First, a word of warning. If you ever go to the swimming pool at your local Y, and you see all the senior citizens doing their water aerobics class, don’t sneer. Those folks may be old, but if they can keep up with water aerobics, they are more than capable of tearing you apart! I say this because I’ve taken three water aerobics classes now, and I’m still not sure how I’m able to stay upright after an hour in the pool. Yeesh!
But on to today’s topic. A few weeks ago, I picked up a couple of new fitness games for the Wii. One of these was Gold’s Gym Cardio Workout. The premise behind this one is pretty simple. You “shape” box along to a routine presented on the screen and work up a sweat. There’s a trainer character who walks you through a tutorial on how to move, and then during the routine, he puts you through your paces while various punches and other techniques scroll up the screen ala DDR style. You can do the boxing either using a Wii remote and a nunchuk or by using two Wii remotes, one in each hand (the later is preferred according to the game manual). There are also a selection of gym exercises like push-ups, leg lifts, etc., that you can do. Some of these later exercises use the Wii balance board, but you won’t need one for the shape boxing, which is the meat of the program.
Once you set up your personal data – height, weight, age, and some basic fitness testing – you can start into the program with a few very basic routines. The routines run between 6-15 minutes. The higher up you go in training levels, the more techniques are included in each routine, so you’ll move from basic punching to bobbing and weaving and so forth. You have the option of doing an ala carte workout where you pick and choose what you want to do, or you can let your trainer choose a workout for you. One nice point, the trainer does ask you how hard you want to exercise when putting together a workout for you, so if you’re feeling a little on the blah side that day, you can take it easy.
After each portion of your workout, you’re given a count of how many punches you did. This is used to track your progress. The more punches you accumulate, the more “gold” you earn, which you can “spend” on clothing and other items for your character in the gym “store.” Also, as you workout with the program, you unlock the option of using other trainers and dressing them in different outfits as well. I had no idea why this last option would appeal until I earned a new outfit for the trainer I’d been using. I chose “Alex,” the bishonen hottie, for my trainer, and when I found I could dress him in just boxing shorts with no shirt, my interest in the game did shoot up. Nothing like looking at a half-naked virtual stud muffin while working out to get the old motivation going.
So, do I like the game? Yes. It’s basic, with the main focus on the shape boxing, but there are plenty of routines to work on and I have definitely been working up a sweat. The gym exercises aren’t really all that interesting, but they do provide some muscle building to a mainly cardio workout. The music is cheesy (in both the gym exercises and the exam portion of the game, they insist on playing an instrumental version of “Eye of the Tiger”), but it’s fast moving and I can choose what cheesy tune I want to box to before I start a boxing routine. Oh, and there are also 3 work out locations I can pick from while boxing – a beach scene, a dojo, and a gym.
Basically, there’s plenty of variety in this simple game and it burns calories and makes me sweat. I wish Wii Fit Plus had bothered to revamp their cardio boxing game, because it really is a great workout, but since they didn’t, I’m more than content to workout with Gold’s Gym Cardio instead.
Especially when I’ve got the option of working out with a half-naked bishonen hottie. Yum!