All the way back in 2009 I was given a copy of EA Sports Active.

At the point of writing this review I was 2 sessions into the 30 day challenge, my arms ached and I needed to give my legs advance notice if I plan to move them or they object in a rather violent manner.

This may not seem like a good thing, but as someone who has been doing half an hour on the Wii Fit pretty religiously every morning for the last 6 months it means to me that this is a step up in terms of intensity.

It certainly seems like a more serious work out than the Wii Fit, and with a lot more flexibility in terms of creating your own workouts and avoiding boredom by varying your exercises.

The product itself (it’s not a “game” people!) comes with a resistance band and a leg strap which fastens the nunchuck to your leg and detects lower body movements.

Personally I feel that Sports Active and Wii Fit could complement each other very well. Sports Active doesn’t come with an inbuilt weight monitoring, you have to enter this manually, and I think some of my muscle stiffness could have been avoided by having some more stretching built into the routines. Partnering the routines with the Yoga stretches on Wii Fit could maybe help. I’ve also not seen much ab work or focus on core muscles in the Sports Active (though I am only 2 days in) so there is still a place for the more “fun” activities on the Wii Fit.

2012 UPDATE:

Since this initial review I have completed the 30 day challenge and used the EA Sports Active program as part of my daily exercise routine.  You can change the intensity of the exercises, though even the hard level probably isn’t high enough for really hardcore sports fans. On the hard level I found it challenging enough to bring me out in a sweat on a fairly cold day and it’s a good cross training addition to a more varied sports program.

You can create your own workout plans, or pick one of the variety of programs already included. Some more focussed on the dreaded squats and lunges, others focusing more on cardio work and more fun sports games.

The program gives you a calorie burn level, useful for dieters and there are a number of “awards” to be won that can help keep you motivated.

I found the resistance band provided didn’t last 5 minutes, and I have also added hand weights to increase the effectiveness of the arm exercises.

What Do I Think?

After 3 years use I think that this is an excellent addition to a workout program, or a good starting point for someone who does no exercise and wants to get started.

The focus on squats was very hard on the knees and could be off putting to new users and I still think that there isn’t enough core work on stretching built into the program.

I notice that there are now expansion packs available for this with additional workouts, including ab work, and that there is also a version 2 (£17.46) that comes with a heart rate monitor and the ability to put your workout online.

The original EA Sports Active: Personal Trainer (Wii) from this review is avaialable on Amazon from £13.99