as athletes bring their training indoors and search for exciting and challenging workouts to do within their walls, let’s explore some awesome peloton alternatives.
Today, I want to talk to you about home workout options. Specifically, I want to share with you a few options in hopes that you will find a Peloton Alternative, in case there isn’t one hanging out in your living room already.
It has been so incredible to see families sharing their newfound (or newly rediscovered) joy in hikes and exploration. Seeing all of your smiling faces getting a little dirty, breathing in the fresh air, challenging yourselves to get up off the couch and have an experience together has been brightening MY day.
Or maybe that old bike in the garage has been dusted off, helmet straps have been buckled, and you have been sightseeing in your neighborhood on two wheels, wind in your hair and blood pumping through your legs.
It’s pretty great, right?
I have to say, though, that it has been a real honor for me to get the private messages from friends who don’t quite feel comfortable exercising outside right now. In some places, masks are required even for training, which is really an unfortunate situation.
It’s a perfect time to fall in love with home workouts
Or for families who live in the center of an outbreak or might have a loved one in the house in the most vulnerable population, this could be the perfect time to discover home workouts that light you up!
Though it might feel like you are forced into it, for now, take heart, Dear Athlete. Even when life finds a new groove soon, there will still be rainy days. There will still be dark mornings coupled with rush hour traffic distracted drivers. Snow will still fall.
Building up a practice of home workouts will make it much more appealing to shift to an alternate workout when mother nature doesn’t hand us an ideal training environment and excuses abound.
You know exactly what I mean, right?
Home workouts mean fewer excuses
Your phone starts buzzing and playing the Wishes Nighttime Spectacular song at the stroke of 5:00am. You’re nice and cozy in your warm bed, maybe under a weighted blanket. It’s time to run. But it’s 38 degrees outside, windy, and there is even mist.
How much self-talk does it really take at that point to roll right over and chalk this one up to “Circumstances beyond our control?” Not much.
But we deserve better, right? You already woke up! Let’s make something of that action!
Prepare in advance
Wouldn’t it be so much easier if before you went to bed, you laid out the single layer of clothes that you will need to head to your home workout area? Five am hits, the song plays, you head to the bathroom, slap on the clothes, fill the water bottle, and get right to it. In this case, it only takes a few steps to get your sweat on. No excuses are available.
Now, the juggernaut in the home workout-slash-lifestyle-slash trend game is definitely the one and only Peloton.
And it’s for good reason!
From the well-made bike and tread to the super motivational trainers that know exactly when to push and when to back it down, their tools turn your training environment into a deluxe studio…at a cost.
Right now, the beloved Peloton Bike will set you back $2,245, more than many respectable carbon road bikes.
The Peloton treadmill, with its made-to-last-forever and built-like-a-tank steel banded construction instead of the more common belt mechanism, costs every single penny of $4,295.
And this is before we factor in the $39/month membership fee required to participate in their live classes.
It’s worth also mentioning that it’s nearly, or even totally, impossible to get our hands on one of these beloved machines. As of now, if you can get a delivery of the bike scheduled (generally about six weeks out, but I keep seeing that those are repeatedly being pushed) it will be left at your door and it’s up to you to bring it to the place in your home where it will live. The treadmill is not being delivered at all because it can’t reasonably be delivered without a technician entering your home.
If you meet the high bar to afford it, can actually get one, and then it’s delivered, keep in mind that you will still pay the $39/month for the live classes, but all live classes have been paused in an abundance of caution for their performers, which is a good call for them!
So is the Peloton amazing? Yes. Yes, it is.
Can we find a Peloton Alternative with significantly lower barriers to entry?
And that’s what it’s all about right now. We have plenty of barriers to movement right now. Let’s smash some down, eh?
Can we find a peloton alternative to love? yes we can!
Let’s start with what I think is likely the easiest way to get a no-kidding, excellent workout that is a clear Peloton alternative:
Your trusty real-life bike, ready to ride in your living room.
Did you know that there is a pretty simple, fairly inexpensive way to transform your workhorse..or dusty, no judgement, road or mountain bike into a stationary trainer?
You really only need one piece of equipment and then a few optional extras make it very fancy.
You need a Bike Trainer, the most simple Peloton alternative
Basically, this is the stand where your bike rests while you do the work. There are two major types and then they break down from there:
The most simple option allows you to leave your back wheel on. The trainer itself applies resistance to that wheel while you pedal, using wind, magnets, or fluid.
