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 $495 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 and release date
The Peloton Guide is $495, or £450, which is almost $1,000 less than the company's cheapest bike. This price gets you the Guide, which is effectively a camera system you plug into your TV, a heart-rate band, and a remote control. You’ll need to already have your own equipment and weights for the classes, with Peloton saying in their release, "Members will be able to use their own equipment, weights, or accessories and won’t need any bulky devices to get started with their strength experience."
Users will also need a Peloton Guide subscription to take part in the classes. This is cheaper than Peloton’s Tread or Bike subscription, costing $12.99 or £12.99 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.
As yet, there’s no specific release date for the Peloton Guide. Peloton has said it’ll be available in the US and Canada in ‘early 2022’, and in the UK, Australia, and Germany in ‘2022’.
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 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: Outlook
While it’s $100 more than say, the Tempo Move, which comes with a range of weights, this product is undoubtedly exciting. 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’m 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 $495 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.