Nerds are typically depicted as being being pasty, out of shape, and covered in a yellow powder that may be Cheetos or may be a gaming session gone horribly wrong or worse, horribly right. These are creatures dwelling in dark corners. Goblins and trolls avoiding sunlight at all costs, a can of soda always in reach. Fitness has long been the purview of athletes, jocks, and gym rats, yet despite advances in bro-science brought about by several generations of astute body builders, the game is changing. The rise of the fitness nerd is upon us.
As players in the great Dungeons and Dragons game of life, nerds are largely defined by their comfort with technology. In respect to fitness hardware, recent advances are making a healthier lifestyle more accessible to nerd culture. Microsoft has announced XBox Fitness for its new gaming platform, the Xbox One. This subscription service will grant users access to fitness programs designed by BeachBody (makers of P90X) and celebrity trainers such as Gillian Michaels and Tracy Anderson. In addition, the service will monitor users vital signs thanks to improvements in Kinect hardware.
But nerds are more than the sum of their cheat codes. Nerds are also characterized by an appetite for knowledge. Many eBooks are available for the solitary nerd looking to make a lifestyle change. The very un-nerdy Convict Conditioning program, which is a well thought out progression of bodyweight strength exercises designed for solitary practitioners, is easily downloaded to that geekiest of devices, the Ipad. Fitness celebrities John Romanello and Rog Law co-authored the Zombie Apocalypse Workout, a 12 weeks plus training program designed to prepare one for the inevitable rise of the undead. This program is also available in digital format and the pdf files can be stored in a cloud service like Dropbox for easy access regardless of location (well, as long as there’s wi-fi).
Romanello and Law’s contribution to nerd fitness goes beyond the eBook as both men belong to a group of trainers now offering their services online. Romanello periodically takes on online training clients as does Law. Law has also contributed a beginner’s program to Fitocracy, an online fitness program that allows users to level up like game avatars on a fitness quest.
If one belongs to a more social prestige class of nerd, one can go mobile with Fitocracy or a fitness eBook and combine that with a Fitbit. Very much like the enhanced Kinect, Fitbit can monitor vitals: heart rate, steps taken, calories burned, and even sleeping habits. Fitbit offers the obsessive and the studious both a macro and micro view of their current health. It provides a record of how their exercise and sleeping patterns are affecting their lives in the long and short term.
Watch out world, the rise of nerd culture is far from over. Fitness is going nerd, and more and more nerds are embracing it right back with a Cheetos covered kiss.
Written By David Arroyo