Peloton Digital App Review

When you get either the Peloton cycle, Peloton Row or the Peloton Tread, you automatically “get” the Peloton digital app. That is, since you’re paying for an all-access membership, your subscription for your workout equipment includes a free digital membership to Peloton.

But let’s be honest. Not everyone can afford the bike or the treadmill (the reintroduced Tread+ is $6,000!) or the rower. Well, here’s the good news.

You don’t have to own any Peloton equipment to get a Peloton workout. If you subscribe to the Peloton app–which has a 30-day trial–you can enjoy all the benefits of a Peloton membership or subscription for a lot less money.

In fact, everyone can use the Peloton app to workout. You can get an Android version as well as IOS that you can use on your tablet or Smartphone. Also, if you have an Apple Watch, you can take classes from the app that way. Additionally, once you have a digital subscription, you can do workouts on your Roku TV like I do.

That’s a long way of saying this: it’s the reason I wanted to write this Peloton digital app review and highlight its pros and cons. Plus, like I said, you can try it out for free for 30 days.

peloton digital app review pin

How much is the Peloton digital app

When I first wrote this article about the Peloton app, there was one price for app-only memberships. It was $12.99 per month plus tax. So for about $13 a month–or $156 a year–you could enjoy the full suite of Peloton classes.

Not anymore. In 2023, Peloton changed the membership for the app to a tiered system. Basically, now there are three levels to the Peloton app, with three different price points. Let me explain them all.

Peloton App Free

This tier currently provides more than 50 classes curated across 12 of Peloton’s modalities. It will also include a rotating set of featured classes that will be refreshed on an ongoing basis. (Free. Zippo. Zilch. Nothing.)

This free membership appears not to let you choose which classes you want to take. Instead, you can take only the classes available on the app at any given time. Also, you cannot access Peloton Collections, Peloton Programs or Peloton Challenges. Or at least that’s my interpretation of how this free level of digital app membership works.

Peloton App One

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The Peloton App One costs $12.99 per month or $129 per year. It offers unlimited access to thousands of classes across nine of Peloton’s 16 modalities.

Working to get a list of exactly these 16 modalities are. Because when I count the kinds of achievements you can earn for badges, I only count 12.

Anyway, this includes “strength, cardio, Pilates, meditation, outdoor running and [other] classes” that did not originate on the Peloton hardware. Or at least that’s my interpretation of how this free level of digital app membership works.

Also, you’re limited in the number of equipment-based classes you can take each month. So, right now, you can take up to three bike-, Tread- or Row-based classes available on the Peloton app.

Plus, subscribers at this level can see and take new on-demand and live classes. And they have access to Peloton’s Challenges, Programs and Collections. There is a caveat to this latter benefit: if you’re using the Peloton app on your Roku TV or other smart television, as of this writing no one can access challenges, programs or collections that way.

Finally, this digital app membership level does not include Peloton scenic classes or Lanebreak. Then again, you were never able to take those non-instructor classes on the app anyway.

Peloton App+

The biggest difference with the Peloton App+ level? In addition to what the Peloton App One membership offers, you have access to thousands of equipment-based cardio classes to take on any indoor bike, treadmill or rower.

Peloton App+ costs $24 per month or $240 per year. However, in this article about Peloton membership discounts, I share a membership hack, for the price of the Peloton App+ level, that gives you way more benefits.

This highest level of app membership gives you the Peloton experience without having to buy any Peloton equipment.

How does the Peloton digital app work

For the most part, the rest of this article explains how the Peloton app works, based on the highest level of membership. Because that’s what you used to get for just $12 a month. On the other hand, the instructions I’ve provided on how to find and launch the digital app are for anyone using it, even if you own Peloton hardware.

What do you get with Peloton digital?

When you get a Peloton digital subscription at the Peloton App+ level, you get the full suite of Peloton classes. You can do these classes live on the app or On Demand. Whatever category of classes Peloton offers, they’re there for the taking.

Types of classes on the app

Here is how I access the live classes on my Smartphone. First, I’ll open the Peloton app. Second, I tap the “Schedule” icon on the top right of my screen. Third, I choose which class I want to take live. Your choices are:

  • strength
  • yoga
  • cardio
  • meditation
  • running
  • cycling
  • stretching
  • bike bootcamp
  • Tread bootcamp
  • Row bootcamp
  • rowing
  • walking

If, as you’re scrolling through the class choices, you see a red circle with a sideways triangle in it, that means a class is live right now. You can click on the red circle to join the class immediately.

Accessing On Demand classes on the app

In addition to being able to join live classes on the digital app, you can also take any of the recorded or On-Demand classes in the Peloton library. To be honest, probably 90 percent of the classes I’m taking each week are done On Demand. That’s because I’m doing a Power Zone Challenge so I have a pre-scheduled lined up of classes I need to take for my team.

Or, because with my goal of taking cardio, strength and stretching each day, it’s nearly impossible to line up all three classes, live, in the same time period. I might get two out of three but never three out of three.


