"We Tried It" is a column where stylist and occasional athlete Megan Ann Wilson tries new, innovative or weird fitness products. Have a product you want her to test before you buy? Let us know at @shegotgame and @espnW.
Motivation is a tricky thing, especially when it comes to sticking to a routine or revamping your lifestyle.
I travel a lot for work and struggle to adhere to a schedule, sometimes forgetting simple things like remembering to eat, stretch or drink enough water. In my quest to be reminded, I've tried plenty of alarm clocks and to-do list apps, but I always seem to go back to the standard ones that came with my iPhone.
That said, if there's anyone who could convince me to try something new and keep me committed, it's Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.
His Rock Clock app launched last week, claiming to be the world's most motivational alarm clock. Could The Rock help this night owl become an early bird and get my booty out of bed with a head of steam? Time to find out.
The Rock Clock is a free iOS and Android app meant for motivation and to "get s--- done." The app is the second item in Johnson's "Project Rock," a four-part program that aims to help his fans achieve as many goals as possible and "chase greatness" using Rock-branded products. The first release was a gym bag in collaboration with Under Armour.
The app is all about setting goals, scheduling and achievement. First, you pick a goal from the projects list or come up with your own. You can set a time duration -- including "indefinite" -- in which to complete your goal. Next, you set an alarm to get up or remind you about your goal.
The tones are all created by The Rock, ranging from Johnson repeating "beep beep beep" to his much more soothing rendition of "Good Morning Sunshine." You can also choose to wake up at "Rock Time," which is apparently synced to his daily schedule. That meant rising at times between 4-6 a.m. on the Thursday to Sunday that I used the app. (I chose to use this feature only once.)
Each day you complete tasks related to your goal, you're rewarded with an exclusive video from the Rock shouting out to users and sending encouraging words to help them continue to crush their goals. You can only set one overall goal at a time, but you can set multiple task alarms throughout the day.
To get the full experience of the app, I tried a short-term and a long-term goal, as well as different alarms, each to a unique tone. I wouldn't recommend waking up at Rock Time if you're a night owl like me. Having someone yelling at you through your phone at 5 a.m. after a 2:30 a.m. bedtime didn't leave me motivated, just grouchy.
There were a couple of times I crashed for the night without remembering to keep the app running on my home screen, so the alarm never went off. Also, the light from keeping your phone on to keep the app active may distract you from sleep, as it did for me.
The lack of snooze button is helpful to keep you accountable to your wake-up time, although you can choose to cheat the system a bit and set multiple alarms.
It would be helpful if the Rock Clock could send notifications or reminders to check in. On the days when the alarms didn't go off, I often didn't think to watch the Rock's videos until later.
I enjoyed being able to focus on a certain goal and it did make me more mindful of my daily routine while on the road. The tones are all kinds of kooky and fun and the videos aren't available anywhere else but on the app.
I didn't necessarily feel more motivated, but I certainly was entertained. I kept using my iPhone alarm clocks, though, as they're much more idiot-proof and guaranteed to go off.
Worth the money?
The Rock Clock is a free app, so it's certainly worth the download to see if it's right for you. It's worth it for daily videos from The Rock and his charming but challenging personality.
Perhaps if you're training for a specific goal, like a marathon, it's a great daily reminder. I personally prefer apps that integrate with my existing calendar, so it looks like I'll stick to getting my Rock fix via Instagram, rather than early-morning wake-up calls.