Should You Buy a Peloton to Get in Shape? (Pros & Cons)

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Since its debut in 2014, Peloton has taken the cycling world by storm with its innovative approach to home workouts.

With a monitor attached to the stationary bike, you can stream both live and pre-recorded indoor cycling classes from the comfort of your home.

Peloton has over 1.09 million impassioned bike users that love the convenience and workouts that come with using these stationary bikes.

However, there are also some disadvantages to using the Peloton compared to attending a standard cycling class.

Overall, the pros of joining Team Peloton overwhelm the cons. Yes, it’s expensive to buy up front, but compared to regular spin classes you’ll save a lot of money over the long term.

It’s also absurdly convenient and helps eliminate excuses to exercise, plus it’s fun and addictive.

However, it’s important to consider the cons of Peloton too — it can’t quite recreate the encouraging atmosphere at your local cycling studio.

And though it’s a good long term investment, it can be a gigantic waste of money if you quit using the bike after just a few months.

Peloton ProsPeloton Cons
Ultra convenientCan’t compete with in-person spin community
Save $$ long termHuge upfront investment
Infinite variety of classes & trainersBike almost useless without subscription
Great for all fitness levelsBig long term commitment
Excellent for cardio & conditioningNot ideal for building upper body muscle

Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of buying a Peloton, and whether it’s ultimately right for you.


Pros of the Peloton

Peloton is the biggest fitness crave of the last decade for a reason.

There’s a lot to like!

Convenient to Use

One of the clearest benefits of using the Peloton is the convenience of the bike.

Instead of driving to your local indoor cycling studio to take a class, you can take a stroll into your living room and hop on the bike at any time.

You don’t need to follow a limited class schedule or hurry to find a bike before the class fills up with other members.

You can use the bike at any time, with access to over 5,000 pre-recorded classes, or hop on to a scheduled live class.

With access to thousands of these different cycling classes, you aren’t confined to what only a studio is offering.

If you don’t enjoy the music choice or instructor, you can quickly join a new class that better fits your style.

You also have access to vital statistics that you can’t access in a standard indoor spinning studio.

Users can see their calories burned, heart rate, and power output while they are attending classes.

Plus, you can also get a little motivation by viewing how you compare to other riders on the Leaderboard who are doing the same workout as you.


Long Term Savings

At your average spin studio, classes cost between $10 to $25 per class.

These costs can quickly add up if you are an avid indoor spinning enthusiast.

However, with the Peloton, once you buy the Peloton bike, you can save over the long term.

The Peloton bike app’s subscription is $39 per month, giving you access to unlimited classes on-demand.

By the end of the two years, you would be only paying a fraction of the cost of attending a spin studio monthly.

However, as we will cover as a con of the Peloton, the upfront costs of one of these bikes can be steep.

For more on this comparison, check out our detailed guide to Peloton vs Spin Class.


Choice of Instructors & Classes

One of the great benefits of owning a Peloton is the sheer amount of instructors and fitness classes you can take.

Thousands of different classes will all differ in intensity, teaching style, and music.

If you are motivated by an intense instructor and rock music, you can find a spin class fitting that style.

If you enjoy instructors who are funny and entertaining, and like listening to pop music, you can find that, as well.

Want an easy, low-impact ride? Peloton’s got that. Want to push hard for a PR? Choose a tougher ride any time you feel up to the challenge.

The vast choice of instructors and classes will make sure you are never bored and always excited to take your next class.

Included in your Peloton membership are fourteen live indoor spinning classes throughout the day.

These live classes will give you the feel of an in-person spin class, where you can connect with other members who are taking the class at the same time.


Suitable For All Fitness Levels

Are you looking to break into indoor spinning for the first time?

Or maybe you are a seasoned veteran looking for a way to push your training to the next level.

Whatever your fitness level, Peloton can help you reach your next goal.

With a mixture of both beginner-friendly and very intense workouts, Peloton offers classes for people of all fitness levels.

These different fitness levels can easily prove that you are improving, with easily trackable metrics during class.

While cycling is the main form of exercise for Peloton, they have also added yoga, strength training, walking classes on their digital Peloton app.

So, if you are in the mood for a different style of workout, jump onto your Peloton app and try something new!

(For more on this, check out the best Peloton instructors for beginners.)


Burns Calories & Improves Cardio Health

If one of your main goals is burning calories and improving your cardiovascular, the Peloton bike is for you!

