Another day, another set of exciting news about Peloton. In particular, talk is going around town about a rower and a second less-expensive treadmill on the way. There are also rumors about what’s going over on the OPP along with some new instructors and showrooms. Crystal and Tom O’Keefe discuss all of this and the changes happening to the show in this episode. Plus, they have Ann Kingman over at the show to talk about Tonal – what it does and doesn’t do, and how it works with her bike. Tune in for more!
Listen to the podcast here:
A Rower And A Second Tread Are On The Way Plus We Talk to Ann Kingman
You’re not in a good mood. I will try to get you in a good mood.
I’ve certainly been in a better mood.
We’ll explain to people. She got stuck at work. We were recording this on Thursday afternoon. The goal was to get this done so she could do the Billy Joel Ride Live with Jenn Sherman and the Billy Joel Ride starts in nine minutes.
Apparently, that’s not happening.
The news will be very short and will be shameless plugs, there’s an Apple, here’s a bunch of stuff and have a nice day. Here’s an interview out.
No, we committed to this. We’re doing this. I can take it on demand. I’m trying.
You’re trying to keep a good mindset about it which is nice. You know how much I love the Billy Joel. What if I sat there and sang Billy Joel to you while you rode?
You have to go to a movie so you won’t need that either.
I do look like Billy Joel, like old fat Billy Joel, not young Billy Joel. It’s like sneakers in a suit coat. He’s standing out of a stupid New York holding a trumpet, even though he is a piano player. They never understood that one.
What have you got in store for people?
There’s a lot. Even by Peloton standards, it’s a lot. We are going to talk about rumors that are abounding about Peloton, what’s going on over on the OPP and some changes that are happening to the show. We have Peloton commercials to discuss. We’re going to pick the new The Clip Out Challenge. There are articles to talk about, new instructors and showrooms. It’s all over the place.
Before we get to all that. Shameless plugs, don’t forget that we’re available on Apple Podcasts. You can go there and subscribe. Wherever you’re getting your podcast from, you should subscribe so you don’t miss an episode. They’re waiting for you.
We are on Facebook.com/theclipout. You can go there, like the page, join the group and stay up-to-date on things. You can communicate with us and other readers. That’s always fun. Our website is theclipout.com, where you can sign up for our newsletter so you can get the show notes delivered right into your inbox. If there’s a video link and you don’t want to scroll through the Facebook page, find it and it will come right to you. While you’re on Facebook, you could leave a review for us. We have a new review. This is from Annie_Bee. She says, “Keeping up-to-date with Peloton is fun, easy and entertaining with Crystal and Tom. Thanks for providing this awesome podcast y’all.”
Thank you, Annie. That was a sweet review.
I think we’ve done all the damage we can do there. Let’s dig in, shall we?
Bloomberg was dropping some info bombs on people out of the blue. As you process that one, you’re like, “Here’s another one.”
If you missed it, Peloton to sell a cheaper treadmill and a rowing machine in 2020. There’s also rumor of Fire TV apps.
Fire is Amazon.
Apple TV and Apple Watch app, that’s what the other one was. All of that to happen in 2020. Here’s the thing that is important is the “source.”
That was fascinating.
They were like, “People familiar with the situation.” Who is over there snitching at Peloton because I know it’s not the freaking Prophet? The Prophet would have told me.
They better have.
It’s Bloomberg. They’re not small. They’re not the rumor mill.
It’s not some little rinky-dink website where you’re like, “Really?”
I’m baffled by this and then I have to address this. It’s very important, a cheaper treadmill. People who are freaking out over cheaper. Let’s talk about that. Cheaper does not mean less quality. Cheaper does not mean that it’s what you want for what you’re using. What it could mean and we don’t know because none of this has been confirmed by Peloton. It could be a smaller footprint and it’s specifically lighter, has a smaller screen and things like that. Maybe there are no slats for homes that can’t take a big huge piece of machinery like the current Tread is.
Especially as they’re trying to roll out into foreign markets. People have a lot less of a footprint in their home for an item like that.
I don’t know what it means but I want to put that out there because the gut reaction was, “Are you kidding me?”
This is BS or why are they putting out junk?
Peloton is not putting out junk. That’s another thing. That was in response to some of the posts that I’ve seen. I shouldn’t go there. They upset me more.
A lot of companies have products that are similar but at different price points like cars.
They absolutely do. The big concern is what is going to differentiate them then because there’s already a ton of treadmills out on the market. If it’s going to be cheaper and it’s not going to have all the bells and whistles, then why buy Peloton Tread and that’s cheaper.
Let me answer your question for you.
I know the answer but you go ahead.
If you’ve already got a bike or a subscriber, if you already like the service that they’re providing you from a content standpoint, but maybe $4,000 is a little steep to drop on a treadmill that maybe this price point is more appealing to you.
Yes, and that could be. The point being there are other treadmills that are already out there. You don’t need a Peloton treadmill.
They don’t network and give you the metrics and it’s not baked in in the same way.
Of course not but I’m telling you what the naysayers say.
Don’t buy one, naysayer.
There’s a contingent of people who are frustrated and are looking for Peloton to fail. You always have that. Regardless, this confirms what we already knew that the Rower is coming, but how can you confirm it when we don’t know the sources?
That’s a fair point but Peloton’s silence on the issue is deafening.
They were also silent about the mirror issue and they did not buy the Mirror.
This one feels different than that. I get not addressing every rumor about who they may or may not acquire. There also might be problems legally from the SEC standpoint on addressing things like that. If you say no to things that are untrue and then someone floats one and you don’t say no, the fact you said yes and that could be a problem.
