Thursday, July 18, 2024

Colorado Plays

Playing in Colorado in all forms.

Gamify Fitness

Can I Still Use the Kinect to Drive a 12-Week Fitness Challenge?

I love challenging myself in a variety of ways. This time, I’m aiming to lose the last of my weight while reaching 8% body fat before the end of 2021. Is it possible to use the Kinect to power this latest fitness challenge?

Yes, I know the Kinect is long dead. But it will always have a special place in my living room. You see, the Kinect is how I lost the first 80 pounds, to begin with.

In fact, I still play it today as part of my exercise routines throughout the week. But what would happen if I dialed up my playtime to 11 and focused on fewer carbs throughout the day.

I suppose I’m going to answer that question.

Why Use the Kinect as Part of This Fitness Challenge?

So, some of you may be wondering why I am including the Kinect in this challenge. Aren’t there better alternatives to burning calories and losing weight?

Well, that really depends on how hard you play.

I Know I Can Burn Calories

To start with, I know for a fact how many calories I can burn in one session of gameplay with the Kinect. This is because I’m a dork and record that kind of workout in a spreadsheet.

In some instances, I actually burn more playing Kinect Sports Season 2: Tennis than a lot of people will by going to the gym.

This is recorded thanks to my Fitbit…and the sheer amount of sweat pouring off of me after 30 minutes of gaming.

Ability to Define Muscle Mass

Back in 2018, I was starting to lose my belly and my abs were starting to take on that awesome “V” shape every guy wants. And it was all thanks to playing the Kinect for nearly three months straight.

Since I also wear weighted gloves and wrist weights while playing, my arms, shoulders, back, and core get a decent workout as well.

In fact, my shoulders were still developing nicely from Kinect play before I even started going to the gym. So, I know exactly what the Kinect can offer in this next fitness challenge.

I Love to Play My Kinect Games

Kinect Games

The best exercise for losing fat is one that keeps your attention for longer than a month. That’s one of the big reasons why so many people fail exercise routines and diet plans.

They just don’t enjoy themselves enough to maintain the experience.

In my case, I have several games that I really enjoy playing on the Kinect. It’s a way to literally gamify fitness while keeping my mind engaged in the activity.

Can’t Afford VR Yet

I know there are several games available for virtual reality that offer a sense of exercise. Beat Saber comes to mind and looks like a lot of fun.

But alas, I’m poor folk. I can’t afford the VR system I want, so I will wait until I can get one.

I would actually love to see which platform offers the better workout, to be honest. And it’s probably going to be an article I write as soon as I get a VR unit.

Until then, though, I’ll just stick to what I know.

To Prove the Xbox Kinect is Still Viable for Exercise

The Xbox Kinect is still a great system for getting your heart rate up. That is as long as you play it correctly. And the way I play, I can easily drive my heart rate up to well past 180 BPM.

And as soon as I can figure out a way to live stream the workout, I’ll even demonstrate how.

In any case, the Kinect is part of this fitness challenge because I know for a fact how effective it can be for working up a sweat.

When Does the Fitness Challenge Begin with Using the Kinect?

Starting October 9th, I and a couple of friends are doing a fitness challenge throughout the end of the year. Coincidentally, October 9th is 12 weeks away from January 1st.

I would love to start 2022 looking like an amazing specimen of a man. I’ve never seen myself at such a physique, so it’s more out of curiosity than anything.

We’re going to take physical measurements, photos, and use the Renpho bio scale. I’m also going to do weekly updates on Crossing Colorado’s YouTube channel in case you’re interested.

Although my friends are going for weight loss in general, I am focusing more on the 8% body fat. That’s because I am already about a month or two away from hitting my weight goals anyway.

And yes, I’ll be recording the fitness challenge progress in a spreadsheet that I’ll share on, including the Kinect play.

However, I’ll be updating the Kinect Games spreadsheet on this site as I play. Essentially, it’s a breakdown of what games offer the best calorie burn per minute.

What is the Plan, Man?

So, what is the tentative plan? Actually, it’s pretty simple and something I used to do back in 2018 anyway.

The TLDR is that I use the Kinect for heavy cardio workouts and the gym to build and define muscle mass.

Tuesday and Wednesday Gameplay

Every Tuesday and Thursday, I’m going to play two sessions worth of Kinect games for this fitness challenge. Usually, it’ll be once in the morning before work and then once again sometimes after lunch.

These gaming sessions run between 20 and 35 minutes, depending on the game I decide to play that day. So, I could exercise in front of the television for 40 to 70 minutes on those two days.

Once Per Day After the Gym Workouts

On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, I head to the gym as I have an affinity for weight machines. On those days, I’ll just play one session of the Kinect in the afternoons.

That’s mostly because I really don’t have a lot of time in my day. But since this is working towards various forms of content, I’m counting the gameplay as “production time.”

Are You Game?

Feel free to follow along. I’ll post the rules and plan for the 12-week fitness challenge on Crossing Colorado’s website, complete with what Kinect games I am playing.

I’ll work on the details this weekend.

At any rate, the Kinect will probably always be one of my favorite pieces of workout equipment. As long as you just don’t stand in one place and wave your arms, you can get a decent workout.

It’s all about throwing yourself into the game!

Michael Brockbank
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Michael Brockbank

Michael developed ColoradoPlays to help various charities through his favorite pastime. Since then, the blog and Twitch channels have donated several hundred dollars to Extra Life, Geeks of Grandeur and Operation Supply Drop, to name a few.