We Tried It: Jillian Michaels' Fitness Ultimatum 2009

By , SparkPeople Blogger
When I heard a few months ago that Jillian Michaels was teaming up with video game developers to create a Wii Fit game, I was excited. Many of our loyal readers are fans of TV's tough trainer, so I pre-ordered her Fitness Ultimatum 2009 ($39.99) weeks before it was available in stores. A few dailySpark staffers got a chance to try it out last week, both here at the office and at home. Want to hear what we thought about it?

Let me preface this by saying that I think the Wii Fit is a great thing. It's fun and it gets kids and adults moving. Active video games that involve moving around instead of parking it on the couch are great alternatives to the video games of my childhood. All types of activity offer a benefit that sitting does not. We have a Wii Fit here at the office, and while I think it's fun to play, especially in a group, I don't think it's as much of a fitness tool as it is a fun game. That's why I was eager for this new game—I was hoping it'd be more of a serious workout than the standard Wii Fit games.

But if you were thinking that Jillian Michaels' Fitness Ultimatum 2009 is going to help you lose weight, tone up, or reach your fitness goals, you'd be mistaken. Overall, I'm pretty disappointed with this game. With a name like "Fitness Ultimatum", I expect some serious workouts. But unfortunately, this game doesn't deliver. The games and formats aren't that much different from regular Wii Fit sports games. Even the Running doesn't even require you to move your legs (or feet). The tasks involved throughout this game seem cool in theory—Rowing, Monkey Bars and Tire Trail—but in reality, they have some serious technical issues that make them difficult, and even boring, to do.

Here's what two other testers had to say. Both are parents and were able to play the game with their kids.

"Overall, I was frustrated with the logistics of the game. Trying to move the remotes in a way that coordinated with the routine was overcomplicated for a video game. This wasn't a good workout. It was time-consuming to have to pay attention to the remotes instead of fully engaging in the activity at hand. I didn't think it was fun, but my daughters enjoyed the Running part of it. They also enjoyed the Rowing piece. I was not impressed with the game."

"It was very enjoyable to play as a family! It definitely got our heart rates up, but there were a few technical hiccups that slowed the game down for us a bit. The kids really enjoyed it—especially the various workouts that they could do as multiple players! I could definitely see that this would be a game/workout that we would do as a family on the weekends (in addition to our regular workouts and not a substitute for them)."

You can see more consumer reviews here. (I've learned from experience that the consumer reviews on amazon.com usually save me from wasting time and money on products that don't meet my expectations.)

Fitness Ultimatum 2009 won't be on my wish list this year. But if you or your family members are fans of the Wii Fit games in general, this can be a fun one to try—just don't expect it to take the place of your regular fitness routine.

Is the Wii Fit part of your fitness routine? Do you think it provides a good workout, or just a good time?

Click here to to redeem your SparkPoints
  You will earn 5 SparkPoints


Yeah, this game was a total waste of money. Majesco said some of the errors are caused by bad disc burns and you can try to exchange it at the store where you bought it. Report
I guess I won't buy this one. I do not have the Wii fit yet, but I am going to get it soon. I like the Wii because it gets my kids up off the couch! Report
That's too bad that this game is a flop! :( I REALLY want wii fit though...reading all the comments on this blog post makes it sound really great! Report
I have the Wii Fit and do use it for exercise. I feel it works the best for me when using the applications such as yoga and balance poses, as those as the hardest for me. I am hoping that at some point they will come out with one that is Pilates, like they did with the Nintendo DS. I would love that! Report
I wear my HRM when i use the Wii Fit. I think it gives a decent workout! For about an hour and 20 minutes i have burned 500 calories and been in my HRZone for 48 minutes. I think it is wonderful! Report
I've had my Wii Fit for about 3 weeks now and use it every day. When I started I could barely make it down the hall without stopping to catch my breath. I could only do 5 min. at a time on the Fit when I frist got it, and am now up to 30 mins. I also bought a Stamina Cycle and am up to 30mins. on it. For someone who could barely walk they have done wonders. Report
My new hubby bought me a wii and wii fit as my early christmas present (because I asked for it). In my current health and with all the weight I need to lose I am seeing a difference with just using it as my workout. I almost went out and bought Jillian's game until I found this. If it isn't going to challenge me more than I am already what is the point Report
I love my WII fit and enjoy using it in addition to working out. Sometimes it seems more like a game than working out and if I give it my all my heart rate goes up and I sweat like crazy. I'm glad I read this article because I was considering buying this for WII but now I think I am better off without it. Report
I love my Wii Fit and use the Yoga after my work outs, it feels great. It is also a great way to spend an hour or so in the afternoon. Way better than sitting on the couch.
Ginger Report
I also pre-ordered it, and was dissapointed. I am a huge fan of Jillian, I have completed her Making the Cut program, and have a couple of her DVDs and they always kick my butt. Plus I love watching her on Biggest Loser.

