114: Planet Fitness Feels Peloton Pressure and our interview with Megan Redmond
July 12, 2019
Planet Fitness launches a campaign targeted at taking down Peloton, Claire Shorenstein has hydration tips for summer runners. You might remember she is also Matt Wilper’s go-to nutritionist (and dietitian). Peloton gears up for the San Francisco Marathon – Events all weekend: Getting shoes customized, a Cheer House, and a Expo and a Shakeout Run – collaboration with Outdoor Voices. Oliver will have another cookie club on July 17th. Peloton posts a All-4-One Behind the Scenes video. Pop Sugar featured a workout from Emma Lovewell. Telegraph UK published a review of Peloton versus Zwift from an outdoor rider perspective. Peloton Boutique posted another new collection to purchase. John Mills has more PeloParody GIFs available. Plus our interview with Megan Redmond!
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By Crystal — 2 years ago
What gravitates people to any physical or even online store is not just the product but also the team behind them. For Peloton, each store brings customers to a whole level of community and personal experience with their fitness needs. Today, Crystal and Tom O’Keefe chat with Jill Foley, the Director of the Peloton Boutique. Jill talks about how she and her colleagues work together to buy, source, and sell apparel online and on showrooms. She also shares her retail store experience and what sets apart their boutique from traditional retail stores. Listen to Jill as she shows you how the store brings in more customers every day.
Listen to the podcast here:
Jill Foley Give Us The Inside Scoop On The Peloton Boutique
We have Jill Foley on. I’m so excited.
She is our third Peloton official Pelo people because she gets a paycheck. She’s on the payroll. She’s going to tell us all the great stuff about the boutique. If you have questions about the boutique, we have answers.
You want to read carefully because there are some little Easter eggs of information within the interview.
This is for fitness people. There are Easter egg whites of information for you.
There are dates included. We also have some great news to go over. I wanted to talk about Denis Morton because before we went on vacation, I was able to ride with Emma Lovewell, the Bond girl, and I was not able to ride with Denis Morton. However, it is after vacation and I still have not ridden with Denis Morton. I still have a little bit of feedback that I was able to garner. I have some news about the boutique, specifically a product line that I would like to update everybody on. There’s a little bit of tech.
Let’s dig in.
I have got to take a ride with him yet.
I, too, haven’t ridden with Denis Morton.
I have been trying to get my sleep schedule back from vacation.
You’re still on Mexican time.
I only was able to get up a couple of times this week, I’m ashamed to say, but I did do a little homework. This will shock you. Denis Morton is a hottie. That’s what I heard. All the women are texting me. They are messaging me and I was told that he is hot. Dreamy, I was told I would need a fire extinguisher when I met him. That’s what I know about Denis Morton.
He’s so hot, you’ll pick the seat off your bike. Is it too much?
Yes. I asked Lisa Carlson because she happened to tell me that she was doing a ride with Denis Morton. She said that they are good rides. It’s tough. He does get in and out of the saddle a lot because I’ve seen that comment a lot that there’s a lot of in and out of the saddle. I was wondering. She takes a lot of rides from different instructors.
Is he also telling the people to get on and off the bike?
Not on and off. I know you don’t ride, but I forget that you don’t know the jargon. This means you stand up and pedal.
I thought he was actually getting off the bike and just wandering around.
When they say getting in and out of the saddle a lot, it means standing up.
I was picturing him and he’s like, “I’m going to get a coffee. You guys keep pedaling.”
No, he doesn’t do that.
I was picturing him standing next to the bike with a cup of coffee like the boss on Office Space, “If you guys could just pedal a little faster, that’d be great.”
What’s going on here is there’s a different train of thought in the HR training world where you do a lot more seated. Steven Little taught us that when you ride seated, you have a lot more muscle engagement in your legs. That’s where all of the engagement is. When you stand, you’re making your core unstable. The idea is that the more you sit down on your rides, the stronger you will get faster because all that muscle engagement is focused on your legs rather than focused all over the rest of your body. There’ve been some comments that people have said Denis rides a lot out of the saddle, but from what I hear, there is a lot of out of saddle work, but it’s not constant up and down. It’s not dancy like there might be SoulCycle or something like that, but there is a lot of out of saddle work. That’s the official lowdown on Denis Morton.
Is there any sidesaddle riding like a special Downton Abbey ride?
I don’t think so. I’ve never seen any of the instructors do sidesaddle. It’s not a horse. It’s not a fair question. The seat, is that better?
