Peloton has been leading the way in at-home fitness since the release of their first bike back in 2014. Since then they have created a loyal community of more than 3.6 million members and are finishing 2020 strongly with the release of the new Bike+ and Tread+.
The Peloton Tread aims to bring all their expertise to the most popular piece of cardio kit – plus all of the fun of the bootcamp classes you’ve been missing in lockdown – and deliver it straight into your living room.
This is everything you need to know.
What you get with the Peloton Treadmill
A 23.8” sweatproof touchscreen that is high-definition with excellent picture quality (depending on your internet connection!) It tilts through 50 degrees for different heights, so that you can keep your eyes on the prize as you move from tread to floor during bootcamp workouts, or get comfortable on the ground for a guided meditation.
The screen also contains an 8 megapixel camera to allow you to connect and video chat with friends.
There is a high-fidelity four-speaker sound system embedded. If you don’t have neighbours to worry about, then unleash the clearer and high quality sounds for intense instructor connection and a better recreation of the boutique fitness class experience.
The treadmill itself is a carbon steel crafted frame and handrails to make it durable enough for tough workouts. It also has no front shroud like on traditional gym treadmills, so you can run on the whole thing without having to watch your feet.
It’s a treadmill that, in Peloton’s own words, is the best belt treadmill on the market. It has a smaller footprint than most treads – it’s much smaller than a normal sofa – and so is more living room friendly for at-home workouts.
It’s still not cheap. The hardware will set you back £2,295 (or £59/month for 39 months with 0% APR) and then you’ll need to pay £39/month for the all-access membership. It's available from 26th December in the UK at onepeloton.co.uk
This’ll give you: weekly live classes from the Peloton studio, plus 1000s of on-demand workouts across all kinds of different disciplines (running, walking, bootcamp, strength, stretching, yoga, meditation.) You’ll also be motivated by real-time metrics on-screen and watching other members move around you on the leaderboard. You can then use this anywhere on your phone, not just on the treadmill.
The Men’s Health Peloton Treadmill Review
Let’s get to the basics first. Importantly, it feels really comfortable to run on. It’s quiet, too – not only the whirring belt, but it does a good job of dulling the sound of each footstrike. Which is no mean feat when you consider the force it has to absorb from my 93kg. Admittedly, it did get a little noisier when it went on an incline.
It felt sturdy, which I didn’t necessarily expect. It’s a small treadmill compared to the beasts you’re used to clambering onto in the gym (great news for squeezing it into the corner of my little home gym) but it obviously sacrificed none of the stability in the shrinking process.
It felt spacious despite it being a small treadmill. The fact there is no shroud below helps and the design of the handlebars up top makes it seem roomy.
The speakers are loud. I had to tell my wife to start using headphones as she blasted the soundtrack to her 6.30am power walk at full volume. Equally, they're so easy to connect your wireless headphones to.
To change speed and incline, the treadmill uses a unique system of twisting wheels on the handlebars to the side of you. One side for speed, one side for incline. Each wheel then has a button in the middle that allows you to jump up to the next whole number of either, rather than constantly rolling the wheels. The system works well.
To be honest, I would prefer the jump button to work going down too, because being in control of slowing down is what stops it being scary. When you’re at full pelt you want slowing down to be as unfiddly as possible. Peloton does provide a workaround, however. They have quick options that flash up on the screen when you move the roller. It’s 3 options that are customisable: one fast, one medium, one slow. These become your go-tos for classes when you get to know your pace, but the slow one can also be your emergency slow down for when you want to get back to walking pace quickly. The only thing is, they’re quite small – so making sure you hit the right button when your arms are flailing can take some concentration.
Having tried the famous Peloton bike, the coaching on the treadmill is different. I think because there is less to mess around with than on the bike – changing resistance and standing up, sitting down – they compensate with more chat. It’s actually nice and I got on well with all the trainers, but it means that the classes feel less repeatable. You wouldn’t want to listen to the same patter about what they had for lunch again. But that’s not really a problem because of the sheer volume of classes Peloton produces.
Of course, it goes well beyond friendly chat, too. All the Peloton trainers are experts and one of the things I enjoyed most was the high level of coaching. So many people think running is just running – one foot in front of the other – but the coaches continually provide you with genuine cues that can help you to feel more confident and get more from each run. Keeping a long spine, tucking your pelvis and engaging your glutes, relaxing your shoulders and pulling your arms down, driving your elbows back to push yourself forwards – each one made a difference.
Filtering through the back catalogue of classes is easy, too. You can do it by duration, difficulty, or by picking your favourite trainer.
The next level of development looks to be combining these classes into genuine programmes. Personally, I got stuck into a 6-week plan to run a faster 5k, but I couldn’t see much more to keep me going after that. If that’s an area that Peloton looks to expand upon in the future then the membership fee starts to look like really good value. Checking into random classes to burn calories and chase down endorphins is all well and good, but using the treadmill and Peloton’s cadre of leading experts to work towards specific goals would be very exciting.
Finally, the obvious benefit is that there is so much more to do than straight running. The bootcamp option is an instant hit. You’re provided with a mat and weights and you can get straight into the type of class you pay £20 a pop in at a studio, mixing cardio and free weights. You can also do a straight weights session, barre, yoga and meditation. There are also good ways to add extras to your session – you can start with a short warm-up power walk, do your main session and then pick a full-body stretch session to finish.
In short: it’s excellent. If you struggle with finding motivation, or knowing what to do, when training at home then this kit allows you to completely sign yourself over into their hands. Do that and your training will be fun and varied enough to turn it into a habit – one that might just stick this time. If you can afford it – buy it.
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