More sophisticated (read: expensive) bike trainers have you remove the back tire and loop your bike chain around a cassette on the machine itself. These will control your resistance using a training app or game. Depending on your brand, they generally have power, speed, and cadence sensors built right in. Add a heart rate monitor, and you are generating all of the information you could possibly want from your workout.
Now, what can you do with these trainers to take a notoriously boring indoor bike ride to the next level? Gamify!
One of the best options I have found if you are really searching for a true Peloton alternative is to download the Peloton App, which is currently free for 90 days, and then $12.99/month after the free trial. You can absolutely spin, climb, sweat, and dance with the best performers in the biz directly from your trusty mountain bike set on a wheel-on trainer. Trust me: I’ve done it several times.
When they tell you to crank the resistance, shift! It’s that simple! If he or she calls for a lighter resistance and faster cadence, you know what to do…shift!
You can have the very best parts of a Peloton Ride almost immediately and for far far less of an expense.
You could also connect to one of several apps made specifically for bikes on trainers. There are options like Zwift, TrainerRoad, FulGaz, and Sufferfest. These will immerse you in either real ride routes or in a video game land.
In Zwift, the app that I use, you can meet up with other real people in their own pain-caves to ride. There are group rides, races, fondos, or you can just explore on your own. I wasn’t sure I’d love it after being so hooked on studio rides at the gym or Peloton rides through my app. But let me tell you, it’s awesome.
If you decide to check Zwift out, add me! Let’s ride together! I’m SallyFindingFinishLines (Shocking. I know.)
Tip: in normal times, you can almost always find a pre-owned (I won’t say “used” because probably the reason someone is selling it is that it was never actually used) bike trainer in online swap shops. Look around and see if there are any bike or triathlon-specific groups in your area. Even now, it might be easy to find them as people upgrade. I found my trusty Cycle-Ops Fluid 2, a wheel-on fluid smart trainer in a neighborhood group years ago for something like $50. I’ve used it for countless hours and it is showing zero signs of giving up on me. I recently upgraded to a direct drive smart trainer, and the family takes turns popping their bikes on the trusty old gal. My kids love it!
If you are going this route, I only want to encourage you to make sure you find as a big of a fan as you can and position it on your body, have a way to catch your sweat, and something to blow your nose. Ok, you might think I’m gross, but I’m just trying to be real with you.
Treat trainer rides like a regular ride on the road. Bring water. Have calories if it will be longer than an hour.
Nordictrack: a Peloton alternative for equipment
Another Peloton alternative with a longstanding reputation is the trusty Nordictrack.
But these ain’t yo Grandpa’s machines anymore.
Which leads me to a funny story about my own Grandpa and my beloved Nordictrack c1900.
When I was a sophomore in high school in the very early…like, the earliest…2000s when my favorite Grandpa, who lived with us at the time, was convinced by the lovely ladies of QVC that he needed a treadmill. He decided that night that he would begin a walking routine that had nothing to do with the Florida heat. So he called and made the order of the fancy machine with aromatherapy fans (What? Yes… the early 2000s) and a newfangled fitness program called iFit.
But, like many people with a midnight workout plan, I’m pretty certain he never used it.
Come to think of it, it’s mighty possible he bought it to try to keep me from running my favorite 4-mile look after sunset most nights.
So as it happened, the treadmill moved to the “Fancy” living room and I staked my claim. It was mine. And she moved with me from tiny college apartments with thin walls (sorry, neighbors) and then all across the country as my husband’s job has taken us to the frosty north to the sizzling desert of west Texas and back to the east coast. She has taken me through three marathons and a half ironman.
That workhorse isn’t trendy, but she has never let me down. I still say Hi to my Grandpa Louie before every run on that noisy, clunky machine.
Now, Nordictrack has come so far from their days of aromatherapy fans and small motors.
Their latest selection of bikes, treadmills, rowers, and oddly human-like vertical belt pully strength machines really offer something for everyone.
And as far as I can tell, they are actually delivering!
Now, you won’t find incredible savings here on their top-end products. I can’t help but notice that their latest advertising looks strikingly familiar, with beautiful people training in empty high rise apartments surrounded by glass. They are definitely trying to claim their market share as a peloton alternative.
But they do have some less expensive options. Their treadmills start $1,299 and still come with touchscreens for ifit guidance.
iFit is their name for their version of studio classes. Much like Peloton, inspiring folks can lead you through your next workout for any of their machines, plus yoga.
Like Rumpstilskin says, though, “All magic comes at a price,” and here you will discover that their ifit membership rings in the same $39/month, though they do give you the entire first year for free.