I don’t know these things.
I forgot to mention that one of the big things that I wanted to talk about in the news is I got an HR Tribe update. It’s very good news. I chatted with Tom Lebel and he let me know that the HR Tribe has been officially adopted by Christine. She’s continuing to make sure that they have lots of heart rate training. I thought this was interesting. They gave Steven back the HR Tribe hashtag. They felt like it was his property, so they gave it back to him, which was nice. The HR Tribe is a good group of people. They’re not using it anymore. They officially said, “Steven, it’s yours to use. We’re not going to do that.” They’ve moved on and they’re in touch with him. All is well. Everything’s good with the tribe, everything’s good with Steven. They’re also able to take some training rides from Jennifer Jacobs, heart rate training, and a lot of people have started checking out the Matt Wilpers rides as well for Power Zone Training. I was surprised to see that the Heart Rate Tribe is still growing. They are over 2,300 people now. Congrats to the Heart Rate Tribe.
Speaking of Matt Wilpers, do you think he gets sad when everybody says, “Denis Morton is so hot?”
No, I don’t because I met his girlfriend or fiancé at the HRI and he’s doing okay for himself. She’s hot. She clearly thinks he’s hot. All is well.The minute a customer leaves the door, you are part of Peloton’s life. Click To Tweet
If everyone’s running around seeing how hot this other guy is, you would think at some point he’s like, “What about me?”
I think everybody’s excited about training with him. The jury is still out on this one. We don’t have the buzz that we’ve got going with Matt Wilpers. I think he’s probably okay but I could be wrong.
People love him for his mind.
I get what you’re saying, but I think plenty of people think Matt Wilpers is attractive. Denis Morton is like the guy that’s on the cover of all those bromance novels. He’s that guy and Matt Wilpers is not that guy. He’s a good-looking guy but he’s not that guy and that’s okay because Matt Wilpers is good looking.
He’s like the boy next door.
He’s also the nicest guy ever.
He was our first guest when we were nothing, unlike the huge juggernaut we are now. When we’re like, “We have an idea.” He’s like, “Sure.” He took a chance on us and then he couldn’t have been nicer during the interview and we got to meet him in HRI. I get what you’re saying.
Ladies and 5% to 8% of men, you need to start talking about how hot Matt Wilpers is too. Don’t ruin a poor guy’s self-esteem.
I think that there are other things that people appreciate about Matt Wilpers besides his looks. Right now, a lot of what I hear about Denis Morton is based on his looks, which is not a bad thing in and of itself, but as my trainer, I would rather him have more things that I’m excited about than just his looks. Although, the looks are okay. I’m not upset.
What you’re saying is the next time you say, “Do I look okay in this outfit?” I should say, “You’re a very smart, intelligent woman.”
No, I’m not saying that. Just for that, I’m going to wear spike heels everywhere we go.
I’m short. I’m like a Shetland person.
I don’t know if you remember this, but a while back, Matt Wilpers’ line of clothing came out in the boutique. I was very excited and I got his bib things and I got the cool down pants. Check this out. I was never able to get any of his tanks and tees that said #Wilpered on them because they sold out so fast, but I bought a tank. I was like, “I’m not letting it sell out again.”
If you want to know what to do when things sell out, you should keep reading because Jill Foley talks about ways you can get things or be made aware of things that have sold out.
The Peloton blog got a facelift.
It did. Have you been?
No. I don’t get their emails because I don’t have a thing with them.
Do you see it on Facebook?
If it pops up, I see it. I did not notice it.
It came out. It was an email. I didn’t see it on Facebook. That’s why I wasn’t sure. It looks great. It’s beautiful. It’s a totally new design. They’ve got different categories broken out along the top. You can see the lifestyle, the instructors and the community. We may not end up on Peloton’s website, but I’ve got plans. It’s an awesome blog and it always was great, but now it looks totally different. It’s beautiful and very easy to navigate. I think people will enjoy the change.
Every week, we tend to have a different interview because it’s an easy way for us to not have to talk as much and it’s hard to believe, but we don’t love the sound of our voices that much. One of us doesn’t love the sound of his or her voice that much, so we have other people on. We are joined by none other than Jill Foley.
How are you doing?
We’re good. Why don’t you give us your exact title, position and duties at Peloton?
I am the Director of the boutique. I help run the team. It’s about four of us to buy, source, make the apparel that we sell online and sell in our showrooms. It’s all of our Peloton branded apparel. We work together to figure out how we want to put designs on it. It’s a lot of designing and marketing. It’s a lot of handling all the logistics of getting the products from our vendors to our warehouse and out to our stores and to our customers. I’m the director of all of that.
