Our Testers & Fitness Pros Tried It

Peloton is known for its high-end at-home cardio equipment, and we’ve always been fans of its exceptional instructors and fun yet productive workout classes. That’s why the fitness experts at the Good Housekeeping Institute were excited to see the brand’s entry into the strength-training space with Peloton Guide, a smart device that uses AI technology to help you effectively lift weights in the comfort of your own home. Peloton describes the Guide as its first connected strength-training product that does everything from counting reps to correcting your form. But is it actually worth it, and will it really elevate your home workouts? We had our on-staff personal trainer (yours truly!) evaluate the Guide’s fitness content and offerings. We even sent the device to five at-home testers of all different fitness levels across the nation who tried out the product for over three months for real-life feedback on how it worked in their homes and if it kept them motivated to stay active at home. Read on for our honest review of the Peloton Guide, including whether or not its worth the price. What is the Peloton Guide?Peloton Guide is a small smart device with a 12-megapixel front-facing camera and privacy cover. Peloton GuidePeloton GuideCredit: PelotonConsAdditional monthly membership costRequires ample unobstructed spaceThe device can be mounted on your TV or on a table and connects to your TV for an AI-powered personal training experience. The technology allows you to see yourself on screen next to the instructors as you follow their workout classes, all while tracking your reps and correcting your form as you exercise.Since the Guide is a compact device (at 6.5″ L x 2.5″ W x 1.7″ H, it’s the smallest in all of Peloton’s line-up), it simply gets shipped to your home in a small box with instructions for set-up. The Guide also comes with a remote, mount for TV or table-top mounting, HDMI and power cables as well as a 12-month limited warranty. How much does the Peloton Guide cost? Peloton Guide starts at $195 for the device itself, with larger packages available if you need to add on extra equipment such as a set of Peloton dumbbells, which go for $55 to $155 depending on the weight. (Though the technology is compatible with any dumbbells, including non-Peloton ones). Another option is to spring for the Guide Starter package, which adds in two sets of dumbbells, a yoga mat, a 24-ounce Camelbak water bottle and free shipping for $395. You’ll need an existing smart TV and working Wi-Fi, too. An additional $24 a month is required for the Peloton Guide Membership, which grants you access to all Peloton content (including the Peloton app) and features on Guide, plus individual profiles for up to five people in your household. If you already pay for an All-Access Peloton membership for another piece of Peloton equipment such as the Bike, Bike+ or Tread, you won’t have to pay an extra monthly fee for the Guide.How to set up Peloton GuideAfter unboxing your device, you’ll position it about three to six feet from the ground by either mounting it on top of an anchored TV or placing it on a stable surface such as a table. You’ll have to ensure that you have ample unobstructed space for the Peloton Guide to work (at least 4.5 x 6 feet, which is about the size of two yoga mats side by side), and you’ll need to stay within six to eight feet of the camera for optimal tracking. PelotonYou’ll then connect the Guide to Wi-Fi, and if needed, you can use the provided cables to connect the device to your TV. The remote requires two AAA batteries (which are included), and then you’ll turn on your TV using the TV remote and switch to the correct HDMI input to get started. There is an optional microphone feature which you can calibrate as well — this voice control will allow you to start, pause, fast forward and stop any classes hands-free while you get on with your workout or need to take a quick break.Set-up of the Peloton Guide in a tester’s home. Betsy Farrell “If you follow the instructions, the set-up is seamless and makes total sense. We had no issues hooking it up to our smart TV,” one tester said. Another noted that their Guide device had to be updated as they hooked it up, which took a bit more time, but they felt it was fairly straightforward. The device itself is simple and sleek looking, not bulky at all, so it can stay put in-between workouts (but it’s also easy to move around if you want it out of sight when not in use). What does Peloton Guide do?Select a class to meet your needs and get moving. The Guide’s AI technology tracks your body’s movements, keeping tabs on your performance, your number of reps and whether you take a break, which helps you stay accountable and provides a more accurate overall picture of your workout. You’ll see a mirror image of yourself next to the instructor on the screen and will get form cues in real time from the technology to make any necessary adjustments. A GH staffer beginning a Peloton Guide class in their home. Betsy Farrell”You’re provided with a lot of information as well including which muscles were targeted and how many calories burned,” one tester said. The Body Activity feature helps you recognize which muscles you’ve already worked that week while recommending other classes to ensure you’re getting a well-rounded total body routine. And just like with any Peloton classes, you’ll get rewards and badges for completing moves and be able to see how you progress