Men’s Fitness is laying into UFC® fighter Jon ‘Bones’ Jones with a series of savage jabs, crosses, hooks and uppercuts. OK, so it’s only a digital version, not the real-life light heavyweight champion of the world’s biggest MMA promotion, and you’re hitting pads he’s holding out for you rather than him – but it couldn’t be much more exhilarating if you were actually trying to hit the real fighter in a real cage.
Pad work with top UFC® stars is just one of the many exercises that THQ’s new fitness-boosting game – UFC® Personal Trainer – uses to get you into shape. There are also challenging fitness tests put on by virtual versions of MMA’s top coaches, such as Greg Jackson and Javier Mendez, a whole heap of workouts that target strength and fat loss, MMA-specific drills such as tyre flipping and bag work and even 30- and 60-day programmes that will help you get the body of a top UFC® fighter. And Jones isn’t the only pro you can hit the mitts with. Stars such as UFC® heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez, Forrest Griffin, Jon Fitch and the UK’s own Dan Hardy are all available to take you through challenging sessions.
The game can improve your fitness no matter your fitness level. Beginner sessions, which are perfect for those wanting to get into shape for the first time or get their fitness back after a lay-off, tend to be short and easy. Advanced challenges have enough bite to test hardened gym-goers or people who already train MMA to a decent level – MF was exhausted after a 15-minute strength-building session with top MMA coach Greg Jackson and five minutes on the bag with Jon Jones.
So how does it work? UFC® Personal Trainer uses the Kinect for 360™ to project your presence onto a mini-Octagon that appears on the screen and then senses the moves you make. The workouts consist of timed challenges in which you have to do as many reps as you can within a certain time – and if you don’t do the exercises the way your trainer has asked you to, the game won’t count your reps, meaning you can’t cheat your way through workouts.
There’s also a multiplayer mode so you can test your fitness against friends, and the game links to a website with fitness-boosting meal plans so you can optimise your UFC® Personal Trainer sessions by taking on the right nutrition. If you play the game regularly it might not teach you to fight like a UFC® fighter, but it will certainly help you get as fit as one.
For your chance to win an Xbox 360 console with Kinect and a copy UFC Personal Trainer, enter our competition (opens in new tab).
Nick Hutchings worked for Men’s Fitness UK, which predated, and then shared a website with, Coach. Nick worked as digital editor from 2008 to 2011, head of content until 2014, and finally editor-in-chief until 2015.
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