Nike+ Training Club Santa Monica is a fun group workout that keeps you on your toes. Literally. The front part of my Nike sneakers is worn in from doing so many planks, pushups and lunges. Yet it’s always a fresh new workout that introduces various bodyweight exercises. I’ve been to about five of these hour-long workouts and go whenever the timing fits in my schedule. Sign in is 6:15 to 6:30 on Tuesday evenings and the group gathers in front of the Nike store for a pep talk before and after the workout.
The two trainers Ashley and Ryan focus on the participants, and they know what they’re doing. They correct your form if you might hurt yourself but honestly don’t have time to circle around to everyone that is present. Both are also motivational, which helps push you through the repetitions of each set of exercises.
There’s a positive vibe with smiles and encouragement from both the trainers and participants. Arrive by yourself or with friends; the trainers typically encourage you to pair up with a stranger and get to know them a bit regardless. Although it’s technically a meetup group, the social aspect can get a bit lost because more than 100 people work out most weeks. But thanks to this, there are people of all ages, shapes and sizes, so pretty much anyone can blend in.
The workouts occur in the center of the outdoor mall, Santa Monica Place weekly. This part can get a bit awkward sometimes, however, due to the touristy aspect of the place. Onlookers gather to watch the workouts and gaze down from all levels of the mall, which can surprise you if you look up during a side plank and someone is staring down. I’ve never had a bad experience nonetheless. Many shoppers ask about the workouts and Nike Store employees are on hand to answer their questions so the workout is rarely interrupted for participants.
I always bring water, although they do give out 8oz water bottles upon sign in. I usually wear a sturdy sports bra, light t-shirt, leggings and sneakers. Some people also bring a yoga mat, but most do not. Above all bring a great attitude and be ready to move, sweat and enjoy a great, free workout.
If you don’t live near a training club, don’t let that stop you! There’s a free Nike Training Club app to do the workouts virtually. There are more than 100 bodyweight routines to try on the app… so let me know which workouts you love. I just found out about the app!