A Guide to iFit for Ellipticals
This free guide to iFit for ellipticals can help you understand the iFit Coach app for personal training. Learn about your iFit display choices, how to create iFit Coach workouts, 24/7 activity tracking and more.
What Is iFit Coach?
iFit Coach is a virtual personal training app that adapts to your activity. On your elliptical and away, iFit Coach can deliver unlimited personalized workouts, track your activity and give customized advice to optimize your fitness efforts. Tips from iFit Coach range from scenic Google Maps workout routes to snack ideas based on your recent exercise.
The app can coach you 24/7 and however much you like. Optionally you can integrate a wearable device like iFit Vue to track your heart rate, count your steps, send reminders and even analyze your sleep.
Social features — workout sharing, competition and messaging — are built into the app for extra motivation.
Overall iFit Coach can help you get fit by:
- Giving you tailored workouts
- Providing multiple forms of motivation
- Helping you make informed decisions about your daily activity, diet and sleep
iFit Coach is compatible with apps for Apple and Android devices. The download is free and iFit membership starts at $9/month. (We chose $15/month to avoid a long-term commitment.) Here’s a view from the App Store:
iFit Coach Display Options
iFit Coach is available on computers and mobile devices. It’s also built into iFit Coach enabled ellipticals, and it connects to iFit Coach ready ellipticals over apps for Apple and Android.
Your possible displays for workouts, stats and other app features include:
- Elliptical machine’s built-in screen*
- Mobile device (Smartphone, tablet, iPod Touch)
- Home computer
- Apple TV
- Standard TV
- And more
* Applies to iFit Coach enabled ellipticals
iFit Coach Enabled Ellipticals
Your preferred way to use iFit for ellipticals might be with an iFit Coach enabled elliptical. These cross trainers have built-in touchscreens. Directly from the elliptical console you can access all iFit Coach features, including our favorites: interactive video workouts and Google Maps workouts.
Widths for iFit Coach enabled elliptical screens run from 7” to 22”. The most advanced screens from ProForm and NordicTrack are high definition.
iFit Coach Ready Ellipticals
The most affordable iFit ellipticals are iFit Coach ready. These cross trainers have classic LED screens with soft blue lighting to show your stats and workout progress. To use a web-enabled touchscreen, just BYOD (Bring Your Own Display). Use Bluetooth to connect a tablet, smartphone or other compatible Bluetooth device to get a secondary iFit Coach control center and HD video viewing screen.
Bonus: iFit Vue
With monthly or yearly iFit Coach membership you can receive an iFit Vue, a wearable 24/7 activity tracker that communicates with the app. A Vue can help you make the most of iFit Coach by sending reminders and automatically detecting your steps, sleep and other activity. It also lets you log activity when you’re away from your main iFit Coach display.
iFit Vue trackers are compatible with these Apple and Android devices:
- iPhone 4S, 5, 5C, 5S and above
- iPad 3 and above
- iTouch 5th generation and above
- Android 4.3+ with Bluetooth 4.0 BLE
A Vue can automatically sync data with iFit Coach when a paired device is within range.
iFit Coach Workout Programs
Computerized workout programs, like human personal trainers, help people get efficient exercise. Programs in iFit for ellipticals can control your fitness machine’s pedals to help you reach specific goals like “Burn 300 calories” or “Walk five miles.” They let you exercise without a constant focus on the resistance and other settings… although if the challenge isn’t right, you can override a program anytime.
You can choose from three main kinds of computerized workouts with iFit for ellipticals: personal training, Google Maps and interactive HD video. This guide shows how to make iFit elliptical workouts or choose from ready-to-go programs.
Part 1: Personal Training with iFit for Ellipticals
A personal training workout with iFit for ellipticals is like a preset program on classic health club equipment… but it’s tailored to your fitness profile.
In comparison the iFit video and Google Maps workouts are visually much more interesting… but basic personal training workouts allow wonderful precision.
For example, you can choose an interval workout that burns 222 calories. It’s from an expertly designed iFit Coach series.
You can also build your own personal training workout:
- Choose Create on the main menu.
- Choose Distance Workout.
