Peloton was all the rage during the pandemic as gyms were closed, Peloton bike sales soared and share prices went through the roof. The fitness industry was booming and blessed.
Now all I hear are the problems that Peloton is facing. From the stock value plummeting to below the IPO price (yikes!), the massive job cuts, treadmill production halting and treadmill recalls due to numerous child injuries (and a death). That’s just to name a few.
So it’s safe to say that Peloton has its shares of issues but that is not to say that it’s not worth the money. I’m here to evaluate my time from using the free trial of the Peloton app and let you know if I think that Peloton is worth the money.
It’s worth to note that I am only reviewing this as the Peloton app itself and having your own exercise bike to supplement.
It’s also worth to note that the Peloton cycle classes are meant to cater to Peloton bike such as showing numbers for your resistance and cadence which may mean it can be difficult to follow through the classes exactly if you don’t have the Peloton model. However, I have found that my crappy outdated exercise bike is sufficient for me.
The Peloton bike price starts at AUD $2,645 which is a steep investment when you can get decent stationary bikes for a fraction of the price.
To cut to the chase, here are some of the positives and negatives I’ve encountered whilst using the app. The quick version and the not so quick version.
(+) able to work out at home with qualified and celebrity instructors
(+) eliminates the gym
(+) challenging workouts
(+) great motivation
(+) detailed statistics
(+) massive selection of on-demand classes
(+) live classes
(+) ability to schedule classes
(+) gamification (if you’re into that)
(+) music and language and ability to adjust music and instructor sound
Peloton has a wide range of instructors – some have even worked with celebrities or were professional athletes. Especially if you decide to buy the Peloton bike and/or treadmill, Peloton is designed for you to eliminate the need for going to the gym and work out from home.
When I first used Peloton, I was impressed with how challenging the workouts can be (the bootcamps are no joke). However, this is especially coming from Apple Fitness which I have used and I’m also not very physically fit either.
All the instructors have a lovely friendly energy to them and are super motivating especially when you’re slogging it out on the bike. Again, this was a contrast coming from Apple Fitness where most of the instructors come across scripted.
Peloton also gives you live statistics and have their own measure of fitness called ‘Strive’ based on your heart rate zones. It gives me a really good indication of how long I am and should be spending in each heart rate zone.
Peloton also has a wide range of classes and you can filter them based on type, instructor, level of difficulty, time and music. You will never run out of classes to complete.
In addition to on-demand classes, there are also live classes that you can add to your schedule. You’ll be notified of when the class is about to start. I definitely feel more accountable when I’m doing a live class. If you’re into stacking like me, I also like to schedule some on-demand classes around my live class. If you need that accountability, this schedule feature is perfect for you!
Peloton offer programs for you ranging from core to cycle to strength and running. These allow you to maintain accountability and offer progression which I think is amazing for a beginner.
Another reason why people love Peloton is the gamification of it – from completing challenges, maintaining streaks and doing as many classes as possible. In any class, instructors give a shoutout to those with these streaks such as ‘happy 300’ meaning it’s your 300th ride. People will intentionally schedule a live cycle class for a shoutout. I would feel pretty special getting a personal shoutout in class.
During live classes, you also have the ability to high-five others and you’ll be notified if someone high-fives you back which is always a good feeling. This doesn’t apply to me but if you have the Peloton bike, there is also a leaderboard feature which can be competitive and fun if you’re into that.
Lastly, there is a large range of music genres. They also have artist spotlights such as a cycle class only of Taylor Swift music which can be super fun if you’re a Swiftie.
Peloton classes are also in multiple languages (English, Spanish and German) which is great for non-English speakers. I’ve also heard that people deliberately put on a Spanish or German class if they don’t want to hear the instructor talking. There is also a feature to adjust the instructor and music volume so you can hear more instructor than music or vice-versa.
(-) expensive monthly subscription
(-) limited workouts if you don’t have equipment
(-) some niche class selections are limited
(-) terrible for live classes if you don’t live in a preferred time zone
(-) not accounting for off days/injuries when doing a program
(-) mirrored video
The first and more obvious negative is the price of the membership. If you have the Peloton bike which is already expensive to begin with, you’re also looking at an additional AUD $59 a month just to get the classes. Sure, this is a household membership so if multiple people use the bike it becomes cheaper per person but at almost $60, it is indeed expensive. In fact, at $60 a month, it’s actually more expensive than some monthly gym memberships.
If you only have the Peloton app like myself, it is AUD $16.99 a month. There is also no yearly membership and thus no discounted price compared to its competitors such as Apple Fitness. Nike Training Club (NTC) is one of my favourites and its completely free.
Also the biggest source of classes, Youtube is absolutely free!
Membership Prices of Competitors
|Membership||Monthly (AUD)||Yearly (AUD)|
|Nike Training Club||FREE||FREE|
|Les Mills on Demand||24.99||224.00|
|Membership||Monthly (USD)||Yearly (USD)|
|Nike Training Club||FREE||FREE|
|Les Mills on Demand***||14.99||119.88|
* current promotion is $3 for $3 months. No mention of yearly membership on its website
** not available in Australia
*** found this price on a blog and not the official website
The second most obvious negative is that the workouts are extremely limited if you don’t have the right equipment. Not having a stationary bike to use eliminates 70% of all possible workouts on the app. I don’t have a treadmill at home and need to make a conscious effort to use the treadmill when I’m at the gym. If you don’t have weights at home, doing the strength workouts will be difficult. You can filter for only bodyweight classes if necessary.
Whilst Peloton has a wide range of on-demand classes, it can be quite similar. For example, there are thousands of 20 minute rides but not many 60min+ rides. There is a boxing program (which I’ve enjoyed) but not that many boxing offerings elsewhere. It seems if you’re the person who likes to go on longer rides and runs, there are not many classes for you to take before you start repeating classes. I would love if Peloton had a rowing feature much like Apple Fitness – the rowing classes have been some of my favourite to take at Apple Fitness as they’re so unique and a lot of fun.
I mentioned earlier that having live classes was a huge positive I found at Peloton. However, this isn’t so much the case if you live in Australia. As most of Peloton studios are in New York, the majority of live classes are from midnight to 5am making it virtually impossible. I can get away with a 10pm night ride because it’s roughly 6am in New York. For this reason, I am definitely enjoying the London instructors as they better fit my schedule. Also Hannah Frankston is a babe, check out my post here on some of my favourite Peloton instructors.
Whilst I love the programs Peloton offers, it does not account for off days and you can’t pause the program and resume later. Once a week of the program finishes, it will automatically move on to the next week without the ability to retake previous classes (you can only retake classes from the same week). So if you’re midway during an 8 week running program and you dislocate your shoulder, it sort of makes continuing the program a bit useless.
Whilst Peloton has a wide range of music offerings (e.g. 20 minute rock ride, 20 minute pop ride), I wish there was more EDM as this is what I listen to when I workout. When I take spin classes at the gym, I absolutely love the blaring of electronic and techno music and I wish there were more EDM classes but that’s just me.
Lastly, the mirroring of the video can annoy me especially when it’s a strength class and the instructor is telling you to do something on your left side but it’s the right side on your video. I like visual as well as audio cues so this does irritate me from time to time but when exercising, you always switch sides anyway so it isn’t the biggest deal. It just may be something to keep in mind.
Hopefully this helped you if you were on the fence about getting the Peloton app or Peloton bike. It can be expensive and it’s always important to know your worth and time and only buy a subscription that is bang for your buck.
When in doubt, always do a free trial.