TCO 292 | Motivation Language

292. Peloton Adds 2-Days To In-Studio Schedule Plus Our Interview With Dr. Pooja Lakshmin

TCO 292 | Motivation Language


  • Peloton makes changes to the in-studio reservation process.
  • Peloton has a new VP of Product.
  • Peloton ends beta testing of microphone settings.
  • Consumer Reports ranks the Peloton Bike AND Tread #1.
  • Parade Magazine spotlights the Guide.
  • Robin Arzon is pregnant again.
  • Bradley Rose talked to Sheer Luxe about well-being goals for 2023.
  • The latest artist series features Duran Duran.
  • CES features new health and wellness gadgets.
  • Two new programs for the Guide.
  • Birthdays: Cliff Dwenger (1/19)

All this plus our interview with Dr. Pooja Lakshmin

Watch the episode here


Listen to the podcast here


Peloton Adds 2-Days To In-Studio Schedule Plus Our Interview With Dr. Pooja Lakshmin

Welcome back because we were in Norwalk. We had a great time in Norwalk.

I love Norwalk. It’s a great town.

It was a neat town.

I love the surrounding areas. There are lots of good Peloton communities there. We had a whole bunch of people who stopped by.

We did a last-minute thing. It was a week out or two weeks out maybe. We were like, “We’re going to be in Norwalk if anybody wants to hang.” We had 15 to 20 people show up.

It was so much fun and so nice to see people. I think everybody is in this picture. I have to send a special thanks to Shirley Auguston for securing the location for us. We appreciate that.

It was nice. It was an Irish pub called O’Neills, which if you’re ever in Norwalk, you need to go to. It felt a little bit like racial profiling.

Because your name is O’Keefe.

So was yours, in case you were curious, but we loved it.

We loved it so much, we went back the next night because I didn’t get to see anything.

The room we’re in, you walked into the building and immediately to your right, they had this special room that they had ended up putting us in because our group was so large. You never got past that room. I only got past it because I had to pee. I saw the rest of the restroom 9 or 10 times, but it was neat. I was like, “It’s a shame you didn’t get to see it. It was cute.” The next night we were like, “Rather than searching Google for a different place, let’s go back. You can enjoy the place and you can eat food that requires two hands.”

I didn’t want to be all in my food when I was trying to talk to people. I was a little dainty.

It didn’t stop me. I had chicken wings.

I know. You were all up in it.

I didn’t care. No one talked to me anyway.

You were talking the whole time.

I sat next to a lady. I’m blanking on her name, but she is married to a nerd. He owns a comic book convention, a big one at the Mohegan Sun. That’s a huge place. I had all sorts of questions about the business model of the comic book convention. Don’t worry, I’m not trying to start one.

Maybe we should do a podcast about it.

It was riveting. I talked about that quite a bit.

There was another non-Peloton husband there that was hilarious, Kevin. He had so many questions. It was funny.

First question, what is a Peloton?

He knew that much. It was so nice to see everybody. It always fills up my social bucket to see all these wonderful people and hear all the stories.

You also stopped by the store in Westport.

Just so everybody knows, the store is closing on January 22nd at Westport. I was super sad to hear that. We stopped in and Jamie was manning the store. The second I walked in, it was 75% off. Tom was like, “Oh dear.”

If you live in the Westport area, there’s no need to stop by because Crystal bought it all.

I didn’t buy it all. I didn’t buy any men’s clothing. I bought one men’s pair of shorts. That’s because Brian wanted it. Everything else was for me. All the women’s stuff is pretty much gone. That’s a great deal. You can’t say no to that.

That is a good deal. I will acknowledge that.

We were super sad to hear that store was closing. It’s been around for a very long time. I hate that all these store closings are affecting so many people. Our heart does go out to all of the people that are no longer going to be with Peloton. If there’s ever anything we can do to help you in whatever way, let us know and we will do our best.

If you’re selling Guides out the back door at a cheap rate, let us know and we’ll share it with people.

We could do that too. Should we talk about the results of our visit? Brian went to go visit a college.

He went to visit the College of Norwalk and he dug it. We’re not all the way done, but we certainly have a front-runner.

It was an incredibly exhausting week but it went well. For all the travel that we did, it was a very smooth travel.

I don’t know if we talked about this but we couldn’t get there directly because of our scheduling issue. Brian was doing something in Kansas City. We live in St. Louis. We rented a car and drove from St. Louis to Kansas City. We picked up, Brian. We flew out of Kansas City where we dropped off the car and then flew into Boston because we couldn’t get into Norwalk until 3:00 in the afternoon on that Friday. We flew into Boston and landed at 10:30. We rented another car, and then drove three hours to Norwalk so he could be there for the whole day on Friday.

We got into Norwalk at 2:30 in the morning and then got up the next day.

It was a lot. We then flew out of White Plains.

For everybody that told us how tiny White Plains is, you were not joking.

You did not undersell it.

It’s just a room. That was the craziest thing I’ve ever seen in my life.

I think it was the basis for the show Wings.

That’s exactly what it reminded me of.

There was nothing there.

Luckily, we had been told ahead of time, “Go eat beforehand.” We didn’t get to go to the restaurant that was recommended to us because it was closed on Mondays. We did stop at the Armonk Country Kitchen. That was good. It was so delicious. If you’re ever in the area, you need to stop by, plus the house-watching is amazing. Just drive on the roads out there between Westport and wherever the hell we were.

The town and the houses looked like a mid-90s Diane Keaton romantic comedy.

It was adorable. I love that area. We could just pick up and move.

Also, had tens of millions of dollars to spend on a house. Don’t forget that part. There’s that.

I did some Googling of the houses we passed. Houses are a lot cheaper here in St. Louis. Let’s just say that.

As I always say, I move to another part of the country and it’s like, “That’s expensive.” Maybe we moved to a third-world country and then I see the stuff there. I’m like, “I think maybe we already live in a third-world country.”

