Last Updated on September 17, 2020 by Michael Brockbank
Yes, I still play the Xbox Kinect to help burn calories and lose weight. I mean, there’s a lot to be said about a game system that helps you lose more than 80 pounds. And this case study for Avengers: Battle for Earth breaks down why it’s one of my favorites.
Keep in mind that this data is taken from personal experience. Because I am a bit of a stickler when it comes to accurate data, this is a representation of my own experience.
I’ll try to show everything I did in the process in case anyone out there wants to play along.
Playing Avengers: Battle for Earth
Avengers: Battle for Earth is a kind of fighting game where you pick two heroes from the Marvel Universe to battle it out against others and Skrull replacements.
If you don’t know, the Skrull is a shape-shifting alien race who came down to take over Earth. Yes, they are villains despite what you see in the movie, “Captain Marvel.”
Although there is a campaign version of the game, which I have to beat, I am dedicating this personal case study to the “Arcade” version. This is where you fight from the weakest enemy and work your way up through the ranks.
The point is to finish the arcade version in as little time as possible. However, I have yet to have a session longer than 22 minutes.
Premise of the Study
The idea for the study is to see how many calories I can burn on average over a set number of game sessions. I am focusing one set of games using wrist weights and the other without.
This is to see if there is a significant difference when adding 2lbs to each arm as opposed to just playing the game outright.
For this study, I’m using:
- Heart Rate Data from the Fitbit Charge 4
- Avengers: Battle for Earth and Xbox 360 Kinect
- Two-pound Wrist Weights
Calorie burn is monitored through the Fitbit Charge 4’s ability to monitor heart rate. And from past experiences, the calorie burn ratio to heart rate is pretty close to spot on.
Though, everyone is different. We all have a unique physiology. And this is why I conduct so many case studies on myself. It makes it easy to find a baseline and to collect future data.
Results of Playing Avengers: Battle for Earth
In this personal case study, I played 20 rounds of the arcade version of Avengers: Battle for Earth. The idea was to start from the easiest level and work my way up to beat the bosses at the highest difficulty.
In general, this would take around 20 minutes or so. I wanted a time frame to base calorie burn, and playing through the game easily gave me that frame of reference.
The following tables are based on averages from 20 games from start to finish.
Using 2lbs Spri Wrist Weights on Each Arm
Adding the wrist weights greatly boosts the intensity of the workout. Even at only 2 pounds per hand, you can easily feel it in the shoulders, upper back, biceps, traps, and to a lesser extent, chest after 20 minutes of playing.
|Min Played||Avg HR||Max HR||Cal Burn||Avg Burn/Min|
Playing without Extra Weights
In this stretch of 20 games, I didn’t add the weights. I wanted to see if my heart rate increased while using weights, but that doesn’t really seem to be the case this time around.
|Min Played||Avg HR||Max HR||Cal Burn||Avg Burn/Min|
After collecting the data and personal experience of how I felt after each game, there is a bit to go over.
So, over the span of this case study, what were my key takeaways?
Heart Rate was Slightly Higher While Using the Weights
Comparatively, it took me a bit longer to beat Avengers: Battle for Earth while wearing the weights. This resulted in a higher average heart rate and calorie burn. Not to mention the pressure put on various muscle groups.
Although the heart rate and total calorie burn was higher, it still took me slightly longer to beat the game when the weights were added. This results in a close match for calories burned per minute.
But in reality, I’d rather have the more intense workout with the higher total burned.
Higher Average Rate of Calorie Burn Under 20 Minutes
In most instances, it appears I have a higher burn per minute rate if I am able to beat the game in under 20 minutes. For the most part, this was me fighting as hard and as fast as I could move.
So, in most situations, that resulted in a higher degree of calorie burn during the time frame.
Though, it didn’t always work out that way.
Keeping in Motion to Work Up a Sweat
Each game I played, I finished with a good sweat. That’s because I don’t just stand around waiting for each round to start. I’m constantly in motion, even if it’s just walking in place.
And that’s really the key to taking advantage of the Kinect with Avengers: Battle for Earth. Between loading screens, during celebrations, and overall fighting, it’s all about putting in maximum effort and keeping yourself moving.
And although this game does get my heart rate up and a positive calorie burn, it’s still not the workout I get from other games.
But I love starting off my day as an Iron Man/Spider-Man combo and laying some law down on Skrulls.
It’s Mostly Upper Body Work
In this game, you’re essentially fist fighting. So, most of the work is going into your arms, chest, and back. And when you add the weights to the game, you can definitely feel it after about the fourth or fifth round.
There is a bit of side-to-side movement to work on the obliques. This is how you dodge while playing. And when I play, I am dodging all over the map in rapid succession.
In general, though, the game mostly affects the upper body.
Very Little Leg Work
When playing Avengers: Battle for Earth, you’re standing in one place. You have a knee lift that starts a power move, commits a type of charge, or blocks a charge, and then a jump to use your ultimate when it’s ready.
But aside from those two instances, you’re simply holding your balance throughout most of the game. Of course, it’s the same with a lot of games on the Xbox Kinect.
However, I do have several others that are far more intense that I plan on doing a case study for in the very near future.
Avengers: Battle for Earth is Still Among My Favorites
I have quite the collection of Xbox Kinect games that has helped me lose more than 80 pounds…and kept it off. And while it’s not the most grueling workout, the game itself is still among my go-to’s when I only have 20 minutes to spare.
Just remember to keep your body in motion and fight as hard and as quickly as you can. My personal best to beat the game is 16:54. Can you do better?
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