Shares were up, so prices were up. There’s that.
This one feels different than a rumor.
I don’t think it’s a rumor. I do think it’s true and there are a couple of reasons. One, I’ve been hearing about the Rower for a very long time now. I’ve heard about the tread. I’ve heard the possibility of it. I didn’t hear that from as many sources though. The Rower is happening. There are too many people I’ve heard it from. The other thing that makes me think this is true is that all of the financial advisors have it in their notes. They are going by this as fact. They trust Bloomberg enough to know that it’s a fact. What was the other thing though? You were talking about Stifel Nicolaus.
Stifel Nicolaus sent out a report that recapping what’s going on with Peloton since there was a lot of major news about them and their stock was rebounding. It addressed three key points. The first was the treadmill and rowing machine, apps for Fire TV and Apple Watch, which we’ve discussed. I don’t think we’ve seen this anywhere else but in this report, it says that Peloton is doing very well on Google Trends. The report says, “Given Peloton ramps, sales and marketing spending ahead of the holiday season, Google query volume for Peloton trends tends to trend up beginning in November. Early in the holiday season, relative search volume through the first two weeks of November for Peloton is up nearly 120% year to year.”
That’s an interesting indicator.
It says this year the company is highlighting in its marketing campaign for the first time the $58 per month price point for the bike with financing. Additionally, the company’s home trial program, which launched on September 12th which allows first-time bike purchasers to try it risk-free. It is based on midpoint guidance for fiscal quarter two and churns rate expectations. They believe the company expects approximately 140,000 gross adds in the quarter versus 90,000 gross adds in last year’s December quarter. That means new subscribers, not advertisements. They’re expecting to do 140,000 new subscribers before the end of the year instead of the 90,000 which they did last year, which was a ton.
That’s a 55% increase.
We didn’t put it in our show notes as something to talk about, but there’s one of those ambulance chasing lawyers. I should be careful so we don’t get sued by them too. Going around saying, “The stock didn’t come out at the right price. Do you want to sue Peloton?” It’s a very common thing for these companies to do something like this but I also think that it got a lot harder.
It doesn’t matter though because until the price is where they said it would be. The IPO was at 29. Even though their stock rebounded, it rebounded to where it started the morning after the IPO was done. We’re still not back at what the IPO price was.
We’re not but its gaining ground based on this news.
I’m just saying if they don’t have a leg to stand on the first place, but they would still have one is my point.
You’ve got a nice email this week from Peloton.
It is a beautiful little card. Do you want to tell them what they were celebrating?
They were celebrating the OPP reaching 200,000 members. When you got your bike, there were 8,000.
That is crazy. Three years to go from 8,000 to 200,000 and growing. They posted a video which, of course, if you have the newsletter, you will get in your inbox if you didn’t see it already out there on Peloton’s Facebook page. All the instructors are saying congratulations to the members and how much they appreciate us and stuff. It’s very cool.
We should talk right now about some changes to the show. Fear not, there won’t be anything too radical, but we made some changes behind the scenes, which will have a slight impact on things that are front to facing.
The big thing is we’re not going to be with our podcast hosts anymore. We moved to a new podcast host.
We had been with a company called Acast. The reason we selected them was because they don’t charge you to host your podcast. Most services charge you for that and it’s not an inexpensive undertaking. The more downloads you get, the more money they charge you. Typically, it is how that works. They do not charge you, but how they make their money is they insert ads into the show and sometimes wildly inappropriate ads.
We’ve had reports of ads in other languages about products that they had no idea about. Stuff that made no sense for the audience.
We have no real control over what products were going to be in it. Sometimes we had no control over what language they were going to be in.
They literally told us nothing. We had no control over any of it.
We reached a point where we’re big enough now, where we can undertake that. That means we’ll have our own ads there.
Peloton Rower: Tempo running is about getting to a speed that’s hard for you and you do it for a longer period of time.
You will no longer have ads that are completely irrelevant. You will now have ads that are relevant to you as an audience.
What this means is we have more control over what ads are in the show. We get to curate them and we get to handpick things that we think will have some interest to you or have a greater likelihood of being interesting to you.
It is our first collaboration.
It’s a big one, it is Tonal.
Just so you know, the interview we’re doing is from Ann Kingman. She reached out because she had a Peloton and a Tonal. We interviewed her and since that interview, Tonal has reached out and said, “We would like to work with you to talk to your audience about Tonal.”
The interview is coming up. She talks a lot about what Tonal does and doesn’t do and how it works in concert with her Bike. If you don’t know, it was recorded weeks before we talked to Tonal. It’s not like all of a sudden we’ve turned it into an infomercial. It’s the way things landed. Please take that with a grain of salt. That’s was not our intent. That being said, you’ve been jonesing for one of these things for a while.
I have and I’ve been super curious about it.
You’ve been salivating for one of them. This worked out because you like to leave little hands around the house about Christmas time and because they want you to try it out, they were kind enough to send us one. As excited as she is about having a Tonal, I’m doubly excited. Thank you to Tonal for that.
It’s super cool that it is on its way. It’s going to be here. It’s very close.
We will be posting about that when we get it.
We’re going to do a whole baseline and talk through how is this going to work with what I’m already doing? How is this going to work on the Bike? How is this going to work with the Tread? Do they have programs that are going to make sense to do with what I’m already doing? Am I going to be able to get faster and stronger? Most importantly, what is my baseline strength because I’m a competitive type A. It’s a different kind of leaderboard. We’re going to see where it started. We’re going to do this for a few weeks, around eight weeks. We’re going to see how much strength I gained over that period. We’ll be talking through that.
