Working out can be a real drag sometimes. The long off season soon moves to the in-season and you’ve pushed yourself to the point where it feels easier just to throw in the towel and focus on the stuff that you’re doing on the ice. I have to admit that I’ve fallen victim to this many times before and I have tried ploughing through my workouts, despite feeling like I would rather stick pins in my eyes.
However, perhaps there is a saviour in your pocket. Since I got my hands on my first smart phone, I’ve been interested in fitness apps and have used them to a great degree, mainly for running though. The trouble is that when you are training on your own, it is hard to find the motivation or something to push you, so for running, tracking your success is quite a good motivator. But what about the gym? I downloaded an app called Nike BOOM after the Niketraining.ca website was raving about it. Well it was free so it was not like I was going to lose anything.
I gave it a go last night and I must say that I was slightly torn by it. The app basically works as a play list, but the catch is that you get motivational messages from some of the prolific athletes in your chosen sport. So every five minutes or so I’d get either Dion Phaneuf, Jarome Iginla, Steven Stamkos or well established strength and conditioning coaches to tell me to keep going. That is the unique feature of the app. Otherwise it acts like an MP3 player so you can play your favourite album through and through whilst working out.
What I found great about the app was the encouragement and the motivational messages. I was doing hammer curls and during the final set I was about to give up with my arms shaking till I got Phaneuf in my ears saying that ‘sometimes you get a voice inside your head to tell you to give up. That voice is not your friend. Keep pushing you’re almost there.” Sad as it sounds, it did give me a bit of extra motivation to finish the set and I do feel better about it.
The app has modes for working out, warm up and interval training, so it covers the basics of getting fit for your sport. For the interval section I would like to see features similar to the Adidas miCoach app, which I use extensively to track my running progress. At the moment all the Nike BOOM offers is only the encouragement and a music player.
However, I think that the App has a lot more potential than just acting as a music player with the odd occasional “atta boy” thrown at you. The app could be developed further to make sure that you have an all encompassing work out log, where you could record your sets, reps, weights etc so that you can monitor your progress. Or better yet, why not have sample workouts built into the app, designed by the people that are giving you the motivation? That would really set the Nike BOOM app apart from others.
Like said the app is pretty good as it stands, but it has potential to be so much more. If you are in a possession of an iPhone or iPod touch and you want to try it out, I would recommend it. I also think you can get it for your iPad, but you might look like a bit of a tit carrying an iPad around while working out.
In its current form I’d give Nike BOOM a 3/5 stars. If, however, Nike decides to take the app seriously and build in more features I’d be willing to revise the mark.