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Last Updated: January 5, 2023
Hi guys! I’m Sydney. I’m a certified personal trainer, sports nutritionist, and instructor who has taught private and group fitness classes for years. I also test and review fitness equipment here at Treadmill Review Guru. A big part of fitness equipment nowadays is not only the machine but the technology, specifically the training app the equipment comes with.
That’s why I took it upon myself to try iFit for 30 days. I wanted to see how it holds up for all-around training and share my experience with you all. I also wanted to do this for myself. Even though I’m a fitness professional, I’m human and I too go through peaks, valleys, and plateaus with my fitness routine. I’ll admit that I’ve fallen off the bandwagon myself, all while still encouraging others to live active lives. Nobody’s perfect, and I certainly don’t claim to be.
Anyway, after the holidays and my lack of getting back into a routine, I needed to jump-start my training plan and get moving. Starting on February 1st, 2022, I began taking an iFit class every day for 30 days. This is what happened.
What Is iFit?
iFit is an interactive fitness training app found on equipment from NordicTrack, ProForm, Matrix, FreeMotion, and Weider. There’s also a mobile and tv app. iFit has a library of over 16,000 instructor-led classes that are live and on-demand. The classes are filmed all over the world as well as in a studio setting. There are over 180 trainers and health professionals on iFit. Their classes include treadmill running, indoor cycling, rowing, elliptical, strength, yoga, pilates, meditation, cardio, as well as mindful classes on topics like cooking, and TED Talks related to health and wellbeing.
iFit is really like having your own personal trainer at home. It’s meant to enhance your experience on a machine like a treadmill, as well as encourage you to train on the go with the app. To learn more about iFit head over to our full iFit review, here.
I have taken lots of iFit classes on their own, but never consecutively for 30 days. I was curious to see how I would like to use the app as a complete training program.
iFit is also the parent company that owns NordicTrack, ProForm, Freemotion, Weider, The Sweat App, and 29029 Fitness Adventures. But for this article, I will be focusing on the iFit app.
How My 30 Days Of iFit Went
Now that you know a little bit more about what iFit is, let me jump into my experience of using it for a month. I started off with simple, clear goals: take an iFit class every day and take every type of class at least once.
My other goal was to get back into working out consistently. I had fallen off the bandwagon, remember.
I decided to start out “slow and easy” as I thought it would be, with a hiking class. I chose the Sleeping Giant Incline Hike in Kaua’i, Hawaii with trainer Stacie Clark. I used the NordicTrack FS14i FreeStride Trainer to do this workout. Let me tell you, this wasn’t the easy start I was hoping for. The FreeStride Trainer remained inclined and at its highest resistance level for a good part of the class. So, yeah I was sweating. I’m also a bit competitive so I kept AutoAdjust on most of the time. AutoAdjust is iFit’s feature where the machine adjusts with the trainer’s cues so you don’t have to make any changes.
I also forgot to mention that iFit has a leaderboard that shows where you rank in relation to others who have taken the class. I lasted about 5 minutes with it displayed before swiping it away in frustration. I hadn’t moved up in ranking and didn’t need it mocking me.
I continued throughout the next few days taking classes on different pieces of equipment. I figured during the week I would take as much advantage of all the machines here at work and on the weekends I would utilize the mobile and tv app as much as possible.
The first week I did get a little over-excited and maybe a little overwhelmed with taking vastly different classes on different machines every day. By day 5 I had taken an elliptical class, a rowing class, a strength class using NordicTrack’s Vault, and a cycling indoor studio class. I was having a blast, but once the weekend hit, my little endorphin high seemed to wear off and I was left pretty tired and a little sore. I decided to listen to my body and take a rest day because those are important. I also didn’t want to burn out after week 1.
My “rest day” included a TED Talk titled: “A simple way to break a bad habit with Psychiatrist Judson Brewer”. Just because I wasn’t working my body, didn’t mean I couldn’t work my mind.
I had been wanting to check out iFit’s TED Talks and wasn’t in the headspace to try a meditation class. I figured this TED Talk was fitting because along with my goal to get back into working out consistently, I wanted to clean up my diet a bit. I know when I’m training and in shape, I feel better when I’m nourishing my body as well. I wasn’t planning on seeing results physically with this iFit challenge, but rather just hoping to feel better overall.
