You wouldn’t guess it to look at me, but I enjoy exercising. No, honest, it’s true. Especially weight training or heading out for a little jog at the end of the day.
I can still get bored though, so I keep an eye out for new twists: a funky pair of socks, new equipment, and especially a new, entertaining workout. Lately I’ve been enjoying the online workouts at Nike.com: full-length, completely free workouts led by motivating, super-athletic but amazingly non-frightening trainers. Sure, they’re also showing off workout gear that you can order online with just a couple of clicks, but there’s no obligation to buy.
My main fave has been the Warrior Moves Cardio workout on nikewomen.com. It seems like a relatively low-key combination of shadowboxing and pilates with a thick layer of empowerment all over it. (Sample guidance from the instructor: “A warrior is someone who loves her body and her life and is dedicated to being all she can be.”) But the next day you discover that you’ve made extensive use of muscles all over the upper and lower body both — muscles that you may have forgotten but that will for several days scream for attention. If you can survive a couple of workouts of Warrior Moves, you really do start to respect your body.
But as of today I have a new contender for favorite workout: the OK Go Treadmill Workout. It’s available via iTunes and is sponsored by Nike, but the grand thing is that the trainer/narrator is my sweetie Damian Kulash, lead singer of OK Go.
I don’t have easy access to a treadmill, and I already have the album versions of all but one of the songs included with it, but I bought the workout anyway and used it as my guide for this evening’s jog.
It’s a fairly basic interval training workout: warmup, come up to pace, then run intervals of increasing duration with recovery breaks in between, and finally come back down. All set to the music of — you know it — OK Go. And through it all there’s Damian, urging you to push a little harder here, take it easy there, get ready for the big interval now, etc.
And it’s quite a fine workout, assuming you enjoy upbeat indie-pop music and don’t mind having a cute-sounding guy say charming things to you while you run. I assume that Nike trainers and highly paid copywriters wrote the script, but it doesn’t feel terribly forced, and it is encouraging for real. I’ll know tomorrow just how hard I worked, but I felt like a pushed myself much harder than I would have just running to music.
Nike has a bunch of other workouts on iTunes also — search for Nike Sport Music for the full list. And anyone can submit a Sport iMix. Lots to choose from.
Or, if you’d rather not, you can always just enjoy the video one more time: