Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Nike Training Club App Review: A Butt-Kicking Virtual Trainer

Nike Training Club, Nike Training Club App, Nike Training App


The Nike Training Club App is the nuts. It's a booty kick and personal trainer all rolled into one downloadable package of workout brilliance.

A hair dresser introduced me to it when she told me she simply exercised at home. She had a phenomenal figure and was around 40. I took her advice and downloaded the app with extremely low expectations. 

It blew me away, literally and figuratively.

Nike Training Club, Nike Training Club App, Nike Training Club App Review

The app offers four different goals:
  • Get Lean/High Interval Cardio Drills to Slim Down
  • Get Toned/Light Weights and Intervals to Add Definition
  • Get Strong/Increased Weights and Reps to Build Strength
  • Get Focused/15-Minute Workouts to Target Specific Areas

How It Works
Once you select one of the first three workout goals you are then prompted to determine if you are a Beginner (4-5 workouts a month), Intermediate (2-3 workouts a week) or Advanced (3-5+ workouts a week) exerciser.  The Get Focused category simply offers mini workouts, targeted for specific body parts.

Once you select your level, you have seven workouts to choose from ranging from 30-45 minutes.  The workouts have you performing a variety of toning and aerobic exercises ranging from 30-seconds to two minutes in length, in succession. 

My First Nike Training Club Workout
My first foray in the Nike Training Club universe was with the 30-minute advanced Heartthrob workout from the Get Lean program that offered cardio and full-body toning. I workout at least five days a week. I was sure I could handle this. Hardly. For the first time in my life, I almost threw up while working out. It was such a challenge. I loved it.

Nike Training Club, Nike Training Club App, Nike Training Club App Review


Here's A Sample Of The Heartthrob workout:
  • 1 minute light jog
  • 1 minute high knee runs
  • 1 minute recovery
  • 1 minute alternating ball pushups
  • 2 minutes of squat jumps
  • 2 minutes ski jump to cross back lunge 
The workout is nice because there is a virtual trainer (pre-recorded voice) telling you what your focus in a particular exercise should be. It obviously cannot provide the custom feedback and form correction a live person can but the recorded tracks are good reminders.

You can also integrate your music from your iPad playlist to play during the workout to motivate you.

The Targeted Mini-Workouts
As for the mini-workouts, I have done the Ab Burner, Butt Buster and Sculpted Arms.  These were all great weight workout options to complement a cardio session. Sculpted Arms had me doing lunges along with biceps curls or squats with shoulder raises so I felt I got some leg work as well.  Butt Buster featured the hardest exercise I've ever done for my hips: a modified side plank leg lift for 30 seconds on each leg. Absolutely killed me.

What I Like
Besides a challenging workout, the app offers video demonstrations of each exercise. I would strongly suggest taking the time to watch the demonstration. Some of these are very tough moves. Make sure you know exactly what you are doing before you start the workout. I had to pause the workout when I did my first Butt Buster prior to almost every exercise to ensure I was doing the right thing. Take the time to be safe and knowledgeable about your workout.

Nike Training Club, Nike Training Club App, Nike Training Club App Review


The app records your workouts so you will have a record of them. You can even create your own custom exercise program.

What I Don't Like
My one critique is that there is not a buffer period to move from one exercise to the next. If the program offered a 10-second "drop it and pop to the next move" buffer zone where you set down your equipment and gear up for the next exercise, that would be help.

The Takeaway
This is an outstanding option when you can't get to a gym or want a personal training/group exercise session on your own time. Even if you don't have exercise equipment, you can do the workout in your living room, bedroom or outside on a nice day with a mat. Simply use soup cans as weights. Trust me, you won't need much more than five pounds to begin.

I've also used this at my gym, in between classes in the group exercise room.  I've simply grabbed my weights in advance, ranging from 3-15 pounds, secured a mat and towel and tapped play on my iPad.

Nike Training Club, Nike Training Club App, Nike Training Club App Review


The app offers rewards, as well as bonus workout from the likes of basketball players Skylar Diggins and other athletes. The virtual rewards and celebrity routines don't do much for me but the outstanding exercise session is something that will keep me coming back. 

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