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Wednesday, August 5, 2020

My Thoughts on Peloton After Riding it 100 Times

In December I kept getting sick and just couldn't shake some sort of virus/sinus infection, but after visiting the doctor twice, my blood pressure ended up being the main topic of conversation and left me feeling a little shook. I knew I was overly stressed, overweight and needed to take control of my health so I ended up ordering a Peloton.  I had never seen one in person and had only taken a handful of spin classes my entire life. It was a bit of a risk, but I felt it was riskier to continue down this path with my stress level and blood pressure.  

If you follow me on Instagram, you know I can be annoying and post my selfies after a ride - I promise my intention is never to show off this piece of equipment but rather hold myself accountable and also connect with the Peloton Community...and oh what a community it is!  Welcome to the world of virtual high fives, milestone rides, pelo-pups, badges and pelothons shoutout to #breakthroughcrew!

I get asked A LOT if I think a Peloton Bike is worth the money so I figured I would answer that here along with a few more questions I've been asked multiple times.  Thank you to those on Instagram who submitted questions!!!  Before we get to the Q&A, I know there are a lot of people out there who are new riders or are waiting to receive their bike so I wanted to include my list of favorites to check out.

**If you are just here for a discount code, scroll to the bottom of the post! 


All-Time Favorite Ride :: Kendall's Billie Eilish Ride

This 30 minute ride is my all-time favorite for so many reasons.  #1 is my love of Billie Eilish obviously, but I also love Kendall's style.  She pushes you and shares little nuggets about life and about Billie but doesn't talk too much.  I try and take this ride once a month and each time I try to beat myself. It's so encouraging to see how much I've improved in the last 7 months. If you love Billie Eilish, there is also a Peloton BE Yoga class you can search! 

"The only reason you are buried is so you can have a breakthrough" Kendall Toole during Billie ride

Other favorites to bookmark:

Lizzo Ride (30 min with Robyn Arzon)
Arcade Fire Ride (30 min Y2K Rock Ride Emma Lovewell)
Pink Ride (30 min with Christine D'Ercole)
Backstreet Boys Ride (30 min with Cody Rigsby)
Coldplay Ride (30 min with Emma Lovewell)
Women of Rock Ride 2020 (30 min Emma Lovewell)
Florence and the Machine/Sia Ride: 10/17/2018 (30 minute Pop Ride with Emma Lovewell)
Weezer Ride (30 min with Denis Morton)

The best way to find rides you will love is to use the search bar and type in your favorite band/artist and go from there! 


Try them all a few times because this really is a personal preference and sometimes you can't tell if you really like someone's vibe with just one class.  They are all amazing but each one brings their own personality and flair.  What might motivate me, might not work for you.  I also switch up instructors depending on my mood and what I'm looking for!  I haven't taken every instructor, but provided notes of those I have:

