Peloton has announced the Peloton Guide, its first connected strength product, that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to help you reach your strength training goals. The $295 device uses machine learning and smart camera technology to provide that in-person coaching experience, from the comfort of your living room.
It’s important to note that this kind of AI-based training platform isn’t exactly new. Fitness platforms like Wondercise have been using motion tracking to detect arm and leg movements when working out. And Tempo recently announced the Tempo Move, a tiny home gym that tracks your body movements through your iPhone. Perhaps Peloton will be the first to make strength training at home mainstream.
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So what is the Peloton Guide, how does it work, and when will it be available to buy? Here’s everything you need to know about Peloton’s latest product.
Peloton Guide: Price, subscription, and release date
When Peloton originally announced the Peloton Guide in 2021, the company said it would retail for $495. However, as of April 4, 2022, the company slashed the price nearly in half, to $295.
Initially, the price included the Guide, which is effectively a camera system you plug into your TV, a heart-rate band, and a remote control. However, with the announcement of the release of the device, Peloton has confirmed the Peloton Guide on its own will cost $295.
A "Peloton Guide Strength Starter" package will cost $545, and include the Guide, a workout mat, and three sets of dumbbell weights.
A "Peloton Guide Power" kit will include the Guide, a workout mat, six sets of dumbbell weights, and a heart rate band. The price for this package will be between $935 and $1,270.
More significantly, the Peloton Guide subscription, which is needed to take part in the classes, has doubled in price. Initially, the Guide subscription was to cost $12.99 per month, but has since been boosted to $24/month. That's still cheaper than Peloton’s Tread or Bike subscription, which is $39 per month. Existing members can upgrade their membership to include Peloton Guide access with no extra charge, and all-access subscribers will also be able to see Peloton Guide classes.
The Peloton Guide will go on sale on April 5, and is available on the Peloton website here.
Peloton has also announced the Peloton Heart Rate band can be purchased separately from the Peloton Guide, and that it will be compatible with the Peloton Bike, Tread, and App.
Peloton Guide: How it works
The Peloton Guide looks like a small webcam, which will connect to your TV. The camera has a resolution of 12 megapixels and can stream 4K video at up to 60 frames per second.
The Guide uses machine learning and smart camera technology to track your movements and offer suggestions. You’ll be able to see your own image on the TV, alongside the instructors, to compare your form and technique.
The Guide will also tell you which muscles you’ve worked, something Peloton calls ‘Body Activity’. Based on your Body Activity, the Guide will suggest which workouts to do next, so you target different areas of the body and avoid overtraining one muscle group.
While there is a remote control, the Guide will be voice-activated, so you can wake it up, start a class, stop, rewind or fast forward, without having to put your weights down and find your remote. Like other Peloton classes, you’ll be able to see yourself on the leaderboard of other users also taking the class. You’ll also be able to see your heart rate on the screen, if you’re wearing the Peloton Heart Rate band.
Peloton has said the movement tracking features of the Peloton Guide will work on ‘hundreds’ of strength classes on the Peloton platform at release, but that they will add different class types on a regular basis.
Peloton Guide: Training on offer
But wait, is this just the same classes as the app, but on a screen? The short answer is no. Peloton has announced programs and class formats specifically created for Peloton Guide:
Floor Bootcamp: Where instructors Jess Sims and Selena Samuela bring HIIT cardio and strength workouts. The 12-class program is specifically designed to not only help you get stronger but also increase your endurance. Exclusive to Guide for seven weeks and coming April 11.
Split Programs: A more traditional style of strength training with the option to use heavier weight and the intent to build muscle. The three and five day intermediate and advanced classes will be led by Robin Arzon, Callie Gullickson, Matty Maggiacomo, and Adrian Williams that will train specific musical groups on consecutive days while resting the areas you just trained. Exclusive to Guide for seven weeks and coming April 18.
Strength Roll Call: Your favorite strength Instructors will teach live at the same time every week, Monday to Friday. Everyone who is a Peloton Member can take these classes live and on-demand, but only Members using the Peloton Guide will have access to the Strength Roll Call program.
Peloton Guide: Outlook
This product is undoubtedly exciting, and we'll be updating this page with a full review in the next month. Part of Peloton’s appeal is its trainers and its wide range of exercise classes, and this looks set to be no different with its latest product.
It’s also interesting to see Peloton stray into the world of strength, rather than developing other cardio machines as rumored. ‘Over the last couple of years, we’ve seen the interest in our strength content explode,’ Tom Cortese, Peloton’s co-founder and chief product officer, said in the press release.
While I’ve yet to try the product, I find it encouraging to see Peloton bringing their coaching in a more affordable package. As a Bike and Tread user, I’ve been doing Peloton strength classes using the Peloton app and weights for a while now, without being tracked, or watching my technique on a screen. That said, form is definitely important for beginners, or those really trying to lift heavier, so $295 for a digital personal trainer that comes to your home and helps you work out in your living room might not be too pricey after all.