At the risk of sounding odd, I actually enjoy exercise. No, really. But what I don't enjoy is the overwhelming smell of sweat, the oogling stares of creepy guys, and the loud telephone conversations that accompany every trip to the gym. Thankfully I discovered the Nike Training Club app. This amazing app, which is designed for women (but men can totally do it too), offers over 100 instructor-narrated exercise routines created by professionals at Nike. But the coolest part is there are also routines narrated and created by professional athletes and celebrities like Ellie Goulding, Gabby Douglas, and Jessie J. And the best part is I can do all of the exercises for free from the comfort of my own home!
Nike Training Club 411
It's super easy to get started, even for a technophobe like me. In fact, you literally click "Get Started" to create a Nike account after you download the app.
If you don't like to type a lot just use the "log in with Facebook" option. After you create a password and add your profile information you’re ready to get exercising!
Let's get physical
The Nike Training Club app has a wide variety of workouts to choose from whether you are in the mood for yoga, pilates, strength training or HIIT (think Tabata). But who am I kidding–when am I ever in the mood for HIIT? Each workout varies between 5 and 45 minutes long. So what exactly do I mean when I say that the Nike Training Club app offers instructor-narrated routines? Once you start a routine the instructor will tell you what exercise to do. If you aren't sure how to do the exercise you can click the play button on the screen to watch a short video demonstration of the moves. A timer counts down and lets you know when it's time to start a new exercise.
You can also create your very own customizable 4-week program using the app. Just go to the "Programs" tab and click on "Create Program." From there you can choose whether you want to focus on getting lean, getting toned, or getting strong.
You can choose your level once you select your program (beginner, intermediate or advanced). After you pick your level you can review and customize the exercises before you finalize the program. For instance, my knees can't always handle squat jumps. Lucky for me, the Nike Training Club app offers "squat holds" as a modification.
Another neat thing about the Nike Training Club app is that it rewards you for completing exercise routines. For example, I got a pretty badge when I clocked 60 minutes of exercise. You also get fancy image rewards at the end of each workout that can be saved to your phone. You can also share the images on social networking sites like Facebook. My friends and family love to root me on when they see that I've crushed a workout.
This fun app also has a "Sport Feed" tab where you can find posts from your friends, Nike Training Club news, and fitness challenges.
I also love the "Workout of the Week" feature which is the workout that first appears when you open the app. As the name implies, these workouts change each week. I find it really fun (and motivating!) to challenge myself to conquer each of the featured workouts every week.
Another cool thing to keep in mind: You can play the app on a streaming device like Chromecast. My Chromecast plays the exercise demonstration in a loop on my television screen—which is awesome because I can do the exercise along with the instructor. Plus it also shows the countdown clock and which exercise is coming up next on the screen. Which is really nice so I can mentally prepare myself!