Sunday, January 10, 2021

Surprise! I Actually Like the Peloton (and its app!)

Right now, the Peloton app is free to try for 2 months — no bike necessary. If you need convincing, read more. If you've been wanting to try it, click here now.

I do not like biking.

Biking difficult terrain is stressful; biking easy terrain is boring. Even if the views are beautiful, I'd much rather run any given route. And don't get me started on attempting to bike in the street with traffic. That level of risk is not for me.


As for spinning...well. I took one spin class in college and swore I'd never put my butt or thighs through that again.

So of course, I didn't buy into the hype of the Peloton when I began to see it all over Instagram. After last year's disastrous commercial I was a skeptic, but runners I follow seemed all-in, so when Scott and Robby told me they'd ordered one, I was intrigued and open to trying it.

Their bike finally arrived in late November; after two rides, I was hooked. Unlike the experience I had back at Stetson in 2004, completing a ride on the Peloton was unexpectedly fun. Despite wanting to die halfway through, I finished each ride with an excellent adrenaline rush and the feeling that I'd completed a hard, worthy workout.

There are a few major reasons I like the Peloton, and most of them have nothing to do with the bike itself.

The Instructors

I like the tone of the instructors, who are encouraging, empathetic, funny, and distracting, not to mention diverse and inclusive in pretty much every way imaginable. They pump you up without taking the "tough love" approach I hate so much. I wasn't expecting the instructors to play such a huge role in my love of the Peloton, but they definitely are the reason to get this app over any other spin app.

You can read about the various instructors to find someone whose fitness philosophy and style meshes with yours. 

If I'm feeling the need for emotional motivation and fulfillment, I tune in for a ride with Robin Arzón or Hannah Frankson. If I want something that will distract me from my pain, Cody Rigsby is my man.

The instructors lead rides and other workouts, so even without the bike you're getting the benefit of their energy and enthusiasm.

Also, the playlists are great — I've been living for the 90s and early 2000s rock and pop lately. I like being able to choose a ride based on its difficulty level (on a scale to 10) and adjust my cadence and resistance to what will work for me.

The App

Because I don't have a Peloton of my own, I use the app more than I ride. It's filled with full-body home workouts that are updated daily. I've found the arm and core workouts to be really excellent. I haven't tried the running workouts yet, but I'm planning to give them a try soon.

There are workouts that focus on specific areas; there's even meditation and yoga.

The app includes individual classes, programs (from a marathon training program to a meditation program designed to help you sleep better), challenges, and collections (workouts grouped by category, like "no equipment necessary" or "Beyoncé"). Seriously, there is so much there, I haven't even scratched the surface.

I wouldn't bother writing this post if not for this: right now, you can get the Peloton app for free for two months and cancel anytime if you're not impressed. After the trial ends, the app costs $12.99 a month, which is cheaper than most gym memberships — and with the current COVID situation I wouldn't step into a gym anytime soon anyway.

Peloton Bike "Hack"

If you want the full spinning experience but don't want to shell out $2000 for a bike, there's a less expensive option. You can buy a less expensive spin bike and the monthly Peloton app membership to get basically the same experience. If you have an iPad already (or know how to cast your phone app to your TV), you'll even have a nice big screen like on the Peloton bikes.

You'll be missing some data but it may be worth the price difference to ride by feel rather than numbers. For more details on this hack, click here.

Honestly, I can't speak highly enough about this weird, motivational cult Peloton has managed to suck me into. It's kind of annoying, really. But honestly, with two months free, it's worth testing out for yourself. What do you have to lose?



  1. I totally agree! I was annoyed by Peloton on principle but I kept hearing great things about it from other bloggers so I gave it a try last month. Even though I ended up not keeping it, it really showed me how much strength and flexibility that I've lost by "just running", so it nudged me back in the right direction and I may go back to it someday. So basically exactly what you said...lots of quality stuff and $12.99 a month after two free months...most definitely worth checking out.

    1. There are lots of free home workout videos in apps and on YouTube, so I understand not wanting to stick with an app that costs money...but I think the instructors make it worth it! I agree, though, that it's something I'd only spring for if I knew I'd use it. Those 2 free months give people a chance to really decide if they like it.

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  3. Back in March, I put my road bike on the indoor trainer, upgraded my bike computer (the old one had a screen that was iffy) and have done a handful of rides on there. It's tough to get the right resistance with only a few gears and I can't get up out of the saddle - which is why I've been contemplating getting the peloton bike. I love the app- esp since they added mat based pilates which is my jam. Have you tried a bike boot camp yet?

    1. I've heard of people using a real road bike as a spin bike, but didn't realize the limitations. I haven't done the bootcamp. I don't own the bike myself. Since I only ride it 1 or 2 times a week, I really can't commit to some of the challenges etc yet.

  4. I took spin classes for about a year before the world shut down last March... and while I am a runner, first-and-foremost, I really missed the cross training opportunities I had at the gym.
    My friend was raving about the Peloton and while I didn't want to commit to the bike + membership, I started using the app (for outdoor runs and strength/yoga classes) and then purchased a regular spin bike for the classes last September. It works. I wish I had the "full" experience of the Peloton, but for now I am really, really happy with my setup.

    Yes, Peloton is a hype (and I usually don't buy into hypes), but it's been totally worth it to be open and give it a try. There's a hype for a reason!