I’m very proud of myself because I still got my prescribed runs for the week. I did 8 miles on Saturday and I did 5 miles on Sunday. I was very proud of myself. Yesterday, nothing because I was exhausted because I got home late again.

I did nothing the whole trip, but then I worked out yesterday. There’s that. What pray tell do you have in store for this episode? I know it’s a pretty light week. That’s why we’re babbling here.

That’s why we’re telling you all about our lives. No Dr. Jenn and no MetPro for this episode. Don’t worry, Angelo and Dr. Jenn will be back. We had crazy schedules. They had crazy schedules. It just did not happen. They will be back. Until then, we were also going to be talking about major changes that are occurring to the in-studio reservation process. That is going to be a huge discussion. There have been some new hires. We’re going to chat about that. We’ll talk about some updates to some beta tests that are happening. There are some articles we’re going to cover about a few things that are going on with instructors. They’ve been quiet too. I want to talk about what’s going on at the CES because I was super fascinated by it.

Also, our interview for this episode.

We cannot forget our very special interview. We are so excited. Do you want me to say who it is?

Yes, I do.

It’s Dr. Pooja Lakshmin. That name might sound familiar. It might not. I don’t know.

It sounds familiar because we talked to her.

I mean to the listeners. I know it sounds familiar.

That makes more sense.

If you’re wondering why that name sounds familiar, that is because she’s on Peloton’s Advisory Council and helped come up with the motivational languages that we ended the year with at Peloton, and there’s going to be more coming about these motivational languages in the month of January. We’re going to keep going with that theme.

She’s going to walk us through all that and explain the logic behind it, and how you can utilize it to improve your workouts.

Super exciting stuff. We so appreciate her time because she’s a busy lady.

Before we get to all that, shameless plugs, don’t forget we’re available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, iHeart, TuneIn. Wherever you find a podcast, you can find us. While you’re there, be sure and follow us so you never miss an episode. Maybe leave us a review. That’s always helpful. We appreciate that. You can also find us on Facebook, While you’re there, like the page and join the group. You can check out our Patreon,, where you can get all sorts of bonus content.

When the episodes get to us earlier, they get to you early and they arrive to you ad-free. You can also watch these episodes on YouTube. While you’re over there be sure and click the follow button as well. It says, “Do not click this.” Click it because you can’t. It’s like wet paint. You’re going to test it. You can watch all of these episodes and stare into my warm loving eyes. You can also sign up for our newsletter We’ll send you the links and the things like that. There’s all that. Let’s dig in. Shall we?

We shall.

We have all sorts of changes to the in-studio reservation process. These seem like good things.

They’re great things.

These are great things. We’re very happy about this. It will hopefully make things a little bit more equitable for all parties involved.

This is going to be amazing. Get this, guys. The first thing you need to know is they’re adding not one but two days to the studio. They’re going to be adding on Thursdays for live classes and they’re going to be adding on Mondays for live classes. From now on, Thursdays through Mondays, live classes. The best part about this is you now have limits.

The whole idea with the motivation languages was to give folks in the Peloton community a tool to use to reframe and bring some attention back onto themselves during this time of year when we're so focused on pouring into other… Click To Tweet

For all of you that have been asking, this is going to be the key to getting more people in the studio. There is going to be a limit. You can only take two classes per day. You can only take four classes per week. There’s no limit on modality. If you want to take two bike classes, great. If you want to take a bike class and a tread class, great. This is also very exciting news. They are going to be adding bootcamps in general and Pilates classes. Those are going to be taken live too. It’s super exciting.

That’s going to help lighten the onslaught because not only do you have more days, but you have more potential classes to sign up for too.

Exactly, and they are changing the day that you go in and sign up. This whole time, since they’ve been back, it’s been Mondays, noon Eastern. No more. Now Thursdays, noon Eastern. That’s when we’re going to see it come up from now on.

Any insight as to why the shift?

Yes. Apparently, lots of people are very busy at their jobs on Mondays. I guess through different testing. They have found that Thursday is a better day. Thursday is going to be a day for that. By the way, all of these changes are for PSNY and PSL, so London and New York both get all these changes.

Any insight as to if or how this affects the waitlist process?

No. We do not have any information on the waitlist. The way it was described to me is the process will be exactly the same except for there will be limits on booking. I did ask the question, “What is it going to look like if you hit your limit? What comes up on the screen?” I don’t have an answer for that yet, but as soon as I do, I will let you guys know.

I like to think of Robin Arzón wagging her finger at you.

That would be amazing. They should do that. I love that so much. This all takes place on Thursday, January 12th. It starts immediately. Let’s say you book four classes and then you could only take two for whatever reason, I don’t know what the process is to share with them why you were unable to take it, but once you have done that, you will then be able to take two more classes that way. We got to sit down and ask some questions with some Peloton spokespeople, and they were very clear to say that the problem they were trying to solve is more people wanted to take classes. The deal is if you look at this as supply and demand, the supply was far outweighed by demand.

It’s always going to at this point. I’m sure this helps. I’m not disparaging that, but I think it’s always going to be a land rush when they open up the scheduling on Thursdays now.

I also think that part of the reason these changes were being made is they’re doing this to balance or being able to do those direct-to-camera classes still that are being filmed and trying to meet that increased demand. We’ve talked about this before. Our thought is it’s never going to go back to seven days a week all day. That’s because they’re trying to still do those direct-to-camera structures.

They do need the studio empty so they can record some other things. I wouldn’t be surprised if sometimes they bring in famous people and they don’t want a bunch of people around.

It’s interesting because those special events like Cody LOL and things like that have been occurring on Thursdays. Now that they’re opening up on Thursdays, maybe there won’t be as many invite-only opportunities. I asked about the invite-only opportunities. One of the things that they said to me was people who had previously tried to get into the studio and were not able to get into the studio for whatever reason, they try to be proactive and make sure that those are the people that are getting to come in. My understanding is this is coming from Peloton is still a member-centric company. They want to do things to make sure that as many people are getting in the studio as possible.

