Les Mills+ (formerly Les Mills On Demand) vs. Peloton app: Everything you need to know

This post about the difference between Les Mills+ (formerly Les Mills On Demand) vs. Peloton app is a long-time coming, because I wanted to make sure to do it right. These two popular home-fitness apps have a lot of differences. So sit back and get ready …

In case you found this post via a Google search and don’t know much about me — Here’s the deal: I’m a certified personal trainer and a group fitness instructor, and I have done hundreds (maybe thousands) of these particular workouts in order to write this post. This will be long, but I will tell you everything you need to know.

This is a fairly divisive debate, because Les Mills lovers think nothing compares to Les Mills. And the Peloton community is a Peloton-obsessed bunch.

I should definitely mention that I used to be a live Les Mills group fitness instructor in the gym, and I am currently an affiliate for Les Mills On Demand (now called Les Mills+, by the way). I’ve been a fan of the Les Mills company for 12 years, but even though all that is the case, I’m going to give you a fair and honest comparison today between Les Mills On Demand and Peloton. Because I think both Les Mills On Demand and the Peloton app have value, and I use them both every single week. 

And if you need home workout equipment, Les Mills Smart Tech is the best of the best. Get 10 percent off anything on the Les Mills equipment site with my code ASHLEY10.

Les Mills+ (formerly Les Mills On Demand) vs. Peloton app: Everything you need to know

Les Mills On Demand vs. Peloton app_ Everything you need to know by A Lady Goes West

I think both platforms have some amazing benefits. And even though you can get a great workout in on either platform, they definitely have their differences. 

If you are considering which platform to use for your home workouts, you can improve your fitness levels through either of these. But let me talk you through what you need to know first …

What is Les Mills On Demand?

Les Mills On Demand is a streaming platform, where you can find more than 1,000 workouts of various lengths and formats, which you can do on demand, on your own time, anywhere at all. Groups of instructors teach the programs, and the programs are created by a team. The music on Les Mills On Demand is good, but it generally consists of covers of popular songs. New workouts are added quarterly.

Les Mills On Demand is created by the Les Mills company out of New Zealand, named after and started by a former Olympian, Les Mills. Les Mills is a fitness company. They started with in-person group fitness, they focus on in-person group fitness events and instructor training for a pool of worldwide instructors. However, Les Mills also offers its workouts through Les Mills On Demand. You can likely find Les Mills licensed classes at a gym near you (or you will be able to soon when gyms return to more normalcy).

I’ve written several posts on Les Mills before, and you can find those here:

Ashley using Les Mills On Demand by A Lady Goes West

What is Peloton?

Peloton is a digital fitness platform, app and equipment company based out of New York. There are more than 10,000 workouts on the Peloton platform and more are added every day. Peloton has only been around for a few years, and even though Peloton has several studios (which are not currently open to students because of COVID), Peloton is all about digital technology. The workouts are created and taught by individual instructors, and you can do these workouts live or on demand. Peloton workouts feature popular and original music. Oftentimes, people use “Peloton” to refer to the Peloton bike, as well. But the bike, treadmill and app all share the same one-word name.

I’ve written a couple of introductory posts on Peloton before, and you can find those here:

Ashley using Peloton bike A Lady Goes West

What are the main differences between Les Mills On Demand vs. Peloton app?

There are a lot!

Live vs. On Demand

Peloton classes can be taken live or on demand. Les Mills On Demand classes are exclusively on demand.

One of the things that could be a big selling point for Peloton is that you can take live classes at different times of day, every single day, and experience the class with thousands of others for the first time. In that live experience, there could be tech issues, instructors could mess up, and just about anything can happen. You can’t do this with Les Mills On Demand.

All Les Mills On Demand classes have been pre-recorded, edited and placed on the platform, and you’ll never see a mistake or issue. There’s something special about hopping into a live class, and I like that about Peloton. More on the live/interactive element in a bit.

Les Mills On Demand by A Lady Goes West

Individual vs. team of presenters

Peloton workouts are created by individuals and delivered by individuals. Les Mills On Demand workouts are created by a team and delivered by a team.

The workouts on Les Mills On Demand are science-backed, tried and tested over and over and over again for months before they ever make their appearance on screen (or in a group fitness room). And I think you can tell that when you take a Les Mills workout. To be totally honest, I think the Les Mills workouts are typically harder, better programmed and likely more effective, if you do them right and do them regularly. When you take a Les Mills On Demand class, there will be several presenters, and each person takes a turn teaching, and these folks likely didn’t actually make up the workout — they have practiced a ton and they are delivering it to you.

