Can Peloton Replace In-Person Coaching? Here’s Our Review | H4 Training

Nov30Can Peloton Replace In-Person Coaching? Here’s Our Review

If you’ve been even slightly paying attention to the happenings of the fitness world, you might’ve heard of a company called Peloton. They started back in 2012, and are now valued in the billions.

Peloton has grown to nearly cultish fame of late, with the pandemic bolstering their numbers even more. The indoor bike itself cost nearly a cool two grand, and you have to pay a subscription fee to the tune of $39 a month. But we’re not bashing the fitness class streaming company; Peloton has done a lot of good for people, especially during the pandemic. It’s helped people lose weight and stay active, and indoor cycling is far from the worst thing you can do (hint: the worst thing you can do is nothing).

But is Peloton the end all, be all? Is it enough to reach your body composition goals, and should you be doing other exercise alongside it? That’s what we’re going to get into in this post: pros, why it doesn’t entirely replace strength training, and how to combine both.

Peloton: what you should know first before you buy

As we’ve already gone over, the price of a Peloton bike and subscription can cost a pretty penny, which may or may not be worth it to you. It depends on what value you see from it. For many, the value is there: they offer a host of different classes, from the classic cycle class to HIIT and yoga, it seems there are a list of options.

This comes of course at a hefty price: around $1800-2000 for the equipment itself, and 39 bucks a month for access to the classes and community. Now, in the long run that might pay off, as investments in your health are priceless. The bike itself according to Google is right at 135 lbs., which for it’s size seems to be a hefty little piece of equipment.

Peloton pros

Enough about specs; what is Peloton best for? It started with just indoor cycling, but it has evolved into a streaming service offering hundreds of classes, like yoga, strength training, boot camp, cardio, and the like.

For those looking for quick, efficient workouts that they can do alongside their regular strength training, this is a good option. But does Peloton replace tried and true in-person training? We think not, and below we explain why.

Why it can’t beat in-person coaching

Peloton doesn’t allow for individual customization.

Peloton classes are great for cardio, and maybe even a little bit of strength training. But it lacks in customization for the individual. At H4, while we do train clients in a small group setting, we have ample time to focus on individual clients to help them with specific needs. If someone has an injury or stubborn joint, we modify the workout so that they can still get a great session in and avoid aggravating their injury. On the other hand, a Peloton class can’t offer that same modification for individuals.

Because of this, instructors also have to pick simpler movements – which is not inherently bad – and can’t coach you up on exercises. For example: if someone who can’t squat trains with us in person, we start with beginner level movements, and the coach will slowly introduce progressions for the individual as they gain more experience. During an online class by Peloton, the instructor has no way of knowing when to progress members, and we’re not even sure if they know the exercise level of each member.

Maybe you think that you can customize your workouts yourself, and maybe you can; but a real in-person fitness coach is invaluable at making tweaks and finding weak spots that might otherwise go unnoticed.

Peloton is mainly cardio-focused.

While the fitness streaming service offers a host of different classes, they tend to mainly focus on endurance-type workouts.

Their strength classes might offer some muscle building movements in some regard, but members are limited by weight and equipment. You don’t have the wide range of tools or weight progressions offered to you by an gym facility. Again, it might build some strength – mostly for novices, and for lower body movements – but there is a big discrepancy in their strength focused classes.

Why you still need good ol’ strength training (with a coach)

Peloton definitely has a bunch of pros, and does provide a valuable service, but it does not replace traditional in-person coaching.

In-person training – especially training with a strength focus in mind – can do wonders for your health. Sarcopenia is a real problem as people age, which is the loss of muscle mass as we age. Lo and behold, the best way to combat it is with good ol’ strength training.

More muscle also keeps our bodies optimized for burning more fat, because muscle requires more energy to sustain; aka, more muscle = more calories burned throughout the day. And you don’t have to be the hulk to see these benefits.

The benefits are even better when training with a trainer or coach, as it was stated earlier that a coach can help you strengthen weak spots, make small tweaks, and keep you injury-free. When it comes to a fitness program, it can help to have someone who is unbiased and has an outside perspective on what you should work on, and this can help you reach your goals faster.

How you can combine peloton and strength training

With all that said, should you ditch the Peloton membership? If you already have it, no! If you don’t have it but you want it, then weigh pros and cons. Peloton is great for supplementary work outside of your regular training sessions. For example, at H4 we have a few clients who take part in Peloton classes alongside the training we do at our facility. We recommend alternating days between our strength workouts with Peloton classes with a cardio focus. The way this would look:

  • Monday: full body session at H4
  • Tuesday: Peloton HIIT or cardio session
  • Wednesday: full body session at H4
  • Thursday: Peloton yoga or cardio session
  • Friday: full body session at H4
  • Saturday: Peloton yoga or light cardio session

You get the idea. Getting in 2-3 tough strength sessions a week (tough means challenging, but you shouldn’t be fried from your workout) is ideal, and 2-3 cardio/HIIT or mobility sessions coupled with that will give you the best results.

Hopefully this little guide was helpful in discerning the differences between the Peloton craze and traditional training. While the streaming service can’t replace in-person coaching, it is great for supplementary workouts that you can do alongside your regular training sessions; so don’t go ditching the weights just yet!