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Peloton: The Most High Performance Workout Designed For The Home

This post has been a long time coming. I wanted to answer all your questions about Peloton when I got back from Miami, but then I was asked to speak to my experience as a user with CBC News and thought maybe best to wait for the segment to air and the article to come out, which you can read here.

 

Before I dive into it, I feel compelled to let you know that this post is NOT in any way a sponsored post. I am not being compensated by Peloton to share, which I know may be a shock for some of you. I, like many other Canadians, have waited patiently for the brand’s arrival this side of the border after having gotten a taste of a couple classes while visiting NYC. Leading to a full on obsession with the workout. It’s been a competition of sorts amongst some of my friends…who was going to get one first. Two were actually savvy enough to smuggle their bike in long before the release here almost a year ago,

Lots of questions have come through my DM’s on Instagram, so I am going to answer the most popular ones below. But I want to start by saying this…most workouts get skipped because of lack of time, lack of energy, and most importantly lack of motivation. Running, cross training and lifting are all apart of my weekly routine and before having Maxwell, I never had an issue getting my workouts done. But things have changed considerably since having her though. Fatigue, the unpredictability of the baby’s sleep schedule or her getting sick, and trying to balance a lot more on my plate, made skipping a workout here and there more likely. Not great for a new mom who needed the endorphin high and movement to keep her chronic pain illness in check. My Peloton makes getting in that workout SO much easier. Could you imagine, getting in the best cycling workout right in the comfort of your home? Without having to drive or Uber anywhere. At any time of the day, even while your baby naps. It’s like having a private cycling studio in your house and it’s actually pretty damn amazing.

How It Works

Welcome the world’s largest cycling class! Peloton, originally solely an indoor cycling studio in NYC, is now a high performance workout you can do at home. You can jump in the saddle and do one of the 14 live studio classes a day and feel like you’re right there with the NYC class riders or select one of the 11,000+ on-demand workouts to do when your schedule allows. You get guidance and motivation from some of the world’s best instructors to help you reach your potential with real-time metrics visible on your screen throughout your workout to keep you on track like; cadence, resistance, output, and heart rate. There is no guessing game when it comes to your progress either. The bike keeps a very detailed record so you can track it over time.

You can follow other riders around the world, give them high fives during class and also challenge other riders. I’m super competitive so this sometimes gets really out of hand. On the right hand of screen is where you’ll find the leaderboard. You can see every single rider that has taken the class or ridden the course plus you can also query to see which riders are currently cycling at the exact same time you are, to see how you rank against them. It’s crazy motivating and usually it’s just the thing I need to push myself that extra bit when I think my tank is on empty. And if you’re motivated by Apple Watch badges, you’re going to looooooove the achievement badges you get to celebrate your milestones. It’s pretty dope to hear the instructors announcing some riders achievements. during a class. To think that so many people have received the Millennium Club (1000K rides) or more, gets me on that bike at least 1-2 times a week, unless I’m traveling.

Classes and Programming

The best part, YOU get to create the workout that YOU have time for that day based on your personal fitness level, preference for upper body weights or without, music genre and instructor. There’s 90, 60, 45, 30, 20 minute classes and even 10 minute classes that actually work well as a warm-up or cool-down alongside another workout. Is the Peloton only for experienced riders? One of question I am asked repeatedly and the answer is absolutely not. There are classes and even multi-week course (think, cycling for beginners) where you can build and improve with a program designed for first timers.

Music is the one thing that can get me through a workout I am not really trying to do or when my energy is low. The playlists some of these instructors come up with are craaaaaaaazy good. I usually query the music genre and instructor before every ride to make sure I have the right vibe for my workout. Friday nights are kinda lit…and I get it poppin’ with Robyn Arzon’s Live DJ Ride. For 45 whole minutes I get to do a HIIT or Tabata ride to a live DJ mix right there in the studio. Anyone who has a Peloton will say it’s one of their favourite parts of the class programming.

The smartest thing Peloton has done for consumers, is not make it only about workouts on the bike. Yup, you are not confined to just riding folks. Valuable information for those of you who travel a ton. The Peloton app, compatible for both smartphones and iPad, also has workouts off the bike like pre-run warm ups, guided runs, bootcamps, strength, stretching, cardio, walking and now Yoga, which was just launched last week. So now, you can take your workouts on the go.

