I would have to say that Nike Training Club (NTC) is my favorite fitness application out there on the market. Oh, and most importantly, it’s free! (Yes, we all love getting free stuff!) This app has a lot of features that make you feel like you have a personal trainer you can tote around in the palm of your hand. Some of the features include unlockable bonus workouts, video instructions and AI guidance. In this post, I’ll be breaking down the fabulous components of this app, and why this is an essential must-have in everyone’s mobile device.
Note: All photos displayed in this post are screencaps from my own phone for visual references.
The reviews for NTC have been positive across the board, even crossing gender boundaries. NTC specifically targets female users, but males have claimed to use this app for themselves. Some have even voiced to Nike how they want a male-friendly version. I’ve owned NTC for a few years now, and only recently have they started incorporating a username and password function. In the past, your phone would keep track of all of your progress, so there was no need for a username. Some people have deducted stars based on this fact (the reason for 3/5 stars), because they feel that it infringes on their privacy and shows how this “free app” is pushing for advertisement.
Personally, I don’t think this is true, because nothing in this application screams sponsors. There are no advertisement banners anywhere. As far as requiring a username goes, I feel this is just Nike’s way of syncing this app with social media, or allowing users to access their progress using other mobile devices. For example, you have the option to sync your progress with Facebook to showcase your workouts to your friends. So, don’t let the stars put you off. Read the reviews in a case-by-case basis to make your own assumptions.
In this application, you are given 4 different options from the start menu: Get Leaned, Get Toned, Get Strong and Get Focused. Each category represents a type of goal you would like to achieve from your workout, and each one has a specific one-sentence description that details what you should expect. All of the categories, with the exception of Get Focused, have 30 to 45 minute workout segments you can choose from. Get Focused is used as an additional workout for individuals who have done at least 30 minutes of cardio training.
Second Note: Scroll below to see a compiled list of each workout presented in Get Focused.
When you pick one of the four options, you are then presented three different workout levels to choose from: Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. These levels are presented in all of the options, except for Get Focused.
Normally, I switch between Intermediate and Advanced. Advanced will inlcude added features to a workout that will make it more difficult. For example, instead of doing regular push-ups, you will be required to do push-ups using a medicine ball. In Beginner, push-ups will be modified (knees on the ground instead of feet). Even if you average 3-5 workouts a week, don’t let this feature fool you! It will be very difficult!
When you pick a level, you are given different workout circuits to choose from. With each option, you are given a time frame on how long it will take. In my opinion, the lower you go down, the harder the workout gets, since the time is a lot longer. However, each drill is difficult and designed differently, so don’t think the first option will be harder than the second option.
Once you pick a circuit, you are given a breakdown of what type of workouts you will be doing. Normally, I like to skim through them to see if this is the type of circuit I want to focus on for the day. The cool thing about this app is that you are able to listen to music while you workout. Normally, some apps stop working if you have another one on. I usually put on Pandora while utilizing this application (this may drain your battery a bit more than normal).
When you start on a circuit, an AI voice will pop up that will guide you throughout your workout process. Sometimes, she will encourage you and say things like, “Push yourself. You have 5 seconds left.” Other times, she will do a countdown or time check. Also, for exercises that require you to switch into a different position, she will let you know the half marker and when to switch. I love this function, because it makes the training feel very personal. I’m the type of person who needs someone to push me. Her voice may not be aggressive, but it’s better than nothing!
If you are like me and are unfamiliar with certain exercises, this app holds another awesome feature for people who need help with their form. In my opinion, form is very important, because this is the secret ingredient to having a successful workout. If your form is bad, you won’t be hitting any of the muscles the workout is intended for. Also, you might cause injury to yourself. (Warning: Doing squats wrong will injure your knees!)
Therefore, NTC has included a step-by-step guide on how to do a specific workout. With this function, you are able to pause the timer on your workout, which really helps people who don’t want to cheat themselves. NTC gives you two different types of visual aid through videos and pictures. The pictures will give you written information on how to correctly apply a technique. If you still don’t understand, users are able to click on the video button on the upper-right hand corner to see a short video segment on how it is supposed to look.
I must admit that I use these guides a lot. Some of the techniques presented in this app are foreign to me, so it takes me awhile to get used to. Sometimes, I re-play videos 2 to 3 times. I have no shame in this game.
Initially, this app is made for any type of setting that is comfortable for the user, whether it be in their living room or at a gym. I would have to say that some of the techniques presented make it difficult to work out in a small space, because there are some features that require “2 minute jogging”. Obviously, you can’t do that at home, unless you have a treadmill.
Sometimes, I feel like I have to pause in-between workouts to prepare myself for the next step. For example, when I work out at home, I normally go to the small gym located at the front office of my apartment complex. There is very little room to work with, so I have difficulty doing workouts that require a lot of space, such as “light jog for 2 minutes”, “back pedal for 1 minute” and “slide and glide for 1 minute”. To fix this remedy, I normally replace these workouts with burpees, which I highly recommend. The point of conditioning your body is to do hardcore workouts with little to no breaks in-between.
I wanted to point out this small problem for at-home users like myself who may have difficulty finding an open area to use. However, you can easily fix this problem with substitution. Burpees will definitely get your heart pumping a lot more than jogging!
Overall, Nike did a great job making this app. There’s nothing about NTC that I would change. NTC is constantly being updated, because there are unlockable workouts you can get as a reward for finishing a certain circuit. Not only do you receive “badge trophies”, but can also view small videos about inspirational women in the sports industry. Some circuits are designed by each women, which gives you a small insight into how they train for their sport. How cool is that?!
If you want a free version of Insanity, download this app today. Like I said, everyone loves free stuff!
(This post was entirely reviewed by my own will. This is not an endorsement review. No sponsorships were made for this post.)
Get Focused — All 15 min workouts
- Cardio Killer
- Better Butt
- Sculpted Arms (8-12 lbs dumbbells required)
- Leaner Legs
- Shaped Back
- Ab Burner (medicine ball required)
- Butt Buster (medicine ball required)
- Shoulder Ripper (10-12 lbs dumbbells required)
- Back Definer
- Leg Sculptor
- Cardio Burst (jump rope required)
- Arm Definer (medicine ball required)
- Core Crunch (medicine ball required)
- Shoulder Shaper (8-12 lbs dumbbells required)
Sometimes I replace medicine balls with dumbbells if application permits (ie: Russian Twists).