A few weeks back I shared on my Instagram how I bit the bullet and decided to invest in a Peloton bike. I asked you guys to send in some questions so I could write up a full post on why I ended up purchasing one (after 3 years of being a die hard SoulCycle fan), the reason why I love their classes so much, my favorite classes and instructors to take and so much more.
With everything I share on social media, I want to give the most detailed explanation of my reasoning behind purchasing or sharing certain products. Why? Because I want YOU to take my recommendations so seriously that (hopefully) you end up trying them out for yourself and loving them just as much as, if not more than, I do.
Working out at home/in quarantine
If you’ve been following along since I started my blog, I was never one to be motivated to workout at home. Like.. ever. I think summer 2014, my first year home from college, I did a few Blogilates workouts on YouTube and in 2018 I attempted Tone It Up (had the app for maybe 2 months and did maybe 3 workouts) but never could commit to anything. For me, workout classes in studios were where I found the most joy out of fitness and they gave me the motivation to be social, leave my apartment and meet other like-minded women. It was a way to make friends, meet instructors, network and more.
In the beginning of January 2020, however, I ran into an unexpected health issue where I was in the hospital for 3 days with significantly low iron and felt extremely weak. I could barely walk around the block without needing someone next to me for at least 3 weeks and going to the grocery store made me lightheaded from the fluorescent lights.
By the time I felt better, my anxiety would get the best of me as I’d be in workout classes and be in savasana and feel like I was having a panic attack in a yoga class or have a fear that if something happened to me, I wouldn’t be able to escape a dark room (as dark as SoulCycle). This is where I knew that if I was working out at home, I could workout for 5 minutes or 40 and the second I wanted to slow down or stop, I could. That felt comforting enough for me to stop going to classes.
By the beginning of March, I was going to a few ClassPass classes (pilates with only 10 students max and tons of lights – which felt comforting being in a smaller space vs. 60 people in SoulCycle) that were low impact. Then March 12th hit, quarantine and COVID-19 began and I didn’t go on public transportation for 7 months and stopped going to fitness classes altogether.
I feel like it was yesterday that only 2-3 weeks into quarantine, everyone and their mother was doing Instagram live workouts. Not only was it overwhelming but I felt like there were so many good options and I wanted to do them all. While I wasn’t in love with working out at home in the beginning, it truly felt like the only way to feel mentally sane being stuck inside of your apartment in the middle of winter.
By the end of March, I had seen through an ad on Instagram that Peloton was offering their app for a 3 month free subscription AND not only that but they offered an app on Amazon Fire TVs which I have. So naturally, I made an account and went for it. The thing that I loved most about the app was that you didn’t need the bike OR their tread in order to do the workouts. They have cardio, barre, strength classes (including bodyweight only!), pilates (which was launched this past December), yoga, stretching and meditation. After the 3 months it was only $14.99 a month… to put it into perspective, that’s half of ONE cycling class at any studio in Chicago or New York.
For about the first 4-5 months of quarantine, I’d do 2-3 workouts from the Peloton app per week but was also incorporating other classes whether it was Zoom classes with other instructors or IGTV’s that instructors had saved to their feed so then I’d do them off of my computer. I wanted a mix of it all, until about August 2020 when I realized I wanted to stick just with Peloton because it had grown on me so much. I’ll obviously get into it but Peloton truly helped change my mental health from negative to positive the last 6 months of 2020 and continues to do so and for that, I’m so happy to not only pay for it but incorporate it into my routine some way, every day.
By December of this past year, just a few weeks before Christmas, I decided that after trying a few of the rides in my apartment’s gym on their Peloton bikes… I wanted to invest. It came about 2.5-3 weeks after I ordered, no less the week after Christmas, which I feel like is rare based off of their customer service responses and comments on social media. However, not everyone is the same or lives in the same area so I can’t say for other people how long it will take to receive a bike or tread. I also did not receive the Bike+ so that might have been why I got mine sooner. So far, it has been worth EVERY. FREAKING. PENNY. And I love it. I feel like it is my child… am I good? 100%.
Now’s the part where I’m going to break down your questions since I know so many people wonder the same things. I did, too!
But it’s so much money! $2,000 for a stationary bike? Will you really use it that much?
Yes, 100%. Yes, it’s a shit ton of money there is no doubt about that. However, I am someone who tries to save as much as I can, when I can and just this past year alone not commuting and paying for a CTA pass from March-December I saved $1000 (a train pass per month is $100). That right there is half the bike. Although I was gifted most of my fitness classes through brand partnerships, if I wasn’t, 5 SoulCycle classes a month for a year is $1800. Almost 90% of the bike’s cost. What’s also great about Peloton is that you are able to finance the bike for as low as $60 per month if you cannot afford it up front (as I know for many people that is not an option or in the cards). In addition to the bike’s cost, you end up paying $40 for your membership instead of the $15 since you are now using it with the bike. Yet once again, that’s less than 2 SoulCycle classes a month. Since August, I’ve been using the app at least 5-6 days a week and ride at least 3-4x a week (even if it’s a 10 or 15 minute ride). So all in all, the bike pays for itself within a year or a few months more.
