As a gamer – and also a former US Marine – the feeling I get after a good work out, whether it be a hard run outside or a crossfit-style workout at home is unlike anything else. I find that I sleep better at night – always in REM – and I have more energy during the day. What I want to show the incredible LFG community is that working out is easy, and best of all it does not require a gym membership. Whether you are looking to start working out for the first time, or are looking for a new work out plan, this is your post. So with that being said, hit pause and then click the link below!
Easy Work Out Tip #1 – No Gym Required
Since I left the Marine Corps in January of 2012, I have yet to purchase an actual gym membership. Prior to joining the Marine Corps I used to have a membership at Lifetime Fitness, but I have found that the rates these days are just astronomical; even more important to me however was the issue of time. I have many other priorities in my life, and that translates to the fact that I hate wasting time; in other words, I demand work outs that are low on time and high on effectiveness. Why drive to and from the gym when I can just do everything from home?
Equipment-wise this is what my “home gym” is composed of: a $20-30 dollar pull up bar that fits in my doorway (you can pick one up at the nearest Walgreens or CVS, and they last for a long time), and basically one 45lb kettlebell that is from my Marine Corps days, which ran me about $60 or so bucks. That’s it, and in total that’s probably less than you’d pay for your initial fee at the local gym, am I right?
Easy Work Out Tip #2 – Harder, Not Longer
Although I already somewhat touched on this tip above, there is more to the story, and this is something that I think will translate well to my fellow gamers: work out harder, not longer. While this will save you time for more gaming, raising the intensity of your work outs rather than the time length has been proven to be just as effective, if not more effective then endurance type work outs. Have you ever heard of Crossfit? While the work outs may seem daunting, Crossfit is essentially built on that same theory: short, incredibly high-intensity work outs that are over in as little as 20 minutes. What’s that? You want to go jog 8 miles for 2 hours? Have fun, I’ll get the same, if not better cardiovascular work out running hill sprints at the nearby park, and I’ll do it in about a quarter of the time.
While endurance sports will likely never go away – and if you are reaching for a marathon, triathalon, or just a 5k as an exercise goal, please go for it – there have been numerous studies released over the past year or so that demonstrate that marathon, or endurance athletes show no signs of actual heart health. In other words, endurance running is potentially equivalent to not working out at all, simply because of the fact that you’re overworking your heart. That old saying “enjoy in moderation” looks like it should apply to work outs as well. Work out harder, not longer.
Easy Work Out Tip #3: Getting Started
If you’re a gamer and you’re looking to start working out for the very first time, I’d like to say congratulations on the awesome decision! My third tip is for this very crowd: those who are looking to work out for the first time, and/or are looking to shed the pounds. While I do not want to get into the nutrition side of the house (eating healthy is uber important folks!), there is plenty of good reading material on your favorite search engine that will provide you with an excellent starting point on better foods.
Taking the first and second tips into account, my advice is to start at home – you don’t need a gym membership. All you really need are the basics – the most important, full body work outs to build some strength and shed any excess weight. Push ups, pull ups, regular air squats (see Google for correct form), crunches, planks and jogging/running/sprints/swimming are really all you need to seriously transform your body, and get a great head start into a much better, much healthier lifestyle. Set goals for everything, and then slowly increase those goals: 100 push ups in week one, and then 150 in week three, etc.
Easy Work Out Tip #4: Mix It Up
For my fourth and final work out tip for gamers, I would stress the need to constantly mix your work outs up. If you’ve been doing the same routine – even if you’re increasing sets/reps – you’re body will get comfortable, and your work out effectiveness will drop. The best piece of advice is to really objectively ask yourself where or what you think your body is weak at: answer honestly, and then start working out those areas that you said you were weak at. It will be tough at first, but soon you’ll master those once-weak areas, and your body will thank you.
I hope you’ve pulled some value out of these four work out tips, and want to remind you that if you ever have any questions please do not hesitate to reach out to me in the comments below. I’d be more than happy to answer any and all of your work out questions, so please don’t be shy!
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/images courtesy of: http://80daychallenge.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-benefits-of-hill-sprints.html and: http://g-codemagazine.com/discover-your-hard-core-in-no-time/crossfit-training-fitness-man-plank-exercise/