If you know the answer is yes, or if you dream of getting called “Boo” in recognition for your fitness milestones, then you are probably part of the Peloton craze sweeping the nation. Peloton is a strong front runner in a pack of companies marketing at-home gym equipment.
It used to be when someone purchased at-home gym equipment (flashback to the original NordicTrack or Chuck Norris promoting the Total Gym) it got the old college try and then collected dust and eventually moved to storage. But for those in the Peloton family, this is one piece of equipment riders never want to get off. It's a bike that is making a big impact. Randall wanted to buy one on NBC’s This is Us, Christina Applegate is seen riding one in the Netflix Series Dead to Me, and Ellen, Jimmy Fallon, and Madonna are fans (like her music or not, she is a fitness queen).
You don’t have to look far to find unsolicited praise for Peloton. Their official Facebook group boasts of almost two hundred and fifty thousand users. They fill the board with stories of incredible fitness gains, weight loss, tips for what classes to stream, and resiliency in health.
Beyond bringing the gym to your home, Peloton’s instructors present a diverse range of styles and music that bring someone for everyone into the mix. You can take classes live stream from their studio or on-demand at any time that works for your lifestyle. Along with their own personality and flair, they make the at-home workout experience something people look forward to each day.
Not only are the workouts challenging and engaging, but they are also social. The whole Peloton community is if spin class and social media had a baby. You can connect with other riders, offer high fives to other members during rides, and if you take part in a live class (in their studio or from your home) you can get a shout out from instructors for meeting milestones like 50, 100, 500 or even 1000 rides.
While the Peloton bike is what they are most known for, they have also rolled out a treadmill. In addition, their app, Peloton App, offers strength training, yoga, meditations, and more. If you prefer to run or walk outdoors, they have audio-only workouts to coach you there, and if you don’t feel like a formal workout class, you can ride with a view of San Francisco or France to enjoy (these have also been popular with parents who are staying home with their children in response to COVID-19).
The list of pros about Peloton is long and boasts of quality, convenience, variety, and reports of good customer service. However, there is one downside that many people struggle with. Cost. This is not an inexpensive piece of equipment. Purchasing the bike alone is $2,245. And that doesn’t include the spin shoes needed to clip into the pedals. Or small bike weights, which are optional but accompany many of the rides. If you and a partner plan to share the bike, getting the full package with accessories for both rings at $2,694. While of course there is no price you can put on good health, this can be steep for many people.
Their treadmill begins at $4,295 on the basic end all the way up to their family package at $4,844. And it truly is a full package. Both their bike and treadmill come with a touchscreen. As your package increases you will get weights, an exercise mat, water bottles, and even resistance bands.
Along with this, you then subscribe to the Peloton All-Access Membership. This $39 per month requirement with their equipment gets you access to classes, tracks milestones, output, cadence, resistance, and completely covers your at-home fitness experience.
Peloton does offer financing options, beginning at $58 per month for the bike and $111 for the treadmill. And those who have taken the plunge don’t seem to regret it. And those who do, there are social media pages dedicated to helping people sell used equipment.
Full disclosure, I love Peloton. Their classes have helped me get back on track with personal fitness and health goals. I look forward to doing a class every day. If I saw Robin Arzon on the street, my favorite instructor and their VP of fitness programming, I would have a complete fangirl moment.
However, I don’t own a Peloton bike. I have gazed at them for a few years and seen friends post their bikes on Facebook with envy. Having done spin classes when I lived in California, I knew this was something that I could stick with. If only I could get one.
But after assessing our own finances and needs in our home, we opted for what many call a “hack bike.” This means we found a less expensive bike and then purchased accessories to get the Peloton experience. I subscribe to their app for $12 a month and get access to all their fabulous live stream and on-demand programming. Since I don’t get to track my personal records or output, I’m having to guess a little on some of the adjustments instructors suggest. But you figure it out.
I do know that after every class there is a puddle of sweat on my bike mat. I know my kids see my exercising and are learning the importance of staying active to keep in shape. On a very personal note, four weeks after my hack bike arrived at my home, I had a cyst removed on my neck that was thought to be benign and ended up being a rare form of skin cancer. With at least two more surgeries to go on my personal journey, I know that when I was still recovering from my first surgery and received my diagnosis, getting off workout restriction and getting back on the bike was the therapy I needed at that time.
One day, I hope to have a real Peloton bike in my at-home gym (aka the corner of my bedroom). Today, I’m grateful that they make their products and content available to all.
The Peloton branding works hard to promote the fact they have created a family and a community with their consumers. Over twelve thousand riders joined a live stream of Robin Arzon for their last live-streamed ride before moving to their new location in New York City. Thousands tuned in to get relationship advice from Cody Rigsby during his XOXO series leading up to Valentine’s day. And those who need a lift in the soul can find Sundays with Love from Ally Love. Where ever you find your groove, Peloton has created a force of athletes and show up and want to connect.
Peloton also gives back. The Peloton Comeback Program awards 50 bikes and memberships each month to people who experience hardships in life. Many post their stories online and you can read them on their website too. They have awarded over 400 bikes and continue to take nominations.
If you do nothing else, the message from many of the Peloton workouts and instructors is to simply get moving. Do what you can do and be good to yourself. Show up today, for you.