Why did you get the Bike and not the Bike+?
Money, baby! Haha no but really.. I was not about to add on about $500-800 to my total for just a few extra fancy add-ons. The Bike+, for those unaware, has a 2” larger screen, speakers in the front of the screen rather than just the back like the Bike, the knob can do auto-resistance and the screen swivels. That’s pretty much it. I love the regular Bike as is and it was slightly cheaper. Also when I do bike bootcamps, I can’t see the screen (which yes can be kind of annoying) but I can hear everything the instructors say and I’m at the point now where I know all of the moves.. For the most part. So I know what I’m doing!
Who are your favorite instructors?
You’ll hear it a lot but each instructor is so different so it really depends on your preference of music, what you want to get out of the workout and how hard you really want it. Since day 1, Jess Sims has been my absolute FAVORITE in terms of a hard workout that makes me feel so accomplished, always dripping in sweat and happy. I love her for bike bootcamps, strength classes and stretches. For cycling, I love Olivia Amato and Hannah Frankson the most in terms of playlists that don’t play average songs and incredible EDM remixes, Cody Rigsby and Jess King when I want to laugh and also hear fun upbeat pop music (Jess King’s trap rides are the absolute most fun) and I also love Emma Lovwell, Kendall Toole and Ally Love – I just don’t take their classes as frequently as the others. For yoga, I love Anna Greenberg, Chelsea Jackson Roberts and Denis Morton. Meditation, Anna Greenberg’s sleep meditations are literally the equivalent of floating on a bed of clouds.
What are your favorite classes you’ve taken? Top 10 favorites?
I’ve seen tons of Peloton reviews on Instagram and YouTube but no one has ever shared a short list of their TOP classes they’ve taken so I thought I’d have to share mine!
- 20 minute yoga flow with Denis Morton from 12/31/20 – It’s a great class if you want a lot of chaturangas, a good amount of sun salutations and dolphin pose is the peak pose! I love it if I want a quick yoga flow that also makes me feel like I got in a bit of sweat.
- 30 minute EDM ride with Hannah Frankson from 1/5/21 – Hands down one of the best playlists (some of my favorite EDM hits) and energy. The endorphins were FLOWING after this!
- 15 minute Pilates with Emma Lovewell from 12/16/20 – I’m really hoping Peloton launches more pilates classes because I love them for lengthening/core strength/a low impact workout! This class flies by and is a good push.
- 30 min Best of 2020 Yoga Flow with Anna Greenberg from 12/28/20 – Great playlist (the Heart Shaped Box cover by Amber Mark.. so good) and a simple yoga flow! I loved this one.
- 30 min Nicki Minaj Full Body Strength with Jess Sims from 12/11/20 – I took this class live which is one of the options I love about Peloton. It was SO hard but it was so much fun doing it live with 2-3 of my other friends who have the app!
- 30 min Nicki Minaj ride with Ally Love from 12/9/20 – If you want to feel like an unstoppable bad ass bitch (for lack of a better phrase!) you MUST take this class. The energy Ally gives off in this one is SO contagious and it’s just SO fun. I could take it 10x over.
- 45 minute Full Body Strength with Jess Sims from 11/6/20 – I’ve taken this class at least 3x and it is SO HARD and I think the one class from Peloton I’ve done where I had to take multiple breaks and also was dripping in sweat the entire 45 minutes. It’s SO hard but makes you feel so strong after. I love!
- 20 minute Beyonce Full Body Strength with Robin from 11/12/20 – Another incredibly empowering class (one of the many reasons I love Peloton) from the absolute queen, Robin Arzon. This class flies by because it’s so fun and hits on all the best Beyonce songs.
- 15 minute Core Strength with Robin from 9/17/20 – Fun fact, I hated core classes until Peloton. This one changed my mind! It’s packed with planks, crunches, and more. And everytime Let’s Get Loud plays by J.LO I’m like yup, this class is it. So fun and not too challenging! I’ve done it 3+ times.
- 30 minute Full Body Lil Wayne Strength with Jess Sims from 7/23/20 – Another class I’ve done 2-3x that is SO much fun, challenging but the music just gets you in the zone. And Jess Sims says all the motivating words of encouragement that make you want to keep on going!
The SoulCycle bike vs. Peloton… what are your thoughts? Do you miss SoulCycle?
I can’t 100% compare the Variis/SoulCycle bike to the Peloton as I never owned the SoulCycle bike but from what I’ve heard it is essentially the same thing to the studio bikes, which I loved. However, after riding on a Peloton in my gym – I immediately noticed how a Peloton bike is SO much more supportive for your low back. In SoulCycle, your handle bars were always the same level as your seat which means you were hunched over. It gave me SO many low back issues. I never have any with Peloton! I miss SoulCycle in the sense of the playlists, my favorite instructors here in Chicago and riding with a large group just has the best energy… and of course when a beat drops and going “out to third”, which you don’t really do in Peloton, but aside from that… I’m team Peloton all the way now.
