Let me be open: I am a huge enthusiast of Peloton — not quite fanatical like some individuals, but I do live for the enthusiastic acknowledgments from others on the leaderboard, whether I’m using the Peloton Bike , the Peloton Tread, or the app. And, as a regular consumer of the brand’s power content, I was genuinely thrilled to acquire the opportunity to examine the Peloton Guide, the most recent interconnected device from the fitness technology titan.
After examining the product for approximately a month, I can say that there are advantages to be had for novice and advanced strength-trainers alike. The brand asserts that the Peloton Guide is “everything you need to accomplish your strength training aspirations from home,” so continue reading to see if I agree.
What Is the Peloton Guide?
The Peloton Guide (Buy It, $295, onepeloton.com) is a 12-megapixel front-facing camera (the purchase also includes a remote, batteries, magnetic stand that positions the camera to best see your movements, HDMI cord, power cable, and adapter to pul into the wall) that connects you to Peloton’s extensive library of strength content. (Note: Right now, to get the most out of your Peloton Guide workout experience, utilizing Guide-specific strength workouts is recommended, but the company says it has plans to expand the library in the future.)
Unlike other fitness equipment from Peloton, this gadget doesn’t require much storage space at all, measuring 6′.5″L x 2′.5″W x 1′.7″H and weighing a mere 18 ounces. Of course, you’ll still need plenty of area to safely move around for your workout. (Peloton recommends an exercise space that is roughly the size of two side-by-side yoga mats and that you stay within 6 to 8 feet of the Guide’s camera for optimal movement tracking.) The Peloton Guide can sit right in front of your TV using the accompanying stand or be mounted, magnetically, to the set itself. To successfully pair the Peloton Guide with your TV, you’ll need to make sure your model has an HDMI port and a 16:9 aspect ratio.
You can purchase the Guide separately or bundle it with some at-home gear. The Peloton Guide Strength Starter (Buy It, $545, onepeloton.com), comes with three sets of dumbbells, ranging from 5 lbs
to 30 pounds and an exercise mat, and the Peloton Guide Force (Purchase It, $935-$1,270 depending on the size weights you choose, onepeloton.com), arrives with six collections of dumbbells, varying from 5 pounds to 50 pounds, a mat, and a pulse rate band.
How the Peloton Guide Functions
Let’s make it clear: The Peloton Guide camera attached is not an ordinary camera. In fact, it’s quite advanced. Utilizing AI technology that “observes you,” the device, which places a mirrored image of you on the screen with your instructor, creates a “progressive strength training experience,” by tracing your movement during your workout, as stated on the brand’s website. Your movement is connected to the movement tracker symbol on the screen. While you exercise, executing various sets and repetitions, the tracker symbol fills up. The catch? You only receive complete credit if you are continuously moving throughout the designated interval. (Don’t worry, there are included rest breaks, so you won’t be exercising nonstop.) So, if you desire those achievement badges, you must stay actively engaged.
At the conclusion of each workout, you receive information from the body activity feature that highlights the muscles you targeted during your session. The Peloton Guide will also suggest your next classes based on the muscle groups you haven’t worked yet, ensuring you have a well-rounded workout schedule and allowing those fatigued muscles time to recuperate.
Also convenient: You can utilize voice-activated mode to initiate or pause a workout, for instance, which I discovered to operate seamlessly and eliminated the need to fumble around searching for the included remote. To use this feature, simply say “Okay, Peloton” and command the Peloton Guide to execute your requests (such as starting, pausing, rewinding, fast forwarding, or ending a workout; increasing or decreasing the volume; and/or customizing which statistics, such as calories or heart rate, you want displayed on the screen.) You can find a selection of voice commands on the website.
For anyone concerned that the individuals behind Peloton (or worse, hackers) will monitor your activities even when you are not actively using the Peloton Guide for a workout — since it does contain a camera — there is no need to worry. Peloton has implemented preventive measures by incorporating a privacy slider screen that covers the camera when the Guide is not in use. The Guide also does not eavesdrop on your conversations, as there is a switch on the back of the device that can be slid to the left to deactivate the microphone. (You will know it is off when the switch is under the symbol of a microphone with a line crossing through it.)
Classes Accessible on the Peloton Guide
If you are already a Peloton member and have previously participated in some of the brand’s strength training classes, be aware that you will receive the same high-quality live and on-demand workouts you are accustomed to, led by many of the exceptional instructors (think Adrian Williams, Selena Samuela, Rad Lopez, Andy Speer, and Robin Arzón).
These exercise sessions, however, will be particular to the Guide. What does that signify? If you are utilizing, for instance, the standard application, you will listen to the teachers mention the Peloton Guide, but you will not have entry to all the delightful measurements that are exclusive to the Guide.
So, Is the Peloton Guide Worth It?
If you’re new to resistance training, I believe the Peloton Guide will be extremely beneficial as you learn correct form and assess your technique. It’s like having a personal trainer in the room with you without the costly price tag. Prior to selecting your workout, you can observe precisely which exercises are involved, and if you’re uncertain about how to execute any of them, you can watch an instructor demonstrate the moves before commencing with your workout. (This feature is also accessible in the app.)
Additionally, being able to view yourself adjacent to (or stacked on top, depending on your perspective) the instructor on one screen throughout the class truly enables you to assess how your form compares — or doesn’t compare — so that you can easily make real-time adjustments.
However, one aspect I found myself desiring is some sort of notification or signal that indicates when you’re performing a movement incorrectly. While you do have a visual representation of yourself and the trainer on the screen, it would be helpful to have some sort of alert or graphic that highlights improper form.
The Peloton Guide is also fantastic for assisting you in better planning your workout schedule. The Body Activity tracker visually displays (via a highlighted outline of a body) the muscles that were targeted during a workout and the extent to which they were strained, allowing you to determine exactly what type of workout to pursue next — whether you’re consolidating shorter workouts or seeking to expand your weekly routine. Need more guidance? The Guide will also suggest specific classes based on your preferences.
I also thoroughly enjoyed the surprisingly motivating AI-enabled camera. Typically, when using the Peloton app on a mobile device, there may be moments where I conveniently “forget” to complete a few reps. (After all, no one is watching, right?) However, knowing that I won’t receive full credit during Peloton Guide workouts if I slack off on certain reps or, for instance, compromise my form while holding a plank, pushes me to exert greater effort. It’s akin to having a built-in workout partner who encourages you, challenges you to compete against yourself, and compels you to never give up even one rep early.
Ultimately, regardless of where you currently stand in your fitness journey, I believe you can derive benefits from the Peloton Guide and its specific features. However, I firmly believe that novice strength trainers stand to gain the most.
Still uncertain if this device is suitable for you, you have the option to evaluate it for a period of 30 days.
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