“It’s not that deep.”
This is a quote I hear in my ear all throughout my days now. Someone is worried the gift they got their secret Santa isn’t clever enough? It’s not that deep. Giving my husband the option between muffins or cinnamon rolls for breakfast and having him sit and think about it for an entire 5 minutes…it’s seriously not that deep, boo.
This phrase did not come from everyday life happenings, however, it came from my Peloton cycling bike and the one and only Cody Rigsby. The Peloton has not only revolutionized my fitness, it’s changed my daily mindset.
What is the Peloton you ask?
The Peloton is a stupid expensive, in-home cycling bike that comes with a giant screen, amazing fitness motivation, and the power to change your life.
Yeah. So here’s what you need to know about me. I am not a fitness person. I never played sports. I never cared about being strong. My biggest fitness drivers have always been to look good and not be fat. I know that is not a glamorous thing to say or admit. I know it is not what we are supposed to want (we’re supposed to want to be healthy and strong). But for years, this was my gym motivation. I started going to fitness classes in college where I would go to our campus rec center. After some tortuous treadmill sessions, I finally got a group fitness class pass. I was busy in college so I started going to the 6 AM classes where I was joining a group of mature (yes, this is my kind way of saying older) faculty, staff and the occasional student. I loved this, but even then only could commit to about 2-3 days a week. It was a great way to start my fitness journey because I was able to learn about muscles and different types of workouts. Plus, the mature women always complimented my form. It made me feel like I belonged to a secret club my other young 20 something friends knew nothing about.
After graduating college I got really into fitness DVDs. Slim in 6, P90X, Insanity...you name it and I probably bought it. I should have become a Beachbody coach with all the dollars I was throwing them. I really liked the convenience of working out at home combined with the motivation of someone telling me what to do.
By the time I entered into my 30s I had a gym membership and rotated between attending group fitness classes and lifting weights on my own. It was fine, but I was itching for a change. When I became pregnant last year I knew I needed to figure out a fitness plan. Not only did I want to make sure I could lose the baby weight eventually, but I had finally realized that a regular workout actually made me feel good on the inside (who knew?).
I had a few folks on Instagram who I followed who had gotten a Peloton and raved about it. Once I Googled it, I saw it everywhere (thank you, algorithms). I took my husband to one spin class and then convinced him we needed a Peloton at home.
The investment is no joke. It’s over $2,000 for the bike alone. Plus, Peloton tries to sell you shoes, weights, and other gear. We bought our shoes on Amazon and the weights at a local store. Did that save us money? I’m honestly not even sure. Also we did finance the bike. They have no interest financing for a year, so we went that route and thought of it like a really expensive gym membership we got to keep at the end of our contract. You also have to pay a monthly subscription fee of $39 to access the streaming of live classes, on-demand content, and your performance metrics. That part I’m still cringing over, but I am cheap. I mean, you’re about to hear why I am obsessed with this bike and how it changed my life, yet I’m still so cheap I can’t admit that $39 a month is okay to spend.
When you order a Peloton it comes with in-home delivery. Two men show up and take it where ever you want in your house and set it up (for us it was in the basement). They make sure everything is put together and is functioning. We are frequent Ikea shoppers so this was a new (and delightful) experience for us. After it was set up we immediately created our individual profiles. With the monthly subscription you can have unlimited profiles set up on your bike. Yes, I’ve considered “renting” my bike out to my friends and family for a small fee to cover the monthly cost (I’m kidding...mostly).
Okay, so the good stuff...why has this bike changed my life?
I hate cardio. In high school when they make you run the mile in P.E. I was the person who finished, but claimed I’d never run again. And I have never wanted to run again, but I did because see goal above about not wanting to get fat. The Peloton has literally shifted my entire perception of cardio. Even sitting here typing this I’m thinking, “should I Google ‘is cycling cardo?’” BUT I KNOW IT IS. I’m just in denial because I LIKE IT. Nope, I LOVE IT. Those are strong words, but when my heart gets pumping, the sweat starts dripping, and I start panting I feel so damn powerful. This has never happened to me while participating in cardio before.
