iPhones can be Personal Trainers Too

Hmmm… what to say about the Nike Training Club app? Well, for starters, it’s Nike. Fuelband aside, name me a product or program that Nike has launched in the past five years that hasn’t been amazing.

I take a lot of pictures of my feet...
I take a lot of pictures of my feet…

I had heard about the NTC app before, but I kind of stuck my nose up at the idea of an iPhone app being able to provide me with a good workout. I had a gym membership, I was running a ton, I was participating in November Project and the occasional yoga class. What else could the app do for me?

It all happened one rainy morning. I had recently quit my job, and had been FUNemployed for about a month, and was already tired of running. The rain was coming down in buckets, and there was no way that I was going to go outside. Hesitantly, I opened the app, which I had downloaded months before. I selected a 15-minute workout led by pop star Ellie Goulding, which was supposed to be a total body tightening and toning workout. Riggghhhhhttttt, a musician is going to lead me through a grueling exercise. But much to my surprise, when I completed the 15 minutes I found myself short of breath and completely drenched in sweat. The following days, I could feel the muscles that I had worked. I was actually sore!

So this is me, apologizing to the NTC app creators. I should never have been such a #workoutsnob about your product. And now this is me, telling all of you fine people to get moving and download the app now and be my Nike+ friend! Here’s why:

Benefits of the NTC app:

Russian twists with Christen Press and Nike Training Club
Russian twists with Christen Press and Nike Training Club
  • No purchase necessary  – The app is free, and very few of the workouts require much more than a pair of dumbbells, medicine ball or a step. You can improvise, like I do, with a pair of beer cans, a soccer ball, and a coffee table or park bench.
  • Time equals money – The workouts range from 5-minute stretching/warming up drills to 45-minute total body sculpting drills. There are plenty of 12, 15, 18-minute workouts that I recommend (below).
  • It’s everywhere you want to be (yeah, I stole that from Visa, so what?) – Most of the workouts can be completed in a very tight space. Put out your arms, spin in a circle. If you didn’t hit anything, then you’ve got yourself plenty of room.
  • One size does not fit all – Luckily, you can take what you want and leave what you don’t. Like star jumps. No me gusta star jumps. When I am given an activity that I don’t want to do, I either modify it or choose something else in its place. Plank, sit-ups, push-ups and squats are all easy and effective options.
  • Tips of the trade – The entire workout is narrated and tips for safety and success are given throughout.

My favorite NTC workouts:

Hip lifts hurt so good!
Hip lifts hurt so good!
  • Goal Getter with Christen Press (yay soccer!): 18 minutes – strength moves to sculpt your core and lower body. Keeps your heart rate up, while you tone. Favorite activity: diagonal bounds. 
  • Butt Buster: 15 minutes – tone your tush in 15 minutes? Yes, please! All girls have that one area of their body that they’re super self-conscious about. Mine are my legs and butt. Favorite activity: hip lifts. 
  • Ab Burner: 15 minutes – abs on abs on abs. Keep crunching! Nobody every complained that their stomach was too flat, or that their six pack was just too prominent. Nobody. Ever. Favorite activity: Russian twists.

So, I’ve done my best to leave you with no excuses not to try the NTC app. It’s not meant to replace all of your workouts, but it is a great option for days when you’re crunched for time or it’s raining and you can’t bring yourself to leave the house. You can also bring your phone to the gym and try these workouts there! Now get out there and get toned, you beautiful people!
loveB

Just Show UP

Partner planks with my friend Chuck at November Project.
Partner planks with my friend Chuck at November Project.

Recently, I’ve had a few people ask me about the workouts I do at the Lincoln Memorial. They’ve either seen my posts, or pics that I’m tagged in. Hooray for Instagram. Hi, my name is Rebecca and I am an Instagramaholic. But I digress…

The group is called November Project DC (shout out to Molly for introducing me to the tribe a little over a year ago), and their mission is to bring free fitness to cities across America. Oh, and it’s a group of anywhere from 50-200+ people. It’s freakin’ awesome. I found that it was a great addition to my routine, which mostly consisted of running days and lifting days. It got me outside more, and helped me work on muscles that I wasn’t reaching at the gym. It’s also a different form of cardio than my body is used to.

Question: What’s the key to great calves?
Answer: Running stairs. #JustShowUp

You can read more about NP, including the tribes from other US cities here. But the DC tribe meets Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 6:30 a.m. to 7:30-ish. (if you’re insane, they’ve also got a 5:30 a.m. group on Wednesdays). Here is a general idea of what the workouts look like:

  • Monday: Meridian Hill Park – Run hills. Die a little. Give sweaty hugs. Love yourself later.
  • Wednesday: Lincoln Memorial – Run stairs. Mix in some body-weight strength training and aerobic exercises. Leave with a phone full of sunrise pics, and a handful of new friends.
  • Friday: Location TBD – Each Friday, NP meets at a different location around the city. You’ll learn 15 ways to use a park bench for exercise, and other useful tips.

GO TO NP IF: 

  1. You want to change-up your workouts.
  2. You need motivation to get out of bed early.
  3. You just want to make friends.
  4. You like pretty pictures.
  5. You want to push yourself really hard, or take it easy and have a lighter day. Difficulty is TOTALLY up to you.
  6. You want to be a part of a free fitness group that is growing in size all across America and getting national media attention.

DO NOT GO TO NP IF: 

  1. You hate fun.
  2. You hate hugs.
  3. You hate the word “fuck.”
  4. You hate the idea of working out and have no intention of changing your mind about this (also, why are you reading this blog…?).
  5. You hate people.
  6. You hate pretty pictures.
  7. You hate dogs. Sometimes there are dogs there! Ahhhh I love dogs.
  8. You can’t get past the name. After a year, I still have no idea why “November” is in the name.

So, I am going to consider this my #verbal for tomorrow’s workout, and I’m going to leave you with an optional, but highly encouraged, FUCK YEAH!

#JustShowUp

loveB