Between weather, busy schedules, travel, and, you know, the sun going down at the end of the day, it can be hard to get outside to hike, walk, run and ride as much as we’d like.
Weight, treadmill and exercise bike workouts are perfect for supplementing the outdoor adventures. You can build up muscle to go further and stave off injuries that can bench a whole season.
The JRNY app from Bowflex is a workout library and tracker for bodyweight, HIIT, treadmill, bike, and elliptical workouts. It’s built into machines like the Bowflex Treadmill 22, Velocore bikes and Schwinn IC4 but can also be used with weights like the SelectTech 552 Dumbells. It can also just be used on its own with the yoga, pilates and HIIT videos.
As a regular runner, hiker, paddler and biker, is a fitness app like JRNY useful? What can it do? And what is Explore the World?
What does the JRNY app do?
JRNY runs on Bowflex machines, phones and tablets. It gives you workouts to follow and tracks them for you too.
On the treadmills and bikes you see curated, adaptive workouts for those machines. There is also an ‘Explore the World’ feature you can watch on the screens instead.
If you just are using a phone or tablet, you’ll see bodyweight workouts, yoga and pilates.
First, a couple pros and cons and then let’s dig into all the features.
- App available across devices
- Explore the World is super fun to walk and run to
- Adaptive workouts evolve to your fitness level
- Includes yoga, pilates and HIIT workouts
- Explore the World only available on treadmills and bikes
- Subscription required to use with streaming video services
Let’s start with what you see when you’re running.
There are 2 different screens, adaptive workout and streaming.
What exactly you have on the bar at the bottom is customizable. Settings also brings up the bluetooth menu to connect bluetooth headphones or heart rate monitors.
Burn rate shows your current speed and incline as a white line and then a coloured area as a suggested area to run and walk in. The suggested paces are based on the Fitness Assessment you have to do first.
Just for you
The first screen on JRNY is the Just for You tab. Here JRNY recommends your next workout based on what you’ve liked in the past. After every workout, it asks if you liked the workout and if the difficulty was good. It starts to build up a list of workout types and levels that you like. When you start to say workouts were too easy, it will bump up the levels.
With the sliders at the top, you can pick the right time and difficulty for you. Maybe it’s a chill day, or a push harder day.
Under the programs tab is the bulk of the workouts on in JRNY. The adaptive workouts are listed here. You can pick whatever you feel like doing. Maybe a nice steady state run or more of a pyramid-style.
To start, you have to do an assessment workout where JRNY can see your fitness levels and what speed slow, medium and fast is for you right now. I wish there was a way to skip this to get right into workouts the first time but it’s nice to have the adaptive workouts.
From the feedback questions you answer, JRNY recommends the appropriate speeds in all your adaptive workouts. The treadmill doesn’t change your speed for you but it does recommend a ‘burn rate’ and you can change the speed to match, depending on how you feel that day.
After picking an adaptive workout, you pick your video and music. Video can be the trainer talking to you, streaming videos from Netflix or beautiful videos of running around the world in ‘Explore the World’.
The trainer’s feedback is pretty chill, only chiming when there’s a change in the pace coming up.
Streaming movies or shows is an option for video after picking a workout. Run a regular or adaptive workout and then pick from Disney+, Netflix, Hulu or Prime to stream a movie or show. JRNY doesn’t provide these subscriptions, you have to have these subscriptions already.
Running is just about the only time I can catch up on movies these days. The running stats for pace, speed and burn rate show up above the video. I really like you can move the stats bar to the top or the bottom of the screen.
JRNY Radio is a selection of music you can listen with your workouts from Feed.FM. They play overtop of a trainer-led or Explore the World video.
The songs don’t sync with any particular workout which would be a nice improvement. Hitting the drop in a song the just as the pace jumps in a workout really makes those fast-paced bike workouts.
In the US EDM/Dance, Pop, Rock, Alternative, Top 40, Hip Hop/Rap, Country, 90s and 80s. In Canada only EDM and Pop stations are available.
Explore the World
Explore the World runs are my favourite feature of JRNY on the Treadmill 22. I find it so interesting to run through under the Eiffel Tower in Paris, on a beach in Australia or through the jungles in Thailand. They are nice smooth videos of what it would look like running or walking through those places.
