We Tried It: Jillian Michaels' Fitness Ultimatum 2009

By , SparkPeople Blogger
When I heard a few months ago that Jillian Michaels was teaming up with video game developers to create a Wii Fit game, I was excited. Many of our loyal readers are fans of TV's tough trainer, so I pre-ordered her Fitness Ultimatum 2009 ($39.99) weeks before it was available in stores. A few dailySpark staffers got a chance to try it out last week, both here at the office and at home. Want to hear what we thought about it?

Let me preface this by saying that I think the Wii Fit is a great thing. It's fun and it gets kids and adults moving. Active video games that involve moving around instead of parking it on the couch are great alternatives to the video games of my childhood. All types of activity offer a benefit that sitting does not. We have a Wii Fit here at the office, and while I think it's fun to play, especially in a group, I don't think it's as much of a fitness tool as it is a fun game. That's why I was eager for this new game—I was hoping it'd be more of a serious workout than the standard Wii Fit games.

But if you were thinking that Jillian Michaels' Fitness Ultimatum 2009 is going to help you lose weight, tone up, or reach your fitness goals, you'd be mistaken. Overall, I'm pretty disappointed with this game. With a name like "Fitness Ultimatum", I expect some serious workouts. But unfortunately, this game doesn't deliver. The games and formats aren't that much different from regular Wii Fit sports games. Even the Running doesn't even require you to move your legs (or feet). The tasks involved throughout this game seem cool in theory—Rowing, Monkey Bars and Tire Trail—but in reality, they have some serious technical issues that make them difficult, and even boring, to do.

Here's what two other testers had to say. Both are parents and were able to play the game with their kids.

"Overall, I was frustrated with the logistics of the game. Trying to move the remotes in a way that coordinated with the routine was overcomplicated for a video game. This wasn't a good workout. It was time-consuming to have to pay attention to the remotes instead of fully engaging in the activity at hand. I didn't think it was fun, but my daughters enjoyed the Running part of it. They also enjoyed the Rowing piece. I was not impressed with the game."

"It was very enjoyable to play as a family! It definitely got our heart rates up, but there were a few technical hiccups that slowed the game down for us a bit. The kids really enjoyed it—especially the various workouts that they could do as multiple players! I could definitely see that this would be a game/workout that we would do as a family on the weekends (in addition to our regular workouts and not a substitute for them)."

You can see more consumer reviews here. (I've learned from experience that the consumer reviews on amazon.com usually save me from wasting time and money on products that don't meet my expectations.)

Fitness Ultimatum 2009 won't be on my wish list this year. But if you or your family members are fans of the Wii Fit games in general, this can be a fun one to try—just don't expect it to take the place of your regular fitness routine.

Is the Wii Fit part of your fitness routine? Do you think it provides a good workout, or just a good time?

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I agree it is really boring and doesn't read your body movements well..Give me something with some real action to it :) This was really boring! Report
I have many Jillian's workout videos and must credit her programs for getting me started on my exercise/weight loss road. I did pre-order this one but have not opened it as of yet. Now I love playing tennis on the Wii it motivates me to get out on the court and get at the real thing. Report
I stood at the local Target ( game, fitness lane) for almost 30 min, trying to figure out if I should buy and decided against. Thank goodness I didn't purchase, because all the comments are the same debates I was having with myself. Thanks for the knowledge sparkers!! Report
I agree with the rest. It is a boring and disappointing game. The EA Active is much better. Her DVD's are much better. Too much stop and start and no real game play to make this worthwhile. Report
I love and have most of Jillians videos. I couldn't wait to get her new one for Wii. After reading the comments I won't get it. Report
I bought this game for my mother when it first came out. We were so disappointed. I can't believe that Jillian put her name on this game. It is horrible. Report
I felt robbed of my hard earned cash after buying this game. It feels like a 5 minute rush job that is unresponsive, dull to look at and offers no real workout. I bought EA Sports Active not long after this and that is far superior in everyway. Report
i am having a wii and wii fit delivered next wednesday iv never had a go of one before but look forward to buying 'the biggest loser' game....
will let you know what i think x Report
I have Wii Fit, Wii Fit Plus and Wii Active. I really enjoy playing all of them but I don't consider them my workout for the day. They are like a bonus of fun and movement for the day. I tried the Jillian Michaels game and was really disappointed. I would do the activity and try to move how the instruction said to move, but nothing happened on the screen. It was very frustrating. I don't use it anymore. Report
I have the Wii, Wii Fit and Wii Active and just purchased The Biggest Loser Game, it's great, the movements are easily read, not hard to keep up with and a true work out, it has both trainers and you can pick which one you want, you can use the balance board or not...Fun Game. Don't have Jillian's game so I can't compare but from the comments I'm glad I waited for the Biggest Loser Game...It's good..it's had workouts, recipes, tips and tracking tools. I only use it for the work out and just got it 2 days ago but it was worth the money! Report
Wii fit is amazing! So fun. I make it harder by using weights. I also enjoy Wii Active. I want to try the Biggest Loser game. The Jillian Michaels game however is HORRIBLE. I cannot believe I bought this game before reading reviews-the graphics suck and do not pick up movements. I was disappointed because I love JM-but I am starting to think she is in it only for the money-especially because she has those new "weightloss" pills out. Not cool. Report
I have the Wii Fit with the balance board, Wii Active, Personal Trainer and the Jillian Michaels fitness ultimatum. Getting the wii fit was a starter for me to get my butt off the couch and move to play games. I used to be a huge ddr fan on playstation and have lost weight from it, then i just stopped playing. When i first got the Jillian game i thought it was going to be so awesome, and i was dead wrong! It was boring, not a workout and seriously i felt like i got duped and wanted my money back!! Overall, Jillian has been disappointing me with her endorsing her weightloss products and this workout game that you don't even get a workout from. If you love Jillian just stick to her dvd workouts because they will make you sweat. If you want to invest in a wii workout game go get the wii active! That game/workout is amazing and you will get a workout and you will feel motivated to move off from the couch!! Report
I wish I had read this article and reviews before purchasing the DVD, I love The Biggest Loser and Jillian on the show. I don't know why I thought I was getting something more like that. I was very diasappointed in the DVD. Plus I thought the directions were a little complicated. I love my Wii and Wii Fit though. Report
I was excited to get my copy of the JM Fitness Ultimatum and was sorely disappointed with it. The instructions don't really follow the game and I had to figure some stuff out on my own. I did, however, really enjoy the rowing portion!! I am bummed I paid full price for it. All that being said, I LOVE MY WII for supporting my fitness goals, and am on my second 30 day challenge (intense) on my latest purchase - Wii EA Active. Report
Thank you for the review, I am planning on purchasing a wii w/wii fit this week with my birthday money and am looking for games as well. Based on your review I will not be purchasing this one. Report
I think its all in how you do it. I love jillians game. even though she is not in the room with me she is kicking my butt. plus my kids use it and we have a great time. I do agree that is it easier for some not to use the board. Report
I was very disapointed with the game myself. I also got it for x-mas along with wii fit. Really the game is very difficult especially when I had to throw the hand granades, doing monkey bars, and the tires. It's like I could'nt even do it. I don't know maybe its me but I know that I did not like the game at all! And I would not suggest this game for anyone. Report
I love the Wii Fit and do use that for much of my workout routine -- contrary to some views, I believe you can get a good workout; it all depends on how much you put into it of course. I also am a fan of Jillian and so had high hopes for this 'game'. I pre-ordered & am now stuck with it. Very glad I got it on a good sale as it was very disappointing. I think I've now learned to wait for the reviews of others so that I have a bit more to base the buying decision on. I expected more from something with Jillian's name on it. :-( Report
For any of you that already have this game.. I suggest using it WITHOUT the WiiFit balance board. And with two remotes if you have them as you don't have the cord hanging between your hands to limit your movement. It is a much better workout without the balance board. You actually have to run in place & you start sweating & get tired out! The other activities respond to your movements better without the balance board as well! Give it a try... you might decide the game is alright. I know I was frustrated with it & didn't like it... until I decided to see what it did without the balance board! Good luck all!

