Don’t all athletes want at least one personal training session? Nevertheless, for many the fact that you pay money to get a kick up the backside seems a bit “extreme”. Luckily, in the smartphone era there are all kinds of different options that you can rely on, and that are free! In 2012, NIKE launched the Nike Training Club App (NTC). This can be downloaded for free on smartphones and tablets (Android & iOS). You’ll always have your personal trainer in your pocket, wherever you go.   But does the app do what it promises? One thing's for sure, as you would expect from a decent personal trainer, the app tailors your training to meet your needs, goals and aspirations. There is a wide variety of exercises to choose from, from which you can properly form a High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workout. The app’s design is very user friendly, but is still complex enough to make it fun to browse through all of its features.  You will be guided through the easy steps, and will easily find the training that is just right for you. nike-training-miriam-friese

The concept

After you’ve played through the app a little bit, and decide to exercise something other than just your thumbs, the first step is to decide your personal goal:
  • GET LEAN (become slimmer)
  • GET TONED (define your muscles)
  • GET STRONG (strengthen your whole body)
  • GET FOCUSED (allows you to focus on a specific muscle group).
ntc-training-app-steps Once you have you chosen your training focus, the next step is to choose your training level: BEGINNER, INTERMEDIATE or ADVANCED. Then it's almost time to get started. There are suggestions for different workouts with encouraging names like "Squat Party" or "Fearless". Workouts last different lengths (typically from 15 to 45 minutes). So you can fit in when you use the app for when it suits you. Before you get started, you are able to look at the exercises. With a click you can see how to execute the exercise with a screenshot. If you are still unsure, there is a video for every exercise.  

The Workout

Once you press the START button, your workout begins – you don’t have to worry about anything, other than the actual exercises ... so if you all you do is mess about on the app, you won’t see any results. A nice voice talks to you throughout the exercise and keeps you motivated while you sweat and tells you how long you still have to go. You can play your own playlist at the same time as working out, so you can pick the right beat to get you in the mood.   [gallery type="rectangular" ids="5730,5723,5716,5709"]

Creating Training Plans

Anyone who wants a “stricter” version of the pocket personal trainer can explicitly create a custom training programme. Again, you get to choose between the three objectives (GET LEAN, TONED GET and GET STRONG). It’s great that descriptions are stored for both objectives and levels, so you can make an informed decision about which one is best for you. Lastly, there is the possibility to combine your training programme with a training plan from the Nike + Running app. A very interesting point, since I am a strong advocate of versatile training so that can only be a good thing. Power and running combined in ONE training plan, immensely helps towards your goals. Once you have answered all the questions, you’ll receive your training plan that will tell you what you have to do on each day. Don’t worry about refuelling your energy, as recovery units (Yoga) and rest days are included.  

Maybe you’re a pack man and train better in a group?

The App also offers something else.  When you create your account, you gain the ability to connect with other Nike Training Club members on social media to see how they try to motivate themselves. You can collect trophies (to show off with ;)) and you can easily see everything that you have done and how you are progressing.  

Other great features that make sense

  • You can download workouts individually, so you don’t waste your space unnecessarily.
  • You can favourite workouts that you particularly like, so you can easily find your preferred ones again.
  • The workouts are diverse and varied: from strength training to yoga, weight training to kettle bells. There really is something for everyone.
  • There are regular updates and new workouts are constantly uploaded, so that it doesn’t become boring.
  • You’ll find exclusive training programmes that were created and presented by famous athletes (e.g. Maria Sharapova) so that it seems like you’re getting instruction from a top personal trainer.