How to Get Your Ass Kicked

Four sets of three songs on Dance Dance Revolution Extreme, standard setting, all at once. That should do it if you are a 36 year old somewhat infrequent exerciser, as I am. It’s a little under half an hour of seriously aerobic exercise, and it pretty much knocks me on my ass when I’m done.

Yes, this constitutes my exercise regimen; I’ve been doing it for a couple of weeks. The DDR people even make it easy for you: They have a special workout counter built into the game — if you enter your weight and a couple other criteria, the game will calculate for you how many calories you burn per session (for me, usually somewhere between 60 and 70 per three song set, in case you’re wondering). What this makes you realize is that after sweating like pig for 25 minutes, hopping up and down in a comical approximation of choreography, you’ve only burned off the equivalent of a Snickers Bar. Swell. That’s a motivator, all right: No more Snickers Bars for me.

I am beginning to see the benefit, however: The first time I did it, when I was done I thought I was gonna die. Now after I’m done I know I’m gonna live, I just won’t enjoy the half hour or so after I finish. Also, my foot-eye coordination is improving, which is critical if I am to regain the competitive advantage over my daughter in Dance Dance Revolution, because recently she’s been wiping the floor with me in the game and talking trash to me about it, and if you want humiliation, you can’t do much better than a six year old girl kicking you to the curb in DDR and then, after she’s beaten you, turning to you and saying “Yeah, who’s the daddy now?”

Yes, she really does say that. Yes, it’s awfully cute. Even so. Time for a comeback, I say.

16 Comments on “How to Get Your Ass Kicked”

  1. The more you work out the more muscle you build. The more muscle mass you have, the more calories you burn. And not just during the workout. Your muscles continue to burn throughout the day. Sure, in the short term, you burn off that snickers bar, but in the long term you burn off a lot more.

    Hey, how’s that for killing the humorous intent of your post. You like apples?

  2. I love me some Dance Dance Revolution, but I wish the workout mode was better integrated with their game mode. I am much more motivated to keep doing a dance over and over again if I’m trying to score an “A” than I am if I am just tracking calories burned. But I’d like to know both.

  3. Well, if you really want to use muscle mass to affect your RMR (resting metabolic rate) you’ve gotta do some heavy resistance training (lots of reps at low weight is relatively useless in the long term). DDR is pretty much cardiovascular so once your body starts to catch up, you’ll find you plateau pretty quickly in terms of both performance and weight loss. Especially since as lose weight, moving your bulk around takes less work, requiring fewer calories (and you’re probably more efficient, burning even fewer calories).

  4. Logistical question: what kind of dance pad do you use and with which system(s) is it compatible?

    I used to love playing DDR for about 30 minutes at a shot like this, but my knees absolutely hated it.

  5. I use a generic brand of pad (I think we got it at Gamespot) and it’s for the PS2.

    My knees are fine with it — my shins, less so.

  6. The heavily-padded thing that you can get at, I dunno, EB for around $50 is great. The Ignition pad ($100) is said to be wonderful. You can also put padding underneath, if you’re middle-aged and getting your ass kicked by your own daughter.

    (John, at least you only have one. I have my choice of getting my ass kicked at DDR by my daughters, or Super Monkey Ball 2 by my son.)

  7. How do y’all keep the pad from sliding around? That’s the biggest trouble I’ve seen with the home DDR games. My kids would probably love it if I bought a console with DDR, but I’m not about to do so until I can solve that problem.

  8. I don’t find pad sliding to be too much of a problem, actually. The pad moves slightly on our carpet as we play, but not enough to really disrupt play.

  9. Man, I can’t really stand the home version. I drop somewhere near $20 in tokens every week into the arcade machines, ’cause there i can tell where I’m improving by comparing my scores to the other people who have played before me. Oh, and don’t judge your score by the letter, there’s a little number score just under the battery (the gauge at the top of the screen) that tracks how many points you actually have, the letter is just a ballpark (and on certain mixes like USA or Disney, it’s actually too easy to get an A.

    The only way to get your pad to not slide around on the floor is to duct-tape a rolly-chair mat (you know, the one with the little spikes on the bottom?) to the underside of your mat or tape it to a sheet of plywood (can we tell I like duct tape? XD)

    Or do like we did, and buy one of the new $200 metal ones that is pretty much exactly like the arcade version. They’re huge, and hard to store, but by God they’ll hold up to the stompings of hundreds of DDR junkies at an anime convention. Just don’t hang onto the “bitch bar” or we’ll kick you off. XD XD

  10. I accidently came to your website, but wanted to post something. I like some of the pictures in regards of the snow. I used to live in N.Y. (Westchester County), when i was a kid we had a blizzard there when it knock out power for a little more than a week. Anyway, the pictures reminded me of it and thanks for the memory. Keep in mind i was a kid. I loved it, played in it, lived in poverty, but never appreciated the beauty until now! Happy New Year!


  11. Hi there!
    I’m from Sweden and I’ve been playing this game for some time now.. It began as a really hilarious way to have a party.. But nowdays it’s not as fun because the I need to play on a harder level and that make me pouring in sweat.. Not the best if your going out after the party =).
    So now I’m just using fitness mode. I was wondering if you have tried the dance game Into the groove?
    I’ve played all the DDR games but ITG is the game I always fall back on. More advanced modes and even some handplants. I break a lot more sweat dancing to it to compared to the DDR games. So try it if you haven’t and tell me what you think about it.
    I was also wondering how much weight you lost doing this exercise?
    Would appreciate if you could mail me =).

  12. Hey I play DDR every now and then. I just started to get back into it and I realized my pad’s down button is broken, or delayed, or some @#$# like that, which is really frustrating. I just ordered a new one (the foam padded one) with “no delay.” I’m nowhere near serious to buying the metal one, but DDR is a nice way to work on your calves without freezing your ass off in the snow.

  13. DDR has to be the greatest thing that hs ever happened to me. I lost at least 40lbs and now I have more stamina than anyone. Also, you need a metal mat in order to really play well(just sayin)

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