Foreword: ‘Cause I get a lot of comments like “I can’t believe YOU got a Peloton,” I feel obliged to just say this.
Yes, I know that I am a Personal Trainer and that I live in Los Angeles; so theoretically I have everything I should need intrinsically and physically to get some cardio in without a Peloton.
I am no different than my clients or many of you. I will workout hard when I show up but I too need that accountability and inspiration. Trainers need trainers too, at least I do. And yes I should dust off my bike that’s collecting dirt on my patio and take it out for a spin. And I might one day. For now though, I feel good about my decision to take the Peloton plunge given a few other key lifestyle reasons.
I have severe gastrointestinal issues which means my body dictates what I can do and when. I prefer being home for the near future because of all the symptoms and effects that go along with SIBO and other gnarly GI stuff.
Given my health and having a scattered work schedule, I LOVE being able to put my shoes on, clip in ride for 30 minutes, clip out and be done. I don’t have to plan it. I can do it whenever since they have so many classes on demand.
Whether we want to admit it or not, COVID has changed the fitness landscape possibly forever. Yes I think there are elements of “what was” that we will return to, but we have gotten a taste of what fitness can look like at home. It may take an adjustment and letting go of many things, but it is not a bad alternative. AT ALL.
I recently got a Peloton Bike and just a few weeks in, it is apparent to me how their timing and popularity is pretty spot on for our current state of affairs and the future of fitness. I want to share my Top 7 Reasons from a Personal Trainer’s perspective why I believe Peloton is right on the money with how we are doing fitness now.
1. Working out around people or away from home can cause anxiety.
For me, it is having GI issues that cause great anxiety about exercising away from home. For many, there is anxiety about being in a gym, studio or anywhere public. Some are self-conscious about their bodies or about being a beginner, and it can be intimidating to be around people who are exercising their hearts out.
So if having a Peloton relieves anxiety for people, I am all for it. Because on the contrary, how many feel too self -conscious or anxious about working out around others and just stay home and do NOTHING? Isn’t riding a Peloton a far better alternative? Yes, duh, of course it is.
As a trainer, I can get more out of those clients at home who previously had anxiety about working out in public. They are more apt to put in more effort and move more freely because their brains are not focused on negative thoughts about the environment they are in or perceived judgments from others.
So yeah, 100%, I say celebrate those who can go from their couch to their Peloton and move. They just may be pushing themselves harder at home then they would elsewhere.
That’s a win and it is significant.
2. Your home gym is your space.
This could mean not worrying about germs and sweat flying off of the person next to you, but I mean this on a much deeper level.
I have heard Peloton Instructor Christine D’Ercole talk about this concept (and I hope I’m not taking this out of context). So I want to credit her for this point and pray to the Peloton gods I do not mess this up.
Exercising can be a really intimate, vulnerable experience. I have broken down working out. I have had clients break down during our sessions. Pushing our physical limits can be intense emotionally.
Hell, I almost broke down the other day because I dropped a bowl of cooked rice on my floor and I couldn’t handle it after all this chaos our country has been going through. I digress though.
Anyways, here is a more relevant quick story.
I remember doing a team CrossFit competition years ago where we had to each do 20 wall balls, which is one of my worst, most dreaded movements EVER. The target was not a line on a wall like I was used to, but a circle at the top of a beam that the ball had to hit. It also had a tendency to rebound the ball (which hit another competitor in the ass on one of my reps. Talk about embarrassing).
It was a struggle for me to get each one of those reps in addition to feeling pressure to not let my teammates down. When I finished those wall balls, I was so tense and emotionally charged (not in a good way), that I started crying which only made me feel worse.
It doesn’t take a competition though to experience those same feelings of perceived inadequacy and weakness. It is a sucky place to be, but it is also part of the process. Failing or wanting more for ourselves is what we need to push through the next time and do more.
Not to mention that we are living through so much collectively with politics and COVID, that we need some kind of release. And sometimes that release is going to happen when we work out and work out that tension and those toxins.
For many of us, we need to feel that, from the privacy of our own homes. It is our space, our energy and our opportunity to influence it how we want to.
Peloton is right on the mark with creating that space at home.
3. It’s not lazy, it is convenient.
Wow ok so that last point got deep. Let us get into the plain fact that it is just damn convenient to exercise at home.