That’s got to be a difficult line to walk because on the one hand, you have lots of people that come in from out of town and they don’t have as many opportunities because it’s difficult for them to get there. On the flip side, it’s not fair to say, “Anybody who lives within a 50-mile radius can go F themselves.” They don’t ever get to go to classes either. You’re trying to walk that line between you don’t want the people that, because of proximity, are maybe gobbling up a lot of inventory, and making it virtually impossible for the out-of-towners to ever attend either. There are a lot of variables there.

For those of you wondering how they’re going to count those classes, they count it by your email address. Whatever email you have booked with the studio, that’s the one they’re using to put your limits on. My understanding is you still can’t transfer classes. If you take a class and you book a class for your spouse, you’re not going to be able to just transfer it to them. Keep that in mind. You might get lucky. They might let you do that but do not assume that they will.

At any rate, this is all good news for people. We will see a little bit of an improvement in the number of people getting in. I hope that people see it that way. I’m sure there are still going to be problems. Let me be clear, this is not going to solve every single problem. There are going to be episodes released by the instructors. They’re going to do like a 101 series.

They’re going to be talking through little tips that you know because they’re very much aware that we all want to get into the studio. They’re letting the instructors tell us some of these things. We’re going to hear about the tips like, “Here’s what you need to know. Here’s how you can do it.” You’re going to be hearing it straight from the instructors, which is very smart on their part.

Peloton has a new vice president of products.

I can’t remember where this gentleman was from before. He is going to be leading growth, eCommerce, apps and partnership. Over on LinkedIn, he’s saying to feel free to send your product feedback and requests his way. Brent, be careful what you asked for.

You pour soul. I remember my first day. I’m going to change the world, but the world changed me.

Welcome to Peloton and enjoy your full inbox.

What does that mean exactly, vice president of products?

He’s leading the growth of products. Let’s look at the Guide for example. If you were like, “I wanted to count my reps,” which everybody did and they’ve added that. I know that. I’m just saying that as an example. That would be an example of something that he’s going to be leading the growth of. He’s trying to grow the products. It’s not clear if this means existing only or if we’re talking about potential products down the road. To our knowledge, there are no products that are in the pipeline.

We are looking at updates to all existing things like the app and things like that because that’s what they are focused on. They want to get their money back on track and that’s the best way to do that. I know there are people out there that keep saying there are going to be a ton of devices. With everything I’m hearing, that’s not happening so don’t count on that. If it’s an existing product, he’s saying, “Send me your ideas and feedback because I want to hear about that.”

Hop on over to LinkedIn and be like, “Dear Brent, please buy Tonal.”

That would be amazing.

Peloton has ended beta testing of something.

The microphone testing. This is part of the voice activation work that they were doing or voice searching. They said that throughout this testing, they’ve had almost 12,000 completed workouts and an average of 743 people working out each day, and an average of 7 workouts per tester. That’s pretty exciting. Since this is ending hopefully in the next 3 to 4 months, maybe we’ll see whatever changes this results in.

Get to it, Brent.

Brent’s like, “It’s day one. Calm down.”

We recorded this on day one. By the time you’re hearing this, it’s day three, so get your sh*t together, Brent.

Everybody else has started this year and they had to go, go, go.

Come on. We’re so tired of excuses. It’s all we’ve been hearing from you, Brent.

Stop by Barry’s office and see what he had to deal with on day one. It’s all in love.

Consumer Reports, your grandfather’s favorite magazine. I love Consumer Reports. They used to have a blog that was great called Consumerist, and then they got rid of it. It’s weird. It was not Consumer Reports and then they bought it and then they shut it down. It seems not a good business model for people that judge business models, but fair enough. I like the Consumerist. I wish it was still around. Anyway, Consumer Reports has reviewed both bikes and treads, and Peloton came at the top of both lists.

I want to be clear that the Tread was under non-folding treadmills because it doesn’t fold and that’s a separate category. It got to number one, and then the Bike came in number one. I believe this is the “regular” bike, not the Bike+.

It has it listed for $1,450.

I believe the Bike+ costs more than that. This is the original and it is still number one. That’s pretty cool.

Consumer Reports is reputable. They don’t take ads.

Can I just point out that the treadmill is the only one that got two arrows under ease of use for Peloton Tread? Look at that.

They don’t take ads so you know that they’re not influenced by potential advertising clients saying, “If you gave us a bad review, we’re going to pull money.” They’re never taking money. They’re completely supported by a subscription. That’s one of the perks of Consumer Reports. You know that they have integrity in that regard.

That’s the whole point. I’m glad it’s still like that.

That’s got to be difficult because I’m sure they could make so much money selling ads, but then they wouldn’t be as valuable because you would question their decisions and what their motivation is in some cases. This is also great to point out that as Peloton became super popular, it became cool to take a dump on Peloton to be like, “Consumer Reports says the Bike and Tread are your best bets.”

That includes taking their price into consideration. I just want to point that out.

On the bike, they do have Echelon at number four, so they don’t get everything right.

I don’t know. It’s number four. The funny thing about it is two exercise bikes that are not connected fitness are above Echelon. They’re cheaper than Echelon and they’re still better. I’m just saying.

That is true. You’d be better off getting something in a garage sale, like that thing that the monkeys ride in the opening credits.

I know exactly what you’re talking about.

Parade Magazine has an article about why you should consider signing up for the Peloton app even if you don’t have a Bike or a Tread.

TDLR, is that what the kids say? Get the Guide. That’s why. You could still get so much out of the Guide because you have access to all the classes from the Guide, and it only costs $295. That’s full price by the way. It’s still on sale on Amazon, 17% off. I’m just saying. You can still get a good deal. You only have to pay $12.95 to access those classes. If you have the Guide, you can get access to everything except the row. There are little things you don’t get. On the bike, you get Lanebreak. You’re not going to get that.

