Pros: Different workout levels, can target different parts of the body, new and different exercises
Cons: Problems with floor exercises, poor countdown clock, warmup/cool down not included in workout
The Biggest Loser for Wii
The Biggest Loser is a fitness game based on the popular weight loss show of the same name. I used this game nearly every day for the two weeks I had it from the library. You must use the Wii remote and this is balance board compatible.
Setting up The Biggest Loser
The first thing you will do is set up your profile with your name, age, weight, etc. You will choose a trainer, either Bob Harper or Jillian Michaels. You will then choose a former Biggest Loser contestant that will be working out along your trainer and to participate in challenges. Once you have your profile done you are ready to work out.
Get ready to get fit!
Fitness Program allows you to create a program over 4, 8 or 12 weeks. Your progress will be charted and it will choose your exercise routine for the day based on the calendar. You can add outside exercise and calorie intake. I prefer to choose my own workouts, so I did not choose this option.
Health and Lifestyle includes recipes, exercise diet and lifestyles tips.
Exercise Routines was my usual choice. You can choose routines that will focus on Full Body, Upper Body, Core, Lower Body, Yoga or Custom Routine. From here you can choose your level from Light, Moderate, Challenging, Hard or Intense. Workout lengths range from 12 minutes to 51 minutes depending on the level you choose. Each level has several workout options.
Challenge Events are short challenges that you will perform, and your chosen character will do on screen. These are supposed to be against other Biggest Loser contestants, but you will only see your character. I only did one challenge and wasn't interested in doing any more.
Single Exercises is a chance to pick and choose single exercises.
The Exercise Routines
The exercise routines are made up of cardio and muscle strengthening exercises such as jogging, jump rope, lunges, knees lifts and torso twists. It is combined with floor work such as push ups, planks and hip raises. The entire workout is broken into circuits, made up a series of single exercises. Each routine has 2 or 3 repeated circuits. The routines move at a comfortable, steady pace that really gets your heart rate up. I usually moderate. I did challenging a couple times and it left me feeling sore. I guess I need to work up to that a little more.
Along the bottom of the screen you will see icons for the current exercise as well as the one coming up. There is a circuit countdown clock (see "bad parts of The Biggest Loser workout for why I do not like this clock). You will also find a gauge to indicate how you are doing with each exercise.
Custom routines are simple to set up and you can choose from exercises ranging from Light to Intense. I made a custom routine and did not like it. Being that they are not pre-made workouts, there is a pause in between each exercise, and it just ruins the pace of the workout for me.
The good parts of The Biggest Loser workouts
I like that the workouts are at different levels and I can choose from different workout lengths. I also appreciate how I can target different sections of my body. The workouts are a nice pace. While my heart rate goes up and my body is working hard, I am never terribly out of breath. Many exercises require controlled movements that really work your muscles.
While some exercises are a little repetitive (the jumping jacks, the push-ups), there are a lot of exercises that I have never done before such as a hip raise with leg extension and floating lunges. These were new to me which made the workout more interesting and gave me a feeling that I was getting a good workout and strengthening all my muscles. I also liked that there were often boxing style moves, which I enjoy. There are good combinations of movements that work many parts of the body at once.
The bad parts of Biggest Loser workouts
Many of the routines involve floor work like push ups or hip raises. During floor exercises you are instructed to put the Wii remote in your pocket. This of course is a problem as I own no workout wear that has pockets. I tucked my remote in my waistband but that did not work (it kept sliding into my pants). I also tried keeping it in my hand and strapped to my wrist. While I was able to successfully accomplish the exercises (some slightly modified), the moves weren't recorded properly as it seems to be set to record movement as if the remote was stationary near the hip.
Another problem during floor work is poor audio cues. During floor exercises it is difficult to watch the TV to know when the exercise is over or when to perform each move. There are no audio cues to know when section is over and that leaves me straining to see the visual instructions.
I don't like the countdown clock. The clock is a dial that will move along based upon counting down to the end of the circuit, not the entire workout. A workout could have two or three circuits, so I can see how far until the current circuit is over, but I will don't know how much time is left in the workout overall. I like knowing how much time I have remaining, so this is something that I find to be a slight annoyance.
Warms ups and cool downs are optional and not included in the workout time. For health and safety reasons they should be included in the workout itself. A warm up is 6 minutes and the cool down is 8 minutes. So if you choose a 25 minute workout and you plan on doing the warm up and cool down as well, be prepared to add on almost another 15 minutes.
I started out using Bob as the trainer. After a few workouts I switched to Jillian to see the difference. The audio was strange when I switched trainers. It was Bob giving the instructions but with motivation from Jillian. Sometimes Jillian would get cut off by Bob speaking. I don't know if this is the way the audio is supposed to be or as a result of switching trainers.
I really don't get the point of choosing a Biggest Loser contestant and having that person working out alongside the trainers. Half the time you can't see the person. Plus all moves are identical to the trainers' moves. It is something that could easily be omitted from the workouts.
Using the Balance Board
The balance board is optional. Before starting your workout you are instructed not to wear shoes on the balance board. I ignored that warning right away because I wasn't going to do an active cardio workout without support on my feet - I don't want to cause more problems with my feet than I already have. While the work out is at a steady pace, I was doing exercises like side lunges and toe kicks. I can't see doing this without shoes to maintain balance. Even with my sneakers I still felt a bit unstable while doing the toe kicks. Workouts also frequently switched between using the board and not using it. The balance board is a great tool for recording how well you are doing and if you are doing the exercises properly and also for certain exercises, but I only ended up using the balance board a couple more times. I may not have had the exercises recorded, but I still got an effective workout without it. If not having a balance board is a concern, do not worry about it. You can still get a good workout.
Graphics and Remote
The graphics are good which make the trainers' moves easy to follow. The Bob and Jillian avatars, however, do not look anything like the people they are modeled after. I think the Bob avatar looks more like David Duchovny.
Using the remote to choose on screen options was often difficult. The cursor was a little jumpy and I frequently chose the wrong options. This was a problem every time I played, so it was not a problem with the Wii sensor or too much reflective light.
My overall thoughts about The Biggest Loser for Wii
I don't watch The Biggest Loser on TV, and I never had any intention of buying this game in addition to my other Wii workouts. But getting it from the library gave me a chance to try it for free. I am really glad I gave this workout a chance. The recipes and tips were not of interest to me. I would never sit in front of my TV to search recipes or an exercise tip. While I did not use many of the features and I do have some gripes about the routines, I really felt great after the exercise routines.
I have to return this to the library. I took a look online and this is currently selling for $36.99. I think the price is a little high for me right now for considering I wouldn't use many of the features such as the fitness program and the recipes. Once this gets a little cheaper I plan on adding this to my Wii workouts.
Other ways to get moving with the Wii
Active Life Outdoor Challenge