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HMX Fitness Challenge Update: Getting In Shape In The New Year

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 how our participants are getting in shape in the new year with Dance Central after a food-filled holiday season, plus their current progress.


Name: Jessa (HMXJessaBrez) Age: 23 Total weight loss percentage: 9.5

I learned a long time ago to not do weight loss or fitness resolutions because they never get accomplished. Instead I make one non-health related goal to work toward. This actually does help my weight/fitness routine, though, because when I’m being productive and accomplishing things, it motivates me to be better about everything! Last year I read 100 books, turning many pages while I was on my stair-stepper. For 2012, my goal is to volunteer 100 hours. I’m excited to challenge myself in a way that will help people while also getting my butt off the couch and out of the house. Skyrim and the freezing weather are really trying to turn me into a hibernating bear, but I’m trying to combat that by making yummy, warm, healthy food (soups, stir fry, even homemade vegetable pizza!), keeping up playing sports, and tricking myself into playing Dance Central by putting on my workout clothes before I do dinner/dishes/laundry. I finish the chore and then, well, I’m already in my workout clothes so I might as well do a couple songs before I settle in for the night!

Name: “Jake” (@juliusblaise) Age: 31 Total weight loss percentage: 11.7

I made it through Christmas and New Year’s Eve and still lost a couple of pounds. I AM OKAY WITH THIS! While I couldn’t stay away from the unhealthy stuff entirely, I tried to eat in moderation. Family definitely noticed the visible weight change in me. My goals this year is to keep dancing, keep drumming, and keep dieting. I’m trying to get myself below 250 lbs. I won’t set new goals until I hit my original one. Now that the holidays are over, I’ll be less surrounded by cookies and pies all the time so it should be easier to maintain. As for revamping my Dance Central routine, my current playlist is getting a little stale for me mentally. I may swap out a couple of songs. Also, I may try to learn a few of my Dance Central favorites on Hard (like “Satisfaction” or “Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine”. Here are some tips to get in better shape: Dance till you sweat. Then dance about five more songs after that. Then go play Minecraft.


Name: HMXcj Age: 27 Total weight loss percentage: 3.79

With the New Year, I’m renewing my focus on fitness, with a few key points:

Play Dance Central FOR fitness, not just for fun. Most of the time, I fire up DC2 to play the game, and fitness is a neat bonus. During Dance Central Fitness Month, I’m going to play DC2 with fitness in mind. This means playing through the Friday challenges that Annette (HMXamgo) posts, playing through the fitness playlists the choreographers put together, and – most importantly – if I play a song that really feels like a workout, I’m going to play it again.

Keep a closer eye on what I’m eating. I’ve been eating better than I usually do during this fitness challenge, but I haven’t really been trying too hard. However, with all the goodies we have in the HMX offices (homemade brownies left in the kitchen, candy Annette brought back from Puerto Rico, and yes, baked goods I’ve brought in myself), it’s easy to nibble on stuff throughout the day and not realize how much you’re really eating. So, for DC2 Fitness Month, I’m keeping track of everything I’m eating. Seeing it all in a list at the end of the day really puts things in perspective.

Up my walking game. Throughout the challenge, I’ve been talking about how my main additional exercise other than DC2 is walking my puppy. Now that she’s older and can walk longer distances, I’ve been walking longer distances. No more 20 minute laps around the block. Now we’re walking almost an hour and pushing our distances. It’s healthy for me AND for my puppy!

ILMATIC Name: John D. Age: 27 Total weight loss percentage: 3.55

I'm hoping to get back into playing DC2 aggressively in the new year! Traveling for work is building back up, which makes it hard to keep my boogie-schedule intact, but I'm hoping to dance when I can and slip in some hotel gym workouts when I can't! The holiday obviously featured some indulgences that set me back a bit, but I'm happy it wasn't too much of a slide. While I didn't dance at home, I've hit the game up a few times since returning to Boston. I'm psyched for that. I think we have some upcoming DC initiatives that are going to make it way more fun to compete and dig in in the coming weeks! Can't wait to see what everyone thinks!

Name: Annette G. (HMXamgo) Age: 25 Total weight loss percentage: 0.13 Yes, you read that correctly. The person running this fitness competition is not only just about back where she started in this competition, but also is in last place. AWESOME. I chronicled my disappointment in these results in a recent blog post as part of Dance Central Fitness Month. In short, I’m stepping my game up in a big way with a strict diet and am going to really watch my daily calorie intake, kicking up activity levels so more Dance Central is on the horizon, plus complementing my workouts with weights, dance classes, sports training, and other activities to make sure I’m always moving – all in moderation, of course. Over the holidays I didn’t have my Kinect handy and didn’t make much of an effort to find other activities to engage in. As you can see by my current results the holidays weren’t very kind to my body because of it. I’m hoping to get back to my pre-holiday results, both quickly and healthily, and I'm going to drag my teammate John D. along for the ride.

THE BO$$ SQUAD Name: T-Money Age: 40s Total weight loss percentage: 3.51

My New Year's Fitness goals (I like that better than resolutions!):

*Exercise 5 X a week (Dance 3-4X a week, plus Pilates 1-2X week) *Use Dance Central 2 for at least three dance practices a week for at least 30 minutes each, but preferably 45 min. *Take at least 1 Dance class a week at a studio

The holiday season was hit-and-miss for me in terms of maintaining my fitness regime. I did pretty well up to my vacation and then went off to San Francisco. With the exception of a couple very long walks and one fun dance party (sadly no DC), I was pretty much on vacation from exercise (and of course ate whatever I wanted including too many Christmas cookies). Luckily our weigh-in didn't happen until one week after the holiday break, so I was able to get back to five full days of dancing, plus two Pilates classes before I had to step on the scale.

I wanted to mention how important I think it is to find the routines, and even the choreographers' styles that you love, and make playlists for your fitness regime. I have recently noticed that playing Frenchy's routines in the morning when I am feeling stiff is a great way to wake up my body and get moving. Her lyrical movement really works for me. I absolutely love The Frenchy Challenge and suggest you give it a shot!

Name: Big Cent Age: 31 Total weight loss percentage: 3.51

I think I handled the holidays pretty well. I had lots of fun, but didn’t do the whole crazy over-eating food coma thing – and I didn’t really miss it. That said, I think I’m in a good position to make a major move in this competition. My new year’s resolution is to maintain any weight loss and fitness improvements I make, which is always a really hard thing to do. I also want to write more music outside of work. It’s not really applicable to this competition, but worth mentioning. As for fitness tips, get other folks involved. It’s always harder to miss your workouts when someone else is involved. They weren’t lying when they taught you the importance of the buddy system in nursery school.

Current standings: “Jake” is still killin' it with a weight loss percentage of nearly 12 percent!

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.