To sculpt the route, drag the color-coded lines for incline and speed. Depending on your machine, the incline setting will control resistance.
iFit Coach lets you create and save an unlimited number of personal training workout routines.
Part 2: Google Maps Elliptical Workouts
A special feature of iFit for ellipticals is unlimited Google Maps workouts. Striding on your elliptical, you can virtually hike anywhere that Google has mapped! The best routes have Street View for interactive visuals. Using an iFit elliptical with incline, you can virtually feel the topography too.
Below are Google Maps screenshots from recent “elliptical vacations.” In one week we hit New York City, the Grand Canyon and California’s 17-Mile Drive:
Workout programs let you alternate among Street View, Image View, aerial views and elevation graphs.
Next we show how to create your own Google Maps workouts… but remember that iFit Coach also delivers scenic ready-to-go routes based on your profile. You can also choose map workouts from the iFit Library and through iFit social features. Here are previews of some iFit Library Google Maps workouts for ellipticals:
How to Create an iFit Google Maps Workout
When you create a Google Maps route in iFit for ellipticals, you can take different approaches:
- Be precise about your cross training. Draw a route based on distance, incline and calorie burn.
- Be informal. Choose a route just for the views and forget about the real-life difficulty. After all, with iFit you can override program settings anytime.
For this iFit guide we created a virtual Manhattan-to-Brooklyn hike for the tourist views. We explain our main steps screen-by-screen. The steps are easy to follow.
STEP 1: Click the iFit Coach main menu button Create. Then choose Map Based Workout.
STEP 2: Select your Activity Type on the next screen. For elliptical workouts choose “Run.”
Also on this screen, iFit Coach requires a Workout Name. You might want to get specific to jog your memory later on, or to help your followers.
Adding a Workout Description is optional. The description can be a handy reminder to yourself, plus it can be useful to anyone with whom you share the workout. You might want to include detail about general intensity, distance, elevation change or scenic highlights.
STEP 3: On the next screen, type your desired workout location into the Search Location field. We chose Times Square in Manhattan. Then click on map points to draw your route.
iFit Coach will plant a red “F” to indicate your finishing point. The red point moves as you click. If you make a mistake, just click “Undo.” Some other thoughts:
- As you draw, iFit Coach supplies data such as elevation change and estimated calorie burn. This might guide your decisions. We just cared about walking past Central Park.
- The app indicates which paths have Street View. The available paths get highlighted with light blue. When an interactive view isn’t available, a still image will show.
- The “Close Loop” tool can be a timesaver; you won’t need to click as many map points… but looping is optional. Instead of looping back to Times Square, in this example we decided to finish in Brooklyn at Tom’s Restaurant (a.k.a. Monk’s Cafe on Seinfeld).
On the next screen you’ll see overviews of your route. You can toggle between a satellite image and map view. iFit Coach provides an elevation chart too.
STEP 4: Click the Schedule Workout button. The date won’t be set in stone; you can reschedule from your iFit Coach calendar anytime.
From this screen you can also share the workout with other iFit Coach members.
Part 3: iFit Coach Video Workouts
The iFit Coach video library has diverse workouts in two formats: interactive and traditional. Both are high quality and created with world-class personal trainers.
Interactive iFit Videos
Filmed in HD (high definition), these videos are similar to Google Maps routes — but the footage is especially immersive. In many iFit Videos a personal trainer works as your guide, occasionally appearing on screen to share an exercise tip or motivational message. In others you train solo along a famous route.
Shown here are photos from a guided beach run. The personal trainer includes several intervals of off-the-elliptical strength training.
Traditional Workout Videos
The iFit Library has hundreds of workout videos for exercise away from the elliptical. Like the interactive videos, these feature top-notch personal trainers. Members can choose from exercise series as diverse as kickboxing and prenatal yoga. Here’s a screenshot with sample program titles:
Statistics Tracking with iFit
It might sound dull, but tracking your fitness statistics with iFit is addictive! You can choose from various 24/7 stats that connect your elliptical exercise, other activity, sleep and diet. Seeing an overview it’s natural to “compete with yourself” and make better fitness decisions.
Wearable Activity Trackers for iFit Coach
The iFit Coach app automatically tracks stats such as calorie burn and distance for your iFit elliptical workouts.
