My fiance and I made the decision in April to order a Peloton bike. He’s had several knee surgeries and his doctor suggested he get a stationary bike. While there are certainly more affordable options out there, the strong online community, engaging live and on-demand classes, and inspiring instructors really appealed to us. And as New York residents we knew it would probably be a while until gyms would reopen. Due to COVID delays, our bike didn’t arrive until about five weeks later (felt like the longest five weeks!) and we had to carry the bike into our home and complete the set-up ourselves (normally the delivery team brings it in and sets it up completely for you). After getting stuck on the bike for about two hours (it was my first time wearing clip-in shoes and took me a while to get the hang of it!), I was immediately obsessed. I think I rode the bike for probably 50 days straight - so it was an easy decision to not take Peloton up on their 30-day money back guarantee offer. I am still obsessed and get excited on my “Peloton workout days.” I can’t even describe why I love it so much, but I’ve shouted my love from the rooftops and excitedly told any friends who will listen about it (two of them have even ordered the bikes because of my near-constant praise!).
My favorite instructors so far have been Robin Arzon, Alex Toussaint, Cody Rigsby, and Ally Love. Their energy is incredible and they usually play pretty great music! I usually opt for a 30-minute ride, and if I want a longer workout I’ll pair two classes together, but having the option to take a 15 or 20-minute ride if I don’t have much time to commit is great and makes it easier to workout whenever I can. I usually opt for classes like Bike Bootcamp, Intervals & Arms, Tabata/HIIT, or most often just filter classes by the type of music I’m in the mood for, and I love some of the theme rides like Beyonce, Sundays with Love, and XOXO Cody. Competing on the leaderboard is motivating, but I really enjoy being able to compare my stats to my past rides and trying to set a PR. It doesn’t happen as often as I’d like - sometimes you start a ride with the mindset you want to set a PR and it just doesn’t happen, it can really depend on the ride and the layout of the class just as much as your energy, and sometimes you just go hard and surprise yourself. Because I love the bike so much and see it in my home every day, I find myself exercising more than ever before - even on rest days, I am tempted to hop on for a low impact ride just to get my body moving, or I’ll do a 15-20 minute ride before a strength workout just to get myself in the zone. I even did a “Tour de Peloton” - a two-hour ride of combined shorter classes last month and absolutely loved it.
I have used the app on my TV and phone to stream other types of classes as well, and I’ve enjoyed the barre and strength classes especially. I should explore the app more, but working out from home can be a struggle in motivation and sometimes it’s easiest to just strap myself onto the bike and go from there. We were disappointed to learn that the monthly subscription is $39/month and our purchase of the bike didn’t include any complimentary months. While this is more than our combined gym memberships and I wish they didn’t charge so much on top of the purchase price of the bike, clearly people are paying it - including us.
When New York shut down gyms in March, I was crushed. I thrive on the energy, competition, and socialization that my group exercise classes provide. In fact, it’s why I chose my gym over other area gyms; I was attracted to their group exercise class variety, schedule, and energy of their instructors. For the first month or two of quarantine, I used mostly weights (unfortunately, I only had sets of 1, 2, 5, 8, and 10 pound weights at home and I was used to lifting 12.5-20 pound weights at the gym so I definitely noticed a decrease in my strength more quickly than I would have liked - but we do what we can!), as getting a good cardio workout at home seemed to be near impossible. Due to joint issues, I can’t really do plyometrics, and it can be tough to hold yourself accountable and push yourself to your limits while doing a kickboxing or Zumba video at home - at least for me. So the Peloton was a huge draw for me because I know that cycling is a great cardio workout and that if I could just get shoes on and get onto the bike, I’d push myself to get in a good sweat. The energy, competition, and motivation in Peloton classes is surprisingly comparable to being in-person at the gym. Even with gyms finally reopening at the end of August in New York, I continued to do my cardio workouts at home - probably also in part because we’re required to wear masks while working out here and cardio in a mask sounds like torture. We had the bike set up in our living room for the first five months, which I think attributed to my consistent riding schedule (out of sight, out of mind you know?), but we recently started putting together a home gym in our basement and moved it there. While it’s not as tempting to just hop on for a quick 15-minute ride like I used to (even on days I had no plans to workout, or had already crushed a morning workout, seeing the bike encouraged me to just be active more), it does help me get into more of the workout mindset because it is a dedicated space for exercise in our home, with all the gear we need all in one spot, and no need to schedule our workouts around each other’s work, naps, telephone calls, and patience (we have a small house!). Check out my home gym blog post - coming soon!
In September Peloton announced its new Bike+ and while we were tempted by the new features like a swivel screen, it just wasn’t worth it to upgrade after having just dropped $2500 a few months earlier. We bought the Family Kit which includes two pairs of clip-in shoes, two pairs of headphones (we rarely use ours, but it’s nice to have for when one of us wants to workout while the other is on a work call or sleeping in - no need to pair via bluetooth, they plug right in and have a long cord that doesn’t get in the way), two water bottles, an under-bike mat, two heart rate monitors (can be finicky at times but works well for the most part - way more accurate than my Fitbit Versa for HR), and a set of weights - we chose the 3 pound option. The only thing we’ve bought additionally for our bike is a clip-on fan. We keep some moisture-wicking towels nearby and wipe down the bike every few rides.
All of the pros aside, it is a hefty investment and if the idea of spending a couple thousand dollars on a machine that you won’t use that often is giving you pause, I encourage you to really sit down and think about how much you would use it, if it would save you money elsewhere (maybe you would cancel your gym membership or another fitness app subscription), and if you would end up regretting spending the money or not. I always like to think over big purchases, so I know I’ve made an informed decision and not an impulse buy. We thought about it for over a month before deciding to order the Peloton bike. They do offer 0% financing which is nice if you don’t have the money upfront - but remember, you will always have to pay that monthly subscription fee, otherwise it’s...just a bike. But if you’re considering buying a Peloton, and feel you would get good value out of it - especially right now with another lockdown starting in many states - I would strongly recommend it!
Use my referral code for $100 off accessories: EPEJPS on the official Peloton website
If you do bite the bullet, don’t be discouraged (like my fiance was) if your butt is sore for a while - it takes about a week for your sit bones to get used to it! And be sure to take a cool-down and/or stretching ride after an intense class - even just five minutes can help your recovery so much. I also try to foam roll afterwards!