My Peloton Fitness Experience

Years ago, after discovering Peloton in 2014, I wrote a post all about my obsession with Peloton. The gym in the high rise building I used to live in had four Peloton bikes and one day, I hopped on and never looked back.

I instantly fell in love with Peloton – the inclusive, motivational, and positive environment. Unlike previous spin classes I had taken in studios in NYC, Peloton challenged you to look inward for motivation and shut out the noise. Zero distractions but your own thoughts, which the instructors guide you through shutting off. There was this sense of community, even though you were alone on a bike at home. When you’d get a shout out in a live class, you’d pedal the hardest you’ve ever pedaled and it was this surge of adrenaline that was kind of inexplicable.

Originally, I used Peloton as a means for weight loss. I guess I had always associated spinning with a high-cardio weight loss exercise. Since then, it has never been about weight loss and more of a release and therapy for me – I don’t know where I’d be without this bike!

Peloton for weight loss

Now, 6 years later, Peloton offers a completely different workout experience while still maintaining that original spin studio spirit. In 2020, Peloton has everything from barre to yoga to full body strength workouts and indoor and outdoor running classes. You literally don’t need to ever leave your house to get a total body workout, gimmick free. You don’t even need to buy weights, they have so many bodyweight class offerings, you can do full body workouts without them!

So yes, Peloton has changed my life. The bike was there for me when I was postpartum with both of my babies, trying to just fit in 10 minutes to myself that day. Without it, I could have never regained my strength or endurance fitness postpartum. I used to be someone who could print off a “workout guide” and go from there, but not any longer – I look forward to working out with the Peloton trainers and while I started off a devout Robin follower (and for about 5 years only exclusively did her rides!), I’ve tried many now and know which ones I need on certain days to push me, recover me, or meet me.

Pregnant and Peloton

There have been many jokes made about Peloton and riders in the Peloton community have been poked fun at for being so “intense” about their bikes. But you know what those naysayers haven’t done? Jumped on a Peloton bike and taken a class! Once you take your first class, you’re hooked. There’s an undeniable energy about Peloton that draws me in. No talk about weight loss or summer bodies or “tank top ready arms.” Peloton accepts you where you are and gets you where you need to be.

Anyway, clearly I could go on forever about how I love Peloton, but since so many of you have asked me questions about my experience, I figured I’d do a Q&A style post so that I could refer people here in the future. And to be transparent, I have never worked with Peloton in a sponsored capacity. I bought my own bike and pay for my own subscription. I’m truly a fan!

My Peloton Fitness Experience: Q&A

Here are my answers to the questions you guys kindly submitted on Instagram – if you have any other questions after reading this, feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll answer them as best I can!

Can I follow you?

Yes! My username is….. you guessed it…. inspiralized! I got my own personal bike in December of 2017 (as a way to workout postpartum with Luca), but I had been riding consistently since 2014, but I never logged my rides (I used our building’s gym bikes and used their login.) I’m so bummed, because I am so curious what my ride count would be at this point. Definitely over 1,000!

Who are your favorite instructors?

When I started Peloton, my first ride was with Robin Arzon, because her profile said she was Puerto Rican and I felt an instant connection to her because of Lu (being Puerto Rican.) I loved her immediately, but tried another instructor shortly thereafter and wasn’t impressed, so I went back to Robin and pretty much for the next 5 years, only rode with Robin. I sprinkled a little bit of Alex Toussaint in there, but still rode Robin 9/10.