Bike Specs

Open concept living spaces, home gyms or even small condos, the bike just works anywhere you put it because of it’s design and small footprint. I live in a 1150 sqft condo and we never thought having cardio equipment in here would be possible. Mine lives in my home office and the  4 x 2″ footprint means all my office furniture and decor got to stay put, yay!

My plan when I got the bike was to ride while Maxie was asleep or during her nap time so the quietness of the belt drive was a huge plus. It’s almost silent and as long as my office door is closed and my headphones are in – I can ride without disturbing anyone else in the house. I prefer my cycling workouts to mimic outdoor rides so I’m not really into using the weights but if you who love spin classes that incorporate upper body weights, you’re going to love the classes that use weights which can be conveniently stored within reach in the weight holders.

But the most impressive is the screen guys. I swear, it’s like being behind the wheel of a Tesla. The 22″ HD touchscreen is completely sweat proof and so large it makes any rider feel like they are front row and center in every class.

Pricing

Ahhh, alas the part you’ve probably been waiting for. You may actually be pleasantly surprised at the pricing. You can take a look at the full pricing online but the Basics Package (meaning bike only) will run you $2,095 CDN that also includes a 1 year warranty. There are three other packages, including a family package perfect for couples who are both looking to ride. I actually have the Essentials package that comes with clip shoes, headphones, and weights. The package is on sale now for $3,034. Oh and I also got the bike mat as well. Turns out, the mat was necessary because the amount of sweat that drips onto the floor during my workouts is insane. It can double as a yoga mat or use it for floor workouts so that’s a bonus. It doesn’t matter which package you choose, or if you get the bike only, your purchase comes with a white glove delivery service and set up so you don’t have to lift a finger or waste time with the assembly.

So should you get the bike? Well, I can’t tell you, or anyone else, what to do, but what I can say is this…the Peloton bike is going to be best money you’ve ever spent on your health. Monthly subscription fees for bike owners is $49 but you can purchase a digital subscription if you don’t have the bike and have access to all the classes via the app for only $19/mth. If you’re love spinning or cycling and find yourself weekly at Soul Cycle or one of the other boutique ride spaces, then Peloton is really a no brainer.

Not yet convinced…? Check out a Peloton bike live in a studio nearest to you and sign up for a free ride. Test the bike out as much as you want before purchasing. They say consumers touch (ride) the bike 7 times before making a purchase, but I am certain you won’t need that many trial rides to know this investment is worth every single dollar. There are currently 5 studios in Canada – 3 in the GTA area. For more on Peloton and to find a studio near you check out OnePeloton.ca.

Tech Talk: Everything You Need To Know About Apple GymKit

If you own an Apple watch and cardio is a big part of your gym workouts, sit down and get ready to have your mind blown.  And if you’re not already an Apple Watcher user, chances are you will be after you’re finished reading this. Along with the Watch0S 4 updates recently, whether you are set up with the most up-to-date watch or still rocking the Series2, you can now make it work directly with your favourite gym cardio equipment.

Thanks to a new fitness-focused feature and NFC (the technology used for tap payments like ApplePay), you can now share tons of information between your watch and compatible gym equipment that’s actually accurate. So, no more frustration when you’re finished your workout with the discrepancy over mileage or calories burned or freaking out half way through a treadmill run when you discover you forgot to start the activity app on your watch – HELLO, ME ALL THE TIME! Now, every single intricate detail to your workout will be synced with your your watch and because it already has all of your basic info such as height, weight, sex, etc – it can give you a more accurate read of what you did during your workout. This info is then stored on your watch and goes towards your activity rings. Forgetting to start your watch at the beginning of a workout will never be an issue again. You can just tap the watch at any point mid or post workout and the data will sync up. So if you’re competitive about closing your rings everyday this is the best thing ever because you will still get full credit for your sweat sesh in the workout app.

So Sasha - Apple GymKit

If you’re not sold yet here’s why Gym Kit is so damn brilliant. Using the Apple Watch independently of your cardio equipment of choice, you’re pretty much only going to get one accurate reading and that’s for heart rate. It’s virtually impossible to accurately track distance and elevation and like, who properly calibrates the equipment before they start a workout anyways? Nobody.