How do I find the motivation?
To me, a large part of why I do a Peloton workout almost every day is because of being stuck inside for quarantine AND working from home. It gives me the best endorphins, connects me to some many friends across the country who can workout the same time as me/in the same class, and has made me feel 10x stronger emotionally and physically. There’s something to me that’s so fun about the instructors and their motivation that motivates me 100%. And my friend and I always make schedules for each other every Sunday night for the week which helps motivate me! We do a mix of yoga, strength, stretches and cycling so we’re not doing the same thing. Always switching it up!
How was the shipping/installation process during COVID-19?
I can’t speak on behalf of anyone else and I’ve seen some crazy comments on Peloton’s Instagram but I ordered my bike on December 12th and it came on the 28th, same month! It was originally expected to come on January 15th but then they had openings for the 28th-30th so I took the earliest I could get. Two men came and slid it into my door (I didn’t even need to meet them at the front desk of my apt), attached the screen, asked me if I had questions then left. They were SO KIND! So kind in that my screen at first was SO TIGHT I couldn’t move it so then came back an hour later to fix it.
If you don’t have a Peloton bike and use another stationary bike, how well does the app work?
Before Peloton, I had another stationary bike and did the rides on my Amazon FIRE TV. They work great but of course you don’t know your resistance. To me, numbers never really matter and you can roughly feel for yourself heavy/light resistance so it worked for me just fine! The only drawback is when it’s streamed to your TV you can’t see who else is riding or the names of the songs but you can if you stream it from your phone or computer. If you stream the ride on your phone while you ride on your own bike, you can high five people too just like you would on the Peloton bike.
Tips for a first time cycler or if I haven’t worked out in a while.. Where should I begin?
What I love about Peloton is that they have classes for EVERYONE. All of their strength/yoga classes are titled beginner/intermediate/advanced, along with the cycling classes. For cycling, I’d say start with a 15-20 minute ride or a beginner ride, too! Those exist 🙂 Also, low impact rides are my favorite because you’re sitting for the entire thing and it’s low impact. Another tip is remember that at the end of the day… it’s YOUR ride. You can adjust the resistance and go as fast/slow as you want. Give yourself grace! And do a pre-ride and post-ride stretch.
Do you do live classes/how are they?
I have done a few live classes – like Jess King’s most recent Miley Cyrus 30 min ride (so so good!) – and do love doing them but I prefer taking classes at whatever time because you can also preview the playlist which I love yet you can’t do that in a live ride (similar to SoulCycle or taking an IRL class). That’s one of my favorite things is that you can always see the playlist with other “old” rides, if that makes sense. Live rides are great though if it’s a theme or on a special event like your birthday or 100th ride or something!
Favorite clothing for cycling/rides?
I pretty much always ride in these align high rise shorts from lululemon (the absolute best) and this bra from Outdoor Voices… I also love riding/lifting/flowing in my Harper Wilde bliss bra because I can literally roll out of bed and onto my bike/mat. But truly whatever clothing is comfiest for you, you do you! Another perk of owning a bike in your apartment/home.. You could legit ride in pajama shorts and your bra if you wanted. Who cares!
Go-to workout mat?
In the beginning of the summer, I was gifted this mat from Alo Yoga and am truly OBSESSED. I know so many people who use it as their workout mat as well and it is worth every penny. It doesn’t slip and slide, even when you’re super sweaty and sticks to the floor really well. Highly recommend.
Whew! I know that was a lot but I hope it gave you some insight into Peloton and if you were considering getting the app OR getting the digital membership with a bike and the whole sha’bang. I recommend it FULLY! Over and over. I can honestly tell you that I love my Peloton so much – I feel like it’s my child or dog lol. To me, it’s like investing in therapy or anything else that has to do with my mental health. While it’s made me physically SO much stronger than I was a year ago or really ever in the last 7 years (especially after dealing with an eating disorder), the shift in my anxiety, depression and ptsd has been beyond wonderful. I mentally feel lighter after doing their meditations the last 2 weeks (I do at LEAST one 10 minute one a day, if not 2) and have incorporated yoga back into my routine at least 3-4x a week, even if just for 20 minutes in a day.
I could go on and on about Peloton but I hope if you’re on the fence of getting one, you take this as your sign you totally should. Don’t forget to follow me as well, my username is @addiemar and my leaderboard hashtag (for when I do group rides!) is #chickpearides.
Here’s to another year of motivating each other and becoming the best versions of ourselves, mentally and physically.
P.s. if you use my referral code “GWZ4TC” you will get $100 off of accessories when you buy a Peloton! 🙂 It’s only good for 10 uses so get on it bbs!
All the love,
This post was not sponsored in any way – all thoughts and opinions are my own. Some links do contain affiliate links, which if you purchase from, I will make a small commission. Thank you for supporting my brand and Chickpea in The City.