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?

Ulala Space Channel 5 Sackgirl

It’s rare that I get an order for a female Sackperson since most people seem to want male characters turned into custom dolls, so when Game-Boy from asked if I could make Miss Ulala from the Sega Dreamcast game Space Channel 5, I agreed immediately.

She’s about 9.5″ tall thanks to her platform boots and big pink pigtails, and wears an orange and white miniskirt and matching crop top, huge headphones with hands-free mic, and (not pictured but there!) red undies. And she has a huge microphone, too.

Ooh la la indeed!

Sackboy Kratos, the Little Big God of War

Say hello to Kratos from the PS2/PS3 video game God of War in Sackboy form! I modeled him after the pre-order bonus skin from LittleBigPlanet, down to the jagged-edged swords, chain trim, and grumpy faced expression. He features a real antique brass-colored zipper, silver-tone chain trim, crocheted thread tattoo markings, and custom sculpted and painted polymer clay swords which can be held in his hands or cross-slung over his back.

He’s insanely cute standing at my desk.

Kratos is up for sale in my Artfire store. Buy him immediately for the asking price, or make me a reasonable offer if you are interested!

Custom Crochet Sackboys Galore

Welcome to all of the visitors from Kotaku. Thanks for checking out my dolls, and sorry for the slow site. I didn’t expect this many people stopping by. 😉

Sometimes, I amaze even myself.

From left to right: Hellboy, Spock, Daft Wullie (a Nac Mac Feegle from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld books), and Sackboy Classic.

Each of these custom dolls takes between 4-8 hours to make, and the average size is around 8-9″.

And yes, I take custom orders. Prices will range between $30 for a basic doll to $50 and up for custom characters depending on complexity and cost of materials. I can pretty much hook up any character you like. Contact me if interested. 🙂

More photos of the dolls are up at:

Spockboy (Custom Crochet Mr. Spock Sackboy)

So I was approached by a co-worker recently who was aware of my minor obsession with making Sackboy dolls from the PS3 game, Little Big Planet.

Well, this co-worker wanted a Sackboy, too, but not just any basic old Sackboy.

She wanted one dressed like Mr. Spock from Star Trek.

“OMG”, thought I. “How funny would a SPOCKboy be?”

After a bit of planning, a bit of improvisation, and about a day of work, here he is:

(More pics of Spockboy in my Picasa album!)

Two Nintendo DS Cooking Apps for under $10

For my fellow Gamer Foodies out there, check out these two deals on a pair of brand new cooking titles for the Nintendo DS handheld system:

Personal Trainer: Cooking (list price $19.99) is only $4.95 today (Saturday only), and get this: What’s Cooking? with Jamie Oliver (list price $29.99) is actually only $7.90 (not the already good $9.95 sale price) if you scroll down on the product page to the Best Value box and click on the “Add both to cart” button that will put the game AND a Nintendo DS Play Stand in your cart. The Play Stand is a handy accessory that will hold your DS console up on your kitchen counter at the proper viewing angle within voice recognition distance while you are busy cooking away.

These two apps are great stocking stuffers for the cooking-impaired gamers in your life–students, new grads, single young guys who spend way too much money on take out meals, or even yourself. They both include 100+ recipes as well as step-by-step animated and audio instructions on how to prepare each dish. Give that starving student in your life a gift that will provide them with one of the most important life skills they can have: the ability to make their own meals from scratch.

Just make sure they already own a Nintendo DS!

A Lil’ Slice of Heaven

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a geeky young woman in possession of a glamorous video game industry job must spend her entire day sitting around playing video games while magically calling forth digital art assets with but a thought while waiting for the next game level to load.


Yeah, right.

In reality, I probably played more games and produced more non-work-related art when I was stationed overseas in Germany as an enlisted Army peon.

Since becoming a grown up and having to deal with a 40 minute each way work commute, a game development work schedule, making my own meals, taking myself to the gym almost daily so I don’t turn into another fluffy American sheep chick, paying the bills, taking care of the house, spending time with friends, family, and feline hangers on, and keeping up with PDB and this blog, I’m lucky to get in any sort of creative work or brainless game time at all these days.

My game time has been limited to snatches of low-involvement puzzle games and Animal Crossing on the Nintendo DS while on a stationary bike or waiting in lines, beating Guitar Hero II on Medium difficulty in about 6 hours, getting through about half of Jade Empire in the two years I’ve owned it, and popping in Yourself Fitness about twice a week.

That is why I am so stupidly happy about the latest addition to my little corner desk at work: my cute little black Nintendo Game Cube which used to sit in the communal game station across the room, a small selection of GC games, my wireless Wavebird controller, and a small Samsung TV that I spotted abandoned on the breakroom floor next to the kitchen a few months ago. I figure that 4 months is more than enough time to establish that no one else wanted the poor thing, so I have given it a new home on my desk.

Now I have my own Game Cube/GBA player set up a mere 2 feet away from my computer keyboard and can finally play the stack of Zelda titles that I’ve been hoarding for the past three years.

It’s also a great incentive for me to get my workouts done in the mornings so I can spend my entire lunch hour blasting through Beyond Good & Evil and Chibi-Robo instead of schlepping to the workout room in my old apartment complex and doing make-up cardio.

I realize that this is a trivial matter in the grand scheme of things, but what is happiness if not a collection of trivial things?

TT Bodyweight Workout A (35-40 mins)

Half of P90X Plyometrics or YF Cardio workout (30 mins)

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