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Wait Training

by on June 21, 2013

Waiting. I’m no good at it.

I’ve posted before about how much I’ve enjoyed combining exercise with my main hobby: video games.

I try to make at least frequent use of some or all of the following: Nike+ Kinect, Your Shape: Fitness Evolved, and Dance Central 3. Tonight was a mix-n-match of all three.

But there is one large flaw in the plan. Our living room is not what you’d call spacious. There’s enough room for most workout routines. However, both exercise games try to incorporate a lot of push-ups and planks, and they want you sideways to the TV in order to watch your form. A couch cuts off the Kinect’s view of my head. A chair cuts out my legs at the knees.

The Kinect tries to make do, but since it doesn’t see me right, it doesn’t count reps or time in proper position. I’ve had to do planks with my arms extended straight instead of elbows bent and resting on the floor. Often I have to do two push-ups for one to count. Most of the time, the Nike game mocks me with a minute of corrective guidance – “Please turn sideways to the TV. Turn sideways to the TV, please!” – before it gives up and pretends it’s tracking me for that exercise. Then it just counts down a certain amount of time and gives you credit for doing the work, whether you’re actually exercising, standing around doing nothing, or shaking your fist at the Kinect sensor and calling it names.

I expect expensive technology to do what it’s supposed to do, so when it doesn’t, I get frustrated.

So tonight, I thought I’d avoid that problem.

I bought a pair of adjustable-weight dumbbells a couple weeks ago and set them up next to the XBox. They worked great when I tried the Your Shape routines that called for weights. I started out thinking I’d try the second highest setting, and I got destroyed after one set of movements. I was humbled as I had to adjust them down not once but three times by the end of a 15 minute workout. But I was very pleased.

I planned to try the Kinect version of weight training tonight. Got my weights, got warmed up with some ski jumps and jogging in place, got my first set – Romanian deadlifts, though I have no idea what makes them Romanian.

Then it gave me single leg planks. Awesome. Because you need weights for those, I guess?

Yeah, I could have waited for it to give up trying to track me, and I could have done the exercises for the alloted time, then moved on. But instead I ragequit and took out the Nike disc. Then I put in DC3 and did about 30 minutes of terrible dancing.

I stand by my affection for these games. But they are not without flaws, and I am impatient when they don’t count my effort.

My next bit of exercise might be shoving furniture out of the living room to make some space.

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From → Take a Breather

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