Top positive review
250 people found this helpful
Great Idea, Very Fun, Perfect For NFL Fans!!!
on November 24, 2010
I think the key to losing weight when it relates to exercise is to find something that keeps you interested and coming back for more. This is an answer that is different for everyone. I am not seriously overweight, but I could lose 15-20 lbs (I have been around 206 lbs for the past year+ and should be 185-190 lbs). I am not a couch potato, I just haven't found the right thing to keep me interested long enough to get myself to exercise day in and day out. When I heard about the new game by EA, I was instantly interested, being an NFL fan for nearly 20 years. I thought the idea was fantastic, and was quick to go out and buy NFL Training Camp, even at the $100 price point which is still a head scratcher to me.
Now this review is very very fresh, as I have only had the game for a very short time, and it was only released less than a week ago. However, right off the bat, I can see some of the pros and cons that jump out at me immediately:
- More than anything else, I love the concept. This will garner a lot of interest from males, and while its the same types of exercises found in EA Active, this is tailored to a non-female audience.
- There is a wide variety of workouts available, exercises, graphs, stats, etc. This game will keep you interested, as it's not the same old stuff day after day.
- The heart monitor is really, really cool. The straps that go around your leg and arm are made well, and comfortable. I was very impressed by the quality of the hardware.
- I was very upset to see that in the very first workout that I did, the triceps exercise didn't work correctly. I did things exactly as the game instructed me to, and it just wouldn't work. I had to cheat and do something else to get past these exercises. I don't know how EA would fix this bug. Can they patch this online? For the price point of this game, there better be bug fixes that can be downloaded and applied or I will NOT be happy.
- The package didn't seem to come with instructions on how to tie the resistance band. This isn't a huge matter, but when the game loaded, it should have first instructed me how to correctly tie these. I also feel that the band might break at some point. Probably not, but some more information for the first time user what they can and cannot do with the band should have popped up in a video to start.
All in all, I love the idea, but I am very concerned about future problems I am going to have with the game understanding what exercises I am doing. If EA can provide patches that can be applied online, my review goes up to 5 stars. If they do not, I will be dropping this down to 2-3 stars and contacting EA support. For $100 I expect things to work flawlessly, I don't think that's too much to ask.
Look for this review to be updated in the future, hopefully I can get in the habit of using this nearly every day.
**** RECOMMENDED (but holding out my final opinion until I get a better sense from EA how seriously they will be addressing issues)
The initial problem that I was having with the tricep exercises was due to the heart rate monitor being upside down. Shouldn't the strap know if it isn't in the right position?
So that issues is fixed, but today pushups wouldn't register correctly.
However, I am really enjoying the 60 day challenge thus far, it gives a great sweat and is fun :)
Still loving this WII 'game' nearly a week later and am up to Workout #3 of the 60 Day Challenge. Already lost a pound but I'll really start believing if my scale gets under 200 lbs. which I haven't seen in years.
I'm bumping this up to ***** and making this a big recommendation. I still think it's a little pricey, but it is what it is.
BTW 1 person suggested ditching the resistance band and just getting 10-15 lb. free weights. I think this is a great idea and don't see any reason why this couldn't be done.
***** HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Still using this 2 weeks later and it's getting harder, even with the 60 day program on "easy". One complaint that I have is that the game doesn't alert you for routines when you need to keep the wiimote in your right hand, so sometimes you are yelling at the tv when something isn't working. The programmers should have been able to note this as well if you didn't have the remote in your hand for the exercises you need to hold it. Also, there are times when you are tired at the end and don't want to have to look at the tv to figure out when to end the stretch hold, and the commentator doesn't tell you to switch sides at the midway point. Somewhat minor issues, but worth noting. These don't change my recommendation on the product though.
Almost a month into the 60 day challenge and I think it's the mark of a great routine when you still exercising nearly a month later, the workouts don't feel too long, and you are still going strong. I'm not losing weight yet but I don't know if that's because I really haven't changed my diet or have gained some muscle, but my muscles are sore much of the time, sore in a good way. I have had knee trouble for years and I have to say that with all the squats they have you do (and it's a TON) it can hurt quite a bit, but I don't quit, and am still fired to keep going!! I figure I'll eventually see the pounds start to come off, and if I ever get below 200 lbs (I am only at 203 right now at 6'1" so not very overweight at all) I will probably be a believer for life!
Main main frustration is with the DB squat forward and back routines. These are very difficult to do correctly and I find myself getting very aggravated doing these drills (but I still do them).
The structure of the workouts as a whole is sooo good. Warmups get you lose, cooldowns do what they are supposed to do, some drills hurt like hell, some tire you out a ton (WR sprints come to mind), some are easier, some are just plain fun (QB stuff). All in all, it's a fantastic balance!!
Major server issue this weekend with EA. Not only can thousands of people not get online, the data has been corrupted due to a bug with this issue. If this is not corrected very soon, I will be dropping my review 1 or 2 stars. At this price, with a company this big, this is completely unacceptable.
I had problems with the monitors tonight where I needed to change the battery mid-workout and had no idea what was going on. Would be nice if the game could keep track of battery charge as well. Doesn't seem that difficult since the wiimotes are able to do it.
Nearing 40 days of the 60 day challenge. Lots and lots and lots of squats (muy ugg) and I am not losing any weight, but I think the weight is being replaced with muscle instead. Still going strong!!
Up to 40+ days of the 60 day challenge and man it's getting harder. One of the workouts I did the previous week was my first 300 calorie day and 45 minutes long. I couldn't imagine doing medium or hard for this and don't plan to when I do my 2nd 60 day challenge starting next month.
