Heading out to a new place for a workout can be intimidating. You want to wear the appropriate gear, follow along at the right pace and avoid falling on your face—not to mention wanting to get the
proper amount of exercise for your level of fitness (the kind that leaves you feeling the glow of exhaustion, rather than the feeling of “I cannot move a muscle to leave this place,” or, even worse, “Why did I bother?”).
So, I headed out to the Nike Training Club (NTC) event with my usual open mind, but slight hesitation. Media were invited to come check out the new apparel, workout with the leadership of Nike Professional Trainer Marie Purvais, Olympic Gold Medalist (for women’s hockey) Tess Bonhomme and NTC Master Trainer Eva Redpath—three amazing fitness gurus that could potentially personal train you into the ground. Lucky for us, they were more encouraging mentors than exercise drill sergeants.
We each got outfitted from head-to-toe in Nike gear: the Nike Free TR fit 3 Women’s Training Shoes ($125), Legendary Tight Capris ($80), Nike G87 Women’s Training Tank Top ($42) and Victory Shape Bra ($45). Let me just say that the bra was by far my favourite—no need to wear any additional bras underneath and my curves were supported enough for an intense, bounce-around kind of workout (is that weird to say?).
The shoes were ideal for the workout as well. They have a diamond-flex on the bottom of the shoe, so you’re able to move in multiple directions, which is necessary for interval training (all the rage, these days). “It also has more lateral stability, so when we’re doing things like those ski jumps, your foot doesn’t feel like it’s falling out of the shoe,” Marie Purvais told me. “Your foot is closer to the ground, so it’s actually getting stronger.”
Our three instructors—Marie, Eva and Tess—took us through an upbeat, but vigorous workout to give us a sample of what NTC is all about (available with both live classes at various gyms, like The Academy of Lions, and through their app). It was a balance of both cardio and targeted, strengthening exercises to get muscles toned and heart rates up. And, well, it worked.
After I caught my breath, I sat down with Marie, who told me about starting out in the NTC classes. “If it’s your first time, you’ve never done it, you’re going to 1) have fun, because it’s just a fun environment, and 2) there are going to be modifications, so you will feel successful,” she says. “Since everything is based on the time, you’re never going to feel like other people are waiting for you” (which can happen when the class is based on how many reps you do of each exercise).
And, if you can’t make it out to one of their classes, you have an amazing tool with the free NTC app on your phone or tablet. “It’s really nice to have the app, because then you can get familiar with all the basic moves and you can do a beginner level in the comfort of your home or your dorm or wherever,” she says. “I like the variety. Because you can never get bored. And it’s super-easy to use. You can also download your own music [to go along with the workouts].”
The app lets you choose your goal (Get Lean, Get Toned, Get Strong, Get Focused) and skill level (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced), then let’s you pick from their list of workouts, depending on how much time you have available (15, 30, 45 minutes). Each workout details specific movements involved in each segment (including pictures and videos, so you know exactly what you’re expected to do) and then the friendly voice guides you through with instructions and tips (you can also add music from your playlist).
The app will track your progress and reward your level of training (there’s a points system) with bonuses like exclusive workouts from Rihanna’s personal trainer Ary Nuñez, other Hollywood trainers, professional athletes, celebrities, yoga instructors and more.
This fall, Nike Canada is also offering a series of free NTC classes at Academy of Lions in the west end of Toronto (more info listed below).
So, check out the free app—and get your fit on!
FREE NIKE TRAINING CLUB CLASSES
When & Where
Starting on September 18, free NTC classes will be held at Academy of Lions three times per week, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.
- Mondays: 6:00 p.m.
- Wednesdays: 9:00 a.m.
- Saturdays: 11:00 a.m.
Academy of Lions is an athletic club and one of Toronto’s first CrossFit Gyms. The club is located at 64 Ossington Avenue, Toronto. Visit www.Academyoflions.com for full contact information.
How to Register
Consumers who wish to attend a NTC event can register on the Nike Training Club Canada Facebook page under events. Each class can accommodate approximately 80 participants.