We used to have a pull-up bar years ago when we lived in an apartment. It was the closest thing to a home gym we had. There were no weights, no yoga mats, nothing. When we bought a house, we let the pull-up bar go. Hubs wanted a pull-up bar for his February 2020 birthday, and his wife asked him why we needed that and said no…
Fast forward to mid-March 2020, AKA the Great Sellout of Home Gym Equipment Everywhere. We had a treadmill (it was free when a friend moved), a set of 5 lb dumbbells, and 4 yoga mats. I’d say our home gym was sparse, but we still had our gym membership, and it was still open. So when we started realizing our gym might shut down, my husband went on a search with the rest of the world for weights and a pull-up bar. You know, that pull-up bar he had wanted a few weeks before when they were in stock and shipping in 2 days. Oops. It’s me. I’m the wife that said no to the pull-up bar. He’ll never let me live that one down.
We started by grabbing another set of weights for me to include with my at home body pump workouts and a weighted bar. Also, we snagged an ab roller. You need one. The gym closed and we were grateful the weather wasn’t absolutely brutal yet so we could still run outside comfortably. Nothing was in stock for additional weights or equipment though and after a few weeks, we were missing the convenience of a gym and the access to different cardio equipment.
Over the past several months, we had debated getting either a bike or a rower, but we weren’t sure we’d use a Peloton enough to justify the cost. Like any good purchase, hubs sat down one day at the computer and decided to order a bike off Amazon. A few reviews, some intense research, and a couple of clicks later, our Sunny bike was on the way. We were eventually able to find weights in stock up to 45 lbs, and added a TV to our home gym.
A little about our bike (I will have a separate post on this!) – we went with one that doesn’t have a screen. We don’t have any reason to care about distance so that wasn’t important to us. We ordered a cadence sensor that attaches to a pedal and syncs to our watches. This makes it easy to match cadence during a spin class and we can adjust the resistance accordingly. Bonus: If we lose power, we can still workout because the bike doesn’t have to be plugged in!
While we were worried we’d get a bike, and it would turn into a laundry rack, I went ahead and got set-up on the digital subscription for the Peloton world to try out the classes and sample everything they had to offer. The first week I think I did 4 or 5 classes. I have had the app for over two months now, and I have loved it!
When you open the app, you can select which type of class you want to take, and use the filter to adjust activity length, instructor, music, etc. You have SO MUCH flexibility to find a class, and you can see which ones you have taken (I may or may not have taken the Lil’ Wayne run 3 times so far). All of the instructors have their own “vibe” and are encouraging and motivating in different ways. I use a Roku, my phone, and an iPad to access the app, depending on where I am working out. Take your phone and head to the gym. Hop on a bike, a treadmill or grab some weights. The app makes it so versatile you can workout at home, in a gym, or outdoors (just be careful if you have headphone(s) in. Tip: turn on CC so if you’re so into the music you aren’t listening to the instructor you know what’s coming up! The music is another great component. I don’t typically run outside with music, but I like the background noise to an instructor pushing you when on the tread! The app is so easy to use, and for $12.99 a month it is a great deal!
There are plenty of classes in each category that you can sort, search, filter to, and find the best fit for your workout. The live classes can be found under the schedule by category as well and are a great way to put something on your schedule! Don’t break a date with yourself! There are also collections (grouped classes covering a topic/theme), programs (strength, running), and “picks” from each category for recommended classes. The live schedule is easy to search, and with a packed out pre-recorded class list, you’ll never have a shortage of workout options.
Cycling – You can find so many options here between music, difficulty, intervals, and some classes even include an arm workout! Those 3 pound weights KICK. MY. BUTT every time. I recently tried my first tabata class…WOAH! As a runner, I enjoy switching it up for some cross-training and additional challenges and this was just the ride I needed! Whether you prefer to stay in the saddle (or add a little spice with some mid-ride dance moves – thanks Cody Rigsby’s Brit Spears ride) you’ll find every ride is adaptable. You do you, boo.
Running – Take it to the tread or take it outside. Y’all. Some of these runs they suggest inclines that I didn’t even know existed. You want me to run uphill for how long at how steep?! Oy vey. Also, I get a good chuckle out of some of their “jog” speed recommendations. Is a bear chasing me?! All jokes aside, they encourage you to push yourself and always seems to know just the right time to throw in those form cues.
Bootcamp – Tread and bike options are now available! Don’t have a cardio machine for the cardio intervals? Do some jumping jacks. Grab a jump rope (except not me…I am the worst jump roper on the planet). Don’t feel limited just because you don’t have a treadmill/bike etc. I tried a 30 minute bootcamp and I had to walk a few of the tread intervals I was so worn out. These are great ways to get your heart rate up and some strength in. Just be sure to be careful getting on/off your bike or tread during the transitions!
Strength – I have missed reps more times than I can count, almost laid down in the middle of a workout, and have finished a session thinking my legs were in fact made of Jell-O. Ten minutes can seem like an eternity when you hit those pulses, AMRAP’s, and combos. You’ll love these, even if you don’t love it during! You can filter to upper body, lower body, full body etc. so there are plenty of options to complement whatever your primary training method. Bodyweight, resistance bands, or weights – so many ways to get in your workout!
Stretching – I am AWFUL at remembering to stretch before or after a workout. With built-in libraries of stretching (and the helpful reminders in each class) you’ll find it so much easier to knock out a post-ride or run stretch session. They even have foam rolling. Runners – your calves will feel brand new! Oh, and let’s not forget the warm-up options. Whether you’re getting ready to run, hop on the bike, lift some weights, or all of the above, there are great warm-ups throughout the app. There are short warm-ups at the beginning of the workouts and short stretches but it’s always good to have the option for more!
Meditation/Yoga/Cardio/Barre – I haven’t done enough of these classes to give a full review on them yet. I did try a sleep meditation class, and while I’m not someone who meditates, it was a nice 5 minutes of just relaxing right before bed which has to be better than scrolling social media! There are so many yoga options. Whether you’re looking for a power yoga class, balance poses, slow flow days, you’re sure to find something! Plus, I’m a huge fan of a less traditional yoga setting…think breweries with some fun music playing…so finding yoga classes with 2000’s Pop or 80’s Hits are DEFINITELY my jam! Barre is a recent addition and I haven’t tried it yet, but it’s on my schedule for next week!
Instructors – I have so many favorites I can’t list them all! My top 4 are Robin Arzon, Cody Rigsby, Becs Gentry, and Tunde Oyeneyin! When I’m debating between which pre-recorded class I want to take, sometimes I check out the playlist and make my decision based on that! A dance party during a ride? Sure, why not! Try a class from every instructor!
I think we’ve realized that long-term we could probably justify the cost of a Peloton in the future. Although now we have to debate…bike or tread? With the announcement for the release of the Bike+ and the Tread+ and the drop in price for the base models, they are more in line with some of the other equipment we have considered. Until then, our home gym setup is working out great, and I’d highly recommend the digital app as an affordable supplement to your workouts.
Thanks for stopping by!