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Outfitting the Peloton home-gym upgrade

PSA--did you know you can probably ask your Peloton-owning friend to make you a profile (each bike can host up to 30 accounts, each free to make) and you can have access to the entire Peloton workout library?  If you dive in and buy a bike, use my referral code for $100 of free apparel & accessories:  2HXYR6.

By now we've all heard of Peloton and you more than likely have someone in your newsfeed who constantly posts their workout summaries.  If you're like me, you've probably spent a lot of time scoffing at the idea of a fancy exercise bike with on-demand classes.  And if you're really like me, you ended up getting a Peloton bike in the past few months and finally understand what the fuss was all about.

It's amazing.

Not so much just the bike, which IS a nice exercise bike--far better than what LA Fitness has on the floor, but how spectacular the classes are.  And how it's not just biking classes, but HIIT classes, yoga classes, strength classes, outdoor exercise classes.  And how every single one of them is probably a higher quality class than most of us have ever been to in person.  [Looking at you, Anna Greenberg, who made my yoga better in two 15 minute beginner classes than years of attending in-person classes ever have]

The other beautiful part of Peloton is its simplicity.  You need a little bit of floor space and footwear to get started, and not much more to expand into the full scope of their workouts.  A yoga mat, some light dumbbells, a heartrate monitor, and maybe a spare TV to cast off-the-bike workouts to pretty much completes the room.

Also, at least when I ordered, there was interest-free financing available to ease the punch to the wallet.

Bike Cleats


The obvious first thing you need to take advantage of your Peloton bike shoes.  Peloton bikes use Delta cleats, but many cycling shoes are compatible.  I went with the Nike Superrep because I liked the color scheme, Nike fits me well, and I figured they'd be easier to return than Peloton branded cleats if there was a fit issue.  LOVE them.  If you have a preferred brand just Google "[brand/model] Delta compatible" and someone will have answered that question.  My Nike's didn't come with a Delta cleat, but I used part of the $100 referral bonus to buy the cleat attachment with my bike.  

Can you use a Peloton without cleats?  Technically, yes, but don't.  It will be a miserable experience.  

Heart Rate Monitor


You can definitely ride without a heart rate monitor, and doing so will not cause you to burn fewer calories.  But without the HRM you'll miss out on fun stats like...well, heart rate.  But also, your Strive Score (which is a measure of exertion and helps you find appropriate classes), calorie count, and any other metrics your bike or compatible fitness tracker might derive from heart rate.  

Bluetooth Headphones


The Peloton has speakers, so headphones aren't strictly necessary--especially if you live alone.  But if you have family or roommates or neighbors who will be bothered by music and someone calling out workout targets, bluetooth headphones are a real help.  You can get in the groove of the music without waking your sleeping child or causing your neighbor to bang on the wall.  I prefer the bone-conductive style headphones for comfort, but in-ear solutions like Air Pods certainly work as well.


Smart Watch


Ok, let me be up front and say you definitely do not need a smart watch for the Peloton...and there's a good chance it's not even going to be compatible without a third-party solution.  But, if you're a data oriented person, into other activities like running or hiking or skiing, or just like gear, it's a fun addition to your fitness life.  You can easily use a smart watch to gather metrics during your off-bike activities like yoga or a HIIT class.  Using it on the bike is tougher because even though Peloton syncs with Stava, it doesn't independenty sync with things like Garmin Connect--thus not all of your workout data will automatically be stored in one place.  You can use third party apps or services to do so, and get great data from it (but not VO2max, unfortunately).  

YOGA

Yoga Mat


A mat is most useful if you have hardwood, tile, or concrete floors.  If you have some spring carpet that doesn't hurt your knees or back to move around on, congratulations, you probably don't need a mat!  But DON'T buy one of the super thick mats that could double as padding for a trampoline park, that will make your yoga far more difficult because it will throw off your balance.  Brands like Manduka ang Gaiam make good, durable mats.

Blocks


I never thought much of yoga blocks until having about a 2 year break from doing yoga and coming back very inflexible.  I decided to just follow the prompts of Anna Greenberg and use a block instead of the floor, and found, surprise surprise, that it helped improve my form because I wasn't straining to reach the floor making me unable to do whatever I was actually supposed to be doing. You can do yoga without blocks, but they are a helpful addition.

Towel/Blanket


A yoga towel/blanket generally acts as a bolster to change your leverage, or to provide extra padding on joints.  You can easily substitute a bath or beach towel and get the exact same effect.  

HIIT/BOOTCAMP

Shoes


While any shoe you're comfortable in will work, the less padding between your foot and the floor the better for ankle support and control.  You'll be more connected to the earth as you move.  Again, I prefer Nike because they just fit me, but shoes are a highly personal choice.

Dumbbells


Your HIIT and bootcamp classes generally don't require high weights, so a 5/10/15 or 10/15/20 set of weights is probably sufficient for a strong workout, at least to start.  You can always add on individual pairs of additional weight as needed.


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Gaia x GTFO = Discounted GPS!

gaiagps

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