I gave into the hype and bought a Peloton bike. After 30 days of using it, my life has genuinely improved.
- Michelle Gross is a travel freelance writer based in Jersey City.
- Despite having never cycled before, she bought a
Pelotonin June after hearing rave reviews from a friend.
- There's a learning curve, but Gross says the bike and app have helped her become stronger and more confident in a month.
Before Peloton, I'd never taken a spin class to save my
I found the culture around spinning and
Here's how it's helped change my life in the first 30 days.
Getting started is the hardest part
Getting started is, in my opinion, the hardest part, and
The idea of physically strapping myself into an exercise bike - or in the case of Peloton, clicking in - was challenging, both figuratively and actually. It wasn't until my third ride and an hour or so of YouTube videos and intro tutorials that I was able to get both cleats completely clipped into and out of the pedals successfully.
Getting over that first ride anxiety hump
My first ride was a 20-minute beginner ride with Peloton trainer Cody Rigsby.
Before I knew anything about Peloton, I knew about Rigsby. "You will LOVE him," my best friend texted me when I asked her advice on how I should get started. "He's the best when it comes to a fun and lighthearted workout."
That first ride wasn't easy, but true to her word, it was surprisingly fun. I loved Rigsby's energy which was surprisingly devoid of any kitsch or "you can do it" moments that I find a bit patronizing with other popular workout apps.
Set an intention and click with it
Creating a simple goal and staying accountable is helpful for meeting your physical and mental goals. My first intention was to set aside time every morning to ride.
Now, I'm not a morning person, but I found that exercising first thing after waking up was key for me to actually seeing it through.
It was also important for me to be able to use the Peloton app when I'm on the road for work. To my surprise, many hotels have a Peloton bike in their gyms if you call and ask in advance. The app also offers a variety of non-bike related workouts like yoga, barre, and meditation.
The second intention I set was that once I started, I'd see the ride through from beginning to end. This one wasn't always easy, but I stuck to it.
It's only as competitive as you want it to be
There's a bit of a learning curve when it comes to Peloton. You have to get to know your saddle, which is Peloton parlance for the seat, before things like resistance and cadence become second nature.
The leaderboard features your metrics for each ride, including your output, cadence (speed), and resistance (road). The leaderboard also lists everyone else in the Peloton stratosphere who's ever taken that ride along with their metrics. If competition motivates you, then this is a great way to level up your cycling skills. If you're like me, and still just getting your bearings, it can be aspirational for future goals.
There's a class and instructor for everybody
The most commonly shared piece of advice I heard from friends and Peloton instructors was to try and take as wide a variety of classes and instructors as possible.
Since I'm still a beginner, I took a six-week intro course called "Mastering The Basics of Cycling." The first week of rides focused mainly on form and technique. Every class was "in the saddle" (meaning you don't get up out of the seat) and featured a different instructor each time.
I'm now going on my sixth week of this course and have peppered in a few extra classes along the way, including a 20-minute Pop Punk ride with Bradley Rose and Hip Hop with Ally Love. I also took a 30-minute Spice Girls Ride with Leanne Hainsby and am looking forward to doing the 30 minute "In The Heights" Yoga Flow with Mariana Fernandez next.
I'm still building a foundation, but after 30 days of Peloton, I love the road I'm on
One of the biggest reasons Peloton has such a big following is because of the community it creates, as well as the results it produces.
I joined with no cycling experience or expectations other than developing a healthy habit and a new routine, and while I haven't had the courage to join a live class just yet, I'm already seeing my efforts pay off.
I set out with the goal of creating some stability in my life. Improving my strength, agility, and confidence have been an added bonus, and it's great to feel myself getting stronger every day.
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