The Official Wii Fit Experiment, RESULTS!
It’s been 1 year and 5 months since I finished my Wii Sports Experiment (mirror), where I lost 9lbs., BMI went down two points, 3 inches off my waist, lower heart rate and more. You can see my before and after photos, video, charts, stats, and more, HERE. After that experiment I received international media attention (mirror) from the largest and most respected news agencies in the world.
This time around I did (for the most part) exactly what I did last time. I decided to add a few more control elements to the experiment though, check out my Wii Fit Experiment Announcement. During the past 41 days I did not change my lifestyle at all. I went about my day just as I always do, I ate what I always eat, drank what I always drink, etc…
Another interesting variable in this experiment was the fact that I had to go to San Diego, CA because my mom was getting re-married. Instead of flying I decided to take two weeks off of work, rent an RV and drive across the country. On board was my wife, our 2 pugs, my (8 month pregnant) sister, my brother-in-law, and my sisters 3 sons (ages 1, 3, and 4. The 4 year old, Gaige, is obsessed with Nintendo and played my DS nearly the entire time.) We drove 7,000 miles in 15 days. I brought along Wii Fit and used it every night on the RV. You can watch the “Wii Fit Roadtrip” video below and also check out my on the road “diary“.
Just before I left on the road trip I was contacted by CBS. They got word of my experiment and wanted to cover my story before and after, have a look at their report on me, HERE.
Before I go on blabbing too much, let me just say this:
I LOST 15 lbs. IN 41 DAYS JUST BY ADDING WII FIT TO MY DAILY ROUTINE!
Check out my Before and After video below. I decided to do a video because there were some people who suggested that a still photo can be manipulated, so here you go:
UPDATE ON VIDEO ABOVE: Apparently video is not enough evidence to show a before/after. I got complaints that the video on the left was squished to look “fatter”, so I got the ruler out, and lined up my shoe and head and got the aspect ratio down. I admit after shooting these 6 weeks apart the before looks squished, so here is a perfectly matched height ratio for all the internet crazies that want to call “fake”/”photoshoped” on everything they see: http://vimeo.com/1245956
I’ll get into the specifics a little further down, but to understand my year and 1/2 adventure, I need to explain a few things and also let people know (who have been following my story) what happened.
Amongst the Television appearances, Radio Interviews, Newspaper Reports, etc… I was eventually contacted by Nintendo. A lot of you may remember that I had a book in the works from the first experiment. I had an amazing literary agent from NYC, a ghost rider from Men’s Health Magazine, and a top notch publisher. The contracts were drawn up, but the only stipulation was that the publisher wanted Nintendo’s “Blessing” to use images of the Wii, Wii Sports, etc… Nintendo of America was well aware of my experiment, because often times I would get a call from a reporter who said that Nintendo told them about my story. My literary agent contacted Nintendo of America’s legal department to see if everything would be ok regarding my book. NoA said “We love what Mickey has done, and don’t think it will be a problem”. They did however didn’t have the final authority, that power belong to the mother ship, Nintendo of Japan. After 2 weeks or so, I received Nintendo of Japan’s official response, No. I don’t blame them, they are after all a corporation and why would they put their image on the line for an unknown gamer like me. (Besides, at this point they were probably in the first stages of creating Wii Fit) and had their own fitness campaign to begin. At any rate, the publisher considered doing the book without any Nintendo images or mentioning them by name, but ultimately concluded that it wouldn’t do as well and the book deal was nixed…
I never was bitter towards Nintendo and understand where they were coming from. I was however taken back when about a week later I received a Cease and Desist from Nintendo saying that my URL “WiiNintendo.net” was their intellectual property and that I have to immediately hand it over to them. At this point I felt stabbed in the back I wrote a letter back to the legal department letting them know about my experiment, my dedication towards Nintendo for over 23 years, let them know that my site is a Nintendo FAN site, I let them know that I never owned a non-Nintendo console my entire life (except Atari and Coleco Vision, but that was before I got the NES in ’85), and just approached the cease and desist in a decent well meaning manner. They dropped the charge.
