The Fit Gamer

New Year’s Resolution: 
Working Out, a Fit Gamer

Gamers across the world unfortunately fall into a generic stereotype of live at home, unemployed, obese mama’s boys, who lack basic and generic socialization skills, preferring the dark confines of a computer room, where they can indulge in their role playing fantasy games.  As most of us gamers know, this is far from the truth…but this stereotype has evolved from some form of fact, as much as we would like to deny it.

I am a gamer.  I am known as Khor, and I play Retribution Paladin in World of Warcraft.  I raid two nights a week at most, only on nights where it doesn’t interfere with my family life.  I am 28 years old, a husband and father, I own my own house, work full-time in a hospital ICU, and also am a stay-at-home dad.  I workout and try to eat healthy.  I do not fall under this generic stereotype.  But when I tell people what my hobby is, outside of family time, I am met with cringes and curiosity.

People don’t picture me as a gamer.  I don’t hide behind anything.  I am a gamer, I admit it.  It’s what I do, it’s what I like.  But the sterotype follows me wherever I go, and for many gamers, it is the same way.

However, there is a sweeping trend among youth and adults in the world today, especially associated with video games.  Due to the enveloping entertainment that games provide, people are trading soccer balls and footballs for keyboards and controllers.  Obesity is running rampant, and video games are playing a heavy role.  While it is stronger in the younger age ranges, it is still present for adults as well.

Last year, one year ago to be exact, I was 185 pounds.  I am 5’11”, and for my age and height, I am considered ‘overweight’ at 180 pounds.  I had never been this heavy in my life.  A good weight for me would be between 160 and 170 pounds.  I had let 4 years of gaming, in particular World of Warcraft, drag me into a lethargic, lazy, unhealthy state of being that was ruining my body.  I had gained 25 pounds over those years.  The farther you slip into obesity, the easier it is to continue to add on the weight.  I knew I had to make a dramatic change, or I was only going to get worse.

I took a step back from gaming to re-evaluate my life and figure out what I was doing to my body.  I was always tired, exhausted, and felt like crap most of the time.  My constant diet of soft drinks, frozen dinners, and fast food was rapidly catching up with me.  I no longer had my college and high school metabolism working for me.  I went from a size 32 waist to a size 34.  Most of my shirts were tighter and you could see the bulge of my stomach.  Seriously unattractive.

I looked at my wife, all 115 pounds of her, and thought, “Damn, just as sexy as when we met.”  Then I looked at myself, stomach slowly expanding, lack of definition in my chest, stomach, and arms…scrawny legs.  Where did my abs go?  Didn’t I have a 6-pack at one time?  And what the friggin hell is up with these puny arms?

Guys, I am directing this at you…what is the one thing we want most?  Because I have younger readers on this blog, I’ll leave it at that…but let’s just say…if you want to keep that one thing as frequent as possible, one crucial factor is keeping yourself in shape.  If that isn’t motivation enough, I don’t know what is.

Now, let me give you another take on things.  Did you know that of the Top 5 Guys Girls Should Avoid Dating, ‘The Gamer’ is number 5.  Seriously.  Most girls dread dating a gamer.  It is a complete turn-off.  That’s why the other aspects of your life should take priority and remain a focus…even if gaming is your number one passion. 

I can tell you right now, if you are on WoW 6+ hours a day, living at home, have no job, and are lacking outside socialization…you are dooming yourself to a life of solitude.  Not trying to make any enemies here, but it’s the truth.  The first step to stepping out of the gaming additcion hole is to start caring about yourself and your body.  Gaming can cause neglect in these areas.

You know what?  Enough negativity.  I want to share with you the program I used to help me shed the pounds, lose the weight, and get back to being fit.  No, I am not selling anything.  This is a FREE program by Arnel Ricafranca.  The program is called I Want Six Pack Abs.  While the name may sound cheesy, the program itself is very detailed, including workouts, interval training (cardio), and dieting.  It is a 16-week program aimed at helping burn fat, toning muscle, and getting back into shape.

I will be doing this program again from the beginning, and will keep tabs on it with this blog.  As a gamer myself, and a father and husband, keeping physically healthy is a top priority.  If I can reach just one person out there, and help push them in the direction of bettering themselves, then this will have been totally worth it.

The Workout

The workout for the first week is all body strength exercises, meaning no equipment involved at all.  It is surprisingly tough if you haven’t been physically active for some time.