That’ll be a fun little thing to track. We know we haven’t started this yet, but if you’ve already been on the fence about Tonal and you’re thinking about getting one, you can try it risk-free for 30 days. If you go to www.Tonal.com and you can get $100 off their smart accessories when you use the promo code The Clip Out. Go there. You can take care of that. I know we’re supposed to be telling them to buy one of these things. A lot of companies have big Black Friday deals.
They do. That’s a good point. I don’t know if Tonal is going to have one or they aren’t going to have one. What I do know is they told me that regardless of what you pay for it, if they have a promotion that launches within 30 days, you will have that honored. For example, let’s say they give you a free bench or something for your Tonal for Black Friday. If you get $100 off and you have bought it within 30 days, Black Friday pops up and there’s a free bench. You will automatically get the free bench.
You call them back and you tell them, they bench you.
Here’s an important thing, Tom. For all those people out there who are thinking as I do, and I know there’s a lot of you. If you wait until Black Friday, what’s that line going to look like to get it installed?
You could be getting out in front of the rush. That’s good thinking. That’s good information to have. Go to Tonal.com and use promo code The Clip Out. It’s Tonal, be you’re strongest. Speaking of commercials.
They have a couple. We talked about the Christmas commercial about how much I liked it because all the lights were popping on the houses and everything. It came out with one that has this woman who gets her Peloton on Christmas. It appears to be Christmas morning. She has a year’s journey and she’s talking on her phone. She records her journey with her bike over a year and then she presents it to her husband as a thank you because he bought her this gift last Christmas.
That’s when I’m hearing. She’s on the bike, on the internet and the husband is sitting around not doing Jack. Was he built like Jason Alexander?
She had no likeness to me. Let’s just say that. There were some mixed messages and reviews on this one. This one did not resonate with people the way the Christmas one did. People felt like Peloton did not get a chance to capture the excitement. One of the things was when she wakes up and she’s like, “It’s 6:00 AM, I’m getting up for this ride.” They didn’t take the next step to capture but then she got on the ride and all of her friends high-fived her. She was so glad she did it because that’s real life. They were some things that people felt didn’t come across as real as they could have.
I had to cram a year in 30 seconds.
I know, that’s the tough part. People also felt like, as usual, this would be better served by showing an actual member. We get that every time. I thought it was sweet. I had to watch it a few times because I watched it with the sound down. You’re not getting it. When I watch it with the sound up, I liked it. I also see people’s points too that it doesn’t feel as heartwarming as some of the others. We had the UK commercial come out, which was more of what you’d call a standard Peloton commercial. Here’s the Bike, here are the instructors on the Bike. It featured a lot of Ben Alldis because it was featured in the UK. It was great to see them have such a very high-level commercial that’s coming out this time of year. That is the important thing.
Let’s pick a square.
Let’s do that.
You’ve got everything all pulled up over there.
Let me get it up here. I’ve got my mouse where it should be this time.
Spot number twelve. This could be someone’s luck. Someone could win.
I feel the wheel is enough of this already. The wheel spin is getting shorter and shorter.
It’s fifteen minutes of any Amato workout.
Tell them what they could win.
They will get a $50 gift certificate to Sabra & Sand brought to you by Gina and her mother.
It sells all sorts of purses and unisex purses.
There are all kinds of bags and jewelry, handcrafted. It’s very cool. Also, unisex included.
Becs Gentry had a nice write-up in Runner’s World.
You might remember when we talked about the New York City marathon that she had a giant PR. This article was about her PR and how she trained to get it. She was talking about how much she uses the treadmill, specifically the Tread to train to increase her speed and that she did a lot of training on the treadmill because she did her classes. This is crazy because this woman not only taught all of her classes but then would run a second time every day to do 100 to 120 miles a week as she prepared for her marathon. She had such a fast time. It clearly paid off so well for her. That’s fabulous. This article is great. She talks about the benefits of all of her training. For those of you who avoid treads, treadmills, don’t. They can be very effective, especially during the wintertime. You might look like a badass when you go outside and you’re running and it’s cold and it takes a great picture for Instagram, but you also might slip and fall and hurt yourself. Stay indoors where it’s safe and warm and run fast. That was her advice.
Run fast. That’s great advice for a marathon. I never would’ve thought of it.
The thing is that she talks a lot about tempo running. Tempo running is about getting to a speed that’s hard for you and you do it for a longer period of time. The reason that’s so important that she teaches you is that when you are running a marathon, the longer you can stay at a certain pace, the better off you are. She did so much of her training at her tempo pace and doing all these sprints and stuff. That’s why she was able to speed up so much in the last year. It’s very cool.
While we’re talking about the magazine, Self Magazine featured Jess Sims.
It did and I thought it was interesting because they referred to her as a certified training at the fitting room and shadow box. No mention of Peloton. It was a complete total body workout. It was exclusively for Self Magazine and Jess created the entire thing. She also does all the little videos for everything. She is featured all over Self Magazine at Self.com. It is awesome. I love her workouts. She’s great.
We have two new instructors.