When you take a Peloton class, it’s almost always one person who created the workout, and who teaches the workout (although they sometimes do have a couple people teach at once for special events). What does this matter for the typical user? You can be sure that Les Mills workouts have been overly vetted for safety and effectiveness. But when it comes to Peloton, while I think everything is pretty safe, at times, it doesn’t feel like it’s been tested a ton. Sometimes I feel like the instructor made it up without trying it first on their own body to see how it felt. This is just my assumption, but as a user and a certified personal trainer, I think I’m right here.

Overall, both platforms have great instructors though, and there are some superstars on each as well.

Instructor personalities

You can get to know Peloton instructors better than you can get to know Les Mills On Demand instructors. The personalities are bigger on Peloton.

This is a huge difference and something that I think Peloton is winning big at. They are a very instructor-based program. You know the full names of the instructors, you look them up by class, they promote their own classes, they are told to be themselves and be truly authentic in what they share while teaching. I have several favorite Peloton instructors who I always choose to work out with — because I love what they say and I love the extras they add to their classes with their personalities.

Unfortunately, even though Les Mills has some completely amazing fitness professionals delivering classes, because everything is so buttoned-up and practiced, you don’t get to see their personalities or get to know them. You also can’t search classes by instructors. Once again, Les Mills On Demand classes are taught by teams of people. And sometimes these teams of people include instructors from around the world who speak English as a second language, so they don’t even say all that much other than what you need to know while following them, whereas Peloton instructors tend to share their life stories and talk a lot. If I’m in the mood for it, I eat up the Peloton instructor motivation and chatter, but if I’m not, I’d rather do a Les Mills workout and get down to business.

Les Mills On Demand vs Peloton by A Lady Goes West

Technology

Peloton is clearly a digital company, and the app has a lot more features than the Les Mills On Demand app.

This is a big difference. To be totally honest, Peloton has the whole digital fitness experience buttoned up a lot more than Les Mills On Demand, even though I think the Les Mills On Demand workouts can be better overall. The Peloton app lets you have a username and a user profile, it keeps track of your metrics, of the workouts that you do and the days you do them. You can follow friends and see what workouts they are doing. You can search the workouts by a variety of different filters, and you can also take advantage of the live class settings, where you can high-five others in the workout and see that others are working out with you. If you’re super into tracking your workouts, connecting with others, competing with others live, then I think you’d prefer the Peloton app.

The Les Mills On Demand app really just is a place to find and do great workouts — there aren’t any other innovations or integrations. Both apps do have very active Facebook groups for users, as well.

You can watch both Les Mills On Demand workouts and Peloton workouts on your smart TV through Roku (or Apple TV), and I highly recommend doing that so you can see the instructors on the biggest screen possible.

Ashley using Peloton bike screen A Lady Goes West

Music

Peloton uses popular original music, Les Mills On Demand uses a lot of covers. Also, many Les Mills workouts are taught to the beat, and most Peloton workouts are not.

If you’re a Les Mills class lover, you are used to moving with the beat of the music. And unless you’re in a Peloton class where the instructor specifically tells you the beat of the music, (or you’re doing a Groove ride), you aren’t always in sync with the music. I love to move to the music and truly appreciate this from Les Mills workouts. But I also like that Peloton has access to popular music, whereas usually, Les Mills has to use covers, because of its current streaming rights agreements.

If you’re a music lover, you can search Peloton for artist-inspired workouts and can save songs you like and find out the names of songs during the workout. This is a lot of fun. But you can’t do this with Les Mills On Demand. I like the music on Les Mills On Demand, but the music is better on Peloton. However, you move to the music with most Les Mills classes, which is a big benefit. So this category is a toss-up.

Let’s move on to some general features of each app …

How much does each app cost?

The apps are priced fairly even. Both offer an initial 30-day free trial (you can get a free 30-day trial to Les Mills On Demand using my referral link here). 

  • Les Mills On Demand is anywhere from $9.99 to $14.99 per month, plus tax, depending on if you pay in advance or want to be billed monthly.
  • Peloton is $12.99 per month, plus tax. (Peloton will cost more, if you also get the Peloton bike or Peloton treadmill and include the equipment loan in your monthly payment.)

The monthly cost for each is certainly way better than a full-on gym membership, and even less than the price of one live studio in-person class. And both are certainly worth the price.

What type of equipment do you need for each app?

Les Mills has a Les Mills Smartbar, Smartband, Smartstep and bike available to purchase. And if you need new home workout equipment, Les Mills Smart Tech is the best of the best. Get 10 percent off anything on the Les Mills equipment site with my code ASHLEY10.

However, you can do all of the Les Mills workouts with your own equipment, and you can even use dumbbells in place of the barbell and plates.

Same thing with Peloton. Peloton has a bike, treadmill and weights you can buy from the site. However, you can do all of the Peloton workouts with your own equipment, rather than the Peloton branded stuff.

