Armond And Mackenzie's Road To Nike!

Every Monday at 6:34 p.m., a collective group of trainees gather in Nike stores nationwide to take a challenging boot camp: Nike Training Club (NTC). NTC is a body weight conditioning class that improves your strength and cardio fitness.  Every week athletes from all over Connecticut come together at the Nike Running Store in Westport to squat, jump, run and burpee their way to stronger versions of themselves. Nike Trainer Ambassadors are chosen in each state, and JoyRide is lucky enough to see two out of three Connecticut Nike trainers leading our classes every week

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Armond Jordan and Mackenzie Pretty are rock star instructors on the orange bike and in Studio 2, but every Monday night they eat, breathe and sleep – NIKE.

Below they share what it means to be a Nike ambassador and why it’s important to cross-train:

How did you first get involved/How were you chosen to be a Nike Trainer Ambassador?

Armond: Auditions were being held in July of 2013 for the Nike Westport location and they reached out to JoyRide about potential candidates.  One of the owners of JoyRide, Amy Hochhauser, nominated me. (Thanks Amy!)

Mackenzie: I was first introduced to NTC by Armond! A year ago I went to one of his Monday night NTC Westport training sessions and I was beyond impressed. In April, Armond told me Nike was looking to hire another trainer in Connecticut and I jumped at the opportunity.

There were three stages before I actually became a trainer. Stage one was done online: I had to submit my resume, head shots and answers to questions about why I wanted to be a Nike trainer. Stage two was a trip to NYC for the actual audition. Stage three was a one-day training session led by Nike Master Trainers and Nike's Global Director of Performance and Fitness Training.

What does it mean to be a Nike trainer ambassador?

A: It means representing a brand that has the most innovative training gear and being part of a team that delivers challenging (yet fun) workouts specifically designed for individuals looking to be the best athlete they can possibly be.

M: Nike's product itself is amazing, but it's more about what the Nike brand represents. Nike portrays women as strong, fearless and adventurous. Those are the qualities that I want to be aligned with. As a mother and soccer coach to high school girls, I know how important it is for them to believe in themselves. I want my daughter and my high school team to believe they can accomplish anything they set their mind too. I want my daughter and these young girls to be strong, fearless and adventurous. I wanted to be a Nike Trainer to be role model not only for my daughter and high school soccer team, but also for all the other women and young girls in our community.  Nike inspires women (and men!) and I want to inspire too.

What advice do you give people who want to cross-train? Why is it important?

M: Cross training is so important! Here are just a few of the many reasons why:

1. Reduces the risk of injuries: whether it be spinning, running, jumping or squatting, your joints, ligaments, muscles and tendons can be worked down by the same repetitive exercises over and over again. It’s important to give your body an occasional break. By mixing up your routine, you give the over-used parts of your body a chance to rest and the under-used a chance to strengthen and catch-up.

2. You become a more complete athlete. By challenging your body to do new and different things you also improve your overall skill, agility and balance.  Cross training conditions the entire body so you are not focusing on just one muscle group.

3. You don't get bored! The diversity of cross training helps keep your workouts fresh and fun!

How often should people mix up their exercise routines?

A: Often! There are plenty of exercises for each muscle group, so mix it up and save you and your body from boredom. Shake it up, your body will thank you! I would recommend cardio training 3-4 times per week; and weight training 2-3 times per week. 

What do you recommend for exercise when people go on vacation?

A: Download the NTC app! Little to no equipment needed, videos and pictures of the exercises, and over 100 workouts. NO EXCUSES!

M:  The Nike Training Club App is amazing! There are so many different workouts so you will never get bored and there are videos to show you how to perform them correctly.

What’s your advice for kick-starting your workout/or if someone needs some extra motivation? 

A: Set S.M.A.R.T. goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely), because having a plan in place will keep you focused. 

I’d also recommend working out with a friend for extra motivation. It’s always good to have a partner, you can keep hold each other accountable and add variety to your workouts!

M: Focus on the process, not the result. Sometimes it can seem overwhelming if you are focused on losing 15 pounds or more, or signing up for your first half marathon. Just focus on the day and your specific workout and the results will come over time. And grab a friend! A friend is your best supporter, motivator and cheerleader and they can do the same for your workouts.

What’s your favorite Nike gear that you couldn’t live without?

M:  In addition to my Nike Free TR Training sneakers I have 2 favorite tights:  The Epic Lux and The Legendary Tights are both amazing. The Epic Lux are the best for indoor cycling and running. The DriFit fabric is like magic: the sweat dries immediately!

A: It’s hard to pick just one, but I’d say the Nike Lunar Caldra— fashion and function to perfection!

So, how many Nike sneakers do you own?

A: Somewhere around 30. You can never have too many! I would definitely recommend a training shoe for circuit classes, because they’re specifically built to support multi-planar movements and impact.