Your Shape Fitness Evolved: Week 2 Diary and Giveaway

IMGP4764_thumb1 This week, I tried out Your Shape Fitness Evolved’s Glutes, Toning, Abs, Arms, and Sports preparation workouts.

On Saturday, I burned 110 calories. First, I worked out my glutes  with some squats and kicks (10 calories).  Next, I moved into pushups to work out my arms and burn 12 more calories.  After this, I worked my abs out with some crunches (8 calories).  Then, it was time for some toning.  I had no weights, so I just ran through the motions.  Still, I burned 16 calories.

So far, it seemed like an easy workout.  Then came Sports Preparation: Football Basic Preparation.  Instead of 2 groupings of 3 workouts, I had to run through 6 sessions of 3 workouts!  At the end, I had burned 64 calories.  Yes, this one selection burned more calories than all of the other workouts combined.

P1070372On Tuesday, I decided to keep better track of the names of the workouts.  First up was Arms 100% (B).  This entailed two reps each of Knee push ups, slow mountain climbs, and triceps knee pushups and burned 25 calories.  Next was Abs 100% (B).  This put me through two reps of slow mountain climbs, up & down planks, and fast mountain climbs.  I burned 13 calories and learned a valuable lesson.  Don’t do Abs right after Arms. Ow, my back!

Up next was Toning: Build Strength (B).  This burned 18 calories by working me through 4 reps of bicep combo lunges and 2 reps of dumbbell squats.  Then came Glutes: 100% (B) and 21 more calories were burned.  This had me perform 4 reps of dumbbell knee-up side-kicks and 2 reps of dumbbell squats.

P1070377Then it was time for Sports Preparation.  This time I selected Soccer Basic Preparation.  I burned 55 calories by running through two reps each of power jogging, dynamic leg curls, knee-up punches, dumbbell step squats, curtsy lunge raises, balance skating, jumping jack punches, plyo leg curls, and jab knee-ups.  If that seems like a lot of exercises, it was!  All totaled, I burned 132 calories this day.

Finally, on Wednesday, I burned 219 calories.  How did I exceed my calories burned from the two previous days?  Well, first I ran through Glutes: 100% (C).  This burned 19 calories with 2 reps of braced squats, dumbbell sumo squats, and lunges.  Then, I worked on Arms: 100% (C).  This 38 calories burning workout consisted of 2 reps of Push ups, fast mountain climbs, and triceps knee push-ups.  Next up was Toning: Build Strength (C).  I burned 15 calories with 4 reps of reverse fly lunges and 2 reps of triceps squats.  Next, I tried the Abs: 100% (C) and burned 22 calories with the supported leg stretch, roll up & down, pulse crunch, up & down plank, slow mountain climb, and fast mountain climb.

P1070378If you are counting, you’ll realize this only totals 94 calories.  The other 125 calories came from Sports Preparation: Soccer Cardio & Endurance.  Yes, one hundred twenty five calories!  Instead of the usual 6 sessions of 3 workouts, this had 7 sessions of 3 workouts: Jumping jack punch, triple run punch, front kick punch, slide jump, high knees run, plyo leg curl, power skate, sumo knee lift, x-jog, sprint jump, sumo jump, sprint jump, muscle man twist, dumbbell squat, muscle man twist, single-leg squat, sumo squat, single-leg squat, push-up, up & down plank, and fast mountain climb.  Yes, I was ready to collapse after all of this.


You could win a copy of Your Shape Fitness Evolved.  Simply post a comment to this blog post.  When my five week series is finished, one commenter from across the five posts will win a copy of the game from Ubisoft.

Disclaimer: I was given a copy of Your Shape Fitness Evolved by Ubisoft and financially compensated for this  Clever Girls Collective, Inc. campaign.  In addition, I was loaned an XBox 360 and Kinect for the duration of the campaign.  The opinions expressed above, however, are my own.

Your Shape Fitness Evolved: Week 1 Diary and Giveaway

Your Shape Fitness EvolvedI’m always looking for ways to burn calories.  (Running after kids only gets you so many burnt calories.)  Going to the gym may be for some people, but I just can’t take the time to drive there and back often enough.  Any workout I do needs to be able to be able to be done from the home.  Preferably during down time when the kids are asleep or otherwise occupied.  For this reason, I love the latest generation of workout video games.  Don’t let the "video game" name confuse you: these suckers can really make you feel the burn.

