Why I Finally Started Using the 12 Minute Athlete App: Kersten's Story

Hey athletes! This post is by 12MA team member Kersten and her own perspective on the 12MA app. As always, I hope you find it helpful.

You probably know that 12 Minute Athlete has a fitness app. But do you have it—and do you use it?

If not, I’d like to give you a few good reasons why you should consider getting it and actually start using the app.

At 12 Minute Athlete, we’ve always wanted to make working out accessible to everyone, which is why we have hundreds of free workouts available on our workouts page. We post three to four new workouts on the blog every week, so there should always be enough options to choose from and keep boredom at bay.

At the same time, we also recommend people get the app, because it makes working out even easier.

But I’ll admit: It took me months, maybe even a full year after finding the 12 Minute Athlete website before I finally got the 12 Minute Athlete workout app.

Here’s why…

Why I Hesitated Getting the App

There are several reasons why I didn’t get the app right away:

  • I thought it’s going to be too much hassle. I thought that learning to use the app would take me a lot of time and effort. In fact, it wasn’t just the 12 Minute Athlete app that I was reluctant to use. It was all apps. They seemed annoying and almost like virtual clutter so I thought I’d be better off staying away from them. I know, sometimes I wonder if I belong in the 21st century at all. But hey, I’ve taken a huge step toward the modern world and now I don’t even remember what life was like before Instagram.
  • I thought I could still do workouts from the workout page. That’s true, the workout page will always be there. But when I finally understood the value of the app was when I was traveling. Once I started using it, I quickly realized that it was much easier to use than it was to switch back and forth between the workouts page and the timer on my phone. More on that in a bit.
  • I thought that I could come up with my own workouts. Being a personal trainer and bootcamp trainer myself, I have enough knowledge and skills to put together my own workouts. I still do that most of the time. But even fitness pros run out of fresh ideas and sometimes they just want someone else to tell them what to do.

So, for the longest time, I was reading Krista’s posts, doing a few workouts here and there in addition to my other workouts while transitioning from running to HIIT and weight training. But I still didn’t get the app.

Why I Finally “Gave In”…

I was traveling in Hawaii when I first gave the 12 Minute Athlete HIIT Workouts app a try.

There were a lot of things that I wanted to do on my vacation, like hiking and stand up paddle boarding, meeting up with friends and family—but I also wanted to do my workouts.

I finally gave the app a try because I just didn’t feel like spending a ton of mental energy putting together my own workouts on vacation. I also thought that maybe it was time to stop living in the 18th century and familiarize myself with the big scary app world.

Here’s what I found once I gave the app a try: 

  • It was incredibly easy to use. I could choose the workout based on the equipment that I had at hand. All I had with me on my vacation was a jump rope, but some parks where I worked out at had also benches or pull up bars. So I’d typically choose the workouts by clicking “Jump Rope”, “Box” and “Pull Up Bar” in the equipment section of the app. If I had absolutely nothing in hand, I’d just choose “Bodyweight” and I was still able to work out. (There are more options, like “Kettlebell”, “Medicine Ball”, “Dip Bar” and so on, which I didn’t have access to.)
  • I was able to quickly choose another workout if I didn’t want to do the first one that showed up. I could just go back and click “Next” and cross my fingers that there wouldn’t be any high knees in the next workout, because I basically hate them. That’s not to say that you should choose another workout every time you see an exercise that you don’t like, but it’s good to use that option sometimes.
  • There were video demonstrations for each exercise. If there were exercises I didn’t know how to do, I simply went to the “Exercises” section and looked it up. All of the exercises were in alphabetical order so finding them was easy. In addition to videos, there are also written tips on what to keep in mind when doing them. (You can also view exercise demonstrations by just clicking on the exercise on the workout description or by clicking the info button in the bottom left corner in the actual workout)
  • The timer was super convenient. As I mentioned earlier, timing used to be such hassle. By using the app, there was no need to keep switching between the workout page and the timer on my phone, write the exercises on a piece of paper so that I could have the timer open on my phone, or try staring at 30 seconds on my watch. Believe, I tried it all, but there was no going back from the built-in timer.
  • I signed up for the Super Athlete membership so I could keep track of my reps. Here’s how it worked: As soon as I had finished my reps for the 30 second work period, I’d insert the number of reps I had completed and I would try to beat that number next time. Tell me about motivation to work harder the next round!
  • I would set myself a schedule with how many days a week I want to work out, and the app would remind me when I needed to exercise (another Super Athlete feature). The goal of this feature is to motivate users to go and do their workout, because it’s hard to ignore the notification when it pops up on your phone screen. However, I’ve always erred on side of doing too much, not too little, so I used this feature to make sure I don’t do more than is healthy for me. I know that my body can do only certain amount of HIIT workouts a week without getting exhausted. So, the set schedule can also help you to prevent overtraining!


The biggest value for me was that in the app, everything is in one place and really easy to find. Don’t know the exercise? Just jump to the “Exercises” section or click on the exercises to view a video anywhere in the app.

Only have certain equipment, or no equipment at all? Just click on items you have, and you get a workout that uses only these workout tools.

Don’t like some exercises or did the app pull up the same workout you did recently? Just shake the app for a new workout (or hit the Back button and choose “Next” if you have this feature turned off).

The app really makes working out easier. You can use it every day if you want to, but you can also use it only on occasions where you want to:

  • Get away with a super short workout
  • When you only have very minimal space or equipment
  • When you want to remove all the mental work from planning
  • …and especially when traveling, when all of the above are probably true.

Are you using the 12 Minute Athlete Workout app? Let us know why or why not!


Kersten Kimura is a NASM PT, kettlebell enthusiast and a fan of HIIT workouts. After relocating from chilly Estonia to California, she has taken full advantage of the area and works out outdoors whenever possible. You can find her throwing around her sandbag or swinging kettlebells at local parks, or sprinting along the gorgeous Bay Trail.

Find out more about Kersten here and sign up for her newsletter to get her one week equipment free workout plan and seven simple dinner recipes.

Sign up for Krista's Movement + Mindset Mastery newsletter to get your FREE eBook, 5 Keys to Building Mental and Physical Fitness. You'll also receive weekly physical and mental fitness-related content to help get you fired up for the week ahead.

8 thoughts on “Why I Finally Started Using the 12 Minute Athlete App: Kersten's Story”

  1. Great job – excited for you and you look great! After you input the reps and hit “save” how did you see the reps the next round? I’m a super athlete as well but can’t make my app do that.

    • Hey Nick! Thanks! So, the app does show you your all time PR for that exercise, but yes, you can’t see your reps from the last round of that same exercise until you get to the last screen. However, I usually remember my reps from the last round.

  2. Yes Kersten, you hit the nail on the head !!!
    The fact the exercise & timer can be accessed where & when’re ever you need is HUGE !!!

    Great app in my opinion for boxing, sprints & HIIT etc !!!

    Keep grinding Kersten & everyone in the 12 minute athlete group


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