I have the Les Mills Smartbar and plates, and they are such high quality. But I also have the Peloton bike, and it’s great too. 

There are plenty of bodyweight workouts on both Les Mills On Demand and on Peloton too, in case you don’t have anything at home to use to work out.

Les Mills On Demand app by A Lady Goes West

What type of workouts can you do on Les Mills On Demand vs. Peloton app?

There are a variety of workouts on each platform. While the variety is fairly equal, the quantity of workouts is greater on Peloton than on Les Mills On Demand.

Les Mills On Demand workouts

Les Mills On Demand offers the following branded programs, which can also be found at gyms across the world:

  • BODYPUMP – barbell strength training
  • BODYCOMBAT – martial arts
  • BODYBALANCE – yoga and Tai Chi
  • BODYATTACK – sports cardio
  • BODYSTEP – step aerobics
  • Les Mills Barre – dance-inspired barre
  • GRIT Series (Cardio, Strength and Athletic) – HIIT
  • RPM – cycling
  • SPRINT – HIIT cycling
  • Les Mills CORE (formerly CXWORX) – core
  • Les Mills Training – cardio or strength circuit training
  • Les Mills SHA’BAM – dance
  • Les Mills Stretch – stretching
  • Les Mills Trainer Series (newer rotating focus of class, taught by an individual)

Peloton workouts

Peloton offers the following areas of exercise:

  • Cycling
  • Strength
  • Cardio
  • Stretching
  • Barre
  • Pilates
  • Yoga
  • Running (treadmill)
  • Walking (treadmill)
  • Running (outdoor)
  • Walking (outdoor)
  • Treadmill bootcamps
  • Bike bootcamps
  • Meditation

Les Mills workouts are very consistent, because each workout from each specific program follows a roadmap of how the workout is laid out, even though the moves and music and instructors can be different. The benefit of the consistency is that you always know what you are getting with Les Mills and you are never left wanting more.

However, because Peloton workouts are made by individuals and can vary so much for each format, you don’t always know what to expect. Sometimes your dumbbells aren’t heavy enough for the moves that the instructor chooses, and sometimes you get halfway into the workout and wish it was harder or easier or different. Sometimes you love a Peloton workout, sometimes you don’t. But with Les Mills, you know what you’re getting into, and you’ll always love it (even if you love to hate it).

But I will say that it does take some getting used to the flow of a Les Mills class. It’s pretty formal, and you’ll need to adapt to that. Personally, I’m into it.

I like that Peloton offers outdoor running and outdoor walking workouts, as well as meditation. All Les Mills workouts are designed to be done in a workout space, and none of them are based on the treadmill or based in running or walking.

Overall, both apps have variety.

Les Mills vs Peloton by A Lady Goes West

Les Mills workouts are more consistent and effective per each specific format. However, I think both platforms offer a great variety of formats. There are definitely more workouts to choose from on the Peloton app though. Peloton also wins in offering more complete short workouts.

Which workout app is better?

They are both great. Peloton has the fun community vibe and has awesome digital trackable data. I love that there are workouts from as short as five minutes to as long as 90 (although, to be honest, I never do workouts longer than 45 minutes at home). Yet, Les Mills On Demand has incredibly high-quality programming that will never leave you wanting more. 

Because of that, I use both apps every single week. I like to have fun on the Peloton bike with music-based rides, and yet, I can’t go a week without working incredibly hard doing Les Mills BODYPUMP. 

If you really want to get fit, you could do that on either app, as long as you are consistent and you include both cardio and strength training in your routine — in a smart way.

Also, this is important: I HIGHLY recommend that you find the program areas of each app and follow a program instead of just choosing workouts at random. Les Mills offers several programs (under Workout Plans and Challenges) and so does Peloton (under Programs). These are the secret sauce to getting results.

Les Mills On Demand by A Lady Goes West

How do you know whether Les Mills On Demand vs. Peloton app is for you?

This is a great question.

After reading this post so far, you should have an idea on what is important to you. But honestly, I don’t think you need to choose ‘Team Les Mills” or “Team Peloton” — I think you can be on both teams and take advantage of the benefits of both.