I got invited to Equinox Yorkville a few weeks ago to test out my Apple Watch Series 3 with their new Life Fitness equipment they just recently upgraded to so they could facilitate GymKit and guys, it is a definite game changer. Also, super bummed because for years I was a member at the brand’s two Toronto locations and the minute I gave it up, they bring in this state of the art equipment *cue the tears*. After stepping on the equipment, I tapped my watch and started the workout from the treadmill auxiliary panel. This automatically activated the workout app and away I went running through a simulated trail route I had picked somewhere in Ireland. The data between the two devices were completely identical and even if I stopped to take a break just to see what would happen, the workout immediately paused on my watch too.

So Sasha - Apple GymKit

The data I was able to collect from my treadmill working was actually shocking to say the least. I was able to see distance, time, accurate calories, average pace, elevation gain, in addition to both average and recovery heart rate. It is pretty much impossible to obtain that much data from any other indoor workout.

Ok, so I understand you may not all be runners and some of you would rather walk off the side of the cliff than do a treadmill workout but the Apple Watch also works brilliantly with the stairclimber and indoor bike. You will have the ability to accurately capture the number of stairs climbed, which was not possible before with the watch and if you’re a cycling enthusiast, then you will be happy to know that it will retrieve the same data as a treadmill workout with the watch but it will also capture RPM and power wattage from the bike. If you’re an avid rider you know those are difficult for even outdoor cyclists to capture.

GymKit Compatible Equipment

This was everyone’s number one question to the Apple Canada team during our briefing session. What brands are going to be compatible with GymKit technology? The top three industry players are obviously on board; Life Fitness, Matrix Fitness, and of course TechnoGym. But there’s also Schwinn, Stair Master, Star Trac, Cybex, SCIFIT, and Nautilus with skin in the game too. Even though all the major players are on board, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your watch is going to connect at every piece of cardio equipment at the gym. Well, not yet anyway! It’s currently limited to treadmills, bikes (minus spinning bikes), ellipticals, and stair masters.

Photos by George Pimental and Nathalia Allen

Where Can You Find GymKit Equipment in Toronto?

Equinox Yorkville is the first club in Canada to support the newly launched technology with Life Fitness equipment, but a roll-out to other clubs is planned for the near future says Apple Canada. GymKit has already been introduced into fitness clubs in the United States, London, Japan and Hong Kong.

Nordstrom Presents: Camp Nordstrom in Toronto September 10th

It’s been a long time coming for fashion lovers south of the border but Nordstrom is finally opening it’s doors here in Canada this fall. The luxury retailer has pulled out all the stops making sure the highly anticipated openings of their CF Toronto Eaton Centre and Yorkdale locations September 16th and October 21st at 10am respectively, are on top of everyone’s minds. To help celebrate the launch of the much welcomed luxury department store, Nordstrom is hosting a slew of events over the next several weeks but the one I am most excited for is Camp Nordstrom fitness event taking place on Saturday September 10th.

Camp Nordstrom Toronto

Mackenzie White - Nordstrom Camp TorontoMackenzie White, Model and Yoga Instructor

As a leading fashion speciality retailer offering carefully curated clothing, shoes, accessories and beauty collections, Nordstrom has also entered the fitness apparel game by launching their exclusive modern activewear collection, Zella, in 2007 which features flattering workout separates for women designed to let you to move with ease, a men’s and children’s collection, in addition to swimwear . Camp Nordstrom is a one day only fitness event, hosted by yours truly, where guests will be able to check out the Zella line and participate in one of two complimentary fitness classes led by Model and Yoga Instructor Mackenzie White.

Camp Nordstrom

Camp Nordstrom Toronto

Camp Nordstrom TorontoPhotos by JessBaumung.com

What I’m Wearing: “Live In” Leggings and “Pure Energy” Seemless Bralette c/0 Zella by Nordstrom

What can you expect: Taking place outdoors at Toronto’s Sherbourne Common Park on Lower Sherbourne at Queen’s Quay, the Camp Nordstrom event will feature both a morning and afternoon high energy boot camp style class with a yoga cool down, a Greenhouse Juice Pop-UP bar, an interactive photo booth, giveaways and much more.

