Thursday, 04 August 2022 10:53

The Peloton Guide is your on-screen guide that motivates, measures, and maximises your fitness goals

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Peloton is well known for its exercise equipment, fashionable attire, and not least, its workouts. The fitness company has added a new dimension to home workouts with the Peloton Guide which literally guides you through exercise with an on-screen silhouette for you to mimic.

The unit is akin to a webcam or an Xbox Kinect; its smarts are all bundled into one tidy, elegant, premium-feeling slightly elongated camera-sized box. It has only two cable sockets - HDMI output and USB-C power input. It snaps solidly and satisfyingly into a magnetic stand, which itself can sit flat on a table or open to clamp onto the top of a TV or monitor. Once set up all interaction is via the unit’s camera and through the small handheld remote control.

The Peloton Guide designers have clearly put thought into its design and every interaction. It looks good and feels good; it’s sleek, solid, and covered in soft fabric. It absolutely won’t look out of place wherever you choose to use it. A privacy cover can slide over the camera if you want to ensure you’re off-camera when you don’t want to be. And speaking of the camera, it’s an incredibly surprising wide angle - you can really see your room and where you stand.

It's not only the hardware; the interface is simple and intuitive, with crisp, bold lettering guiding you through activating the unit, pairing the remote, and updating its software. It also “just works” - plug it into power, plug it into your TV or monitor, turn it on, pair the remote, connect to Wi-Fi, and off you go. Apart from an initial wait for the software to update you can be exercising within minutes.

I could talk about the hardware and the user experience for a long time - that’s how smooth and seamlessly it works, and it shows Peloton has gone to a big effort here. That’s in keeping with its brand; Peloton’s dumbbells look magnificent, for example. However, we’re not ultimately here because the device looks good; it’s about the classes and content, and again, Peloton delivers.

While investigating a competing fitness brand’s equipment I came across an interesting website that explained how to jailbreak that brand’s Android-based environment so you could install apps of your own choice, with the Peloton app being recommended. Others asked why would you do that, given the Peloton app can’t control the specific features of the other brand’s equipment. The reply? “Yes, but Peloton has better music.”

And, sure enough, Peloton has an incredible, huge library of exercises and workouts that you can filter in many ways, with a large array of trainers, workout types, music styles, duration, fitness levels, and more. Not all of these relate to the Peloton Guide; it’s a huge library that encompasses Peloton’s entire range. For sure, you can join any class, but to make the most of the Peloton Guide go into the Guide-optimised classes. Now you see yourself and a movement tracker - which both shows on screen what you need to do, and measures your movement. The more active, the more precise, you are, the faster you fill up a Peloton logo, kind of like a video game power-up.

The system does not penalise you for going off-plan, and whether you use weights or not, or the same size weights, but does gently encourage you to move, and to progressively refine and improve your form as you follow the trainer.

These movements aren't simply swaying side-to-side; the instructors make you lift weights, stretch, turn, bend, lie down, and all sorts of things. Phew! You’ll be working up a sweat and sure enough, in line with ‘what gets measured gets improved’ the Guide gently nudges you ever closer to hitting your fitness goals by providing instant visual feedback along with other metrics.

Peloton Guide Membership Desktop

In fact, as you train, the Guide will begin giving recommendations and will highlight the muscle groups you’ve been working on. It's the gentle, in-home, non-judgemental, kind trainer you've always wanted.

Peloton Guide is the company’s first connected fitness strength product and provides great fitness workouts with world-class instructors on any HDMI-capable screen in your home, workplace, or wherever you might be provided you have power, a display, and Wi-Fi.

It shows the movements that will be in a class, explain the correct form, and inform the muscles worked each day. The movement tracker gives you metric-driven accountability that pushes you to complete every strength movement in every class. You see yourself side-by-side with the instructor, and if you also purchase a separately available Peloton Heart Rate Band you gain additional metrics on exertion level and effort.

Pricing is based on both hardware and the content library. The Peloton Guide device itself is $445, or $19/month for 24 months, with a 100-day return policy. The Peloton training library of workouts is a subscription service that comes in different options. The Peloton training library of workouts is a subscription service that comes in different options. Existing Peloton All Access Members will be able to add Guide to their Membership at no cost. New, Guide-only Members will receive introductory pricing to the All Access Membership for $35 per month which allows you up to five profiles under one account - so that could be your entire household sorted. to access Peloton’s live and on-demand library. The introductory pricing for the All Access Membership is available through 2022 and will roll over to the standard All-Access Membership price of $59 a month in January 2023. You also get free access if you own a Peloton Bike or Peloton Bike+.

I mooted including a video here, but my working out is not pretty - ok, maybe let’s check in again after a few more months of using the Guide - but for now, here’s an official Peloton video.

 

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David M Williams

David has been computing since 1984 where he instantly gravitated to the family Commodore 64. He completed a Bachelor of Computer Science degree from 1990 to 1992, commencing full-time employment as a systems analyst at the end of that year. David subsequently worked as a UNIX Systems Manager, Asia-Pacific technical specialist for an international software company, Business Analyst, IT Manager, and other roles. David has been the Chief Information Officer for national public companies since 2007, delivering IT knowledge and business acumen, seeking to transform the industries within which he works. David is also involved in the user group community, the Australian Computer Society technical advisory boards, and education.

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