Entertainment and exercise don’t always go together. Most people like to watch a little TV while they exercise. If you like to watch TV and you are looking for something to motivate your exercise while you watch, then you may be interested in The Entertrainer.
- Universal Remote
- Control the channel and volume of your TV
- Adjusts volume and power based on your heart rate.
I am personally not a big exercising guy. I am 5’11” and I weigh about 150 lbs. so exercising is not exactly needed. When I first heard about The Entertrainer I was intrigued. How could a device that controls the volume and power of your TV motivate someone to exercise? It would take some discipline, but it really could help if you stuck to it.
The point of The Entertrainer is to keep you off the couch while you are watching TV. If you are not on the couch then you are probably not eating and you are getting some kind of movement and exercise. The Entertrainer will automatically determine what a good heart rate is for your age and sex, and then adjust the volume down if you are not working hard enough and up if you are working too hard. If you stop working all together then The Entertrainer will turn your TV off.
The Entertrainer has its own channel and volume buttons so at anytime you can change the channel and volume. If ‘you change the volume, then The Entertrainer will expect you to work more or less, depending on which way you adjusted the volume.
The Entertrainer has 12, five-sided faces. I believe the name of this shape is a dodecahedron. On one of the faces, we will call it the front, there is a small LCD screen, 4 arrow buttons and a small red LED light. When you first turn on the device these buttons are used to select your age and sex. When The Entertrainer is operating, then these buttons are used to raise and lower the volume and the channel. On the bottom of The Entertrainer is an on/off switch and a reset button. I suppose that this is used to erase all the settings that you may have previously entered. On top is a small loop that you can use to attach to a workout machine like a treadmill or exercise bike. Velcro straps are provided so that you can put it through the loop and around the object you want to attach it to.
The heart monitor is really simple. It is a band that goes around your chest right across your heart. This one is hard to get wrong. You will know it is on correctly if when you turn on The Entertrainer you see a small red LED flashing. This LED represents your heart beat.
Testing The Entertrainer is fairly straight forward. Calibrating the device is the hardest part. When you first turn on The Entertrainer it asks you to agree to a user license. The license is in the documentation that comes with the device and pretty much says that they are not responsible if you hurt yourself while using The Entertrainer. They make you agree to the license every time you turn on the device. After agreeing to the license you need to press a certain button to get the TV setup. This setup will walk you through some steps so that The Entertrainer can control your TV. Luckily this only has to be done once, but if you mess up it can easily be repeated by turning it off and on again, and then pressing the button.
After setting up the TV, the device will return to the start screen. If you press the GO button it will start the user setup. The first thing it does is ask your age, then sex. The next question is about what type of workout you want; your choices are Fat Burn, Cardio or Aerobic. The next question is how long you want to workout, the choices here are 30 and 60 minutes. Finally the last question is the target heart rate. The default heart rate is calculated based on the previous questions, but if your doctor has recommended a different number you can enter it here.
The next step is to start the workout. Each workout has a 5 minute warm up and a 5 minute cool down period. You should use the warm-up period to get your heart rate up to the target and set your channel and volume. Once the 5 minutes is up The Entertrainer takes control of your TV. If your heart rate is too low then your volume goes down; the screen says “Under Zone” and displays your current heart rate. While you are “Under Zone” you cannot change the volume manually. If your heart rate stays low for a long time the TV will turn off. If your heart rate is too high, then it raises the volume, displays “Over Zone” and displays your current heart rate. While you are “Over Zone” you can lower the volume manually. This is done so that you know how much to increase or decrease your heart rate.
At all times you need to stay within 5 feet of The Entertrainer or else it will not be able to detect your heart rate. The Entertrainer can be further than 5 feet away from the TV, it has the range of a normal remote which is about 20 – 30 feet.
I mentioned before that using this device takes dedication. It is really easy to cheat the device and therefore cheat yourself out of a good workout. Some of the ways I found that you can cheat is to either use your standard remote to override The Entertrainers control, or to raise your heart rate by breathing faster than necessary. The later suggestion will eventually cause light headedness and you could potentially pass out so I don’t recommend you do it. In fact, I don’t recommend that using any method to cheat. If you do cheat you will not get the full benefit from the device.
Warranty and Support
The Entertrainer comes with a fairly pitiful 90 day limited warranty. With a device like this where there are no moving parts, the company should offer a lifetime warranty. They can then exclude things like normal wear and tear and damage from abuse.
This is a great little device for those that need a little more incentive to workout. It really can be put to good use if you use it properly. It has a retail price of $99 which is fairly cheap compared to all the other workout equipment that you probably already have. I can highly recommend this to anyone who needs help getting off the couch and working out.
|JusTech'n editors' rating|