Nike might have started life as a sports shoe company from Oregon but they have become a sports apparel and accessory powerhouse. It’s no surprise that they’ve looked to extend their reach from the road, track and gym to our homes. The Nike+ Kinect Training “game” lets you work with a “personal trainer” from the comfort of your own home.
We used a few inverted commas in the introduction as Nike+ Kinect Training isn’t a game although you’re most likely going to find it in computer and console game stores. It works with the Xbox 360 and requires the Kinect sensor. And while it offers personal training, that’s based on an assessment of your fitness and athleticism made by a computer program.
Once we got past the initial set up where we created a profile and entered some personal details such as height, weight and age, the program put us through an assessment process to gauge a baseline level of fitness. In order to complete the exercises you’ll need a bit of room in your lounge or play area. I found that even though I had enough space for other Xbox/Kinect games, Nike+Kinect Training needed more so I ended up moving my couch for one of the drills.
The Kinect sensor can track your movement quite precisely. That means it can make a good assessment as to the accuracy of your form during exercise. For example, when doing lunges, the Kinect sensor was able to detect when I was off balance and made corrections. My trainer – I chose Marie Purvis – provided encouragement when I hit a personal record or when my form was off. If you prefer a mail trainer then Alex Molden is the male trainer. Both are Nike Master Trainers.
By the end of a 25 minute workout I had worked up a sweat. It wasn’t as intense and a long run but the exercises were strenuous enough and worked my entire body with strength, aerobic and plyometric movements.
The Kinect sensor is able to monitor your form. For example, when I was running in place, it only counted repetitions where my knees lifted to the perpendicular or beyond. For jump squats, the Kinect sensor was able to measure how high I jumped.
At the end of the workout, I was allocated a score on my fitness and athleticism. I also earned Nike Fuel – Nike’s reward system. If you haven;t heard of it before, gamification is a big deal in exercise systems. Activities score points and garner you with other awards for your efforts.
The program performs a fitness assessment every four weeks so you can assess your progress.
Many of us don’t like working out in public or don’t have the time or money for a gym membership. Or perhaps you’re at the start of your fitness journey and want to train at your own pace in a non-threatening environment. The Nike+ Kinect Training game can be a great way to get you started. If you’re an experienced exerciser then it can be a great way to complement other parts of your training.
I picked up a copy of the game from a local reseller for under $20. Even with the cost of an Xbox, that’s much cheaper than a 12-month membership at most gyms.