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Peloton Introduces High-Intensity 20-Minute Classes

Spin pros cater to busy schedules with efficient streaming rides…

Last year, the New York City–based spin studio Peloton Cycle broke away from the pack of spin boutiques by launching its own high-tech, at-home bike. The Peloton bike ($1,995 plus $40 a month for unlimited classes) is tricked out with an HD touch tablet that streams all of the studio’s classes to the bike, allowing owners around the world to participate in the array of classes from any Wi-Fi-equipped location.

This year, Peloton introduced a series of heart-pumping 20-minute rides that are accessible on the bike or in the studio. The concise sessions mirror the longer rides but use high intensity to ensure a beneficial workout in half the time. According to a recent study published in the scientific journal PLOS One, shorter bursts of high-exertion exercise, such as the 20-minute classes, can increase endurance, lower blood pressure, and, for men, possibly improve blood-sugar levels. 

The new courses are designed to fit into the bike owner’s schedule. “In studio, riders love to take a 45-minute or hour class,” explains Lisa Niren, head coach at Peloton, “but our home riders really wanted something shorter. If they need to take their kids to school or have only 20 minutes before work, they want to jump right in and have a really extreme, efficient experience.”

Each 20-minute segment works your full body without any additional weights.  “It’s in your form that your entire body is going to work,” says Niren. “We’re trained to consistently remind you of this so that you engage all parts of your body effectively.” The class options include climbs with a short sprint at the end, Tabata-inspired drills (intervals of 20 seconds of high intensity followed by 10 seconds of rest), and rhythm rides (in which the ride is cued just to the music, without discussion of metrics or numbers).

Riders can choose a live class from the schedule, pick an upcoming class led by a selected coach, or browse the bike’s on-demand library. Metrics including distance, cadence, output, resistance, and calories burned will appear at the bottom of the screen during the class. On the right of the screen, a leaderboard records every rider’s output, past and present, evoking the competitive nature of a class. The classes use high-production elements such as camera angles and lighting, and are set to a variety of music (at times drawing in DJs to spin music live). Peloton bike owners can also enjoy an “outdoor” scenic ride in locations around the globe or join the studio participants for a class with Team Cannondale-Garmin, the United States’ Tour de France team.

The 20-minute classes are offered throughout the week and are free to stream. A new studio is projected to open in Chicago this spring. (pelotoncycle.com)

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