“Waaaait a minute! Exercise ? But this is gaming!”
Don’t worry, this isn’t a bait-and-switch – the two are more related than you think.
A few weeks ago we released some sick merch out into the world, namely to the streamers we love so much.
There was a catch though – they would have to earn it by completing healthy, real-life quest. Their dungeon? The gym.
Why? Because as cool as it is, most gaming fails to deliver something your body desperately needs: movement.
Me? Move? Really???
You’ve probably already heard that not moving around enough is bad for your health, but on top of that, staying physically active can actually make you a better gamer.
Along with preventing chronic back pain and other, scarier problems like diabetes, exercise is actually proven to increase energy levels and mental performance.
“But… I’m 3 wins from leveling up… that would mean getting off my butt and spending precious time exercising instead of searching for another match!”
We get it, the struggle is real. But we’re here to tell you that a little exercise will make you a fiercer gamer and once that happens, you’ll be leveling up faster than ever before.
And here’s where we talk about the “how”.
Exercise Your Way To A Better Brain
The human body is truly fascinating. Case in point, the link between our brains and bodies is two-way and super strong.
Just like an outdated GPU means major in-game lag, not getting enough exercise can drastically bog down your mental health and overall performance, both in and out of the game.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Add weaker muscles, a higher likelihood of depression and faster ageing to the long-term neck and back pain from all that chairtime and you may start to wonder if all those streaming marathons are really worth it.
At the same time, getting out of that chair for a little exercise yields huge benefits to your health, especially where mood, sleep and metabolism are concerned.
If the idea of getting active intimidates you, you can come out from under your desk now. We’re not talking about signing up for a marathon or becoming the next Schwarzenegger (get to the chopper! *cough*).
We’re talking simple and natural exercises that you can do almost whenever.
Let’s take legs for example. Of all the muscle groups in your body, the legs are the most overlooked, yet ironically one of the most important. Leg exercise has actually been proven to affect the body in a lot of crazy ways:
- Largest muscle group = best bang-for-buck
- Neurological health relies on signals from leg muscles
- Helps form new nerve cells
- Improves memory and information processing
- Promotes functional strength
Simply put, everyday leg-based activities like walking, climbing stairs or hiking help your brain produce
IRL XP healthy neurons – and trust us on this, you really need them.
The Workout + Adjustments From Gymless Joe
As mentioned before, we challenged top streamers to go to the gym and complete our special workout designed specifically to target all the muscle groups that take the biggest beating during gaming.
So, if your favorite streamers can get up and improve their health, you can achieve the same thing (and even better, but don’t tell them we said that)!
This balanced, full-body workout is ideal for anyone just getting started in the gym and focuses on the legs (front & rear thighs) and the upper body (back, mid-scapular muscles and spinal erectors).
Gym too expensive or too far away? PC set to detonate if you leave the house? Gymless Joe has you covered with alternative exercises you can do at home.
A1: Split squat front foot elevated 8-10/leg
Why: As we mentioned before, legs are a great muscle group to invest in, and squats are a super efficient way to do it. Done correctly, squats actually work a lot more muscle groups than just legs
Gymless Joe version – Bodyweight squats : If you don’t have a bar and squat rack handy, you can do squats with just your bodyweight or some books in each hand for added resistance. (Extra points if you leave a comment about the cat from that video!)
A2: Lat pulldown – supinated grip 10-12
Why: Pulldowns engage a lot of upper-body muscle groups and promote shoulder health. It’s also a great way to work yourself up to doing pull-ups with your own bodyweight.
Gymless Joe version – Assisted pull ups with a chair : If you have something solid to hold onto, like a pullup bar or a sturdy pipe somewhere, put a chair underneath it and use your legs to support you as you pull yourself up. The goal here is to use as little leg power as possible and work your way up to doing unassisted pull ups.
B1: Step ups 8-10/leg
Why: Step ups are a great exercise for improving your balance and you can do them almost anywhere you find a decent step.
Gymless Joe version – Lunges : Are a great alternative if you don’t have a suitable step handy, or if you just want to change things up a bit.
B2: Seated cable row – neutral grip 10-12
Why: Cable row exercises rely on the major joints in your upper body, meaning that you also work a number of important muscle groups.
