-My Thoughts on EA Active for Wii!-
Monday morning, one of my clients told me she’d just gotten EA Sports Active, and she asked me to take it home to try it out and see what I thought. Of course, I was excited because i’m a big kid and love video games! This particular client, along with her hubby and two daughters, realized this about me because they bought me a Wii for Christmas this past year. Really awesome, huh?! The girls were SO excited and wanted me to open my present that day, so it bummed me out to have to tell them that i’d already bought myself a Wii a few weeks before!
May I just reiterate how awesome my clients are? 🙂
I’ve messed around with Wii Fit a great deal of times. I love the ski jump, downhill skiing, & soccer ball-heading games. For a while, a few friends and I would get together to play Wii Fit. We’d drink a few beers (yes, I drink beer, lol) and laugh as we watched eachother perform yoga poses. One of my friends is the ski jump champion, and she and I had a competition going for a while. I’d beat her, and she’d keep having to do the jump until she beat me. I don’t have the heart to tell her that i’ve beaten her top score while playing Wii Fit at home! 🙂
I’ve also messed around with the Jillian Michaels game. I wasn’t impressed. The graphics are atrocious and on top of this, you have to endure listening to Jillian’s nasaly snarly voice as you exercise. Who wants that? She says things like “you’re doing great” and “keep it up,” with a less-than-genuine tone! How motivating! For the Jillian fans out there, don’t get mad at me. Obviously i’m not a Jillian fan – I question her credentials, background, and techniques…but hey, she’s a TV star, right?
So, back to EA Active. You start out by entering your basic information and creating a character. I was surprised to find quite an extensive collection of outfits for my “mini me,” yet sadly, there weren’t any cool-looking black tanks and black shorts. Oh well. Also, the shoes left something to be desired…
BUT, I did make her wear sunglasses!
After you create your character, you go on to choose your program. I chose the “30 Day Challenge,” and then selected the “High Intensity Workout.” I had done a half hour kettlebell/bodyweight workout earlier that day, and was fiddling around with EA Active while having a glass of merlot.
I know, I know…I make it sound like all I do is drink!
Trust me, I don’t drink ALL the time…just when i’m playing physical activity games on the Wii! LOL!
My workout was said to take 37 minutes, including the video clips. Being Sarah, I opted not to watch the video clips throughout the workout, as that’s a time-waster! The workout started off with some jogging. I was barefoot on my tile floor, and this was okay, but after awhile, I realized I was running on the balls of my feet. I corrected this, and soon realized my arches weren’t happy. I have had metatarsal stress fractures in the past, and although I work out barefoot at home most of the time, I am definitely not used to running without shoes! I paused the game, put on my Mizunos, and started back up. My calves were like, “hello!”
After running a bit, I then did squats. The game has this little sidebar meter thingy that shows you how low to squat. I soon found out that my “ass to grass” squatting ability was not wanted in this game, as the trainer chick chastised me for going too low! 😦 After the squats, there was more running…”kick ups,” I believe they were called, which were like butt kickers. I was sweating a little at this point, and a bit aggravated at the fact that it didn’t matter if I ran faster…my character was cruising at top speed. Grrr…too slow!
Anyhow, the next exercise was biceps curls, which required me to use this flimsy flat resistance band. This band was not unlike the Therabands PT’s use with shoulder rehab patients. I tied the ends of the band to the strappy handles, stood on it, and thought “WTF?” I mean, my 92-year-old Nanie would have thought this was too easy! By this point, I was pretty much over the game. I mean, my gigantic biceps weren’t getting a pump or even remotely feeling the burn! Obviously, you can use your own band, but come on cheapo EA/Nintendo…package this game with several levels of resistance bands, please? After the curls came bent-over rows, and I was obviously not doing them as the game wanted. Come to find out, you have to row with the nunchuk and controller facing the TV, then point them toward the ground as you return to starting position. Huh? Why does this matter?
Next on the hitlist was some boxing, which was actually quite fun. You stand in front of this machine thing that flips out targets. You alternate left and right jabs as well as crosses, and if you hit them hard enough, they shatter. I had a blast trying to get each one to shatter, and when they didn’t, I was a bit peeved! Yeah, i’m a goober! After the boxing came more squats and then some inline skating, which was fun as well. It was also quite painful, as you’re required to maintain a crouched position prior to launching yourself off ramps. I didn’t like the fact that it didn’t matter if I tried to steer or not, because my character stayed on track the entire time. I think it would be more fun if you had to steer, but that’s just me! Once you jump, you can flip and do various tricks by moving your arms about furiously!
Overall, it’s a pretty cool game, but I personally would not continue to use it. I stopped after 20 minutes and was ready for more wine! I’m not the “average” consumer. I’m a trainer. I like to call the shots…I don’t like being told what to do…I mean, I know EVERYTHING, right? 😉 Y’all know i’m seriously joking about knowing everything, I hope! Anyhow, for the sedentary individual, I can see how this game would be a good thing. It tracks your progress, keeps you on schedule, and has a good variety of exercises. I didn’t even get to mess with the tennis or baseball!
So, for those who are needing something to help them start exercising at home, without spending too much money, this is a good option. It’s not expensive, it’s convenient, and it makes exercise a game. The problem with many people trying to do things on their own at home is that they end up throwing in the towel after a short while without any accountability. Can a game provide accountability? Perhaps, but it’s nothing compared to that of working with a trainer (either in real life or via the Internet…I do both).
Obviously, i’m a big proponent of working with a qualified fitness professional if you’re in this situation! Nothing beats the personalized attention a personal trainer provides, and this is extremely important for those who have never exercised and/or are wanting to get started on the right foot!
Just for those who are curious…my quads were killing me (and still are) yesterday! I don’t know if it was my kettlebell/bodyweight workout that afternoon, or the inline skating and squats on EA Active…lol…i’m thinking it was a combination of both! I did a lot of squatting Monday…clean/squat/press, swing/catch/squat, deck squats (YAY!), and then the EA Active stuff. Quads are still saying “holla!” 😀