Let’s do a review of the Peloton app. And quick point of reference: You don’t need the Peloton equipment in order to use the app.
We’ve had the Peloton bike for three months, and I’ve had the Peloton app for a little longer than that. At the time of writing this post, I’ve done 101 workouts from various programs on the Peloton app, including rides on the bike. (Edited to add: Several months after writing this initial post about Peloton, I wrote this follow-up post about the best Peloton instructors, so check that out next.)
Before we get going, I need to start this entire post out by saying that my heart is absolutely with Les Mills group fitness programs and with the Les Mills On Demand app and platform for streaming workouts. I highly recommend Les Mills On Demand, and you can read more about it here and get a free trial. But I also see the benefits of the Peloton app, certainly during times like these when many of our studios and gyms are closed, and you want to get your workout in on your own.
And here’s an ever bigger point: I never expected to like a fitness app as much as I’ve liked the Peloton app, nor did I expect to like the workouts as much as I have. We’ll get into all of that, but first …
My current workout breakdown on the Peloton app
Total workouts completed: 101
- Cycling: 39
- Strength: 26
- Stretching: 26
- Yoga: 8
- Meditation: 2
I haven’t done the running, walking, cardio or bootcamp workouts, so I’m not going to review those.
I usually do two-to-three cycling workouts a week, one yoga workout and one strength workout using the Peloton app, so that’s what we’ll talk about today.
My other workouts during the week are via the Les Mills On Demand app or on my own or when I teach virtual classes, which are usually barre-style classes.
Review of the Peloton app after my first 100 workouts
I’ve truly enjoyed having the Peloton bike and the app to freshen up my workout routine during quarantine, because I was all “group fitness” all the time before this stay-at-home-order went down. And Peloton workouts are much more about you as an individual, than about about doing what the group is doing. There’s one instructor on the screen, and you are at home (or wherever you work out), on your own too.
As a reminder, you do NOT need to have any Peloton equipment, like the bike or treadmill, in order to use the app. You can do all of the workouts from your phone, laptop or television.
However, we do have the Peloton bike, and it’s totally awesome. I may review that in a separate post, but it’s an incredible piece of equipment to have in a small space at home and get in a great workout, because there’s a big flatscreen attached to the bike for you to watch the class, and there are a lot of metrics to use to see how you’re doing during the ride. I actually didn’t love cycling before we got the bike, and now I truly look forward to my rides as a great way to get in cardio without any impact or jumping.
Also, by the way, when I signed up for the app there was a 90-day free trial, but now it’s a 30-day free trial. Then, it’s about $13 a month moving forward to use the app if you don’t have any of the equipment, called a digital membership.
Overview of the Peloton company and app
The Peloton company has been around since 2012. They are headquartered in New York City, and they have physical studios in New York City and London, where you can normally drop in for a live class, and where they film all the on-demand-style classes for the platform.
Peloton has become incredibly popular quite quickly, especially since people have been working out at home for the last for months during the COVID-19 quarantine. One of the things that really drives the popularity of Peloton is the instructors, who have basically become fitness celebrities, with huge followings on social media. And right now, there’s a waiting list of several weeks if you want to get your hands on the Peloton bike or treadmill. It took about a month for us to get our bike, and it’s longer now.
Now, back to the app …
The Peloton app offers workouts ranging from about five minutes to more than an hour in length. I would say the most popular workouts are 30-minutes long, and that’s my favorite workout duration as well.
And these workouts are for all levels of fitness. You can find running, cycling, strength, yoga, meditation, cardio and bootcamp workouts.
When you hit play on a workout, you watch the instructor demonstrate the moves and coach you through with words, as you follow along at home doing the moves on your own. They play great (and popular) music in the background. On the screen, you can see the countdown of how much time you have left in your workout, as well.
The app itself has a calendar, schedule and tracking system so you can keep track of your performance in metrics-based workouts (like cycling), and you can keep track of how many workouts you do throughout the month. I happen to love the tracking system, which is superior to any that I’ve seen in other workout apps.
The app has so much diversity that you could definitely get all of your workouts in one place. There are workouts from beginner to advanced, and they even offer training programs you can follow.
You can also review the music that will be played in each class before you choose it too, which I’ve never seen offered on a fitness app before.
And, there’s a big community feel, and instructors call out “milestones” for birthdays, first workouts, and 50, 100 or even 1,000 or more workouts for participants using someone’s “leaderboard” name. This is where the cult following comes in, and people are VERY much on the Peloton bandwagon. Pretty cool.
Features of the Peloton app
There is a huge variety of workout classes to choose from, including the following formats:
- Strength (with bodyweight or with dumbbells, split into upper-body, lower-body, core or full-body)
- Cycling (power rides, low-impact rides, music-based rides, HIIT, intervals with arms and more)
- Yoga (slow flow, power flow, restorative and more)
There is also a variety of workout programs to follow over the course of two to four weeks, including the following:
- Total strength
- Crush your core
- The power of sleep
- Outdoor running
- Power zone cycling
- Bootcamp explorer
- Yoga for beginners
- Road to 5K
- Road to 26.2
- Tabata rides
- Master the basics of cycling
I haven’t tried any of the programs, but I love that they are offered as a way for you to know how to progress.