Whether you are on a Peloton or not, working out at home has proven to be very time efficient. No more having to race to a gym or a studio to make a class. Or worrying about signing up early enough to get a spot. Or feeling guilty that you are leaving your family for 1-2 hours to get a workout in.
Before COVID, when I was training clients in person, they often were racing to get there or rushing to be somewhere after. Picking kids up/dropping kids off, trying to get out of that end of the day meeting on time, squeezing in a workout before a business call. You know, all the million things that life gives us. They would come in frazzled and leave frazzled. That workout high that we experience, often was shorter lived.
Working out at home has relieved much of that. Yes there are still kids and families to tend to, business obligations and work responsibilities, but not having to physically get somewhere on top of all of that is a game changer.
We are busy people and efficiency is everything. My clients come into their sessions ready, even more so than at a gym. Peloton does the same for their members. Clip in and ride. That is all it takes.
4. Workouts do not need to be an hour.
Pre-Covid, I would say there was this norm that workouts and classes should be a full hour. In many cases yes a full hour is perfect, but why can’t a workout be shorter? Peloton offers classes of varying durations from 10 minutes to 90 minutes. That means for many who literally only have 10 minutes, that’s all they need. And you know what they say.
“A 10 minute workout is better than no workout.”
Reinforcing that workouts can be short but efficient has helped so many people during this pandemic. I too now offer 30 minute (private) classes and PT because for many, they find it easier to commit to. There is a psychology about it that has gotten more people exercising.
And I reiterate. 30 minutes is better than nothing and I would even argue, when you use your 30 minutes wisely and efficiently, it is all you need.
5. Recovery is just as important as the workout itself.
Peloton not only offers cycling classes, they offer other forms of exercise (like yoga and running) as well as specific stretching classes.
Ok yes I recognize it’s a business thing for Peloton to make their brand a one- stop -shop, but it is advantageous for the consumer to be encouraged to not only move, but recover and stretch.
Our bodies function better when we give them TLC. Cycling every day or doing CrossFit every day or running every day is no bueno, ESPECIALLY if we do not incorporate any kind of stretching and mobility work.
It is really easy when working out independently to skip those. Peloton gives you that nudge to do both. When you see stretching in your main menu or you get a recommended cool down, you are more likely to do it.
6. Peloton creates a community.
I have realized lately I reallllllly miss my old gym community. I got so much joy and inspiration connecting with my friends around the workouts. I loved strategizing, debriefing and pushing one another. These days, it’s like I do a workout and then return back to training my clients. It can make working out seem very much just about the moment when there is so much more to it.
Fitness for me is more than the idea of gaining muscle or losing weight. It is about feeling strong, accomplished and it is my own fountain of youth.
Being part of something bigger and sharing all that with others is what lights me up. So I absolutely can understand why so many are drawn to the Peloton community.
You can connect, celebrate and even commiserate with other people over the latest or most memorable ride you did. You can get advice on how to best sustain that 60 minute ride. You can know that you were not the only one who struggled in that 10 minute climb.
It also gives you a chance to meet neighbors or people in other parts of the country. So many Peloton groups are out there and it is the perfect way to connect with more people, which we all need given we are still trying to get through a pandemic.
There is power in having a community.
7. Fitness is about connecting.
There are dozens of Peloton trainers and while I admittedly have tried maybe half a dozen, I have found a few that inspire me.
This may be unpopular opinion but to make a point, I am not a fan of Cody. (Peloton people, please do not hate me). I am sure he would be a lot of fun to have over for game night or a glass of wine, but when I work out and am in the thick of it, I just want to hear encouraging words. I am not into the nostalgic stories that a song invokes.
I prefer instructors like Olivia and Christine who guide me through the ride and give cues to get more power, speed or control. I like the reminders that it is not about what anyone else is doing but only what I am putting out. I prefer that their words are intentional versus entertainment.
When we find those trainers and coaches we connect with, we are more likely to push ourselves harder. Even if they do not see us or hear us, knowing they are on our level mentally and fundamentally, it organically fills us with fuel to push harder.
Those connections are what create not only community as mentioned above, but consistency.
When we feel like a trainer “gets us”, we are more inspired to commit and work hard.
As a fitness professional, I will always appreciate, applaud and celebrate any form of exercise or program (that is safe obvi) that gets people moving, especially ones that can do that for many at home. Fitness and workouts are forever evolving and supporting Peloton is so much more than a brand or their company’s bottom line. It is about practicing kindness, positivity and incentivizing more and more to move.