Peloton Programs vs Peloton Collections

Peloton 101: Peloton Programs vs Peloton Collections. What’s the Difference??

Feeling a bit befuddled about the difference between Peloton Programs and Peloton Collections? We get it! They seem SO similar, but also…not. And, because of those blurred lines, it can be a bit confusing to navigate. On top of which, with so much content to choose from, simply selecting a workout no longer feels simple at all. 

The Clip Out is here to help break down the distinction between Programs and Collections so you can make an informed choice and get the most out of your Peloton experience and your workout. So, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of Peloton Programs vs. Collections and explore the differences between the two options within the Peloton platform.  

On their surface, the basic difference is simple: Programs are focus-driven workouts designed by Peloton Instructors and have a set timeline in which you are expected to complete both the individual classes and the Program as a whole.  Collections, in general, are…well…collections of classes that fit within a theme and you can, in theory (more on that later), easily select a class that fits that theme.  At least, that was the initial concept.  But, over the last year, Peloton has been leaning into the flexibility of the Collections format and has started creating Collections that look and feel like Programs, but don’t have the stringent timelines that can make following a Program unappealing to many Members.  And that, dear friends, is where the line gets a little blurry for people who are just trying to figure it all out so they can exercise already, thank you very much.

Peloton Programs

Programs are targeted workouts designed by Peloton Instructors to help you reach a specific goal. They have a set structure and intended order of classes, and each class must be completed before you unlock the next one. Skipping classes is an option, but you won’t earn achievement badges if you do. On top of which, if you don’t complete all of the classes within the set timeline, you won’t get credit for completing the Program.  Essentially, when you begin a Program, you are married to it for the duration and it offers the least amount of schedule flexibility.  If you start the program and realize it isn’t for you, you do have the option of leaving the program all together.  

Currently, there are 54 Programs on the Peloton platform, covering all modalities offered.

Fans of stacking may find it helpful to know that you can’t stack these classes with other classes within the Program.  Oftentimes, Programs have more than one class to complete in a day and once you finish that first class, you have to revisit the landing page in order to start the next class vs being able to roll right into it like you would in a typical stack.  

Currently, Peloton offers 54 Programs.  Within the Programs category that you will find a variety of options for Instructor-led content.  There are single-instructor-led Programs, such as Split Training and Anna’s Self-Care Yoga Retreat, as well as Programs that offer a wide variety of Instructors coaching you through a specific modality, such as You Can Row and Peak Your Power Zones.  

Multiple Instructors, Singular Focus

Peloton Programs first launched with Programs featuring multiple instructors and a singular focus.  These Programs were made up of classes taught by a variety of different instructors, all working together to coach you toward a common goal.  Although the popularity of solo Instructor-led Programs seems to be rising, Peloton continues to produce Multiple Instructor Programs on the platform, most recently adding Programs for Members who are learning to row with the Perfect Your Pace Targets program and the You Can Row program. Additional Programs are a collection of Instructors that have collaborated to coach you through runs, rides, yoga and boxing.

One Instructor, One Focus

Programs led by a singular Instructor began to take shape with the introduction of the very well-received Crush Your Core program. In this program, Emma Lovewell leads Members through a month-long journey of serious ab and core work.  This Program proved to be so popular, additional single-body focus Programs soon followed.  Some of the more popular single-instructor led Programs include: Arms with Tunde, Crush Your Core (1 and 2) with Emma, Straight To the Core with Rebecca, Total Strength with Andy, and A Stronger You with Ben. 

Peloton’s Split Training Programs  

When the Peloton Guide was introduced, Peloton began producing strength-focused split training programs for its Members.  Typically available exclusively on the Guide when first released, followed by a wide-release seven weeks later, these programs give you the necessary structure to take the guesswork out of your strength training and maximize your workout with a week-long, expertly curated set of classes from a single instructor.  Each Split Program, ranging between three and five workouts, offers a different body focus and gives you the framework you need to increase strength and build muscle by using heavier weights and targeting specific body parts. Because these Programs are only a week long, Peloton encourages users to repeat these weekly to measure and track progress. 

