After I fired up my Xbox One, the first thing I did was scan in some QR codes. That feature’s pretty impressive, but easily found thanks to the inserts in the system’s box.
Then I played some Forza...after waiting for it to install a bit first, of course.
Then it was Ryse. Same deal.
Then I downloaded a few applications that I figured I’d need soon: Skype, Netflix, Hulu and a few more. It wasn’t until I was scouring the marketplace until I found Xbox Fitness.
Xbox Fitness, friends, is kinda hidden. It’s below a few menus and not really advertised beyond the exploration pin that’s sitting on the dashboard right now. It’s in the middle of virtual nowhere, and only folks actively searching their system for things to do will likely find it.
Here’s the thing, though. Xbox Fitness is currently the most impressive thing I’ve seen from the Kinect...since...ever.
You’ll need a Gold subscription to get any real action out of this application. Everything in Xbox Fitness is free for Gold members, and there’s a ton to choose from.
Basically, this application packs fitness videos of varying length, skill requirements and equipment demands. P90X is here, as is Insanity, Beachbody and a whole lot more.
The videos play alongside a screen that shows you your movement, muscle tension and more through the Kinect. You’re scored based on your performance, a lot like Dance Central, and your efforts are rewarded with achievements and high scores against friends.
The whole thing is really well done, and I’m sort of shocked that it hasn’t been a bigger part of Microsoft’s ploy to stand as the “one” console you’ll need in your living room.
But, does it work?
I’m a fairly active person these days. I run 3 miles a day, 5 or 6 days a week. I don’t do much in terms of resistance work, because I don’t belong to a gym or own weights, so I typically add push-ups, pull-ups and crunches to my daily regiment.
I’m average, I suppose, for people who exercise on a routine basis.
Xbox Fitness has sort of kicked my ass, folks. I completed a 10 minute session my first time around. Then I moved on to one of the 20 minute offerings. I was winded at the end of the second one, and I walked away with a 4 out of 5 star rating.
This morning? I’m tight, I’m sore and my wife is tired of hearing me groan about my old man body.
The sign of a good workout, in my mind, is the lingering soreness the following day. That happened with this. I’ve done a few more sessions since my first, and each one has tested me in one way or another. There are easy exercises here for people who are just starting, but there’s tough stuff for those who may be more in shape.
Achievement driven workouts? Yep. A Kinect exercise application that actually works? Correct. And it’s free to Gold members until the end of 2014.
If you have an Xbox One, seek Xbox Fitness out soon. Especially if you’ve been looking for a way to stay in shape over the winter. Color me impressed.