  • Emma Lovewell - one of my favorites as you can see from my favorite rides!  Emma has amazing playlists and does weekly rock rides, pop rides.  Check out her Listening Parties too where she features new music.  
  • Denis Morton - probably my 2nd favorite!  I jokingly call him my Bike Boyfriend because he is very easy on the eyes...long hair or short!  I love his coaching style.  He's straight forward in his approach and doesn't talk too much.  I love the way he explains proper form and has GREAT rock playlists!
  • Jess King - Jess is so positive and one of the best encouragers!  You just feel better after her rides.  They aren't easy...try one of her Tabata or HIIT rides...whoa!  Luckily she always has the best music to get you through it.  
  • Cody Rigsby - PURE FUN!  Try not to smile when you take his rides.  If you do, you have no soul. You will dance and laugh your way through Cody's rides.  One of his most famous lines is "If Britney can get through 2007, you can get through this hill" 
  • Ally Love - The very first ride I did was with Ally!  It was an awesome class for brand new riders. Ally's music is sometimes not my cup of tea, but if you are looking for an uplifting class, Ally is your girl! 
  • Robyn Arzon - This one is like therapy on a bike!  She is so inspiring, real and raw!  
  • Kendall Toole - Another favorite!  She adds inspiring nuggets throughout the ride without being cheesy.  She does many types of rides: rock, classic rock, hip hop. I love her arm intervals too.
  • Ben Alldis - cute with a British accent...need I say more? 
  • Tunde Oyeneyin - I started riding with Tunde because her playlists speak to my soul!  She will have the most random artists mixed together and it just works.  
  • Christine D'Ercole - I love Christine's themed rides since she does a lot of alternative music (Pink and Imagine Dragons rides are great)
  • Hannah Corbin - Hannah does a lot of classic rock and country rides.  I really like her low impact rides too! 
  • Jennifer Jacobs - No longer a Peloton instructor, but you can find her classes On Demand. I found her by searching "System of a Down" - she has a lot of hard rock lists - these usually push me the most.  Really like her style! 
  • Steven Little - Another former instructor that you can find On Demand.  I've only done a few of his rides, but I love his style.  He pushes you and doesn't let you do anything but your best.  Check out his Beastie Boys "Sabotage" to find it. Do his rides when you want to WORK.  


Is it really worth the money? 

This is totally subjective of course, but my short answer is YES!!!  This bike is more of a community than anything else and it has been the bright spot during all the craziness of 2020.  I use it almost every day.

To put the cost in perspective, the year before I purchased the bike I was paying $45/week at my gym for unlimited classes...however I was only getting there about twice a week.  $45 per week for a year is $2,340. The bike will run between $2,245 - $2494 depending on which package you choose. There are financing options available too.  

Give me all the cost details! 

Breakdown of cost can be found here.  You can use my code for $100 off of your accessories: WM6S97  

I purchased the Works Package since I didn't have cycling shoes, weights and knew I needed a mat for my hardwood floors!  I would buy this package again as I use it all!  The shoes are great, I use the weights often (I purchased the 2 lb weights) and the mat looks great! 

You will also pay a monthly Peloton App fee for all of the classes.  If you aren't ready for a Bike or Tread, you can purchase the monthly membership and you will have access to all classes: strength, yoga, running, outdoor, core, meditation, etc.  This is a great way to preview Peloton before taking the plunge!  They are currently offering 30 days for free

What are your tips for starting out?  

My biggest tip for getting started is to HAVE FUN!  Don't be too competitive at first or worry with the Leaderboard.  Give yourself time to experiment with the bike, find instructors you love, get used to riding.  Basically give yourself grace.  There are lots of beginner rides you can start with and even an entire Beginner Program to help you learn the basics and know the proper form.  

After that, just start by finding music you love!  Set tiny goals and expect it to be hard.  I remember the first few times I started a ride, I thought, well I hate this.  It was new, it was hard.  My stamina was nonexistent and my butt was sore, ha!  I promise it gets better.  You don't need to come out of the gates riding every single day or stressing out about being last on the leaderboard. All of that comes with time and practice just like anything else.  

P.S. Your butt will be sore for the first few weeks.  I did not purchase a new seat or padded shorts although you certainly can.  I sat on a sweat towel when it hurt the most, but it really does get better! 

Is there anything you wish you would have known or done differently when you first got started?  

Not really - I guess I could say that I wish I would have challenged myself to ride more in the beginning, but that was during the early stages of COVID when I was glued to the news and my phone just trying to survive and grab info...and extra toilet paper.  I'll just say you do you boo!  Go at your own pace - push through the hard but also give yourself grace.  Does that even make sense???  

One thing that I've done over the last few months is make more Peloton friends.  I even created a group of Peloton riders in my neighborhood.  This helps to hold you accountable and just makes riding more fun on the days you don't really want to show up! 

Should I buy the accessories or do I really just need the bike? 