The instructors are celebrities who are also my best friends. Okay, one of those things is for sure not true and the other is probably only slightly true. But Peloton instructors feel like celebrities. You see them on your screen, you follow them on Instagram, and they seem untouchable. Except they don’t. When you’re on a ride it feels like they are legit talking to you. They ride in the New York City studio where they are teaching live classes, but it’s videoed in such a way that I feel like I’m right there with them and they are telling me to turn my resistance back up because they saw me turn it down. They’re right, I DID TURN IT DOWN, ROBIN. Even though the Peloton instructors have no idea a 30 something mom in Nebraska is taking their rides, it feels like they know and they care. And if you’re on a live streaming ride and hitting a milestone (say your 100th, 200th or 1,000th ride) they often call out your name and give you kudos. This has happened to my friend, Allison, twice. I feel famous via proxy.
And truthfully, some of them actually are celebrities. Robin Arzon (robinnyc) has 175,000 instagram followers, a best selling book and is always working with brands. She’s also my favorite instructor (more on that later). Many of the other instructors have massive, cult-like followings both on instagram and facebook and boast 30,000-100,000 followers (for comparison I have less than 900 followers and I feel pretty successful about that).
The Peloton lives in your house so you can use it at ANY time. I mentioned I got my Peloton when I was pregnant, right? I used that baby until they day I gave birth to an actual baby. Actually, I was finishing a floor workout when my water broke (this was six weeks before my due date and my doctor assured me it had nothing to do with my workout). After I had the real baby I was able to hop on and do low impact rides when the baby napped. My little boy is almost a year old and the only workouts I do are Peloton workouts. I can honestly say I am in better shape than before I got pregnant. I’m actually in better shape than when I had my wedding in Punta Cana three years ago (which is quite annoying, but good, I suppose). As a new mom, getting to the gym would be challenging since I’m on baby duty about all of the time. Since my schedule is sporadic I don’t make it on many live rides, but all of the rides are streamed on-demand which means I get to access whatever I want, whenever I want.
Peloton keeps growing their offerings. When I purchased the bike they had “beyond the ride” workouts (now called “floor” workouts) available. This is a collection of strength, yoga, stretching, and toning workouts. These are awesome to mix it up. Admittedly, when I first got the bike about a year ago, I thought the beyond the ride content was a little weak. Like, actually, weak...they seemed too easy. Since then they have really increased the intensity. Plus, they now offer the digital app (which you get access to when you pay the monthly subscription) which has guided running workouts and bootcamps. Recently they released Tread, which is the same concept but with a treadmill instead of a bike (no, thank you). Something for everyone!
The app tracks how many and which workouts you’ve completed, your output, distance, calories burned and your leaderboard rank. Yeah, that leaderboard. I don’t even pay attention to it, but if you are driven by any type of competition, then you’ll probably love it. You can see everyone who has taken a class and how they ranked (or how they are ranking if you are taking it live). You can also see all of this information in graph form (something you’ll pay attention to if you do Power Zone rides). Your recent achievements are tracked so the bike notifies you when you’ve worked out for so many consistent days/weeks, when you work out with a friend (because you can follow people), and how many total rides or workouts you’ve completed. This type of positive reinforcement is my love language.
The classes are simply amazing. I love a good motivational speech and everyday I ride it feels like I get one. I am a professional coach and I have often referred to some bit of motivational advice I heard from a Peloton instructor when coaching clients. The instructors make me feel powerful (I now workout in my bra, something I’d never do before) and strong. I want to live a healthy life where I take time for myself. Peloton not only gives me permission to do this, it encourages me ensuring me I’ll be a better me if I give myself a little time and grace (on the Peloton, of course). I’m no fool, I know the marketing strategy here is guiding this and I’m falling hook, line, and sinker for it, but I’m okay with that.
Now to the good stuff…
My Favorite Classes/Instructors
Robin Arzon. When I first started riding with Peloton I did not take rides from Robin because they were too hard. Seriously, I was not a fan. Now that I’m a little more skilled (don’t get it twisted I still always rank in the bottom half of riders) I am obsessed with Robin’s rides. She slays. And by that I mean she slays me like a gruesome murder where all of the sweat leaves my body in a pool under my bike. Her rides are explicit, she always says to “put the babies away” which as someone with an actual baby, I appreciate. She reminds you what you do on that bike in 20, 30, or 45 minutes is more than most people do in a week or a year. She constantly says what she has you do is hard, but you can do hard things. This has become my new life mantra. I can do hard things.
Take Robin’s rides when:
You want a killer workout
You need your confidence restored
You want to jam to some sick beats
You want to feel like a badass who can take on the world
Cody Rigsby. Cody has been and will continue to be one of my favorite instructors. He is beautiful, fit, and so damn happy. He is the king of groove rides where you ride to the beat of the music. He used to be a backup dancer for some pop artists who I think include Katy Perry and Britney. He sports a Mickey Mouse tattoo. He loves boy bands, girl groups, and any song with a good beat. He keeps you in check with his “one-two” counts and makes you feel like you are at a sing-a-long dance party while also getting in a good workout.
Take Cody’s rides when:
You want to ride to the beat of the music
You want to jam to pop music
You need some positivity infused into your life
Alex Toussaint. Alex is another beautiful and happy Peloton instructor. He offers great hip hop rides where he likes to put a little movement into the ride. Alex always does a little upper body stretching at the beginning of his rides which I truly appreciate. He has great energy.
Take Alex’s rides when:
You want to groove to some hip hop
You want to add a little movement to your rides
Matt Wilpers. I feel like Matt is underappreciated in the Peloton instructor group. Matt is an athlete. He runs, he cycles on the open road, and he knows a lot about how your body reacts to the bike. I didn’t like taking his classes at first because I thought he was a little boring. He doesn’t have the energy like the others. However, I started doing a Power Zone challenge and he was one of the instructors. I am so glad he was too! Power Zone rides help you focus on form, performance and endurance. Matt is the king of this. He has so much knowledge about the bike and about you as the rider. These classes always go by so quickly to me because you are focusing on how to be a better rider, not just riding as hard or as fast as you can. Personally, I wish Matt would get into better music, but I’ll put up with it to experience his expertise.
Take Matt’s rides when:
You want to focus on improving yourself as a rider (I’d recommend at least once a week)
You want to increase your performance or endurance
You want to learn something
Denis Morton. Denis is the surfer dude of the Peloton instructors. He’s laid back, yet intense. He’s the type of person who probably woos everyone’s parents. He has that genuine charm with a bad boy edge. He also does Power Zone rides with Matt, but I like taking his other rides too. Plus, he always tells good stories.
Take Denis’ rides when:
You want to hear a good story as you do your ride
You want to feel like you are riding with a friend
Ally Love. Ally is so positive and sweet. I honestly don’t take very many of the female instructor’s rides. I don’t know why, but they haven’t “done” it for me. Ally was no different, until recently. Some of the Peloton rides offer arm workouts during the rides. I like to do these a couple times a week to mix it up (and to remind myself I have an upper body). I recently tried Ally’s Interval and Arms Ride and totally fell in love with it. She does super intense intervals followed by challenging arms...usually at least three sets of arms. This is great because sometimes you only get one set of arms in a ride and it can make the ride feel very long. Ally really burns my arms out too. I never feel like the male instructors burn my arms out. My theory is because they use three pound weights and even though you are doing high reps, those dudes are jacked and I’m sure they aren’t actually feeling any burn so they don’t know how to push it. They are literally just going through the motions. The ladies, though, can feel it more and therefore know how to burn it out. I have no idea if this is true, just speculation.
Take Ally’s ride when:
You want a great interval and arms ride
You want a genuinely nice person guiding you
There are many more Peloton instructors, but these are the main ones I work out with and enjoy on a regular basis. That does not mean the others are bad or not worth your time. I have friends who really enjoyed many of the other instructors. It’s like all things, once you try someone and really like them, you keep going back for more. I am sure I will cycle around (see what I did there) to the other instructors in time.
Ultimately I realize being in the Peloton community is a total privilege because this bike and content is hella expensive. However, if you are considering it and you have the financial ability to commit to it (also by committing that many doll hairs it makes me more committed to the actual bike itself) then I would totally recommend it. I am in the best shape of my life both physically AND mentally. I enjoy the best fitness instructors and the best fitness cult right in my basement and I’m proud to be a part of it. If you join, follow me at sarahcollins10 (I know, very clever username).
Oh, I should mention, this is not a paid or sponsored post. I get nothing for raving about this bike. The only potential kick-back to me is if you purchase one and say I referred you, then they’d let me buy some super cool swag from the Peloton Boutique. Which I totally do love, so I wouldn’t be mad if you did it.
Follow my Peloton fitness journey on Instagram at sarahcoachcollins.