Getting Fit with Video Games: Two Week Exergaming Experiment

In honor of my latest exergaming acquisition for the Wii console, Gold’s Gym Cardio Workout, I am embarking on a two-week video game workout program that will use the following three programs:

Gold’s Gym Cardio Workout (GGCW) for the Wii

Yourself Fitness (YF) for the Xbox; for Wii owners, an updated Wii version is sold as My Fitness Coach.

Dance Dance Revolution SuperNova 2 (DDR) for the Playstation 2

Yourself Fitness will be my baseline program. I am setting up my profile with an emphasis on Upper Body Strength and then allowing the program to generate a six-day per week workout schedule for me to follow. I’ll also be doing 15 minutes of GGCW, or the equivalent of one lesson immediately following the YF session. DDR and interval cardio will be alternated throughout the week.

Mon: YF (30 minutes), GGCW (15 minutes), DDR (15 minutes)
Tue: YF (30 minutes), GGCW (15 minutes), Interval Run (20 minutes)
Wed: YF (30 minutes), GGCW (15 minutes), DDR (15 minutes)
Thu: YF (30 minutes), GGCW (15 minutes), Interval Bike (20 minutes)
Fri: YF (30 minutes), GGCW (15 minutes), DDR (15 minutes)
Sat: YF (30 minutes), GGCW (15 minutes), Interval Elliptical (20 minutes)
Sun: Rest

To keep this challenging, I plan to use the heaviest weights I can handle with my YF workouts and integrate my Valslides on lunges and any other exercises that work with them. I’m also wearing 1 lb weighted gloves with the GGCW sessions since those are based on boxing movements. I’m not adding any difficulty to the DDR because I am so inherently uncoordinated that just keeping up will be a miracle for me.

My nutrition will fall into the 1500-1700 calories per day range, with macros of 40% carb, 30% protein, and 30% fat.

My goals over the next two weeks are:
– Be 100% consistent with my workouts and 90% consistent with my nutrition.
– Unlock 1 music style and 1 workout locale in Yourself Fitness.
– Earn enough gold for a new outfit in Gold’s Gym Cardio Workout.
– Try every initially available song in DDR Supernova 2 at least once, even if I fail.

Notice that I’m not including any measurement or body fat targets. I am going to try shifting my focus to earning points in-game and unlocking things instead of worrying about the scale or the calipers for a few weeks. My work and crafting schedules are not leaving me with enough spare time to both exercise AND play any video games, so I am combining those two types of activities into one block of time each day. I’m banking on my drive to improve my scores and unlock goodies in games to keep me focused enough to drop a few pounds, build up some muscle, and increase my cardiovascular health without obsessing over every calorie eaten or burned.

Anyone else using their Wii or other gaming consoles as their primary form of exercise?

6 thoughts on “Getting Fit with Video Games: Two Week Exergaming Experiment

  1. I’ll be interested to see how this works for you Maggie, as I have been daydreaming about trying something similar. Good luck!

  2. Please keep me posted on this, too! We are setting up a research study to look at some of these games, including Jillian Michael’s Wii workout and EASports Active (coming out May 19) with Bob Greene.

    2 weeks seems like you’ll be barely getting into it…why not for at least a month? Just curious.

    Good luck! Oh, and if you’re in facebook, I have a group there called, “Dr. Medina’s We Wii against Diabesity”. Feel free to join us if you’re in FB!

  3. Hi Maggie,
    Do you carb cycle? You mention eating 40/30/30. I too try and eat that way,but not sure if dropping the carbs in the evening is beneficial. Any advice would be much appreciated!

  4. I used to use my PS2 with some RedOctane metal DDR pads for my main form of exercise, but the control boxes kept breaking (at $30 apiece), so those are gathering dust now. The key with DDR is to practice and not be afraid to push yourself a little farther.

    Good luck and have fun. 🙂

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