Fitness Fridays: Your Shape Fitness Evolved video game for Xbox Kinect


I haven’t done a Fitness Friday post in a while so I thought what better a time than the start of the new year.  When I think of new year’s resolutions, the first thing that comes to mind is losing weight.  Whether it’s eating better or joining a gym, a lot of people tend to make it their goal for the new year to lose weight.

I used to have a gym membership but got rid of it considering the amount of group fitness classes I teach during the week (it just wasn’t worth it), however, I often find myself at a gym most days of the week and for the first few weeks in January the space is packed.  Often it could be virtually impossible to use a machine you like.  I usually give it a month’s time before the “new year’s resolutioners” start to die off and you are left with the same crowd of people as before.

So what’s killing the crowd?  Lack of motivation. Most people will go hard into exercising and then realize that it’s actually harder than you may think.  They sign up for expensive gym memberships and only use them for the first few months of their contract.  Whether it’s lack of time, motivation, or just pure laziness, the idea of hitting the gym every day may not be the most realistic.  If I didn’t teach Group Power I would still have a gym membership because I am quite a motivated person, if I say I’m going to do something, I’ll do it.  However, if you want to start off slow and not spend a wad of cash on a gym membership, a video game may be the way to go.

I think most people have tried Wii Fit.  I believe it started off the whole video game fitness trend.  I personally loved Wii Fit, you could choose your own Mii character (although mine was a little more round in the waist..) and it was challenging (and fun if you played with someone else). However, with time I just got bored of the game.  I unlocked everything so I found there wasn’t much of a challenge left.

I have been interested in Your Shape Fitness Evolved for a while now and one day at Wal-Mart I mentioned to my brother that I would love to try it.  Luckily, my brother is huge into video games and mentioned that he bought it awhile ago so the next day I got up bright and early to give it a try.

tv menu Now this review is about Your Shape Fitness Evolved, not the 2012 or 2013 version.  It’s also about the Kinect version, but I understand that it also is available for Wii as well.  Personally, I prefer the Kinect version because you don’t have to hold a controller, in fact, you don’t hold anything because Kinect can gauge your body movements.

Now, unlike Wii Fit which pairs you with an adorable Mii character, you actually see yourself, or at least a silhouette of yourself on the TV so you can watch yourself do the movements.  The game starts off with an evaluation of your body type (it scans your body) and gives you your measurements (handy if you don’t know the inseam of your legs).  From there you can have a personalized fitness program customized for what you want to get out of the game.

cardio boxing

Cardio boxing

The game offers a variety of different fitness options.  You can choose personal training (options are a variety of classes situated to your goal of the game, or do segments of a class), gym games, or fitness classes.  The fitness classes range from cardio boxing to yoga, so there aren’t very many options, however, cardio boxing is my favourite exercise to do in the game and it certainly works up a sweat.

When I play the game, I’ll start out with the cardio boxing gold full class (I unlocked all of them), which gives you 12 minutes of punching, kicking, and more.  The screen also tracks how many calories you are burning (I don’t have a heart rate monitor so I’m not sure how accurate this is).  I’ll typically burn around 60 calories in that 12 minutes.  From there I will usually do a few personal training classes, which are usually two sets of three different movements, and each movement has a number of reps to them. This can really work up a sweat when you do a consecutive number of them.  After about an hour’s time (which usually flies by), I’ll finish off with a zen class which combines yoga and tai-chi moves.



Notice the sweat…

So does the game work?  Heck, yes!  I am usually in pain by the end of it and sweating like I ran a 5k marathon.  Even as I’m writing this, I’m feeling my workout from yesterday in my legs. The game is pretty straightforward and you see yourself doing the workout on screen, you just have to keep in time with the trainer, which is easier said than done as the game sometimes doesn’t register some moves.  For example, it will say I’m off the beat when I’m on it or it won’t register a punch or squat when in fact I did both.  As a result your score is affected, which can be frustrating, but regardless, you’re still working out, the game is just there to guide you.  For an extra workout (and to sizzle those extra calories), I recommend using some three or five-pound weights for some of the moves.


Zen class

I personally cannot tell you if I have lost any weight with the game thus far, because I only use it on the days I don’t teach Power; however, it’s a nice supplement in combination with the weight training I do in Group Power.  I truly believe though that if you were just doing this game and eating right (losing weight relies heavily on healthy eating, not just exercise), you could lose some serious pounds, this game works you out really well, plus there is enough variety to keep you interested for a while.

So long story short, if you have a new year’s resolution this year to lose weight, maybe skip the gym membership and pick up this game.  I’m not saying that you won’t stay motivated to hit the gym, but in the long run it will save you money, and it’s basically like a personal trainer, but a virtual one.

Check out IGN’s review on it here!

Have you tried Your Shape Fitness Evolved?  What are your thoughts?

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