If you’re the type that needs a gentle push to get in that workout, a new app might be the answer.

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SOME FOLKS HAVE initiative when it comes to their workout plan. They go to the gym on their own, head out on a run or do a workout at home.

I need more help than that. While I can practice yoga on my own or craft a workout, I prefer it when someone else is in charge. With a teacher I work harder, spend more time working out and can’t skip the exercises I dislike.

Vacation is especially challenging. I like activity, but I am not inspired by hotel gyms and need more guidance.

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voltathletics.com

When a local company reached out about a new app that’s intended to be the digital equivalent of a personal trainer, I was interested. Maybe this would be my solution.

Pacific NW Magazine: Oct. 30 edition

International Stunt School student Vincent Johnsson practices a fire-burn exercise — ISS instructors kept reminding the students to look more dramatically agonized while on fire. (Benjamin Benschneider/The Seattle Times)
International Stunt School student Vincent Johnsson practices a fire-burn exercise — ISS instructors kept reminding the students to look more dramatically agonized while on fire. (Benjamin Benschneider/The Seattle Times)

Volt training programs are based on how an athlete trains, and the personalization starts with your sport. Basketball, volleyball, water polo and more have their own training plans. Marathoners and triathletes can choose a plan to prepare for their next race. For us nonspecialized folks, there’s an “all-around athlete” program, which I checked out.

Christye Estes, one of the sports performance specialists who designed workouts for Volt, met with me. She showed me how Volt works. I liked how you can switch your exercises if you want to change the type, although you have to choose from within a group of exercises that targets areas of the body.

One of my favorite parts of the app was the wellness questionnaire at the beginning. It reminded me a lot of my lifting coach, who asks about stress and sleep, elements that make a huge impact on how I lift on a daily basis.

We started with the dynamic warmup detailed in the app; we skipped the speed and agility primer, and other specialty options, like ACL injury prevention and rotator cuff injury prevention.

The workout itself was familiar, especially if you do a lot of interval or strength training. Our exercises included squats, and balancing on one leg. We did a banded lateral walk, threw a medicine ball against the wall and executed a bridge lift to engage the glutes. The rep scheme was fairly moderate, with 10 to 15 reps, without a timer. After each exercise, I rested for 30 seconds.

The sets were grouped into three exercises, focusing on different areas of the body. I didn’t swap out exercises, but I liked the option, which would be useful on the road when you might not have the right equipment.

Working out with Estes was fun, because she watched my form and discussed technique. Because you won’t have a trainer, the app provides technique information as well.

As you advance, the workout gets harder, moving into more challenging weight and technique, including barbells. The app paces your workout, building you up to a personal-record strength week. From there, it adjusts your workout based on your totals. It also builds in recovery.

The app is flexible, allowing you to take rest weeks or to ramp up your goals. It’s ideal if you’re training for a race, or for independent-minded fitness folks.

I was tired the day Estes and I met, so we did two sets instead of three, which was recorded in a workout summary. I liked being held accountable, and the workout was straightforward and solid. I can see pulling out the app on vacation, though you would get more benefit using it regularly.

If you are looking for personalized workouts or sport-specific training, Volt could be a great fit. Let me know how it goes.