Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen

iPods spread seeds of fitness

Virtual trainers on music devices growing popular

<strong>Melissa Vinikoor</strong> (left) and her sister <strong>Claudia Taylor</strong> work out at Select Fitness, 5501 N. Swan Road, with their iPods on their sides.

<strong>Melissa Vinikoor</strong> (left) and her sister <strong>Claudia Taylor</strong> work out at Select Fitness, 5501 N. Swan Road, with their iPods on their sides.

Let’s face it. Exercise can be boring.

Going through the same motions day after day with little results can take its toll on a person.

You may as well be a hamster on a wheel, according to Monica Neave, a Tucson personal trainer and exercise editor for BellaOnline.com, a women’s online community.

“The more clients I train, the more I realize that the majority of people, including myself, hate cardio,” she said. “It’s long, it’s boring and sometimes you’re just too tired to do it with the intensity necessary to get results.”

What if you could inject a little variety, inspiration and a motivational coach into your workouts? What if you could borrow the same fitness expert that trains J.Lo, Paris Hilton or Kevin Costner?

Now you can. Virtual trainers are the latest trend in fitness, and they can be downloaded right onto your iPod or other MP3 player. They are all the rave for tech-savvy fitness buffs who need that extra little push.

How would you like to be on your last leg, and suddenly hear your virtual trainer say, “This is tough, but you are tough! Don’t give in to any old ideas that say you can’t do this. You can, and you are, right now!”

Those are actual words by celebrity trainer Debbie Rocker in her Outdoor Walking to Classic R&B workout.

“I absolutely love it,” said Corey Tillotson, 24, of Tucson who began using Podfitness about three months ago.

“I’m always looking for new ways to work out on my own, and I got addicted to it,” said the part-time personal trainer. “I love to run at Reid Park, anything to get out of the gym. People think personal trainers don’t need personal trainers, but they do.”

With Podfitness, you can pick a trainer, workout type, where you’ll be working out and assign whatever equipment you have – such as free weights or bands, and it customizes a workout for you, Tillotson said.

You can also sink your playlist of favorite songs into your workout. “So being able to listen to your own music, whether it be Mozart or Marilyn Manson, is awesome.”

Neave uses preprogrammed workouts for herself and her clients that she’s downloaded from various Web sites.

“You can find anything as far as workouts go – yoga, Pilates, strength training, core training, running, walking, ab workouts, 10-minute workouts, 40-minute workouts – whatever it is you’re looking for.”

Neave said downloadable workouts help motivate and keep clients on track when they are not with her.

“I use it as another tool when I am training somebody … because it’s not just what you do in the gym that matters. It’s the other 23 hours of the day, and every single day when they are not with you.”

Clients are more likely to do more cardiovascular exercise and at a fat- burning intensity and see results faster, when they use the downloads, she said.

Still, some personal trainers such as Daniel Deguardi of Body Glo Fitness, 10515 N. Oracle Road, and John Coats of Fitness Delivered (personal training in your home or gym), who have not used the downloads, are concerned that fitness newcomers could hurt themselves, especially if they do strength training without the watchful eye of an expert.

“It takes away from the hands-on personal aspect of personal training,” Coats said. “There’s so much I do with my eyes and ears, certainly corrective measures in exercise execution, and you can’t make those corrections virtually.”

Tillotson, agreed that some workouts could be confusing to beginners, such as knowing what a hammer curl or an Arnold shoulder press is.

However, most of the Web sites offer simpler workouts for beginners.

Claudia Taylor, who started training with Neave about a year ago, said the iPod workouts were excellent, because it gave her that extra motivation she needed in the beginning.

It was like having someone hold your hand, especially during the early stages of changing my habits. It also worked me at a level that was going to make a difference. The iPod workouts show you where you need to work, “and it’s actually working harder than you thought,” Taylor said.

Tillotson agreed.

“Eighty percent of (the battle) is getting in there with someone who is going to push you, and this does. It kicks my butt. I love it.”

<strong>Corey Tillotson</strong>  listens to a digital workout plan by celebrity trainer <strong>Jeanette Jenkins</strong>, while running at  Reid Park. Other Jenkins clients include actor-singer <strong>Queen Latifah</strong> and  Dallas Cowboys star <strong>Terrell Owens</strong>.” width=”331″ height=”500″ /><p class=Corey Tillotson listens to a digital workout plan by celebrity trainer Jeanette Jenkins, while running at Reid Park. Other Jenkins clients include actor-singer Queen Latifah and Dallas Cowboys star Terrell Owens.

Fitness instructor <strong>Monica Neave</strong> sports her iPod with digital workout Cardio Coach.” width=”335″ height=”500″ /><p class=Fitness instructor Monica Neave sports her iPod with digital workout Cardio Coach.

<strong><p class=Nike’s Smart Shoe

Nike has made running shoes that will tell how far and fast the wearer has run and how many calories have been burned. The information comes from a miniature iPod made by Apple Computer and a new wireless system called Nike+iPod.

The Nike+iPod Sports Kit, which is expected to sell for about $29, uses the iPod nano to provide audio data through an attachable receiver that will get the data from a senor embedded in the insole of special Nike+Ready footwear ( priced $85 to $110). The new Air Zoom Moire line of running shoes ($100) were the first to have space for the sensor but others are to follow. The removable sensor can be used with any compatible shoe.

Source: Apple Computers (www.ConsumerReports.org or www.ConsumerSearch.com for more information. Source: Consumer Reports and CardioCoach.com

Note: The programs will either download directly into your iPod or onto your home computer to be transferred to the MP3 player. Once you download the files many workouts can be burned to a CD.



Here are some Web sites that offer downloadable audio workouts to get you started:

Cardio Coach (cardiocoach.com) – A few years ago, Sean O’Malley’s Cardio Coach was the only MP3 trainer on the block. Cardio coach audios are designed to be used during any kind of cardiovascular exercise. Offers encouragement, instruction on proper form and interval training. The Web site’s “quick start” guide offers extensive information on assessing your fitness level and how to use the programs safely. Also ships CDs of its workouts. Music is scored from scratch.

Podfitness (podfitness.com) – The latest in digital fitness was launched in March. Podfitness offers a customized workout every day based on your goals, the exercise you select and the equipment you have. Users may select music from their favorite playlist and a top fitness expert or celebrity trainer of their choice including Kathy Smith, Jeanette Jenkins, David Kirsch, Nancy Kennedy, Bobby Strom, Michael George, LeReine Chabut, Teddy Bass, Ashley Borden and Linda Sheleton. Cost: $19.95 a month, with an additional $5 per month for a Premier Trainer.

iAmplify (iamplify.com) – About a year old, iAmplify offers more than 100 MP3 workouts. Instruction in proper form, as well as music or voice-only workouts in a variety of fitness/wellness categories. Fitness experts include Juris Kupris, Chris Bohlin and Tracey Mallett. Cost is $1.99 for individual downloads or subscribe to a trainer for about $12 a month.

iTrain (itrain.com) – Downloadable workouts customized for use with certain machines or equipment, some offer calisthenics that can be used with little or no gear. Choose your expert trainer. Cost is from 99 cents a workout or a subscription for about $10 a month or $50 a year.

Pump One (Pumpone.com) – Video fitness downloads. Long-term, “easy-to-follow” strength, endurance and flexibility workouts. Cost is from $19 a workout. Download the workout and then scroll through the images to see each exercise and how-to instructions and suggested reps.

Fitness Workouts Online (www.fitnessworkoutsonline.com) – Online Training Program designed specially for you by fitness trainers including Monica Neave, an International Sports Sciences Association-Certified Fitness Therapist in Tucson.

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