I purchased the newly released Wii Active package over the weekend ($60 at Best Buy). Wii Active includes a disc (duh!), a resistance band, handles for the band, and a leg strap that the Wii nunchuk goes into.
I used the system for the first time this morning, and thought some of you might be interested in knowing more.
Wii Active, first of all, will kick your ass. It is designed so that it will work with the Wii Fit balance board, but the balance board is not required and if you don't have it, you won't miss it.
Unfortunately, Wii Active does not use your carefully created Mii character (your little you). It does let you create a new character, though not as complex as a Mii and not as cute. It won't look much like you when you are finished. Do you care? Maybe not. I didn't.
You can choose between a male or female trainer. You get no choices past gender. The trainer offers instruction, encouragement, and advice throughout your workout.
A cool thing about Wii Active is that a typical workout routine consists of several different exercises, each done for a short time. You won't get bored. There are many, many exercises that you can either choose from, or allow the program to use in creating a workout routine for you. There is a 30-day challenge that the software will generate for you, using information from questions you answer. It sets up a routine schedule with goals and rest days built in. Each time you use it, you can see your progress toward your goals, and make journal entries. You earn trophies for accomplishing certain things and following the program.
My workout routine today included walking, running, inline skating with jumps, side-to-side lunges, shoulder lifts, bicep curls, squats boxing, and rowing lifts. Each of these was done twice, with a warm up and cool down. I was sweating within a couple of minutes, and sucking for air by the halfway point, on the moderate setting.
During the workout, your progress is shown on the screen, along with motivators and corrections. There is plenty of instruction available from your trainer, and they patiently wait until you get a movement right.
In general, the Wii controller and nunchuk did what they were supposed to. When things weren't working right, it was because I had the nunchuk in the leg strap incorrectly. This was frustrating, because either my character on screen wouldn't follow my moves, or the screen would say that the nunchuk was facing the wrong way, which doesn't tell me the right way. After my workout I found a list of helpful hints that showed how to correctly insert the nunchuk (buttons down with the thumb control to the right).
Given all of the proper equipment, two users can work out together. The Wii Active necessaries are available in a smaller package for about $20, I think. You will still need another controller and nunchuk.
As far as quality of the components is concerned, I would say that the package is worth the price, mostly for the actual disc. The leg strap is good quality. It has to be placed as high on the leg as you can, and doesn't slip much. It is important to follow the positioning instructions, and above all, for science's sake, put the nunchuk in the pocket correctly lest you be chastised for not doing your part. I would have to say that the strap is not all that comfortable, but by the time you are working out, you don't notice so much. The handles for the resistance band are a good idea, as then you don't have to think about holding the ends. The resistance band itself is a lightweight, wimpy one, so I would recommend supplementing with a variety of stronger bands from your local sports store.
The best part about the Wii Active is that you get a serious workout. Any points off are for semantics, like not being able to use your Mii, and the wussy level resistance band. Overall: A-, and worth the price.
All the freaky people make the beauty in the world.
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