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".
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
-Ends of the Earth
-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.
(The Golden Gate Bridge: a Scene from the Bridge Run)
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