So I took some time this weekend to give my 3-day trial of EA Sports Active a go. I’m supposed to return it by 8pm tomorrow, and… I won’t be returning it. Holy moly, for a video game this sure does give you a good workout. It’s definitely no gym replacement, but it’s a HUGE improvement over everything that is Wii Fit.
EA Sports Active comes with the game CD, a leg strap, and a resistance band with attachable handles. The leg strap seems to fit legs of almost any size, and comes with an extra bit of velcro for those that need it. The resistance band is on the weaker side (red/orange), but I can see the reasoning behind it. You don’t want to kill someone with a blue band on day one. The handles are attached to the band very simply, so the user can switch to a higher resistance when they’re ready, no biggie. The Wii Balance Board isn’t necessary for this game, but if you have it, there are exercises that utilize the board.
The range of exercises available is really impressive. On Saturday morning I tried out the Total Body Conditioning, which totaled to about 30 minutes, including the time it took to watch the intro videos. Even though I already knew most of the techniques (squats, biceps curls, etc), it’s good to learn the Wii remote/nunchuck positioning. The number of predesigned workouts they have could keep you busy and doing something different every day for a month. Not bad. It has everything from upper body, lower body, total body, marathon training (50 minutes long! I’m impressed), etc. In addition to upper/lower strength training, it also has plenty of cardio items like dance, running, inline skating (combo of squats and jumps), basketball, volleyball, and more. There’s a 30 Day Challenge option which is like a c25k for strength and cardio beginners.
EA vs Wii Fit
I love this game so much more than Wii Fit. If you’ve never used Wii Fit before, here’s a rundown of how workouts go there:
- Step on the balance board
- “Mirror the movements”
- Pay more attention to keeping the red dot in the center of the yellow circle than keeping proper form
I never really got anything out of it, so I stopped using it. It’s a dust collector. EA Sports, on the other hand, uses the remote and nunchuck, which let the system know you’re done with a rep. So when you’re doing squats, the system detects the position of the nunchuck (which is all cozy in the leg strap) and shows you if you’re just right, too low, or too high. The remote positioning takes some getting used to with the upper body exercises, but all in all it’s an easy process.
I’ll just admit it now… I’m still sore from my workout yesterday morning. I’m sure my run today also has something to do with it, but for the purposes of this review, let’s just say it’s the game. My hips were on fire this morning from the squats, lunges, lunge jumps, and side lunges. I got my mom started on the 30 Day Challenge today, which she’ll hopefully stick with.
Is this a replacement for a gym, long runs, or a personal trainer? No, not at all. But it’s excellent for people pressed for time (like my mom) and for those lazy days where you need to do something but really just don’t want to leave the house (me on Saturday mornings). I can honestly say that I’m excited to use this game again, and I look forward to exploring more of what it has to offer.