During the next five weeks, I’ll be posting my progress with Ubisoft’s Your Shape Fitness Evolved for the XBox 360.  My goal will be to workout 3 times a week and burn at least 150 calories per session.

For my first workout, I began with some warm up activities.  First, I did Hu-La-La, where you wiggle your hips as if you are playing with a hula hoop.  This was very intense and I really felt the effects of this exercise in my stomach.  This burned 8 calories.  Next up, I selected Run the World: New York Times Square.  Running burned 70 calories.  I could have burned more, but I had some trouble with the Kinect losing me while I was running in place.  (This isn’t a fault of Your Shape Fitness Evolved, but seems to be an issue relating to the small size of my room.  After this, I repositioned the Kinect and it seems to be better.)

Testing YSFE at B's parents' houseAfter this, I tried Stack ‘Em Up: Hard, a balance game where you need to hold up a platform to catch falling blocks, to burn 4 calories.  Then, I played Jump Rope: Easy (exactly what it sounds like) for 19 calories.  Next, Wall Breaker: Medium (where you punch/kick to break bricks hovering in front of you).  This one really helped me work up a sweat and scored 23 calories.  After this was Juggle It which is kind of like a virtual hacky sack game (only with a ball).  This surprised me and burned 15 calories.  I didn’t think it would burn that many.  Finally, I played Stomp It: Easy (where you need to stomp panels "in front" of you to the music) for 10 calories and Wall Breaker: Easy for 7.

Total calories burned in this session: 152.

The next session, I tried Pump It (where you flap your arms and bend your knees to inflate and then pop a ball) for 26 calories, Kick It (a soccer goal shooting game) for 19 calories, Hurricane (where you roll your arms around in circles to levitate some balls) for 19 calories, Stack It: Medium for 4 calories, Wall Breaker: Hard for 23 calories and Run the World: New York 5th Avenue for 70 calories.  Total calories burned: 161.

I was going to have a third session, but life intervened.  And by life, I mean JSL got sick and I had to tend to him instead of working out.  I do plan on doing three workouts for next weeks’ installment.


You could win a copy of Your Shape Fitness Evolved.  Simply post a comment to this blog post.  When my five week series is finished, one commenter from across the five posts will win a copy of the game from Ubisoft.

Disclaimer: I was given a copy of Your Shape Fitness Evolved by Ubisoft and financially compensated for this  Clever Girls Collective, Inc. campaign.  In addition, I was loaned an XBox 360 and Kinect for the duration of the campaign.  The opinions expressed above, however, are my own.

Review: Family Game Night (Wii)


Soon after The Hub network premiered here, NHL discovered Family Game Night.  This game show showed two families competing for cash and other prizes by playing modified versions of classic games such as Scrabble, Connect Four, Yatzee and Sorry.  NHL quickly grew to love the show and insisted that we record each and every new episode.  He would excitedly root for a favorite team and developed favorite games.

Meanwhile, NHL loved playing games on the Wii including one of the Family Game Night series that we had purchased.  He really loved the idea of taking a board game and playing it in video game format.

Combine the two and you get Family Game Night 4: The Game Show.

There are two modes to this game.  The first is a one or two player version of the Family Game Night TV game show complete with announcer Todd Newton assisted by Mr. Potato Head.  In this version, players compete in versions of the Family Game Night TV show’s mini-games.  Winning players get Monopoly cash cards.  At the end of the game, you see just how much those cards were worth.  The player with the most Monopoly cash wins.

In the other mode, players can play the individual mini-games either against another player or against the computer.  There are also slightly altered versions of the games.  For example, Sorry Sliders becomes Sumo Sliders.  Instead of merely sliding your Sorry sliders shuffleboard style and worrying about other sliders, you also need to worry about some big (aka Sumo) non-player sliders that are already on the board.  Just to keep things interesting, you can win trophies for completing various activities (like getting 4 in a row in Connect 4 Basketball in only 4 shots).

Though they were a bit much for JSL (age 4), NHL (age 8) and I loved playing both the game show and individual games.  This is definitely a game that we will be playing over and over again.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of Family Game Night for the Wii from EA Play.  No other compensation was given and no review expected.  The opinions stated above are my own.

