Some time just before Thanksgiving I read an article about Aaptiv, an audio-based training app. Aaptiv has pre-recorded training sessions for different activities: some in the gym, some outside, some strength, lots of cardio, and tons of coaches. There is also a real music (not muzak) soundtrack behind every session. Truthfully I think I had subconsciously been trying to create this app on my own for years. I would make workout ‘mix tapes’ and then write down training routines I had seen in magazines. Then I’d plug in and try to do them without dropping my cheatsheet in the grass or just losing my place and giving up.
I signed up for a month-long trial membership with Aaptiv, and was pretty much hooked after two weeks. To my surprise I committed to a six week program called ‘Walk to Run One Mile’. I am not a runner. I probably hadn’t run a mile since junior high school. But I did it. The feeling of elation when I completed the program was overwhelming. I had run almost two miles without stopping, no asterisks! And the reason I did it was because of the coach’s minute-by-minute instructions and encouragement. Even on the days when working out was the last thing I wanted to do, I would remember the rewarding feeling of the coach saying, “You are a-MAY-zing!”
I have never met an Aaptiv trainer I didn’t like, but so far my favorites are Ben, Ackeem and Jade. Ben is like the energizer bunny and was particularly good at getting this self-doubting athlete to “just try.” Ackeem is like a spiritual drill sargeant. You definitely don’t want to let him down. Jade is no-nonsense mellow, and always helps me to reboot my mind. In every workout, whether it’s walking or yoga or meditation, I am grateful for the the positive messages I can take into the rest of my day. They are almost more important to me than the workout itself.
I am not shilling for the app, although I am obviously a fan. TBH, the strength workouts are harder for me to follow. I don’t always know what the moves are, and the verbal descriptions can be confusing. (A half turkish get-up, wha?) but I flail around anyway and google it later.
So what are the results so far? I’m still working out with Aaptiv three or more times a week. I’ve lost some weight and toned up a bit, but the biggest change is in my confidence. I definitely look forward to the “me time” of working out. Deciding what session to download is almost like shopping for shoes!