It was a sad day when I found myself tossing out my XBox because of the dreaded “red ring of death” and even sadder when I realized I wouldn’t be playing many video games anymore. Between working, training, getting married, saving up for a house and well, enjoying life there comes a time to put the big boy pants on.
Growing up I would spend hours in front of the TV dominating any video game that I played. I had to be the best. Get the highest score. Find all the hidden items. Reach the highest level. Annihilate the forces of evil. Always to come to the realization that the princess is in another f&*%ing castle. For reals?
Some people would call it OCD but I call it domination. Luckily, all that nerd energy spilled over into fitness and wound up being a huge driving force behind my motivation to lift heavy objects off the floor. I am now at level 29 and have many to go before game over.
Just like my old video games, each level brought new skills as well as new challenges and the need to get better. The harder (and smarter) you have to work makes the game more interesting and gives you feelings of accomplishment and general badassery (TG). As you can see, there is a similarity between fitness and video games and I’m not talking about Wii Fit or Kinect’s Dance Central.
Sidenote: Watching me attempt to video game dance is somewhat akin to watching a monkey hump a coconut. These hips don’t lie.
The only difference is that there is no awesome music played at the end of each level or when you power up to keep you motivated. To fix this a website called Fitocracy has taken fitness and gamers by storm! How do you like that intro?
I have been addicted since it was introduced last year and have had the opportunity to watch the site grow exponentially as people flock to the site to log their workouts to unlock accomplishments, level up, and challenge others on the social network. You can earn badges for meeting certain goals making it uber more awesome to finally get that 1.5xbodyweight squat or do 10 pullups. Wear em’ proud son!
I am going to nerd out on a limb here and say this makes Fitocracy similar to an RPG otherwise known as a ‘role playing game’. Not the role playing your thinking of either. Similar to Final Fantasy or games like that if you are familiar. If not you are missing out, just saying.
Since it is a social platform like Twitter or Facebook you can follow and friend the hundreds of thousands of others on the site as well as your friends to chat about training, fitness, Darth Vader and help keep eachother motivated. The accountability and support that this creates is unreal which in my opinion is one of the most valuable pieces of the puzzle. Plus it’s fun to challenge others by beating their scores and vice versa.
The one thing I would keep in mind though is that just like the interwebz, there is a good amount of bad information to go along with all the good info from beginners or nondeeming themselves ‘experts’ since they are level 37 or such. Give someone a hammer and all of a sudden they become a carpenter is a good analogy. My advice is to hunt down the good coaches on the site and pick their brains or any certified trainer or coach for that matter.
The newest addition is the ability to become a Fitocracy Hero which is the only thing you would have to pay for, if you choose of course. This is great if you want to ‘duel’ your friends, copy other’s workouts, have a title and some other awesome bells and whistles that allow you to support the site. It is well deserved.
As a trainer and strength coach, I have had many of my clients log on and have great success increasing motivation and in turn their fitness. This is serious for a FREE service. This doesn’t happen in life too often so take advantage!
I HIGHLY recommend logging on to see what all the excitement is about since this is some pretty cool shiznit. You can find me on there under username ‘Bergeron’ and be my friend, k? Mad props.