It’s funny to me that this didn’t lead at the top. We have so much news that this would have been big news. It still is big news but it would have been the big news. There are two new instructors, Sam Yo and Hannah Frankson. Both are going to be instructors in the UK. They both had their premier rides. I have to point out that the Peloton Prophet was correct. Hannah Frankson, we called it. I say we because I don’t get credit for it, but I am the voice of the Peloton Prophet. I didn’t make the prediction, but I talk about it. The Peloton Prophet called this a very long time ago and it also explains another reason why Cody and Matt were in the UK. We talked about that. They were at the Kings Road location and they did some visits. There’s another UK showroom opening in Oxford. I can’t help but think they’re going to pop over there as well. Maybe they will, maybe they won’t. Don’t forget, Germany is opening. Will they stay long enough to do the launch in Germany? I’m very curious.
You would think since they’re already over there.
It will be interesting. I have no idea. I haven’t tracked Cody or Matt to see if they were back. I don’t know.
Speaking of Germany, since it will be the big German opening, we have a German guest next episode.
This is all thanks to Helen Watson because had she not posted the article that I read that was in German, I had it translated by Google because I sure did not do it. At any rate, Daniel who is a sports blogger for Germany. He is going to be on our show. We’re going to interview him and it’s perfect timing for the launch.
There’s a little sneak preview as to what people will have. You will sadly have already missed it, the big Billy Joel ride is happening.
Billy Joel and Jenn Sherman, it’s going to be amazing. It’s happening right now. Kristin McGee is going to do a yoga flow. Matt Wilpers is doing a run.
Are we sure that’ll be in American, in the New York studio? Could he do that in the UK studio?
They don’t have the Tread studio built yet. The tread is not live in Europe at all.
This episode is brought to you in part by the Spintray. You might’ve seen people talking about this on the OPP. They post pictures of it and whatnot. It’s a tray that sits right on your Bike.
It fits very cleanly and securely.
There’s nothing to attach or anything. You can just strap it right on and you’re good. When you’re done you can pick it right off. Some people were like, “What do you need this for?” Every ride is created differently. Not every ride is the most intense thing. You need a place to set your phone or your laptop if you want to get some movement in your day, but not necessarily your most intense ride ever.
You don’t need to have a Tabata ride every day. Some people don’t have the ability to have a Tabata ride every day. Some people work from home and they want to get some work done while they’re working out. Every workout is different. There are definitely people this does not apply to. That’s not going to work for you. There’s also a ton of people that it’s going to apply.
Multitasking mom, somebody recovering from an injury. There are all sorts of reasons that you could maybe use something like this. The best part is it comes on and off the bike so easily. You can use it for one ride, not use it for four rides and then put it right back on. It’s not a twenty-minute project to install. If you’re interested or if you want to get one for a loved one, the holidays are right around the corner. You can get 10% off with promo-code The Clip Out at TheSpinTray.com.
Joining us is Ann Kingman. Ann, how is it going?
Thank you for having me.
Thank you for joining us. I am super excited about this. We’re going to talk about Peloton and some other things. Ann, how did you find Peloton originally?
It’s not that exciting of a story. I walked by it in a mall. My husband had to hold me back and this was a couple of years ago. The person in the store motioned me and said, “Do you want to take a class?” I ran away. I was like, “No, not in the middle of the mall.” I didn’t think about it after that. I was doing CrossFit and a couple of other different kinds of workouts. I was always worked out for the last ten years, off and on. It’d be like six months on, ten months off. I stayed in a hotel this past spring for work and somebody said to me in the elevator, “Did you check out the workout room? They have Pelotons.” I didn’t bring any of my workout clothes or anything. I didn’t even go into the workout room, but I then could not get it out of my mind. This was two years or two and a half years after I’d first seen it. It was the thing that I had to have now. We researched it and I went and took a ride. I’d say from that meeting that we had in New York where I heard about it in the exercise room to the time I bought it, it was two weeks.
You were like, “Whatever.” You were all-in.
I was afraid of that. When I saw it in the mall, it was so shiny and pretty. Honestly, I’ve been on exercise bikes before and I always hated it. It was always the worst thing that I would ever do in the gym. I wasn’t good at it.
I don’t think you can be good at most of those bikes. They’re ugly and clunky and there’s nothing good happening there. I’m not saying there are not good stationary bikes, but most of what you find in a gym is not inviting.
No. This was so pretty. I love tech. I knew if I walked into that store, I was doomed. I don’t know why at that moment, I didn’t need it or it wasn’t fitting what I needed. When I heard about the Peloton, I was looking for something. CrossFit wasn’t fitting into my life anymore. I was having issues with scheduling. Even though I thought I would hate working out at home because I had tried it before with videos, YouTube or whatever and I never would do it. Something about that Peloton got in my head and I justified it by saying that it was for me and my husband’s birthday to share because our birthdays are one day apart. I got it in April and he took his first ride.
Did you get it this past April of 2019?
Were you active before you got the Peloton? You said you did CrossFit, but were you already working out all the time at that point?
Peloton Rower: Everybody’s different. Take the instructor’s call for output with a grain of salt and know that that means work hard.
No, I am lazy. Tom and I are separated at birth in that way. There’s Newton’s first Law of Gravity. An object in motion will stay in motion but an object at rest will also stay at rest. I get home from work and sit down. It’s hard to get back up and get going. I didn’t work out from the time I left college until after I had kids. It got to be like, “We had to do something.” It’s off and on. It has been, I would say, the joking but it was true. Six months on and then 10 months off doing nothing and regaining whatever weight I had lost. I loved CrossFit. The problem with CrossFit is there are times that the classes are held and they’re very specific. I had a 5:30 PM class or a 6:30 PM class and if I got home at 5:40 PM, I missed the 5:30 and by the time I got myself together, I was deep into either cooking dinner or sitting on the couch reading a book and I couldn’t get myself to that 6:30 PM class.
