At-home fitness has changed since the days of our parents’ stair climbers and retro rollers. And Peloton has led the way with its top-tier virtual classes and beautifully shot streaming content. Kevin Cornils, Managing Director at Peloton International talks through how Peloton has perfected the at-home gym experience, and now more than ever with the brand’s new Peloton Plus and 360-degree approach to fitness.
How did this all begin? And when did things really explode for the brand in the UK? Peloton started in 2012 in New York City. The inspiration behind Peloton is simple, people want to workout—but there are a lot of obstacles that stand in the way of their doing so. John Foley, experienced this first-hand when he and his wife Jill could no longer manage to fit studio classes into their busy schedules, with two kids at home. So the idea for Peloton was born: bring studio-style, group-fitness classes home, so you can access the motivation, power, and intensity of these classes anytime, anywhere.
We launched Peloton in the UK in September 2018, and, since launch, we’ve opened eight showrooms, most recently in Birmingham, so people can see and try the bike in person. In addition, we’ve launched four UK instructors who teach out of our London studio. Lastly, we’ve just launched the Peloton Bike+ and the Peloton Tread, as well as a lower price point for the original Peloton Bike.
Tell me about the bike workouts—what makes them unique? In some ways – this is just an updated version of the stationary bikes our parents had growing up? The secret to Peloton’s success is that it is more than just a class, a cycling studio or a bike. It delivers a fully engaging experience, which uses technology and convenience to make every workout effective, whilst offering the social connection and community to convert riders into workout addicts. Peloton sits at the intersection of fitness, technology and media, and has reinvented the way people work out.
How do you keep the classes exciting for everyone? Content variety is really important here. We started off with indoor cycling, but have evolved over time and now offer content across nine different disciplines. Even within our range of indoor cycling classes, there are so many options for members, and they can filter classes based on the length of time they have available, the music they want to ride to, the instructor, and the type of class.
Obviously the fitness industry is changing a great deal with Covid. What do you predict for the industry in the coming months? Gyms still serve a purpose, but I think that technology now gives more opportunities for people to work out whenever and wherever they want. Additionally, we believe that fitness is moving into the home, just as you’ve seen movies shift from the cinema into the home and video games from arcades to the home, where you can get a higher-quality experience on your own time.
Through the app there are now thousands of classes available across multiple disciplines. What led to the decision to branch out beyond cycling? When we launched the original Peloton Bike eight years ago, we were solely focused on bringing the in-studio cycling experience into the home, and thus, all we offered was cycling content. As a member-first organisation, we’ve listened to feedback and understand that our members want a holistic workout experience. So, we’ve grown our content over time, and we now have nine fitness disciplines, including indoor cycling, running, walking, strength, stretching, boot camp, cardio, yoga and meditation. This year, we also launched dance cardio and family content.
Peloton is known for having incredible teachers—tell me a bit about the training and recruitment? Peloton really becomes an integral part of our members’ lives. We’re in their homes. They get to know our instructors, who often give shout-outs during classes to members who have hit certain ride milestones, have a birthday or are riding for the first time. There’s an intimacy to that experience that you just don’t find with a lot of other fitness brands. Currently, we have 33 instructors, and, in terms of training, there’s a robust process for all of our instructors. Unlike many fitness brands, they’re not just teaching to riders in a room, so they have to understand how to teach to hundreds, even thousands of our members working out at home.
With your expert knowledge—what does the future of at-home exercise look like? For Peloton, technology has always underlined everything we do, and it’s a big differentiator for us. Looking ahead, I think there will be more focus on the breadth and diversity of content. At Peloton, we produce broadcast-quality content from state-of-the-art studios, and we’re continually introducing new content formats to keep our members engaged. For example, on September 15th, we’ll launch Bike Bootcamp, a new class format that incorporates on and off the bike exercises into a single class.