Totally depends on what you already have in your arsenal! You need cycling shoes that clip in to the bike.  They do not have to be Peloton to work, but I didn't have any so it made sense to get them with the bike.  Many classes have an arms component to them so you will want LIGHT weights for this - 1, 2 or 3 pounds.  Weights are hard to come by right now with everyone setting up home gyms so it might make sense for you to grab them with the bike also!   Aesthetically I like that the weights are black and fit perfectly with the bike. Finally, think about where you will put the bike.  Do you need a mat underneath it?  Many people have mentioned that they couldn't live without theirs because they sweat so much during the rides, it's nice to have an easy to clean surface underneath! 

How do you choose your classes each day? 

I have no rhyme or reason!  I don't plan out my rides in advance unless there is a celebration ride with a friend on the calendar - it's fun to ride together on someone's birthday or when they are celebrating a milestone like 100 rides.  Otherwise I choose based on my mood that day, how much time I have for a class and what my previous rides have looked like that week.  

I try to mix in high intensity rides with low impact rides each week.  Add in some strength, core or arms at some point.  And honestly some days I just sit on the bike, type in a band I'm feeling and give that class a shot.  Favorites during COVID have been on the heavier side: Rage Against the Machine, Linkin Park and System of a know total softies!  Other days I let the bike tell me what to soon as you log in there are so many personalized suggestions based on your riding history.  

Am I crazy to purchase if I've never even done a spin class? 

NOPE!  I had done less than 5 spin classes in my twenties and hadn't done anything like a SoulCycle type class ever!  I didn't so much as touch a Peloton when I ordered one.  I was going on faith that it would live up to the hype.  

How do you stay motivated to get on the bike?  

The first few months of having the bike I was pretty sporadic with my riding.  I would get on the bike twice a week at most.  It was better than nothing, but I needed to do more.  I broke my toe in April and did not ride the bike once that month while it healed.  It was kismet that at the end of April my friend Amanda texted me and said she was thinking about starting an accountability group to "Move Everyday in May". I took that challenge a step further and challenged myself to not just move but do some type of Peloton class everyday in May.  I grabbed my chalkboard calendar to also hold me accountable and I turned the question from "should I workout today" to "what type of class will I do today" 

Now in August, I'm still using the chalkboard method and although I might take a rest day once a week, it's been so helpful to keep me active and not fall into another slump. 

I do better with in-person group classes.  Do you think I would even like this?

I felt the exact same way!  I thrived in group classes because I didn't want to slack in front of others, ha!  I've tried so many things that I truly LOVED: Orange Theory, F45, Define, Pure Barre to name a few.  I've also tried (and failed) at most at home workouts like Beach Body.  Not because they are bad, but because I just did not push myself when I was standing there in my living room attempting a class.  

This combines the two with one little word: LEADERBOARD!  

In live classes, the instructor can actually see your name and progress and may even give you a shoutout.  You can see where you stand with all of the other riders.  Don't worry...when I started I was always toward the end and now I'm usually only in the middle.  If you aren't feeling it that day and just want to ride, you can hide that Leaderboard and not pay any attention to it.  The best is when you ride with your friends.  It pushes you to work harder and it definitely feels more like a group class.  

With the recorded, On Demand rides you still get to see your spot on the board, race yourself if you've already completed that particular ride and still ride with your people or riders who happens to be doing the ride at the same time you are!  It's super interactive either way! 

Did you purchase anything non-Peloton that helped your rides?  Padded shorts, fan, etc.

Your first few rides you will be convinced that you need a new seat, some type of cushion or padded biking shorts.  I asked all of my friends and they assured me that this pain would pass. They were right and in just a couple of weeks the pain in my rear was completely gone.  I did sit on a sweat towel those first few rides to make it more comfortable without having to spend $$ on extra items.  Peloton purists also tell you NO padded seats.  