Once Robin stopped recording as many rides (she’s now the VP of Fitness Programming and obviously can’t record as many rides, as that’s not her singular role at Peloton anymore), I started experimenting with other instructors. Also, once Peloton released strength workouts, I started exploring other instructors. But of course, Robin is still my go-to 🙂

Now, my favorite instructors are, in no particular order:

  • Jess Sims – for strength workouts and Bike Bootcamps, she’s the best! So positive and uplifting and she WORKS you.
  • Adrian Williams – for strength workouts, he is easy-going and keeps you engaged and I find his workouts simple and effective. I love his music and…. he’s pretty easy on the eyes 😉
  • Alex Toussaint – he’s got this life perspective that’s very inspiring and he speaks to that throughout the rides. I love his hip hop music picks and I find his workouts super challenging.
  • Cody Rigsby – if I want a tough workout and some laughs, I’ll take Cody!
  • Ben Alldis – personally, I find him very calming and straight forward and extremely difficult. He finds a way to push you without that bravado the other instructors bring (yelling inspirational things, telling you to hustle, etc.) If I’m in a self motivated mood, I’ll do his rides, but if I need that extra “oomph,” I won’t take his rides.
  • Tunde Oyeneyin – definitely in my top 3 favorites, not only are her rides super difficult, she has a way to speak to you through the pushes to get you to finish them like no other instructor. If you need someone to totally carry you through the class and push you to do things you didn’t think you could, she’s your girl.
  • Rebecca Kennedy – for walking workouts on the treadmill, I did many of her hiking workouts while in Florida, when I didn’t have my bike, but my parents have a treadmill. She’s THE BEST, and I also love her strength workouts, too. She’ll get you sweating in a walking workout more than a spin ride!

What are your favorite rides?

When Peloton first start, I was just doing 30 and 45 minute rides. Now, I do all types of rides and it completely depends on my goals or time constraints that day. Sometimes, I just do 20 minute rides! Sometimes, just a 5 minute ab class!

Typically, my go-to rides are, in no particular order:

  • 30 Minute Tabata with Robin: if you want to burn, burn, burn… do these!
  • 30 Minute Intervals & Arms: if I’m looking for a good sweat, but can’t commit to spinning for 30 minutes straight (if I’m tired or unmotivated), I love these rides because the arms segments break up the monotony of spinning.
  • 30 Minute HIIT & Intervals: I find these rides fly by and they’re an efficient way to burn.
  • 45 Minute Interval & Arms: just for the same reason as the 30 minute version, I love this ride
  • 45 Minute Hip Hop: I love hip hop, so I love these rides!
  • 45 and 30 Minute Bike Bootcamp: when I want to incorporate strength into my workout, you can’t beat these rides. I’m obsessed and they’re definitely my favorite rides to do right now, but they don’t have many on demand just yet (they’re a fairly new concept), so I don’t do as many right now.
  • Honestly, I love all of the strength workouts I’ve ever done!

And recently, they added 60 minute bootcamps and I can’t wait to give those a try.

Where should beginners start?

They literally have something called Beginner Rides. Start there! And I’d definitely recommend taking different instructors in the beginning to figure out what you like and which instructors are better for you when you’re in different moods. I wouldn’t just hop into a 45 minute ride unless you’ve been spinning previously and understand spinning. Start with a Beginner Ride and then try out the 30 minute rides, a few different variations (the Interval & Arms, the Tabata, the HIIT) and then get to a 45 minute ride. But definitely try different instructors!

How noisy is the bike?

It literally makes no noise at all, if you have headphones in. Your breathing is the loudest thing in the room.

Are you going to get the new Peloton+ bike?

Nope! I’m happy with this bike and while I’d love better audio and a swivel screen, good wireless headphones and a TV to cast the bike on have solved that for me.

How long did it take your body to get used to the workouts?

I’ve been spinning since 2010, so my body was already used to spinning. I think the variety of workouts on the Peloton keeps you from burning out. You don’t want your body to “get used to” anything because complacency doesn’t lead to progress!

Why the bike over the treadmill?

I live in an apartment and don’t have room for a treadmill or else i’d have both, but I personally prefer spinning over running AND I have severe incontinence right now (that I’m working on!) that limits my running options right now. When we move to a larger home (like a house), I will 100% get the treadmill, especially because that’s Lu’s favorite workout.

How did your Peloton workouts change during pregnancy?