You can manually add other activity info with the app… but for the best activity tracking, you’ll probably want to use a wearable fitness tracker.
A typical modern tracker is a bracelet-style or wristwatch-style gadget that automatically detects activity and sends data to your workout app. It also lets you enter data manually. The best trackers can record info from wireless heart rate straps. Some have communication functions such as text notification.
iFit Vue is a tracker made especially for iFit Coach. A free Vue is normally included with iFit Coach membership, and you can upgrade with a variety of colors and styles.
See Your Stats in iFit Coach
Your Stats (fitness statistics) are easy to find on the main iFit Coach menu:
You can toggle the view to get stats for Today, This Week and other time periods. The app shows a summary of your step count, calories burned and more…
Your completed workouts will be listed too. And if something’s missing, you can edit with the Log menu:
Updating your Weight is essential for getting the most accurate workout stats. It also helps iFit Coach deliver training advice that best supports your goal weight.
Measuring Sleep quality is best with iFit Vue and a heart rate monitor. These devices help provide sleep/wake reminders and can generate advanced data such your time spent in different sleep zones. Still, the basics of iFit Coach Sleep can help anyone improve their sleep quality.
How much is nutrition on your radar? Some people habitually eat well. Others tend to struggle with portion control or choosing smart ingredients. In our review iFit Coach nutrition has something valuable for everyone.
Nutrition Plan Summary
iFit Coach automatically creates daily nutrition plans for each member. You can see your daily plan within the app by expanding the green bar. The plan includes a calorie total and a meal-by-meal calorie breakdown. In this example 756 calories remain in the day:
If you click a field you’ll see recipe suggestions. Upon clicking “Afternoon Snack” we got an easy recipe for fruit leather. We weren’t in Martha Stewart mode but the article held our attention.
Recipe previews will also appear on your iFit elliptical machine’s welcome screen:
Maybe everybody likes the idea of a burrito bowl, but we felt as if the Coach had us pegged.
Logging calories with iFit Coach is optional, and it can be basic or detailed. Logging your calories helps ensure that the app accurately estimates how many more calories are in your daily eating plan.
- Quick Mode lets you enter a calorie count without specifying the foods. You can enter calories quickly with iFit Vue, the iFit Coach app or the iFit website.
- The iFit nutrition database can help you enter detailed info about foods and drinks. It’s available through the app and website.
Below are screenshots of the iFit database. We searched for “hummus” and chose from dozens of results…
We scrolled and selected avocado hummus. Then iFit Coach provided a nutrition label:
We changed the Quantity to show six tablespoons of hummus instead of the default. Then we submitted the item and got confirmation:
iFit Coach Social Features & Memberships
A basic iFit Coach membership includes all of the above workout formats and stats tracking. Also, as mentioned in the introduction to this guide, it includes social features.
The iFit Coach app and Vue trackers have various social features. As you start using iFit for ellipticals, here are five top “social powers” to keep in mind.
- You have the power to be private or public. Your iFit Coach profile can be private or public. If you like, add a mini biography and make your profile discoverable. You can accept followers on a case-by-case basis.
- You can follow others. Follow other members and iFit staff to see their posts, just as you do with other social media platforms. A post might include a workout program, an article link, a comment or question.
- You can share workouts. You can try workouts created by other users, and you can share your workouts with the whole community or a private list. iFit members share workouts informally but also post formal Challenges with date ranges for completion.
- Competition is available anytime. The app lets you create or accept Challenges anytime. iFit Coach also tells you how many people have completed a workout. It tracks a variety of rankings as motivation.
- Texting is included with wearables. With some models of iFit Vue, iFit Coach members can exchange text messages directly from their wristbands. The Vue vibrates when a message from another member arrives. Additionally some versions of Vue are compatible with mobile phone texting networks.
iFit Membership Costs
Some iFit Coach features cost extra, but everything shown above is standard. At last check the cheapest iFit Coach cost per month was $9, although that’s with a long-term agreement. Month-to-month the lowest price is $15.
We like how an iFit Vue is included even if you only commit $15 for a single month of iFit membership.
For more detailed information visit this official page.