Ask yourself these things …

  • If you are a former ballerina and want to take a challenging barre class, go with Les Mills On Demand and try Les Mills Barre.
  • If you are a total music lover and like to discover new tunes, go with Peloton.
  • If you like to move to the beat of the music, go with Les Mills On Demand.
  • If you are obsessed with metrics and like a lot of workout data, go with Peloton.
  • If you like HIIT workouts, go with Les Mills On Demand and do GRIT Cardio or Athletic.
  • If you like to work out in a live virtual class setting, go with Peloton.
  • If you are a Les Mills live group fitness lover, go with Les Mills On Demand.
  • If you like to do super-short workouts, go with Peloton.
  • If you want to be a group fitness instructor one day, go with Les Mills On Demand (Les Mills is well-known for their instructor training programs).
  • If you have a bike at home and just like to escape and have fun, go with Peloton and ride with Cody Rigsby — my personal favorite.
  • If you have a barbell and want to get really strong, go with Les Mills On Demand and do BODYPUMP and Les Mills GRIT Strength.
  • If you love SoulCycle classes, go with Peloton and try the Groove rides.
  • If you like kickboxing and martial arts, go with Les Mills On Demand and try BODYCOMBAT.
  • If you like to work out with friends at the same time and compete with them, go with Peloton.
  • If you like consistency and want to know what to expect in your workouts, go with Les Mills On Demand.
  • If you love Orangetheory Fitness, go with Peloton and try the treadmill bootcamps.
  • If you want to get fit, move your body regularly — no matter the platform you choose.

Concluding thoughts on Les Mills On Demand vs. Peloton app

Both companies are out there trying to get more people moving, and I’m all for this. If you’re in need of a regular workout program, you can’t go wrong with either. Personally, I use both apps each week, because I see the benefits of each.

But, to me, Les Mills On Demand workouts are better put together, more effective and safer. However, I think Peloton wins in the technology, community and super-fun live element factors. If you can swing them both, go for it, so you can get in a good mixture — that’s what I do.

Ashley working out at home by A Lady Goes West

Other posts you may like

Thank you for reading this super-long post about Les Mills On Demand vs. Peloton app. Come say hi to me on Instagram, if you want to see which workouts I’m doing from each app.

Questions of the day for you

Have you used either Les Mills+ or Peloton?

Which is your favorite workout from either platform?

Are you still working out at home? Or have you gone back to the gym?

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9 Comments

  1. Thank you for this!! I thought I’ve been missing out on a trend by not having a peloton – but this reminded me I just really like the Les Mills style and workouts!

    1. Hi Renae, If you are pleased with your workouts on Les Mills On Demand, keep at ’em! Just make sure you are getting variety, pushing yourself to keep growing and always having a little bit of fun. I know we all get FOMO — but when it comes to fitness, you don’t have to try everything, you just have to find what you like. Thank you for reading!

  2. I love both apps too! I like how you can use your own weights and spin bike for both. It’s also great that both apps also have stretching options that are great for someone like me who doesn’t get to that often enough!

  3. I love both and have subscribed to both for a year+. I agree with your thorough analysis. Les Mills workouts cannot be beat. Compare a single LM class to a similar Peloton class and hands down LM would win every time. The problem I’m finally finding is – as great as they are, they just aren’t so fresh. Les mills launches the same number of workouts in a quarter as Peloton in a single day. I have done the eight or so most recent BodyPump classes at least a half dozen times each, and it just doesn’t excite me to do one again. Whereas Peloton, it’s an enjoyable part of each day to log into the app, see what live classes are scheduled that day or what’s been added in past few days and add them to my schedule/stack.

    It took me a year to question how long I’d remain interested in LM, and I’m not about to cancel it, but my usage has certainly decreased over time (as Peloton has increased) and I wonder how long I’m willing to pay for both services…

    1. Hi Neil! I agree with you, and totally get what you are saying — that’s why I like to have both in my life! I think there will be more improvements with Les Mills On Demand, now that it’s Les Mills+ and they have more flexibility, and they are adding the Trainer Series which change out weekly, I think. Have you tried those workouts on Les Mills? It’s one instructor, and they add them more frequently to the app. I will ALWAYS love Les Mills workouts, and I think they are working on putting out more content and keeping it fresh, so I hope you will stick around. But yes, Peloton is a well-oiled machine and they pop out the freshness like no other!

      1. Thanks for reply Ashley and yes, I do applaud Les Mills efforts on the trainer series and hopefully some forthcoming improvements with LM+. The trainer series are still equipment-less exercises though and I wish they would add some that use equipment such as their barbells or resistance bands. And truthfully, even though Peloton has an onslaught of content, as a more advanced fitness participant, much of it isn’t applicable. However, Jess Sims or Adrian’s boot camps still get pushed out weekly and they can be on par with the intensity of LM Grit.

        The other thing worth mentioning is the metrics collection. If you have the Bike or Tread (both of which I now own), you get such first rate integration that it keeps you under the Peloton umbrella. But of course this comes at a much higher price than the app-based workouts you discuss (quite eloquently!) here.

  4. Hi! I loved the trip classes at the gym but life has changed and I don’t have much time to get there. What’s the best bike to use for the trip, where the screen is on the bike and I don’t have to mess w TV connection?

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