As most of you know (because I won’t shut up about it), I’ve been using the NTC app for years now. Using the NTC has been a game-changer for me in terms of working out on my own – for more about that, read this. Well, in late June, Nike launched a new NTC. I don’t even want to call it an update, it’s too big for that. And too damn cool. I’ve been using it for two weeks now. Here’s what I think:
Here’s what’s is new and improved:
- It’s gender-less ! They dropped the female focus and now gear the workouts towards both men and women. Welcome to the game, Dudes.
- The workouts are now organized into 3 categories: Endurance, Strength and Mobility.
- There are a ton of new workouts. Several are designed by trainers I already know and respect, so that gives me confidence.
- The filter capability is great! You can filter by duration, level, intensity, equipment needed, type (time or rep based) and focus (endurance, strength, mobility). The equipment needed filter is particularly helpful when I’m working out at home and have limited equipment on hand.
- Each workout includes an overview that gives you an idea of what the workout is good for, what equipment you’ll need and who created the workout. You can also scroll through and see each drill/exercise in the workout.
- When you’re doing a workout, you can watch a video of each drill while you’re doing the drill. This is a big improvement – you used to have to pause the workout to watch a video of the drill.
- The workouts are more complex – the exercises, sequencing and equipment required.
- There are additional training cues that the workouts before were lacking. For instance, within a specific exercise (e.g. barbell deadlift) NTC will indicate what type of weight to use – heavy, moderate, light. NTC does this with intensity and pace too. For example, “broad jumps at max intensity” or “pull-ups at slow tempo”. I find this really helpful in knowing how to execute the workout.
- Several workouts now integrate the rowing machine, which is a cool cardio component, one that I’m getting more and more comfortable with.
- Within the NTC app is a new and improved Training Plan section. Awe yeeeeeeah. I’m excited for this one. The plan set-up takes into consideration your goals, equipment available, current fitness level, workouts per week and has the option to include running into the plan. And the plan adapts as you go based on your pace – whether you’re completing workouts on time or not. I can’t wait to test this out.
- You can track all of your workouts in the NTC app, not just NTC workouts. For instance, if you did a yoga class at a studio, you could log that manually under as an activity. Interesting.
- There’s a Club section in the app that connects you to Nike Training Club Live events going on in the area. That’s pretty cool!
- Finally, the look and feel is right on point.
There are a few things that I liked better in the earlier version:
- Many workouts (it seems like mostly in the Strength Category) are rep based, instead of time based. Although I can see the rationale behind this, it’s annoying to have to tap the app each time you complete your reps in order to move on. I prefer to have the time clock going and not have to interact with the app at all during the workout. Plus, who likes to count reps anyways? #lazy
- There are some workouts from the earlier versions that I really liked. They were my go-to’s. And now I cannot find them! And they aren’t saved in my favorites anymore. Dang it!
- I’ve logged over 7k minutes in the NTC app since I’ve started using it. That number is totally meaningless, except that it makes me feel accomplished and consistent. And those feelings help me stay motivated. So, it turns out the number is actually significant to me. And now my NTC profile shows something like 2k minutes. Arrrrg, that bugs me. But, I’ll get over it.
And, I’m still wishing for these improvements:
- I’m not sure how accurate the calories burned are for each exercise. I did a 30 minute strength workout (Lifted by Lunges) and NTC reported that I burned over 500 calories. That’s a lot of calories to burn for a gal like me – I just doubt it. What if there were a mechanism to enter data about myself in the app that would calculate calories burned? That’d be cool.
- Even more specific training input. While I’m happy to have intensity, weight and pace cue’s, I really need to know how much weight I should be aiming to lift. Like, what should my light/moderate/heavy weight be for legs and butt? I realize this is next level and probably very challenging to do at such a large scale, but a girl can dream.
- I’d really like each workout to feel like a comprehensive experience. Like a workout video where a coach is leading you for the entire length of the workout. (Currently, the workouts are a series of drills carefully crafted together.) For instance, if I’m doing a 45 minute strength workout it would be great if the coach talked me through that along the way with progress indicators. Like, “This is the last round of squats in this circuit. Push through.” Or as you hit the halfway mark of a workout, “You’re half way through. 20 minutes left.” It’s not a necessity, but it would be nice to have it feel less like a series of videos strung together.
- Lastly, I’d like my legs to look like those of Allyson Felix. You can do that, right?
So, that’s what I think so far. I’m excited to start a training plan in the next few weeks! I’m looking to focus on getting stronger and I think this will be a great place to start this Summer.
Have you tried the new NTC? I’m curious to hear your thoughts!