I hear from you. That’s why I have to work out in the morning. On a rare occasion, I will work out at night but for the most part, if I don’t work out in the morning, it’s not going to happen.
My problem is I need to work out when I get it in my head. I worked from home a lot. If I want to work out at 4:13 PM, if it hits my head, that’s when I have to do it. That’s what I love about the Peloton is I’m very rarely taking live classes because the moment I’m inspired to work out, I need to do it right then.
Blending Peloton and CrossFit together conversation-wise, another reason that we wanted to talk to you is you have the Tonal. Tell us about that. I need to know all the things.
I love them both. They’re different. They are so complementary to each other. When I got the Peloton, I quit my CrossFit membership and I joined a regular big box gym.
I feel quitting CrossFit had to be a huge battle. You hear so much about how all-consuming CrossFit can be. I feel, “Do they make that ugly for you?”
No, the dirty secret is this was the third time I’d quit CrossFit. Like I said, six months on, ten months off. I understand where they get that rap. If you find a good one, it’s like a family. They understand. I was paying three times a week and I was coming twice a month. I don’t think it was a big shock to the owners and the coaches when I said I’ve got to quit. They know. I’m over 50 and happily married for a long time. My goals have changed. It’s not so much about what I look like as far as what I don’t want to look like in 30 years or what I don’t want to have to use to help me get around or whatever. When I quit CrossFit and got the Peloton and I love the Peloton, but I knew I needed some strength training. It’s so important for everybody. Women especially because we don’t grow up in a gym. Now they do, but women before 1980 or 1990 did not grow up with the idea that weightlifting was a thing that women tend to do.
It’s before Title Nine is what I mean. It is when they leveled the playing field, pun intended, for male and female sports and in public schools. That’s when you start to see more of it. With the age you stated, before that kicked in.
When I was in high school, I went to a “women’s gym” with my mom but it was like those Nautilus machines, but I don’t think they were even that. It was basically those rubber band things that you see in those machines that you put around your waist and they jiggle.
Is it the exercise equipment you would see on The Three Stooges?
That’s how I remember it. I went with my mom. I was young, I don’t know. Now, my strength training is super important. I fell in love with the Peloton, I quit CrossFit and joined a local gym down the street. I hated the experience. I had a good weightlifting program. There’s a woman online who’s a wonderful coach and she provides programming and I was following it and I was happy. The whole experience of going to this gym and waiting for a piece of equipment or getting this side-eye from some guy who is like, “What are you doing here little girl?” It is a real thing. I tried to man up and not let it get to me and own the gym and all that other stuff. It was uncomfortable.
I needed to do something else. I tried the Peloton Strength Workouts on Peloton Digital which I liked. We have dumbbells and I didn’t need to buy too much more equipment, but I was missing the structure of our program. That’s when Facebook decided to haunt me with ads for Tonal. I was at this stage where I was thinking about the Peloton Tread. I saw the Tonal and I saw the Peloton Tread and they were roughly the same price. I thought, “I have cardio. I’m riding the bike every day, I’m loving it. I’m doing these strength programs.” I felt I was spinning my wheels because I do an upper body class one day and then, “This looks fun. Let’s do this lower body or let’s do this bootcamp.” I wasn’t feeling I could make any progress. It was, “Pick up the medium dumbbells. I’m being lazy, so my medium dumbbells are going to be five pounds.”
The struggle is real. That is so true. She’s so right. I deal with that every day. She gets me.
Maybe we’re all separated at birth but this is a real thing for a lot of people. I looked at the money and I was like, “If I’m going to spend this money on the tread, I’m getting a great tread, but I can run outside.” What I ended up doing was getting an off-brand treadmill used.
That’s a great solution. It is because then you can still use the Tread content on digital. You’re already paying for digital, so why not?
I did that. I paid $500 for a good treadmill that has the buttons that you can push to jump right to the speed. That was important to me but then I said, “If I do this, I can justify the Tonal.” The problem with the Tonal when I was looking at it is that they had one showroom at that time and that was in San Francisco and I’m in Massachusetts. $4,000 is a lot to spend on something sight unseen. I even went to the Peloton store and rode the bike knowing I was going to order it that day, but I at least went through the motions of pretending I was trying it out before I order that.
You get one last chance to screw it up.
There are a couple of Tonal Facebook groups out there. I said, “If anyone’s in New England, I will bribe you with baked goods or wine if I can come to your house and test it out.” There was a woman who answered and she said, “I’m 2.5 hours away if you want to come up.” We tried to find a date and it was 2.5 weeks. Before that date rolled around, I had ordered it. I was like, “Thank you very much. You will not be getting wine or baked goods from me because it’s coming next week.”
Here’s the thing, think of how much money you saved on not giving her wine or baked goods.
I am dying to know what this thing is like. Take us through. You opened it up or you walked up to it because it’s hanging on your wall. What happened?
It’s hanging on your wall and it looks like a long television or television turned on its side. A lot of people look at it and they think it’s a workout mirror because it’s oblong. There are these arms from the back that fold out and they come forward and then they fold out. Imagine the TV with two arms out to the side and they can go up or down. They can be arranged in different places, locations and angles. You attach the regular gym attachments to them. The handles or a bar. You can use the Tonal accessories which they say they cost extra to buy. You have to buy them. It would be not at all worth it to buy the whole Tonal but not buy the accessories. Consider that it comes with it. You can also use off-brand extra accessories that you would find at the gym. I don’t know how many people are familiar with these, but it’s almost like a cable machine at the gym.
