(W)in Quarantine – Work Out With My Guac Out
I’m using video games to get into shape, because fun is a fine motivator!
There have been a few points in my life where I actively worked out. When I was a substitute teacher without much work, and when the Blind Ferret office had a warehouse gym, mainly. There were other times I tried, but usually failed pretty quickly. My successes had a lot in common:
- I was alone
- I was multitasking.
- It was mostly cardio.
When I was working out in the office gym, I put my headphones in, turned a podcast on, and took in a form of entertainment that I can only enjoy when I am not using my brain but I am using my body. When I was working out at home, I took multitasking to a glorious higher level.
As I’ve mentioned a lot lately, I’m big into Wii. In addition to the stack of games, we bought the Wii Fit, a game with a Balance Board peripheral. This Balance Board is a scale, as well as sensor for a variety of cardio, and aerobic, and muscle training games. For many, there’s a virtual trainer that gives you tips and results. Most exercises are a few minutes at most. Except one.
There’s an exercise called Free Step, and it’s amazing. It’s a 20 or 30 minute step class. When you start, the Wiimote becomes a metronome. The only instructions are to step to the beat of the metronome. After a few seconds, the workout reminds you that you don’t need to just watch your Mii take a step class. You can change the input on your TV to watch TV or a movie. Or, in my case, play a different system setup in another input.
Back in my substitute teaching days, I would play GM Mode of WWE Smackdown! Vs Raw 2007. In GM Mode, you play as someone booking the shows, competing for ratings. You can play the matches if you need specific results (like if a wrestler e-mails you about jumping to the other show if they don’t win a match soon). It is my favourite mode of any wrestling game, one that changed and then was dropped over subsequent releases and the reason I was still playing 2007 into the 2010s.
Because I didn’t need to particularly pay attention playing a wrestling video game, I also listened to podcasts at the time. Other than ruining several headphones with sweat-based water damage, this was the life. I was motivated to work out because working out meant playing my favourite video game and listening to a podcast.
Now that I’m trying to get back into shape, I wanted to return to the glory days of multitask free stepping. Technically there’s nothing stopping me from hooking up my PS2 and booting up WWE Smackdown! Vs Raw 2007 again, but I thought maybe it was time to move on to a new game. I recently hooked my Steamlink up to the same TV as the Wii, and even more recently I bought a Humble Bundle of classic Steam games. Included in this bunde: Guacamelee, the side scrolling puzzley platformer about a Luchador defending the realm of the living against the realm of the dead. It’s a great game that I played once before, so I don’t have to worry about a learning curve, and therefore can play the game while also stepping. Plus, it’s wrestling themed! It’s the perfect game to step into the big WWE Smackdown! Vs Raw 2007 shoes.