It’s easy to get bogged down with day to day life responsibilities that the lofty goals we have — whether it be losing weight, learning to cook or traveling the world — remain just that: goals. But Nerd Fitness’s Steve Kamb is helping people start taking action. Kamb built an empire around his passion for gaming by giving people a way to create an alter-ego and accomplish their goals — fitness or otherwise. This month, Kamb took Nerd Fitness to the next level by releasing the book, “Level Up Your Life,” which allows readers to create a total life-hacking system. Here, he tells us more about it.
A lot of people feel unfulfilled at work. Can creating an alter-ego help with that?
The heroes we love in TV shows, movies and books tend to have regular responsibilities, too. Superman is also a reporter, Clark Kent. Indiana Jones is an archeologist. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a Sunnydale High School cheerleader. Just like these superheroes, we have responsibilities that need to be taken care of, but there can also be another version of yourself that does amazing things in your free time. So instead of going home after work and watching Netflix or heading to the bar and drinking away your sorrows, you can turn yourself into a superhero with a fun name and backstory and start spending your time doing the things you’ve always wanted to do.
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How does thinking about life like a video game lead to accomplishing goals?
We as humans [thrive on] seeing progress. In a video game, that’s simple. You see your character reach new levels or get stronger. That’s why video games are so addictive. I thought, why not create an alter-ego version of yourself and create a mission to accomplish — whether that’s health and fitness related or learning a new language or traveling more — and get addicted to that? Nerd Fitness helps you create your own character and a list of missions to complete. As you cross off tiny quests, you see your character level up. It’s literally turning your life into a video game.
Are there any fitness moves that are particularly good for gamers?
When I play video games, I set a timer. I’ll spend 15 minutes sitting on the couch, then I’ll spend 10 minutes in a squat while playing, and then 10 minutes standing and playing. You can use a timer and make yourself do mobility movements, like push-ups and arm-swings. The issue comes from just plopping down on the couch like a blob and playing for seven hours.
Do you have any tips on how ‘Star Wars’ fans can train like a Jedi master?
When I think about how a Jedi would train, they probably aren’t going to be in a gym. If you think of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker, the majority of their training probably revolved around bodyweight, so things like push-ups and pull-ups. You probably can’t do a one-handed handstand like Luke, but I would say if you do bodyweight exercises like lunges and squats and you do those very well and get strong with those, you’re going to make a pretty darn good Jedi.
Follow Emily on Twitter: @EmLaurence