Yesterday, I shared my experience ordering, receiving, setting up, and trying out the Peloton bike. Today, I share my experience and review of my first live-streamed Peloton class.
At about 5:30 p.m., I saddled up intending to take another class from Peloton’s “on demand” section, but I quickly saw there was one class remaining for the day — a 45-minute “live DJ” class led by Hannah Marie Corbin — which would start in just 30 minutes, at 6 p.m.
I paused slightly before touching the “Count Me In” words on the screen, and, with a touch, I was calendared.
Simultaneously, I was excited and nervous. Excited about this hugely hyped experience. Nervous that it would kick me so hard it would make me miserable. With this investment, I need to like the class. I have to want it. Nervous that, if I don’t like it, what else would be left for me to do? Will it be the end of exercise forever? So much pressure!
At 5:58 p.m., I approached the bike and re-saddled up.
My first live Peloton class
It took me about 5 seconds to connect to the class. Hannah was on a bike to the right, and the DJ was next to her. At first, I had difficulty hearing her over the music and wished someone would turn up her mic up. I also realized, for proper clarity, I needed headphones.
The difficulty in understanding Hannah may have in part stemmed from what sounded like a new language to me. I had never even taken a normal spin class. So this experience was totally new.
When I entered the class, there were 276 riders, For the first 10-15 minutes, I teetered on the leaderboard between 197 and 202. I comforted myself that my seemingly low level was because I did not exactly know what I was doing and it was my first class ever.
John Michael was the DJ, and he spinned right next to Hannah as she rode. The energy was electric. Gradually, Hannah’s mic seemed to turn up and I could understand what she was saying. However, as the music was pumping, I still wanted to a headset for that fully immersive experience. It was like I was piped into a nightclub, but, instead of dancing, I was cycling!
Hannah was positively motivating. She called out what our ideal “cadence” should be, as well as ideal resistance. The cadence, I quickly learned, is the speed at which you pedal. The resistance is how hard you have to pedal, and you turn it up or down by adjusting a big red knob below the handlebars. The music was carefully selected with cadence and resistance in mind, and at times Hannah told us to keep up or stay ahead of the beat, and the music motivated me.
The 20-inch screen showed all these metrics, with the leaderboard on the right. The number of people in the class grew eventually to 300.
I wanted to move up on the leaderboard, and I tried, but I just couldn’t at more than a few steps at a time. It was too hard! But it was fun seeing certain names above me and sprinting to get ahead of them at different times. The only information you see for each fellow cycler is their name, age range (i.e., 30s, 40s, 50s), and general location/city, but it’s enough to feel competitive.
When we were at almost 35 minutes in, Hannah told us to pull our weights out. It was a break from the cycling, but Hannah had our arms — less than 10 minutes of shoulder and deltoid moves — moving at an aerobic speed.
Although Peloton recommended 2-pound weights, I had placed my 5 pounders in the weight slots, thinking that, since those were my usual light weights (with the heavier ones at 10 pounds), it would be easy. I was not used to doing weights like this, however, and, with all the shoulder moves my arms wanted to collapse; I couldn’t keep up with Hannah with my meager 5 pound weights!
The weights did not last so long, though, and Hannah finished the class with more cycling, speeding up only to slow down in the last 2 minutes. By that time, however, I was clearly done; no need to put a fork in me. I was done.
I was soaked in sweat from head to toe and was glad I had drank enough water. Hannah even talked about the importance of drinking enough water and mentioned some sort of smart water bottle that lights up or gives you an alert if too much time has passed without taking a sip. I had no idea such a device existed and enjoyed hearing about this new gadget.
After the class, you can see graphs of your metrics
Now that I was finished, I looked at the screen to check my metrics. I saw I had earned a badge for “best output” (“biggest effort yet.” Of course, it was my first live class, so I would hope it was my best output. But I like the fact that in the future I can compete against myself with a goal to earn that badge every day.
By the end, however, my total rank in the class was abysmal! I was at 227 out of 300. However, it is a start and gives me a lot of room for improvement. I imagine the 73 riders below me were distracted by something else (maybe the doorbell rang?) and had good reason why they were so low. Regardless, I am now committed to scoring higher on the leaderboard with each class. (Assuming, of course, the doorbell doesn’t ring.)
I liked the ability to see a graphical image of my cadence. I can tell from reviewing it that I was good and steady for the first 10 minutes, and climbed with a strong, increased pace for the next 5, but then, once I got to 15 minutes, my tiredness kicked in. After the 15 minutes, it seemed, I lost the ability to pace!
I hope to compare this graph of my cadence to a graph after about a month of classes to see how I’ve progressed.
The main measurement, however, and position on the leaderboard, is by “total output.” This is some sort of combination of cadence and resistance. My total output at the end of the class was 203. I had actually, toward the end of the class and seeing my total output being 196, pushed myself to at least hit the round number of 200, which I was able to do. The 228 people ahead of me, however, had a higher total output. Therefore, tomorrow I need to ensure that my total output is above 203, and each future day, my total output should be higher than the prior day. I’m considering writing my total output goal on a Post It to remind me which number I need to attain.
Overall, the class, for a first time, was ace. I can see this bike being a great tool for endurance training.
I like the fact that I can check my goals and compete against myself, as well as other people. I like the music and I love the energy! (Reminder: Get a headset!)
I excitedly checked tomorrow morning’s schedule for my next live Peloton class. Tomorrow’s class will be the “Love Squad Ride” with Ally Love. As the Peloton instructors are apparently the new class of celebrities, I look forward to getting to know each instructor’s style as I take more classes!
Ordering your own Peloton? Here’s a promo code
The only promotion Peloton offers is for two free subscription months, if you have an invite code. If you purchase a Peloton bike using my invite code, you get two free months, and I do too. Win-win! Just click on this link when you place your order: https://www.pelotoncycle.com/r/?rc=5eb06fb3f19c4fe3b5d920912c139caa