When I first heard about the Nike + Kinect virtual training program, I was really excited to try it out. After having clients for more than 18 years, I know that people do not stick to something for a long time. People need a lot of inspiration to try hard enough and achieve a goal, and what I like about Nike + Kinect is that it takes the extra steps to bring digital media to an interpersonal level. This program is fantastic because, whether it's your daily routine or the motivation to get fit, there's always something for everyone in the Nike + Kinect virtual trainer. There are a lot of digital training systems on the market, but this is the first virtually interactive one; It is the Bentley of digital physical training.
Unlike other video systems, the Nike + Kinect virtual trainer combines the complexity of your program design with simple options such as choosing a male or female trainer, making the experience catch you from the start. This system does everything possible to provide an authentic personalized gym environment. Not only could I choose my coach, but also my exercise routine! That's where I was really captivated. After choosing coach and routine, the other coach goes to the background to train a virtual client. Actually I felt like I was in a gym!
As a coach, what I most enjoyed about this system is that, for many people, gyms full of people can cause insecurity, among other distractions. This system alleviates this problem. All you need is a clear room, your body and a positive attitude, and you'll be ready to give it your all!
Well, it's time to go into the details of the program. After the introductory steps, it was time to choose my goals in a list of three categories, wide enough to fit between 80 and 90 percent of people interested in training:
1) Strengthen your muscles 2) Tone up your muscles 3) Burn fats
I chose "Burn fats" and it impressed me! This system is fun, attractive and interesting. My coach, "Alex", informed me that we were going to perform some physical tests to access my current fitness level. These tests are designed to assess balance, strength, strength and flexibility. This is brilliant, since it allows the user to receive quantifiable results when using the program.
Once the tests started, the system was able to examine my body movement and record both my posture and my form, and although it omitted some minor structural errors, it detected all the major ones.
My virtual trainer started to look like a real person, cheering me up when I got tired and correcting my form with indications like "Keep your chest up!" and "Direct those feet forward!" When I corrected my form, Alex said encouraging comments like "That's it!" and "You already have it!" As a coach, I believe that it is not only important to correct a client's form, but also to provide positive feedback when performing the exercise correctly. Small things like positive reinforcement make people work harder and feel more confident.
As the program developed, I could see that the exercises were complete and difficult. They were not so complicated as to not be able to make them, but as with any system, your rewards will correspond to the effort made. During the exercises, my virtual character was placed next to Alex receiving corrections when necessary, which I found amazing!
Here are some positive aspects of the system:
- The possibility of choosing the coach and configuration makes the experience fun from the very beginning. I felt like I was creating my own program instead of following a generic one. The system is so complete and advanced that every time I received instructions on how to correct my form, I could see and feel the difference.
- Kinect technology is impressive, and is able to take into account the range of movements, shapes and postures before generating a plan that best fits each user. In general, I am really impressed with the system. It is very complete, easy to use, and it takes a generic plan of exercises to the limit to attend specifically to each person.
Some negative aspects to point out:
- Although the technology is amazing, and detects many of the general mistakes made by beginners in training, it omits some minor corrections that are not easy to detect by the sensor. Also, the system has some minor technical failures. Sometimes it reads wrongly the number of repetitions completed, or continues after saying you're done. However, these aspects are small in retrospect when you consider all the incredible functions that the program offers.
Overall, I loved the Nike + Kinect training system. I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in getting fit from the comfort of their own home!
-By Teddy Bass
Disclaimer: Critics received a complimentary Xbox 360 GM console with Kinect and a copy of Nike + Kinect Training.