They have the weight stacks and you put the pin in the 30 or 40 pounds, it’s that except there is no weight stack. The weight stack is all done by magnets. It can give you up to 200 pounds of resistance, but there’s no heavyweight stack or anything that you have to deal with. It’s all digital. You open the machine and there are workouts but you could also do a move if you want. Let’s say you wanted to do a deadlift. You’d set up the arms and put on the bar and then you can set your weight if you want. There are a bunch of things that sold me on it. If you’re doing a dumbbell exercise like a squat or a bicep curl, let’s say bicep curl. Five pounds feels good. The next dumbbell that you have at the gym is usually ten pounds. Ten pounds is maybe too heavy. For women, those five-pound jumps can be problematic, especially with upper body strength. You get into doing squats and if you’ve got 35 pounds and then jumping to a 40-pound dumbbell, I can barely carry it to where I need to do the squat.
If you’re squatting and curling, forget it.
It’s much more elegant when you squat with a Tonal because you have this handle in your hand and you set the weight. You can set the weight in one pound increments. If you’re doing a bicep curl and five pounds is good, you can go to six pounds, to seven pounds and then to eight. Besides the fact that there’s all of this technology built-in and it will estimate your weights for you, you do a little three-movement workout. It takes maybe ten minutes and that sets your weights. Every move you do after that Tonal will estimate what the weight should be. When you take one of the classes, it’s like Peloton classes, they have instructor-led classes.
The instructors program it in so that the weight is right for the number of reps. If you have 100-pound deadlift and the workout has five reps, it might give you 100 pounds, but if it’s fifteen reps, it might make it 75 pounds. It all happens automatically. You don’t ever have to track your weights. I didn’t realize how freeing it would be to not have to keep track of the move I do, the number of reps, the number of pounds. When I would go to the gym, I had an app, but a lot of people still do it on paper. Honestly, sometimes it’s easier. There are not great apps. You don’t have to do any of that. If you have a workout, you follow it. You can raise and lower the reps of the weights if you want. They set them. For me, they’ve been pretty accurate.
There’s no going back and finding another way. Does it automatically shift to that weight?
Yes. If you’re doing a class and the first move is a bicep curl, it’s going to give me ten pounds. I do my bicep curls at ten pounds and then the coach says, “Now, we’re going to do squats.” The machine will automatically set itself up for 35 pounds or whatever it is I’m doing and then you do that. The handles that you have, this is why the smart accessories are great, is because they have buttons on them that you can turn the weight on and off. I can turn the weight off, get into position, put the weight where I need it, and then turn it on with my thumb and start squatting. It will count the reps for you. When you’re three from the end, it beeps and then it beeps when you’re two away. Then it gives a different beep when you’re done. You don’t even have to count. It doesn’t squat for you, but it does everything else for you.
It should have a little cheer when you’re done.
The instructors do that. They all have their own personalities. As you can imagine, like the Peloton instructors, some of them are, “We’re going to throw confetti at you when you’re done.”
Are there live classes like Peloton?
They’re not live, they are recorded. This is the other cool thing. The technology, they’ve managed to do this and it blows my mind when I think about it. Let’s say, in your workout, the instructor says, “We’re going to do bicep curls.” You see them do it with you 6, 7, 8. If you fall behind, it loops. They keep going. You can sit there and you could take three hours to do your eight dumbbell curls and the instructor, the coach keeps going. You don’t feel you’re slowing down or you don’t have to pause it and rewind. You don’t have to do any of that. It loops and it looks seamless. You’d think it would look weird but it doesn’t. It’s amazing.
What I like about it too is that there are a lot of programs. This is what I was saying like with the Peloton strength, I was missing the structure. There are a lot of classes, most of them are four weeks. The one I’m doing right now is twelve weeks but in three phases. Each phase is four weeks beginner, intermediate and advanced. The one I finished was four weeks. Day one, you do certain movements. It was three days a week for me. Day two, you do these other movements and then day three you do different movements. On week two, day one repeats itself. You can see the progress that you’re making. If you did fifteen pounds on day one, you do twenty pounds on day two, there’s your progress.
Will it show you, “This is what you did last time, this is what you’re doing this time?”
It’s not only that, but it will show you how much weight you lifted at the end of each session which is amazing. The first time I did it, I looked at 8,600 pounds or something. It’s the number of reps times the number of pounds and it totally makes sense, but it looks cool when you see, “I did that?” In the next week, you can see that you lifted 9,000 pounds or whatever it is.
How long are these classes? You’re talking to these programs and you’re doing a few moves. Are we talking 20 or 40 minutes for the programs?
It’s 25 to 45 minutes depending on which ones you do and how fast you do it. A lot of times with these kinds of programs, like the traditional bodybuilding programs which they call them, if you do it at the gym, they’ll always say, “Do two deadlifts and then rest two minutes and then do another set.” What I like about this too is instead of resting, they give you some mobility work or some stretching or something that goes along with the movements that you’re doing, but you’re not standing around and it’s helping with your recovery. You never stop sitting there, waiting for something to happen. They’re beta testing some high-intensity workouts. Those are a little bit more like the ones on the Peloton, where you’re always moving and you’re getting your heart rate up and you do things more for time. You don’t do a number of reps, but you might squat for 60 seconds. They’re beta testing some of those. If there’s a good response, they’ll roll out more of those. They’re playing with the idea of live classes but I haven’t seen that yet.
Obviously, you’re comparing against what you did last time, but are you comparing against anybody else? Is there in these classes?
You don’t see anybody else’s data?
There’s no leaderboard, there’s no real interaction with other people who are using Tonal at all.
