We downloaded 30+ workout apps to find the best budget one, and the Nike+ Training Club came out on top.
When I was writing what to know before downloading fitness apps I downloaded 30+ apps to arrive at my lessons. Despite finding some good looking and working options, what shocked me the most is that the best fitness app was already sitting on my phone.
The Nike+ Training Club is an app I have been using since 2011. Together with the Nike+ Run Club app I have logged 1177 workouts, earned 2,634,056 Nike Fuel points and tracked 10,821km of running. These apps have been part of my fitness journey from beginner (never having run or lifted a weight) to becoming a gym regular, to ultra-marathoner, to deciding I needed a big break from running and switching to weight training. Yet, no matter where I’ve been sitting along this 6-year fitness path, the Nike+ training club app has always offered me something that was useful to that specific time, growing and adapting as I have.
What is the Nike+ Training Club App?
The Nike+ Training Club is a workout app that is basically a personal trainer in your pocket. It has a library of over 150 workouts, ranging from 5 to 47 minutes in duration. The workouts are all either rep based or time-based and the app allows you to browse by focus (strength, endurance or mobility), type (Yoga workouts, Athlete workouts, No-Equipment workouts, short workouts and NTC Classics) or you can view all. Each workout tells you how long it will take, the intensity, level and what it is good for.
The workouts need to be pre-downloaded to your phone prior to starting and are all free – yes you read right, free (not free, with in-app purchases). Workout downloads are quick (I timed less than 4 seconds on an 8-minute workout and 2 minutes and 8 seconds for a 45 minutes workout – over a wifi connection).
Each workout contains a voice-over, guiding you through each move, telling you what to do, giving helpful tips and motivating you. At the same time the voiceover is playing, there is a video that plays on the screen showing a model doing each move, from different angles, which is helpful every time you’re introduced to something new.
You can choose to play music through your phone at the same time and if you do, the voice still plays over the music so you can hear what to do next. You can also scroll through each move in the workout overview before starting so you know what to expect.
How I use the Nike+ Training Club App
The best feature of the app is the ‘My Plan’ section. You can choose between Start up, Lean Fit, Bodyweight only and gym strong and craft a training plan that best fits you and your life. Each type tells you what fitness level it’s best for, whether equipment is necessary, what it is great for and what you will do.
Once you choose your plan, you go straight into setup and choose settings so the app can craft the best plan for you. It asks you if you have equipment available (if yes, you get to select what you do have), how many workouts per week you want to do, if you want to include running (this links with the Nike+ Running Club app if you do), your current activity level, your weight and height and your start date.
You then click build my plan and it spits out a training schedule spanning over a few weeks (4-8 depending on what you pick). Each day you just open the “my plan” section and without having to pre-think or pre-choose you dive straight into the day’s workout.
Why the Nike+ Training Club is my pick for the best budget app
1. First and foremost, everything about Nike+ is free. From signing up to Nike+, to the app download, to every workout inside the app.
2. Not only is it all free but the video and sound quality that guides you through each workout is phenomenal.
3. There are so many workout variations, it’s hard to get bored, they often release new workouts and often these workouts are guided by well know athletes.
4. Once the app is downloaded to your phone and your workout is downloaded, you don’t require internet connectivity to play the workout.
5. It caters to all fitness levels.
6. You don’t need a gym or equipment to use it, but if you have access to either it makes using your gym and equipment more fun.
7. It takes away all your excuses to workout. You don’t have to set aside an hour a day to work out – If you’ve only got 5 minutes free it has options for that.
8. It’s available for both apple and android devices.
Nike+ Training Club is the only workout app I found that allows all access and all features at no cost. This does not mean it is the world’s best app, with no glitches or that there is no space for paid apps that function better and give their users more features but Nike really makes getting in shape easy for everyone.
After all my searching, I can confidently say that the Nike+ Training Club is the best budget app in terms of saving you both time and money and the best thing about it is that it takes the common workout excuses; “I don’t have time”, “I don’t have money” and “I don’t know how” and rips them to shreds.