Moving on to earlier this year, around February, I was once again contacted by Nintendo PR and they were kind enough to hook me up with the US version of Wii Fit to allow me to start my experiment early. They also flew me to New York in mid-March to demo Wii Fit for over an hour. I was able to get Wii Fit in early May and I started my Wii Fit Experiment on May 13th (One week before launch).
Of course doing anything involving movement an extra 60 minutes a day (everyday) will result in some sort of weight loss, well that may be so, but I again I want to chart, graph, measure, document, and record the process. I weighed in at 191 lbs. before the experiment began, I’m not setting any goal for myself, rather I’m just going to go through the program without any preconceptions or anything like that. That way the results will most likely (if they happen at all) be more natural and not forced. I don’t want to try “extra hard” or not eat for a week to get to some kind of certain number to prove a point.
Here is what I did:
Unlike Wii Sports, Wii Fit has a built-in scale and BMI calculator, so I will be using them to keep track as well as my own scale (where I will weigh myself 3 extra times a day to get an average). It also introduces muscle building and toning, so I hope the extra muscle mass will help with my daily calorie burn and ultimately more fat loss.
I kept track of the following:
I took all of the measurements three times a day to get an extremely accurate number, that way if I weigh myself before a meal or in the morning, it should counter balance my weight before bed or after a meal.
In 41 days I lost 15 lbs. That’s roughly 2.56 lbs. a week. I really can’t believe these results, I feel like I spent a good amount of my time doing the strength training exercises. I really wanted to build and tone muscles rather than drop weight. Maybe any new muscle mass helped my body to burn calories at rest. It’s also likely the strength training bumped up my metabolism. Since I played anywhere from 30 minutes to 60 minutes EVERY single day for 41 days straight my body was like a furnace, devouring everything I ate and burning them off. I tried to get a push-up and sit-up session in each days gaming session. My bathroom scale had me 1 pound lighter, but the Wii fit scale (according to all my averages, was very precise). You can see my charted progress weight loss progress at the end of the video above.
BMI, as I come to understand it (especially if it’s done just by height/weight) can be misleading, I just want to briefly say that I went from overweight (5′ 11″ / 191 lbs.) to “normal” (5′ 11″ / 176 lbs.) It was a drop from 1.5.
Body Fat %:
For most fitness guru’s and I guess the real question here, was “How much body fat did I lose?” The answer, a fairly significant amount (just like my first experiment). I took my body fat once a week (sometimes twice) using two methods, one was a Digital Body Fat Caliper and the other a body fat scale. I averaged the readings of the two and here are the results:
– Before: 20.8%
– After: 18.4%
According to The American Council on Exercise, I went from being in the “acceptable” category to being in the “fitness” category. This data really shows a lot of what I accomplished. I lost almost 2% of my body fat by doing nothing more than playing video games for an extra 30 to 45 minutes everyday. This was very similar to my first experiment, Wii Sports Experiment.
(Also similar to my first experiment); To be honest with you I only checked this when I started and when I stopped, so I don’t think the results are as rock solid as some of the others, non-the-less I saw a slight decrease in my resting heart rate.