There are also two camps in the Peloton Family: fan or no fan.  I'm currently in the no fan crew simply because I haven't taken the time to research them.  I don't love sweating and you will sweat so you may want one.  I've seen little clip on fans that sit on your bike perfectly and I've also seen neck fans that some riders swear by. 

You may want headphones.  I will warn you that many classes have explicit language both from the music and the instructors so if kiddos will be within earshot, you probably want some.  I already had my huge wireless Beats so I started off with those.  Great sound, but for some of the sweatier classes, they make me extra hot.  AirPods work great too.  

You will also want some sweat towels, disinfecting wipes and a water bottle or two!  The bike comes with two cup holders. I usually keep a water bottle in one and my phone in the other.  

Not a necessity, but I was recently gifted this gorgeous bike shelf (thanks mom) by Cedar & Honey Studios!  I needed a spot that my boys wouldn't mess with for my headphones, towels, etc.  Most people use the hooks for their shoes, but I like the bike below the weights for that.  

What room in your house is your bike in and how did you choose where to put it?  

As much as I would love to have a killer view and floor to ceiling window to face my Peloton out toward like in the commercials, my bike is currently stationed in our toy room! Some days my view is of a quiet and clean room while other days I'm staring at pile of LEGOS I just couldn't get to.  

We don't have a designated home gym space.  My main factor in choosing a room was one where I wouldn't be competing with people and worried about time of day.  I know myself and knew I would be using it often after everyone else was asleep so I wanted a space that wouldn't wake anyone up. We have a weird room off our kitchen that is currently stuffed with toys so I just made it work!  Bonus that it already had a ceiling fan too! 

Have you lost any weight since you've had the Peloton?

I have a love/hate relationship with this question, but I'd be asking the same thing so I wanted to address it!  I'm a firm believer that weight loss happens in the kitchen, not the gym.  Sure working out helps, but if your diet isn't great, you can't ride the pounds off.  Since I've had the bike, I have lost weight...gained it back...lost some...gained it back.  I'm an emotional, stress eater and well 2020 has been...emotional and stressful!  Even with the ups and downs, I haven't gained anything from my pre-bike weight which was also my pre-COVID weight so I'm considering that a win!  But don't hold my late night OREO binging against the Peloton. 

What I can confidently tell you is that I'm HEALTHIER because of the bike - both mentally and physically.  My blood pressure was the driving force in purchasing the bike and it has improved (along with cutting back on sodium).  I have even gone on a few RUNS which I haven't done in over four years and I have seen so much improvement in my stamina.  


It's a big deal in the Peloton Community to complete a milestone ride...especially that first big milestone of 100!  You can do a live ride and try to get an instructor shout-out, have your friends ride with you and you will get lots of virtual high-fives from strangers!  Peloton also welcomes you into the Century Club with a gifted t-shirt after you hit this accomplishment.  I would not have normally made such a big deal for hitting 100 rides, but hello COVID, quarantine and being home A LOT, I figured any reason to celebrate is a good excuse for me! 

My amazing accountability partner Amanda rode with me.  We did a fun 45 minute ride with Tunde and even though I didn't get a shout-out I got lots of high-fives and we even had a celebrity rider with us: Common!  She did say Kelsey a few times so we could just consider that close enough. 

The boys helped me decorate the room and my amazingly talented friend Carly made these INSANE cookies for me!  How cute and perfect are they???  If you are local in the Houston/Fort Bend/Katy area, be sure and check out Crumbs by Carly.

My advice to a new rider is to set small goals and focus on them one by one.  You'll earn badges along the way too!  First goal: 10 rides.  Then 25, then 50 and so on!   


If you end up purchasing a Peloton, grab the discount code below for $100 off!!!

Code:  WM6S97

This will give you $100 off of your accessories including a bundle package like I did.  Full disclosure, when you use this code it gives me $100 credit toward the Peloton apparel shop.  

Also, be sure and follow me so we can ride together!  My username is super original: @chelseapurifoy 

I hope to ride with you soon! 


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