I know for me personally, I can work out all day/every day and not see very much change in my body. The saying, “Abs are made in the kitchen”, is very true for me and I see notable changes when I’m working on my diet as well. This wasn’t the goal here though. Instead, I was hoping for more of a mental change to get me into a good mindset to continue being active beyond these 30 days. I was thinking baby steps and this TED Talk affirmed that I was slowly making progress. Checking in with myself was going to be another large part of breaking my bad habits and creating better ones, too.
I started out week 2 with one of my favorite classes yet. The Total-Body Strength Workout 14 with Cody Beyster was challenging and really motivating. iFit has so many instructors who all have different styles and personalities. Cody goes hard in his classes and I found myself really wanting to keep up and match his intensity. I also really liked the form-correcting cues that he gave throughout the class. I just took the class from my phone (this was before I finally got around to getting the app on my TV). I usually take fitness classes from my phone if I’m not using enabled equipment, but as I later figured out the app on my TV was a lot nicer to view classes from.
After I was left feeling good and ready to take on the week. It felt nice to pick up some weights since I hadn’t done a lot of strength training the week before. Unfortunately, this didn’t occur to me until week 3 though.
This second week was a bit similar to week 1 in the way I chose my classes. I also took full advantage of using some of my favorite iFit-enabled equipment this week. The starting lineup was the ProForm Pro R10 Rower, NordicTrack x22i Incline Trainer, NordicTrack S22i StudioBike, and the Matrix T75 treadmill. I was lapping up all the cardio and decided to break things up a little Wednesday with a yoga class from home.
I took the Shipwreck Beach Flexibility Yoga in Kauai, Hawaii with Heather Jenson. I had taken a rowing class the day before, so my back was feeling tight and sore. I hadn’t done yoga for years so this class was a grim reminder of how stiff and inflexible I am. I really appreciated Heather’s verbal cues so I didn’t have to strain my neck to see what position to move into next. I can’t say I felt wonderful and all of a sudden super limber after the class, but I felt better. This was the reminder I needed to take time to stretch more often.
By the weekend, I was ready to give my body some rest and work on my mind. I watched Change Your Food Mindset with Dr. Eva Selhub and took an audio-guided meditation with Kevin Courtney.
The talk by Dr. Eva Selhub was a step in the right direction for me because I often get into the pattern of thinking that certain food is “bad”. Instead, I need to think about how I feel after eating certain foods, how I want to feel, and what I want out of food in general. She recommended listening to these talks as a cool down after a workout, which I hadn’t thought of but really liked the idea.
Similar to last week, I started off with a strength class. This time it was Lower-Body Strength and Conditioning with Gideon Akande. It mainly worked my lower body but there was a little bit of core work in the class, too. I ended up substituting a few of the movements, like sit-ups with leg lifts and front lunges with back lunges, because they work better for me. It was Monday and I felt ready to take on the day after completing this class in the morning before heading to work.
By the next day, my legs were incredibly sore. This is largely due to bad planning on my part- well, more like lack of planning. In recent years, I’ve tried to incorporate more strength training into my workout routine rather than just cardio which was always what I gravitated towards. When I was younger, I fell into the mindset that I’d get “bulky” if I lifted weights, but I now know that this couldn’t be further from the truth. Instead of getting bigger, strength training makes me feel stronger and I get more muscle definition when I train this way. Cardio is great too, but I really need a combination of both to have a well-rounded routine and to get in the best shape.
This is when I realized that I needed to plan my schedule of classes better. In reality, I should have had a plan to start. iFit has a calendar where you can schedule classes to take ahead of time which I had been utilizing, but I should have been balancing what kind of classes I was taking. Since I spent the first two weeks primarily doing all kinds of different cardio classes when I finally picked up weights my body was like heck no.
The lower-body strength class I took on Monday wasn’t crazy hard. It had pretty standard moves and I just used my usual 10 lb and 20 lb sets of dumbbells. The soreness lasted for a large chunk of the week though. Instead of diving back into challenging classes as I had been, I could only manage walking and core classes.
Thankfully, by Friday I was feeling less stiff and my muscles weren’t angry with me anymore. I completed the Ragnar Race Part 2 with Ashley Paulson and was surprised by how my cardiovascular system handled it. I had definitely been seeing an improvement with my cardio thus far, and it was nice to see it was holding up while I had been taking it easier the past few days.
For the last week of this iFit challenge, I decided to schedule all of my classes ahead of time. I incorporated more strength to mix in with my cardio and a bit more meditation as well.
