When I first started working out in the summer of 2011, I wanted to workout in the privacy of my own home but didn't have much equipment, if any. The only fitness equipment I had at my disposal was a Nintendo Wii and a heart rate monitor. As I was trying to keep my lifestyle change and weight loss a secret until I proved to myself I could do it, this suited me fine as it was so discrete. My first couple of fitness games were Wii Fit Plus, Zumba and EA Sports Active Personal Trainer for the Wii.
In the EASA box you get the disc, a leg strap for the Wii's nunchuk and a resistance band. There is a multi-player option for the game, but to make use of this you would need to purchase and additional accessory pack which is available on Amazon.
To interact with the game, you will have a Wii remote in one hand and for many of the activities, you place the nunchuk in the leg strap, though for some you hold it in your other hand. You can also use this game with the Wii Fit Board if you have one!
The game makes for a great first introduction to circuit training. It combines strength exercises which make use of the resistance band, with cardiovascular workouts, such a running on the spot, and my favourites, tennis and boxing. The workouts are mixed around on a daily basis so that it doesn't get boring or predictable and each workout starts with a warm up and finishes with a cool down.
I jumped into the 30 day challenge immediately as I wanted to test my level of commitment to my fitness and opted to set the game to a 'moderate' level as I considered my self to be pretty unfit but capable of improving quickly thanks to the Zumba game and Wii Fit.
Here were my first impressions of the game, recorded in my online fitness journal:
- I love the varied workout! Different exercises keep me entertained and literally on my toes. It's different from the Wii Fit in this aspect as with that I tended to the same routine over and over simply because I knew I could do the exercises. This means EASA is really challenging me. I especially love the dance warm up, tennis and boxing.
- I love the bright colours and the happy sounding personal trainer!
- Great calorie burn for a brief home workout! The game estimated 124 calories to be burned in 26 minutes including the tutorial videos. I took a lot of time in between the exercises faffing with the resistance band and leg strap (TIP: play this game in shorts, otherwise the leg strap will keep slipping off) so I kept my HRM on throughout as faffing around also burns calories! (calories that the game wouldn't have counted)! I completed day 1 of the 30 day challenge the workout in 46 minutes in total and a burn of 196 calories, with the game set to 'moderate intensity'.
- As I'm working out with EASA at night, it's annoying that EASA doesn’t have a 'night owl' setting like Wii Fit does, i.e a setting that allows the next day to change at 3am instead of midnight meaning my late night workouts would still recorded under the date I started them. The lack of a 'night owl' mode simply means it looks as if I've skipped a day during the game's 30 Day challenge and of course isn't an issue for anyone who works out in the morning or middle of the day.
- I like the EASA adds in rest days during the 30 Day Challenge. All workout programs should have rest days. I also like how full, upper and lower body workouts are rotated through out the week to give each muscle group a rest.
- Thick-soled trainers are required to play this game, not only to make running on the spot easier, but to prevent your feet aching like crazy during the resistance band exercises which require you to stand on the band.
- That pesky wire connecting the nunchuk and Wii remote gets in the way during some activities, such as volleyball.
By just the ninth day of the 30 day challenge, I could see visible changes to my shape. Keeping in mind at this point, I was obese at around 187lbs, but my arms were looking a little smaller and my waist was feeling tighter.
By the end of the 30 day challenge I'd had a fun and useful introduction to a range of different exercises, such as lunges, squats, bicep curls, shoulder presses, running, boxing, tennis, dance and volleyball. I was already feeling a little more fit and getting out of breath was becoming a less of a problem.
Overall, I'd highly recommend this game for a beginner's introduction to working out, it's a good game to progress onto after Wii Fit as it's more challenging. Be sure to wear shorts and good trainers to minimise faffing with the leg strap and hurting your feet on the resistance band, and make sure you follow the tutorials when you first start the game to prevent the personal trainer telling you that you're doing it wrong. The only major flaw with this game is the wire that gets in the way on some exercises, but this has been addressed in the other two games in the EA Sports Active Series, which BTBS will be reviewing in the near future, so watch this space!
Buy it here: