I’ve been playing with the Your Shape featuring Jenny McCarthy game on my Wii for about a week now. I’ve been doing it on days when I’m not doing the cardio boot camp from hell on the treadmill.

I’ve got mixed feelings about the game. You start by picking a workout. You highlight the area on the body that you want to work and then pick either a tone, burn, or strengthen workout for that area. Sometimes the workout that comes up doesn’t seem to correspond to anything though. I think they may get more specific as you work out for longer times. I had been doing mostly 15 minute workouts and today I did a 30. I think it does about 10 minutes of cardio warmup no matter how long your workout is. So that only leaves a bit of time to do focused strength moves if you’ve chosen a 15 minute workout. I did a 15 minute chest strength routine and told it I had a balance ball available. I expected flyes on the ball and that kind of thing. There was none of it. There were a few pushups but that was the only kind of chest building move I got.

Today I did a 30 minute glutes toning workout. After the warmup it went into a yoga-based routine. I liked that because I like yoga but if I didn’t have that background I’d have been lost. You have to stop the workout to have things explained. They also make up their own names for some common moves which was a bit odd. The yoga purist in me comes out to complain that there were no explanations of breath or any yogic principals either. I was planning on saying that it didn’t seem like a hard workout but as I’m sitting here typing my butt is starting to really hurt! I like workouts that sneak up on you like that.

The lure of this game for me was the camera that broadcasts and critiques your moves. I’ve decided now that the best way to use the game is to ignore the critiques. There are some moves that I know I’m doing correctly since I can see myself moving in sync with the trainer and it is telling me that I’m doing it all wrong. My TV is in a room that is painted a very dark red and I think that’s a problem for the camera. Sometimes it will tell me I’m doing it wrong and then without my changing anything it will tell me I’m doing it perfectly. As a competitive person I’d like to have my score go up to say that I’m doing well but I’m letting it go and focusing on what I see.

I like the fact that you can see and correct your moves. It was really nice in the yoga moves for me to be able to tweak my posture. But, again, I wouldn’t have known that I needed those tweaks without my yoga experience. Also I would be holding poses as directed and would suddenly be told to “Get Moving!” So the interface is far from perfect.

That said, having the camera sitting on the top of my TV staring at me is strangely motivating. I like the fact that it counts down the time you have left. I like(?) the fact that it is like exercise in front of a mirror. You see every jiggle and ripple and think, “Oh my god, I really look like that? Let’s add a second workout today.”