Let me begin by saying that iFit is a great tool. It definitely made a believer out of me, and it only took one workout to convince me.
For those who've heard a bit about iFit or if this is your first time hearing about iFit; here are some highlights about this feature. You can read more about this features here...
1- Run The Globe: iFit Live, powered by Google Maps, is the first ever technology that combines large-format fitness equipment and Google Maps technology. With this new technology, you can get on your treadmill, elliptical or strider at home and run or hike through national parks, world-famous cities and scenic outdoor locations on special iFit trails found at iFit.com.
2- This Will Keep You Running: If running the globe isn't part of your program, perhaps working out with Jillian Michaels, TV's Toughest Trainer, is! On iFit.com you'll find all you can handle with Jillian's Fat Shredding workouts. And best of all, you'll actually hear Jillian coach you through each step. Talk about motivation!
3- Track It So You Can Attack It: With your own profile on iFit.com, you can track every workout and watch virtually every calorie. And when you compare that against your fitness goals, iFit will automatically adjust your workouts to keep you on track.
4- WOW It's Wireless: Now with our newest iFit technology, you can manage your entire fitness profile wirelessly. The iFit module makes communication between your fitness equipment and your iFit.com profile automatic. As you work out, your progress is uploaded almost instantly. Plus, each of your new workouts can be downloaded directly to your fitness equipment.
iFit works as advertised. Once the workout is downloaded to your machine, it is all smooth sailing "sort of speak", but lets take a look at some highlights that are not mentioned at all or until you get ready to use the module.
- Lets start with Setting up an account with iFit. If you like getting free stuff, you will like this a lot. When you buy the module from NordicTrack, you have two options; a) Buy the module with a 1 month subscription and you will pay 9.95/month thereafter. b) Buy the module with 1 year subscription for $139.94 total. We got lucky and took advantage of a promo they had and ended up with a free 1 year membership (no longer available). No this is not the free part...
Once you get your module, and sign up for iFit you will be told that the site is running on beta. What does this mean? You will not be charged or the membership you bought will not start counting until "BETA" is removed from their site. Until then, you can use all the features iFit offers for free.
- Next, getting the module to work with your Home Wireless Network. The module works with WPA/WPA2/WEP security settings. If your network is hidden (not broadcasting) it will not work. If you have a MAC address restriction list for your wireless network, you may have a hard time finding the module's MAC address. It is not listed anywhere in the documentation included with the module, so you may be forced to remove this setting on your router in order to get your iFit to work.
- Next is using the iFit web site. Once you create your account, and have followed all the steps to upgrade the firmware on your machine. You'll get to add workouts and send them over to your equipment. Note that you will not be able to send or save any custom workouts until you have upgraded and synced your equipment. The site is very simple and straight forward.. It is very easy to enter information and update your daily workout/eating data. However the site and logs are a bit too simple for my taste.
If you happen to have more people in your household that will use the machine, you can set up user accounts (it wont cost you extra) I am not sure how many user accounts you are able to create under one account. So far I only have mine and my wife's. My guess is at least 4. Each user has their own profile and can set their own goals, join their own events and map their own routes. The machine will prompt you to select a user each time you are going to use it. I found this little feature very convenient.
- Routes and mapping. You will find a lot of different workouts to use. The beauty of using iFit, is that you can map your own route. Yes, you can map a trail or regular street route and run it on your treadmill. The treadmill will simulate the incline on your route. Like everything that sounds too good to be truth, this is one of them. The idea of mapping a route is great, but the catch is; "you can only map a route 10 miles or less" So if you have a 13 mile run or more that you want to do, you will have to split it in two or three depending on how many miles you intend to run. Not been able to map more than 10 miles is not the only thing you will find odd. If you are mapping a round trip run, you will have to trace the entire route manually. There is no round trip button, so it will take you a while to get your run mapped.
Upon completing your workout, your route will be removed from the list of workouts and the next one on the list will take priority. If you plan to run a route more than once, I suggest adding it to your favorites for easy access. If you join an event, this will take priority over any routes 'till completed or removed. The list of workouts is similar to a Netflix Queue. As soon as you are done with one run, the next one moves up and will load upon you pressing the Enter Key on your machine. You can alter the order of your workouts at will.
The first time you use iFit live to do a workout, you will greeted by this screen. It will of curse have your name. Simply select "Load Workouts" and it will do exactly that. The work out will not begin until you press START. The data will sync almost instantly to the iFit website even as you run, so rest assure that your workout will upload without you needing to do anything else.
You can change the speed and incline during the workout if you find yourself in the need to do so. I found myself in the need to lower the speed at some points.. it all depends on the user.
As I said before, this feature works very well and will definitely make your workout equipment more enjoyable. Is it worth the expense? I think so. One thing you need to keep in mind. It is not the same as running on the street. When running outdoors, you get to speed up or slow down at any given point at your convenience. Hills play a big roll on how fast or how much you will slow down on your run. On the treadmill you are running at a constant speed and if you are not careful you could injure yourself. Trust me, I hurt my knees tackling several hills without changing the speed.
You will definitely get to love it, and will find it very useful. I give the iFit an 8 out 10. They will get my 10 until they fix the round trip issues and the limit to 10 miles per route.