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Peloton App review: Not as cult-y as you’d think

Everything you need to know about the Peloton App and membership

Peloton App review: Not as cult-y as you’d think
(Image: © Peloton)

Our Verdict

The Peloton App and membership ($12.99/month) offers hundreds of workout classes that are interactive, yet intimate at the same time. Automatic activity tracking with compatible smartwatches is a bonus.

For

  • Endless class options
  • Automatic tracking for Apple Watch
  • Customizable experience

Against

  • Some classes require additional equipment

Peloton might have one of the best exercise bikes around, but not everyone can spend $1,895 to get in shape. With the Peloton App and membership, I joined the brand’s popular, on-demand workout class cult for just $12.99 per month. And I only felt a little brainwashed.

Peloton App and membership quick facts:

Price: $12.99/month
Language: English, German
App compatibility: Amazon Fire, Android, iOS, Roku
Daily live classes: +10
Total class selection: +1,000
Optional equipment: Yoga mat, free weights, treadmill, spin bike

Yes, the Peloton App supports spin classes, and even running classes for Peloton’s own treadmill. But the service also includes virtual yoga, high intensity interval training, stretching, strength training and more — and you often don’t need any additional equipment to get your calorie burn on. It helps to own a smartwatch and compatible smart TV, though.

This Peloton App review lets you know what to expect when you enter this community of high-energy fitness junkies.

Peloton App price and availability

The Peloton App is free to download, but the membership costs $12.99 per month, plus tax. When you sign up, you’ll get the first 30 days of your membership free.

Note that Peloton’s App membership is different from the Peloton All-Access membership, which costs $39.99 per month and is exclusive to Peloton Bike and Peloton Tread owners.

Peloton App review: Class selection

Before I launched my Peloton App membership, I suspected the class selection would be no different from the dozens of workout programs I’ve tried. Peloton proved me wrong. Upon opening the app, not only did I see dozens of live classes scheduled each day, but I could search a catalog of thousands of past classes for playback, too.

Peloton offers 10 total workout class types: Strength, yoga, cardio, meditation, indoor running, outdoor running, cycling, stretching, bootcamp and walking. You can take streamed classes in each of these categories individually, or embark on multi-week, goal-oriented exercise programs. Peloton made it simple to mix up my activity, suggesting new classes based on ones I completed and rated.

(Image credit: Peloton)

One of the most appealing aspects of the Peloton App’s class selection is the duration options. Classes  range in length from 5 to 60 minutes, meaning there’s a guided way to get active no matter how much time you have. On most days that I worked out, I found myself taking a few 10 minute classes spanning arm intensives, core busters and HIIT, but also appreciated uninterrupted 45-minute yoga flows. 

I struggled to accommodate live classes into my schedule, but I partially blame that on the limited options for non-bike-owning members. For comparison, there are about 10 live spin rides per day, but only one live meditation. I happen to love spin classes, so I might consider buying an affordable exercise bike for my apartment to capitalize on the Peloton App.

Peloton App review: App features and Apple Watch integration

The Peloton App packs features designed to keep you motivated, whether you use it on your smartphone, tablet or smart TV. The Peloton app is available on Roku TV devices and Amazon Fire TV devices, which is great for getting working classes on a big screen. 

(Image credit: Peloton)

Your Peloton profile features a calendar with your active days, exercise steaks and achieved milestones. Similar to Apple’s Fitness app badges, Peloton’s milestones add a bit of gamification to getting fit.

After you’ve completed a class, you can view your metrics from that workout like your heart rate and calories burned if you wore a compatible fitness tracker with ANT+ like the Apple Watch 6 or Garmin fenix 6. In addition, if your smartwatch integrates with Strava, like the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 you can use Peloton’s Strava integration to track exercise data.

(Image credit: Peloton)

In my experience, Apple Watch integration is a major perk of the Peloton Digital Membership. Not only did the Peloton app show my live heart rate in a boxout on my screen during class, but it automatically tracked my activity without me needing to open the workout app on my wrist. This convenience is something I’m going to consider when trying out other workout programs in the future.

Peloton App review: Joining the pack

Since my local pilates studio closed due to the pandemic, I’ve struggled to find a virtual workout that maintains a true feeling of group fitness.

In my month with the Peloton App, I found most of the appeal doesn’t come from the quality of workouts or even the class selection. Instead, it’s the sense of community that pushed me to stick with consistent activity. Ever since my local pilates studio closed due to the pandemic, I’ve struggled to find a virtual workout that maintains a true feeling of group fitness. And one that I can use conveniently on my living room’s big-screen Roku TV.

Peloton’s pack mentality shines through in a few places. First there are the instructors. Each coach is clearly experienced and high-energy as they complete the workouts with you from a professional studio. In some classes, instructors will even shout out users who’ve recently reached class milestones. 

(Image credit: Peloton)

Then there’s the music. Before you start each class, you can review the playlist to see if there are tracks you like. Classes are even labeled by genre, so you know what you’re getting yourself into. I loved working out to familiar music, especially since the last workout program I tried relied on what could’ve been royalty-free beats. 

Finally, there’s activity sharing. While you can certainly choose to keep your progress and class history private, having a public profile lets other Peloton members follow your activity. I mostly kept to myself, but I could see following my IRL friends, especially if we coordinate taking classes at the same time, or committed to holding each other accountable. You can also coordinate buying Peloton merch within the app, although I haven’t reached that tier of loyalty… yet. 

Peloton App review: Verdict

I once assumed Peloton was just a quarantine fad, but spending a month with this popular workout program made me a believer. I’m impressed with the expansive library of workout classes, even if they make getting fit feel a little cultish. Still, Peloton doesn’t force you to drink its Kool Aid. 

For $12.99 per month, the Peloton App and membership is an affordable, yet versatile, way to get active. It’s in a great position to fend off Apple Fitness Plus when it launches later this year, even if Apple’s take on holistic fitness only costs $9.99 per month. The class selection is stellar, although the live class schedule tries to guilt you into buying the Peloton Bike or Peloton Treadmill at times. It’s possible I’ll opt for a less expensive bike, and while it might not give me all the Peloton spin features, it might convince me to keep up with the membership even when (or if) in-person workout classes return to normal.