I agree that the Fitness Ultimatum is very hard to use. I couldn't get a grip on how to control the motions, and it just ended up frustrating me. I did actually use my feet for the running portions, so that got my heart rate up, but overall, it was not what I was expecting. I had more fun w/ the regular Wii Fit game. Report
I love my wii fit! No, it doesn't take the place of more streneous workouts, but its a lot of fun to do on the weekends and the balance and yoga have helped me with my balance and coordination. I also have the Ultimate Fitness. Yes it has some techinacal glitches, but like anything, it is what you make of it. I also run on the board, even though it says not to. I use my heart rate moniter and make sure my heart rate is in ulimate workout range, and I do work up a sweat. Its a fun change of pace, and I'm sorry so many people feel disappointed with it because I like it. Report
How disappointing! I have a Wii Fit and think that it's a lot of fun, but it definitely isn't enough for a regular workout. I was hoping this game would be -- I've done some of Jillian Michaels' workout DVDs like 30 Day Shred and enjoyed them. Good thing I didn't put it on my Xmas list yet...I'm so glad that you reviewed it, Coach Nicole. Report
I AGREE that thw Wii and Wii Fit are great ways to spend time with friends and family and gets you moving with them, but they should not be done as a workout!! I was wondering about this game thinking it maybe more of a "workout". Glad I read this first!! Report
I don't have WII so of course can't even try the program. I have seen it used in Senior centers, and it is amazing. Report
I have the Wii and Wii FIT and love them. For someone with my physical condition it is working great. I am improving my posture and balance along with toning and dropping a few pounds. Report
I don't have the wii and I am shocked that Jillian did not deliver. After seeing her on the biggest loser I thought for she was a real go getter. Maybe they instructed her on what to do instead of letting her do her own thing??? Report
I was give the Wii and Wii Fit as an early Christmas gift, since I'm deployed and I love it. I recently order the Jillian's Fitness Ultimatium and I'm hoping that I won't be disappointed as many of you have been. I'll be glad to give my input once I get the game and try it out. Report
I love my wii, wii fit and ddr. I bought this game adn it is ok, but not what I thought it would be. Report
I love the Wii fit although it isn't my primary source of exercise. I'm still not sure if I want to buy the Ultimate Workout yet. Report
Thanks for letting us know about this game. It looks real interesting!
Jeanne Report
I do not have the WII Fit. Was going to by the game, till I found out that it was NOT just $89 (at Walmart) but I would need to spend $299 for the thing I needed just to USE it. So I have not done it, as I can do alot of other things that don't cost that much. SUCH as Leslie Sansone's tapes, walking, riding my bike, and going to the gym! OH YES, CURVES. Already paying for the gym and Curves, so DUH, forget the WII fit...maybe if I didn't live in SUNNY ARIZONA!!! Report
I have Wii Fit and love it! The hula hoop, running and boxing get my heart going. I enjoy all aspects of Wii Fit, though parts of it wouldn't be a great cardio workout for me. I was considering putting Jillian's game on my Christmas list, but now I don't think I will. Thanks for that. Report
I have it and I like it... My favorite game is outdoor challenge... Report
I have Wii Fit but it doesn't take the place of my regular workouts. I run, bike and swim for cardio, so I don't use the cardio portion very much, and when I do, it's only for fun. I sometimes use the strength and the yoga exercises, but not too often. The best part for me is the balance games; they continue to challenge me. I also like the Body Test feature, especially when it give me a feedback on my Centre of Balance and posture. Report
I have the wii fit and find it a great workout -- I sweat so much more doing this then when I'm doing a DVD BL workout..Now the Jillian Michaels was complicated and didn't work right and after all the frustrations and getting through a routine I would only have like 4 calories burned.. what?? a waste of my money...Jo Report
I have the Wii fit, a skiing game and the Jillian workout and I love all three. I can see if you were a fitness guru, the workout would be minimal for you but if you are overweight and not used to a strenuous workout there are fun. I always get my heart rate up and also work up a sweat. When you are doing the walking/running on the tape it is up to you to push yourself harder. I always run on my Wii board even though they tell you not to and so far no problems. The ski game is a good leg workout. Of course, I also do my regular workout besides the Wii. I would recommend it. Report
I have purchased the wii for my husband as a christmas present (we dont have kids, just kids at heart, lol). I cant wait to open it. We currently have the Ps3 and Xbox.. But I cant wait to open the Wii. I have not been able to find any stores that have the wii fit instock.. So waiting on that. Report
I've been using the Wii Fit for 2 weeks now, and it has helped me lose 5 lbs. so far. Their are certain aspects to the game that I use more than others (boxing, hula, and running in place), and some I don't use (soccer heading). I use specific cardio to get my heart rate up and intersperse some of the strength training and yoga in between.

