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Customer Review

18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mixed martial arts with mixed results, 4 July 2011
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This review is from: UFC Personal Trainer - Kinect Required (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
Completed one and a half workouts so far, but even so the results have been mixed. First of all this game needs a lot of space. Once you've moved the sofa you might need to knock down a wall or two. If you take the Kinect Sports playing area as a baseline, you need to add at least a foot on either side and a couple of feet behind. This is not such a bad thing; I would have been surprised if it didn't need any space! I also found with wooden floors that I needed a mat. Not for the comfort factor but to deaden the sound of early morning workouts.

You have to take a fitness test initially, which is fun! I ranked as intermediate but then again I didn't manage to take my own pulse properly. Practise taking your own pulse before the "trainer" tells you to do it. The test serves as an introduction to the game as well. You go through a little warm-up and then you're told to do as many sit-ups, push-ups and jumping-jacks as you can in a minute each. It tracks you and counts your reps. It's a strange experience but it works well.

I bought UFC Personal Trainer to improve my fitness in general. I already lift free weights about 3 times a week and I run about 2 times a week. I felt this trainer would improve my flexibility and round out strength and power. Of course the "training plans" don't really fit with my plans. Instead I'll stick with the single workouts and manage a plan myself. I first chose a 15 minute introductory session to Muay Thai. Another 5 minute warm-up and we were jabbing, hooking and we even did some combo thing. This is exactly what I got the game for. It hit all the right spots. Really responsive. I got right into it. I certainly moved in ways I never would have by myself. I scored an A+ apparently, whatever that means.

It was so good I decided to carry on with another 15 minute workout. For some reason I had to go through another 5 minute warm-up. I'm not sure why I needed to warm up; I'd just been through a short warm-up, a fitness test, a full warm-up and a 15 minute session. I felt like the lawyers were getting in the way here. Then I hit a real problem with the workout itself...

My second workout included some pretty intense moves including a "get up" where you get down on the floor and have to get yourself up as quickly as possible. It seemed that, no matter what I did, the rep was not tracked; I got down and got up more than 10 times before a single rep was counted. I was supposed to do 35 of these. It would've killed me. Luckily the trainer "failed" me instead. I did manage to work out was was happening by the time it was too late. I was putting my hand on the floor when I shouldn't have been. I could put this down to my inexperience and not paying enough attention to the trainer, who did show exactly how to do it - without the hand - except that this was my second "introductory" session and I fear many more complicated moves will come up. While it may seem relatively minor, something like this in the middle of a workout can ruin the whole thing. It really exposes the limits of the technology.

Overall though I'm really impressed. The workouts themselves are exactly what I was looking for. I'm hoping to get some serious training out of it over a long time.

Update: After my first month and about a dozen workouts I can report that I haven't had a repeat of the tracking issue with any other exercise. In fact the tracking is really excellent, which is pretty fundamental to the game I guess. I've also found how to skip the warm-ups by either saying "trainer skip exercise" or pausing the game (hold left arm out) and selecting "skip exercise". Still mightily impressed with the game and will continue the workouts for a long time to come. As I'd hoped it has definitely helped with shoulder stiffness due to weightlifting. More surprisingly it has seriously increased the range of motion in my legs, which I wasn't expecting as I already do a lot of resistance exercises, running and stretching.
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