Ever had one of those days where you just cannot be bothered to drag your butt to the gym and just wished you could do a workout without leaving the comfort of your lounge? Of course, if your living room is like mine, it sadly lacks the expensive treadmills, cross-training machines and stair climbers at my gym which makes it that much easier to not go to the gym and skip the workout.
One of the few things I've found that's a really good (seriously!) alternative is Nike+ Training Club. I know it's been around for a while but when I was chatting to some friends about it recently I was surprised how few of them had heard of it so I thought I'd pull it out and do one of their workouts again to remind myself why I like it so much.
First, the nitty gritty: this is an app for iOS or Android (there may be more versions) so it's easy to download on your phone or tablet, which makes it really portable. It's a bit on the larger side but it's crazy high-quality so don't let that put you off -- it's worth making space for by backing up a few of those Instagram photos of that incredible brunch dish you had with friends six months ago ;o)
On to the workouts themselves: there is a HUGE variety of workouts available on this app, but in the interests of saving space, you don't download them all at once. You can select from the categories 'Get Lean', 'Get Toned', 'Get Strong', and 'Get Focused' (this last section is all 15-minute targeted workouts -- amazing!) and within each of those there's a selection of beginner, intermediate and advanced. Once you've selected from those two categories, you just pick the workout from a list of 30-45 minute options and boom!--workout on your phone. Nike has also managed to get a bunch of their athlete spokespeople to do some of the workouts so you can do targeted sessions that people like Hope Solo, Silje Norendal, Paula Radcliffe and Jessie J (??) have contributed to. Each move is called out by an instructor as you go through the workout and each action also has a short video just a little longer than a Vine that you can watch as you go if you need a little help in what you're supposed to be doing.
The best bits (aside from a great workout without leaving your house):
a) you can set your own playlist so you're not at the mercy of what Nike's team have deemed to be good workout tunes and
b) because you're doing this in the privacy of your own home and the instructor isn't real, you can yell/swear as much as you like at the digital instructor without anyone getting offended!
I don't want to make this post too long so I'll wrap it up by saying that my return to Nike+ Training Centre on the beginner level definitely made me sweat and I found myself sore in places I forgot I had muscles a couple of days later, which was awesome. I love that feeling.
As we're heading into winter and there are more and more weather-related excuses NOT to leave the house, I think I'll be pulling this one out more often. Maybe someday I'll even be able to do an intermediate session without keeling over. One for my 'goals' list!