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Should you buy a Peloton? (Here’s how to decide)

May 14, 2020

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I'm Mickie. Co-founder and CEO of One Strong Southern Girl. Our team is here for you. We want you to remember us because we helped changed your life. 


Should you buy a Peloton? That’s a great question! We’re all in pursuit of the best at-home exercise equipment.

But buying a Peloton (or any other big, expensive piece of equipment like a treadmill, rower or universal gym) is a serious investment. And how you decide whether you should get out your wallet shouldn’t be a quick decision.

When you’re done with this article you’ll feel ready (and confident with your decision) to invest (or not to invest) in that new (expensive) piece of equipment.

The smartest way to remove any emotion from your decision to buy (and feel good about your investment) is to ask yourself the following 5 questions:

Do you already exercise regularly? Or are you using this purchase to jumpstart your fitness program?

If you’re buying this piece of equipment because you think it’ll kickstart your exercise program into gear, then I challenge you to wait at least 6 weeks before you buy.

First, you need to prove to yourself (and anyone else who’ll be affected by this investment) that you’re committed to exercising regularly by working out at home five days a week, for the next 6 weeks, without missing a single workout. It’s important that you prove to yourself that you’re ready to exercise consistently–that your mindset and motivation are already in place (not that your plan is to rely on your new expensive equipment to do that for you).

If you’re able to crush that assignment, then you might be ready to buy this piece of equipment. (Assuming you’ve also considered your answer to the next 4 questions, too.) 

But if you’re already exercising regularly, if you’re someone who’s been exercising consistently for a long time and this is just a new piece of equipment you want in your life, then you can move on to question number two.

The next question you ask yourself is this…

Have you done the thing this equipment was designed to do?

If you’re looking at a spin bike then make sure you’ve taken a spin class (several of them). If you’re trying to decide whether you should get a treadmill make sure you’ve done a lot of treadmill workouts. Whatever this piece of equipment was designed to do, make certain that you’ve already done that thing before (more than once).

So for the next month, I challenge you to work out two to three times a week doing the thing that this new piece of equipment you’d like to purchase is designed to do. 

It’s an experience to use a piece of equipment that’s designed to do a specific thing. So you need to be prepared. Not everybody likes it. You envision yourself liking it because it’s fancy. Why wouldn’t you like it? But you might not.

I highly recommend that you make sure you’re very familiar with the activity that this equipment was designed for and you’ve done a bunch of it not just once or twice, but a bunch. So at least a month of you doing this consistently in your life.

Okay, so question number two is, have you ever done the thing that this equipment was designed for? If the answer is no, then make sure you do it before you invest is my recommendation.

Let’s move on to question number three…

Is this really in your budget or are you trying to convince yourself it’s in your budget?

Will anyone you love scoff over the next 12 months every time you want to buy a Starbucks coffee or a pair of jeans or a fancy purse because you dropped several thousand dollars on a fancy treadmill (that you’re not using)?

Yes, these things happen. Let’s be real, right? You don’t want this purchase to be thrown back into your face six months from now because you convince someone to finance a piece of equipment that now you suddenly find you’re not using (it happens) and you couldn’t really afford.

So be honest with yourself. Make sure that money is really truly in your budget. 

Sit down, look at the numbers and make sure it’s a smart investment. 

And…don’t forget about the accessories!

For a lot of these pieces of equipment, once you buy the thing, you also have to buy the accessory things to make them work and make them good–special shoes that click into the pedals, a tray for your book and smoothie, a special mat to protect your floors and keep your equipment from moving, etc.

The list of potential accessories is long and you’re likely not thinking of all of them right now.

So bump up that budget for your new equipment by 10-15% to realistically cover the shipping, taxes, delivery/assembly and accessories you’re going to need to use it.

On to question number four…

Do you have somewhere to put it?

Do you really have somewhere to put it? Have you gotten the dimensions, the measurements for this piece of equipment, and gone to the space in your house where you plan to put it and made sure it’s going to fit?

Because (trust me on this) your gut feeling of how big something is, is NOT the same as how big it really is. I recommend you cut out a piece of paper that represents the exact dimensions on the floor that your new equipment will occupy to get a grip on how much room you need. (And of course you need to add several feet to that because you’ll need to have room around your equipment to use it safely.)

If you have a place in mind for your new equipment (and you should) then make sure the function of the room won’t be changed because of your new toy.

Make sure you won’t be blocking the natural flow of traffic in/out of the room.

Make sure you won’t be blocking the TV for anyone when you use your equipment. 

If you have elderly family members that live with you make sure your equipment won’t be making it difficult for them to get around the room safely.

Do you like to rearrange your furniture every few months? If yes, will this new piece of equipment make that hard to do?

These are practical considerations that you need to think about before you buy your new equipment because the last thing you need is to resent the hell out of it 6 months later because of any of these reasons.

And make sure you remember this…

If you have kids, your new exercise equipment will be a magnet for them. Setting up a treadmill in a room is basically like installing a swingset in your house and prohibiting your kids from using it.

Be prepared to deal with that. I don’t know if your equipment comes ‘baby proofed’ (it won’t) so do yourself a favor and think about all the ways a toddler can hurt themselves on it before you buy it. 

Okay. Now my final question is this…

Have you read the reviews and the FAQ’s?

Make sure you read reviews from an independent website about the equipment you’re thinking about buying. Find good mix of positive reviews and negative reviews. 

Then I highly recommend that you spend some time reading through all the frequently asked questions from the website of your new product. I guarantee that you’ll find out something in there you didn’t know about.

Somewhere around the three star reviews is a good place to start, but you need to read a whole bunch of reviews because I promise you, someone will say something you haven’t thought about.

Go ahead and send an email to customer support and see how long it takes them to get back to you. You don’t want to find out that their customer support is unreliable the day you actually need them.

By doing these 2 things you’re going to find out stuff that gets you even more excited about your purchase or it’s going to make you question whether it’s the right time, right place, right thing to do.

So those are the five questions you ask yourself before you buy that big piece of exercise equipment.

I always recommend you start with small pieces of exercise equipment that can be used in a lot of different ways. I never recommend you start off your fitness journey at home with a huge investment of any kind into equipment.

It’s not smart until you’ve established what your likes are, what your needs are, what kinds of workouts you’re going to want to do, whether you’re going to stick to it, what room you’re going to be working out in, whether you want to try exercise on demand, etc.

In general, most large pieces of equipment can only be used to do one kind of exercise. So, I don’t believe this one piece of equipment can meet all of your fitness needs forever. For total body conditioning you’ll need other pieces of equipment.

And, one more good tip before you buy your new equipment is to ask a friend who owns what you’re looking at buying, what they wish they knew before they bought it. (You’ll get the best answer from someone who’s had the thing for at least 6-12 months.)

Other articles for you…

How to keep going during a workout

Should you set up a home gym in your garage? Here’s how to decide

The best on-demand streaming workout services for wome who workout at home

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  1. Rene says:

    Also, I think right now they are offering 90 days free for new users if you have your own bike that is.

  2. Rene says:

    I have the Peleton app. I have a Sunny bike. You don’t need to buy their bike to use their classes. My bike has a cadence sensor I purchased from Wahoo via Amazon. The resistance is easy to figure out if you have done enough classes. Personally, I would never buy one of those pricey bikes when you can just use the app ($14) a month and get the same workout.

    • Hi Rene! What a great point. I didn’t realize you could sign in to their spin classes if you didn’t own one of their products. That’s really helpful information! And $14/month is comparable to other streaming workout memberships so it’s definitely a great option to consider. Thanks for taking the time to share this!

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