Friday, February 3, 2017

How to use iFit for Treadmills and Bikes

Earlier this week I mentioned that I was using the iFit program with my Nordic Track Bike and Treadmill and I had quite a few people asking questions about it. Since this week's Friday 5 topic is "Workout Space" I thought it might be a good time to talk about the program a little more in depth.



This post may get a little lengthy but I want to give as much info as possible for anyone considering this program. I found very little info on it and even when I asked Nordic Track for a manual or user guide, they said they didn't have one. The customer service rep told me it was "Job Security".



                                                                 What is the iFit Program?



1. First off, you need to have a compatible device. Both my stationary bike and treadmill are from Nordic Track but there are other brands that are compatible too. Any Icon Fitness brand machine such as treadmills, bikes, ellipticals, stair climbers, etc. will have it. Compatible brands include: Nordic Track, ProForm, Reebok, and Health Rider. 



You need to determine if your machine is iFit Compatible or iFit Enabled.  If it is iFit compatible that means you have to purchase the iFit module (which is like a cassette) and you order it directly from Nordic Track. This is where you get the WiFi connection to use the Google Maps option.  If your machine is iFit enabled. It means that it has Wifi already built into it.  I did not know the difference between the two when my machines were purchased years ago but if you have a WiFi connection at your home, there would really be no need to spend the extra $ on a machine that already has it built in (unless of course you want to take your treadmill outside)!

If you're still not sure if your machine is compatible, check to see if  it has the Map button on it. Also, if your machine has a slot for a cassette at the top of it, it is iFit Compatible. 


2. Okay, Once you've figured out your compatibility status, you'll have to register online at iFit.com.  To be honest with you, I only registered for the program because I wanted the Google Maps option. I did not care about all the other personal coaching stuff.  You can not pick and choose which options you pay for though, it is not a la carte.  I bought a one year subscription and it cost me $119 (I did get a bit of a discount).

After registering, I received the iFit module (the cassette for the WiFi connection) and an iFit fitness tracker bracelet in the mail. ( You do NOT need the bracelets to use the treadmill, it's just something extra)

To connect the module to your Home WiFi, you will need a smart phone, ipad, or tablet.  It connects fairly easy and is self explanatory once you get to the iFit site.

                                                  Here comes the fun part!

3. You get to pick what kind of workout you want. There is a fitness library that you can pick from various workouts. There is a whole list of bike workouts including some famous bike races, there are running workouts, general fitness workouts, Jillian Michaels workouts, and Challenge workouts.


I did think there would be more iconic races listed like the Boston Marathon (which is listed), but there weren't. (The Runner's world races are listed) However, there were tons of fun routes.  Here are just a few that I'm excited to do.
-The land down under
-50 states parade
-Big City tour
-Bridge Tour
-Coastal Runs
-Ends of the Earth
-Famous 5k
-iconic Parks
-Marathon madness (run a marathon leg in 10 different city marathons)
-White Workouts (running through snow)

There are just SO many to choose from that it would take an entire post to write them all. 


I've found the bike and running workouts to be interchangeable. I can choose a Running Workout but actually bike that route and vice versa.


(The Golden Gate Bridge: a Scene from the Bridge Run)

4. Now, If you want to use it for the Google Maps option, you can view the maps on your machine's screen (if it has one), or connect it to your phone, ipad, table, or Smart TV.  I do have a screen on both my bike and treadmill, but I'd like a bit larger screen so I connect it to my ipad. Both the treadmill and bike have an ipad holder on them so it fits perfectly.

The great thing about using the iFit with Google maps is that you not only get to see the scenery, but the treadmill will automatically adjust the elevation according to what the real elevation of your route is. If you are on the bike, the tension will automatically change.

You see the 5 dots on the bottom of the bridge picture above? clicking on each of those allows you to get a different view. One is Map view, one shows progress on the map, etc.

5. If you do not want to run or bike any of the pre-set workouts, you have the option of creating your own. Just enter the location where you want to run (it could even be in your own neighborhood), and you click on a route point to point and it creates it for you.

I'm in no way an expert on this and in fact have had my frustrations with it this week because I'm not sure how to properly exit a workout I no longer want to do.  But I will say that the routes I have done so far have been awesome and it's just a really cool program to have. I can't wait to go through all the workouts to see all these amazing places! -M





25 comments:

  1. This is so cool!! Will definitely have to keep this in mind if I ever buy a treadmill! Thanks for hosting the link up :)

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  2. I actually rode my bike across the Golden Gate Bridge when we went to San Fran! I would like to do the marathon so I could run across it. Bucket list! Have a good weekend, Meranda! :)

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    1. That is really cool. There are about 10 other iconic bridges on this workout too!

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  3. This sounds sort of similar to the Run Social app I have. I really like running the London Marathon on that. Haha!

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    1. Hmm, I should have looked into that one. Does it also adjust the elevation on the treadmill?

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  4. This sounds really cool! My treadmill is 20 years old, so I don't have any chance of using this right now. But I'd love to try it out!

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    1. My treadmill is several years old but it was still compatible. I was surprised.

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  5. This looks like a fun addition to a treadmill but mine is not compatible either. I am going to see what brand the bikes are at the gym. Thanks for the info and the linkup

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    1. There are actually other programs you can use with different brand treadmills. One of them is called "run this world" I believe.

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  6. Believe it or not, my Old Faithful (like 18 years old?) came with ifit. But obviously just programs, there's no screen. I never used it. No idea if it even worked and/or works.

    But with a screen -- that's kind of cool!

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    1. Oh you should definitely connect it to a device, that way you have a screen. Definitely take advantage of the iFit! I went so many years without it. I don't know why.

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  7. Wow I'll have to see if my treadmill is compatible with this because it sounds so good! It would definitely make treadmill runs more enjoyable :)

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  8. Technology just blows my mind with the things you can do now.

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  9. This would make spin classes fun. It's like those virtual roller coasters, but I'd actually be peddling while the scenery was changing.

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  10. Wow! I thought you had to buy a treadmill/machine with this already built in -- so it's cool to see it's a separate unit. I used a hotel treadmill with the virtual routes and "ran" through New Zealand. It was beautiful and made the workout a little better.

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    1. You do have to make sure your tm or bike is ifit compatible. It will have the ifit button or map button (or both) on it.

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  11. My home bike is not compatible but it sounds similar to the Life Fitness brand equipment at the gym I'm a member of. I love "hiking" in New Zealand while I'm on the stairmill :)

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  12. I love that it autoadjusts to your terrain! That would be a great way to practice for a course you're traveling too that's different from your usual routes.

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  13. technology just blows my mind (not that it takes much LOL). I don;t even have a tv in the same room as my 'mill, but a gal can dream, huh!

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  14. Whoa this is awesome. I'm going to check and see if it's compatible with mine. Probably not since it's so old... lol

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  15. Sounds like it would totally bust the bordom of a treadmill workout!

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Fairytales and Fitness is a personal blog authored and edited by us, Meranda and Lacey. The thoughts expressed here represent only our own and are not meant to be taken as professional advice. Please note that our thoughts and opinions change from time to time. We consider this a necessary consequence of having an open mind in an ever changing society. Any thoughts and opinions expressed within our out-of-date posts may not be the same, nor even similar, to those we may express today.

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