Has your New Year’s resolution to lose weight died out by now? A boring question, I know — but wait! To spice things up, I mix my love of fitness with my equal love for gaming.
I submit to you guidelines for achieving whatever gaming physique you desire (as long as it’s on this list, of course). These are the most commonly coveted physiques in the video game industry, not a list of the best in shape (sorry, Haggar). If you’re ready, put on those sweat bands, grab your nearest Dualshock, and get to it!
Chun Li (Street Fighter)
When you think of Chun Li, what comes to mind? Legs, right? To achieve her majestic quads and immaculate diamond cutter calves, you can’t skip leg day, not even if it falls on a holiday. Hell, if you’re trying to copy her impressive tree trunks, you’ll have to hit your legs at least twice a week. And to achieve those amazing calves, you must be working them at least three times a week from various angles, leg pressing till you drop. No one said doing a spinning bird kick would be easy, so don’t forget to set your quarter next the squat rack so everyone knows you got next.
Mario (Super Mario Bros)
Odd choice, but a good one for those who would rather not diet, but still achieve an astounding seven-foot vertical leap. I can’t think of any better exercise that simulates what Mario does on a regular basis than box jumps. It’s probably best not to consume any mushrooms prior to training though, unless you want to reenact the scene from Fear and Loathing where the box turns into a lizard before exploding into a stream of bats.
Chris Redfield (Resident Evil)
I am mainly talking about his “WTF” triceps from Resident Evil 5 here, with perfect twin head symmetry and striations that are just out of control. If you’re looking to come anywhere close to Mr. Redfield’s build, you will need to hit those bad boys twice a week with wicked skull crushers, nasty rope pull downs, weighted dips, and drop sets to fully exhaust the tricep muscles and trigger fast-twitch muscle fiber growth. You can’t land a babe like Jill Valentine without bringing the S.T.A.R.S. gun show.
Shun Di (Virtua Fighter)
Like Mario, this is one is for you guys who want to train but don’t want to give something up. Shun Di is perfect for those who like to consume alcohol on a regular basis, but still want to train like Daniel-san. Sorry frat boys, beer bellies are by far the hardest to loose. You may have decent arms, but that Ethiopian gut is no bueno. All kidding aside, hit up Amazon and grab any martial arts training DVD.
Nathan Drake (Uncharted)
In my opinion, this is the most obtainable physique on the list because it’s the most realistically proportioned. I recommend shoulder workouts via any indoor rock climbing establishment at least twice a week to replicate Nathan Drake’s awesome upper body strength. For the rest of the week, I recommend hitting the gym, and if possible, finding an older mustache-touting workout partner named Sully to serve as a spotter in case of unforeseen emergencies.
Sonic (Sonic the Hedgehog)
This is as simple as it gets. Sonic is fast! How did he get that way? From running! Short of painting yourself blue, all you need to do is pull out your dusty old New Balances and put foot to pavement. Now, you could run on a treadmill all day and get results, but in my experience, nothing beats running on the street. You just can’t replicate the constant elevation changes, and it sure beats the scenery at your local gym: old dudes that just remind you of your impending doom. Also, stay away from those enticing elliptical machines. I know they are fun, but they just don’t engage your muscles and lungs like good old fashion running.
Sam Fisher (Splinter Cell)
For you older guys who still want to climb water pipes and whistle at your enemies for distractions, this is the character physique for you. Don’t judge, but in college I took yoga as an elective; what most people don’t understand is the concept of using your own body against itself. You’re not going to get yoked out like Sagat from Street Fighter, but you will get toned like Sam Fisher. You’re also going to need to use a standard high rep, low weight training program to maintain strength and look badass, but please leave your night vision goggles at home.
Kate Archer (No One Lives Forever)
If you’re asking yourself “Who?”, please allow me to enlighten you. Kate was “Fem Shep” before that was a thing, with a little 007 meets Austin Powers for good measure. To capture her physique, I’d recommend interval speed training three days week, and a basic workout routine that consists of squats, pull ups, and curls to keep yourself in an anabolic state. If you’re not into cheeky British humor, then this workout plan will work for Bayonetta fans too.
If you don’t want to run, diet, swim, or do yoga, then what’s left? Have you ever heard of power lifting? You can eat like crap (as far as anything that will give you protein), and you don’t have to run, ever. Guys like Bob may not look like they are in shape but they are. Healthy? That’s another story. You’re going to have to go old school for this one, with low rep, high weight that incorporates backbreaking compound movements. Better get used to dead lifts and clean-and-jerks, not to mention their distant cousin, the hack squat. But when all is said and done, you can down a protein shake or hit up your local Jack in the Box for that Jumbo Jack because it’s all protein for your next session.
Kratos (God of War)
This guy is “beast mode” personified, as the crossfit-ers say, with a physique forged on the battlefields of Greece. You too can look like this — minus the white body paint, since nobody wants to work out after you when you leave a trail of blood and makeup on the smith cage. You will have to do a six-days-a-week routine, with splitting body parts and putting in “two a day” workouts here and there. You will also need to hit your biceps and triceps on one day, and then hit your chest the next for an oh-so-sweet push-pull matrix that is going to make you question your own existence. And your reward on day three? Legs son. Do some wicked glute burning squats, followed by leg presses til you pass out, only to be awoken by the madness that is weighted lunges.
Remember, doing a little exercise is better than not doing any at all. And if you’re already in the gym, why not go for broke and become a Greek god or goddess? Until next time, Laser-ites.
Article by contributor Moan4Stallone.