I took Uplift Meditation with Nicole Meline, and Stress Reduction Meditation with Shelley Dawson and was pleasantly surprised with both. I tried meditation a few years ago by using an app with audio guidance. This little stint didn’t last because I would either have a hard time focusing and slowing my mind, or I’d just fall asleep. These two meditations on iFit were different though. The first was set in Montana and featured scenic views of the mountains behind Nicole. Instead of having to close my eyes as I did before, I could watch the video while following along with the breathing exercises. It was also only 6 minutes, which was the perfect amount of time to keep my attention.
Shelley had us tense up specific areas of our body and then relax them completely. This really brought me into my body and made me more aware of where I tend to hold onto stress and tension.
Normally on my rest days, I would just veg out on the couch, which is perfectly fine to do sometimes but adding in meditation on these days completely changed my frame of mind. They also allowed me to stay present by paying attention to how my body felt from day to day.
They also helped me pay more attention to how my body was feeling before, during, and after working out.
What I Learned About iFit and Myself
After taking all kinds of classes, I found that I actually prefer doing steady-state cardio on the treadmill and intervals on an exercise bike. I took an endurance ride through Moab, Utah where we maintained our pace and had minimal resistance and incline/decline changes. I kept wanting to increase my pace and resistance. In the last few minutes of class, we did 3, 30-second sprints at 100 RPMs with the final one being up a large hill. Go figure, this was my favorite part of the class.
Running has always been challenging for me, so I’m not too surprised that I liked classes where I could keep a steady pace rather than incorporating sprints and varied paces.
I also found iFit’s classes for the mind to be a lot more valuable than I originally realized. I’ve always thought of iFit as more of an app for working out, but between the TED Talks and meditations, I found myself looking forward to supplementing in those. After all, the mind is just as important as the body. They really helped me be more in tune and aware of how I’m feeling both physically and mentally. I also like how they incorporate other topics relating to health like nutrition, too.
I’ve always favored iFit’s outdoor classes. They’re filmed with exceptional quality and I like to explore and learn about new places. What I didn’t notice until after this experience though is that sometimes it’s not even the location, but the instructor that really makes the class for me. There are a few that I found aren’t my favorite, but if I like the instructor it doesn’t matter if I’m taking a class in Romania or just in a studio, I like them just the same.
When I’m taking a trainer-led class I like to have that extra guidance and motivation from the instructor. iFit has so many trainers that I think it’s impossible not to find some that you’ll enjoy.
My Tips For Using iFit
If you’re interested in subscribing to iFit or if you already have iFit and want to do a challenge like this over a certain amount of time, I highly encourage it. There are a few tips I recommend and some things I would do differently for next time though.
First off, as I mentioned earlier, I would plan ahead of time. Not only does iFit make this possible with their calendar, but I guarantee you’ll keep up with your routine better than if you don’t. This is true of any workout plan. If you plan it into your schedule like you would a meeting or appointment, you’re less likely to be able to bail or skip out on it later. There were times when I would put off taking an iFit class until the end of the day or had to squeeze one in last minute.
Plus, if you put them on your iFit calendar, you’ll save the specific class so you don’t have to find it later. And if you want to do different types of training, this can make sure that you’re spacing out your workouts accordingly and keeping your routine balanced, yet varied.
I did notice that I got a bit tired of listening to iFit’s feed.FM music stations. If this happens to you, I recommend using your own music on your device. You can connect through Bluetooth and listen through the speakers if your equipment has that connectivity.
Another tip is to set some goals and intentions. This can help inform which classes you should take. Such as, if your goal is to improve your cardiovascular fitness you should take walking, hiking, running, cycling, rowing, elliptical, or mat cardio classes.
I also recommend taking a wide variety of classes if you can. I know many people probably don’t have the luxury of having all kinds of equipment accessible like I do, but there are so many different classes that don’t require equipment that I think are just as valuable as the ones that do.
After trying iFit for 30 days, I can say that it’s way more than just an app to use for workouts. The wide variety of classes that they offer is beneficial for training your body and mind. I also like that they have so many different instructors. I definitely have some favorites that elevate my workout experience sometimes even more than if they’re in a spectacular location.
I appreciate that iFit is accessible on enabled equipment and through the app that I can use on my phone and TV. This made it possible for me to do this challenge for 30 days. I went into this wanting to see how/if iFit works for all-around training and was left feeling better both physically and mentally. I can happily say that I’ve jumped into a good routine that I continue to stick to weeks later that feels attainable because I’m checking in with my body and mind regularly.