How would you use it?

Exactly. It’s pretty cool.

This is also an interesting article in terms of expanding its reach because Parade targets a little bit of an older demo, especially their print edition. I don’t know if this will be in their print edition. If it is, that would be interesting.

My parents read that. I also thought it was interesting that Peloton posted a series of reels on their social media where they had instructors responding to things that people think about Peloton. For example, your bike is going to become a clothes rack. My favorite was, “It’s just a bike.” I loved watching Matty’s response to that. He goes, “It hasn’t been that for quite a while.”

He’s like, “If it’s just a bike, I’m out of a job.”

Can you imagine Peloton without Matty at this point? I thought that was funny, but a couple of the other instructors did it as well. I think that this Parade Magazine article was probably something that was brought up for the same reason. They’re trying to make sure people know that it’s not just a bike company, which is great. They need to be doing that. That is important.

For so many people, that’s the first thing they think of when you say Peloton. People still use Peloton to mean bike.

I’ve been on a lot of podcasts lately where people have been asking me questions. One of the things that I have to start with is it’s not just a bike. I start with, “Here’s the huge breath of things that Peloton does now,” because people don’t know that. I do think that’s a big key that we need to get out there. I say we like I belong to the company.

We are stockholders. Your shares are valued in the tens of dollars.

It’s more like eight,

You have more than one.

That’s true.

Coming up after this, we will talk about the latest pregnant instructor who I’m sure you know by now.

How would you not?

Erica McLean has done it again. Robin Arzón is pregnant. That makes it sound like Erica McLean got Robin Arzón pregnant.

I think that’s fake news, Tom.

That is not how that occurred. She did make that prediction on this very show.

At different times and seasons in your life, you might have different motivation languages. Click To Tweet

I know there are lots of instructors that are in their 20s and 30s getting pregnant. Erica McLean has been right about a lot of things, not just 1 or 2. She called this long before there was a bump showing. We recorded with her before.

That episode aired in early December. We recorded about two weeks before that or maybe three.

It was sometime in November.

It was before Thanksgiving because we took off a week from recording interviews over Thanksgiving.

That’s right. I think it was during that week that we recorded. We were off for Thanksgiving break. I think that’s the week we recorded with her.

Well done, but well done to Robin. Not to steal her pregnant thunder.

It’s great. Congrats. She’s been very open about the fact that the fertility journey has not been a simple one. It makes sense that let’s go ahead and knock these out. However many kids we’re having, let’s boom, boom, boom. We don’t want to be waiting forever.

It has been a little bit.

I don’t know what the recommendations are or whatever treatments you do when it comes to having a baby without any kind of intervention whatsoever. They used to say to wait at least nine months before you start trying again. I have no idea if there are some guidelines like that these days. I have no idea. My last experience with this was sixteen years ago so I have no idea. The world has changed so much.

Mine was almost 18 or 19 years ago. It has been a bit.

I feel ancient right now.

That’s going to get worse before it gets better. Also, it’s not going to get better. She was also featured prominently in People Magazine.

She made her announcement on Live with Kelly and Ryan. She had said that a big announcement is coming, so we made sure to tell everybody about that. The announcement came out and then that same day, she was all over People Magazine showing her ultrasound pictures with her husband and her daughter, Athena. They were all three in there. Those are some detailed ultrasound pictures. Things have changed so much. Look at that. They’re practically 8x10s.

The old ones, I was always like, “I can’t see a thing.” They’re like Magic Eye. I can’t do Magic Eye either. I’m like the guy on Seinfeld.

This says Athena is 22 months old. It’s almost two years. She had that baby two years ago?

I thought it had been a couple of years.

I thought it was more like 16 or 17 months and she was just a tall baby.

Anyway, I can’t see Magic Eye and I can’t see the sonogram pictures. I’m always like, “If you say there’s a baby in there, I’ll take your word for it.”

There’s no missing that baby.

Now they’re all 3D. These kids are having 3D babies these days.

I guess they don’t need that Magic Eye either.

I guess not. Whenever I see baby announcements in People Magazine, the first thing I think is college is paid for.

Good for them.

Put it in a trust fund and let it compound. College is paid for.

That’s fantastic. While we’re talking about this, her new baby book comes out in March too. Strong Baby is what it’s called. The reason I mentioned that is I happened to see it over on social media. I thought I took a picture of it but apparently, I didn’t. She said on Twitter about the picture. She was like, “Can you name the instructors that are in this picture?” I thought that was interesting because I didn’t realize there were instructors, but once she pointed it out, you can’t freaking miss it. Of course, it’s the instructors. Tom is pulling up the Twitters right now. We will show you, for those of you watching YouTube, all the different instructors that are on the page.

Here we go, “Together, More Is Possible.”

That’s what it’s called. In this particular picture, it says, “Do you recognize any of the instructors featured on this page from Strong Baby?” It comes out on 2/21. “Have you ordered your pre-copy yet?” That is Matty to the left of Robin and Athena. Do you see the rainbow on his pants? That is Matty. To the left of Matty is Jess King. The person to the right of Robin, I feel like that’s Tunde. The person to the left of Jess King, I don’t know who that is. I want to say Kirsten Ferguson, but it doesn’t feel right. To the left of whoever that is, that’s Ally Love.

I recognize that one.

I don’t know who the two guys on the left of Ally Love are. I have no clue.

I think it’s probably John Foley. No, I second-thought.

Isn’t that fascinating that she added them in? That’s great. I love that so much. That made me happy to see.

Bradley Rose was featured on SL stands for Sheer Luxe. It’s very fancy.

I was wondering. It looks like Sports Illustrated, like the look of it. I didn’t know what this was except there are men instead of women.

They have an SL for her as well. They have one for boys and one for girls.

This is a little tiny snippet. He talks about being a stroke survivor and that health is his priority, and that every year he tries to be 1% better than the previous year, whether it’s his happiness, physicality or self-care. If he does more than that, awesome. Goals are about moving forward. Even a small step is a step. He uses supplements to support brain health, which is great.

