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UFC Personal Trainer Interview / Q&A

Around a week ago I was able to get a hold of the guys over at THQ for an interview for UFC’s and THQ’s joint venture into the MMA/fitness world, UFC Personal Trainer. This interview was done with questions from myself, Scott diMonda (our Editor-in-Chief) and Troy Sheets, UFC Personal Trainer Designer. We hope you enjoy the interview and if you do, do us a favor and pass it along to your friends.

Q: How does UFC Personal Trainer compare to all of the other fitness games out there?

With programs and routines developed by the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and presented by three renowned mixed martial arts (MMA) trainers who work with many of UFC’s most elite fighters, UFC Personal Trainer is positioned as an intense workout experience that enables users to set personal goals and achieve real results. We believe this combined value proposition is something to which other programs cannot compare.

Q: Will multiple profiles be allowed? (Families)

Yes! Players will be able to sign in to multiple profiles to compete in Multiplayer activities, and their scores will be tracked and applied to their own Player Tracker.

Q: How will UFC Personal Trainer be targeted towards women? Or why would a woman choose this training game when their are so many others that are targeted towards them?

UFC Personal Trainer is targeted at both women and men, and all of our exercises and routines adapt to the individual fitness level of the participant. Video segments included in the product show demonstrations of various exercises performed by UFC fighters such as Jon Fitch and Rashad Evans, as well as by UFC personality and former Octagon Girl Rachelle Leah. Our approach, as guided by NASM, is that getting a fit and healthy body is for everyone – not just men.

Q: What type of online modes will there be if any?

Players will have the ability to issue Challenges to their friends online in various Activities, and the friends will then have an opportunity to beat their scores. There will also be Leaderboards so players can see how they stack up against everyone else using the product.

Q: Will we be able to track our progress online? If so, in what ways and will your progress be socially connected?

UFC Personal Trainer includes a player tracker for tracking individual progress offline, while the Leaderboards will track progress online. As for the social aspect of the game, we have included the ability for players to post their achievements to Facebook and Twitter.

Q: Is UFC Personal Trainer being marketed just for the UFC fans?

While UFC fans are an important target for us, we are looking to reach anyone who wants to get a great workout using their videogame console. The UFC provides a great backdrop with some of the world’s best conditioned fighters and their world-class MMA trainers. These elements, combined with participation from NASM, and we are delivering a complete fitness system.

Q: How many coaches will be in the game and will each coach be focused on a certain aspect of fitness?

UFC Personal Trainer features three different MMA trainers. Mark DellaGrotte guides users through Muay Thai workouts that focus on improving Agility and Coordination. Greg Jackson will give give users more wrestling-based workouts that focus on Explosive Strength Building. Our third trainer is Javier Mendez, who is going to walk users through kickboxing workouts that improve Power and Endurance. On top of each trainer’s specific exercises, we have around 40 NASM-approved traditional exercises that will ensure players are getting a complete full body workout.

Q: In UFC Personal Trainer, how does it incorporate MMA into the game.

MMA is one of the fastest growing sports in the world, and the athletes that compete in MMA are among the best conditioned out there. We asked our trainers to bring the same MMA-based workouts they use to train their fighters to our product. Once we saw the intensity of some of these workouts, we knew we were bringing something new to the interactive fitness genre and that our users would get results.

Q: Would you say that someone could learn some MMA moves while playing? which types?

UFC Personal Trainer is not a training tool for actual fighting preparation or competition, and we do not encourage anyone to use the product in this capacity. When users are engaging with the product, they are repetitively performing striking and wrestling techniques in the same way a UFC fighter does when preparing for a fight. One of the really cool aspects of the product is that users can do these techniques over and over until they start to feel pretty comfortable with them. After that, the prospect of going to a real MMA gym/camp might become less intimidating!

Q: Any ground and pound type of actions?

Greg Jackson has brought a couple different Ground and Pound exercises to the product that we think players will have a fun time trying out. First, there is the traditional Ground and Pound from a floor position, and there is also an Overhead Pounders exercise, where the user is performing a Ground and Pound action from a standing position.

Q: Not being a fanboy as I love all my consoles but would the Kinect be the best workout using UFC Personal Trainer or is strictly preference? How does it compare to the PlayStation Move gameplay?

UFC Personal Trainer provides a similar experience on all platforms in development, the only major difference being controls. That being said, playing the game on Kinect for Xbox 360 offers players a unique fitness experience in that no controllers are involved. This allows the players to focus on achieving proper form in each exercise without having to worry about their gestures being properly detected. It’s similar to watching a fitness DVD while receiving real-time feedback on performance.

Q: Which is your preference and why?

We put in equal time on all the consoles during the development process, so it’s really hard to pick out a favorite.

Q: Even though the game has yet to be released when can we expect DLC?

For now, the Kinect version of the UFC Personal Trainer gets the most content with exclusive fighters and additional premade routines. There has been talk of releasing DLC content for UFC Personal Trainer after we launch, but we haven’t locked down specifics just yet.

Q: If DLC is slated what will it entail?

More routines, more video content.

Q: So how long after using the UFC Personal Trainer will I be able to step into the Octagon for my first fight?

As mentioned earlier, UFC Personal Trainer is not intended to be used as a training tool for actual fighting or competition purposes. This product is about getting healthy and fit while learning about the exercise techniques of some of the world’s best athletes competing in UFC. Training to step into the Octagon is an entirely different world, but with UFC Personal Trainer, one might just be inspired to try!

Well there you have it folks, I hope that helps answer some of your questions about UFC Personal Trainer. We will be sure to pass along more information as we get it. You can expect it later on this month (according to Amazon.com) for all 3 consoles. And before I end this, I want to thank Troy Sheets for doing this interview for us and Marcus Stephenson for setting this up.

For those of you that want to buy the game, why don’t you pre-order right now (UFC Personal Trainer) from Amazon. Doing so will help us keep the lights on. Thanks everyone.

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