- Training Startup Peloton has exploded in popularity, surpassing even the world's most popular spin giant, SoulCycle, according to last year's data.
- Equipped with a wifi-enabled touch screen, you can participate in high-intensity spin courses remotely and get a studio workout from anywhere, according to the company.
- Over the course of two weeks, I tested it daily in a 45-minute peloton course. To measure my progress, I did a review before and after the fitness test, which gave some surprising results.
For $ 1,995, a stationary bike from training startup Peloton could be yours. After paying for the delivery and set up ($ 250), essential equipment ($ 1
So, right, these bikes are not cheap.
But that does not mean that people do not pay for it. Since its launch in 2012, Peloton has sold more than 400,000 bikes and amassed more than one million members. This explains why the company now has an estimated value of $ 4 billion.
Peloton's recipe for success includes community and convenience. It's not like other popular cycling workouts that usually take lessons in a studio. With Peloton, you can collaborate with thousands of other members on a studio-quality workout without leaving home. Just log on to a touchscreen tablet that's attached to the bike and stroll around with one of the best spin instructors in the US in a New York City studio.
That sounds pretty ideal. High intensity training. Good trainers No cold morning goes to the gym. No attempts to look attractive in Activewear. But are these supposed advantages really worth the high price of stickers?
Over the course of two (very) weeks in February, I wanted to find out if the benefit was worth the sticker price. Every day I took a 45-minute peloton class from my 300-square-foot apartment. To see how well I trained, I did a test before and after the fitness assessment at the Sports Science Lab in Staten Island.
I also documented the experience in front of the camera.
With Peloton's equipment, cycling feels comfortable and comfortable.
Yes, I had to rearrange the furniture in my small apartment to accommodate the bike. No, I will not complain about it. Peloton bikes are slim and relatively easy to use, provided you follow the tutorial "Peloton 101", which is accessible via the monitor. It took a few days to feel comfortable in the seat, which is barely padded. But as soon as I did – or when my butt got numb, I'm not sure – cycling was smooth and comfortable.
The touch screen is simple, but it does its job. There is a schedule for live courses and a library of recorded workouts. And there are tons of them.
Most frustrating is audio playback, especially when you're outraged when cables get stuck on things. You have no choice but to use wireless headphones because most cables are not long enough. I used Apple AirPods, which worked well.
The motivation language of the peloton instructors did not work for me
I have completed training as a spin teacher, so I feel a little above average in my ability to criticize teachers. But only a little. I showed some peloton courses to Sean Kuechenmeister, a certified athletic trainer from the Sports Science Lab in Staten Island, to get an expert opinion.
Peloton instructors are strong cyclists and instructors. You have a good shape. They will tell you to pull your shoulders away from your ears, which is good to avoid injury and tension, Küchenmeister said. And throughout the class, they'll get you in time to get off the saddle.
"To avoid many of these overuse conditions, you need motion variability," he said.
Peloton instructors are also undeniably fit and attractive. In fact, they look much more like television actors than indoor cyclists (which makes sense, considering that thousands of drivers watch them on a TV).
And I find that actually the most irritating: not their beauty, but their behavior. Most of the instructions seem like acting or at least spurious. They hear sentences like "Get out of the saddle literally and metaphorically." Or "you are here to overcome your biggest obstacles" by increasing the resistance on your bike.
I am all about creative forms of motivation; Anything that encourages exercise is probably a good thing. But the language the peloton teachers use makes me uncomfortable – especially because I ride from home. It's hard to ignore the problems in my own life that a 45-minute spin class can not solve.
Do not trust the bike's calorie counter
19659005] Peloton claims that you can get a studio workout from home, but that's hard to believe. For a competitive person like me, driving in a studio with dozens of other people is a great way to drive myself forward. With thundering club music, it also provides a welcome distraction from the training pain.
So I tested it. For the eighth time, I signed up for a live class at the Peloton studio in Chelsea, where the company films its classes. That's right, Peloton is not just for home. You can still attend gymnastics classes if this is faster. However, if you would like to mix it between home and gym, the calorie values for different motorcycles may be different.
For example, when cycling at home, my independent heart monitor strapped around my chest indicated that my average heart rate was 145 beats per minute (BPM) per trip. The peloton display indicated that I burned about 530 calories during this time, which is a result of the speed and resistance of the bike along with factors such as weight and age.
But during the studio ride, my average heart rate increased significantly to 165 BPM, according to the breast monitor. So, I pushed me stronger as expected. To my dismay, the display on the studio bike indicated that I actually burned 130 calories less than my average ride home. In other words, I worked harder, but somehow burned less.
A studio employee explained that "every bike is calibrated a little differently". This means that calorie reading and work performance, one of the measures on which the calorie count is based, is not accurate for all bicycles.
According to Peloton, the more information a driver provides in his driver profile, the more accurate his calorie count will be. If you really want a precise benchmark, you should only compare your own statistics with previous rides on the same bike.
My statistics before and after training were impressive
"Most doctors recommend that a pound to a pound and a quarter of fat per month is a healthy rate to lose fat," said Küchenmeister. "So you are far ahead."
I also improved my stamina by something called VO2 Max.
"That's a measure of how well your body uses the oxygen you absorb while breathing," Küchenmeister said. "The better oxygen is used, the more it is transported through the body and the more efficiently you can move and do the exercises you are doing."
In two weeks, my VO2 Max jumped from the 47th percentile to the 79th percentile and rated me as "an elite class of aerobic contenders."
Finally, I gained some muscle power, but only in the left leg – according to the electrical currents. This is probably due to the stiffness of my right knee, said Küchenmeister, of whom I had previously told him. I had my right knee in pain and pulled out my muscles.
Would I buy a peloton bike?
I would probably not buy a peloton bike. Realistically I do not want to shoot every day. And if I want to ride a bike, I'm confident that I can train better in the studio – whether it's at Peloton, SoulCycle, Flywheel, SWERVE, Cyc, Crank, Monster, RYDE or any of the other available cycling studios in New York.
For me the costs are difficult to justify.
But if you love spin lessons, but do not live near a studio, do not want to leave home, or hate working in public, then Peloton might be worth it.