The videos walk you through the area that you pick (or a compilation). They loop after a few minutes to a different area and aren’t just one long continuous run. I never had an issue with the moving to a different place each time.
What I would love to see updated is starting the run in a different place each time or saving your location from last time. Right now, every time you start Explore the World, it’s at the beginning. So if you run for 20 minutes every time, you’ll see the same 20 minutes of the location.
The Explore the World videos account for your speed. They move faster if you are moving faster. They are slowed down a lot to begin with so everything around you like cars and other people are moving quite slow. I’m not sure if there is a speed at which everything is real time but when walking it’s very slow. I’d love to see this sped up a bit.
Another tab within the Workouts section is trainer-led videos. On the treadmill, a Treadmill button shows showing treadmill videos, same for the bike. The treadmill videos are engaging and well-made. I’d love to see them sync with some music in the future.
On tablets or phones, there’s just the Whole Body section.
Many of the Whole Body pull in from the FitOn app that JRNY integrates with. I like the setup and the quality of the videos. You can filter through Whole Body videos down to Barre, Bodywork, Cardio, HIIT, Kickboxing, Mobility, Pilates, Strength, Stretching, and Yoga.
The favourites tab holds anything you’ve favourited. A little heart shows on each of the workouts so you can favourite and save for later.
A Learn tab at the end holds a few videos about how to use JRNY and how to use the treadmill or bike if you have one.
The Journal Section of JRNY shows all your past workouts. The overview page shows your last workout. This is where you land after a workout.
You can see your workouts over the last 2 weeks and if you’re hitting your goals. Time, Consistency and Distance goals show on the overview page and can be tweaked in the profile settings. Clicking on a past workout shows the details like distance, pace and calories burned.
If you are using your phone for workouts, treadmill workouts also show there. Bodyweight workouts show on the machine screens too.
The profile section is for changing settings.
In general the profiles are very good. You can add unlimited number of profiles for members of your household. My kids each have a profile. Every profile needs a password and email but they stay logged in as long as you don’t log out.
Since you need a different email for each account I’ve just added a ‘[email protected]’ to my regular email and that will look like a separate email but send to my main account. Once you are logged in, a quick click on the Profiles button shows each of the profiles. Unfortunately there’s no way to move a workout to a different profile if you forget to switch.
For settings, you can set your goals and set if you are trying improve energy, lose weight or get stronger.
If you get new weights or a bike you can add it to the Home Gym section so it will know what workouts to show you.
Here you can also connect JRNY to Apple Health to pull in its stats and information. It’s the only integration at the moment.
JRNY on the Bowflex Treadmill 22, iPad and iPhone
You can see JRNY on the Bowflex machines tablets and phones. Videos and programs show up under a treadmill section if you’re on the treadmill. On tablets and phones, the Whole Body workouts show up.
Any workouts done on the a machine can be seen on the phone and visa versa.
JRNY Subscription Price
JRNY is a subscription. You can do pay monthly or yearly and in Canada it’s $29.99/month or $199.99/year. The first year of JRNY for everyone is a free trial.
On the Bowflex machines a lot of the functionality on the screen is part of the subscription, like adaptive workouts, Explore the World, and streaming Disney+ and Netflix
Prices on JRNY-Compatible Equipment
Prices on all the JNRY-compatible equipment will go up and down but we’ll try to keep track of it here. This isn’t every piece that can be used with JRNY but it’ll give you a good idea of what’s compatible and not.
JRNY is an excellent fitness app with a ton of different content. It makes the most sense when you have a Bowflex bike, treadmill or elliptical. It’ll give you access to all the good treadmill programs and the Explore the World videos. I use it most with the Treadmill 22 but it’s easy to use with the SelectTech 552 weights or just for a quick bodyweight workout or cooldown.
The adaptive workouts work well and keep you in a good zone, not too fast, not too slow. I tend to go too fast, get hurt and them back sitting on the bench again. It’s really nice to be able to do an adaptive workout while watching a streaming movie or an Explore the World video. I usually do Explore the World for short ones or get into a move if it’s going to be a long run.
For standalone workout app options there are many options out there. While JRNY isn’t the cheapest, it works very well on phones, tablets and all the machines. With its workout tracking and loads of adaptive workouts, streaming movies, and Explore the World videos, it’s tough to get bored while you crush all your treadmill (and bodyweight) workouts.