If you use this wisely, I think the Wii Fit could definitely help you lose weight! I'm going to continue to use it, and watch the weight fall off and my body continue to get leaner and sexier. I am glad for this review though, it means I can save my pennies and get the kickboard I want for the swimming part of my workout. Thanks! Report
Well I have a wii but not the wii fit and I bought the jillian game & like it, it gets my kids up moving around.Of course I would never replace my turbo jam, tae bo or 30 day shred with a video game but they are fun to play with my family. The wii fit is still on my x-mas list I figure we all have our own opinions & I think I would like it.

Me & my husband have never bought our kids video games like x-box or playstation because we didn't want them sitting on there butts playing video games all day so I'm really happy that the Wii came out & its a more active game with winter being here its nice to have something indoors to keep the kids moving because I'm not going to make a 3 & 6 yr old go outside in the freezing cold to get excercise so for the winter this works good for the kids but like I said before I would never replace my workouts with the wii games Report
I actually just got the wii and wii fit last night. So far it seems to be a lot of fun and got me moving more at home then usual. It definitely isn't a replacement to a regular workout but is better than sitting still. If it makes me move just a bit more and makes me laugh while doing it then it has done its job. Better than watching tv any day and it is something that my husband and I can do together. I can't wait to try the new game even if it isn't great. Good enough sometimes works as well! Report
I still don't know what a Wii Fit is and sure would be ever beholdin' pardner, if someone would write to me at Jim*s_Queenie Spark Mail or comment on Spark Page concerning this subject. I am so interested to see if it is something that would help me. I am desperate to incorporate workout into my exercise program when my body says "Go For It!!!" I am Vicki Report
I was super excited to finally get a Wii fit. Then I was COMPLETELY disappointed. Not only could I not use it to get my heart rate up, but it was just not that much fun. I thought it was way too expensive to just have another slightly fun game, so I sold it. I'd rather find a way to work out that's cheaper, more fun, and can get my heart rate UP! Report
I can't afford Wii or Wii Fit - yet. :( Report
Thank you for the review, it just verified what I have already read about Jillian's Fitness Ultimatum. I personally love the Wii Fit. It is definetly not a substitute for those who do serious workouts, but it is a great starter for those of us who are trying to get back in shape rather than jumping into strenuous exercise that should be worked up to gradually. I have also noticed that folks who are seriously overweight seem to be doing well with Wii fit. It is something they can do in their own home and not feel selfconcious about going to a fitness club. My thoughts are some exercise is better than none. Report
I have the wii fit and use it every day. I put the fit board on top of my step (I'm sure that is NOT recommended) and do 30 minutes of step. I do the super hoola hoop to warm up and it tracks my weight for me. Oh and the rhythm boxing is really good. Of course I do other things, walking, elliptical, bands, weights, etc. When I read the user comments on Amazon I chose not to buy this. Report
I am planning to purchase a Wii. I have no children, it would be just for me. I see some of you have lost weight using this and I'm wondering which games you use? I'm planning on the bowling and the bull riding (yup, bullriding) games. But I don't think either will help lose weight. I'm new to this Wii thing so I'm wondering which games are useful to help lose weight and tone up. I live in Sun City and there are actually bowling leagues here using the Wii for persons who are disabled.