How to access On Demand classes on the app

Anyway, here’s how you access the On Demand classes on the Peloton digital app. It’s similar to accessing the live classes. I’m going to walk you through the steps I use on my phone. Doing this on any other device or a computer is similar.

First, you open the Peloton app. Next, once the app opens, it defaults to the “classes” option–on the top left of the home screen. Below, you’ll see your options for the kinds of classes you can take On Demand.

  • strength
  • yoga
  • cardio
  • meditation
  • running
  • outdoor (audio)
  • cycling
  • stretching
  • bike bootcamp
  • Tread bootcamp
  • Row bootcamp
  • rowing
  • walking

You’ll notice that the array of classes is the same as the live schedule except for one–outdoor. These are audio-only classes exclusively for running and walking.

So, you can listen to them when you workout outside. To be honest, I’ll often put on one of these audio-only classes when I walk my dogs. Listening to one of Jon Hosking’s walking classes always puts a pep in my step.


Filtering classes On Demand

When you decide to use the Peloton app to take classes On Demand, you’ll see that there are filters there to help you narrow down your search.

Filtering yoga classes

Here are your filtering options. Let’s say I wanted to do a yoga class On Demand. When I tapped the Yoga option, I’d see the filter at the bottom. Click on it and up come your filtering options.

First, you can filter by class length. In yoga you can choose:

  • 5 min
  • 10 min
  • 15 min
  • 20 min
  • 30 min
  • 45 min
  • 60 min
  • 75 min

Filter by class type

Second, you can filter by class type. Currently, your options for yoga are:

  • Yoga Basics
  • Yoga Flow
  • Power Yoga
  • Yoga Anywhere
  • Restorative Yoga
  • Pre & Postnatal

Please read my Peloton yoga basics review for a more in-depth look at these classes.

Other filtering options

Third, you can filter by instructor. Fourth, you can filter by music. Fifth, you can filter by difficulty.

There are only three levels: beginner, intermediate and advanced. However, word to the wise: some of the classes do not have a difficulty level associated with them. So I rarely use this option.

Finally, you can sort the classes based on six criteria:

  • New
  • Trending
  • Popular
  • Top Rated
  • Easiest
  • Hardest

Filter for strength class on Peloton digital app

Along with yoga you’re likely to want to do strength workouts off the bike or off the Tread by using the digital app. So, let’s go through the process of filtering for strength classes on the app or how that would look.

First, you can filter by length. For the strength workouts your options are:

  • 5 min
  • 10 min
  • 15 min
  • 20 min
  • 30 min

Filter by class type

Second, you can filter by class type. In strength you have the following class choices on the app:

  • Warm Up
  • Strength Skills
  • Bodyweight
  • Full Body
  • Upper Body
  • Core
  • Lower Body

FYI, Bodyweight means you are not using any hand weights. You use your body as your weight.

Also, Strength Skills is similar to Yoga Basics over on the yoga stream. These are short classes designed to teach you how to do basic strength or bootcamp skills, such as bridges, burpees and bicep curls.

Filter by instructor

Third, you can filter by instructor. Most of the instructors in strength are from the Tread studio. However, since cycle instructors do strength training classes on and off the bike, you can find them listed here, too. Basically, you can choose from 29 instructors, including Matty Maggiacomo and Matt Wilpers, shown here.

Here is my blog post about Peloton strength classes.

peloton instructors digital app

Filtering classes by music

Fourth, you can filter by music, using these options:

  • Alternative
  • Latin
  • Classic Rock
  • Pop
  • Country
  • R&B
  • Electronic
  • Rock
  • Hip Hop
  • Indie

Filter classes by difficulty level

Fifth, you can filter by difficulty. Like most Peloton digital app classes, there are three levels: beginner, intermediate and advanced.

Finally, you can sort by newness and rating. This includes:

  • New
  • Trending
  • Popular
  • Top Rated
  • Easiest 
  • Hardest

Filtering may vary slightly for each of the different class types. But, at the most basic, you can always filter by instructor and length of class.

What equipment do I need for the Peloton app?

To use the Peloton app, you’ll need a Smartphone, a tablet, a computer or a Smart TV. As far as what equipment you need to work out using the Peloton digital app, well, it depends on what kind of workouts you’re going to do.

I just wrote a blog post about how to use a printable calendar to keep your Peloton workouts organized.

Here is my article on the best Peloton accessories. Many of those recommendations are relevant for using the Peloton app, too, such as the Scosche heart rate monitor.

If you’re planning on doing strength workouts, you’ll need a set of dumb bells or hand weights. I have pairs of 5 pounds, 8 pounds, 10 pounds and 15 pounds. You’ll also want a mat, for floor work or taking yoga classes.

Can I use the Peloton app without the bike or Tread?

Absolutely you can use the Peloton digital app without owning a bike or Tread. Again, it used to be that anyone with a digital app membership could do this. Now, you’ll need to have the $24 per month Peloton App+ in order to take any and all classes.

When I’ve had to travel for work and stayed in hotels without Peloton bikes, I was able to bring my phone with me to the gym. There, I would load a Peloton cycling class and use it while riding a regular spin bike in the hotel gym. Here, by the way, is my list of Peloton hotels or hotels with Peloton cycles in the gym.