We didn’t say that this article was about the fitness pros sharing their 2023 well-being goals, which I guess is a more appropriate way to say New Year’s resolutions.

I would agree. It’s pretty cool that he got featured there. Congrats to all the women and the men who like to look at Bradley Rose.

All points in between.

The latest artist series features someone we’ve heard of. We’re very excited about the fact that there’s still music out there that we know.

It’s only 40 years old.

It’s Al Jolson, ladies and gentlemen. No, it’s Duran Duran.

It was so great. I took an outdoor run with Susie Chan. I took two. I took one with Matty Maggiacomo as well, but this particular one was for Duran Duran. I know they have a lot of hits.

I think people lose sight of how many hits they have.

I had because 30 minutes went by so fast and it was so refreshing to know every song.

Hungry like the Wolf, Rio, Girls on Film.

All of those, she played. Every single one.

A View to a Kill, Ordinary World.

I don’t know if she played that.

There’s a bunch. Did I say The Reflex?

You did not but she played that. It was great. I highly recommend it. People are so stoked about this, but if you haven’t or if you’re not sure about it for whatever reason, maybe you’re young and you’re like, “Who’s Duran Duran?” Give it a try. It’s surprisingly timeless. It holds up well. Susie was saying she went back and watched some of the old videos because she has associated so much with watching the videos or whatever when she was growing up.

This was the first big act that MTV broke because when MTV first started, the record labels were like, “Send us your videos and we’ll play them.” They were like, “No, you need to pay for this.” They were like, “How about go F yourself?” They just started playing the bands that would send them the things for free. Duran Duran went out and spent a bunch of money on getting videos made and they sent them to MTV. They blew up and then the radio had to play catch up. Normally, it would be a hit on the radio and then move to MTV. It was getting so much play on MTV that the people started calling the radio stations asking for it, and they didn’t have a choice.

I didn’t know about all that, but the videos were a lot of fun to watch back then. That was a whole thing. You watch music videos like that. We all did that.

It was a whole thing because they had the version they showed on MTV, and then they had the version they showed in cinemas.

It’s interesting that you say that because, in Girls on Film, Susie Chan was talking about the fact that it was too risque.

That’s because there were boobs in it.

They actually banned it in the UK. Did you know that they banned the video in the UK? There were boobs in it, but the MTV version actually tamed it down.

On MTV, you couldn’t see boobs. It was a very sexual video but in the uncut version, it’s flat-out boobs.

I haven’t watched any of these recently so I don’t know. Susie Chan said that she was surprised because she went back to watch the original uncut. She was like, “It’s so tame by today’s standards.” It’s funny how things change over time.

It’s like Elvis shaking his hips. Shoot them from the waist up.

It was a lot of fun. If you haven’t gotten a chance to take the classes, please do. Don’t sleep on that outdoor run. That was a blast. Susie is so fun to run with.

CES had a whole bunch of new health-tracking fancy devices.

There were a lot of neat things on here. One of the ones that stood out to me was Evie. It’s a smart ring. People with a uterus will soon be able to measure their metrics and manage their menstrual health with one ring. I know Oura Ring has been out there for a while, but get this. Evie is going to be the first smart ring that is considered a medical device. It’s going to come out and cost under $300 with no added monthly subscription fees. Oura Ring, watch out. Evie is on the way.

This cyclist thing is so cool. This device can be connected to accessories like sunglasses and bike handle grips. It connects to an app on your smartphone and it gives you a complete assessment that’s going to assist with your training and improving it. It helps with sports injury prevention and warns of abnormal physiological conditions like heat exhaustion. It helps keep the user aware of their health status while they’re being active.

People cannot purchase these directly, but the technology is going to be available for licensing for companies in the United States that create products such as smart sunglasses, sports accessories or bicycles. This is called ICE Sportswear. There are a lot of different things. There’s one that was like a camera that you can put on the front of your bike. There is this other new wearable. There is a new sleep mask that changes the way you sleep. There’s one that’s called Nowatch, a smartwatch that’s not a watch. It’s a screenless watch that offers real-time feedback about movement, sleep and stress. I’m like, “Isn’t that a WHOOP?”

WHOOP is on your wrist but it looks more like a watch.

I thought that was interesting. You do need a subscription for that one. All kinds of new cool things are coming out.

It's all about the conversation you're having with yourself, the mapping that you're doing for yourself, the narrative that you're creating. Click To Tweet

Zero wheel looks ridiculous.

I’m a little confused about this. They’ve had this ab wheel thing forever. This is like a connected fitness one. Do you guys remember the ab wheel? It says, “Zero wheel is a lightweight and portable exercise wheel that can be used for core exercises. It can be programmed in four different modes using an electric motor that can adjust resistance in multiple directions.” It’s just an ab wheel. I’m not sure if this one needs to be reinvented.

It’s reinventing the ab wheel.

It’s another indoor cycle training thing, which there are a million of those.

Do we need more?

I don’t think we do. This one simulates hills. I’m sure a lot of those do that.

Any Peloton employees tuning in are like, “You don’t need another one. Stop it.”

This is the kind that you take like your road bike and put on the trainer. That’s what I mean by that.

There are still a lot of those too.

There have been tons of them. I thought it was interesting to cover CES and see all that. I like to go through and see all the cool stuff they have.

There are two new programs for the Guide.

They dropped it and one of them is called Straight to the Core. The second one is The Stronger You with Ben. Ben’s is called The Stronger You, and Rebecca’s is called Straight to the Core. They both dropped. For those of you that are like, I don’t have a Guide, it’s okay. Give it seven weeks, it’ll be out. Chill out or get a Guide. It’s only $295.

Unless you live in Tampa.

It’s only a couple of days or three. Congrats to Ben and Rebecca.

Finally, only one birthday on January 19th. It’s Cliff Dwenger.

