Nike dared me to take the Nike+ Training Club challenge—to download the app and use it to work out for four weeks. I didn’t think twice. I said yes. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect. I had backslid so much in my fitness regimen—I had stopped my regular runs at the UP Oval (blame the creepy frogs), I wasn’t doing Pilates as often as I should have (blame me) and because of my crazy schedule, I was barely making it to the gym. It was the push I needed to get back on track.
The NTC app will create a plan for you by asking you what equipment you have available (none, the basics, or if you have access to a full gym), how many days a week you can work out, if you want to include runs, how many hours a week you’re currently working out and your height and weight.
My first workout was the Start Up Benchmark, a mix of jumping jacks, bodyweight squats, lateral lunges and modified push-ups which I am terrible at. Nike also asked that we add 30 inchworm to push-ups to our workout. I am horrible at that too, so horrible that mine should be called the pathetic dying worm instead.
The app will ask you to rate the intensity of your workout to help you keep track and also to help the app come up with better workouts for you.
On the first day, I had talked myself into starting my workout at 7 a.m. by thinking, “It’s okay, we can nap after.” But there was no napping. Post-workout, my heart was pounding, I was wide awake and raring to continue my day.
Day two was a recovery day and on day three, we had a group workout with NTC trainer Trish Ayson. When it comes to fitness, I am a lone wolf, but that day made me realize how much fun it could be to have workout buddies cheering you on.
I found myself sad that Day Four was a recovery day. I was excited to work out! I couldn’t believe it—who is this person? Had the real me been abducted by aliens?
But it wasn’t just a fluke. Over the coming days, I found myself getting more and more into working out, doing even more than my plan was dictating, scrolling through the many workouts available and choosing the ones that looked fun.
There were many things I loved about the NTC app. One: that it made it possible for me to work out anytime, anywhere, with or without equipment. Two: it made squeezing sessions into my schedule easy—fifteen minutes here, thirty minutes there. Three: It’s flexible. Days when I absolutely do not have time for exercise can be turned into recovery days and it was also easy to add any other activity I did (swimming, running) to my plan. Four: it wasn’t boring because the plan switched up the workouts (and there were always a lot more to choose from).
The four weeks of my challenge have long been over but I continue to use the app. My current favorite workouts are Run Ready Yoga (it’s seven minutes of awesomeness with Ellie Goulding and I can do it every day), Reach and Recharge with Nike Master Trainer Traci Copeland, Circuit Speed and Zero-to-100.
I’ve also done my fair share of spreading the gospel of NTC, getting my friends to try it too.
I still at suck at inchworms to push-ups though.
The Nike+ Training App is available for iPhone and Android.]