When I did my Peloton workouts, I didn’t push myself nearly as hard as I did before becoming pregnant, simply because I got out of breath. I took breaks when I wanted to, not necessarily when I “needed” to (I push myself harder when not pregnant.) For example, if the instructor in the spin class says to do an interval and I’m not ready for it, I won’t push myself like I would not-pregnant. I’d give myself a few extra seconds on the recoveries, and I didn’t go as fast or as high of a resistance, either. Most importantly, I just listened to my body and did what felt most comfortable to me. If you want pregnancy guidance on the bike, Robin is currently pregnant! After 36 weeks, I stopped spinning because it was too uncomfortable AND my incontinence was so bad, I’d pee the bike in the first 5 minutes. 🙁

Do you pre-plan your workouts for the week? How do you do it?

Yes, but depending on how the day goes (and if I make my 6am workout), I may change that up. As I mentioned before, some instructors and rides I like for certain moods and how my body is feeling.

Basically, I try to aim for strength training 3 times a week and pure cardio 2-3 times per week. For strength training, I either do a Bike Bootcamp or I do a short cardio warmup (like 10-20 minutes) and then a 30 minute strength workout. And on the cardio days, I aim for a 45 minute ride. All of these are Peloton workouts at the moment!

Do you feel like you get a full body workout?

100%, especially now with the Bike Bootcamp – you start on the bike, go to the floor, get back on the bike, and then end on the floor, so you have two strength segments and two bike segments. You get that balance of cardio and strength in a single workout BUT if you also just want strictly strength training, they have plenty of that! As I said before, I also make sure I hit the major muscle groups, so a sample week may look like this:

Monday: 45 Minute Bike Bootcamp
Tuesday: 45 minute spin ride
Wednesday: 10 minute spin ride + 30 minute Full Body Strength workout
Thursday: 30 minute spin ride + 15 minute Abs
Friday: 45 minute spin ride

Does Lu ride?

He doesn’t ride right now for a few reasons, but he has taken a handful of rides in the past. He says the rides are too difficult, haha! He prefers running and he used to go to the gym in our building pre-COVID. Once COVID hit and our gym closed, he started working out exclusively outside. He prefers to do this when the weather permits, he doesn’t like working out indoors. He says this winter, since we’ll be indoors, he plans on getting on the bike!

What gear do you use?

First off, I have the mat they sell that goes underneath the bike. Highly recommend that for sweat! I connect my Apple Airpods for audio, I use the Peloton brand spin shoes, and I recently got a Roku enabled TV to cast for strength workouts, so I don’t have to crane my neck to see the bike screen. I have a yoga mat and 3/5/8/10/12 and 15 pound weights. Lu has 30s. I also keep a container of disinfectant wipes nearby to wipe down the bike after every workout.

Do you ever get bored with only doing a spin workout?

To answer this clearly (although I’ve answered it above): absolutely not. The Peloton App has so many different types of workouts – if you want to just do strength, they have 45 minute strength workouts. If you want to do yoga, barre, or go for a run – they have those workouts, too. It’s literally a complete fitness solution and I have never once been bored, ever.

What is your pre-workout routine when you workout at 6am?

Night before: Set the coffee machine for 5:45am, lay my clothes and contact lenses out.
5:45am: alarm goes off, usually a) hop out of bed or b) snooze until 5:55/6am. If I snooze….
6am: contacts in, put my Invisalign retainers in cleaning solution, pour myself a cup of coffee and drink it while I get dressed. Brush my teeth, put my aligners in, and go to the bathroom.
6:10/6:15am: on the bike!
7am: pour Lu a coffee, get Luca his gummy vitamin, and make Roma’s milk.
7:05am: bring Luca and Lu their stuff (they are in our bed together because Luca sleeps in our room) and go into Roma’s room, change her diaper, and bring her into bed with Luca/Lu and give her her milk. Hop in the shower!
7:15am: Showered, dressed, and ready to start the crazy!

Is it truly worth it? I’m trying to convince my husband and he just shows me cheap spin bikes.