Look, if you are searching for dedicated equipment, I don’t think you can go wrong with their options.
2 ways NordicTrack is a better Peloton Alternative
There are even two things I’d like to point out that could make them even better than Peloton!
The first is that their treadmills are made with, for a lack of a better term, springier run decks. They use the traditional belted design instead of the steel bands of the Peloton. This is definitely easier on your joints, though it feels less road-like. If you are trying to take it easy on your lower back or knees, you might like this version better.
Second, the ifit software can actually control the resistance and grade of your bike when you are in a live class! No more reaching down to “Put some road” on your resistance knob.
Ok, that’s pretty cool!
Apps, streaming and disks: the least expensive peloton alternative
Finally, let’s talk about some home workout, Peloton alternatives that do not require any additional gear and still produce great results.
Apps & Videos.
There is a reason our moms were using those old workout tapes with the spiffy onesies and peppy instructors: they work!
You can get an incredible workout using a small amount of space in your home, and no gear but a screen you already have.
Beachbody is one of the most popular home workout options. They have been around for years and have a program for just about everyone.
While they used to be both expensive and complicated, with clunky boxed sets of DVDs and odd wall calendars for workouts, now they offer a streaming service! Get access to every program them have with one membership fee. Right now, that fee is $99/year. That’s a pretty great deal for quality instruction from some of the best leaders in the country. Now, if you are going to buy a BeachBody program, I highly recommend that you support a working mom with your purchase. Yes, this company exists as a direct sales option. Don’t let that influence how you feel about the programming.
If you don’t already know a “Coach,” their term for a sales rep, I know an excellent one! She is a multi-time marathon runner, a military wife, and a sweet friend of mine. She has compiled a list of free workouts for you to try!
Warning: She will not allow you to quit on yourself. This is why I endorse her.
TIP: As people clear out their entertainment centers, basements, closets, and garages right now, you might be able to find one of those old DVD box sets on a neighborhood/community/area facebook swap shop type group, likely for under $10! If you don’t mind dealing with DVDs and have a pretty good idea of the type of program you would like, this is a great way to get everything you need for only a few dollars. SCORE!
Orangetheory Fitness is bringing workouts home, FOR FREE, on Orangetheory At Home. If you are already a member, you can even link your Heart Rate Monitor to their app to earn Splat points from home!
These effective workouts are available on any device and use what you likely have around your house to deliver a powerful workout at no cost! They are definitely worth a try.
Yoga with Adriene
I have recommended this youtube channel before. Her classes are available for free, enjoyable, open to all abilities, and kid friendly. If you are looking for something to stay nice and bendy, this is a fantastic option.
If you are just starting a new fitness routine, I can’t recommend yoga enough!
Fun for the whole family
Finally, I want to introduce you to two options that are silly fun, while still whipping a sweat, with the entire family.
I am so grateful for our teachers that introduced us to the GoNoodle channel on youtube. Packed with silly songs and dances that are easy to learn and fun, adults and kids alike. Give it a try. We can all use a little laugh right now.
Finally, we love to play a little Just Dance 2020 for some family competition, again with the laughs, and it really get’s the heart pumping!
Don’t go thinking that triathletes won’t get tired with these moves. I assure you, it’s exhausting if you go all in. DO IT!
we all have to adapt
This is a strange time, Dear Athletes. Nobody needs to tell us.
What we know for sure is that the athletes who keep themselves moving are going to be poised for success when our race season starts again, whenever that might be.
I just heard today from Rev 3 Tri that there is a new format coming to their Williamsburg race this year. It’s an adaptation to the conditions in 2020…and IT’S AWESOME!
This year, athletes will have the opportunity to compete in an Olympic distance triathlon, a sprint distance triathlon, and a super-sprint distance triathlon all on the same day! I am so excited to try my first swim-bike-run-swim-bike-run-swim-bike-run.
Who else expects this to be the hardest almost-70.3 of all time? LET’S DO IT!
FINDING MY VOICE BY MIKE REILLY
Speaking of adapting, I am reading the stories of some absolutely incredible IRONMAN athletes who adapted and overcame adversity to get to the start, and subsequent finish of the IRONMAN triathlon. They are all in the book written by the voice of IRONMAN himself, Mike Reilly.
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ALL OF YOUR LOVE AND SUPPORT. THIS IS THE 20TH EPISODE OF THE FINDING FINISH LINES PODCAST AND I CAN HARDLY BELIEVE IT. SO MUCH LOVE TO ALL OF YOU!