When I opened the box and saw the Nike + Kinect Training for the first time, I was excited.
I did not expect the opening of the box to be so exciting; There was a video of people exercising that made the experience look fun. I was able to choose between a coach and a coach; I chose Alex Molden, the coach, and then it was just a matter of starting.
The part called "Let's choose your goals" is where Alex, my virtual trainer, got me started and asked me if I wanted to: "Strengthen?" "Tonify?" "Slim?" Nike + Kinect Training regime is based on one of these three goals, so it is important to choose the one that most resembles what you want to achieve.
I was a little nervous about the evaluation, since I am not a fan of the races and tests, the evaluation is serious, it measures everything: resistance, strength, balance and flexibility I did lunges, plyometric jumps, push-ups, balance, speed hop and I completed with knee lifts, the most difficult part was the knees lifts, I had no idea what to do 3 sets of 30 seconds running on the knees... it sounds easy, but it is not, and in the end you get a qualification that measures your initial physical and athletic state, then from which you create a program for your training. My score was 49 in physical condition and 63 in athletics.
Alex, my virtual trainer, then asked me how many days I wanted to train, I selected Monday, Wednesday and Friday and he congratulated me for choosing a plan three times a week. It is the maximum of realism!
I decided to try a five-minute workout. I know what you are thinking: five minutes of exercise; There are options to do on a given day a training job, a group or a five-minute work. I came from running five miles, so I figured I could try the five-minute program. I was surprised by the intensity and the realistic movements, Alex put me to play burned (dodge ball)! It was fun! The program literally (virtually) threw me balls and I had a fraction of a second to avoid them with dives, jumps or running to the right or to the left. Every so often I mixed a soccer ball that if I could successfully kick it gave me more points and, I'm not kidding when I say it was hard! (Some friends who were watching me really enjoyed watching the balls catch me repeatedly).
The Nike + Kinect Training program is designed keeping in mind the principles of professional training, which includes many movements, agility, balance, resistance and strength that people do in real life and that keep you in touch with your body. You really get the benefits of a personal trainer for the cost of a session.The program has a great perception of your body and corrects you in real time, in the same way that a personal trainer would.
The types of exercises you do are not what you would normally imagine, there are some excellent movements that focus on specific muscle groups to give you a complete workout. These are the things only professionals know and it's great to be able to learn them. Think of football, the exercises incorporate movements for which your body is designed, probably do things you did not do since you were a child and played with your friends. What is amazing is how you can get tired and run out of breath working in one place; I had no idea that some exercises would exhaust me so much!
Alex, the virtual trainer, is great. It seems a real person, with a nice personality, who pushes me and encourages me and is always looking at what I do, correcting my posture, pressing me more when my repetitions become slower and congratulating me when I try hard until the end. In one of the evaluation exercises, I had to balance on one leg, raise my knee and hold it for 20 seconds. When I completed the task with both legs Alex said: "Excellent work, I see that you need to work on your right side when doing balance, I will take note of it". Is not he nice?!
This would be excellent for yoga, a coach with such good technique, it's amazing. I realized that when on other occasions I exercised at home, I did not have anyone to correct my posture if I was badly aligned. The virtual trainer also informs me when I am in the correct position. Alex not only gives you verbal prompts, but also on the screen there are windows that describe what you should do. If my movement is wrong, the window turns red; if I am in the correct position, the window turns green.
It also responds to my voice; If I say it's enough, the program knows! During one of the evaluation exercises I was completely exhausted. Alex asked me if I had had enough and then a window appeared that told me to say aloud: "It's enough" and the exercise ended.
It was a bit difficult to determine where I should locate to be aligned with the monitor that detects my movements. As with any new device, or class, or exercise, there is always a bit of a learning curve. I just kept attentive to the screen to see if my body was aligned; Once I discovered how the monitor read my movements, I was ready to start.
Sometimes the instructions are confusing; Alex demonstrates each exercise and then it's my turn. At first I did not realize that I was supposed to just watch the demo, however, once I understood the format of the instructions, it was quite easy.
You do not need dumbbells, however, I suggest you invest in a pair of light dumbbells and make sure you have enough space to do the exercises; You may have to jump to the side and use the entire Kinect area. The "Kinect area" is what the monitor reflects on the screen as your exercise area. You must remain inside it so that the monitor detects your movements correctly. If you do not stay in this area, do not worry, Alex will tell you something and the red window will appear on the screen to let you know what you should correct.
By Susy Sedano
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary Xbox 360 4GM console with the Kinect and a copy of the Nike + Kinect Training.