from class to class.How are the Peloton Guide classes?We absolutely loved the diverse group of motivating instructors and the variety of strength training classes — for example, there’s 10-minute Core Strength, 20-minute Glutes & Legs Strength and 30-minute Full Body Strength — some with the option to use weights and others using your body weight only. “The instructors are fun and motivating. Peloton’s Leaderboard also makes you feel like you’re working out with other people, which I loved,” said one tester.PelotonOur on-staff fitness experts appreciate that the sessions are well-programmed to give you an effective workout. “I was really surprised at how much I like the Peloton Guide. The classes are great and the instructors are amazing,” one tester commented. “I was very sore the next day. I love how it tracks my reps because it made me not want to stop until I got my reps, and the classes went by very fast,” another person said.One of the biggest hurdles for those new to strength training is understanding and learning proper form, and we found the Peloton Guide classes perfect for helping you get an effective strength workout at home and building confidence when lifting weights. “I’ve always been hesitant about weight training — trainers are expensive and learning on my own was daunting because I wasn’t confident in my form and never knew how much weight I needed per rep,” a tester said. In that way, Peloton Guide is good for beginners. A GH staffer testing out the Peloton Guide in their home.Betsy FarrellAccording to the tester, “The Peloton Guide allowed me to ease into whatever workout I wanted that day and I felt empowered each time I completed a workout. The trainers demo’d the exercises in a way that was easy to follow and I was able to get down proper form.”What’s the downside of Peloton Guide?While we love the technology, incredible Peloton instructors and class content, one drawback is the amount of unobstructed space you’ll need for the Peloton Guide to properly work. Testers in homes with large basements or living rooms had no issue with this, but those who live in apartments and smaller spaces found it harder to create enough open space — a larger workout area than a spin bike to feel comfortable working out in. “It requires you to have a good amount of space in front of your TV to roll out your exercise mat and do full reps, so this might not be ideal for those with smaller apartments or limited space,” one tester said.The good news is that the brand offers a 30-day home trial for Peloton Guide, so if you’re not satisfied with it or if you can’t make enough room in your space, you can contact Peloton within 30 days to return it and they will refund your purchase. Is the Peloton Guide worth it? Overall, the Peloton Guide performed really well in our tests and was rated very favorably by our testers of all different fitness levels. It’s relatively easy to set up as long as you have the required workout space, and the technology helps hold you accountable by tracking your reps and providing form cues and tips in real time to make sure you’re exercising safely and effectively. The Peloton instructors are also some of the best in the industry, and the workouts themselves are well-programmed. “It’s inexpensive, you get a lot for what you pay for, including top-notch instructors and a nice set design in their studio. It’s also easy to set up,” one tester said. Considering the ongoing membership cost, the Guide is certainly a commitment. “I would recommend this only to folks who are really looking to build muscle and are committed to weight lifting, not someone who is just trying to get a little more exercise into their daily lives,” one tester noted. “This is definitely not for folks who have no prior fitness background.” You’ll also need to have some strength training equipment already on-hand, but the experience really elevates weight training at home and feels like a personal training experience. Why trust Good Housekeeping?Stefani Sassos has been working in the fitness industry for the past 10 years, specializing in indoor cycling and strength training. As a NASM-certified personal trainer, she uses her expertise and knowledge of exercise science to create informed fitness content for the Good Housekeeping Institute. From vigorously testing exercise equipment and apps to curating workout plans for GH readers, Stefani is passionate about leading an active lifestyle and inspiring others to do the same. She also recently received a certification as a Women’s Fitness Specialist and emphasizes the importance of lifting weights for women at all stages of life. Stefani appreciates that platforms like the Peloton Guide provide form correction to help users safely strength train at home.Nutrition Lab DirectorStefani (she/her) is a registered dietitian, a NASM-certified personal trainer and the director of the Good Housekeeping Institute Nutrition Lab, where she handles all nutrition-related content, testing and evaluation. She holds a bachelor’s degree in nutritional sciences from Pennsylvania State University and a master’s degree in clinical nutrition from NYU. She is also Good Housekeeping’s on-staff fitness and exercise expert. Stefani is dedicated to providing readers with evidence-based content to encourage informed food choices and healthy living. She is an avid CrossFitter and a passionate home cook who loves spending time with her big fit Greek family.


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