When I first heard about this app, I was a little skeptical. The problem is that the universe is inundated with apps, videos, systems and people who all know fitness better than you. I find it overwhelming to find something that fits my needs, especially when I don’t really know what my needs are. So now I have to rely on others to define my needs. Yeah… no….
So I downloaded the app on my phone (and eventually my iPad) and took a little look-see.
First things first, you have to register with Nike for an account and like other similar services you can have friends that you compete with etc. What makes this app different and superior to other similar products is that it doesn’t rely on you to put in your routine. Nor does it track your heart rate, your sweat expenditure, your diet, your weight, your elbow girth or any of the other countless statistics that we, as humans, love to collect but are ultimately useless for our eventual descent into hell or ascent to heaven (just double-checked, not a run-on sentence).
So what does the app do? It’s simply your personal trainer.
What I like is the Get Focused section since it gives you quick and dirty, 15 minute sets to do. The main screen though has a favorites that I use all the time. Quick caveat to that, if you have your account on multiple devices, your favorites don’t follow the account so you have to reselect which ones you prefer. Honestly, it’s a minor annoyance.
Looking at the interface on my iPad, I see that there’s a new feature called Create Program, I haven’t tried it but presumably it’s straight forward. The Sport Feed and Inbox are functionally useless and I typically ignore them. The last option is your profile, it shows you your NikeFuel points, friends, minutes spent and quantity of workouts. NikeFuel points is an arbitrary point system that gives you some random metrics about your effort. Sorta, kinda useless. Especially if you tie your account in with the Nike Running app so your numbers are off the charts.
This is the most favoritest of parts, like ever. After you choose your routine, and I must caution you, the levels (beginner, intermediate and advanced) are completely misleading, since I sometimes struggle on the beginner level, you get to enjoy the simple genius of the product. What Nike has done is create a modular system of working out. They’ve created hundreds of modules of routines (eg squats, lunges, warrior 1 etc.) and then trainers in different disciplines (yoga, cross-fit, fighters etc.) compiled the routines into programs.
The system automatically, prompts you when to switch sides, when your next routine is up etc. Any failure in the system could be attributed to the individual program but not the system. Everything is intuitive and slick. What’s even cooler, is that if you don’t know what a routine is, there’s a 10-20 second clip that shows you.
When you first get the app, it prompts you to download all the routines but you don’t have to (approximately 500MB). You can easily download as you go along which makes the app great for travel purposes.
As I’m sure I mentioned previously in this blog, I have trouble focusing and I get bored easily. The fact that I can choose my routine according to my mood makes this app miles ahead of similar products. Nike’s big budget allows for a sleek and slick workout product and it’s free and ad-free (kinda). The app sort of positions itself as a woman’s product but it’s not. I use it for yoga, I use it for conditioning, I use it when I can’t leave the house and workout.
In short, I use it.