Thursday, March 09, 2006
Maya and Me
This is Maya. Maya is helping me lose some weight! I recently hit a point where I am just fed up with the state of the union of my body and the yo-yo weight gain and loss that I experience year over year (I bike to work during the summer months, but then sit and do a whole lot of nothing during the winter) -- so I thought I'd check out what Maya has to offer.
Maya is the personal trainer that comes with "Yourself!Fitness" (I have no idea why there's an exclamation mark in there) -- the videogame fitness solution. It's out for the PC, the PS2 and the Xbox, and it's actually pretty interesting. I'm about three days into it now, and it's working out pretty well.
At first glance, it seems like nothing more than a glorified at-home workout video. The kind that people used to buy in the 1890s while wearing their leotards and fashionable headbands. But once you get into it, it reveals some striking depth and is a pretty fleshed out fitness program. When you first start, Maya asks you to enter in your physical stats and runs you through a few rather grueling tests to determine your general level of fitness. You have to do a variety of physical tests, taking your pulse occasionally. When you're done, Maya tells you that you're a fat guy named Alex and you need to lose some weight. Then the game gives you a daily schedule and figures out what you need to do every day. Each day has a focus, be it cardio, core, arm or leg strength... and it mixes them all together pretty effectively. As you exercise, Maya asks you how you're doing and adjusts the workout accordingly. It's almost like teaching a Tivo, after a little while, the game really does seem to get a good sense of where you're at. She also asks you what kind of equipment you have, and if you have things like hand weights, a fitness ball, heart monitor, etc -- those will be added in to your workout.
It also has a pretty indepth progress area that isn't filled out for me yet. I presume that eventually Maya will make me do the grueling fat guy tests again and then plot my progress on the graphs.
There's also a 'meditation garden' where Maya takes you through a decent yoga routine that counts toward your daily exercise time.
So far so good though. Since starting I've lost about 2 lbs (which is on top of the ten lbs I lost over the last month), and I can really feel these workouts. This morning I got up and cursed Maya because my calves and shoulders were screaming at me, but NO PAIN NO... uhh, I forget the rest.
On the whole, YOURSELF!FITNESS GETS THE ALEX LOVES EVERYTHING SEAL OF APPROVAL.