$89 Wii Fit vs. $689 Gym Membership

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I don’t mind admitting it: my once god-like body, nut-brown and taut, has devolved into a gelatinous structure of mayonnaise-like consistency over the last two years.

It’s my career: I am a blogger. My lifestyle is sedentary. Every day, I wake up groggily at noon, ready for another thrilling day filled with adventure. By 12:05, my gastropoidal bulk begins its day’s suppuration against the moist, stenching fabric of my office chair. By 12:10, I have cracked open the first beer of the day. And from 12:10 to approximately 2:00pm? The only caloric expenditure is my own rapid digital cycling between Control+C and Control+V.

So I joined a gym a few weeks ago. Since I live in Germany but don’t actually speak German, it was difficult to find a gym that could accommodate me. But eventually, I found a great one, and my physical regimen is overseen by an Aryan Achilles by the name of Andreas.

Andreas is a riot. Because he often does not know the English names of the exercises he wants me to perform, he identifies them by the name of the Rocky film in which they first appeared. And when it came time to measure my body fat, he had me grab the digital BMI meter with two hands for ten seconds. Examining it afterwards, he arched one eyebrow cynically, declared the reading a gross underestimate and then, without looking, tossed it over his shoulder in an effortless arc to land in a trash can behind him. He’s a good yegg, Andreas.

When I met with Andreas for the first time, he asked me — in an incredulous manner indicating that he well knew the answer must be “no” — if I’d ever exercised before. In truth, though, I had. Two years and thirty pounds ago, I was in the best shape of my life, thanks to a wonderful virtual fitness program called Yourself! Fitness. But I knew that informing Andreas that I had once been a muscular Adonis thanks to the tutelage of an imaginary woman who lived inside my computer would probably tax both of our skills in poly-linguism.

But, you know, Andreas might have to get used to the competition of virtual trainers… particularly bobble-headed ones. Wii Fit, Nintendo’s own answer to living-room personal fitness, is due out in the states on May 19th, with a street price of $89 including both the software and wireless balance board accessory. I’m not likely to grab it — I’ve learned from experience that without having the routine of going to the gym, I’m likely to procrastinate a day’s work out indefinitely — but I really am glad to see more video game companies try to whip flab-beasts like me into shape. As the ten pounds I’ve lost in two weeks of admittedly strenuous exercise shows, there’s simply no reason in the world why getting in shape needs to come at the cost of a twelve-month, no-money-back commitment.

Wii Fit craze set to launch May 19 [Crave]

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12 Responses to $89 Wii Fit vs. $689 Gym Membership

  1. Gloria says:

    Posts like these are why I keep coming back.

    Aryan Achilles!

  2. mujadaddy says:

    Uh…good writing.

    Admins: Keep this kid around.

  3. Enochrewt says:

    I’d just like to share my own video game exercise tip. I play video games online, and at the end of the game I double my deaths and do that many push ups. Or triple it and do that many crunches.

    It seems kind of silly, but I also quit smoking recently, and one of my triggers was that right after a game was done I’d light up a cigarette. This was the only way I found to fight the urges. You don’t need a Wii to get in shape.

    And yes, John Brownlee keep up the hilarity. And maybe you should move out of Germany if you don’t speak German?

  4. shutz says:

    Enochrewt: try playing Super Mario Bros. 2: The Lost Levels on the Wii Virtual Console for at least an hour. Then tell us if you can actually do that many push-ups.

  5. Itsumishi says:

    Awesome. The $90 US price tag gives me hope that when released in Australia I’m not going to be $200 broker [sic].

    Has anyone tried the snowboarding game for this thing? It looks rad on the youtube clips however I’m yet to hear what it’s like from anyone.

    Also to the lovely tech people behind boingboing.
    Still getting the ‘text entered was wrong’ error.

  6. Emily (daturazoku) says:

    I’ve got to say, the WiiFit is an excellent piece of equiptment.

    Personally, I’m heavily tattooed and live in Japan where tattoos are basically prohibited from view in gyms, so an overpriced (10,000yen = ~$100/mo) membership for a gym I’d have to wear a full body suit to is kind of out of the question. The WiiFit however is a great (fun!) and motivating addition to my workout routine. I’ve found especially on days I can’t muster up to doing a ‘real’ workout I can at least do 20 minutes of one of the WiiFit things, and hey, that’s 20 minutes more than I would’ve done.

    I really hope that game consoles continue to bring out lifestyle programs like this. I’m really anticipating some of the new games for the DS coming out along this line (the Japanese equivalents simply have too many difficult words to be useful to me, sadly).

  7. chef says:

    Um, FYI – I also have one, but I would not use this as a replacement for a personal trainer + gym. Nintendo labels it as WiiFit, but they’ve already admitted that it’s less about exercise and more about “body awareness”, where the main “test” is a balance test in terms of “when you stand, is your weight centered?”.

    I haven’t tried the skiing or DecaSports games yet though, and I do think that it will be a platform for more serious fitness games in the future. *ahem*

  8. Enochrewt says:

    Heh, after an hour of Call of Duty 4 online, I’m pretty much worn out. It’s real incentive die less in video games, that’s for sure.

  9. Burnchao says:

    My wife brought this back from japan a couple months ago. I expected it to be as stupid the Nintendo Pad was for the NES. It’s frickin’ awesome. It is fun and tires me out. I feel so much healthier than two months ago, and everyone notices my improved health, too. My stomach’s gotten smaller while the rest of my body has gotten bigger.

  10. caipirina says:

    I just lost 20 kg = 44 lbs in 5 months by drinking self / fresh made veggie juice … juicer = 40 EU , veggies 10 EU per week …

    I live in Italy and do not speak Italian, does that qualify me for a job at BBG ?

  11. Jenonymous says:

    A very close friend of mine is on the US promotions team for the Wii Fit, and she’s had one at her apartment for months.

    Bottom line: It is the shazbit. YOU WANT ONE. In addition to the “normal” exercises, lots of the games (like becoming an anthropomorphic penguin and “bobbing” an ice floe to catch fish in midair) are just a silly hoot. Or, more to the point, silly hoots that you do for HOURS while working up a sweat in the privacy of your own book-and-tech-strewn hovel.

    I want.

  12. Anonymous says:

    @caipirina

    By those standards alone, a mighty large percentage of Americans would qualify for a job at BoingBoing Gadgets…

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