Thursday, January 06, 2011

NFL Training Camp, 60-Day Workout: Day 1

This is my deep, dark secret. All my life, I've wanted to be an NFL player.[1] One day I realized that the number of old, out-of-shape players in the league was 0[3], so I decided to do something about it: buy a video game.

Because I don't own a Kinect[4], the obvious answer was Wii Fit, except I already own it, and I don't use it that often. OK, the obvious answer was watching Chad Eight-Five's commercial for it. He may be a jerk on the field, but he's a hell of a salesman, and the NFL would do well to have more players like him. Besides, it was a neat idea: work out like the pros do[5] and track your progress.

Plus, they do the tracking by giving you two additional sensors, one for your upper arm that also measures your pulse and one for your upper thigh. These probably stay on better if you have an athlete's physique. (Why wouldn't they do two for your arms so that you don't hold the Wiimote so often? Don't know. For that matter, why not do both legs?)

I created my "person", synced it to my EA Sports account (more on this later), set my favorite team (Lions, duh) and trainer, which is really your workout leader (Calvin Johnson), and intensity level (medium, because really, I need to push myself). Off I went ...

So you do some stretches, then some weights and cardio, then cool-down stretches. Easy enough. Each exercise works kind of like Wii Fit: first an example, then you do it for real with the leader showing you what to do. The weight workouts want you to use this stupid resistance "band", which in my case was a silly piece of stretchy plastic/rubber, no loops on the end or anything. Fortunately, I'd read the reviews on Amazon, and several suggested that you use free weights instead. (As it turns out, you don't need to hold the Wiimote for those exercises.)

For one exercise, side plank, the Wii had trouble detecting my movement, probably because I wasn't holding the Wiimote. Other than that, things went pretty well. The passing exercise was interesting: you move your feet in the pocket and step into your throw for force ... so if you are dumb like me and don't rotate your hips, you get a lot of three-yard completions. Hello, Charlie Batch. No kicking, punting, OL, LB, or DB drills this time.

You get points after each workout, based on the duration and effort, plus bonus points for achievements, and those are what you might expect: achievements for overall time spent and calories burned, distance running, yards throwing, workouts done in each facility (practice fields plus NFL stadiums), etc. You then use points to buy things like workout gear for your player (you start off with just a T-shirt, shorts, and shoes), stadiums, helmets, stickers ... more little things to keep you going. It then can upload your info to the EA Sports Active server where it can tell the world how little they're doing in comparison to you.

I learned a couple of things today. One is that I am out of shape. Another is that, for one day at least, I can work out just like an NFL player.[6]

Actually, I learned three things. The other is that EA sucks. I was able to link this game to my existing EA account, but when I went to log in to EA Sports Active, it accepted my login, and then it wanted me to choose a display name, which isn't necessarily my profile name. WTF? I'm logged in, you dumbass. Obviously my display name is taken because I ALREADY SIGNED UP. Jesus. Either work with the EA Sports people or don't link the databases. The only thing worse than work not done is work done in a half-ass fashion.

After one day, I'd certainly recommend it. I did work up a nice sweat, utterly confusing one of the cats (the other one's seen everything before and was too busy napping to comment) and forcing me to wear actual workout clothes instead of that nice sweatshirt and sweatpants combo that hides the possibility that I may actually have eaten footballs for breakfast.

I'm to work out four days each week and take three days off: Thursday, Friday[7], Sunday, and Monday are workout days, I think. Monday or Tuesday, one of those. I promise nothing in the way of posting.

[1] until I counted the number of short, slow players in the league and combined that with my parents' (well-earned) fear of me breaking my glasses.[2] (return)
[2] like that time with the Nerf ball. Yes. A Nerf ball. They don't make glasses like they used to, thankfully.
[3] assuming that #4 stays retired. (return)
[4] it's a nice idea, but really, what am I going to do with it? Work out ... and ... (return)
[5] if they could only work out in a 4x6 area in front of their TVs. (return)
[6] and by that I mean an NFL player who retired five years ago and does sideline commentary now. Why hello, Mr. Siragusa. No, nothing at all. You must have heard me incorrectly. (return)
[7] obviously I'm not dating. This may or may not have anything to do with the footballs I ate. (return)

1 comment:

  1. What a fun way to combine your love of video games and working out. It is nice to see that you like this game better than the Wii fit.

    I am curious to see if this is the kind of game that has staying power to keep you coming back four times a week. That will be the true test.

    Good Luck!