'Wii Fit billboard, NYC 7/12/08 - 2 of 4' photo (c) 2008, Rob DiCaterino - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/I’ve been talking a bit lately about my workout plan on the Wii Fit, and people have been emailing asking me to post it. So this post is going to be a little long, and a little bit of a detour for those of you who don’t have a Wii Fit. If you don’t, please forgive me. But let me tell you why I use it.

I used to have gym memberships. I had quite a few, in fact. And every now and then I would actually use them. I would go to the gym, and jog, or use the elliptical machine. I would lift weights. I would get sweaty. It was a good workout.

But because it took a while to get to the gym, and I had to get my clothes together, and then it took a while to workout, I couldn’t go very often. And that seemed to defeat the purpose.

Last year we bought a Wii Fit, and I love it. I use it half an hour a day, at least five days a week. The workout is probably not as vigorous as the one I do at the gym, but at least I DO IT! And that has to count for something.

I have three different workout plans, focusing on different areas of the body. Each of them takes me about 30 minutes. I start out with about 10-15 minutes of cardio, and then 15 minutes of strength training, with some stretching and yoga mixed in. Is it really enough exercise? I’m not sure, but I do know that it’s more than I was regularly doing before, and I can feel myself toning up. I also find it fun because you keep switching what you’re doing. So without further ado, here are my workout plans, with more commentary at the end:

After each exercise, I’ve written the initials of where you can find them:
A – Aerobics
S – Strength Training
Y – Yoga

I don’t use the Balance Games for my 30-minute workout. They’re not strenuous enough. But you can use them to cool down!

Workout A–Arms and Core
Basic Run – Long (A)
Super Hula Hoop – 3 minutes (A)
Single Arm Stand (S)

Push Up and Side Plank (S)
Torso Twist (S)
Rowing Squat (hold handweights; I use 5 lbs.) (S)
Plank, or Plank Challenge (S)
Downward Facing Dog (Y)
Half-Moon (Y)
Advanced Step (hold handweights; I use 5 lbs.) (A)
Tricep Extension (S) (hold handweights; I use 7 lbs.)
Sun Salutation (Y)

Note: Try to increase the handweights for the Rowing Squat, Step, and Tricep Extension as you go along. I’m trying to build up to 10 lbs. For the advanced step, I do bicep curls as I’m stepping. Once you get good at the Plank, try to use the Plank challenge instead. And once you get good at Push-ups, push yourself to choose the 10 repetition version or above, rather than just the 6.

Workout B: Legs
Basic Run – Island Lap (A) (Note: if Island Lap isn’t available to you yet, do Long Run 3 times)

Standing Knee (Y)
Lunge (S)
Single Leg Extension (S)
Sideways Leg Lift (S)
Dance (Y)
Chair (Y)
Triangle (Y)
Sideways Leg Lift (again) (S)
Sun Salutation (Y)

Note: as you get better, increase the sideways leg lift and single leg extension to the 20 reps. option. Also consider using leg weights with these two exercises.

Workout C: Core Body
Basic Run – Long (A)
Super Hula Hoop – 6 minutes (if it’s available; if not, do 3 minutes twice) (A)

Sun Salutation (Y)
Plank Challenge (S)
Torso Twists (S)
Jackknife (S)
Arm and Leg Lift (S)
Bridge (Y)
Spinal Twist (Y)
Shoulder Stand (Y)
Half Moon (Y)
End with abdominal crunches (not really available in the Wii; do them on your own).

That’s it! The key is to keep your heartrate up through the entire 30 minutes by pushing yourself in all the exercises and clicking the A button as fast as possible to get you switching quickly between activities. You’ll develop a pattern and soon it will help.

I tend to do Workouts A and B twice a week, and workout C once. Never do the same workout twice in a row.

Is this really enough cardio? Probably not. It’s good to take a walk after dinner, too. But the point is, if you’re not doing any other exercise, doing 30 minutes on the Wii is better than nothing. Sure you can beat yourself up that you should be going to the gym, or running 5 miles, but if you’re not going to do it, then you’re not going to do it. May as well do the Wii instead.

I’ve found that adding weights really adds some challenge to the exercises. Start out at the minimum repetitions they allow, and then as you get to three and four stars, go up a level to more repetitions. Once you’re good there, add weight. Start with only 2-3 pounds, then go to 5 pounds, then 8, then 10. If you do the exercises well, and leave a minimum of time between each activity, you’ll find that you really do sweat!

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