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My Fitness Coach review: My Fitness Coach

My Fitness Coach: Get In Shape lacks vital feedback that distinguishes the more worthy fitness titles for the Wii.

Alex Kidman
Alex Kidman is a freelance word writing machine masquerading as a person, a disguise he's managed for over fifteen years now, including a three year stint at ZDNet/CNET Australia. He likes cats, retro gaming and terrible puns.
Alex Kidman
3 min read

If the fitness trend in the 1980's was for Jane Fonda workout VHS tapes, and in the 90's for buns (or other body parts) of steel, it seems clear that the fitness fad of the current age is fitness programs/games built for Nintendo's Wii console. It's a trend started by Nintendo's own Wii Fit and picked up by EA's Wii Active, Black Bean's NewU: Fitness First and Ubisoft's My Fitness Coach: Get In Shape.

3.1

My Fitness Coach

The Good

Uses a lot of genuine measurements in profile set-up.

The Bad

No feedback whatsoever. A workout DVD would be cheaper and better looking.

The Bottom Line

My Fitness Coach: Get In Shape lacks vital feedback that distinguishes the more worthy fitness titles for the Wii.

Like other fitness games, when you first fire up My Fitness Coach: Get In Shape, you've got to set up a profile for yourself. Unlike other fitness games which give you a choice of avatar (or in the case of Nintendo's own first-party fitness titles, Miis) to customise, My Fitness Coach: Get In Shape is all business, wanting vital statistics as well as details of any other fitness equipment you might own. You're also evaluated as part of the profile building process, and you'll need to measure your weight, height and dimensions of your biceps, chest, waist, hips and thighs. One irritating aspect here is that measurements are imperial only. Do you know how many pounds you actually weigh, or the size of your thighs in inches? Given how computationally non-intensive the imperial/metric conversion is, it's surprising that metric measurements have been omitted as an option in My Fitness Coach: Get In Shape. Once you've measured your resting and active heart rate and picked an average activity level, you pick a long-term goal — whether it's weight loss, cardio improvement, flexibility or enhanced strength and set a calendar for your workout schedule.

Once a profile is set up — and with the attention to measurement detail that My Fitness Coach: Get In Shape has, you can expect that to take around half an hour — you'll finally be ready for a workout. You can set a daily workout focus that will affect the exercises you're presented with, as well as a "virtual" workout room. You've initially only got a choice of three settings — the meditation garden, Empress' Dojo or Urban Oasis. They're just visual backdrops, however, so there's no particular fitness benefits to any particular choice.

Be prepared to discover your saggy tuckshop-lady arms
(Credit: Ubisoft)

My Fitness Coach: Get In Shape doesn't support the Wii Balance board found with Wii Fit, or, as it turns out, the Wii Nunchuck. Or the Wiimote itself beyond menu choices, which is surprising for a Wii title. There's a reason why you don't set an avatar of yourself, and that's because beyond choosing the setting, all you're going to be doing is watching the computer-generated trainer perform the exercises. You're expected to keep up for the duration of the workout, just as you would with a creaky old 80's Jane Fonda tape, although the computer trainer is a worse actress.

There's nothing specifically wrong with the approach taken by My Fitness Coach: Get In Shape in terms of its exercise offering, and we could certainly see it as plausible that you could get fit by following its exercise regime.

It's just that you'd get the same benefits and training from a workout DVD. The hook with combining the motion controllers of the Wii and a fitness routine for every other fitness product has been the feedback you get, whether that's measuring resistance (as happens with some activities in EA's Wii Active) or just following the motions of your on-screen Mii, Wii Fit style. My Fitness Coach: Get In Shape has none of that at all, and doesn't even particularly care if it just runs. You'll get the same encouragement and advice whether you're doing it right, doing it wrong or just sitting around on the lounge chair racking up workout credit and eating doughnuts all day.