Oh, and I'll agree with everyone about the My Fitness Coach... thats a great workout! Report
Thank you all, I have been considering renting the JM workout, but NOW I'll go for the My Fitness Coach instead. I love my Wii Fit, its great and entertaining while doing something I hate to do.....workout! haha I love reading everyone's reviews, it really helps and its great to find such supportive people who enjoy sharing with others. Thanks! Report
I love my Wii fit. Bought this game with some of my left over Christmas money. What a waste! I didn't even enjoy trying to compete with the kids on this game. Don't bother getting this game if you have a Wii. Report
Great article, great comments-- it's all very informative! Report
I don't want it and it sounds like a good idea. Last May I went and spent 19.99 for her 5 dvd's and 1 month plan for her web site. The dvd's were great her web site horrible. She did not have good menus or tools for making sure you can loose weight. I cancelled the web site after 4 days. Report
I looked into this game, but all the reviews say it is a let-down. Instead I opted for My Fitness Coach, and I LOVE it. You choose your fitness level, and Maya, the "coach", asks you periodically how you are doing; after you answer, the routine is adjusted as necessary. You can choose what kind of music you want to listen to, as well as the "setting" you are exercising in. I just LOVE it! If you want an exercise Wii game, and don`t want to spend too much money, get My Fitness Coach!!! Report
I have heard all kinds of bad things about this game. I have My Fitness Coach for Wii and I love it. It's a great workout and I work up as much as sweat with this game as I do in a Zumba class. Report
That's why I will never count on a video game to help me exercise. I need near max exercise to get high. LOL Report
I love the Wii fit, and almost all of the Fit games, but I didn't care for Jillian's Fitness Ultimatum 2009. I have only tried it once, I might try it again to see if it gets any better. I wish I had read some of the reviews before opening it up though. I am thinking of trying to take it back if possible. It really didn't feel like an exercise, more of a waste of time. I would have thought it would have been much better since Jillian put her name on it. Oh well.. I really want to try My Fitness Couch. From what I have seen it has received good reviews.
Thanks for the reviews and comments. I am still on board to get the Wii Fit as an addition to our Wii but will be avoiding the JM game for it that I had been considering. Report
One more thing... I do have the Wii Fit and it use it in addition to My Fitness Coach. Report
I too had wanted this for Christmas, but I had read a review saying that Ulitmate Fitness did not deliver. I told my husband to nix that idea but I wanted the My Fitness Coach, which I love. You don't need the Wii Fit board for this either.

Basically it's like following a workout DVD but you have the ability to go thru a fitness test. The trainer then decides which workout type would benefit you and you can alway override it. I've been using consistently now since Christmas and I'm not disappointed at all.

I bought the Jillian Michaels right after x-mas because i REALLY wanted it. I kept my receipt but it did me no good because the store i bought it from (EB games) didn't want to give me a refund and wanted only to give me 10$ i paid 50$ I am very upset with this game. I run and the character doesn't move, i don't move and then the character moves.
If i would have read the reviews i would have never bought it. I LOVE my wii fit, even my 3 1/2 yrd old loves it. I am looking into " my fitness coach" game. does anyone know if its better then the Jilian game?
I'm very disapointed :o( Report
Does it come with a MUTE BUTTON so I don't have to listen to her? Report
I got it but have not used it. I will return it. I love the 'My Fitness Coach' for wii. I think that over time this workout DVD will really pay off.

Q Report
I am 57 and have a wii fit. I wouldn't want to do without it! Report
I have to strongly stongly dissagree with your statement about wii fit. It has been one of the best wieght loss tools that I have. For us normal people who cant afford a personal trainer of a gym membership this is perfect. If you do the exercises the way they are intended it definatly helps you tone up. It is a great tool that gives you ideas. I love the boxing and the hoola hoop. I think your negative take on the wii fit is a bit to much. No its not for the olympics trainer but for ppl who want to lose some weight and tone up while having fun at the same time. I find it a bit offensive that you cast it off to the side as pretty much usless, especially since I have used it everyday for the past 6 months since I have given birth to my daughter. Not only have I lost all the baby weight quickly but I had fun doing it. Report
I have the Wiifit and I love it. I work out 30 minutes per day.I am 66 yrs old and I had gastric bypass done Sept 22nd and without my Wii it I would not be doing well. It is all that you make it to be. You calculate how much you move around and use the muscles to do a vigorous work out. I also use the Wii sport a lot.
I love my Wii
Sandy Report
what happen Report
Unfortunately I bought Jillian Michaels before reading this. I have lost the receipt and now I cannot return it. Highly dissappointed with the motion sensors. Now I am stuck with something I have no interest in. I will continue with my Wii fit. Report
I love my wii fit and use it as my exercise program for at least one day a week. However...i record calories as follows: balance = standiing light activity; aerobics = low impact. I do not record strength or yoga calories. I also record the jogging as running in place.

