Training-based sports titles are becoming more and more prevalent in this generation of consoles. The Nintendo Wii made such things easy to start with, and then upped the ante with the balance board. Now, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 feature the Kinect and the Move respectively which puts them in the game as well. Some studies have shown that training/exercise titles (this one specifically looks at Wii Fit) aren't as good for you as going to the gym, but they still seem to be better than nothing and developers keep making them.
EA Sports currently helps lead the training title charge with their multitude of EA Sports Active titles. Newly released are the cross-platform EA Sports Active 2 and the Wii exclusive EA Sports Active NFL Training Camp. We are going to concern ourselves here solely with the NFL themed title.
The NFL Training Camp package comes with a heart rate monitor, resistance band, and wireless motion tracking straps for one arm and one leg (the heart rate monitor is a part of the arm tracker). Although at first blush the straps, bands, and settings seem a tad confusing, the game features a helpful video to get you organized and ready to go for your training sessions. Well, the video isn't helpful if you don't know how to attach the resistance band to the handles for the band – you won't find that information anywhere (it's okay, you just knot the strap to the handles). We did encounter a problem with the arm strap not syncing correctly to the system, but following a few on screen prompts got us sorted out.
Once you're all strapped in and ready to go, Training Camp asks you a few questions about yourself and links you to your EA account (or helps you establish an account if you don't have one yet). Although EA often goes ridiculously over the top requesting you to connect to their website all the time with every title they release, with Training Camp it does make some sense – every time you complete a workout, Training Camp uploads the data from that workout to the site and provides you with more in-depth reports than can be found in-game.
As for the exercises themselves, they are, as you would expect, all NFL based and there are several different ways to go about organizing a workout/workout schedule. There is a custom workout where you decide on the exercises; there is a game generated workout based on the intensity level, time, and focus you want; there are also preset workouts; and the 60 Day Challenge.