Is the Peloton bike a good fitness choice for midlife women?
You may be reluctant to shell out big bucks for a Peloton bike and ongoing service. You see, we’ve been burned before by home exercise equipment that was supposed to change our lives and give us rock hard abs. Midlife women are savvy and experienced; this is not our first rodeo.
Most of the products we bought in the past ended up as clothes hangers, dust collectors or were tossed out. I was skeptical about investing in an exercise bike, especially since I’d never taken a spin class and love exercising outdoors. My step-daughter, an RN, is a Peloton bike fan since it is a low impact exercise (so easier on the knees than running). The interactive, motivating classes we can do with her simultaneously sealed the deal for me.
Peloton Bike Review: Worth the price and lives up to the hype
Ok, midlife women, here’s the verdict after owning one for six months. For me, I found the Peloton Bike a great purchase. Since November of 2020, I’ve used my Peloton bike regularly 2-3 times a week and in addition, the other classes on the app, 1-2 times a week.
My overall fitness has improved (as measured by their FTP test) and the workouts helped me lose 16 pounds (so far). Even more importantly, the system helps me maintain my weight loss! My legs are stronger, so I ski better and stay out longer on the slopes.
The Peloton bike – sturdy and compact
The product contains two parts – hardware and software. The bike is sturdy, high quality and the attached monitor works well to project the recorded or live classes. I purchased the general model, not the Plus, since I didn’t need the swivel monitor and felt the enhanced speakers weren’t that important. The base model was enough for me.
Surprisingly, the Peloton bike doesn’t take up much space in my den. I tucked mine in the corner. My setup gives me a view of the mountains out the sliding glass doors to the open space behind our townhome. My bike is next to a cabinet so I have a table for my stuff within easy reach.
Tip – make sure you set the bike up correctly so it fits your body. The Peloton bike specialists can do this at delivery, at a Peloton bike store or through using a special service. You can adjust the set height to fit the length of your legs. The width is important – how far back the seat goes. I found it easy to change between riders (my husband and me) once I memorized my seat specification.
The Peloton cycling classes for midlife women: instructional and motivational
Check out both the scenic rides under the More section at the bottom of the dashboard, and the instructor-led live and recorded classes. The live classes and instruction are the game changer in my opinion. With suggestions from my step-daughter, I started with beginner rides by instructor Sam Yo.
On the beginner rides, the instructors share tips on how to use the bike, posture, and pace throughout the class. Since I am a spin class newbie, the instruction is helpful. You can just jump into any class, search for classes by level and time, or choose a rider series such as the beginner series.
The variety of types of classes provides a plethora of options to choose from. There are High Intensity Interval Rides (HIIT), Heart Zone, Power Zone and cycling rides with arm workouts. You can choose a recorded ride or a Live one with an instructor. The possibilities are endless as they add new classes every day.
Your Peloton experience is customizable. If you want the instruction louder than the music, you can turn up the talk. If you want the music to lead the way of your workout, you can turn up the tunes. And frankly, you can always just use your own playlist on a headset if you want.
The downside to the Peloton Bike
In my opinion, there are two downsides to the Peloton bike and service – price and lack of in-person instruction. Don’t waste your substantial investment by not using the bike regularly. Consider also the on-going cost of the streaming service and app.
If you are the type of person where the motivational instructors, their smiling faces, music choices, and style don’t appeal to you, and you subsequently don’t take advantage of the classes, it’s not going to be a great fit.
For example, I took a class from a seemingly too cheerful instructor who had glitter sparkles on her chest, and upper arms, as well as lips adorned with bright red lipstick. To me, the glam was a turn off. However, she quickly won me over so I got over the glitter and got on with the workout (which was great.) Some instructors are a better fit for you than others so you’d need an open mind and try a few.
The Peloton experience is meant to be the best of both worlds – an interactive online experience and a great home-based workout. Since you are at home and not in a gym or studio with in-person instruction for immediate feedback, you could be inadvertently doing something wrong.
Your bike settings could be incorrect and could cause a repetitive injury. You could be over training or injure yourself because you aren’t being guided by a professional. There is no substitute for an in-person personal trainer or coach.
What worked for me: Pick a program
Peloton has a variety of programs to follow including:
- Strength bootcamp
- Training for a 5K and marathon
- Mastering the basics of cycling
- Heart rate workouts
- Powerzone training (my favorite)
In my case, a colleague of mine recommended Powerzone Training and I love it. I like competing against myself and working on improving my overall fitness instead of racing other riders. Especially as a mid-life woman, I didn’t want to overtrain and get injured. After completing the beginner rider series, I started the Powerzone Series and just finished an 8 week challenge.
The Peloton bike is a great fit for mid-life women who want to up their fitness game.UpYourGameGirl.com
If you are working from home, it’s easy to jump on the Peloton on your lunch hour. Joining up to take classes virtually with friends and family encourages you to show up. Choose a focus program! This will give you a track to follow. No more wondering what ride to take as you jump on the bike.
Ease in! See how you like the Peloton community before purchasing a bike, you can get a free 30-day-trial for the app. Try the walking or running classes, meditation, strength and Barre classes. Get a feel for the community and start interacting with people.
No matter what you do, make exercise a part of your daily routine. Up your fitness game 🙂
I’d love to hear about your experience with the Peloton app, bike and/or tread in the comments below or on my Instagram @upyourgame_girl.