Happy birthday, Cliff.

Happy birthday. After this, we will talk to Dr. Pooja Lakshmin about motivational languages and how they can help you utilize your Peloton even better.

Joining us is Dr. Pooja Lakshmin. She is a board-certified psychiatrist, New York Times contributor, medical advisor to Peloton, and a leading voice at the intersection of mental health and gender. She maintains an active private practice where she treats women struggling with burnout, perfectionism, and disillusionment, as well as clinical conditions like depression and anxiety. Her book, Real Self-Care, is an answer to the juice cleanses, the gratitude lists, and the bubble baths. She partnered with Peloton to create the five motivational languages. She’s here with us to discuss them.

Crystal and Tom, it’s a pleasure to be here.

We are so happy to have you here. Thank you so much for taking the time.

After reading all that, my first question is why are you talking to us?

She is way overqualified.

Maybe we can skip ahead a little bit. I’m a psychiatrist. I do the brain. I’m not a fitness person. I’m terrible at exercise, to be completely frank. When Peloton reached out to me to partner with them, I was like, “Why are they reaching out to me?” Once I got going working with Peloton, immediately without prompting, all of my patients started being like, “I love doing my Peloton. It has helped me so much.” This was during the pandemic too. Everyone is like, “My Peloton was my lifesaver. It helped me in mental health so much.” It’s funny how synchronicity happened in that way. The universe works in unexpected ways.

It also says no matter what level you’re at, you can have that impostor syndrome. Here you are, this amazing woman who has all these accreditation and you’re like, “Why me?” I am curious though about how the idea for the five motivational languages came about. Can you share that with us?

Stepping back, as a psychiatrist and working in mental health for everybody, not even just women, this time of year is so busy and frenzied. I like to say that the volume is so high. All of us are constantly giving and giving to everybody else. The whole idea with the motivational languages was to give folks in the Peloton community a tool to use to reframe and bring some attention back onto themselves during this time of year when we’re so focused on pouring into other people.

From my standpoint, in psychiatry, we’re always wanting to focus on our why. What is the reason behind the responsibilities, tasks, and activities that you ultimately decide to spend your time on? When it comes to moving your body, exercising, or whatever we decide to call it, understanding why it’s important to you is powerful in terms of being able to stick with that consistent habit when the volume of all of your other responsibilities gets turned up so high. From a resource and service standpoint, it felt like it was something that would be a nice tool for people to have in their toolboxes. With the Peloton instructors who were so fantastic and compelling, having those quotes from them, and being able to engage with a familiar face also helps.

For people who may not have all the motivational languages memorized yet, can you share with us what they are?

There are five different motivational languages. It’s a little bit of a play on the love languages, which a lot of folks are familiar with. For the motivation languages, we split them up into five different categories. 1) Having fun, 2) Achieving your goals, 3) Building community, 4) Positive affirmations, and then 5) What we call tough love. We know in the Peloton community that a lot of folks appreciate that. It is a motivator.

You’ll notice that they’re all quite different, and that’s important. That’s on purpose because each person is going to have a particular motivational language that sparks and fills you up. It’s also important to note that at different times in your life and different seasons of your life, you might have different motivational languages. It’s not something that’s static. You might find that depending on your mood too. There might be something that strikes your fancy. You might fall into a different category. It’s not something that you have to pick one and you’re stuck with that forever.

That’s a good point. I always think about the quintessential motivation factor. In sports, it’s like this coach who belittles you until you finally decide to succeed. People will say that doesn’t work. I hate that kind of coaching. It’s why I hate sports to this day because it’s what I kept getting. Clearly, it must work for some people or they wouldn’t keep doing it. The problem is it’s not going to work for everyone. For a lot of people, it’s going to alienate them.

That’s a good point. When we were conceptualizing this, they all come from the backbone of boundaries and taking time for yourself. That underlies all of these things, especially when it comes to the holidays. As we were talking about, we are giving to everybody else. How do you set aside time for yourself? Each of these five motivational languages is your pathway into that. For some folks, it is going to be that strong language that is prescriptive and declarative that you need that external motivator. For other folks, it’s going to be things like being in the community, tuning in to this show, or being in the Peloton Facebook group.

As a physician, there’s a very active Peloton Women Physicians Facebook group. It’s a community. People are sharing rides. There’s LOL Cody. Part of the fun is to be doing it with other people. On the other side, there are folks that are like, “My Peloton time is my me time. It’s also my time to not think about anything else. I can completely let go. I can listen to music. I can laugh at Cody. It’s a time when it doesn’t matter. I can do whatever I want.” I see this in my practice. It’s interesting and as a psychiatrist, I find it fascinating how motivation is so different across the spectrum. You can’t put a label on it as much.

To that point, I feel like when I found Peloton, it was such a life-changing thing for me. I had never found an exercise that I could do that I enjoyed, that engaged me, and that I kept coming back to. When I was reviewing the motivational languages, I identified with all of them. If I had to pick what’s the one that speaks to me the most, it is having fun. If I didn’t have fun, I wouldn’t keep coming back to it.

There are days that I experience all of them. There are days I need tough love. There are days that I want to engage with the community. They’re what keeps me going. It’s interesting how they can all come from the same place, but they can all affect us differently. How did you relate these back to the five love languages? Did you think about where those started to think about the five motivational languages or was it using that as a template?

It was more using it as a template like this is a structure that people understand. There’s this mental model that’s already out there. Especially when you’re looking at how to give people tools that are easily accessible in our busy chaotic lives, it is so much easier to do it based on something that folks already understand. We thought that it would be nice to use this framework that’s already there because then there’s one less hurdle for you in terms of thinking of it as a psychological tool.

I’m always curious when you come up with things like this. Do you start with a number? Since it was five love languages, were you like, “We need to have five.” Did you map them out and be like, “We got five of these things.”

