Hold up. Don’t revel in confused celebrating yet, couch potatoes, because the classic workout app is simply telling us that a workout regimen becomes effective only when it is customized to our specific fitness goals, a.k.a. training. In other words, “Stop exercising. Start training.”

Nike has called it: gone are the days of endless exercise, as training takes mindless repetition and turns it into progress by knowing what you're doing it and why. Photo from www.nike.com.

Nike has called it: gone are the days of endless exercise, as training takes mindless repetition and turns it into progress by knowing what you’re doing it and why. Photo from www.nike.com.

Originally designed to cater to women, the Nike+ Training Club has been downloaded and installed an estimated 5 million times by users both men and women from all over the world since it launched its pilot version in 2009. In January, the app rolled out its latest version that now offers a more streamlined approach to fitness. While a bunch of classic sets have been removed — how I miss thee, Jessica Michibata’s 15-minute boxing-themed workouts — the new version has made crafting a free personal fitness program easier and much more focused with its three workout classifications: Endurance, to improve the ability to work out at a higher intensity level for a longer period; Strength, to be able to move more weight than one’s body weight alone; and Mobility, to moving well and perform one’s best. Based on a user’s age, gender, height, weight, and weekly availability, the app formulates a five-week program that combines routines geared towards the desired fitness goal while taking into consideration the user’s current physical capability and the frequency with which they can train. And as the user checks off each workout through the weeks, the succeeding routines become tougher, pushing them to go further than ever.

All these in the comfort of one’s own home — and by the way, did we mention it’s free?

NTC isn’t stopping there, though. With the country capital a growing hotspot for the global fitness industry, evidenced by the rise of spinning studios, CrossFit gyms, yoga and Pilates studios, and a number of other establishments that promise to get people moving and sweating, Nike Philippines wants to build on the momentum and bring the NTC app’s benefits to an actual physical class, with an actual Nike trainer there to guide, help, and encourage you.

It's all about accountability, as physical Nike+ Training Club classes has you motivating and spotting someone through their fitness journey and vice versa, like Nike endorsers Serena Williams and Kevin Hart. Photo from www.nike.com.

It’s all about accountability, as physical Nike+ Training Club classes has you motivating and spotting someone through their fitness journey and vice versa, like Nike endorsers Serena Williams and Kevin Hart. Photo from www.nike.com.

Starting March 4, Nike+ members can attend NTC classes that will be held twice a week (Wednesday at 8:30 pm and Saturday at 10:30 am) at Kerry Sports Manila in Bonifacio Global City. Classes are open to everyone, from beginners in the fitness journey to competitive athletes, with NTC trainers Lian Melegrito (Strength expert), Tanya Aguila (Mobility expert), and Trish Ayson (Endurance expert) leading the sessions. Twenty-five slots are available per class, and participants can register for a slot at www.nike.com/manila.

Again, it’s important to highlight that these classes, like the app, are for free.

If all these sound too good to be true, Nike Philippines country marketing manager Patrick Reyes allays your suspicions by explaining what the NTC Classes are really about.

The advantage of working out with the NTC app is that you get to progress in your fitness journey, as the more you train, the more challenging the workouts become. How would the NTC Classes guarantee the same benefit, given that not everyone in a class would be on the same fitness level?

“That’s always the challenge in a group class, because it’s not one size fits all. That kind of workout is what we call exercising, which means doing the same thing at the same pace. Training is very specific to an individual, that’s why both the physical classes and the NTC app have to be used together. At the end of the day, the classes are just twice a week, and we recognize that not everyone has the time to go and attend them. We prescribe people to use the app and go to the classes in synergy: build your program with the app, then attend the classes for the experience.

“The difference when you’re working out in a class is that there’s a trainer working with you and watching out for your form, spotting your weaknesses, and telling you what you need to improve on. There are also partner workouts where you help and encourage each other, serving as each other’s spotter and motivating each other to do better. That combination, plus doing the app by yourself, is something that Nike feels would give you the best results.”

The NTC Classes are launched with the motto, “Stop exercising. Start training.” But what if someone simply wants to maintain their weight or their current health level?

“This is an important point to make: NTC isn’t just for the elite athlete. When we say athletes, we also mean those who are starting on their fitness journey. We believe that when you train and not just exercise, you function better in daily life. You move better and you feel better, whether you’re moving luggage or doing chores around the house. It doesn’t have to be about training for a high-impact sport. From sports to simple movements, all these benefit from training. It won’t just be about looking good but performing better in life. That’s what I believe we’re doing with NTC.

“Training is about moving to a goal that’s specific to you, and every person has a different goal. That’s why it’s purposeful and goal-driven, compared to exercise. Someone works out to be able to move more quickly down the basketball court, another person just wants to ease his constant back pain — training can help with both. With the latter, back aches are often caused by instability in the core muscles. If your core is weak, your back compensates for it, so you end up with pain. Better performance and better form are all things to work on with the help of training.”

So the NTC app is free for download, and we need only to register online to become a Nike+ member to reserve slots in the NTC classes. Since Nike is a business, what’s the catch here?

“I always say this: Nike isn’t just in the business of selling shoes and apparel. We always go back to our mission to inspire and innovate. We believe that when we give an athlete the platform to become better and perform better, the business will follow. It’s about giving athletes the tools to succeed; selling sneakers and apparel is just secondary.”

What about when we got to an NTC Class not in head-to-toe Nike gear, would we still be allowed to participate?

“Let’s put it this way: we’ll never turn an athlete away.”

Visit www.nike.com/manila to learn more and to register for NTC Classes. Attendees of the March NTC Classes will also be issued an NTC Passport that they can use to accumulate stamps and unlock exclusive Nike rewards.

Writer September Grace Mahino