We love Peloton, but it ain't about the bike
You should know that I was never a biker pre-peloton. I dabbled in CrossFit. I ran outdoors 2–3 times a week and visited the YMCA for yoga every week. I visited Soul Cycle but couldn’t get behind the clubbing vibe. I didn’t really have a thing that I loved, just a bunch of things I tried to fit in to stay active. I did face several setbacks due to ankle injuries I would keep (re)sustaining through running. It was on a visit to a PT where I learnt that indoor biking would actually be a great complement to my running routine as it would serve to strengthen my ankles. That’s how I stumbled upon Peloton. Through friends-of-friends (Thank you Tara & Thom!), I managed to find peloton customers. Not only did they have pelotons, they loved it. I was sold after three glowing reviews and made my way to the Peloton store that weekend to order mine. Canceled my $90/mo barely used YMCA gym membership to fund my 39-month 0% APR $97/mo plan (and got hooked up with $100 off accessories thanks to a referral code). No-brainer.
After two months on the bike, I can see why Peloton changes lives. And it actually has very little to do with the (beautiful) bike itself.
Consistency over perfection
With two little kids and a full-time high-demand job, there were too many barriers that got in my way to consistenly working out. If they’re sick, I’m home. If work ends late, I rush home to be with the kids and ditch exercise. If it’s rainy, I curl up in bed instead. If my favorite yoga instructor takes three weeks off in the summer, so do I. If my running buddy is out of town, I bail on my run. The peloton removes all friction and excuses. I wake up, roll out of bed, change and jump into a live adrenaline-pumping class. I still have a backlog of over 20+ classes bookmarked that I haven’t gotten around to because I’ve been so hooked on the live rides. But don’t take my word for it, look at my behaviors.
Every day, I figure out how to get a little blue dot. It could be a 60-minute Matt Wilpers powerzone ride (where one typically ends up getting “wilpered”), a 10-minute Emma Lovewell Ab Challenge (now viral!) or a 10-min drills-based low impact ride. It doesn’t matter. Showing up = winning.
Challenge fuels progress
Peloton has figured out the secret to motivating the masses. The secret is that there isn’t one thing that works for everyone. But there’s always something that works for anyone.
Their line-up of dynamic instructors are diverse enough that there’s surely someone you love (Denis Morton❤️) and someone you can barely tolerate. There are 10+ different “genres” of rides that cater to the fun-loving (Imagine Dragons theme ride!) to the serious cyclist with their powerzone training. If music is what gets you going, all the instructors ride to the beat. Search all music here. You can view any class’ playlist to help find the groove for you. I always thought I would be the one to turn off the leaderboard on the bike, but turns out just the existence of the leaderboard pushes you a little more than you would without it. Not feeling it? Turn it off. The most motivating thing for me, personally, is the ability to race with myself. Peloton records my personal records and my best performance shows up as a ghost rider that I try to chase down at my next ride. It is wildly effective and the key thing that is sorely missing from Soul Cycle. You just never knew how hard you were reallyworking in Soul Cycle. There’s nowhere to hide in Peloton. You will know how hard you’re actually working. And if biking is not your 100%-forever-thing, Peloton has a diverse fitness lineup that include treadmill workouts ( Olivia Amato ❤️ actually made me like running???), bootcamp, strength, and outdoor running workouts. I’m hooked. I bike four days a week, run twice a week and also dabble in their strength and yoga workouts. I am pretty much on autopilot now. There is no shortage of programming that will keep fueling you ahead. Here are some theme rides that rate high on fun:
Pride ride by Denis Morton
The all-for-one ride where you get a flavor of all the instructors in one class.
60 min epic singalong ride by Jenn Sherman
Greatest showman HIIT ride by Robin
Cody’s backstreet and N*SYNC ride (Don’t judge, it’s so much fun!!!)
Jess King’s ride of shame
Robin’s Live DJ rides (Yes. You get to ride and club at the same time with Robin and DJ John Michael!)
And for those that really want to push performance and personal records(PR), check out Matt & Denis’ structured powerzone training program.
Community breeds accountability
The peloton community rallies around the concept of tribes. Just like there’s a challenge fot everyone, there’s also a tribe for everyone. Many riders become loyal followers of specific instructors and rally around them as a tribe. The Jenn Sherman tribe (JSSTribe on Facebook) for example is wildly popular with riders. She was the first instructor hired by Peloton founder, John Foley. Another one of my favorites is Christine D’Ercole (known as “CDE” by fans). She has an amazing story and is one of the most motivating and inspiring instructors on deck. For full list of tribes, check this out.
I an part of a few tribes but mostly ride with the #ZeroDark tribe. We ride weekdays at 5/530 am PT. Thanks to an amazing group of tribe leaders, we do roll calls throughout the week where people commit to riding as a tribe. I love roll calls thanks to IG guru/cheer captain Nichole aka #babsilverwood. See example below. 😂
I commit to rides with #ZeroDark at least four days a week. My coworker, Nicole, and I also ride together Sundays at 630am. We all high-five each other throughout the rides. I didn’t expect this to affect my consistency but I make it a point to show-up for my tribe. That’s accountability. I’ve never met any of these people in person, but we all rally around the same cause to push ourselves harder than we would have otherwise alone. When a tribe member has a milestone ride (e.g. 100th century ride or a birthday ride), the tribe rallies and shows up to show our support. If there’s one thing I recommend to any new peloton owner to do right away, it is to find your tribe.
I’m not an outlier or a super fan. I’m actually the norm. Peloton has an astounding 96% retention rate and unheard-of NPS of 91 so you know there must be some magic there.
The best gym is the one you actually go to.
I’ve found mine. What’s yours?
Already decided to get the bike? To help some friends with their new bikes, I have put together an on-boarding guide that covers everything from what to spend your referral credit on to how to get your groove on. Hope it will be helpful to you.
Got the peloton bike in the hopes of losing weight? I don’t want to dash your hopes. That can happen for you, but there are a few watch-outs I want to share when exercise is the only lever use in weight loss. This is my experience on why focusing on losing weight is a losing game.