I've never been a big fan of video games since I was in college, except for my brief but fun foray into the Nintendo Wii, before my wife and I had twins. What attracted me to the Nintendo Wii was the movement and the active character of the games. Most of us are very sedentary and video games usually provide another reason not to move our asses.
Having said that, I was always very intrigued by the Xbox Kinect and its technology, close to science fiction, which follows your movements and translates them to the screen. So, when I was asked to comment on the new Nike + Kinect Training, I was very excited. Lots of movement and video games, that could be a perfect marriage.
I had never played an exercise game before and I was a bit skeptical about the legitimacy of the exercises that would actually appear in it. As my professional field is nutrition before training, I called a friend, strength coach, to come to the office and play with me. He is a certified strength and conditioning specialist and also has a master's degree in exercise science, so if there was someone who was going to be critical about the legitimacy of the game that was my friend Todd.
We lit the game and selected Marie as our coach. When we were asked to choose a training goal we both smiled at the "Toning", because the erroneous concept of "toning" still does not seem to disappear. I selected "Go thin", imagining that metabolic training would be more fun.
I was surprised to see that I could not start training effectively until the game evaluated me. This is fantastic. Most personal trainers do not evaluate their clients. I appreciate that Nike and Xbox added the requirement to evaluate me before actually generating the program. I was even more surprised to see that the evaluation was essentially a small-scale version of the Functional Movement Screen (or FMS). When Todd realized this, he exclaimed: "This game is going to take me out of business!"
After completing the evaluation, my individualized program was created. This was really great. The exercises included a good combination of agility and reactive movement, which people rarely do on their own, in addition to traditional movements (push-ups, tables, running in place).
The amount of thought put into the evaluation and creation of the exercise program was refreshing and was probably greater than what an average trainer would devote to creating a program.After playing a bit with the Nike + Kinect Training I am definitely a supporter. Todd was also impressed. I'm not going to unsubscribe from the gym, since there is not yet a weight-lifting videogame, but I did give away my Nintendo Wii!
- The evaluation sequence is fantastic and makes this a great game from the start. - Tailored programs based on your goals and evaluation performance are great (there is currently no good reason to use a program that is not personalized). - The suggestions that you get from the coaches while you are doing the movements are great. They emphasize rhythm and posture, two factors that most people overlook. I was surprised at how accurately the Kinect sensor could monitor my movement. - I loved being able to train to improve my athletic ability. Many people, like me, train with weights and do cardiovascular exercises. Nike + Kinect Training has agility exercises that help to improve the athletic ability and at the same time they are very funny. The dogdgeball and the split decision were my favorites.
- It may have been because we were two men over two hundred pounds jumping and spinning on the fifth floor, but you really need a solid surface to use this program. The woman in the office next to ours came to see if we felt the building was "shaking." - I would have liked a little less motivation from the coaches. I was not doing everything correctly and constantly listening that you are doing well when it is not so ends up getting tired. - Some of the challenges or fitness tests could have a little more inspiration. I was excited about the fitness testing section, but the push-ups test simply consisted of doing as many push-ups as you could do. - I did not like that it was not possible for you to train with someone who is with you in the room. It's great that you can train with someone with another Xbox from the other side of the world, but it would be nice to be able to train with someone who is with you in the room.
By Dr. Mike Roussell
Notice: Commenters were complimentary of an Xbox 360 4GM console with Kinect and a copy of Nike + Kinect Training.