Benefits of the Peloton app
There are a lot of benefits. I love how searchable it is, I love the workouts, and I love the variety of workouts to choose from. Almost everything I’ve tried has been excellent.
Here are a few stand-out benefits:
- STREAM QUALITY: You can stream the classes on your smart internet-connected TV for a big viewing device. You can also watch on your phone or computer.
- INSTRUCTORS: The instructors are all different, and they all have big personalities.
- STRENGTH CLASSES: The strength classes can be searched by lower-body, upper-body, core or full-body, and you can do bodyweight only or with dumbbells. I like that you don’t need much equipment, and all strength workouts are under 30 minutes, so they are very efficient. Other than cycling, the strength workouts are my favorite to do.
- TRACKING: The app keeps track of your workouts, so you can always see what you’ve done. I love the tracking functionality.
- SHARING: You can share your activity easily with others to get others to join in your workouts.
- MUSIC: You can see the playlist of the class before beginning it. And all the classes have popular music that you’d hear on the radio.
- QUANTITY: There are thousands of workouts to choose from. (I don’t know the exact amount, but it’s a lot.)
- LIVE/ON DEMAND: You can join in live workouts or catch the workouts later on demand. I’ve only done one live cycling workout with a friend, and it was so cool to know we were all doing it together. I plan to do more live classes in the future.
- PROGRAMS: There are workout programs you can follow telling you which class to choose to build on your fitness and skills.
- COMMUNITY: You can follow friends and see their activities.
- SYNCING: Your workouts sync with the Activity app and the Apple watch automatically.
- MILESTONES: The community and milestone process is awesome. If you jump into a live class, there’s a chance your personal milestone may be called out by the instructor.
- EQUIPMENT: There are plenty of workouts that require absolutely no equipment, like yoga and the bodyweight workouts.
- PRICE: For only $13 a month for the digital membership, you have access to an amazing amount of content.
Cons of the Peloton app
I actually had a tough time coming up with cons, and that says a lot. But here are some downsides of the Peloton app:
- It can be overwhelming to know where to start, because there is so much content. I’d recommend trying out the beginner workouts for each format, or of course, following a program.
- The workouts only have very brief warm-ups and cool-downs, and you are encouraged to do a separate stretch or cool-down program (many of which are easily offered up). While this isn’t really a con, it does put the responsibility on the user to get that extra stretching or cooling down done. I usually do the extra stretches after rides, but not always. The instructors do a good job of suggesting that you do an extra stretch, but I’d like to see longer cool-downs or stretches in the rides and classes anyhow.
- I asked Dave to come up with cons, and here are his:
- You can’t search classes by the actual artist of music. Although you can search by genre, it would be nice to find artists. However, I will say that at times classes are designed with songs from one artist, but that doesn’t happen all the time.
- You can’t see your PR “personal record” for each different type of ride in an easy way. Better tracking of cumulative stats would be nice.
As you can see, there aren’t a ton of cons. Basically, it’s very user friendly, diverse and there’s something for everyone. So if you don’t like one program, find another.
My favorite Peloton instructors
One of the biggest benefits of the app is the instructors. They are all very different, and they all have something to offer. I’m so impressed with them!
You can search by instructor on the Peloton app, and I find myself searching by instructor quite often, especially for cycling.
Even though I’ve done 100 workouts, there are still more instructors I need to try out.
Here are my current faves, and I know this will change as I use the app for longer.
- Cycling: Cody Rigsby, Leanne Hainsby, Ally Love, Alex Toussaint and Robin Arzon
- Strength: Jess Sims, Matty Maggiacomo and Andy Speer
- Yoga: Dennis Morton, Kristin McGee and Anna Greenberg
Edited to add: A few months after this initial review post, I also wrote this one “The best instructors on the Peloton app.”
Overall review of the Peloton app
I have to admit, I’m very critical of workout programs and fitness apps and I try out a lot, but I rarely like any, other than my beloved Les Mills.
Yet, the Peloton app is the first one that has kept me interested, engaged and excited about my workouts. There’s really something for everyone, and I highly recommend it! They are adding brand new classes every single day, so you’ll never run out of new ones to try.
Thanks for reading my review of the Peloton app. I’d love to see you over on Instagram, where I often share the workouts I’m doing, friends! xoxo
Other posts you may like
- The best instructors on the Peloton app
- 10 effective free at-home workout videos
- How to work out at home safely and effectively
- Review of Les Mills On Demand streaming workout service
- How to schedule your week of workouts
Questions of the day
Have you ever tried the Peloton app?
Do you have any follow-up questions about the Peloton app you’d like addressed in a future post?
What’s your favorite workout right now?
How was your weekend?