By Simon Gould
Fitness apps have really taken off in recent years. Us fitness consumers are discovering the advantages of being able to track our progress and exercising with other people. Fitness equipment companies are now embracing this technology and Bowflex are too with their JRNY app. I’ll explain all about the jrny membership in this review.
Bowflex fitness equipment
The app works with all the Bowflex equipment including the VeloCore bikes, Max Trainer ellipticals and Bowflex treadmills. They all have a built in touch screen except the Max Trainer M6 where you use your own tablet to access and use the app. It really enhances each equipment and I’ll go through the actual features a bit further below and you’ll agree it’s definitely worth using.
What I like about Bowflex and their equipment is that they always use the latest technologies. They don’t just try and update an existing piece of equipment, they remake it better than it was before. A great example of this is their Treadmill 10. It is like a revolution in treadmill design and built around the JRNY app with a 10″ full HD color touchscreen.
The VeloCore bike as well is unique in the way you ride. You can tilt or lean from side to side as you go round bends. It costs the same as a Peloton bike and yet has more features. This is on top of a choice between a 16″ or 22″ touch screen. Bowflex take it that little stage further so that you enjoy working out and this gives you the motivation to achieve your fitness goals.
Features of the Bowflex JRNY app
When you consider the app is rated by the Apple app store of 4.6 stars out of 5 by nearly 3,500 users. I think that’s high praise and the features tell you why people enjoy using it. It’s updated regularly as it’s connected using Bluetooth with whatever equipment you’re using it on. A lot of investment has gone into the app and you can tell because of all that it does.
+ Fitness assessment
You’ll be amazed at all the options available to you but your first choice should be the fitness assessment. It’s by doing this that the app can really take you to the next level with regard your fitness goals, whatever they maybe. The assessment will measure how fit you are whether that’s someone new to exercise or a fitness expert.
The app uses this data from your assessment to create workouts that are designed for your fitness level. If you score relative to someone who has hardly ever exercised before you’ll get workouts that are easy for you to handle. If you’re an expert you’ll get far more challenging workouts. Each person in the family can have their routines tailor made to them.
+ Workouts adapt
Not only are your workouts tailor made for you, they adapt and get slightly harder as you complete them. They don’t suddenly have you completing a marathon after a 1 mile run but subtly improve your progress and fitness as the weeks go by. This is the very nature of how our bodies work, by going a bit harder over time we adapt.
Whether you want to lose weight or run longer and faster, a workout that adapts will help you achieve these goals quicker. No longer do you need to pay a personal trainer to devise your workouts for you, you can exercise with your own fitness routine using the JRNY app. This is far cheaper and you get professional workouts using data that a personal trainer won’t have.
+ Explore the world
The app has you exercising in over 40 destinations around the world. Your workout statistics feature along the bottom of the screen while the locations fill the rest. These aren’t just any locations either, they are chosen because they represent beautiful places you may not have had the chance to visit.
The speed you go through the locations depends on the speed you go as you exercise. Whatever Bowflex equipment you’re on, the faster you go on it, then the faster the screen and location moves. You do all this while monitoring your progress, whether that’s a short walk on a treadmill or a long ride on the VeloCore bike. All this is shown on the touchscreen or your tablet using the app.
+ Virtual coaching
You have coaching that guides and encourages you through each workout. This is to help you get through each workout that has been designed for you using the app. Just as you maybe struggling at the end of your routine the coaching has you going the extra mile. The coach isn’t aggressive but a helping demeanor to help you achieve your aims.
There are trainer led videos you can view on the touchscreen or tablet. This takes your workout history to give you content by video. There’s also educational material all within the app to get you to exercise as effectively as you can. All this content is individualized to you through your Bowflex equipment. You could spend all of your exercise time in the JRNY app because of it’s advanced features.
+ Rewards & celebrations
This is something I think will be in all apps soon. Whenever you reach a milestone or a personal best you are told and get a reward. Whether it’s burning the most calories or exercising for 7 days in a row, you are encouraged and praised for your progress. Bowflex have always done this and I think it’s a great little feature.
We all workout to get fit or lose weight, there is a purpose every time and I like that the app can recognize when we have achieved something. It’s great for keeping our motivation going as we like to compete, even with ourselves, to do better than we have done before. You’ll enjoy seeing a celebration suddenly appear when it’s activated as you workout.
+ Stream entertainment
If you have the benefit of having a touchscreen with your Bowflex equipment like the treadmill 10 which is full HD, then you can stream popular services on it. This includes Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+. You require a subscription to that service but it can be enjoyed as you workout right in front of you.
Even Peloton don’t have the ability to use streaming services on their screens. Yet you have it here and is a testament to the investment and usability of Bowflex fitness equipment. There’s also another feature called Bowflex radio where you can listen to curated playlists as you exercise. These are many and varied and give another form of entertainment.
+ Constantly updated
Bowflex is constantly investing in their app by updating it regularly. There used to be 25 destinations you could run, in the explore the world feature, now there are over 40. They take feedback from their user base seriously and make changes and improvements to the app all the time and you can see this by looking at older reviews.
This is how it should be, you pay a subscription to the app so it should be updated and improved upon. Bowflex are always updating their equipment so it only makes sense they should do the same with the app. This is the app which is becoming a more primary part of using their equipment so they have to make sure it’s very functional and works perfectly for everyone.
+ 2 months free trial
All the Bowflex fitness equipment I’ve mentioned come with a free trial of the app. This is perfect to see if it’s right for you. You really should have it for the features and because it makes the equipment so much more fun and motivating to use. You are sent the relevant information to redeem your free trail with your purchase.
If you decide you don’t want it, you can cancel the app within 48 hours of the 2 month period and not be charged. Your Bowflex equipment will still work and you’re able to use a different app if you wish. Although a different app will not work on the touchscreens, you’ll need your own tablet there. The app has so many features and is so well reviewed I’d be very surprised if you didn’t keep it.
Drawbacks of the Bowflex JRNY app
– App is essential – As with all fitness equipment and their apps, they are becoming essential. They are so much fun to use and motivating but they’re something we’ll see more of over time. There is a cost involved. You get 2 months free then it’s $19.99 per month or $149 per year. I think it’s worth it and you see this on all professional apps now.
The Apple app store has a user rating of 4.6 stars out of 5 from nearly 3,500. Some negative reviews report that their connection was interrupted. Check your internet and if it often goes on and off then you may experience a similar problem. But the fact that the overwhelming majority rate the app highly indicates this is rare.
Bowflex JRNY app review summary
When it comes to fitness apps, rather than think of a reason to use one. I can’t think of a reason not to use one. They are so well designed and make such a difference in your fitness journey. I always recommend them and why not go for one that has been designed to be used with your own fitness equipment. If you like Bowflex equipment then the JRNY app is the perfect accompaniment.
Let’s face it, exercise is all about the workouts and that’s why I like the app. It provides workouts tailer made to your fitness level. You can complete the one it provides or not depending how you feel that day. Either way your progress is tracked so you can be sure you’re on your way to achieving your fitness goals. Fitness apps will soon be the normal thing to have and Bowflex have a great one for you already.