Thursday, January 8, 2009

So You Think You Want Wii Fit?

Peanut Head and I got each other the Wii Fit for Christmas, and as promised, I'm going to give you a little review. A sarcastic review of the sort that I am apt to give, of course.

The Wii Fit uses the Wii Balance Board, which you see above, and one of the Wii remotes to track your movements and your abilities. Or, in my case, lack thereof.

The Balance Board is a pretty amazing device actually. It's pretty sensitive to your movements and it relays that information back to the Wii computer. The Balance Board is also a scale. Oh the horror! And, you're going to find this hard to believe, but it's a bit of a smarty pants too.

As in other Wii games, you need a Mii to represent you in Wii Fit. Building your Mii is fun as you get to pick out the features that represent you best, or completely reinvent yourself if that's your choice. I made my Mii pretty much with my features. Peanut Head's Mii, however, looks like a Gangsta Bank Robber.

However much control you have in creating your Mii, the Wii computer is going to correct the body for you after it weighs you. So if you want a skinny Mii, you're going to have to be that. I put a lot of time and thought into creating my Mii, but after Wii fit ran its calculations, it now looks like a bowling ball. Sad, but true.

When you first start the Wii Fit, it will ask you to step on the Wii Balance Board. Now, I feel like I need to prepare you for this next part. When you actually step on the Balance Board, the Wii computer will say "Oh," with just the right amount of surprise and haughty judgement to make you want to throw the remote at it. Don't do that though, because they break easy and they are $40 to replace. Not that I would know about that.

In fact, the Wii computer takes delight in doing this to you over and over again. It doesn't do it every time you step on the Balance Board, but it does do it frequently.

Before you can get started excercising, the first time you do the Wii Fit anyway, it will ask you to enter your height and date of birth. Then it will give you a Body Test, which is basically a series of exercises designed to test your balance. It will also calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI) and your Wii Fit age. Because I cannot stand on my left foot without falling, and I'm overweight, my Wii Fit age is 56! It was really no surprise to me, because I've never been graceful, and my balance does stink. I run into things all the time too.

So, this is someone else's BMI. Not mine. I got this picture off Google Images. The purpose of calculating your BMI, of course, is to have a starting point and set a goal.

The Wii Fit tracks your progress and your workouts, which is great for an anal spreadsheet prone person like myself.

This is the female trainer. I just call her Cyborg Sally. You get to pick whether or not you want the female or male trainer, and you can switch back and forth if you get tired of them. And you will.

I have to be honest here, the trainers are annoying as all get out. They talk waaaaaaaay too much and they can seem a teensy bit condescending. When you're round, sweaty and cranky that is.

The first couple times you do the Wii Fit program, you don't mind it so much because you haven't really heard all their platitudes yet, but after that third time, you start to get cranky with them. For example, Peanut Head was doing some Yoga last night and Cyborg Sally said to him "Your leg is a little shaky" in her pert, meant to be encouraging voice. Before she could even finish her sentence, Peanut Head barked "Shut Up!" At which point she continued, not phased in the least "In order to get stronger and maintain your core strength, you need to exercise every day." 

Cyborg Sally needs to understand that when people are sweating and straining, they don't need her perky voice talking to them like they're a kindergartener.

Anyway, in the picture above, take a look at that yellow circle on Cyborg Sally with the red dot in the center. You are the red dot and you are supposed to stay in the yellow circle. It's not always easy. I frequently fall out of the circle and bounce off the edge of the t.v. But that's me. I'm sure you'd be much better at it.

This is the male trainer, otherwise known as Robo Cop. He cracks me up.

First off, just look at him. He's stuck in the 80s with those ultra revealing bike shorts. I bet he wears a fanny pack too.

And he has a stubby ponytail. Something I just caught sight of a couple days ago.

He is funny though, on my second day working out with him he rubbed the back of his head and said "Ugh. I think I stayed up a little too late last night."

Whatever Robot Boy, you're dreaming.

The hula hoop is in the cardio section of Wii fit and it's a better work out than you might think. However, it's something you want to do in private. Spectators cannot be held responsible for uncontrollable laughter.

The running is probably my favorite. You use the remote, either holding it or in your pocket, and not the Balance Board. With the remote, you run in place. Peanut Head figured out that you can stand still and shake the remote and your Mii runs pretty fast. We don't cheat though. Well, usually.

There's an annoying Mii Guide that you have to follow and it keeps turning around and waving at you, as if to say "You're slow and yo-o-o-o-o-u can't catch me, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah." In order to get rid of the guide, you need to wait until a little yippy dog starts to run by, then you start shaking the remote super fast and you'll leave your guide in the dust. Then you have to follow the little dog. Robo Dog is a lot more fun to follow because he takes you on a more interesting route.

During your run, lots of Miis will pass you and some of them you'll recognize as other members of your family. My favorite is when Miis come at me from the other direction and trip. They're running and smiling and then FWAP! They're rolling in a cloud of dirt. It's extremely entertaining.

There are four main sections in Wii Fit: Yoga, Strength, Cardio and Balance. Soccer is a game in the balance section and it's hard. You're supposed to shift your weight on the Balance Board to head butt the soccer balls coming at you.