Peloton Collections

Now that we’ve covered Programs, let’s dig into the nuances of Collections.  Where Programs follow a very strict timeline, Peloton Collections, on the other hand, are generally more of a themed set of classes that you can choose to take in any order and at any time.  Think of it like a menu of options…mostly. Collections can range from class groupings based on the music of a specific artist (the Madonna Artist Series), or just Artist Series.  It can be a collection of best-of classes for UK instructors, or a collection of Meditations.  Or, a Collection could be a dedicated series of targeted workouts designed by Peloton Instructors to help you reach a specific goal.  And, that’s where the line between Programs and Collections becomes blurry, because that sounds exactly like a Program!

Collections offer a variety of grouped classes based on common themes, as well as targeted training programs that have a much less rigid timeline than Programs have

When a Collection Looks Like a Program, and Feels Like a Program…But Isn’t a Program (but, also, it’s a program)

Confused yet?  That’s why we’re here to help!  Peloton does release Collections that have a set structure, and may look like a Program, but don’t have the same level of rigidity as a Program.  The Pump Up The Volume series and Total Strength: Density Training with Andy Speer are great examples of this.  

Currently on its 8th Collection in the series, PUTV is a multi-Instructor-led grouping of classes separated into individual program-esque collections (volumes 1-8).  Instructors have worked together to create a cohesive set of workouts designed to work as a series that creates a complete workout program.  Each PUTV Collection spans four weeks, focusing on programmatic workouts while gradually increasing your reps, load, and volume.  

Led by Andy Speer, Total Density is a challenging and highly-effective workout program found in Peloton Collections. The four-week program, errr…Collection, is a companion to the Total Strength Program series and, similar to TS1 and TS2, it is carefully designed to help individuals build muscle through fast-paced and intense full-body workouts that will challenge even the fittest individuals out there. The program-that-is-a-Collection starts with a “Welcome Block” of classes to ensure that participants are well-prepared for the rigorous exercises ahead. Beyond that, Total Density includes three classes per week, ranging from 20-30 minutes long, over a 4 week period.  

Let’s be honest.  PUTV and Total Density are programs.  Both are progressive in nature, just like a Program.  They’re organized in a specific, linear way, similar to a Program. However, the key difference is that you can take the classes at your own pace and on your own schedule, and without being locked into a specific timeline the threshold of commitment is much lower, which makes them Collections–at least by Peloton’s definition.

Unlike the way new Programs are fully released all at once, Peloton tends to moderate the pace of the release of program-esque Collection content, opting to drop a week’s worth of new content every Monday for the duration of the series, adding each new week of content to that Collection.  Once the entirety of the content has been released, that Collection is full, and Members are free to take the classes at their own pace again.

Key Takeaways

Whew.  That was a lot of information!  When you boil it all down, though, the main differences between Programs and Collections are structure and overarching themes. Programs are more rigid and can only be taken in a specific order, while Collections offer more flexibility and can be taken in any order and on any timeline. Additionally, each class in a Program is exclusive to that specific Program (meaning you will not find them in the On Demand library), while Collections are mostly a curated set of classes that fit a theme and Peloton has compiled them in a single category or grouping.   Collections can also consist of a group of targeted classes that are compiled to be a training program, but without the strict timeline of a Program. 

It’s also worth noting that Peloton, possibly recognizing that not everyone can commit to the rigidity of a Program, has been leaning into creating more targeted training content for Collections lately, which is exciting! Both Pump Up The Volume 1-8 and Total Density were enormously popular among Members and we wouldn’t be surprised to see even more of these types of collections in the future.  

Currently, classes within Collections are either ordered alphabetically or by date, and there is no option to search or filter within the Collection.  So, while you may know exactly which type of class you want to take within a theme, just be aware that it may still take you a little bit of time to find it.

Both Peloton Programs and Collections can be found under the Workouts tab in the Peloton App.  And on your Bike, Tread or Row tablets, Programs can be found via the Programs tab on your screen, where Collections can be found behind the Classes tab, with its own Collections tab at the top of that screen.

Overall, whether you prefer the structured approach of a Program or the flexibility of a Collection, Peloton has something waiting for you to try.  Happy sweating!

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