Back to Blog

Harmonix Fitness Challenge: Post-Holiday Update

Leading up to the launch of Dance Central 2, a group of Harmonixers joined forces to participate in a Dance Central Fitness Challenge to get in better shape and improve overall health while having fun. As part of the fitness challenge the group has been separated into “Crews” for accountability and motivation. One of the guidelines of the fitness challenge is to make Dance Central or Dance Central 2 a primary source of exercise (that’s where the fun part comes in). Participants are required to weigh in every two weeks and keep journals for progress tracking.

This post recaps Fitness Challenge progress over the holidays – the most challenging time of the year to keep up with diet and fitness. How did our participants do over the holiday season? Read on to find out then start thinking about how you can use Dance Central to help meet your weight loss goals in the new year!

BODY BY JAKE AND THE FATMAN Name: Jessa (HMXJessaBrez) Age: 23 Total weight loss percentage: 6.8 Goal summary: Look good in a sweater dress and be able to do that kick drop move in “DJ Got Us Falling In Love” without dying. Strategy: I’ve hit my typical weight plateau. I’m currently at the lowest caloric intake I can safely do so now I really need to kick it up a notch with exercise. Crew strategy: Maintain winning momentum! Diet: I’m going to try salads for lunch instead of soup to cut sodium. I’ve also started getting bi-weekly fruit and vegetable deliveries so hello to fresh food! Other routines: Fencing (now two days a week), Irish dance, even more walking, a bit of running and I’ve started a ballet class with Annette! Fitness tips: Make sure you’re eating enough so you have enough energy to really push yourself when working out. Tell them how you really feel: Frustrated that I have to fight so much more to lose weight now, but glad to have finally seen the scale tip below my typical plateau weight!

Name: “Jake” (@juliusblaise) Age: 31 Total weight loss percentage: 10.9 Goal summary: Lose 45 lbs. total Strategy: Don’t let holidays full of amazing food COMPLETELY spoil my diet. Continue Dance Central-ing despite the ever-present siren’s call of Skyrim. Crew strategy: WIN. Diet: You know, I feel like -- holidays aside -- I’ve gotten a little lax on things. I’ve been able to rationalize things like eating pie (it’s just ONE piece -- newsflash, it’s NEVER just one piece). That needs to stop. Like now. Other routines: I’ve mostly been using Dance Central 2. Supplemented a skipped band rehearsal for some Rock Band 3 drumming. Drum hard, drum often. Fitness tips: Just stay active. Tell them how you really feel: I’m officially under the weight I was when I started at Harmonix four years ago. I can now officially fight Brock Lesnar in the UFC. It’s a good thing Dance Central 2 is such a great game, otherwise I’d never load it up in favor of Skyrim.

CHRISTINE THE CUPCAKE LADY Name: HMXcj Age: 27 Total weight loss percentage: 4.0 Goal summary: Weight loss! Strategy: Fitting in exercise wherever I can – doing laps around the house while something is baking in the oven or running around the yard with my puppy. Crew Strategy: Bringing tasty baked goods to the office to sabotage the other crews. This time it was Pina Colada cupcakes complete with coconut cream cheese frosting. (It backfired, though. I had one too.) Diet: Even through holidays like Thanksgiving, I managed to do okay with the diet. Small portions of everything, including my amazing pumpkin pie. I’ve been having salads and soup for lunch, and I'm trying to get away from bagels for breakfast. They are my downfall. Other routines: I’ve been carrying my puppy up and down the stairs while house training her. She’s 26 lbs. I’ve also been walking a ton. I used Thanksgiving as a kick in the pants to get moving and took a 3.3 mile walk the next day. I then hit an awesome yoga class (plank pose is awesome for the arms!). Fitness Tips: Do a little something every day. It’s easier to keep the fitness routine going if you’re not taking breaks in between. Even if it’s just one lap around the block, it’s better than nothing and it’ll keep you in the routine.

THE GREAT DIVIDE (Maintaining weight) Name: Milo M. Age: 25 Pounds lost/gained since last weigh-in: -2 ish Goal summary: I've passed my goal and am dipping under. Strategy: Keeping up with Dance Central 2, I dance about eight to 10 hours a week if not more. It's great cardio, which is why I'm still losing weight! Crew Strategy: Be awesome. Diet: Because I'm under, I'm going to counter this by adding a heavy protein shake every morning. I'm still eating healthy and feeling good! Other routines: I'm going to add weight training twice a week to help retain some of my mass and up my lean muscle percentage. Fitness tips: Cardio is great to shed pounds fast, but you need to keep your heart rate up to get the best benefits. Make a playlist of some heavy songs (think “Run” and “Massive Attack”). To minimize downtime, try jogging in place as the next song loads. Tell them how you really feel: My jeans are too big on me. I'm glad to start maintaining by losing fat and adding muscle.