We were focused on making sure that we were capturing all of the different ways that people can be motivated. We were making sure that each of these different buckets spoke to the type of personality or lens that was going to be brought. It was less about a specific number and more about making sure that we were including all of the different whys that people can use to come to Peloton. They could see themselves in this framework, easily come to it, and use it as a tool that’s fun.

How do you anticipate a Peloton member using them? Is it more an identification thing of like, “That’s who I am,” or “That’s what works for me.” Is there a way to weaponize this information in a good way?

All of this comes back to the internal. Our minds are so powerful. The first step is there’s this framework. You already understand it because you know the five love languages. You’re now thinking of it in terms of Peloton, moving your body, and exercise. You are understanding that this time of year, it is important for you to fill your own cup.

If you’re in the Peloton community and this is one way that you know you fill your cup, here’s this mental model that you can use with the motivation languages. As Crystal was talking about, you look at it and you’re like, “I fit all of these,” but there are some days that you love being part of the community. There are some days when you’re looking at your app and you’re like, “I want to make sure that I get a workout in today because I love my streak.” You’re fitting into that performance that is outcome-based.

Maybe there’s another day when you’re like, “I do want some tough love.” Putting a label on things gives you an internal narrative that then connects the dots for yourself. Mentally, it’s all about the conversation you’re having with yourself, the mapping that you’re doing for yourself, and the narrative that you’re creating. With the motivation languages, you’re giving yourself that. I don’t know if that makes sense. It’s a roundabout answer.

It gives you the vocabulary. On a day where maybe you’re not feeling it, you’re like, “I need to have fun today.” If you have 4 or 5 of those days in a row, you’re like, “Maybe I need somebody to kick me in the shape.” If you have 30 days of those days in a row, you probably should see a professional.

That feels different than saying, “I need to work out today.”

It’s interesting how labeling the conversation in your head with that proper vocabulary can change the context and the dynamic of how you see it.

It would also help you feel less blaming yourself for not feeling it. It’s like, “This is a day when I need X,” and not, “I’m an awful person for not wanting to do this today.” I don’t want to name any names because I would hate to embarrass Crystal.

I am a blamer. “Why did you not do this today?” I’m that person, so it does genuinely help me. I want to go back to when you were talking earlier about how Peloton contacted you to be part of the advisory board. You said you felt why you? What made you decide ultimately this was a good step or a good fit for you?

I’ll be transparent. I don’t partner with many brands. It took me six months to decide to say yes. I’m not a fitness person. I did a lot of research on my own about Peloton. I was talking to friends and talking to colleagues. I mentioned that serendipitously, my patients started mentioning Peloton in our therapy sessions even though they had no idea that Peloton had reached out to me.

I realized that Peloton is so much more than a fitness app or a bike company. Peloton is this community and lifestyle. There are people in the Peloton community who get something real from Peloton. At least from where I sit in women’s mental health as a non-fitness person, it almost feels like the fitness aspect of Peloton is secondary. I know that’s not true for everybody, but from where I sit, it gives so much more outside of the health benefits of exercise. In that six-month period that I was doing my own research of deciding whether to partner with Peloton, I was like, “This is a real thing.” That’s why.

It was exciting for me to get to be the first and only psychiatrist that is part of the Health and Wellness Council to be able to help Peloton figure out how to bring mental health into the conversations more in the community, and also how to engage members who might be intimidated by the fitness aspect of Peloton. That’s where I live. One of the blogs that I wrote for the output was about being at the bottom of a leaderboard. I was like, “That is me.”

Statistically speaking, half of the people will be at the bottom half of the leaderboard.

I’m at the very bottom.

So am I. I feel it. I gave up on that a long time ago. I stopped focusing on that because of all these other things that motivate me. It stopped being important. To your point, that’s a huge thing. When I first started Peloton, I was very competitive. I had spreadsheets and I was looking at my output. I was intense about all of that. Now I’m like, “I moved today and I’m better than I was yesterday because I did that.” That’s what matters, not the competition anymore. For some people, it’s still the competition, and I’m not judging that. I’m saying, for me, that was a nice change to be able to pivot.

One of the nice things too is that why can change in the different seasons of your life. There might be another phase in your life when maybe you’re training for a race or something like that where you’re back into that competitive phase. I had a baby six months ago.


Thank you. I love the app. I love that you can do a ten-minute stretch. You can make it whatever works for you. It’s so much more than the bike, the tread or the row or rower.

I’m also curious. You’ve done a lot with the topics of mental health and women. I’m curious if you would be comfortable telling us a little bit about your journey, and how these topics became such a central part of your life.

I could talk about that for the whole day. I’m going to condense it. I’ll spare you my monologue. As a South-Asian woman growing up, my parents were immigrants. I was a Women’s Studies major in college. I’ve always been interested in and focused on gender. When I went to medical school, I originally thought that I would be an OBGYN. I did that as my first rotation and I hated being in the OR. I wanted to talk to my patients. On all my rotations, I would be the person in the room being like, “Tell me about your family. What do you guys do for fun? I want to hear all the drama of what’s going on with your mother-in-law,” and all of this other stuff. When I got to my psychiatry rotation, I was allowed to do that. That was the work.

They were no longer giving you the side eye.

There were all these other people that were very interested in the same things and were like, “This is great.” I went into psychiatry and found that the field of women’s mental health is still developing. The first American Psychiatric Association’s Textbook of Women’s Reproductive Mental Health came out this 2022.

That’s insane.

It is bananas. One of my partners at Gemma, which is the company that I founded in 2020, Dr. Lucy Hutner is one of the lead authors of that textbook. We are all in this field. We’re all like, “How is this not something that is part of the conversation? Why is this not given more attention, whether it’s things like mental health during pregnancy, postpartum, perimenopause or menopause?” It’s such a vast area that has been underserved. I’m a psychiatrist. I take care of patients, but I’m also an activist. My writing is where I get to be on my soapbox and rage at the machine. That’s one of the reasons too why working with Peloton is so great. I feel like they get the fact that we need more in this women’s mental health space.

