The '80s brought us Jane Fonda. In the early '90s, we were working out to Richard Simmons videos. With the millennium came the kickboxing craze.
Now, in 2019, the hottest workout trend is a live gym class streaming into your home, and the leader of that trend is the exercise cycle company, Peloton.
No more gym bag to pack
We found David Pustinger working out in a live cycling class, not at the gym but in his home.
He loves working out remotely, because, he says, "I don't have to pack a gym bag, I don't have to pack a change of clothes or worry about a shower during a break at work."
Pustinger is one of hundreds of thousands of people who have joined the Peloton workout program. While many companies make stationary cycles, Peloton streams live and on-demand spin biking classes across the US, and even to several other countries around the world.
Sure, gym classes have been around for hundreds of years. But this is really the first time a live gym class comes right to your home, on a big screen monitor attached to your bike. It's not a Jane Fonda VHS tape.
John Wills manages a Peloton store which set sales records this past holiday season.
"It's neat because of the live instructors," he explained. "They can see your user name, so they can always give you a shout-out if it’s your birthday or a special ride, and they are like, 'Hey to John!'" he said.
Wills admits it’s not cheap: A Peloton bike costs roughly $2,000 (though that includes the large touch screen monitor and everything you need to connect remotely). Classes cost $39 a month, similar to the cost of joining a real gym.
But despite the cost, Peloton is so popular, the company has recently added treadmills and treadmill classes.
And it has created an entire community, with hundreds of Facebook Peloton groups, where Pustinger has made a new group of friends.
"People post that they got their 100th ride, for instance," he said. "A lot of people are struggling with something, whether it's weight loss or battling cancer. And this community really rallies behind them."
Time Magazine, which recently listed Peloton as one of its Genius Companies of 2018, says other workout businesses are moving to the streaming model too. Others include, Time says, FORTE, Booya Fitness and Beachbody.
But Peloton, with its mall stores and top of the line equipment, is the leader right now, and makes other home workout programs look like an old 1980s VHS tape.
As always, don't waste your money.
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