If you listen to the GameSpot UK Podcast or follow me on Twitter, you've probably heard about the UFC Fitness Challenge. Organised by UK games industry magazine MCV,Seb, Johnny and I are all taking part, focussing on improving our fitness over the course of the month with the help of the game.
While I was regularly cycling to work, eating a fairly healthy vegetarian diet, and going to the gym a few times a month, I had gradually gained weight over the last few years. I believe it was mostly down to a typical journalist lifestyle, involving regular drinking, frequent unhealthy snacks, and a fairly sedentary working environment. As a result, my weight crept up to 84kg (13.23 stone), and given my height of 5'7", this put me into overweight territory.
When the UFC Challenge came along, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to get back in shape. Firstly, I had to submit a topless photo of myself to the magazine in full-on belly-out mode, which, if nothing else, would shame me into losing some weight. Secondly, the UFC software applies gaming mechanics to weight loss through achievements and challenges--things that motivate most gamers, including me. Thirdly, I also have Seb and Johnny around for support (Cake Thursday and Pay Day Beers are both regular events here in the office).
A week before the challenge, I decided to start altering my diet and getting more exercise to prepare myself for the start of the programme. As well as eating more healthily, I decided to stop drinking alcohol, which in turn meant I could cycle everywhere. I also started doing cardiovascular exercise such as running, rowing and cross-training to aid weight loss.
Once the challenge started on the 8th July, I added the UFC Personal Trainer software to this plan, setting up the 30-day Weight Loss programme. I was impressed with how challenging the UFC software was, even at the beginner level--I found exercises such as the V-Up impossible at first. However, with each day I found I could do more reps, add more weights and open up new routines, which helped strengthen my muscles while I burned calories with cardio work.
So, how's it going so far? Well, I've managed to lose a significant amount of weight over the last two weeks. In the warm-up week I lost 3.5kg. This week, after introducing UFC Personal Trainer, I dropped 1.5kg--not as much weight, but a far healthier amount (the NHS recommends you aim for around 1kg per week), while I suspect that UFC Personal Trainer is helping me turn fat into muscle.
Overall, I'm very pleased with my results so far. People have started to commenton my weight loss, I'm saving a lot of money on transport, food and drink, and I'm generally feeling a lot more energetic. I've also broken through the stage where I was constantly thinking about food and drink, while exercising has become part of my daily routine.I'll continue to update on my progress, but here's an overview on my results so far.
Friday 1st July
Friday 8th July
Weight: 80.5kg (-3.5kg lost)
Friday 15th July
Weight: 79kg (-1.5kg lost)