Almost a year ago I was sent a Nintendo Wii as a birthday present by a good friend. About a month later my then six-year-old niece and nephew heard about it and were excited to send me, via their mom, my sister, a Nintendo Wiifit pack. Some time ago I was sent the “Wii Thrustmaster Motion Plus Elite Fitness Pack”. It contained a number of accessories to work with the Wii fit system.
Here is the confession — I played with the Wii for a few weeks and then didn’t touch it again for quite some time. I opened up the Wiifit to see what was inside but didn’t actually use it. I opened up the accessory pack so I could see what I needed to review but didn’t quite get it. (I didn’t get it because I wasn’t actually using the Wiifit system. It’s hard to understand accessory package you don’t actually use the thing being accessorized.)
Here’s the next confession- over the 2+ weeks of traveling I did at the beginning of this month I ate and drank pretty much everything in sight. I had a great time doing it but in a few short days I need to be back at work and will spend much of my time in my suits. My suits fit perfectly when I’m at my “fighting weight”. I’m not at my “fighting weight” right now. They don’t fit.
That’s where the Wiifit, and the ultimate accessory pack come in handy. Today is day three of my self-imposed regimen of working out with the Wiifit. I set up the system and began focusing on the aerobic exercises area so that I could hopefully start burning off calories and be able to wear my suits. I’ve been using the jogging program and really enjoying it. I’ve been doing the hula hoop program and hoping no one sees me. And I’ve been using the step program quite a bit. After the second day I decided that the step program really wasn’t making me break out into enough of a sweat so I broke out the accessory pack. It’s awesome. I get it now. Here is my review.
From the company —
The Elite Fitness Pack+ NW, is designed for fitness fans using the Wii™ console* and Balance Board™ and is perfect for your own non-gaming workout. This 9-piece pack features two flexible weights for your wrists or ankles and a step aerobic riser for burning calories faster and intensifying your workout. The handypedometer records your steps, the distance traveled, calories burned, workout length and more. Freedom of movement and comfort during workout sessions is guaranteed with thearmband/holder for your Wii Remote™*, the leg strap/holderfor your Nunchuk™* and a neck-strap for your MP3 player so you can listen to your favorite tunes hands free. The large exercise mat, made of cushioning foam, is the perfect companion for floor exercises or for keeping your Balance Board™ and riser firmly in place. Finally, to carry all your new accessories and your balance board with ease, Hercules has included a trendy carrying bag.
Ultimate Pack of 9 elements for the Nintendo® WiiFit™* Balance Board®
1 leg band for the Nunchuk™ controller – for leg strengthening using the Nunchuk™ tilt feature (EA Active by EA, Football Academy by Ubisoft etc.)
1 carry bag featuring a trendy design and “sports” style colours, with two internal pockets: ideal for storing, protecting and transporting your Balance Board™ with one game and the pack’s accessories.
2 flexible dumbbells for strengthening your wrists or ankles: “toughen” your training like the pros do!1 floor mat – 1.80 m x 0.5 m, made from woven foam, for exercising on the floor1 stepper for the Wii™ Balance Board™ – add steps to your training routine!
1 pedometer – count your steps during each in-game exercise or train without games!1 lanyard – hang your MP3 player around your neck.
1 armband for Wiimote™ or Wiimote with MotionPlus™ – ideal for activating menus without stepping away from your training area.
Ideal for Nintendo WiiFit & WiiFit Plus games such as EA Active (EA), U Shape & My Fitness Coach (UbiSoft) – and also for training without games!* Remote Controllers sold separately
The accessory pack is a number of different pieces that help increase the effectiveness of the workout.
The step extender–
This extension allows you to increase the distance between the Wii fit platform and the floor. Obviously it’s effective in that it makes you work harder. I added it into the stepper and an really happy that I did.
It adds just enough additional work and does so simply and in incredibly stable manner. It’s a simple and inexpensive accessory but it makes a difference.
The carry bag —
The kit includes a rather hideous green and white bag for carrying the accessories. It is roomy enough for the stepper extension as well as all of the other accessories but it doesn’t allow you to carry the stepper platform itself. I’m not sure why you would want to carry the extension alone but so be it.
One of the main areas for the Wiifit program is a yoga program that helps with balance and overall fitness. I haven’t used it yet but when I do it’s good to know that the accessory pack includes a yoga mat. It is the same (hideous) green color but it gets the job done by offering just enough give to make it comfortable to do ground exercises.
In addition there are…
…wrist weights which can be used on either your wrists or your ankles to add weight and help you break into a sweat a bit faster.
…an armband which will allow the Wii remote to be held in place on your arm so you don’t have to hold it or put it in a pocket.
…a holder for the nunchuck for the times when that is used.
…a lanyard for your MP3 player– It is perfect if you want your MP3 player to fly up and hit you in the face when you’re jumping around. (Personally I’d encourage you to go out and get the smallest capacity iPod shuffle instead.)
When I first open the accessory pack it didn’t make a lot of sense to me. That was because I wasn’t actually using the Wiifit. Now that I’ve started to use the Wiifit the accessory pack not only makes a lot of sense to me but it’s coming in rather handy. Actually, to be more precise- one or two of the elements in the kit are coming in handy.
As I mentioned previously the accessory for raising the level of the step is already in use. Starting tomorrow I’ll use the accessory that allows the remote to be held on your arm because I’m tired of having to hold it in my hand all the time. When I get to exercise that requires the nunchuck I suspect that I will be using the leg holder for it as well. And when I really want to step things up all be using the hand weights, although we already have a set here in the house that are of higher quality and are not in the horrid green of the kit.
All this noted, I don’t really understand the purpose of the bag. If I’m going to carry everything with me I probably want to bring the step platform also or else what is the point? The lanyard is just silly since I don’t want my iPod swing around and hitting me in the face. And I really don’t know what’s with the color. I am not sure why they picked green– a rather hideous green in fact — and that is coming from someone who is color blind!
All of these complaints noted, the main components of the accessory pack are well designed, effective and easy-to-use. The color is less of a concern since this isn’t about a fashion show but it’s about getting fit or, in my case, trying to undo the damage of the last few weeks.
And at the reasonable price of under $45 I can’t complain.
The Wii Thrustmaster Motion Plus Elite Fitness Pack has an MSRP of $44.99. It is available from Amazon for $44.12
What I like —
Adds a little bit of oomph to your workout in simply but effective ways
What needs improvements-
As noted a few elements are really not all that useful, what’s with the green color???