In fact, you can do your own Peloton bike hack at home. It’s one of the reasons the Echelon bike has become so popular. Echelon is a “bring your own device” home spin bike.

FYI, you can use this link to buy the Echelon bike.

Amazon also sells other home spin fitness bikes that you could easily use with a Peloton digital subscription with, too.

Other spin bikes to use with Peloton app

Echelon is hardly the only bike you can use with the Peloton digital app. Some of the other brands I know people have purchased to use with the Peloton app include the Schwinn spin bike and the Sunny Bike.

Here’s something important to keep in mind. Some of these alternatives to Peloton bikes have a chain drive. Others have a belt drive. You definitely want to go with the belt drive. Why?

First, a belt drive is quieter. Second, a belt drive is likely to last longer. In other words the chain drive tends to wear out more quickly. And you don’t want that to happen.

Yes, belt driven bikes are a bit more expensive than chain driven bikes. But if they last longer and work better, it’s worth the money.

How do I connect my Peloton app subscription to my TV?

We have a RokuTV so it has the Peloton “channel.” You can also use a Roku to stream your bike to a TV. That’s called casting to a TV.

Here is how the Peloton website describes the devices that you can use your Peloton subscription with:

“The Peloton App is available on web and for the iPhone, iPad, Android phones, Android tablets, Android TV, Apple TV, Fire TV and Roku TV.”

Peloton app on Roku

It is so easy to get the Peloton app on a Roku TV. All you’re really doing is “adding” the Peloton channel to your Roku TV.

However, there are a few drawbacks that I’ve found so far with using the Peloton app on a Roku. One, you can’t stack your classes nor access previously stacked classes.

Two, you can’t give people high fives. In fact, you can’t see if or how many other people are in class with you. Here’s an article that includes an explanation of how to stack Peloton classes.

And, three, you can’t access programs or collections on a Roku. Also, you can’t search for classes.

Peloton digital Chromecast

Another option for getting Peloton digital content on your TV is by using Chromecast. Not familiar with Chromecast? Chromecast, which Google owns, connects to your TV through the HDMI port.

Where can you buy Chromecast? Pretty much anywhere you would buy technology to use with your TV.

Google Chromecast with Google TV Streaming Stick

You can use a Google Chromecast to stream Peloton classes and other entertainment on your TV.

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02/18/2024 03:26 am GMT

Can I use the Peloton Tread without a subscription?

Well, no. Because if you buy a Tread, then you’ve already got the subscription. But let’s flip that question around and do what I do: use the Peloton digital app to get Tread workouts without owning a Tread.

How do I do this? With my regular NordicTrack treadmill that I’ve had for years. I’ll just use the app on my phone, and take any Tread class there. I can even do a live class on the app.

What is Peloton outdoor content on the digital app?

One of my favorite parts of the Peloton digital app? Is the fact that you can take classes outdoors.

That is, you choose the “Outdoors” or “Audio Only” classes from the app on your phone. Using your favorite headphones–or on speakerphone, if you want–you can bring the Peloton instructors with you for a run or walk outdoors. 

I only do the walk classes for real. Why? Because I only run when chased. Here is my review of Peloton walking classes.

Is the Peloton digital app worth it

So, is the Peloton app worth it? I think so, if you pay for the highest level of membership and you own off-brand hardware so you can do cycling, treadmill and/or rowing classes.

The Peloton app lets you pursue running or walking classes on any treadmill, practice yoga at home, do strength training with your own equipment–or a hotel gym, if you’re traveling.

I have dozens of friends who were devout Orangetheory participants who have since converted to the Peloton digital app. While they can’t compete on the big screen leaderboard like they could at Orangetheory, they can still find challenging workouts to keep them in shape.

Bootcamps can replace subscriptions like Orangetheory

For example, any of the boot camp classes you can do on the digital app include part of the time running on a treadmill and the rest of the time doing strength or HIIT workouts on the floor. That’s any treadmill, not just the Peloton Tread.

Finally, you can even get shout outs when you do a live class using the Peloton digital app. There have been so many times during a cycling class where I’ve heard the instructor call out riders on Peloton digital or the Peloton app. So, if you’re looking for that kind of gamification and reinforcement, you can even get that by using the Peloton app.

Quick update on the Peloton digital app

Just wanted to post this update: the Peloton digital app is no longer called that. The company is just referring to it as the Peloton app now. I guess because “digital” seems to suggest online only, and as I’ve explained there are plenty of other ways to access Peloton content on the app now.

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One Comment

  1. I see you say on your website states: “when you get either the Peloton cycle or the Peloton Tread, you automatically “get” the Peloton digital app. That is, your subscription for your workout equipment includes a free digital membership to Peloton.”

    I chatted today ( 10/28/20) with support, and it turns the app is only free WHILE you are waiting for your bike.They told me after you get the bike you would need to get the full membership plan. ( I assume this also implies that when you get the bike you can decide if you do not want any plan, or if you want just the digital plan ).

    It seems like Peloton is periodically changing how they administer their plans, so it can be hard to stay current with the choices!