Lifestyle and fitness expert Jenna Wolfe shares the story of her trip to Microsoft
My flight landed so late into Seattle that night. It was raining (shocker) and there was a semi-rude chill in the air. Mother Nature didn’t exactly lay out the welcome mat. But she didn’t have to… because the next 24 hours in Redmond, Washington would more than make up for it.
I had decided to partner with Microsoft, and received the vague but exciting invitation to come ‘hang out’ at the Microsoft campus, play with the new Microsoft Band, create workouts with two of Microsoft’s trainers, and take in the company’s health and fitness philosophy while sharing my own in the process.
Seemed easy enough, said nobody ever.
How was I, a fitness fanatic and personal trainer and self-proclaimed funny girl, going to provide anything of any value to this powerhouse, well-established well-oiled machine of a company? Were they even going to take me and my philosophy seriously? The short answer was yes. The long answer also happened to be yes.
All those questions were answered the second I walked through their doors and met my two new ‘friends’ for the day. Josh and Clark. The trainers. My welcome committee. So well versed in this space. And so ready to listen to my ideas and suggestions. We wasted no time becoming fast friends. Three exercise nuts in a perfectly equipped gym, with two awesome tools: freedom to create any workout we wanted and a Microsoft Band to track it all.
Prior to showing up, I knew very little about the scope of work this new Microsoft Band could do. All I had used it for was to count my steps, record my heart rate and advance the music on my phone (very cool function by the way). So the three of us sat down at the computer, logged into the Microsoft Health web dashboard (their health home base), literally put together Guided Workouts (a function I’ll get to more in a moment), loaded them onto our bands and then got up and did the workout.
No more looking at a sheet taped to the mirror with your workout scribbled on it.
No more having to log onto your phone after each exercise to see what’s next.
No more walking around the gym aimlessly hoping a workout ‘finds’ you.
Now the workout that YOU created is right on your wrist when YOU’RE ready for it, tracking every move, calorie, step and mile you collect. It’s brilliant. But wait, there’s more! She said in her infomercial voice.
Halfway through our workout at their gym (did I mention that their little office gym is a trainer’s utopia? Every piece of equipment, every machine, every band, ball, weight imaginable is at your disposal. I could have literally lived there… As I was saying…) Halfway through the workout, I got a text from home telling me my 2-year old drew on my 1-year old’s face with a Sharpie. (Always something). Where did I see that text? Right on my wrist. Yup, the band also provides your email, texts, calls, calendar, sleep, heart rate, weather, alarm, GPS, UV index, Guided Workouts and more. It vibrates to alert you of anything new. It’s a complete, full-functioning and customizable notification system.
So I calmly dismissed the hilariously disturbing visual of magic marker on my little one’s face and continued on with the workout without skipping a beat. It’s that easy when all of your information is literally right on your wrist.
I believe that if you want something badly enough, you find a way to make it happen. We’re so busy, our schedules so jam packed, our days so full that many of us literally have no time to find a gym, pick out a workout, and go do it. Any little assistance helps. Just having this new Microsoft Band available to do the thinking FOR you is as easy as it gets. It thinks. You do. Just that simple.
It thinks. You do.
I had a blast in Redmond. No I didn’t meet Bill Gates, or Macklemore, or Russel Wilson, but I did drink from every Starbucks I passed on my way back to the airport. And in many ways, that’s more impressive. (I’m kidding!)
I even had time to create a few of my own, personalized Guided Workouts for you to download to your Microsoft Band and try yourself. With the band’s new build and share capabilities, I literally sat down and designed these myself, and I’ve love for you to try them. You can build your own custom Guided Workouts that you can download to your band. You create a workout, and your band will put you through your paces.
You can build your workouts in the Microsoft Health web dashboard, where you can also modify existing Guided Workouts designed by fitness pros—add reps, remove squats, or add more time to a warm-up. You can select custom-built Guided Workouts as favorites in the mobile app, and download them to your band again and again.
As I sat on the plane waiting to take off, I started fiddling with my band. I’ve worked with a number of trainers over the years, been to a lot of gyms, tried on my share of different fitness bands. I can say without any hesitation, this was one of the most welcoming companies, with the brightest most open minded trainers using the best band on the market. The most information provided in the easiest to read software possible. No doubt I’d be coming back. Either that or I’m happy to host Microsoft in my small New York City apartment. All of Microsoft. Either way, really.
Take a moment and enjoy a look at my time on the Microsoft campus in the video below: