Most of my friends know me as a crazy person who loves to work out. My personal motto is “Pay to Play” and because I love to eat and drink, I take it very seriously. I can be very excessive with those hobbies, so if I’m going to enjoy good food and lots of drinks, I’m going to make sure I don’t feel guilty afterwards. Luckily, I’m obsessed with my gym. I treat it like a spa, and spend at least an hour post-workout steaming, showering, and applying copious amounts of (free) Kiehl’s lotion to my body. Every few months or so, I’ll do my own personal Bikram challenge, going every day and sweating out about 50% of the past month’s sins. I run with the New York Road Runners Club, and have done about 30 5-8 mile runs and five half-marathons in the last two and a half years. I like to think I’m not entirely crazy because I still have yet to do a full marathon. When all is said and done, working out can feel so amazing and rewarding, but sometimes it’s such a chore to keep it interesting, which is why I’m always switching up my routine and trying to recruit my friends to aid in the motivation. So far, I’ve had very little luck.
Knowing all this, I was pointed towards last week’s Nike event to launch the redesigned Nike Training Club. The free app acts as a personal trainer complete with instructional videos. Aside from being told to prepare for a “light workout,” I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but all I had to hear was “workout,” “trainer,” “group session,” and “free,” and I had my gym bag packed.
Held at Pier 57, the event included a brief Q&A between Nike Master Trainer, Marie Purvis, and Hope Solo, a U.S. World Cup alum and current goalie. They discussed everything from Hope’s recent shoulder surgery to the music she listens to during her grueling training sessions (nothing or techno), and the next World Cup in June. It was inspiring to watch an athlete speak so passionately about her job, despite the numerous injuries she’s sustained over the years, and I think that excitement helped usher us into the next phase of the evening – the workout. I hadn’t worked out with a personal trainer in at least ten years, and though Marie was around to guide and correct our form, all eyes and ears were on the virtual one. We were supplied with dumbells, medicine balls, and yoga mats, and a projection on each wall led us through a 45-minute session that worked our entire bodies. Each set ranged from one to two minutes, giving a challenging workout, but moving along fast enough to keep one’s interest sustained. There were a lot of things I’d never done or seen before (hello, Crazy Ivans and Russian Twists?!), and having a visual reference really helped me to feel comfortable with my movement, which is something I often struggle with at the gym. I’m pretty sure other people do too, and I think it may be why so many people avoid them. Personal trainers are a luxury, but getting in shape is something anyone should be able to do, and to feel confident doing so. The Nike Training Club app is a great tool for that. There are three different levels of fitness and an even larger selection of workouts from each one. If you get bored or feel like you’ve advanced, you can move on to a different or higher level. The most equipment you’ll need are a set of dumbbells and a medicine ball, but many of the workouts require nothing but your body. Everything can be done in your own home, or you can show off at the gym, and look like a pro. No excuses.
After the workout, I left feeling amazing and energized. I paid, so I played- by rewarding myself with a glass of champagne while thinking to myself:
1. That was NOT a “light workout.”
2. I am not in as good shape as I thought I was.
3. I am not in as good shape as I should be.
4. I need to download this app immediately.
It takes up a lot of space on my iPhone, but four nights and two trial runs later, my body is still aching. Which, to me, is a sign of a good workout.
The free Nike Training Club app can be downloaded here.