I bought (and returned) Ultimatum 2009. How relieved I am to discover that I am not the only one who thought it was a total waste of time and money! I never broke a sweat or even had my heart rate go up a little. Don't even bother, imho. Report
I have the Wii Fit, I use it when the weather is bad. I prefer to do my walking but will do the Wii Fit as a backup. Depending on what I am doing and how much I put into the exercise it satisfies me. I object to you referring to it as a game. It is not. Report
There is a difference between the Wii and the Wii Fit. I don't think anyone here is claiming all Wii games are a work out. Yes they get you moving but no it's not a work out. But to say the Wii FIT is not a work out?? I have used the Wii fit for a month and a half as my SOLE work out. I have lost over 2 inches and 19 pounds. The boxing is what I do the most and clearly it's working. It is much different than the boxing that comes in the Wii Sports package. So for those of you wanting the Wii Fit don't get discouraged. Buy it, I (as well as many others) are living proof it works. :) Report
I was so excited to see Jillian Michaels Ultimatum and pre-ordered it. However, after trying it, I could not get it to work. I am just so disappointed with it. If you have not bought it and are considering it, see if someone else has it and try it before you buy it. I do have the wii Fit and i enjoy it. Report
So glad I saw this. I was looking at some Jillian Michaels DVD workouts when I saw this and was seriously considering it... think I'll just stick to the DVDs!! Report
I have played the Wii Fit and it was fun but I can't say that it made me any more "fit". I would like to try this new game... as a rental not a purchase. Report
I recently received the wii and wii fit as a christmas gift from my husband. I absolutely love it! The workouts give me a surprisingly good workout. Granted they don't compare to going on a treadmill for 30 minutes, but it is a good supplemental workout. Report
I love the Wii fit, if nothing else, I get on and weigh myself every morning it's a great motivater to start the day. I love that I can jump on in the morning and do 20 or 30 minutes before I run out the door at 7 and 30 to 40 more before I go to bed.
I love the fact that I can do it at home and do it with my family, I do wish more cardio was avail. but it is good for me, it is entertaining enough to keep me coming back and I can't eat while I do it, so it's helped the late night snacking Report
I loved the Jillian Ulitmate. I work out on it daily. I agree it was hard to figure out at first, but once I got the hang of it, it is good now. I love anything that I can do on my Wi fit board. Report
I have only tried my parents WII and it was fun to do. The boxing is great and gets people up and moving. Although, I don't think it is a workout at all. I see it as a game. Yes, better then sitting down with a controler but not a workout. Report
I definitely think Wii games are a good addition to my cardio, but they do not provide enough of a workout to stand alone. I still do my regular cardio but the Wii fit and DDR get my hr into the low range of aerobic activity which is very beneficial to overall health. Still love my Wii I won't be trying this particular game. Report
Ok, so here is where I beg to differ. If you are someone who works with a personal trainer or can afford to do classes at a gym and has a rigorous workout schedule. No the wii fit is not necessarily for you. HOWEVER, if you are someone like me, who is busy, works full time has to kids needs to lose weight. Then there ya go. It is much cheaper than a gym membership and honestly it works with my schedule and gives me no exuse not to do it. It doesn't matter if the weather is bad. I can mix up my workout as much as I want. Some days I hit the aerobics hard. Other days it is Yoga and strength. Depends on the day and my mood.

I must add though, whoever says that the wii fit is not a workout, has NOT I repeat NOT done the Free step aerobics. They have also not done the advanced boxing. My daughter is very fit and she was soaked after doing those. It is what you put into it. If you just go through the moves, then you are right it won't help. But, if you really try, it will.

I also bought the Jillian Michaels program. I honestly think it is pretty good. Again, if you already don't see the wii fit as a workout portal then you aren't going to see the associated games as being beneficial. I personally think if you are trying to lose weight and you have a wii, go to your local game stop every week or so see if they have a used one. You get like 10 or 15 bucks off. I got mine that way. It is worth the discount. So for christmas, tell people to get you game stop gift certificates so you can get a wii fit. Tell them you want a wii fit. Try it out. If you know someone who has one, then try it out at their place. It is fun and if you aren't not really active and working out daily and all that, you will see it does help. Week 1 I lose over 4 lbs. I have steadily lost. I haven't posted it here, I am waiting for a certain weight loss. But that is my thing.....I am telling you if you want a way to work out that looks you in the face and says STEP ON ME this is a cool game. Although I can appreciate that they are comparing the wii fit and the Jillian michaels game to a gym workout they are losing the idea that it keeps you exercising and if you do it at least 30 minutes a day you will see an increase in your abilities and a decrease in your weight. It is all in what you put into it and where you are physically. Report
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