Personal Trainer Reveals His 16 Week Journey To Six Pack AbsWatch the best video clips here

  1. 20x Push-ups
  2. 20x Body Squats
  3. Rest for 60 seconds or less
  4. Repeat this set 3 times
  5. 20x Stationary Lunges
  6. 15x Pull-ups
  7. Rest for 60 seconds or less
  8. Repeat this set 3 times
  9. 15x Burpees
  10. Plank for 45 seconds
  11. Rest for 60 seconds or less
  12. Repeat this set 3 times
  13. Finished

I will be doing this every other day (M, W, F), and doing interval training (sprinting, T, Th, Sat).  My food intake will be around 2000 calories at 5 meals per day, averaging 400 calories per meal.  Yes, this takes a little bit of research and meal planning, but it works very well when you have a meal plan set.

For example, my food for Monday is as follows:

  • Breakfast – 1 scrambled egg w/ tomatoes and bell pepper, 1 glass cranberry juice
  • Snack – Whey protein shake with a banana during and after workout
  • Lunch – Grilled chicken sandwich with lettuce, tomato, pickle, and pepper.  No mayo.   Celery sticks on the side.  Water to drink.
  • Snack – 1/4 cup dry, unsalted peanuts, 1 cup baby carrots.  Water to drink.
  • Dinner – Subway 6 inch sub, turkey with lettuce, bell pepper, pickles, tomato, black olives, and pepper.  Wheat bread.  No cheese.  NO MAYO.  Apple slices.  Water.

I encourage you to go to the page for Week 1’s exact workout HERE.  Also look up the interval training and diet info as well to help you get started.

The Goal

The goal for me is no longer to lose weight.  By week 8 last year, I had lost 28 pounds.  Seriously.  I was 155, down from 183.  That was about 3 to 4 pounds a week.  Now I am at 165, a perfect weight for me.  By starting this up again, I anticipate a little weight loss at the beginning, but it should stabilize and start turning into more muscle.  I may tweak it a bit to make some aspects more challenging.

You know what the true key to that weight loss was?  Not the working out, and not even the interval training…it was the diet.  Controlling what I ate was crucial.  Eating the right stuff in the right amounts was absolutely vital to keeping me on track for getting back into shape and burning fat.

After about 3 months, I returned to WoW…much healthier, much less addicted to the game, and much more a better man.

If you are interested, or even feel like trying this out for yourself, follow along.  I will be posting the workouts and updates each week.  I am a WoW gamer, but I am also a dad and a husband.  I am a man with a family first, who enjoys WoW as a hobby.  My priorities are straight.  Are yours?


  1. Trioxis says:

    I also feel I need to get back in shape after years of neglecting my health thanks to (online) games. I’ve started working out in the gym November 2009 but I’m just building strength, not losing weight. I will use that program to get my weight back down (currently at about 210 lb, used to be 175 a year and a half ago) and besides that build some muscle. However, despite being overweight I’m not fat (thanks to being about 6’1″) but I’ve gotten more and more comments on my physique the last couple of months.

    Finding a working balance between gaming and being fit can be quite hard and generally means some sacrifices have to be made. For me being in good shape and feeling healthy is on the top of my list so I cut down on the hours spend gaming. It can be hard and I’ve caught myself spending too much time on games occasionally.

  2. Ayne says:

    I’ve been reading your blog for a few weeks, as I’ve got a ret pal in the works (69). I’m a 23 year old female and I’ve been playing WoW for about 3 years now. Your post comes at an interesting time for me. After 3 years of sitting on my butt I’m starting to see some disturbing changes and I’m fed up with it. My New Year’s resolution is similar to yours: scale back my online time a little, pay more attention to my body and my health – basically, try to find a balance. I look forward to your future posts on this subject.

  3. Sion says:

    Looks like you have pulled a few heart strings on this one mate.

    I’ve been working on a 13 week program and start my first session today.

    For readers with an iphones/ipod touch, the following apps are excellent. Think of them as your recount and omen for the real world:

    Serious nutrition tracker: This cool app has a massive database of food that you can choose from, as well as input your own and keep track of your daily calorific intake. It also shows how you distribute your calories across the day.

    iFitness: I have paid for several exercise databases and this is by far the best one. It has several workout routines preloaded and you can even make your own and track your progress.

  4. Edward says:

    I’m exactly like you mate – 28, skinny my whole life until the past few years, now I’m sitting at around 190 @ 5″11. Not enough to be considered fat but I definitely have a gut.

    I’d like to drop down to about 170 which I think would be a good weight. I’m going to start a diet to help achieve this, because in the end it’s all about caloric intake.

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