Virtually and Actually Working Out, a ‘Yourself Fitness’ (Xbox and PC) Review with a Dash of ‘My Fitness Coach’ (Wii) Thrown in for Good Measure

Rating:

Photo of Yourself Fitness Game CoverLet’s just get two things straight:

One, this review is about Yourself Fitness, available on Xbox and PS2 and if you can find it, on PC.  Yourself Fitness is an older version of the new game that has been repackaged and revamped for the Wii called ‘My Fitness Coach‘. My girlfriend has the newer Wii version and the concept is still the same. Do not confuse ‘My Fitness Coach’ with ‘My Fitness Coach 2‘.  ‘My Fitness Coach 2‘ is totally different and from the reviews I’ve read, it is not that good.

And two, I hate working out. I don’t like going to the gym where I don’t feel comfortable because it feels like everyone is looking at me. I also don’t like running around outside cause it’s hot or cold as hell, depending on the season, and way too far from home. But I know I should stay in shape so I need to find something that will keep me in shape while still staying in my comfort zone. Dvds also get boring after awhile. So what is a girl to do???

After some research a few years ago I ran into Yourself Fitness for Xbox.  It’s a fitness game that has a virtual personal trainer!  So you’re telling me “I don’t have to go to the gym? I can work out in the comfort of my own home? And I can do it WHATEVER time I want and the trainer will be there at my beck and call???!!!” Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner! I once was so needing a good workout after a very filling dinner that sat in my stomach like a ton of bricks that I did a quick 15 minute session with Maya at midnight! :) Felt much more digested after that!

I must admit, that I only used Yourself Fitness a few times on the Xbox, but then stopped for awhile. Not mentally motivated, ya know? After some time, and after the Xbox was sold, I decided I needed to try again. I found out that there was a PC version so I bought that and loaded it into the computer. So not only do I NOT have to go to the gym, it’s now portable! Fantastic! *Unfortunately, the PC version is now very difficult to find.

The trainer’s name is Maya and she guides you through the setup process.  This is your baseline. You have to put in your main stats, then she has you measure your resting heartbeat, do 2 minutes of jumping jacks, then measure your elevated heartbeat. Then you do as many pushups, crunches and squats as you can and lastly do a sit and reach. Then based on your set up performance Maya will suggest a workout focus: weight loss, cardio, upper body, lower body, core, or flexibility.  You will still be able to do all of the workouts, but they will work around your focus.

Screenshot of workout focus options

The Wii version does the same although I believe you also have to do measurements of parts of your body.

You also have options to set your goals, make a workout calendar (which is very flexible) and have a food program set up. I never tried it, so I don’t know if it works. But if you’re looking  for some assistance in that area I’m sure it is helpful.

After every 10 workouts you will do the Physical Challenge, which is basically the set up exercises that you did for the baseline.  You will then see how you’ve progressed. I went from a 4 Flexibilty to a 6 by the first Physical Challenge. And 15 push ups to 40 by two Physical Challenges! It was great!  My girlfriend lost 3lbs after 3 workouts!

When you choose a workout for the day you have a choice of music and workout duration 15-60 min. The Wii version goes up to 70 min. You can also let Maya know what equipment you own and she’ll incorporate them into your workout (ie step bench, exercise ball, hand weights, and heart monitor).

Screenshot of Yourself! fitness workout options

Then you can choose which environments you’d like her to work out in (some are locked until you’ve done more workouts to unlock them).

Screenshot of Yourself! Fitness Empress Dojo environment

Before she starts the workout she asks you how you’re feeling. This I believe gives her an idea how the workout will go.

Screenshot of Maya in Empress Dojo

Then there is a warm up, the workout, then a cool down section.  Maya will check in with you periodically to see how you’re keeping up with her and she will adjust future workouts accordingly (make them easier, harder or leaving it the same depending on your answer) .

At the end of the session it will tell you how many calories you’ve burned.

Maya’s very encouraging during the session. If you miss some workouts she’ll know too and try to get you to stay on track. I’ve been guilty of these! :)

The drawbacks to the game, which there are a few, are be careful which exercises you do. You know your body and what it can or cannot do. I understand that you want to do all of the exercises she tells you to do because you want to get healthy, but it’s ok if you don’t. She’s not REALLY there to see if you do or don’t do it and you’re doing this in the privacy of your own home and not in a class where other people are there.  So if there’s an exercise that doesn’t seem quite right for you, don’t do it.

I learned the hard way. The end of my spinal cord curves a little more than normal. I call it my bunny tail. (It gives me an illusion of a butt that’s not really there! Lol) Well, I was doing the Roll Like Ball with Maya because she was doing it, therefore I felt like I HAD to do it. It’s basically you lie on your back, tuck your knees to your chest and roll along your spine.  My ball rolling wasn’t really roooolling, more like hopping from the top of my spine to my bunny tail due to the curve. After that workout I felt fine but the next day I was in a lot of pain. Long story short that move put my back out for 3 months! So needless to say I don’t do any of those anymore. I just stretch or do something else and I listen to my body whenever something doesn’t feel right.

Second drawback: it would be nice if Maya talked while she’s doing any exercises that require you to look away from the screen. It’s kind of hard to do some of the face down yoga positions and crane your neck at the same time to see what she is doing. A “1, 2, 3, up, 2, 2, 3 down, and rest” you get the point, would be nice. From what I understand this wasn’t fixed for the Wii version either.

Third drawback: I find that the separate meditation option is too fast. I see meditation as slow and controlled movements. Maya goes through them pretty quickly and without regard to any face time away from the screen with a countdown/direction and I find that I’m less meditated and more agitated. So I don’t really meditate with her.

Other than that, Yourself Fitness (PC or Xbox version) or the My Fitness Coach for Wii are really great ways to stay in all around shape in the privacy of your own home. They arrange the workout sessions according to your needs and if you can stay mentally motivated give you great results.  Just be aware of your body and have a good time!

E Rating (1=meh, 5 = Eenae Endorsed): EEEEE

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