Why I'm obsessed with Peloton Digital
I've always secretly been a bit worried I'm the kind of person who could easily be recruited into a cult.
So when I tell people I'm currently obsessed with Peloton, I have to follow it up with "I promise it's not a cult!"
Because I, like everyone else, was shocked by those Peloton ads back in 2019. I laughed and I took the piss and I googled how much a bike was and laughed even more.
So when I started to hear people on Twitter talk about the Peloton Digital app I was a bit *confused concerning Peloton advert woman face*
But soon I was hearing more and more about the digital app itself. You didn't need a bike or a treadmill - there were all kinds of workouts live and on-demand.
I talked last month about how I was trying the FitOn app as a complement to my running and I was really enjoying online workout classes. I'd done one-off Youtube videos before and in my early 20s I spent a lot of time doing things like Insanity and T25 and Jillian Michaels (urghh I know). When our outdoor military fitness classes were put on hold for the second lockdown, Phil and I discussed what our options might be as an alternative, and after finding a free 2 month trial of Peloton digital, we decided to give it a try. I was cynical, but I thought well, I have nothing to lose, so I'll give it a go.
My first impression was wow these workouts are short. Most of the classes were 10-20 minutes, with few over 45 minutes. At first I was disappointed, but then I realised that the secret sauce of the Peloton app is stacking - doing multiple workouts in a row as part of one session.
My second impression was the variety. Not only do you have cardio, you have dance cardio and HIIT cardio and family cardio. There's not just strength but upper body and lower body and barre and pilates and my favourite, strength for runners. There are outdoor runs as well as runs for on their treadmill (which I'm told easily convert to outside running too). There's yoga and meditation and stretching.
I will admit, it was quite overwhelming at first, but I got loads of help from my friend Emma who pointed me towards her favourite instructors and her favourite workouts.
I started out with a yoga workout on Saturday afternoon, which I really enjoyed, though I felt guilty betraying my girl, Adriene.
The next day was a Sunday. Sundays are normally my long run days, but as it was cold and icy and dangerous for running, I decided to try to get a good workout in on the app.
Emma advised to take a warm up first, so I took a 10 minute HIIT warm up class with Rebecca Kennedy (now my favourite instructor), then a 20 minutes HIIT cardio class after. I was having such a good time I found myself then doing a 20 minute strength for runners class and then finished with a 10 minute stretch. 4 workouts in one go!
And I love it. I was pretty much hooked straight after that.
What I love about Peloton Digital
I've now been using Peloton Digital for just less than a month and I've done 60 workouts (I hit 1000 minutes the other day which feels wild!). I am yet to miss a day though some days it's a chill yoga session rather than an intense hour of cardio. There are badges for reaching certain milestones and you know, I love a badge.
I find the trainers incredibly motivating and positive, as well as really knowledgeable. Even though you're not in the room with them I find their advice on form really helpful and they are so good at pushing you when you're struggling! I also really love the music and have definitely been known to do a class cause I love the songs they're using!
I definitely have favourite instructors (shout out to my fave, Rebecca Kennedy!) but I haven't had one class so far I haven't found enjoyable or challenging or fun. Another massive plus for me is there's nothing about weight loss or getting a "beach body" or anything to do with "wellness". I've found everything really positive and it feels like a community built on positivity and support and strength.
I've loved trying new things too. Dance cardio is exactly my kind of thing and I've also tried out barre and done pilates with Phil. I have always hated strength training and struggled to fit it into my routine, but with Peloton I know I can squeeze in a quick strength for runners in 10 minutes, and it's particularly great when working from home.
This week Phil and I did an hour long strength session made up of 5 different videos - this is something I would never have done before, but 10 minutes of core (something I'm terrible for neglecting) is only 10 minutes after all. I also really love working out with Phil which we do together on a Wednesday night as a substitute for our Military Fitness class we used to do on a Wednesday.
I love the freedom of being able to do a class whenever I want. You're not stuck waiting around for an evening class and I can get up and start a workout as soon as I'm out of bed in a morning.
One thing I really wasn't sure about was the running workouts. Surely it's just a playlist of songs and someone barking in your ear with motivation? I'd much rather just go for a run with a podcasts on, thanks. But one Sunday Phil and I decided to set off (in different directions!) on a 60 minute "fun run" to try it out. Let's just say I'm not sure we have the same idea of fun! The runs push me so I don't just plod along til I complete my miles - they have bursts of sprints or faster running, lots of variety and I'm finding them really challenging. I'm completely guilty of not pushing myself with running a lot of the time and I just run to complete my miles for the week or my training plan, but these really push me, as well as offering loads of support and advice on form. I'm both scared and excited to try the harder runs!
January here has been particularly cold and icy, meaning it's been too dangerous to run as much as I'd like, so the indoor workouts have been an absolute gamechanger for me. While I would always rather be running, it's been great to have something fun to do as an alternative and still get a great workout.
I've only done a couple of the live classes so far, but this is mostly because the times haven't really worked for me. Their London studio is closed due to COVID at the moment so all the live classes are on US time so there's nothing for me first thing in a morning just yet, which is my preferred time to workout most of the time. I hope there are more soon because I would love a shout out!
I've been so enthusiastic about Peloton that I've already managed to get two of my friends to sign up and I love hearing about the classes they recommend.
I still have another whole month of my free trial to go but I'll definitely be keeping this up for just £13 a month. I can't wait til the weather gets nicer and Phil and I can do our workouts together in the garden, and I can't wait to be able to do more running!
The free 2 month trial expires this weekend so if you're interested this is a perfect time to try it out (not sponsored I promise - I'm just really passionate about it!)
Let me know if you give it a try and if you do, you can follow me on the app - my username is ccantillon.