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I’m a Peloton Convert

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.

Workout Top + Leggings

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.

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23 Comments

Aurelia

Warning to my west coast friends: with the time difference, there are hardly any evening classes. It’s no big deal if you like to work out in the mornings, but the time difference makes it so I can never take a live class after work. They simply aren’t offered. This was a major deal-breaker for me.

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carly

Oh didn’t think about that! I’ve never taken a live class because I prefer to do them when it fits my routine, just feel like that’s worth pointing out!

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Alexandra

It’s so interesting to see people talk about the live classes. I know they’re a thing but I’ve taken maybe….1? I think I had to for the Pelothon this year. Other than that I can’t imagine taking a live one as they never fit in my schedule and the live leaderboard would totally stress me out!

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Rebecca

I have taken 200+ classes and I’m based in nyc. I’ve ridden live classes TWICE. Two out of 200+. The flexibility is key. Showing up at a precise moment is stressful, like going to the gym and running late.

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Rachel C

The Peloton is so addicting! I was a dedicated Orangetheory member pre-Covid. I loved it. I loved and thrived in the community and have made some life long friends. With Covid, going to a small studio gym just isn’t an option any longer.

My husband convinced me to order a Peloton in June and we received it in July. I am totally addicted. It’s my happy place. It’s shocking how much of a community feel the workouts really have, even the on demand ones. I’ve done a lot of at home workouts and this is the first one that has every made me feel like I’m actually in a class setting. I’m so glad that you love it as well!

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Kristin

For anyone who doesn’t want to buy the bike: buying a generic spin bike and using the app has been so great! There are ways to hook up and get your metrics, but I don’t. I just focus on my bikes own levels and equate it to the ride. This was a much more affordable option for us and I feel like I still get everything out of it! And since we just got a bike from Dick’s we didn’t have to wait months 😉

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Sarah

I second this! I bought a bike from Amazon pre-pandemic and use the app to ride. I love it!!

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Kristina

Totally agree! I had a tread from when I kept trying to run when the kids were little little.

Now I use that and do the boot camps when i feel like! I think the app is like $12?!? Same work outs and everything.

But I have been looking into getting a bike too… The Apple TV has a peloton app so I do all the work outs from the tv so I’m not sure if I’m gonna get the bike or just get a more affordable bike.

I really have no desire to do live classes.

But I will admit it’s really the first gym thing I’ve EVER gotten into.

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VALENCIA D GOWER

Aja loves her Peloton as well. I think she got her’s about the same time as you.

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Amanda

If you’re interested in the online community, join the Peloton subreddit! It’s so good – the FB group is a dumpster fire and not worth your time.

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Anna O'Brien

Hi! Who’s your favorite instructor? Mine switches between Cody, Emma Lovewell, Robin, Jess King, and Leanne Hainsby. I also love all of their yoga instructors!

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Grace

For those who don’t have the bike: I use the app for the other classes (I previously only thought it was for the bike). The other classes are great, and the app is $12/month. It has yoga, strength, running, etc. all with great instructors.

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Rachel C

I agree! The non-cycling classes are amazing! I actually started just doing the app and when I feel in love with it (and actually wanted to work out again!), I decided to commit to the bike. But the app alone is so worth the $13!

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Aar1

Some questions as my husband and I consider getting one. (1) noise: is it noisy?are there speakers? And are headphones compatible? (2) how much space would you recommend? I know the machine is like 2×4 but with room for your arms etc, how much space do you think is necessary? And (3) is it super heavy? Movable with out professionals? Thanks!

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Nancy

The bike itself is super quiet; clipping in and out is the only audible part of a ride besides gasping for breath! It does have speakers or you can pair a Bluetooth speaker or headphones. I usually do arms off the bike using the app and my iPad, so I don’t need more than the 2×4 space. Two people can move it easily. If I were going to move it myself, I’d remove the monitor.

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Theodora

I very cliche-ly got one at the beginning of quarantine, too, and I love it! Pro FB tip: there are often local groups (i.e. I’m in a SoCal group) that are WAY more manageable and still lots of fun, like they schedule group rides.

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cara

Hi Carly,
Thanks for the great review and love the blog. I’m getting ready to purchase a bike. Do you mind sharing your offer code? Thanks!

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Rachel

Love my peloton, and so glad you do, too! I think they are such a good disrupter in the fitness industry. My husband and I always had gym memberships but were always making excuses not to go (living in the suburbs/commuting to work/prioritizing other things). Now, I can convince myself to workout for 30 min on lunch as we work from home, or fit in a 20-45 min class at the drop of a hat before we go on a date or to a social event in the evening! The convenience and access to fitness has made me such a better version of me.

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