives: fruits, vegetables, clean protein sources, tea, etc. That way, even if you crave junk food, eating it requires extra steps––heading out to the store.
2. Make Small Changes Initially
You might want to establish better eating habits is to make changes gradually. Instead of overhauling your entire nutritional approach from one day to the next, take small positive steps. For instance:
- Bake, grill, steam, boil, and roast instead of frying food
- Replace sugary with sugar-free soda (and limit your soda intake)
- Have popcorn instead of potato chips
- Have roasted greens as a side instead of french fries
- Chew your food thoroughly before swallowing
- Drink a glass of water 15 minutes before a meal
- Load up on protein and veggies at the start of the meals
Small positive behaviors might not seem all that important when you look at them in isolation. But, put them together, and they will add up over time.
3. Discover Healthy Snacks
You probably enjoy your fair share of snacks while gaming. In fact, you might find yourself snacking often because you don’t have the time to prepare a meal for yourself.
The great news is that not all snacks have to be unhealthy. There are numerous healthy snacks you can enjoy to support your fitness goals. Good options include homemade cookies, butter-free popcorn, rice cakes with nut butter, mixed nuts, plain fruit, dark chocolate and sea weed chips.
How do you combine gaming and fitness in your lifestyle? Is there anything you would want to change? Or do you perhaps have any tips for us? Let us know!