Manhattan gym charges $110 an hour for Nintendo Wii workouts

Posted Aug 7, 2008 by Chris V. Thangham
A Manhattan gym is charging their customers a surprising $110 per hour for a personal workout training session using the Nintendo Wii video game console.
Nintendo Wii Fit
Nintendo's Wii Fit lets you stand on a balance board and hold the Wiimote to do exercises as part of the video game. The game lets you do yoga, strength training and aerobics, and it also includes fun activities like snowboarding and puzzles.
Photo courtesy Nintendo
The Gravity Fitness at Le Parker Meridian Hotel in Manhattan is offering personal workout sessions with Nintendo Wii, but charge customers a whopping $110 per hour. The Wii is available for $249 at BestBuy, Circuit City and other stores.
Personal trainer Dorothy Evans is one of the trainers offering this workout. She claims the video-game system not only gets the heart pumping like the other gym products but also helps clients lose weight. (For more info on Wii Fit, check out's video review of the game).
She gives Wii sessions in a racquetball court with a 20-foot screen showing the game.
Mark Natale, Gravity's executive director told the New York Post:
It may sound crazy, but between treadmills and elliptical trainers, gym members already are accustomed to working out with machines while staring at TV screens…We think of this as just another tool at the gym."
Evans makes her clients put on real gloves to throw jabs, crosses and hooks. After a small interval, she makes them do cardio drills. In between the jabs and the drills, she makes them play with the game as part of the workout. She said Wii Fit can be used as a full body workout.
The gym's clients initially doubted the training regimen, but now stand by it. One client, Robyn Angrick, 29, who has two Wii workouts so far, told the NY Post:
"When you envision someone playing video games, you get a vision of some kid zoned out. Or you get the picture of that slacker in his mom's basement…I decided to give it a try to break up the monotony - I just felt like I was in a rut…But I was not really prepared - it kicked my ass."
A study by the American Council on Exercise has found playing Wii burns almost as many calories as real-life sports. Wii Boxing burns an average of 7.2 calories per minute compared to 10.2 calories per minute in an actual boxing session.
Wii Fit might help reduce calories, but paying $110 per hour is simply absurd in my opinion. In fact, you can buy the Wii Fit game and console for the amount one pays for three sessions at this Manhattan gym.
What do you think? Is the gym justified in charging $110 an hour for a Nintendo Wii Fit session?