WHEN:      Saturday September 10th, 2016

                  Registration at 9am & noon

                  Classes commence at 10am & 1pm

WHERE:  Sherbourne Common Park. 61 Dockside Drive. Toronto, ON. M5A 1B6

I will be hosting both sessions and hope to see you there!

2016 Lolë White Tour Toronto Giveaway

Yoga has come in and out of my life over the last several years and played an integral role in keeping me injury free as a tennis player, helped me on my road to recovery after being diagnosed with fibromyalgia and has allowed me to find a connection with my mind, body and breath. Although my practice hasn’t been as consistent as I would like, there is one thing that remains the same  – every time I get back into it my first thought is always, “I should have never stopped” because I just feel so amazing afterwards.

Lolë White Tour

Through yoga you’re body becomes stronger, leaner and more flexible. Most see changes in terms of their body fat, are able to cope with stress better, learn to slow down and be more mindful, and let go of things that no longer serve them. And interestingly enough, the more more you become in tune with your mind and body, you actually begin to listen to your intuition and inner voice more often.

Lolë White Tour

I’ve tried many yoga studios in Toronto and definitely have my favourites that I hit up; Moksha Yoga, Misfit Studios, 889 Yoga, Chi Junky and believe it or not, the yoga classes at Equinox are pretty damn great…but there’s nothing like doing a flow outside, especially close to water.

Lolë White TourPhotography by Tristan O’Brien (@tristancobrien)

On Thursday July 28th, Lolë brings back their cult fave “Lolë White Tour” yoga event to Toronto at Exhibition Place. This is one of the most unique yoga events you will ever experience, where guests dress in all white and are guided through an incredible session at sunset dedicated to inner peace by some of the Toronto’s leading Yoga instructors. Tickets are not easy to come by but thanks to the Lolë team, I am able to give away a pair of tickets to one lucky reader. Entering the giveaway is easy…you must follow @LoleWomen on Instgram and leave a comment on my most recent Lolë post on my Insta account (@SashaExeter) letting me know why the practice of Yoga is important to you. The winner will be announced and contacted directly on Wednesday July 27th at 8pm. *Please note, contest is open to Toronto residents only. Good luck!

#LoleWhite #LoleWhiteTour 

SSFit: Spotify Summer Sixteen Training Playlist

You’ve heard me say time and time again that the right outfit can motivate you to workout, but a dope playlist is never to be underestimated. If you’re in the gym solo, it can be difficult AF to stay focused, give 100% and push yourself until the end of your planned workout. I hear so many times from people that they head to the gym with plans of doing an hour long workout and end up bailing 30 minutes later. No judgements here…I get it. It’s probably how I feel when I go to the nail or hair salon. I immediately start thinking of all the things I “could” be doing instead of being there for much longer than I really want to be.

SSFit Summer Sixteen Training Playlist

If it’s not possible to have a workout buddy or accountability partner in the gym, I would say you better get some good tunes to keep your butt committed to your planned workouts. There’s a few tracks I have had on heavy rotation lately and based on all your requests on Twitter, I have compiled them into a 45 minute Spotify playlist titled, “SSFit: Summer Sixteen Training Playlist” (there’s a sneak peek above) for you that will seamlessly take you through your warm-up, workout, cool-down and even a slow tempo’d track for you to stretch to.

And your playlist is only as good as the headphones you use to listen to it, amirite? I’ve gone back to wireless headphones and currently addicted to my new Beats by Dre Solo 2 Wireless On-Ear Headphones in rose gold. The intelligent design buffers outside noise with earcup padding and has a wide range of sound to allow listeners to enjoy music the way artists intend us to. They pair easily with my iPhone6 and I can move freely up to 9 meters away from my connected device. I really hate interrupting workouts with calls, but if I need to jump on one quickly with my agent, I can do so with the hands free mic. If you’re familiar with wireless headphones you’re probably wondering about the battery life right? The Solo 2 headphones were made for people on the go and can stay unplugged all day thanks to the 12 hour rechargeable battery. Available for sale now on Apple.ca for $329.95.

Photo by Jess Baumung.com for LouLou Magazine

Want details on my training look? Head to louloumagazine.com/sashaexeter for the details and the rest of my #366DaysOfLooks.

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