Once you get the hang of it, or not, they start throwing shoes and panda heads at you. You're supposed to avoid those. It's very difficult when you're focusing on aligning yourself to head butt the balls, and then a foreign object comes at you. You automatically want to align yourself with whatever comes at you, just like a deer caught staring into headlights. Usually I get hit full on in my Mii face.

You lose points when that happens. Dang it.

The slalom is another balance game. Also hard, but fun. My favorite balance game is the ski jump. The first 15 or so times I did it, I biffed it and rolled down the mountain in one gigantic snowball, increasing in size exponentially as I progressed. Fun stuff.

To sum it up, the Wii Fit gives you a great workout and tracks your progress along the way. To me, there are only two negatives:

1) The chatty trainers get annoying
2) Because there is so much talking, and you have to constantly push the "A" button on the remote as you move from exercise to exercise, a lot of time is wasted.

And that's a wrap. Don't just take my word for it. Talk to other people and find out what they think of the Wii Fit. You'll likely get a different perspective.


  1. Don't fret about the "oh", it does it to my almost 5 year old son who weighs around 50 lbs. I love my Wii Fit, the running and hula hoop really do give you a workout. I like the yoga too. And that table balance thing is hard.

  2. That is what we want next a Wii Fit!!! It sounds like you have given a good review of it. I hate to exercise so if it is more like a game just m.a.y.b.e I might try to do it.....

  3. See, yet another reason we should be neighbors. We'd lose weight laughing hysterically at one another. Your review is so funny, but I am not sure I would make a good Wii-er....That's a lot to pay attention to, and I'd probably break a tv screen when the trainer got sassy.....

  4. Thanks for the review. We have been tossing the idea back and forth about getting a Wii and just cant decide. Jared takes EVERYTHING to the extremes so "I" worry that I will never see him again like when we got an xbox (which is now GONE!). It gives me more to think about and I would really love to get in better shape!

  5. I so want to get one of these. I guess I need to figure out what all I need to get since we don't have a Wii yet. I think hubby was shocked beyond belief when I told him I wanted a Wii the other day. I seriously thought he was going to fall out of his chair. It was pretty funny. But I the review...just one more reason for me to go out and get one. I wonder if I can mute the trainer for a while?????

  6. Thanks for the review! I knew you would deliver an honest an entertaining evaluation:-)

  7. Great review, if only we could find one. If your ever out shopping and see one hiding on the shelf, put me on speed dial, and I'll come a runnin'.

  8. Ah but can you ski jump? I've done ONE successful jump from eleventy hundred attempts and even then I wasn't ranked. I'd be interested to see how people who actually get snow in their countries go with the slalom and ski jumping. (I'm in Brisbane, Australia)

  9. WANT ONE SO BAD!! :) Thanks for the review.

  10. Janet, I will so call you the minute I see the Wii anywhere. That's how we found ours. Mattie Cake called us and we dropped everything and ran to Toys R Us. Score!

    Teresa, I can do the ski jump now, well the Wii one, anyway, but it took me awhile to figure it out. In real life I would never do anything like that. I'm afraid of heights. I'm not much of a skiier either, it takes a lot of strength in the quads and the knees.

  11. Love the review. My hubby and I also got a Wii Fit for Christmas. I was sore after the first day!! Everything you say is true!!

  12. Thank you so much for reviewing the Fit. I still can't find one in my area, but so far I've been able to run outside or get to the pool every day so I'm hoping that will last.

  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

  14. Sorry about the deleted post above!

    This sounds fun! I need to be doing something to lose these last pounds of baby weight. My big kids would get a kick out of it saying "oh" when I step on it.

  15. I followed your blog from Janiel's. I hope you don't mind. My blog is private but if you'll e-mail me at, I'll send you an invite. Okay - now for my comment. You had me laughing hysterically because we also go a Wii for Christmas and a Wii Fit. That darn Wii Fit is a little too truthful!! Don't you just love when you are trying to do the balance tests and it asks you if you "trip while you walk". Really boosts the self esteem, huh. I also love when I'm trying to balance so hard to hit a soccer ball with my head and instead get clobbered by a soccer kleat! It is fun though!! Your blog is great!

  16. when i get on, my wii fit says ooof! just kidding. i read this post aloud to my kids and they laughing all over the place!

  17. Great review!! Hmmm...I have mixed feelings about it. It sounds like it's pretty neat and funny (which is always a good thing), but I'm not sure that I could handle the first part where the Mii gets changed to look my my body type and where it does the calculations based on the scale.

    It's like cleaning before the cleaning lady comes. I need to lose weight before I can use Wii Fit :)

  18. I still want one. My friend has it and it's so fun.


  19. Sounds like fun. My friend has one and says it really works...she gets sore.

  20. The WiiFit is on my list, and after reading your review I still want one. However, I may need to go back and reread it as by the time I got to the panda heads I was laughing so hard tears were streaming down my face.

    Too funny, thanks for the review. And the laughs. :)


  21. my friend says her wii calls her chubby, but i'm not sure if she's exagerrating. lol!

  22. Wow! Great review--it kind of makes me want to have one so that I can laugh at all of the things you pointed out from experience. You are too funny! My sister in law wants one of those for her birthday. I will have to forward her this post to see what she would think.
    Thanks for sharing!