Monday, May 26, 2008

Review: Yourself!Fitness

Yourself!Fitness (2004)
Developer: responDESIGN, Inc.
Platform: X-Box
Purchase Date: 2004

This gal is so cool, she even makes a reference to The Matrix.

I tried my best over the weekend to score myself a Wii Fit without success. I am sure that this fad will not last very long especially after people started to realize that a game doesn't make them stick to an exercise routine unless they are actually ready to commit to one. That reminded me a lot about Yourself!Fitness, an exercise program that capitalizes on the whole concept of commitment to its fullest. I finally stopped using this software about a year and a half ago and I will tell you why I stopped: World of Warcraft. Well, one can't blame everything on that devilish game but in this case, it's sad but true. During that time, I had moved my exercise routine up to the evening time from the usual morning hours because of work. At the same time, the play demand on WoW increased significantly so there were many times I actually skipped my Yourself!Fitness sessions until I was made comfortable to skip the whole thing altogether. I'm ashamed to admit it because this thing really works.

Controlled movements = kick @$$ workout!

With over 500 unique exercises within, the software is professionally tailored to help players remain physically healthy and fit. To start, the player has to create a personal profile and go through a rigorous physical test so that the virtual trainer, a charming 3D goddess by the name of Maya, can effectively evaluate his or her current physical level. She would then recommend a schedule and a routine focus that includes cardio, core, upper/lower body, flexibility, and weight loss. During my 2+ years on the program, the majority of my time was spent on cardio fitness and my sessions rotated daily from one focus to the next. The physical evaluation is repeated every other week so that the software can keep up with the player's progress. Maya can also recommend the player's weekly diet but I never explored this option because I was too lazy to see a real dietician to evaluate my proper calorie-intake. If a player is not ready to fully commit, he or she can use a guest pass and select a routine immediately but this is of course, not the most effective way to use the software.

You'll gain more benefits by purchasing the additional equipments.

I still remember the first day I was on the program. I thought the "feminine" aerobics movements were tame on my body. The next day, I was sore all over and I couldn't even keep up with the following routine. That was when I knew that this thing works and it encouraged me to keep going. The success of this game is definitely driven by how interactive the whole experience is. The virtual trainer, Maya, interacts with the player by greeting him/her before the program starts and by asking routine altering questions during and after the workouts. She seems very human in her demeanor and movements even though her scripts are somewhat limited. She spurts out positive statements at regular intervals during the workouts and she knows when you skip a session. She's very passive aggressive about it too. Yourself!Fitness continually evolves around the player's performance statistics that can be viewed in a progress screen. I don't know how people can still buy those workout DVDs when something this interactive is already upon us.

The thrills of working out inside a high rise building.

Overall, I lost around 15 pounds on this software and maintained my weight throughout the entire duration. I got numerous compliments from co-workers and friends since they noticed my transformation and it felt good. I wasn't even remotely big to begin with but I did have that slight glob under my jaw and a bit of a belly. Those things were gone after about 2 months into the program. A friend asked me if I was working out because he noticed that I "looked stronger". I myself saw muscles where I never had muscles before, especially on my calves. To further exemplify the power of Yourself!Fitness, ever since I stopped using it in late 2006, it took about half a year before I started gaining some pounds again. The only real difference between this and Wii Fit is that the latter introduces a useful device that keeps track of the player's performance during the routines. Yourself!Fitness is definitely the more serious, balanced program of the two based on what I have seen so far on Wii Fit. The real question is... Are you ready to make a commitment to yourself? I was thinking of exercising again with Wii Fit... But why wait when I already found a program that works for me?

RATING: 5 out of 5

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