Can Fitness and Gaming Get Married?

There are a lot of games on the market touting themselves as "fitness" games, but having tried a few on XBox ONE I would tend to call them simply "frustrating" games.   Breaking virtual watermelons with my fake katana isn't fun.  It's annoying.  

Enter XBox Fitness...

Selling the dream.  What gamer doesn't want to be more fit?  What gamer doesn't want to reach that goal by playing games?   If only you ran around like your World of Warcraft character or leapt into action as many times as your League of Legends champion.   You'd be ripped and ready for anything!

XBox Fitness promises to help get you in better shape by making fitness more fun.    The question is, does it work?

Is It A Game Or A Workout?

The answer is both.  Make no mistake, you are doing a workout just like you would if you have a personal trainer, but and this is the part that motivates me, you get points for excelling at the workout.  The better you perform the lifts, moves, etc., the more points you get and they accumulate giving you a goal to reach for next month.

The Kinect (which can be frustrating in of itself at times) watches your do the workout and depending how well you are doing shows your points on a meter.   This is incredibly motivating, at least for me, as I try to keep it five bars into the green where I get bonus points.   I would never force myself to work that hard normally, but this system works by feeding my drive to get those points and reach acheivements, which pop up across the screen periodically during the work out.    Can you beat the average person's score?  Can you beat your high score in this portion of the exercise?  You're damn right I can!

Is It Really Training Though?

Your mileage may vary, but I find myself much more motivated by some of the trainers than others.   The big four are Shaun T who is the man behind the Insanity series, Jillian Michaels (from the Biggest Loser), Tracy Anderson and Tony Horton of P90X fame. 

Shaun T's program, Insanity is full-blown cardio.   You need to already be in good shape and even then it can bring you to your knees.   I know, I've been there, panting, wiping sweat off my face and looking to see just how much time is left in the program countdown timer.    I don't find him particularly motivating, but he isn't terrible.   On a scale of 1-10 he's a six for me, but others find him the best.   It's a personal opinion.

Jillian Michaels is brash, abrasive at times and downright annoying, but for some reason she motivates me.    I think in part it is because she explains why you are doing the exercise and what to expect.   I just wish she would stop calling me a lady. (Her target audience is obviously female)  I don't want to get in shape for a strapless dress than you very much, but your Ripped in 30 program is incredible Jillian, so I forgive you.

Tracey Anderson's workout are by far the worst in my humble opinion.  It's like she recorded the workout and then went back and did the audio over top of it.    Least motivating and most annoying / frustrating in my opinion. 

Tony Horton, the man behind the P90X craze and the guy who could literally be living next door to you (albeit in incredible shape).   By far the most motivating for me and by far the hardest workout series.   It isn't as tough as the P90X that you would buy on DVD, but it's up there and the motivation factor, pacing, etc. is A+++.    This is professional work that every other fitness program should strive to acheive. 

What If I Don't Want To Spend A Dime? F2P Baby!

There are other workouts that aren't as flashy, but are even better than some of the big name mentioned above.

Mossa, how do I love thee?  Let me count the ways.   The Mossa Fight workouts are the ones that I come back to again and again.   Mossa Core (now called Mossa Abs) is also fantastic and Mossa Power (you'll need some weights for this one) is superb.   Only Mossa Groove was a letdown, but I'm not a dance fitness fan, so you may enjoy it.     Without question, Mossa is the best value in the entire Fitness library because you only require an XBox Live Gold account to use it.  There is no extra cost. 

The 10 minute solutions are also superb and again, free if you own XBox Live Gold.   Do...The... Yoga.....   You won't regret it.    I was one of those yoga is for wimps people until I tried it in the DVD version of P90X.   The XBox version is short at only 10 minutes (I really wish they had a 30 or 60 minute version), but it is awesome.   If you want to be fit, do some yoga.   You truly won't regret it.  It makes all of your other workouts easier and best of all, you feel great after you are done. 

There are a number of 10 minute solutions and if you are out of shape or just getting back into becoming fit they are an excellent place to start, with your doctor's permission of course.   I'm not a doctor and I don't even play one on T.V., so before you try out any of this make sure it is right for you.

Do I recommend XBox Fitness?  Absolutely.  it works for me and that is the best recommendation that I can give.    There is, of course, no guarantee that it will work for you.   

What fitness games have you tried? What were your results?

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Thanks again.  I appreciate your support.  


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Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

About The Author

Dissecting and distilling the game industry since 1994. Lover of family time, youth hockey, eSports, and the game industry in general.