It’s beyond worth it. It is hands down the best purchase I have ever made for my own personal well being. It’s one of those things that until you buy the bike and hop on, you won’t fully understand how amazing Peloton is. There’s a workout for every single one of your moods, from meditation to stretching to walking to hiking to spinning to bootcamp to barre to yoga to beyond. If you’re nervous about the price, just think about how expensive and cumbersome it would be to find all of that. And I haven’t even talked much about the community, but it’s such a strong community – I high five people on the leaderboard all the time to keep myself and them motivated, because you feel this special kind of connection with the strangers riding on the Peloton bike. And I’m not a gushy person at all, trust me.

Oh, and I haven’t even touched on LIVE rides! You can ride live (they have a live schedule), but I usually do On Demand rides, but there’s nothing like getting a shoutout from you favorite instructor during a live ride. You connect with the strangers riding alongside you, the instructors getting you through the rides, AND you can follow friends and take rides they’ve taken before (or meet them for a ride together) and ride with them that way.

Needless to say, I’m Peloton’s #1 fan, haha! Hope you guys found this post helpful.

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16 comments

Amy says:
Would you mention the costs? Do you have to pay for a subscription monthly?
Meaghan says:
You can find all that sort of information on their website! Ali bought this bike in 2017, and I'm sure pricing has changed!
Suzie says:
We have a Peloton and could not love it more. Have you checked out the Power zone Training program and the team challenges? The program is amazing and I live the structure and ability to see measurable results! Check it out and see you on the leaderboard! #veggiemighty
Meaghan says:
From Ali: "I have not, but I am not looking for that kind of knowledge when I'm working out. I just want to feel good and am not results driven when it comes to fitness, I just like to work out to my comfort and my moods and don't like following numbers and progress like that! But thank you, so glad you shared what works for you!"
Avé says:
I have been anxiously waiting on this post before I took the plunge😊. I’m definitely grabbing one now. Thanks for the honesty in your answers.
Meaghan says:
You're so welcome! You're going to love it!
Katex says:
Thanks for this post, Ali! Great timing as our Peloton bike is being delivered tomorrow. I’ve used it before but my husband hasn’t. We’ll be following your advice re; trying different instructors and classes!
Meaghan says:
That's so exciting!
Jennifer Howland says:
Ali, I really enjoyed this post! Thank you for writing it. I had done my research and decided to purchase the new Peloton. My delivery date is Dec 11 but they offer complementary access to the app while you await delivery. There are so many options from which to choose so having your recommendations really helps! Also, I’ve been a follower for a long time (even before I knew about Insta) and think I was one of the first people to buy your first Inspiralized book. I love to cook and with my partner a farmer, I have access to freshly picked fruits and vegetables through the season (in update NY). Even though my girls are grown and on their own, I enjoy reading your posts about life with your two precious children. I retired from a corporate IT exec role after 35 years last year but then started another dream job this year - helping women get back to work following a career break (#irelaunch). I am truly fortunate to do this meaningful work. I wanted to make sure you knew that all ages of people are following you and rooting for you, not just new moms (my daughter and my step daughters with young children follow you too!). I love your positive energy and your sincere posts. I am an unconscious bias speaker so appreciate your inclusive views. Keep up the fantastic, inspirational work you are doing! You are making a difference. Sincerely, Jennifer Howland [email protected]
Stephanie Braswell says:
What a great post. Thank you for all the information! My bike is arriving next month and I could not be most excited to start riding!!
Meaghan says:
That's so amazing! You'll love it!
Zach says:
Thanks for the article. Considering a Peloton vs a Myx Bike (1/2 the cost). Would you say other bikes could offer a similar experience?
Meaghan says:
From Ali: "I don't know anything about other bikes, I just know Peloton and it's worth every single penny. You get what you pay for!"
Jolene says:
Thank you so much! I am the consistently inconsistent queen. I had been debating about getting something "cheaper." After reading your article, I have decided that I worth the price!
Meaghan says:
Definitely! This is great to hear!

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