Wii Bowling Revenge

On Saturday, while B was at a family function, NHL and JSL asked if they could play Nintendo Wii with me.  I agreed and tried to think of a game that would be good for JSL to play.  He doesn’t quite get the game controls all the time and this can frustrate him.  That’s when I remembered Wii Bowling.

When we got our Nintendo Wii, back in 2007, Wii Sports was the first game we played.  It was, after all, included with the console.  I’ve loved bowling since I was a kid so I took to the bowling game right away.  NHL, then 4 years old, had some initial difficulty with the controls but soon learned.  Pretty soon, he was bowling scores that he couldn’t get in a real bowling ally with bumpers on!

Fast forward to Saturday.  I located the Wii Sports disc and loaded up Wii Bowling.  I explained to JSL how to bowl and off we went.  JSL, understandably, had a lot of trouble.  He got frustrated quite a few times, but kept at it.  In the end, he bowled a 72.  NHL, meanwhile, stunned me.  While I bowled a respectable 113, NHL crushed me by bowling a 156!


That’s ok, though.  The next day, we had a rematch.  JSL didn’t fare as well, dropping to a 58.  NHL also dropped to a 95.  I, however, increased my score to a 173.


I don’t think I need to worry about being beaten by NHL just yet, but he’s improving rapidly.  By this time next year, he might just be beating me regularly.  And, if he is any guide, I don’t have many more years of being able to beat JSL.  Five years from now, I might be posting about how we dusted off the old Nintendo Wii and both of my boys beat me at Wii Bowling.

Games Addiction

IMGP1889For his birthday, NHL got many great presents: Books, board games, and even puzzles.  His favorite gifts, though, were likely the Nintendo DS games.  He received Tetris Party Deluxe, Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga, and Lego Harry Potter: Years 1 – 4.  As soon as he was able to, he ripped open the packages and began playing.

Since then, he’s been nearly inseparable from his DS.  He’ll sit on the couch or on his bed for hours on end casting spells or swinging his lightsaber.  He’s become lost in the world of video games.

Of course, his video game addiction began early on.  I introduced him to online Flash-based games when he was very young.  He took to them quickly and showed quite an aptitude for figuring out how they work.  Later, he began playing Nintendo Wii with me.  He was very proud (as was I) the first time he beat me in Wii Bowling.

IMGP1887When B won a Nintendo DS in a giveaway awhile back, we set out finding some games that we liked and that NHL might like.  B’s DS was quickly coopted by NHL to play Carnival Games, Super Mario and other games.  With his latest batch of games, I don’t think we’ll pry him away anytime soon.

NHL takes after me when it comes to video games.  I have fond memories of staring at an Atari 2600 screen playing Star Raiders and other games.  When we got our first Nintendo, I was in awe of the incredible graphics of the original Super Mario Brothers.  When I wasn’t reading a book, I was on the computer jumping, dodging, firing and more.  Nowadays, I don’t have much time for games, but I still enjoy playing them here and there.

IMGP1892  At one point, I watched over NHL’s shoulder (and helped a bit) as he played Lego Harry Potter.  It looked like fun.  So I decided to give the game a go.  After NHL was asleep, I started a new game.  Luckily, it allows for 2 save games so NHL and I can play separate games.


I helped Harry collect presents in Privet Drive.  I prepared him to go to Hogwarts.  I learned some new spells and battled some enemies.  I ventured into the Dark Forest.  Before I knew it, it was almost 1am.  After saving my game, I reluctantly put the DS away and headed to bed.

IMGP1898I found that the game, in many ways, is very easy.  You have unlimited lives so “dying” just means “being sent back a short bit.”  Puzzles aren’t very hard to figure out.  Still, it’s a lot of fun.  (Just what’s needed after a hard day’s work.)  I think I enjoying shattering objects using the Reducto spell a bit too much.  (Couch? Reducto! Table? Reducto! Pile of books? Reducto!  Christmas Tree? Reducto!)

The next morning, NHL began his gaming.  He instantly got upset when he saw that I had gotten further along in the game than he had.  (His exact words were “Dad, I’m embarrassed that you got further in the game than me.”)  I think he’s been furiously playing more to make sure that he takes the Lego Harry Potter lead.  A little friendly competition between father and son never hurt.  I think tonight I’ll take up my magic wand and cast a few more spells.

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