The Average Gamer

UFC Personal Trainer 30-Day Challenge – Week 1

Greg Jackson, UFC Trainer

I have a confession to make. I fit into the media stereotype of a gamer quite well; beardy, long-haired and overweight. I also lack in confidence partly due to my body image and while I am all too happy spilling words out on to the Internet, I often fail in social situations. This is all going to change. For the next 3 weeks and possibly longer I will be undertaking the UFC: Personal Trainer Challenge.

For those of you who aren’t aware UFC: Personal Trainer is the latest fitness game for Kinect, PS3 Move and Wii systems. Using workouts and activities designed by professional Mixed Martial Arts trainers UFC:PT aims to give you a full body workout. One of the main features is a series of 30 and 60 day programs designed to tone muscle, cut weight or build cardio endurance using carefully selected exercises and workout routines.

The challenge itself has been set by games industry trade publication and website MCV, in association with THQ and UFC. This will see many of the industries workers such as myself and Editor-in-Chief Debbie metaphorically fighting it out to see who can get in the best shape using UFC:PT in a 30 day time period. The pictures have been taken and the diet plans laid out. I will be writing up my experiences day by day and publishing a weekly diary detailing my progress and my thoughts on the game itself.

Our intrepid guinea-pig, Lewis - before the challenge

It begins…

Name: Lewis Rayne
Height: 5ft 10in
Weight: 115kg
Age: 21

Day 0 – 30/06/11

UFC: Personal Trainer Kinect popped through my doorway all purple and eager to be tested. After a quick setup of personal details including weight, height, and age, it went on to calculate my base metabolic rate. Esssentially your BMR is how many Calories you will burn just doing nothing around the house or in other words, how many Calories you need to consume to maintain your bodyweight. The BMR calculation was closely followed by an intense fitness test with a few exercises such as push-ups and star jumps.

Having looked through my options I decided I would start the 30 day Cut Weight program the next day. This would see me performing set workouts on Friday, Saturday, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday with recovery days on Sundays and Wednesday. Alongside my program I am also undertaking extra workouts from the UFC:PT game and cutting out my alcohol and energy drink consumption completely.

Day 1 – 01/07/11

This is a V-up

I think UFC wants to kill me.

After a long session of warmups and stretches I was introduced to the regime with no mercy at all. The morning’s session consisted of 26 Leg Ups, 26 V-ups, and 26 Bicycle Crunches. Each was split into 10 reps and had a timer accompanying it. The set routine also featured a “focus mitts” activity – these ask the player to perform a series of combat-based moves.

Once I was done, I felt awesome. The rush of exercise left me refreshed despite my muscles aching from the onslaught.

Total workout Time: 30 mins.

Day 2 – 02/07/11

Strangely, despite completing the previous days workout when I went to the calender it had an X over Friday and was telling me I had missed one. Not to be disheartened I repeated fridays workout with much greater speed and ease, despite my body aching in places I didn’t know existed. I also tested a workout from one of the 3 sets of trainer specific workouts (more on these with my impressions).

Total workout time: 1hr 5 mins, including warm ups and cool down stretches

Day 3 – 03/07/11

Sunday should have been a recovery day for me. Sadly, because of Friday showing as missed, my recovery day seems to be reset to Tuesdays and Fridays. This workout was similar to yesterday’s, starting with the focus mitts and moving on to lifts and crunches. Today the game introduced the Leg Wipers exercise. The aching from the first few days has gone and if anything I am feeling better and looser now.

The diet is going well too. I am still consuming breakfast, lunch and a proper meal on an evening so as not too crash too hard. The portions are smaller and contents are generally home cooked with fresh ingredients.

Total workout time: 45 minutes

Day 4 – 04/07/2011

The last workout before my recovery day, again a core workout of crunches and abdominal exercises, with press ups thrown in for good measure. Lead by a speed ball challenge to get the heart pumping, I followed up with a trainer specific exercise built around dodging and agility with fast strikes. Abdominals noticeably tighter now and Leg Lifts/ V ups performed at a greater speed with more ease.
The aching has now completely gone as my body conditions itself to my new routine, mentally feeling clearer despite the caffeine withdrawal headaches.

Total workout time: 1hr 5 minutes

Day 5 – 05/07/2011

Recovery day didn’t quite go as planned. After a small workout with 100 reps of various crunches and lifts to keep my abdominals working hard, I can finally sit and write out my thoughts.

First Week’s Impressions

From my experience with UFC: Personal Trainer so far, it works wonderfully with Kinect, as do most fitness games. A few notes though: firstly, it can be cheated. The right movements at the right time can convince Kinect you have done the required actions but you will have your conscience to deal with if so. Secondly it does take a fair amount of space, especially with some of the more energetic exercises with hops and jumps in various directions.

Mark Dellagrotte, UFC Trainer

The best things for me are the 5 minute warm-ups and cool-downs at the end of each workout. These help to really stretch out the muscles and make sure you don’t get severe cramping. Having done similar workouts in the past I can attest to the necessity of a good cooldown as you really don’t want to go from fully pumped up and red hot to doing every day activities or sitting at a desk for hours.

Other good points are the variety of workouts available. When not being assaulted by the 30 day program you have access to workouts taught by 3 of the best trainers in the UFC world, each focusing on a different discipline: Muay Thai with Mark Dellagrotte, Kickboxing with Javier Mendez and Greg Jackson with his own Gaidojutsu.

After 5 days I am happy to say I am now at 113.5kg and overall feeling much better. Having seen the schedule for next week things are only going to get tougher. Wish me luck and check back next Wednesday for an update.

Lewis Rayne is on loan from Fusion Gamer. We’ll try to send him back in one piece.