I am SO excited to write this post. Warning: it’s a long one. I officially became a part of the Peloton “fam” in July when my bike arrived! Although, I have been using the app since March. I got it when they extended the normally 30-day trial to 90 days, and because I ordered the bike, I had it free for longer. Score! Alas, my official review.
I rode the Peloton bike twice before I ordered it. The first was two years ago when I was staying in NYC in Chelsea and noticed the Peloton studio was steps from where I was staying and they were on ClassPass. So I got to experience it in person, which was super cool! I’d like to go back when I can get back to New York and go again. The second time was this past winter when I went to the Fairmont in Pittsburgh for a spa day (highly recommend that as well). I got there early specifically to ride the bike and texted a friend who pointed me to Alex Toussaint and his amazing Club Bangers ride. Thank you, Autumn!
I NEVER would have made the plunge and bought a Peloton if it wasn’t for COVID, truthfully. I’ve been happy with my routine of running (either on my treadmill or outside), going to spin, barre and yoga via ClassPass, and then going to OrangeTheory. But then COVID struck and things shut down. I was thankfully still able to run as I had been, but I needed some sort of guided fitness in my life. I saw Peloton was offering a free 90-day trial at the time (usually 30 days), so I downloaded it.
Gyms and studios have opened back up now, but I am not going back yet. I do appreciate all the safety measures studios are taking and I am sad to not be able to support them right now. I will go back eventually (honestly, probably not until 2021) and use ClassPass, but I sadly quit OrangeTheory because I am not paying for both a Peloton membership/bike and OTF. I LOVED OTF, but don’t have unlimited funds to spend (and time) on working out. I wish I did! I sure hope they go on ClassPass in the future. But I digress…
Back to the Peloton app. I have been doing a mix of Bootcamp classes (which is treadmill + floor exercises, and now bike + floor) and strength (which uses your own body weight and/or requires just a few weights and a mat). I also did a run class but honestly, I am not into being coached when running so much. I prefer that only for Bootcamp classes. When I run, I just want to run to my own music.
They also have HIIT, yoga, meditation, barre (new!) and outdoor guided runs, which I plan on checking out eventually. The app you can use on your computer, phone, or iPad (sadly my iPad is too old to download the app lol) and then I brought my old laptop downstairs which is better so I can stream the workouts and see the screen. (You can also stream to a TV, but we don’t have one in our basement.) We only have two TVs, what is this, 1998?
I can also use the bike screen but it doesn’t move (the new version does, though!). Spinning it around or to the side would be great to stream floor classes. But I make it work.
The Bootcamp and strength classes have been awesome and come in a variety of levels, and don’t require any further equipment. And I use my hand me down tread from like 1987 (not a Peloton tread) and it works just fine. Not the same, but just fine! But for the bootcamps and strength workouts, I absolutely love them. My favorite instructors are Andy Speer, Jess King, Rebecca Kennedy and Adrian Williams.
Now, the bike. It took eight weeks to arrive here in Pittsburgh after I ordered it in May, just because things have been so backed up. I did try calling a few times and did get it moved up slightly, maybe a week, but honestly, it’s not worth your time because call times are long and they usually can’t help you. So just be patient. I highly recommend ordering the new bike instead of the first version for the swivel screen, as I mentioned. That version also works with the Apple Watch, which my version does not fully I guess? More on that below.
This is my beautiful home gym complete with wood paneling and all. Don’t be jealous!
In addition to my tread and bike, I have a mat and weights I use for strength and bootcamp classes. Not the most beautiful penthouse or mountain view like on the ads, but I’ll take it.
The team who delivered it were awesome. They came into our basement to set it up but would have stayed outside if we asked — they left it up to us and our comfort level. But they were masked and gloved and ready to go. The one guy took me through everything and was super knowledgeable. I also ordered us the Peloton shoes which did not come assembled (so annoying) so he kindly put those together for me. I have other spin shoes I’ve used for classes but I had to order something to adjust them to fit the bike and honestly didn’t want the hassle, so now I have two pairs.
As soon as they left, I took a ride! I started with the 30-minute Cody Rigsby Britney Spears ride and he had me laughing, sweating and dancing immediately. It was SO much fun and the perfect ride to start with! Note: I have done spin class for years so I already knew about clipping, placement, cadence, resistance, etc. etc. If you’re new, definitely start with a beginner’s ride. That’s not to say I am some expert, either. I am always in the bottom of every ride! So I want to work on getting my output up better. My favorite instructors are Cody Rigsby, Alex Toussaint and Robin Arzon.
- Watch the how-to videos on the screen when your bike arrives, to get a sense of how to clip in (twist!), adjust the seat, etc. Also, learn how to adjust your shoes to take them on and off (lift the little lever to loosen and take them off).
- Learn the numbers/screen: Understanding the metrics is super helpful. I don’t get too caught up in numbers, but it’s good to learn what everything means so I can follow along with the instructor. If you just tap each number, too, it disappears so you don’t need all of that on the screen. I usually hide time remaining so I don’t look at that too much. I also like how when you set a PR, it tells you what output you should be aiming for to achieve or beat that. I feel like I’ve been slacking in working my hardest lately, so last night I made sure to stay with my goal and PR’d my output! Also, a yellow box pops up on all the on-demand rides so you know what target metrics you need to be on for cadence and resistance. Live rides don’t have those so you have to pay more attention. But I love the energy of knowing a ride is live!
- Ride with friends: While I usually ride solo, it’s sometimes fun to sync up with friends and do a virtual ride together. Plan to do a live or on demand ride together and you can give each other high fives (just double tap their picture). The Pittsburgh Peloton group did a class together last night and there were about 20 of us on. Lots of high fiving yinzers!
- Use the Facebook group carefully: The Official Peloton Facebook Group is out of control. People are on there constantly and there is some negativity and snark, but overall it’s pretty positive. I like the fun and motivational pictures and usually ignore the rest. However, I’ve found some gems in there by creeping and doing a search on questions I have. Chances are if you have a question, it’s already been asked, so search. Also, check out your local Peloton community. The Pittsburgh Peloton Group is super positive. There are also numerous Reddit threads and YouTube videos.
- Do theme rides: This Google Doc has your guide to all the fun theme rides. You can also search right on the screen within the app, but this list gives you an idea of what to search for. My favorites so far: Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys and Prince.
- Check out scenic rides: I’ve only done one so far, but the scenic rides are great! I put one on and just listened to my own music and got to take in beautiful views. This is a good option when you want to ride without the “rah rah” of the instructor and less focus on metrics. I have grand plans of doing these while listening to a webinar or call where I don’t have to be active on, but so far that has not happened.
- Figure out how to sync up your tech: I connect my Airpods to the Peloton which works most of the time, but sometimes it gets wonky, so I have to disconnect and reconnect them sometimes. Also, I did not want to spent more money on another heart rate monitor (I have one on my Apple Watch and the Orange Theory one), so I had to improvise since my bike does not sync up with the Apple Watch (I have no idea why they didn’t do this until the new version). So, I connected it with HeartCast after seeing people recommend it in the Facebook Group and then it displayed my heart rate on screen. Then it stopped working and I tried disconnecting/reconnecting with no luck, so I started using my Orange Theory monitor and it works just fine. I like to see what my HR is during rides and what zone I am in, so this is a nice function. Plus I think it tracks your calories better. Also, my Apple Watch does connect with the Peloton overall to record workouts when you connect them. So I don’t have to start a workout on my watch when I begin a ride; it does that for you. Note it does take a few minutes post-ride for it to show up in your activity, FYI. More on syncing the Apple Watch here.
I do not regret one bit getting a Peloton and I absolutely love it. The instructors are freaking amazing, the workouts are amazing, the music, the energy, the community – everything! While I miss physically going to fitness classes, this definitely replaces it and I can hop on literally any time I want. I usually do mornings but I hop on at night sometimes too to do a live ride or just because I am itching to do it. And I did the payment plan to pay for the bike monthly. It’s zero interest so the cost of that + the membership is what I was paying before for Orange Theory. Plus you can have multiple people in your house on one membership. I highly recommend making the investment in your health — physical and mental — because that is so important, especially right now.
My referral code is 23KTDV. Use that at check out to get $100 off accessories (like shoes and weights).
Let me know if you have any questions.