Running Shorts: The NTC app a companion

Early this year I decided to add other types of workouts to my training regimen. Including a little bit more strength training. Looking for options to make it easy for me to learn and add different approaches and types of exercises and workouts I took some time to try and use the NTC (Nike Training Club) app. This app is basically a companion app to the NRC (Nike Running Club) providing users with non-running workouts and activities. My thoughts about the NRC app here.

NTC app impressions in general: Very simple to use, basically pick the program or activity you would like to pursue or complete and click start. No-fuss, just find the length of time, browse their workout activities options, use the filter to quickly find an option to your like. Search then some more to find something you might like, or take a quick look at the recommendations that the app has for you based on previous activities you have logged in/completed. There are plenty to choose from and most of them provide a high-level summary to help with the decision.

Similar to the running app, you can enroll in a program that will set you a 3-4 day a week training cycle for a certain amount of weeks. You pick the ones you want to complete. If not all you will definitely need to pick 2-3 of them to get some benefit out of it.

The program I enrolled in was a beginner offering. The plan took me through some of the basic movements, lingo, sets, and repetitions. That approach allowed me to feel very comfortable in getting used to the terms and movements. But most importantly to get back the next day to do another workout.

Every week at the start it will give you a few words of inspiration and get you through the progress for the upcoming week. Most of the messages, similar to the plans from the running app are spot on with good information and encouragement.

Some of the sessions will give you a breakdown of what is coming up next, so you know exactly what is coming up next. That way during the rest time you can get set up and ready for the next set. Even the longer video sessions will let you know during the rest time what is coming up next.

This to me was very useful as in some other apps and online videos, you do not really can’t read the mind of the instructors and know what is coming up next. That will mean for me that I was wasting some of the precious exercise time just getting to the floor or standing up or getting a prop needed for the exercise.

I want it to add that just because you completed a workout that week, that does not limit you from doing the same workout again that week. Or even on another day, since those workout sessions are totally available to you. They will be part of the recommended workout especially if you have completed them multiple times.

During some of the sessions, there were two trainers, one was the main person providing the main guidance of the workout while the second one was providing you with a second view of the alternative movement in case the main moves were to be too challenging. Like a variation of the exercise that is working in the same muscle target area. That gave the user alternative options to complete the exercise given that we are not all at the same level of knowledge, strength, or flexibility.

Another element of the app is that it links with the NCR app in its achievements trophy challenges section. You start gathering achievements based on the frequency, streaks, and types of workouts you complete. There are some achievements for key dates like New Year’s Eve and New Year’s activity.

Just by doing the beginner’s program, I gather a few badges and that grabbed my attention. I know, I have been a runner for years, but there is something about bragging rights that keep drawing me back to the list. Hey, nothing wrong with keeping a streak going especially if it gets you to live a healthy life.

I know this type of challenge and streaks could be a motivating factor for some, but I also recognize that it will depend on the stage in your athlete/person’s life. It is really an easy way to stay motivated and keep coming back to the app to add additional trophies and badges to your library and personal showroom. Even if you are the only one with access to the showroom, more about personal achievement.

The bottom line: For me, the app is great. The different option, coaches kept the activities fresh and entertaining. Although I have not tried the more challenging activities and most of the things, I did the ones that were no-weight needed or just bodyweight exercises/workouts. I believe it had plenty of offering for the casual strength training individual especially if you do not have time to go to the gym or to a class or work with a coach.

I will definitely recommend to others to use the app. All offers can be used at any time, the warm-ups, pre-run warm-ups, and strength training sessions are well designed to give you quick guidelines when you are short on time. You do not have to be in a plan to take advantage of the coaching or the runs.