6 terrible tips for working out with video games
Jacked & Daxter
Personal fitness? Eurgh, what's that all about? Can't we just all agree to be gelatinous blob people, endlessly playing games until our tired bodies finally expire at the tender age of 36? It'd certainly help save on all of those unwanted gym memberships. Why, with all that extra cash we'd finally be able to buy as many lard-coated cakes as our massive stomachs could handle, and maybe get some more games too. I mean, isn't it all just ritualistic suffering anyway? Self-hatred and starving Adonis's?
Alright alright, new plan: we keep working out, but only until the world of Wall-E finally becomes a reality. In the meantime I've helpfully cooked up a few video game-related exercises that are sure to maximise both your fun and fitness. Feel the burn!
DISCLAIMER: the following exercises are all uniformly terrible ideas, and you will most likely die while attempting them, so don't.
Beef up forearms with MGS torture scenes
It seems Foxhound's finest cant go anywhere these days without enduring some form of electro-shock Q & A. They want answers, he has questions, and every single stage is the lightning round. Bad luck, Boss. Of course, our boy Snake would rather die than divulge the location of his much-prized Playboy collection, so it's up to us folks at home to save his sorry snake skin. How, you ask? By exhibiting some truly athletic button bashing.
Placing your pad on a nearby thigh or desk (remember to ask permission if neither item belongs to you), players must fight to outlast the effects of said shocking by hammering two alternating inputs. Manage to survive? Simply reload and go again, you animal. With oodles of lactic acid now washing into their forearms, players will begin to feel a slight stinging sensation, followed up by an intense, death-like agony. If you've ruptured a tendon, burst a blood vessel or entered a state of vegetative blackout, then you know you've gone too far. For those of you who're still with us: congratulations. Once the anguish subsides, you'll be rewarded with a proud set of Popeye-like limbs probably.
Work that upper body by bench-pressing the original Xbox
Part games-machine, part poorly drawn Darth Vader, the original Xbox console is a true heavy hitter, a real big deal, a huge, massive gargantuan success fat. Yes, just like a big boned bloke in a narrow alley, there's simply no getting past the fact that the original Xbox had itself some serious size; a detail that isnt lost on the scores of people reported to have smashed their ankles while attempting to move one.
Now--as the actress said to the bishop--"it's time to make that size work for you". Start by lying on top of a large stool--preferably not in the bathroom--with both shoulders allowed to hang freely at your sides. Next, take the unplugged Xbox and grasp it via the handgrip gratings provided. Gently press the hulking mass above your chest, remembering to extend both arms as though presenting a lion king to its many future victims, before finally retracting. Rinse and repeat for killer upper-body definition. Who says you need to trick burglars onto your property to enjoy a good gun show?
Stretch that neck with the Oculus Rift headset
It's important to limber up before undertaking any kind of exercise, whether that's climbing K2, running a marathon or flapping your big stupid jaw muscles around the office water cooler Brian. Fortunately, with the advent of bulky VR headsets, stretching your own neck needn't look like some form of botched exorcism attempt. Huzzah!
With the added weight of the Oculus Rift, Project Morpheus or Ninty's soon-to-be revealed 'Virtual Man' headset resting snugly atop your noggin, ten minutes of play should be enough to ensure up to two hours of concerted, pain-free headbanging. For added challenge, why not wear all three at once? Hell, you might as well turn the whole thing into a big game of human buckaroo: first person to suffer devastating whiplash loses.
Build your own bulky cosplay sauna
Fancy shedding some water weight, but just can't bring yourself to actually eat right, exercise or stew in a room full of sweaty men? Have no fear, dear reader--the solution is right in front of you, dressed up as a Big Daddy, or maybe some kind of aggressively-hairy Pokemon. Given the increasingly popularity of cosplay, fancy dress aficionados are being forced to resort to ever-more outlandish outfits in their bid to stay ahead of the game. Enter the 'mega-costume': Hollywood-quality garb designed by relative amateurs and fashioned after some of pop culture's largest, and least human-looking creations.
Of course, where personal fitness is concerned, these hulking outfits also serve a secondary purpose: that of the walking sauna. Two hours spent sashaying around an old hangar bay dressed up as a 10-foot Banjo Kazooie may not sound like much, but in the mid-summer's heat you're certain to achieve some superb mass reduction before eventually succumbing to heat stroke and crashing through a Hot Toys display table. Pain and gain baaaaby.
Tone up your core with Rayman crunches
Ah, crunches: the discerning gentleman's sit up. Same basic exercise, same basic benefits, just with 100% less time spent with your head shoved between your legs, praying for it all to be over. That's some incentive, though not quite enough for some. If you're the kind of person who's prone to slacking off mid-workout, then this next simple tip is for you.
Begin by lying flat on your back and facing the nearest TV. Next, grab a couple of old gaming guides and pile them on top of your chest, using as many as is necessary to obscure any view of the set. Now, select a hard-as-nails platformer, ideally one with an in-built time limit ala the original Rayman, and attempt to complete the game. As will quickly become obvious, your only chance of success now lies in lifting up that cheese-stained excuse for a torso long enough to surpass Rayman's damnable tasks. For maximum results, try setting yourself a positive end goal, i.e. "I promise I'll never, ever have to do this again" or "Why hasn't someone taken me to the hospital yet?".
Squat yourself massive while avoiding the Kinect
It can be easy to overlook your legs, what with your eyeballs generally looking over them, but regular legs-ercise remains an absolute must for everybody. You wouldn't dream of building a bridge on faulty supports--unless it was the bridge on the river Kwai, or some kind of dastardly insurance scam--so why would you choose to bulk up while neglecting your two main movers? It's madness I tell you, madness! Just think of the future you, slumped over a robo-couch, forced to watch on as all of your friends gallivant around their Xbox Ten danger room/sensory deprivation/bacta tank. Feels pretty crummy doesn't it?
Well fret no more. By utilising today's already-antiquated tech, you can build yourself some monster legs and avoid the attentions of Microsoft's phase two kill-bot, the Kinect. Start by setting up your camera peripheral on a nearby shelf. Now attempt to outwit said machine by roadie-running everywhere below its field of vision. If it spots you, you're done, both literally and figuratively (or at least you will be by the time MS decides to go full-Skynet). "Help me, Windows 98 is eating my eyes!"
Flex it Felix
Are you a lean, mean gaming machine? Good, then you've just wasted several minutes of your life reading an utterly superfluous how-to. As for the rest of you, get cracking but please, for the love of God, don't do any of these particular exercises. They're all likely to give you lasting brain damage. If you have any suggestions for game-related exercises, THAT NO ONE SHOULD EVER ACTUALLY ATTEMPT, let me know in the comments below.
Want more slices of quiet madness in word-form? Try this feature on 8 Games That Reward You For NOT Playing (opens in new tab), and this feature on Bet You Didn't Know These 9 Games Were Based On Books (opens in new tab).