Susi Report
We have a Wii but not the Wii fit. I've thought about getting it but I know it's no substitute for my gym workouts! Report
I bought this game. All of the games are fun and perhaps burn calories with cardio movement..but nothing compares to good old fashioned walking...strength exercise (which you don't get from Jillians' or othe Wii games) or Curves Smart. So I will use it for what it is. Fun..IF I can find the time. $$$ wish I had back but heck fun is fun too. Not the best in exercise however. Report
I agree,l this game is NOT that great.
Yes it does get my hear rate up, but as soon as the tape glitches, I'm done with it, because I get so frustrated after it glitching over and over. I like some of the activities, but I wouldn't recommend buying it. I was very disappointed with the JM game. Report
I don't think I'm going to try this game, but I do LOVE the Wii Fit. I've lost 40 lbs with it and can't say nothing bad about it. Sure it gets repetitious, what work out doesn't? Report
Though I've been slacking on it lately for multiple reasons (having to move furniture to play, summer busyness segueing into a job transition), I get a kick out of Wii Fit. I don't use it for the cardio, as I already have a steady cardio routine, but I do like it for the yoga and strength training. I agree, it does not replace a regular fitness routine in the real world, but if it gets people off their butts once in a while, it's a good thing. :D Report
We just got a Wii fit, I'm looking forward to seeing how much it gets played! Report
We will be getting the Wii system for Christmas. It will not be replacing our fitness routines, but rather making our time in front of the tv more productive and healthy. We have a long, cold winter coming up and the tv tends to be a major source of entertainment during this season. We think getting our butts off the couch and having some family fun mixed with mild exercise is a good plan. Report
Who the heck is Jillian Michaels?? Forgive me, but I think it's important for kids (and adults!) to be outside in the fresh air getting exercise, not in front of a computer. Report
I'm glad I read this first! I was thinking of the Wii fit as an alternate to my regular dvds ... sounds like I will be happier with what's already in the house, though perhaps by the end of winter I'll be wanting an active game to play indoors in addition to the regular workouts! Report
I love my wii. I have the wii fit and Jillians game. It brings the family together and we enjoy one another and challange one another. We laugh so hard at each other doing the hola hoop or encourage one another on other games. I feel it in my body but most importantly in my heart because as a family we really enjoy one another with this game. Report
I just got the WII FIT Game and I love it, since I don't care for exercise. IT is fun!! I'm looking forward to getting Jillian's game, even though I realize it isn't the P90X work out. We have that by Tony Horton for the DVD and I can do that for the serious stuff. WII FIT is to make my laugh. Report
Thank you , I just saved $40.00
I like the wii, but it just a game to me. Report
I love my Wii! Although I don't use it for working out, I use it for physical game playing in addition to working out. Especially because I have a lot of energy after working out, it helps to get rid of it! Report
Close email sign up
Our best articles, delivered Join the millions of people already subscribed Get a weekly summary of our diet and fitness advice We will never sell, rent or redistribute your email address.

Magic Link Sent!

A magic link was sent to Click on that link to login. The link is only good for 24 hours.