Workout planning and tracking
Can’t track workouts with the camera off
What is the Peloton Guide?
The Guide is Peloton’s home strength training system. It’s a compact smart camera—roughly 6 ½ inches long by 2 inches high by 2 ½ inches wide, or the size of a small speaker—that you hook up to your TV via HDMI cable to project instructor-led workouts. Similar to workout mirrors that let you keep an eye on your form by looking at your reflection, the Guide’s camera films you and lets you watch yourself on your television, making it easy to compare your movements to your instructor’s.
Once you select and start a class with the Guide, your instructor appears on your TV screen with your own image projected alongside them. You can change how large or small you're displayed in the settings, and if you don’t want to watch yourself work out, you can slide the lens cover over the camera and continue (but the movement tracker won’t keep you in check this way). The Guide displays workout metrics like heart rate and calories burned alongside the famous Peloton leaderboard, though all these can be hidden if you want to simplify your screen.
What does the Peloton Guide cost?
You can buy the Guide camera on its own for $295, or purchase a package that includes dumbbells for added resistance. The Strength Starter kit includes the Guide, three sets of Peloton dumbbells (you can select a trio of weights that suit your needs, in sets ranging from 5 to 30 pounds), and a workout mat for $545. The second option is the Guide Power with Rogue kit, which includes the Guide, six sets of Rogue dumbbells ranging from 5 to 50 pounds, a Peloton heart rate monitor, and a workout mat for $935 to $1,270, depending on the weights you choose.
First-time Peloton gear purchasers will get access to all of the brand’s beloved workout classes for $24 a month with the purchase of the Guide. (Existing Peloton owners will still be charged $39 a month for their membership if they purchase the Guide in addition to a Bike+ or Tread.) The brand’s goal with launching the Guide is to emphasize strength and yoga workouts, which are intended to round out the typical Peloton cardio experience you get using the Bike+ or Tread, or enhance the experience current standalone app users can get. You can select from a menu of thousands of classes designed to work the upper body, lower body, or entire body, and that range from 5 minutes to a full hour. You may also filter by difficulty level, instructor, or class type.
What we like about the Peloton Guide
Peloton’s fan-favorite classes and instructors
I took multiple strength training and yoga classes with various Peloton instructors and thought each class was fun, challenging, and helped me progress toward my fitness goals. I even learned some new moves, and while I may not have mastered them by the end of class, I felt confident in my movements, and in the fact that I learned a new skill.
As in the bike and tread classes, Peloton’s instructors are top-notch. Their energy is infectious, even through my TV screen. They made class fun, pushed me to work harder, and guided me through my workout with detailed instructions that helped me gain confidence as I performed each rep. If you’re an avid Peloton user, you’ll be able to take classes with some of your favorite instructors, as well as check out some new faces.
The workout tracking
While the Guide makes it simple to get a well-rounded workout, it also helps you select a plan that’s within your current fitness level and mentally prepare to do it. Before starting a class, you can check out the “class plan” that lists the exercises ahead of you, and the “body activity” tab that shows what muscle groups will be worked and how intensely, indicated by various shades of blue.
In your profile, you can see the workouts you’ve completed in the past seven and 30 days. The Guide shows you how much time you’ve spent working out, what movements you’ve completed, and what muscle groups you’ve worked. Having this information compiled on one page makes it easy to see what areas you may want to improve upon, and where you’re overdoing it. For example, if Peloton shows you you’ve worked your lower body 75% of the time and upper body only 25%, you may want to incorporate some more upper body sessions. Or if you see you’ve taken 15 strength training classes but only two yoga flows, you may want to incorporate some more mobility and flexibility work into your weekly workout plan. Peloton makes balance easy to achieve by recommending workout classes you may be lacking on your home page.
What we don’t like about the Peloton Guide
The lack of storage
The Guide’s compact design makes it great for small spaces: It can be placed on top of your TV stand, or mounted on top of your television. However, it doesn’t come with any storage for your weights, yoga mat, and any other equipment you may use. A similar home workout system, the Tempo Move, includes a cabinet to store your weights when not in use, and I found myself missing this thoughtful feature as I stared at the dumbbells scattered around my living room floor.
Like any other piece of Peloton equipment, the Guide is expensive. I don’t think it’s necessarily cost-prohibitive, given that I loved how easy it was to track and plan my workouts with the Guide. But spending nearly $600 for the Guide, three sets of dumbbells, and a yoga mat is quite the investment. If you don’t enjoy watching yourself work out or you have your own training plan you intend to follow, you can easily skip the Guide, and work out with the Peloton app for $12.99 a month, plus the cost of your own equipment.
Should you buy the Peloton Guide?
Yes, if you have the cash and love Peloton workouts
I loved the Guide. The workouts were fun and challenging, the instructors were motivating, and I seriously appreciated how easy Peloton made it to plan well-rounded workouts and track my workout split, something I don’t normally keep tabs on.
However, at $300 for just the base unit, the Guide is pricey, and won’t be worth it for everyone. If you turn the camera off, the Guide won’t track if you’re actually completing the workout, so you may decide to skip it if you don’t enjoy watching yourself sweat. Additionally, you could keep tabs on your heart rate with any monitor, exercise in front of a mirror to spot-check your form, and use the Peloton app for workouts and spend the cash on other workout equipment you may enjoy more.
Overall, if you're looking to build confidence and strengthen muscles you don't normally work in their other classes—or if you want to zero in on your form—check out the Guide. I thought the workouts were excellent, and Peloton’s feedback allows you to develop a workout plan you’ll want to stick to.
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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
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Staff Writer, Health and Fitness
Esther is a writer at Reviewed covering all things health and fitness.
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