Does that ever feel lonely? Do you feel like you’re missing out? Does that feel sad?
No, because I’m a weakling and I don’t want to see that I’m getting ten pounds when everybody else is lifting 60 pounds.
I get that part. Do you feel, “I would like to give somebody else a high five?” Let’s say that we got a Tonal and I was like, “Let’s work out together.” Can we work out together?
Not yet. I feel you could at some point because one of the things that they have that I haven’t tried, but they started a partner mode. As long as you’re doing the same program, we could use partner mode and it would give me my exercise and then when I’m done, give him his and that would keep track of those separately. It would change his weights when it was his turn and my weights when it was my turn. There is a camera built-in, it’s not turned on. It’s down the road possibly.
Can you use the weights without a class?
There’s something called free lift mode. I want to say there are 150 movements or something like that built-in where you can choose it and you can see a demo. If you want to do a deadlift, you can do the deadlift. It will keep your weight, it will remember it for next time but if you want to do something that’s not in its database, you can do it. It would work. One of my questions was like, “If the company goes away, am I left with this box on my wall?” In fact, all of the electronics are there. I’m not sure what stats and what data would be kept, but the actual weight machine would still be operational. There’s a trainer in Northern California who has a number of Tonals in his gym. He programs his own workouts for his clients using the Tonal. I don’t think he does any of the classes with them. He leads them through whatever movements he thinks. He’s very creative and he’s had extra attachments and shown a bunch of things on Facebook for the rest of us to play around with.
You said back at the beginning, you feel that this complements the Peloton.
If you like the Peloton experience and you want to get into strength training, you will like the Tonal experience. They both seem well-designed and bought out. I never felt like, “This is clunky. I wish this was more like the Peloton experience.” I think much thought, research, and attention to detail has gone into the design of the Tonal as it has gone into the Peloton Bike.
It has a pretty good monthly fee to it too. Do you ever get frustrated that there are two monthly fees because that’s my big hang-ups?
I do. I wish that Peloton would buy Tonal or Tonal would buy a Peloton or whatever so I could only pay one monthly fee. It is what it is. This is the best experience for me. It’s certainly not a need. You can get strength in training other ways like you can get running or biking any other way. For me, paying the second fee, which I believe is $49 a month is a good value for what I’m getting. It’s very good value. I was paying that at the gym without any programming with the side-eye and the waiting for the equipment. Once you take away the initial outlay, which of course is no small thing, and I realize not everybody can do that. It is something that, for me, brings good value if you can swing it. I certainly would not recommend that anybody put a second mortgage on their house or take food off their kids’ table to do this.
If you have the means and can make it work, it doesn’t take a lot of space. You need about seven feet total, so 3.5 feet on either side of the machine when it’s hanging. An area to work out in, I’d say of about 7 to 8 feet in front of it. You can put a piece of furniture there, if you wanted it in your living room and then move the chair out of the way if you wanted. A lot of people do have them in their living rooms and in their dining rooms. I’m lucky to have a spare bedroom. I kicked my kids out when they went to college and send them upstairs and I took the room over for our gym equipment. It does not take up a lot of space in it. It looks sleek. You wouldn’t be embarrassed to have it in a public space in your house.
How does a weekly workout schedule look for you combining Peloton and the Tonal?
That’s the problem. I want to do everything. Right now, I’m doing a three day a week Tonal plan. I do that pretty much every other day. I finished the Power Zone Challenge which I was also doing three rides a week. That works great. I would love to run also on the treadmill so that I can justify someday buying the Tread. If I never use the one I have, I can’t justify buying a new one. I said something to the Tonal coach, “I want to do this and this. How would I work in all out?” She’s like, “Honey, we can’t make more days in the week.”
If you’re doing Power Zone Training, it’s hard to do. The challenges would be hard to work this in, but what you could do if you weren’t doing the challenge is do more hit runs or the shorter runs in the shorter rides on the days that you weren’t doing your strength. That’s what I was thinking about doing.
In fact, there is a program on Tonal called Better Bike and Tread. It’s designed specifically to work with Peloton. The coach has a Peloton, the instructor who leads the workout. I haven’t taken it yet but it is specifically designed to work with either the Bike or the Tread and both. I’m sure you can figure that out too. She’ll do the Tonal workout and then she’ll say, “Do a twenty-minute hit ride.” She’ll recommend the ride to do in conjunction with that. They are very complimentary.
Do the coach work with Peloton? If it says, it’s complimentary. It mentioned the bike or the tread. I’m surprised they didn’t have to ask permission to do that.
I’m not sure. I haven’t taken the workout. I’m not sure in the actual workout that it specifies Peloton because there are also classes for runners, there’s running strength and running recovery. A lot of the programs that are on Tonal, they’re not all traditional bodybuilding workouts. There’s a lot of mobility. There’s recovery. There’s hiking workouts, things to strengthen specific muscles. I believe there’s a winter sports one. The coach had a Peloton and wanted to do both programs to workout that would be great and beneficial for both. It was designed to improve the biking and running. There is a Facebook group that is called PeloTonal. It is for Peloton fans who also are interested in Tonal. It’s an unofficial group. It’s not affiliated with Tonal or Peloton, but it’s out there. There’s some good info there.
Do you know ballpark how many people are in it?
In the PelaTonal group, I’m not sure. I know in the Official Tonal Group, there are only 700. The other thing that I like is I feel the OPP is where we are with the Tonal Facebook group right now. Not only are they nice, the coaches participate, they’re on there all the time. You can ask them questions like, “This movement was bothering my arm.” They’ll video a modification for you. There are 508 members in the PeloTonal group.