I’m also curious why you think it’s important to separate women’s mental health from men’s mental health. Is there something that’s obvious or different about how men and women process things?

There are two pieces to that. It’s a controversial topic. The way that I think about it is twofold. One, the hormones are different for women. We know that the act of carrying a fetus causes huge changes in hormones like estrogen and progesterone. Going through menopause or having a period, all those things impact people who identify as women. There’s biology. The main takeaway from that lens of it is that the research is so scant, like the dearth of research. That’s not an accident that the research is scant on how women would feel. There’s biology, but then the other piece of it is the whole social aspect.

That’s where my book comes in, Real Self-Care. It comes out in March 2023. It’s called Real Self-Care: A Transformative Program for Redefining Wellness (Crystals, Cleanses, and Bubble Baths Not Included) That’s all about the way that our social structures and our systems make it so much more difficult for women to take care of themselves, and to do real self-care. If you don’t have affordable childcare, paid parental leave, or health insurance that you can afford, then how are you supposed to do any of this stuff? A bubble bath is not going to fix any of this. Both of those things are true. Sometimes, that conversation about how is it different for women can get polarized.

The last thing I’ll say on that is that people who identify as men also need to be part of this equation too. It isn’t just women. We need men to be part of this solution. We need people across the whole gender spectrum to be part of the solutions to rise up and hold our lawmakers accountable. That’s the real answer. In the book, what I do is provide a new framework for real self-care. It’s not just a bubble bath. It’s not just going to yoga. It’s this internal process. It’s understanding how you make decisions. Coming back to Peloton and motivation, it is getting clear to yourself what matters to you and how you spend your time. One person’s yoga class can be completely performative. Another person’s yoga class could be nourishing. It takes more self-reflection.

You really can just make Peloton whatever works for you. Click To Tweet

Instead of hopping from thing to thing without even understanding why you’re doing it, you’re having some understanding as to why you’re motivated to try that and why that helps or doesn’t help. I like that. We’re not all created equal.

There’s no one-size solution. When you’re hopping from thing to thing and you don’t understand your motivation, that’s when it feels like a chore. That’s when it’s another thing on your to-do list that you feel guilty that you never got to. It all fits together. It’s so great to see folks like you who are out here championing the cause of spending time, moving your body, and taking care of yourself.

That has made a difference in my happiness level. It has changed my life. Tom doesn’t like to exercise, but he does do strength training now. He does see a benefit from it even though he doesn’t like to do it.

I tried to read the five languages. The first one was to have fun. I was like, “No. Next.”

He’s more of a, “I do it because I like the outcome,” than anything else. At least, he’s doing it. I want to be respectful of your time. It’s been right at 30 minutes. Do we have time for one more question or do you want to wrap this up?

We can do one more.

I’m curious about Gemma and what prompted you to found that. I wanted to give you an opportunity to tell people a little bit more about it as well. I think it’s a cool thing.

Gemma came out of the conversations that I was having on Instagram. I started this Instagram account in about 2018 and found that there are tons of influencers out there that are giving lots of advice but have no professional credentials. I thought there needs to be a space to get actual evidence-based advice about women’s mental health.

I founded Gemma in 2020. Over the past couple of years, we have been building from the ground up in terms of providing courses on women’s mental health in an accessible way. This 2022, we did email classes. We have a WhatsApp community. We’re focused on not just pregnancy and postpartum parenting but the whole span of all of the different ways that women are coming up against these different systems, and having to navigate and negotiate in their relationships, families and workplaces. We have a strong focus on impact and equity.

We launched a beta membership model. In the new year, we have a whole bunch of new programs coming out. Gemma is a place where we’re envisioning ourselves as being the source of community that is facilitated by actual psychiatrists, physicians and other experts. It’s not just like joining a Facebook group where there’s no structure. We’re very tools-focused. It’s an alternative to a bubble bath or essential oil. Hopefully, you guys don’t get hate mail.

I don’t think so. In all seriousness. I don’t see how anybody could be angry about actionable tools. Thank you so much for your time.

Before we let you go, let everybody know where they can find you and your stuff.

I’m on Instagram. My handle is @PoojaLakshmin. My website is Gemma is One last time, my book that comes out on March 14th, 2023 is called Real Self-Care. You can pre-order it already. Thank you so much. It was such a pleasure to talk.

Thank you and likewise.

I guess that brings this episode to a close. Until next time, where can people find you?

People can find me on Facebook at They can find me on Instagram, Twitter, and the Peloton leaderboard @ClipOutCrystal.

You can find me on Twitter @RogerQBert or Facebook at You can find the show online on While you’re there, like the page and join the group. Of course, don’t forget our YouTube channel at That’s it for this one. Thanks for tuning in. Until next time, keep pedaling and rowing and running.


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About Dr. Pooja Lakshmin MD

TCO 292 | Motivation LanguageIn 2016, I finished my psychiatry residency training and joined the faculty at George Washington University School of Medicine, where I’m a clinical supervisor in the Five Trimesters Perinatal Psychiatry Clinic.

I have a private practice where I apply integrative approach to taking care of women suffering from maternal mental health conditions like postpartum depression and anxiety, as well as non-moms who are dealing with depression, anxiety, burnout and identity loss. I write regularly for The New York Times and am a medical advisor to Peloton.

In 2020, frustrated by the systemic forces that thwart women as well as the gaps in the mental health system, I founded Gemma, a physician-guided women’s mental health community, centering impact and equity. In 2022, my colleagues Dr. Kali Cyrus MD MPH and Dr. Lucy Hutner MD joined the leadership team of Gemma.

My first book, Real Self-Care: A Transformative Program for Redefining Wellness (Crystals, Cleanses, and Bubble Baths Not Included), is being published by Penguin Life in March, and is available for pre-order now.

I live in Austin Texas with my partner Justin, our son, and our two cats, Kitty and Fifi.


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