Jackson "Bajheera" Bliton is a natural pro bodybuilder who also happens to be a high-level gamer known for his YouTube and Twitch content that combines his love of training with his love of gaming.
If you think those two passions don't go together, Bliton is here to prove otherwise. Here are his 6 tips to help you stay fit as a gamer.
1. Exercise Every Day
A problem with the word "workout" is that it makes people think they have to set aside an hour and push themselves to the limit for it to "count." Bliton recommends being more open-minded than that.
"Take time to exercise every day," he says. "Even if it's just going for a walk for 20 or 30 minutes, it still makes a difference. It's also fairly easy in your house to just do some push-ups, bodyweight squats, or crunches. Just get moving—you'll be glad you did. The key here is consistency. Getting something done every day will help establish that pattern, make it a habit, and help you get the job done."
2. Track Your Macros
Plenty of people can eat pretty well without tracking the nutrients and calories they take in. But getting serious about it—even for a little while—can still be a huge eye-opener that helps them realize the nutritional "blind spots" that we nearly all have. Try it, even for a while, and you might finally feel like you have control of your nutrition—and how to eat for your specific goals.
"By macros, I mean fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. Now, the reason why you want to track these is once you get your nutrition in the right order, it's really going to help you accomplish your fitness goals," Bliton says.
For more information on tracking macros and how to get started, use the guide accompanying Bodybuilding.com's macronutrient calculator.
3. Prep Your Meals
There's a major difference between making a big change to your nutrition and making a big and lasting change. For many people, that difference is prepping meals. Why? It takes that frantic "what do I eat now?" situation off the table—so to speak.
"It makes it so much easier to stick to the nutrition approach that you want when you've already got your meals prepared ahead of time," Bliton says. "Throw it in the microwave, get your macros in, you're good to go."
If it sounds like a lot of work, consider starting by just prepping your most problematic meal of the day—the one where you'll find yourself reaching for sugary cereal or going through the drive-thru. Even that one change can make a big difference!
4. Set Goals
A nice thing about gaming is that the goals are often built right into the process. Points, levels, kills—everything is tracked and you can watch yourself (or your character) progress. With fitness, that responsibility falls on your shoulders.
"A lot of times when you're just grinding at the gym or eating your meals without a lot of direction, it's easy to fall off the wagon. But, if you have a clear goal set that you're working toward, it's going to make it that much easier to stay on track."
Not sure what goals are right for you? Being a member of a fitness community can help you figure it out. BodySpace, Bodybuilding.com's online fitness community, has been helping its members set and then crush goals for over a decade.
5. Commit and Prioritize
Serious gamers sometimes bristle when someone refers to gaming as a "hobby." It's more than that! It's an outlet, a stress reliever, a community—in short, it's a priority in your life. Fitness can be the same thing, especially once you start experiencing its benefits like feeling stronger, enjoying higher energy levels, and seeing a little new muscle definition here and there.
"Once you decide to elevate your health and fitness to an importance level that allows you to get it done every day, you're going to find it's a lot easier to accomplish your goals," Bliton says.
As the many people who have transformed their lives with fitness will tell you, it all starts with making the commitment.
6. Set a Schedule
If you're waiting until the end of the day to bust out a workout, or you don't have a set time each week to prep meals, the rest of your life will inevitably fill that space. That's why it's crucial to have time carved out for fitness and nutrition.
"Make sure that your prioritization with your training, your diet, and your goals is such that you have a plan going into every day of how to organize those things to get them all done. For me, for example, it helps if I get my "gains" done before I get into games."
This doesn't have to be demanding and hard to follow! It can be as simple as setting a calendar notification for three full-body morning or lunchtime resistance-training workouts a week, going for a walk after dinner each night, and prepping your lunches each Sunday for the weekdays to come. Just try that, and stick to it, and it can make a huge difference!
Like games? Like gains? Then you'll love Buff Dudes: Journey for the Goblet of Gains. It's a comprehensive 9-week training wrapped up in a 1980s-style arcade game. Time to level up!