Not sure if this is relevant or not, but I am a 3x open heart surgery survivor with an artificial heart valve, so I am a great candidate to show that this is a safe, healthy cardio option for many, many people out there!! I take atenolol for my heart so my heart rate is far less than everyone else in my online group which is kind of funny.
I wish that EA had built in support for dumbbells instead of assuming all users would be using the resistance band as there are workouts when I have to hold the wiimote in my right hand with the dumbbell at the same time. I don't know how they could have gotten around this without a 2nd sensor, but the dumbbell option is the way everyone should go. It's a better workout and more challenging.
Still no weight loss but there is no doubt I am gaining more muscle in my legs and arms. I've been drinking more water but haven't changed my diet much else, so the weight loss might take a little longer until I decide to get more serious about this aspect of my workouts.
OK I finally have some real complaints about this application, and having juuust finished my workout (the first of phase 3), I am going to bullet list these issues:
- My exercise routine tonight was 24 sets, and of the 24, 8 were warm-up/cool-down. That leaves 16 exercises, 8 of which were jump squats or bag hops, some 2 in a row! This is totally unrealistic. I have the setting on easy for the 60 day challenge, and I am only moderately overweight (204lbs, I should be around 180-185) with knees that give me trouble, 3 open heart surgeries and an artificial heart valve. The problem is that people who are 350 lbs are not going to be able to do jump squats and bag hops over and over and over again. There needs to be some setting to determine what kind of 60 day challenge you want --- 1 tailored towards DBs which is what it seems like the default is, or 1 for quarterbacks and lineman. I don't mind doing these routines, but when I have to start taking major breaks and having bad form, this defeats the purpose. This isn't medium or hard, it's E-A-S-Y and I find the heavy, heavy, HEAVY quad and squat work to be way overbalanced away from strength and just conditioning. Balance is totally off and it's starting to sour me, which is an unfortunate for a piece of software I think is really good.
- There needs to be a setting for what type of coach you want to have barking in your ear. Kind of like a Bill Parcells -> Peter Carroll meter. Sometimes when I am working my tail off and the game is telling me to move it is really not encouraging. I don't mind getting pushed, but the application should be able to tell when you are having trouble and curtail the abuse a bit. Like the last point, this is starting to sour me.
- There has to be a clearer explanation of what the software wants you to do with your stances for these sets. Sometimes we are supposed to mirror our virtual workout partner, sometimes we aren't. A more clear cue on the screen needs to remind you what side you should expect to start on.
- Relating to that note, I am so sick of not having an option to not hold the remote on some of the sets where I use dumbbells instead. Sometimes the wiimote is barely in my fingers, as I have to clutch the dumbbell first and foremost.
I am starting to get concerned how seriously EA is taking this software. They have already slashed the price in half after I paid $100 for this in November (thanks EA), and are ignoring my forum posts and support emails about the stats corruption issue that occurred December 27-28th. Hopefully this is just growing pains, as I am still motivated to use Training Camp. I have missed 5 days in my routine due to scheduling conflicts, but I plan to really kill it these next couple of days to get back on track.
I'm glad people are enjoying my review and ongoing blog. It seems to be popular, thanks for following my progress.
Related to what I was saying yesterday, I am sick and tired of these workouts where they have you do the same thing over and over again in unrealistic amounts relative to the challenge level you have selected. Yesterday it was bag hops and squat jumps, this time it was 3 sets of prone knee drives/mountain climbers, with 45 reps per set. My form was terrible in the 2nd set and by the 3rd I just cancelled the set as I couldn't do it. More QA with balance of the workouts especially at easy needed to be done, as this is completely unrealistic. I ended up doing 91% of the workout but had to cancel out of 2 sets to be able to survive. I also turned off coaching comments completely as I couldn't take being yelled at while I was working my tail off.
Still a few days behind but I was too sore to do a double yesterday. This 60 day challenge might end up being 65 or so by the time I am done, we shall see.
I came down with the flu end of last week so I haven't been able to work out in 5-6 days. 60 day challenge is going to be pushed back because of this.
One big negative is that EA Support said there was nothing they could do about the bad data on the servers so that is a huge negative in my eyes. If the #s aren't accurate, why trust them? NOT. GOOD. EA.
Flu lasted longer than I thought and I ran into some home repair issues (water damage) with storms up in New England so I haven't touched NFL Training Camp in weeks. I also was upset at how EA support brushed me off and ignored my concerns about bad stats and also how after spending $100 in November they slashed the price in half 2 months later. So, I will be back using the program, but I need some time to recharge and take care of other things right now.
Now it's $40?!? I feel robbed EA. I pay $100 end of November, and 3 months later it's at bargain basement prices? Not cool at all, and it's made me incredibly unmotivated to use this, as I feel I have been scammed.
Back to NFL Training Camp but trying something different. I am making pre-defined workouts highlighting only the workouts I like. I hope this will keep me coming back for more. I'm still pissed about the price drop but it is what it is. I found the workout getting too difficult and not giving me much flexibility made me not want to play as often. I realize this loses the randomness and targeting areas I might not want to, but the most important thing is for me to be WANTING to do the workouts. We will see how this new plan works out...
I stopped using NFL Training Camp and joined a gym back in September. I was disgusted with how quickly EA slashed the price after I paid $100 and I got sick of how flaky it was at times. It's fun to use once in a while, but the lack of support from EA really soured it all for me. Final analysis is Not Recommended to to EA's lack of commitment to the product.