That’s Peloton and Tonal. That’s a pretty solid number.
Especially when you think there are 700 something in the Official Tonal Group. It also shows you how they cross over. It’s very much the same customer.
Probably the same 500 people are like, “We should join the other group.” In Peloton, we’re so used to being in Facebook groups that the fans are starting them because we’re so used to having them.
There is an unofficial Tonal Group also. Anyone can join. The Official Tonal Group, you have to have purchased and they ask your name and email and they double-check that you’ve purchased it before they let you in.
That’s got to keep things a little calmer or more even keel.
I would imagine. They have a community manager who works for Tonal, who runs that group. She does a great job. They’ve learned some lessons from some other fitness technology companies.
Let them get another 179,000 people there.
Peloton Rower: What is great about Power Zone Training is it’s so individual. They’re telling you to do something and it doesn’t mean you have to do it.
We’ll see how they do. I’m sure she does a great job and that’s nothing against her.
I’m not getting paid by them. I have no affiliation with them at all. I am excited to have it in my family and friends hate me. I figured it for you guys and your readers because it’s new to you. There are some exercises that you lay on the floor.
What’s your leaderboard name for Peloton and do you have a leaderboard name for Tonal?
I do not have a leaderboard name for Tonal because there is no leaderboard. I sign in with my email. It knows my name, they greet me. For Peloton, my leaderboard name is 2Slice.
Was that your name when you are in a hip hop crew?
She didn’t say no. This is going to get interesting.
It’s a joke because I love hearing others every time you ask someone their name. I love hearing the backstory so I will share mine even though it’s embarrassing. My kids both go to Syracuse University for college. The mascot of Syracuse University is the Syracuse orange. The actual mascot is this flashy orange, a cute character named Otto. I love Syracuse. My husband and I also both went there but one thing drives me nuts and that is the Facebook groups where the parents chatter among themselves, parents of those Syracuse students, always refer to their kids as slices, like a slice of the orange. Instead of saying my daughter, they’ll say my slice. It rises me up a wall. I was like, “I need a leaderboard name.” My husband was like, “How about 2Slice?” I’m like, “That sounds tough.” I did like the hip hop sound of it, but indeed it’s more of this joke of this thing that I can’t stand. It’s funny because I’ve ridden with Hannah Marie Corbin a few times and she always shouts it out. Even if it’s not a milestone, she’ll be like, “2Slice, I see you.” I’m not changing it.
It is fun to say it is. It’s great. It’s a perfect leaderboard name. I love the story behind it. I never in a million years would have guessed that.
Nobody would. I found out that your intern Chet goes to Syracuse, so now you can tease him and call him a slice as well.
Chet is a slice and a dog. He’s a puppy and he has paws instead of hands. He’s a slice. Do you know Jenn Sherman went to Syracuse?
I do. She graduated a few years after me. They built this huge fancy new gym and I was hoping that she would somehow hook them up and get them Peloton, but they don’t have Peloton in the gym.
That’s a little sad. That’s okay.
That way I can’t be jealous.
We should ask if you have any advice for newbies. You gave us all sorts of Tonal advice. Do you have any Peloton advice, Pelo advice from 2Slice?
I would say for newbies to not worry about the instructor calling out output. It makes me a little crazy. I spend most of my rides on Power Zone Rides. When I take a non-power zone ride and the instructor says, “Go for 300 output,” that makes me nuts. Ignore that. For newbies, that is frightening to think that here I am trying to get whatever your first couple of rides, you might not even hit 100. The instructor is giving you these huge numbers and you think, “I’m never going to be able to do this.” It does get easier and you will get closer. Everybody’s different. To take that with a grain of salt and know that that means work hard.
Every bike is different. On my bike, I might be able to hit 300, but on your bike, maybe I can only hit 200. That’s very good advice.
I had to talk myself into that a few times, I will say. It was that or quit. That’s what I love about Power Zone Training is it’s so individual. You can individualize everything. They’re telling you to do something doesn’t mean you have to do it. They can’t see you and they’re not going to slap you.
Before we go, where can people find you on social media?
Twitter is the best. I used to be much more active on Twitter than I am now. I’m @AnnKingman on Twitter and also on Instagram. In many of the various Facebook Peloton groups, including The Clip Out Group.
Thank you so much for taking the time to join us.
Thanks for having me and thanks for letting me talk about Tonal.
It’s been a blast. Thank you for taking the time and talking to us, educating us, and trying to convince Tom that I need one.
Tom, she needs one.
I can tell on the look on her face.
Thank you, Tom. Thank you, Crystal.
That’s it for this one. I shouldn’t say pray tell. You have prayed and told.
I have told.
We know what next episode is.
We’re going to be talking to Daniel from Germany.
This is the only very German name. I’m not going to lie. I’m a little disappointed.
That’s what you have to look forward to next episode. Until then, where can they find you?
People can find me at Facebook.com/crystaldokeefe. They can find me on Twitter, Instagram, the Bike and the Tread @ClipOutCrystal.
You can find me on twitter @RogerQBert or on Facebook at Facebook.com/tomokeefe. Don’t forget you find the show online, Facebook.com/theclipout. While you’re there, like the page and join the group. Don’t forget, we’re available wherever you get your podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Google Play Store, any of that stuff and Spotify. While you’re there, you can subscribe so you never miss an episode. Subscribe to our newsletter at theclipout.com. That’s it for this one. Thanks for tuning in and until next time, keep pedaling.