I have had 8 months now of using the iFit training programs and wanted to provide a personal review of the system.
A bit of a background first. During the 2020 lockdown here in Malaysia, I decided to treat myself to a treadmill. We were under a very strict lockdown which meant we were unable to exercise outside. Running around my apartment was the only activity we were able to do. For 7 weeks, I did not venture out of our apartment (as only one member of the household was allowed to shop etc). I had my 50th birthday at home during this period and to celebrate reaching the big 5-0, I ran a 50km ultra around my apartment which took around 7 hours due to the slower speeds and constant turning corners..!
I had to do something to continue my training for the London Marathon (which was subsequently cancelled and run as a Virtual Marathon). After some initial research I decided on the purchase of a NORDICTRACK COMMERCIAL 2950 Treadmill.
This is an imposing piece of kit that has a very large screen and an impressive range of features. Not cheap, but I consider this a worthwhile investment.
The features included:
- Incline range of -3 %to +15%
- Top speed of. 22 kmph
- 22” large touchscreen
- Interactive Personal Training from iFIT (1 year free membership included)
There are several positives in relation to this machine, including that this machine is being used by all the family. My wife (who hates running) has even taken up exercising on the treadmill (thanks to iFit and maybe some of the attractive male athletes that take her through her paces). My two sons (aged 4 & 7) also use this occasionally.
Today though I wanted to focus not on the actual treadmill, but on the iFit membership, their fitness programs and what does “INTERACTIVE. PERSONAL. TRAINING” actually mean?
iFit membership (which is free for the first 12 months with the purchase of selected gym equipment) provides access to thousands of interactive trainer led workouts, that can be used on iFit enabled machines. These workouts also include “live” sessions, some in the studio and some live events. So far I have enjoyed three live 5km races (which living in Malaysia means starting around 10pm on a Saturday night). Joining a few thousand runners on their iFit enabled treadmills around the global running in a live event which has been typically in the US so far.
The iFit membership provides a truly interactive workout experience. On your iFit enabled equipment they automatically adjust your incline, decline and speed during the workout. You just select from the thousands of workouts available. Press start and then the machine will provide a warm up and then a trainer led workout at preset levels. As the trainer increases his or her speed, the machine matches this at the same time. I have loved this with the interval sessions as it saves having to reach out and make adjustments at the end of each interval. This also works with the incline and decline which changes inline with the location. So hill runs are with real gradients automatically to make you work out harder.
IFit have recently added two new great features called ActivePulse & SmartAdjust that I will cover in greater detail in the “Personal” section below. These allow you to really personalise the interactive session to your true fitness levels.
The iFIT app provides access to all of the thousands of workouts. You name it, iFIT has it…..!
The iFit workouts include:
- Cross training
- Speed workouts
- Live workouts
- Weight sessions
- Studio classes
- Google Maps
- Cardio workouts
- Strength training
- Boxing routines
- And so many more…….
So far I have only personally experienced the tip of the iceberg.
I have completed a run up Kilimanjaro, a cultural walk down the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, a Valentines Day “Love on the Run” (a live 5km race), and many trainer led runs in Tokyo, Costa Rica, San Diego, South Africa……
I enjoyed the Yoga session on a Caribbean beach, cycling through SunValley, Idaho and also meditation sessions to relax and unwind the mind.
iFit really has something for everyone.
Since joining iFit they have also introduced a couple of additional features I mentioned above:
- ActivePulse – iFit’s New Heart Rate Training Feature
- SmartAdjust – automatically scales your workout as you make adjustments.
ActivePulse is iFit’s heart rate training feature that is designed for those who want to get the most out of their workouts. When you pair your heart rate monitor with the machine, the intensity of the workout will be automatically adjusted, based on your target heart rate zone. With these adjustments you are maintain the ideal heart rate zone for your workout.
So far this has worked really well. I think the true benefit for me is that on the recovery days, it will really prevent me from overtraining by adjusting my workout if my heart rate is too high.
SmartAdjust automatically scales your workout as you make adjustments to either the speed or incline, so you can always follow along with the trainer—but at your own pace! Say goodbye to having to make constant manual adjustments; your workout intensity is now calculated automatically, based on your previous workout history.
Again this feature works well. A couple of the sessions I have done since this was introduced that were a little on the “light” side of training, I was able to adjust the workload up a bit during the tougher part of the session (to make it more of a workout). Then SmartAdjust was able to scale the rest of the session to this slightly higher intensity I was looking for. Perfect.
These two new features really allow you to keep the training very personal to your fitness levels.
So if you are looking for an INTERACTIVE – PERSONAL – TRAINING – look no further than an iFit enabled machine to help you find a new healthier you…!