With consistency, you can expect to see some great results in your weight loss or fitness goals — even in just one month or so.

On average, you will burn between 400-700 calories during a 45-minute class, according to Peloton.

You can also track the number of calories you burn throughout a class by looking at the user interface.

The primary benefit of regularly using the Peloton bike will be a huge boost to your cardio conditioning — as a beginner, you’ll hit new personal records frequently and find your stamina improving almost every workout.


Cons of the Peloton

I love almost everything about the Peloton experience, but it’s not for everyone.

Here’s why:

Missing the Authentic Class Experience

While Peloton gets close to closing the gap between home workouts and studio workouts, they miss out on the social aspect.

Many people enjoy going to spin studios to meet new people and feel the energy in the room.

This energy is hard to replicate through a screen, so this can be a disadvantage to those who like being in a class environment.

However, Peloton has also implemented features that can help you better connect with your virtual class members.

During one of the many live classes, you can send other members virtual high-fives to cheer for each other.

An online leaderboard feature also gives you the chance to see how you measure up between others taking the class.

Still, if you miss getting personalized help from in-person instructors and meeting up with spin friends after class, Peloton can’t offer any of that.

(Think Peloton instructors talk too much? Click here)


Expensive Upfront Costs

One of the main issues for those looking to buy a Peloton is its cost.

The cost of a basic bike package is $1,895, not including the app’s subscription cost or the shoes required to ride the bike.

For many, this price is the main factor that deters them from buying a bike.

Fortunately, Peloton also offers a payment plan for their equipment, so you won’t be required to pay the large sum all at once.

When looking at the long-term savings, the costs of purchasing a Peloton will save the user thousands compared to attending a spin studio.

Still, a lot of folks can’t afford to lay out that much money in advance.


Subscription is Required

Once you own the bike, you can hop on and ride it any time…

… but you will need a subscription to the Peloton app to access the classes.

Even after paying close to $2,000 for the bike, it will be almost useless without also paying monthly for the app.

The all-access subscription costs $39 per month for both the standard Peloton Bike and Peloton Bike+ models.

Included is access to every class, including other styles of classes like yoga or strength training.

To access these classes without the bike, you can also purchase a Peloton digital membership that costs 12.99 per month.

The digital membership will give you access to their entire library of classes that don’t require the bike.


Large Commitment

A Peloton bike’s price tag makes owning one a large commitment.

This price shouldn’t be a problem for regulars at a spin studio but could pose a difficult choice for those new to indoor cycling.

Many people will buy pieces of exercise equipment when they are highly motivated and ready to tackle their fitness goals.

However, once the motivation has started to fade, they are left with a piece of equipment they hang their laundry on.

If you don’t know if you will enjoy indoor spinning, I recommend taking a few classes at a studio or gym to see what the experience is like.

You will see what an authentic spin class feels like and get personalized instruction on your form for an instructor.

(See some tips for your first spin class here.)


Not Ideal for Building Muscle

Peloton bikes aren’t ideal for those looking to bulk up or gain muscle, as it is more geared towards cardio health.

It’s true that some rides incorporate light hand weights for upper body work, but it’s unlikely you’ll put on much muscle in your upper body from high reps with 2 pounds weights.

While the bike itself may not help you gain muscle, the workouts on the Peloton app can help.

Choose from thousands of different workouts to target:

  • Core strength
  • Upper body strength
  • Lower body strength
  • Full body strength

These workouts may require you to purchase separate equipment like dumbbells or resistance bands.

With the help of the Peloton bike and its app, you can develop a balanced workout regime that will burn calories and help you gain muscle.

Even if you love spinning, I highly suggest you don’t ignore Peloton’s excellent floor workouts!

(For more, check out the best Peloton instructors for strength workouts.)


Wrapping Up

Peloton has revolutionized the way we think about home workouts and the connection it can bring to those at home.

A bike and subscription gives you access to thousands of different workouts and connects you with others doing the same workout.

There’s truly no better way than Peloton to eliminate excuses and get in shape on your own time and terms.

However, you’ll have to be able to lay out close to $2,000 up front, plus stick with a monthly subscription.

It’s a big commitment — if you’re not sure you’re ready, test drive some cycling classes at an in-person studio before you take the Peloton plunge.

For more, check out:

Hope this helps!

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