On demand mobile phone apps are brilliant (when they work) and gold dust to the people who always finds themselves saying ‘Im too busy to…’ (yes, I’m guilty of this). Which is why I jumped at the chance to review the rather genius TruBe fitness app.
This personal training app basically allows you to create a profile, select a time that’s convenient for you to work out and then find the personal training session to meet your needs.
There are five different fitness sessions to choose from on TruBe: HIIT (High Intensity), Toning & Conditioning, Strength & Power, Ballet Barre and Couples Workout. You can choose the location of where you work out. AND, if you want to get fit with friends, or as mentioned, with your partner, you can. Excellent news for those who can’t normally afford the single session fee (TruBe is £65 per session).
Oh, and you can add notes to your booking. So if you want a session that’s tailored to pre or post-natal fitness, or you have something you’d especially like to include, you can. Pick the level of intensity you want your workout to be too (out of 5 stars), whack in your card details and you’re done. It’s that simple.
I don’t know about you, but I find the idea of getting a personal trainer actually quite scary. When you go to the gym, you are in control of how much you exert yourself. But when you work out with a personal trainer, you push yourself harder than you ever thought possible. I know, I know, that’s the whole point. And I needed to be dragged of my fitness comfort zone. The TruBe mobile phone app was a perfect opportunity to do that.
My only genuine reservation was the fact the PT I was allocated hadn’t fully updated his profile on the app when I had my session, which meant I didn’t know what he’d look like or what his background was.
Obviously, my other half then got a bit worried about me meeting a complete stranger in our local park, which I laughed off initially. But I guess, this could be a genuine concern for many people who haven’t used an app like TruBe before.
But it wasn’t difficult to figure out the guy holding the fitness mat and TruBe branded gear was there to meet me.
And since my TruBe session, PT Alex Lawson, has now completed his profile. So you can rest assured, that once you’ve booked your TruBe session, you can check out all the details on the PT you’re assigned to.
It turns out Alex was the ICO light welter weight World Kickboxing Champion for 2013. He also owns the Springhealth Kickboxing & Tabata Club in Islington. Yep, I think we can say that TruBe employ the best in fitness professionals! And my session was testament to that.
I went for the Toning & Conditioning session at Level 3 out of 5 which focuses on a high number of repetitions over a long period of time.
According to TruBe, this type of training is good for:
- Building endurance and fitness levels
- Preparing for a sporting event like the Marathon or Tough Mudder
- Targeting your legs, bum and tum
- Improving your overall body shape and tone.
Alex was equipped with an iPad which indicated my 30 second exercise spurts, alternated with short rests.
Here’s what it involved.
Sprints: High knees and running on the spot. Works a whole range of muscle groups including glutes, calves, hamstrings, shoulders and arms. Oh, did I mention you do this while holding a sand bell high above your head. AND my trainer was holding his arm up to make sure I was bringing my knees up high enough. (Yep, I know, brutal.)
Lunge with cross-body weight: Holding the sand bell high in the air, you move it across your body as you lunge.
Ladder: Apparently this is what many professional athletes use in their cardio training. I was given various different footwork combinations to go through as fast as possible. As you can imagine, I was gasping. But Alex said my coordination was brilliant. (Not gloating at all).
Ladder push ups: I also had to work my way down the ladder by doing push-ups between each rung. My upper body strength is nowhere near as good as my lower, so this is the point I began to struggle.
Plank Row: FYI – I don’t claim to be a fitness expert and can’t promise the most technical terms here (so feel free to tell me the correct terminology) but this exercise involved remaining in a plank position while pulling the sandbell upwards in a rowing action. You then swap arms and repeat. Amazing for the abdominals, shoulders and triceps, but ouch.
I don’t know the name for the next exercise so let’s call it Quad Hell. Keep your feet together, and as you spring up and jump to the side, bring your arms over in a windmill type fashion, with the sandbell in your hands. It hurts. A lot.
Band pull: Alex held a band and I had to lunge and pull it steadily across my body in the opposite direction. At various points, he varied the tension which, had I been a fitness goddess, I may not have lost my balance. This one is harder than you think. Great for the quads, arms and abs though.
During the session, Alex carried out demos for all of the exercises. And don’t worry, the PT will repeat them if like me, extremely high exertion causes you some memory loss.
A burst of sit ups (take note of the technique, crunches are not good for you apparently) and I was starting to fade.
I kick myself for it now but as Alex kept up the pace, telling me to lift my knees higher and do my push-ups lower, I was saying ‘I can’t, I can’t.’ I had seriously hit a wall and began to feel light headed, my heart was pounding out of my chest and I felt a wave of nausea.
Don’t laugh at me know, this is serious stuff! Especially if you’re not used to HIIT. But after a five minute rest on the mat, I felt worlds better.
Instead of repeating the same routine, Alex then adapted the session to include some Tabata work, which included various yoga-like poses, such as the ‘Superman’ position and plank-like exercises which really test your core strength.
Lastly, I did some more work with the sandbell. Throwing it hard onto the floor before squatting and lifting it up again is great for venting any stress and frustration!
After a cool down and stretch, this was one of the most toughest and gruelling hours I’d ever put my body through.
I ached for 2-3 days after but I was on a real high from what I’d achieved and was pleased how I bounced back after my initial slump. Boom.
And in ten minutes, I was back home, preparing lunch and then back at my desk.
If you want a PT service that fits around your location and your schedule, this app is perfect. Once your session’s over, you rate your personal trainer on their service and they rate you on how well you trained. One of the great things is, they also keep notes on all the exercises you carried out. So they have it on record for your next session.
TruBe is a fitness app I would recommend.
Thank you to TruBe & Alex Lawson for providing a training session as part of this review. For more information on TruBe, fitness inspiration and videos, head over to TruBeapp.com.
Find them on Facebook