02. 09. 2006
Powergrid Fitness: Working out while playing video games
We first wrote about the "human joystick" nearly two years ago when Powergrid Fitness was about to launch its Kilowatt Game Controller. The concept was simple and hugely promising: a whole body-engaging joystick that exercises and sculpts your body while you play video games. The idea of turning the normally sedentary (and sometimes guilt-inducing) activity of playing video games into a healthy, daily routine that could potentially substitute for going to the gym was bound to get people excited. I got excited and I wasn't even a video game player (I just find running on a treadmill mind-numbingly boring after the first ten minutes or after the hunk on the machine in front of me leaves, whichever happens first).
The company now has five models of the human joystick: the Kilowatt Pro (built for fitness centers and the serious home enthusiast), the Kilowatt Pro Jr. (for kids who'll give the machine a regular workout), the Kilowatt Sport (the smaller, less expensive model), the Kilowatt Spark (the lighter version for kids), and the new Exer-station (a much smaller, portable device you can put on your couch or chair). All are designed for use with PlayStation2, Xbox and GameCube.
The Kilowatt Sport
I watched some people trying out the Exer-station at CES this year (it won the CES Best Innovations Award in Electronic Gaming) and it looked like alot of fun, though it was hard to tell just from watching what kind of workout these people were getting, especially in the lower body since the Exer-station is used sitting down.
From the new product announcement press release:
"The Exer-station utlizes Powergrid Fitness's International award winning ISOCORô technology. ISOCOR allows isometric muscle contractions to control computer and video games. Recent research has indicated that the system can increase metabolic rate five times resting levels and can burn 350 calories per hour."
The full-sized models start at $1,199.95 (though there's now a New Year's resolution sale on the Powergrid Fitness website on the Kilowatt Sport at $799.97). The Exer-station, priced at 199.99, makes this product accessible to a much broader market, and more appealing to those of us with severe space constraints.
Powergrid Fitness products are also available at select BestBuy and Canadian Tire stores.