Peloton Digital App Review

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.

But let’s be honest. Not everyone can afford the bike or treadmill. Well, here’s the good news.

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You can use the Peloton app without owning a bike or Tread

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 free 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. Additionally, once you have a digital subscription, you can do workouts on your TV, whether it’s a Smart TV or just a regular TV you’ve connected your laptop to with an HDMI cable.

That’s a long way of say 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

Since I mentioned that you could try the Peloton app for free for 30 days, let’s talk cost. By itself a Peloton digital membership will set you back $12.99 per month plus tax. So for about $13 a month–or $156 a year–you can enjoy the full suite of Peloton classes.

Does Peloton have a free trial? Again, yes. For 30 days. That should give you enough time to try out all of the classes to see if you like it enough to keep a subscription going.

How does the Peloton digital app work

The Peloton app works to give you access to live classes as well as the ones that are available On Demand. It’s a great Peloton alternative if buying the cycle or Tread isn’t in your budget right now.

What do you get with Peloton digital?

When you get a Peloton digital subscription, which is basically the same thing as the Peloton digital app, 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. 

Accessing live class 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
  • boot camp
  • walking

If, as you’re scrolling through the class choices, you see 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 either I’m doing a Power Zone Challenge so 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 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
  • boot camp
  • 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. Scroll down to read a section about how to use the outdoor content on the Peloton digital app.


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. This is because you cannot actually search for classes on the Peloton app or when you access Peloton digital on your computer. Only the equipment has a search option. If there is one of the biggest cons to the digital app, this is it. But at least there are the filters.

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

Filtery 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.

peloton digital app

You’ll also want a mat, for floor work or taking yoga classes. I love my Gaiam yoga mat. I also use Gaiam blocks for my yoga practice.

Peloton Weights Amazon

TRX Dumbbells

My daughter Annie turned me on to these TRX dumbbells. She loves them because they come in weights ranging from 5 pounds to 50 pounds. They go up in five-pound increments.

Note: the TRX store sells them individually. So, make sure you put two per weight in your shopping cart.

You can save 15% off your TRX Training order with my exclusivie Coupon Code: LEAH15TRX

Peloton Weights on eBay

A great source for new in box Peloton weights is eBay. There you can find Peloton bootcamp weights as well as light weights that go on the back of the Peloton cycle.


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. 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.

After our daughter quarantined with us last year–and became obsessed with Cody Rigsby classes–she started looking for a way to recreate the Peloton experience at home without buying a new Peloton cycle. The Echelon has become a top contender. (She’s still weighing her options.)

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

Echelon Smart Connect 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 alternative 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?

As I mentioned earlier, I do classes from Peloton, off the Peloton equipment, by connecting my laptop to my TV using an HDMI cable. But that’s only because I have an older TV.

However, recently we purchased a Smart TV, which allows me to get Peloton right on the screen. We have a RokuTV so it has the Peloton “channel.” You can also use a Roku to stream your bike to a TV, but that’s besides the point.

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 two 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 any other people are in class with you.

Here’s an article that includes an explanation of how to stack Peloton 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. It is similar to what I described, above, with using an HDMI cord to connect my computer to our TV.

However, what makes Chromecast different is it becomes a Smart TV receiver, if you will. It brings Smart TV functionality to your regular old TV.

Where can you buy Chromecast? Pretty much anywhere you would buy technology to use with your TV. So, that would online or at big box stores. Here are some options, below.

Where to buy a Chromecast to use with Peloton digital

Peloton Digital App: Chromecast

Here are some shopping options if you want to use the Peloton digital app and Chromecast to make your old TV into a Smart TV.

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 on there. I can even do 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.

Peloton outdoor running program on the app

No, but seriously, I don’t enjoy running. However, that doesn’t mean that I haven’t “listened” to running classes. Sometimes their playlists are so good–I’m looking at you Selena Samuela and Jess Sims.

Finally, you must take Jess Sims’ ’90s walk on the app. Literally, I have listened to it every morning for the past month while walking my dogs. I play her listening games, speed up when she tells me to and get in a great, quick walk every morning. And I just hit my Century walk or 100 walking classes.

For more about Peloton programs, this article can help.

peloton tread instructors with adrian

Is the Peloton digital app worth it

So, is the Peloton app worth it? I think so. 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–and put together a cycle hack so you can spin, too. At just $13 a month, it’s significantly cheaper than any other gym membership, including the $39.99 a month we pay for our Peloton subscription that you have to have when owning the Peloton bike.

I have dozens of friends who were devout Orangetheory participants who has since converted to the Peloton digital app. While they can’t compete on the big screen leaderboard like they could at Orangetheory–and rowing isn’t an option; please, Peloton, introduce a rower–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.

Finally, Peloton now offers a discount on membership when you subscribe to the app only. You can read more about Peloton discounts here.

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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!