ILMATIC Name: John D. Age: 27 Total weight loss percentage: 4.4% Goal Summary: FITNESS! Diet: Sticking to my heavy veggie goodness and portion control diet, but the escalation of holiday cookies and travel food has made it challenging! Other routines: We've been on the road recently doing some charity events for Child's Play (Umloud!) and I attended the VGAs. I wasn't able to bring Dance Central with me, so I hit the gym to get my heart rate up and tried to eat healthy lunches instead. Now I'm back in town and psyched to hit the dance floor after a short break! Tell them how you really feel: Feeling okay, but missed the regular dancing I had going on for a while there.

Name: Annette G. (HMXamgo) Age: 25 Total weight loss percentage: 3.2 Goal summary: Get below my high school weight. Diet: Spending the holidays in a Puerto Rican household has been no good for my diet, but with continued exercise and portion control I’ve been able to keep my fitness goals in check (sort of). Other routines: I’ve mostly stuck to Dance Central for my fitness these days. To help supplement the cardio workout I get from the game I’ve begun to lift weights to start building muscle. I also started using an iOS app called Easy Abs for a quick core workout after dance sessions. Fitness tips: I started carrying 3-pound weights while playing through select Dance Central routines. I’ve already noticed some definition in my arms! I’d recommend dancing with weights on slower tracks for more controlled and effective movement. Tell them how you really feel: While I have continued working out regularly, I’d like to go back to working out every day. Along with Dance Central I’ve been inspired by Jessa to take dance classes. I’m currently taking ballet and hope to move on to tap and hip hop. I’ve found the most fun I’ve had working out is through dance. It’s the only thing that inspires me to get moving for fitness!

THE BO$$ SQUAD Name: T-Money Age: 40s Total weight loss percentage: 3.3 Goal summary: More muscle! I’m not concentrating on the pounds I’m losing, but rather the pounds I’m lifting! Strategy: I’m doing dance and pilates to increase energy, muscle and strength. If I lose weight it’s extra credit. I dance three to four times a week and do pilates one to two times a week. I use Dance Central three mornings a week before heading off to work. I usually put together playlists on Hard to keep up the cardio. Crew strategy: Ran into “Big Cent” during a meeting and threatened him to do a Hard playlist. The Bo$$es are busy, but we keep dancing. Diet: Very healthy, but not starving myself. Problem is that I didn’t have any big bad food to remove from my pre-existing diet. I’m staying away from sweets and staying healthy. Fitness tips: Playlists are great because they keep your cardio going. Get proficient at a routine and then pretend you’re performing. Giving it your all will expend even more calories so drink lots of water! Tell them how you really feel: I feel stronger and have more energy when I start my work day.

Name: Big Cent Age: 31 Total weight loss percentage: 1.1 Goal summary: I still want to get to 200 pounds…long way to go. Strategy: My strategy was to keep up the dancing along with some gym workouts and then ruin it all by eating terribly. I took a trip to New York City and ate terribly, went to a friends’ wedding and ate terribly, and had a bunch of business lunches and – take a guess. I finally went on a diet. That plus dancing and going to the gym and I’m on the right track. Expect big things from Big Cent. Crew strategy: The crew has been busy being Bo$$-like and working on our games. Bad for us, but good for HMX fans. T-Money pushed me to work on a playlist on Hard, which whooped me. It was great. Diet: I’m planning out most of my meals now. I make fritatas in muffin tins and have one of those in the morning, a salad for lunch, and then a healthy dinner. We’ll see if I can keep it up. Other routines: I hit the gym a bunch recently. Used the elliptical and lifted weights. I’m going to try out the kettle bells. Hopefully I won’t kill myself in the process! Fitness tips: Switch it up. Dance Central 2 is great for this because every new routine is so different. Tell them how you really feel: I feel like I’m finally on the right path.

Current standings: “Jake” is still in the lead with a total weight loss percentage of 10.9 percent! He’s killin’ it! Keep it up!

Stay tuned to over the coming weeks for more progress blogs from these Dance Central Fitness Challenge members Want to get involved? Share your own Dance Central Fitness Challenge progress and tips on our official Facebook page, in the forums, or tweet @Dance_Central on Twitter with the #DC2Fit hashtag. Then be sure to enter for your chance to win limited edition Dance Central fitness swag! Details below.