I have a lot of exercise tech. Just writing that makes me realize I should be in much better shape than I currently am. From the best high-tech treadmill on the market (Life Fitness Run CX, more on that later) to electro-muscle stimulation suits to a mirror that guides me through all kinds of great fitness options, you name it, I got it.
While working on a review of the best high-tech treadmills at the Peloton store (because they don’t lend out treadmills) I looked over in the corner of the store and saw what reminded me of an Xbox Kinect (circa 2010) but on the screen was instructor and obvious choice for the next James Bond, Benjamin Aldis, teaching a class!
Sign Me Up
As I got closer to the screen, suddenly I was in the class! Or my image was on a split screen with Benjamin (like a father son workout thing), I had inadvertently been introduced to the Peloton Guide. So, I got one.
Peloton says the Guide is “everything you need to reach your strength training goals from home.” What it is in reality, is their first connected strength training product. Guide is an AI-enabled device that uses machine learning and innovative camera technology to create an evolving strength training experience. The built-in camera allows you to see yourself on-screen and track your exercises alongside the instructor.
While Kinect kind of fizzled out as more of a gimmick, Guide has taken the idea of connected at home training and made it easy, simple and affordable, something that Tonal, Mirror, Forme and several others have missed that mark on.
Lululemon Mirror for example starts at about $1000 and you need space for the actual Mirror, then you have Mirror specific content. Starting at $195 and $24 a month for membership, if you don’t already have a Peloton membership. The
Peloton Guide can sit right in front of your TV using the accompanying stand or be mounted, magnetically, to the set itself. It connects to your TV via an HDMI cable and your workouts are streaming on your current TV, screen etc.
What makes it great? Simplicity. So many other connected brands have gone out of their way to showcase how advanced they are, that the act of working out can take too many steps. Then despite having an instructor on the screen, that’s where the interactivity stops.
If you don’t want to do burpees, planks or lunges, with other brands in this category, there is nothing making you accountable for the workout. Guide solves that problem by tracking your movement during your workout, your movement is tied to the movement tracker icon on the screen. As you exercise, performing various sets and reps, the tracker icon fills up. The trick? You only get full credit if you are moving the entire time during the allotted interval of time. Very much like the Fight Camp punch tracker, the Guide gives you dozens of different goals as you work out to keep you accountable and engaged.
You’re The Star
The 12-megapixel front-facing camera gives you the ability to see yourself side by side with the instructor in Self Mode, which is beneficial when it comes to form and speed of your reps. Those pesky Peloton instructors have some pretty good form and don’t generally rush through a rep. Meaning you can compare your form directly next to the instructor and correct yourself as you follow along through the class. If you stay in lock step with them, following their lead, the benefit of a complete workout increases.
The Peloton Guide will also recommend your next classes based on the muscle
groups you haven’t worked yet – ensuring you have a well-balanced workout schedule and give those tired muscles time to recover.
Then there’s the content. Peloton has the formula to successful content. Music rights, exciting instructors and a library of classes for just about every taste imaginable. Simple, smart.
Peloton Guide has taken this simple idea and is disrupting the at home fitness industry with the simple idea that technology doesn’t need to be difficult, and exercising can be fun.