Gymless Joe version – Standing band rows : Use an exercise band instead of a cable for similar results. Remember to focus on your technique rather than repetitions or speed.
C1: Back extension 12-15
Why: Poor posture and a sedentary lifestyle (sound familiar?) can very easily lead to serious back problems later in life (as early as your mid-20’s, actually). Back extensions strengthen the muscles that keep your spine working right and also promote blood flow through the spine, which helps with circulation.
Gymless Joe version – Good morning stretches : It might not look like a real exercise, but this exercise is a great substitute for back extensions. Do them slowly and focus on moving smoothly through each position.
C2: Face pulls 12-15
Why: Like a lot of exercises on this list, face pulls are a compound exercise – doing them correctly means engaging more joints and multiple muscle groups. As a result, they burn more energy (fat) and deliver better results, faster.
Gymless Joe version – Face pulls with band : Here again an exercise band is a useful substitute for the cable row machine. To do them right, make sure to keep your shoulders back and focus on the muscles between your shoulder blades.
And here’s the breakdown for what to do and when:
3x: A1, 60s rest + A2, 60s rest
3x: B1, 60s rest + B2, 60s rest
2x: C1, 60s rest + C2, 60s rest
GOOD TO KNOW: If home workouts are more your speed, then keep an eye out for our downloadable ULTIMATE HOME GAMING WORKOUT series, coming soon!
Don’t want to do this exact routine? Then change it up! There are tons of similar exercises that you can do instead – just choose ones that focus on the muscle groups mentioned above and you’ll be good to go.
The All-Rounder + Alternatives
The workouts above will go a long way toward getting you in shape, but if they seem a bit too much to start with, don’t worry – we’ve got an ace up our sleeve.
Say hello to the burpee . Probably the best home exercise there is. It’s basically like the fitness version of ‘game of the year’ – cheaper & all-inclusive.
Doing them correctly activates your largest muscle groups, burns a lot of oxygen and gets your blood flowing, but it also increases your metabolism. For some people, though, burpees have a big downside – they aren’t the easiest exercise out there.
Solution? Start with one per day. Seriously, you can manage one, single burpee, right? In fact, go do it right now (we believe in you)!
Perfect that daily burpee, grasshopper. Then set your sights on increasing that number gradually. And always, always focus on doing them right rather than doing them fast. Quality over quantity here, people.
So there you have it.
Now we’re done with all that, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Don’t exercise every day. Take at least one rest day every week.
- Small things matter!
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator
- Help your grandma with groceries (you’re gonna eat all the things anyways)
- Hell, go out and buy a physical paysafecard, even if you have a bank account
- Don’t just think about being active, be active. What would Shia LaBeouf tell you?
- Remove barriers between you and your goal. Lay out your exercise gear for the next day, so you have one less thing to do before getting schweaty.
- We’re repeating ourselves, we know, but seriously – start slow and focus on doing these exercises correctly.
- Get together with some friends and challenge each other to stay motivated.
Now, what are you waiting for? Get moving & get winning!
Of course, there are some alternatives if you don’t want to do burpees for some reason:
- Jumping Lunge – if burpees aren’t your thing, but you want similar results.
- Jump Squat – for tree trunks like Arnie.
- Cat and Dog, Child’s Pose, Lying Knee Hug, Bird Dog, Plank With Leg Raise, Kneeling, Psoas Stretch – this series of exercises is awesome for strengthening your back.
With a little help of good ol’ Google, you’ll find even more exercises that you can try. Experiment and find what works best for you.
One important note, though: Pace yourself and listen to your body. The goal here is to get better and healthier, not to prove that you’re a badass by pushing yourself to injury. Start slow with light or no weight at all and focus on doing the exercises correctly.
Let us know how it goes!
Give some of these tips a try and post a picture of you in action (#madmonqmoving). We’re always looking for happy homes to send our sick merch to.
Yes, you read that right – we are giving out our merchandise for your valiant efforts away from the keyboard.
Because it is good for you and we are that awesome.
Shout-out to our e-athletes
In case you’re wondering where to send all those marriage proposals and fanmail, here’s how to get in touch with the two beastly streamers in the photos: