I hate to admit it, haha, but I’m a full blown Peloton convert. I’ve been getting a LOT of questions regarding the Peloton (from current users and maybe-future-users) so I thought I’d put all my initial thoughts into one blog post. If you’re looking from advice from a spinning-pro, this is not for you. But if you want a “normal” person who likes to work out but was never a full blown spinner and was initially on the fence, this is for you.
I have never enjoyed spin classes. I took them here and there in NYC as I had a SoulCycle right on the corner of my block and I had friends who were training to be teachers so I’d take their classes. I “got” the hype in that I totally understood the inspirational, cult-like vibe of going into a dark studio, listening to cool music, and hearing someone give a millennial-focused motivational speech. But I hated the actual spinning. I never could get on the rhythm, I felt like a sweaty pool of gross afterward, and I felt clueless about how I actually did during the class. It (i.e. SoulCycle) just didn’t work for me and I think I assumed it (i.e. spinning) would never work for me.
Then last August, we were staying at the Chatham Bars Inn for my best friend’s wedding and they had a Peloton in the fitness center. Mike was totally sold on it (and he was also someone who had never got the appeal of SoulCycle) and we had talked about potentially getting one. But we loved our gyms and it seemed like a lot of money if we were also going into a gym a few times a week and taking barre classes (that’s me!).
Well fast forward to March when gyms were clearly going to be shut down. Mike very promptly ordered a Peloton and I thought he was crazy. It’s so expensive!! And I really envisioned it just turning into one of those cliche pieces of gym equipment that just ends up collecting dust in someone’s basement.
Even when it arrived, I was like… well, maybe I’ll use it sometimes? It took about eight rides before I finally felt the draw. It definitely took me a while to find the rhythm and build up my stamina. And now? I am, like, scheduling my hair washes specifically so I can hop on to ride.
So what do I love so much about the Peloton?
THE DATA. I think this was ultimately my biggest issue with SoulCycle not sticking. I had no idea what “turn the knob to the left” meant. It was vague and more subjective. The Peloton shows you exactly what your numbers are which is a great way to make sure you’re getting what you want out of the class…. and, if you’re like me, gives you something competitive to work towards. I. Love. The. Data.
THE SWEAT. This is the most shocking part because I usually hate to sweat. (Because my hair is curly and one drop of sweat will ruin a blow out.) I sweat an insane amount from the Peloton. More than any other workout I’ve personally ever done. Whereas it’s usually something I’d avoid, now I’m not only embracing it, I LOVE IT. WHO AM I?????
THE COMMUNITY. So another surprising factor for me is the sense of community. I desperately miss my gym just for the people more than anything else. For being at home and within your own routine and schedule, you still have a great sense of community. Every time I do a ride, I have my Leaderboard set to the group for blog readers and I LOVE it. Almost every ride there are about 20 or so women who have done the class and often there’s one of two doing it at the same time. It’s so fun! One of my friends who is moving away (😭) and I are going to start doing virtual rides together and I can’t wait. (I did join the Facebook group for a hot minute but it was a little too large and a little too nutty.
THE WORKOUT. I think because you get data and you can push yourself compared to your numbers (and how other people are doing), I definitely get so much more out of the workout. Beyond the straight cardio you obviously get, I really feel my leg muscles building up and even my core. Walking down the stairs and doing sit ups lately has been a struggle, in a good way. I still love my barre classes and light/body weight classes, so I’ve been doing shorter 15 or 20 minute rides as part of an hour long workout where I mix different videos (like arms or abs and a quick yoga flow) after.
THE FLEXIBILITY. Probably the biggest appeal to me about the Peloton vs going into a spin class (excluding the pandemic, of course) is the flexibility it offers. You can take a class whenever you want, choosing between a huge library of pre-recorded classes. Or you can join into live ones too if you need the accountability of putting it on your calendar. I like that you can pick the instructor or the music or the length or all of the above. You don’t have to be on your computer on a Monday to make sure you get the class you want… anyone can join whenever without pressure, no waiting lists, no cancelation fees.
I hope that answers some of your questions if you’ve been thinking about it. I really can’t believe I love it as much as I do… but I really love it.