– Before: 87
– After: 71
Just like my first experiment I went “all out” in my experiment. I didn’t compromise anything through its duration. I tried to be as “scientific” as possible keeping meticulous records of my daily activity. I also played each game with as much as intensity as possible, I really used this as a piece of gym equipment and really gave it my all. Something else to consider is why I ballooned up to 191 lbs. (my heaviest point ever) after my first experiment? Well, the truth of the matter is that I simply stopped playing Wii Sports all together… no reason in particular, maybe it was the influx of a whole bunch of new games that kept me occupied; Mario Galaxy, Metroid, Guitar Hero III, Boom Blox, etc… Working 45+ hours a week as a computer programmer and maintaining this site daily. Also, once I found out that there was going to a “fit” game coming to the Wii, I put off my full blown/daily exercise routine for that. I’ve since been using Wii Fit solely as my workout/gym activity. I do ride my bike to work on occasion and living in Philadelphia I do a lot of walking, but Wii Fit has made it especially easy for me to make time to get extra cardio/strength training in my daily life. I love the built in scale and tracking system, I hope Wii Fit 2 or even Wii Sports 2 will incorporate an entire health/fitness management system where I can enter my food intake/workout/etc. and also access it online when I’m not using the Wii. All in all, Wii Fit keeps me coming back for more and if a fitness game can do that, that’s saying a lot about it’s replay value. Also, keep in mind that dozens of other companies are now taking advantage of the balance board/fitness, with We Ski, Jillian Michaels Fitness Ultimatum 2009, and more we can look forward to keeping our fitness routines fresh on the Wii.Ã‚Â If only there was a central database for all of the games…
During my 41 day experiment 15 of those were spent on the road, check out the video above to see a montage of my Wii Fit travels. I also kept a photo journal/blog/diary of the road trip.
“Yoga was originally part of a separate plan from Wii Fit. Yoga was undergoing an upsurge in popularity in Japan at around the same time as we were conducting the planning meetings, so there was a staff member who wanted to make yoga-related software. But I rejected it outright by saying, “You can’t just put something into a product because it’s popular, you know! It might look like a good plan, but it’s no good as a product.'”
– Shigeru Miyamoto
Others to watch:
Though I have been the one the media has picked up on, there are dozens of Wii Fit “Experiments” going on. I’d like to give support and encouragement to all others who put there body through the riggers of Wii Fit and committing themselves to a video game workout regimen, these people need to be acknowledged as well:
and of course:
I’ve said this before and it sounds cheesy/cliche, but you really do get out of this game what you’re willing to put into it. If you’re going to give it 50%, you’re going to get 50% results out of it and so on. I’d like to think my experiments reveal two things, to quote “Back to the Future”; “If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything – George McFly. As cheesy as that sounds it’s true. I’ll be straight up honest here, I knew that I was going to be posting my results on the internet, so I knew I had to stick to this no matter what for the sake of the experiments integrity and just to motivate me. Everyone needs motivation, whatever it is embrace it and use it to your advantage. As much as I wanted this experiment to be “real”, “natural”, I was definitely motivated to get results. I didn’t go to extremes to get my results, I simply had a reason to do it everyday and that’s the point I’m trying to get across. I strongly believe that if you do some sort of activity EVERY day and enjoy it, you’ll be able to achieve results. My two experiments proved that to me.
Your email questions, answered:
I did my “experiment” 41 days straight, I really think that is the key.
I really wanted to gain/tone muscle instead of lose weight, so I spent a lot of time doing push-ups, sit-ups, and I would use a 30 lb. weight to do my triceps exercise. Also, for my cardio running for 30 minutes in place with the Wiimote would get my heart rate racing. I also tried to beat my hula score (and all scores) every time I played, so that made me workout with that much more intense.
The game is very entertaining, especially for me. I grew up when playing most games was about beating your own high score and since Wii Fit gives you points after most activities, I was always trying to out do myself.
The only complaint is the running in place, that got boring. I started to run in small circles in my living room and wear headphones. Other than that it was a blast and something I can easily maintain (not 7 days a week, but 4-5).
My Wii Fit Experiment in the media (updates posted as they come in):
Also, the company I work for “Hall Media Productions“, posted about my experiment on their blog and main site. I do web development, software development, and video editing/post work there and the whole experiment has been really great for our company. The majority of our clients are familiar with the story and are really fascinated. We have even been in development for using the Wiimote for various projects.
If you have questions/inquires regarding my Wii Fit Experiment:
Name: Mickey DeLorenzo
Location: Philadelphia, PA