That sounds like a lot.
It’s a big job and I liked it. We’re growing our team slowly. As we grow, it gets a little more manageable.
That’s the first time I’ve heard the word growth and slowly associated with Peloton.
We are a small portion of the business. We don’t get all the resources of the rest of the company sometimes, so we do what we can.
I personally love everything in the boutique. I could make it a full-time job shopping there.
I love it slightly less than she does, but for the same. I buy my comic books nerd stuff. We each turn a blind eye to the other person’s weaknesses in that regard, so it’s okay. What did you do before you did this? What was your path to this?
I’m a lawyer by trade and I was a lawyer for about ten years. I had a lot of exposure to business through my husband, John. When he started Peloton, he and the other founders knew that I was passionate about fitness. I’m a huge fitness junkie and I was passionate about fashion and I had a lot of exposure to business, so they brought me on to help do this apparel side of it. It’s a mix. I’m a lawyer by trade, combining my passions of fitness and fashion. I feel pretty honored to be here doing this.
You said you have the passion for the fitness, I hear in your voice you have the passion for what you do. It sounds like you love what you do.
John and I have always been into fitness. I ran cross country and did triathlons my whole life as did John. That’s how we came up with the bike because we were so addicted to fitness and we had our two children and it was hard to fit fitness in. That’s where he came up with the concept. It’s fun to work every day at a company centered around something we love so much. I get to do the fashion piece. I like it because I understand that it needs to be fashionable, but it needs to be functional. Working out as much as I do, you want to feel good, you want to feel good in it. I like trying to create that for everyone. There is nothing worse than putting on something that makes me feel bad or is uncomfortable. You don’t feel pretty, good, or athletic. I like to be able to try and create more of that for myself and for our riders.
When you guys started Peloton, did you always envision there being an apparel component or because of its explosion and popularity, was there just a sudden demand that you had scrambled to fill?
It’s a combination of both. When they brought me on, it was on a smaller scale. We knew we wanted to open the Chelsea studio with some apparel to offer to our riders coming in there. Some nice leggings and bras and tops and what we call post practice pieces. You throw off your sweaty tank and put on a nice comfy long-sleeve tee or sweatshirt. I knew we were going to open the studio with that. As we saw the demand for the apparel and as we open more stores, it started to make sense to put apparel in all the stores. We started doing that. After doing all the apparel and all the stores, we saw the demand and we had a lot of people calling in. “I don’t live near a showroom. How can I get the clothes if I don’t live near a showroom?” That’s when we built the online store. We did not expect for it to be such a big part of the company at this early stage in the company. We had to grow fast to keep up with the excitement of our riders, which was, by the way, the coolest feeling. I loved seeing the demand and then my team and I being nimble enough to try and get it to that demand. No, we did not foresee that it would be as big as it is now, but we’re glad to do it and we’re excited that we get the chance to do it.
You’ve got to be careful because if you don’t fill the void then you have bootleggers come in and they’ll do it for you.
It’s been tricky because I finally brought on a merchandise planner. She came over from Macy’s. She’s amazing. She’s helping us plan the lines so that we don’t sell out anymore so that we have the right amount of inventory and the right styles and the right sizes for everyone. We didn’t have that before. Now, I have someone studying past years of selling and helping us make sure we’re getting stuff to people that they want. The bootlegging, while I love that because I love the excitement around the brand. When we built this brand, we knew there would be some cool social networking because that’s what the leaderboard does and we created the Facebook page, but we didn’t foresee the relationships, the friendships, and the positive aspect of it that Peloton has created.
It’s been so lovely to see friendships bloom and people cheering each other on and the community being so strong and that the community is so strong, people are making their own stuff. I love that. It’s very flattering. It makes us proud. What’s tough about that is at the same time, we’re trying so hard to keep such a tight brand story. As we grow, we want to make sure our brand is tight and clear and you see something it’s Peloton, which is why we can’t allow all the bootlegging so to speak. What I try to do is stay nimble and I have certain vendors that I can make something fast with so I can give people, give our riders what I hear they want. We try to do that as best we can.
I’m sure it’s tough to keep up with the demand because everybody’s growing so fast. We were talking. I received my Peloton. The Facebook page at that point had 8,000 people. There are 36,000 people now. It’s crazy. How does the process work whenever you have the instructors have their own collections? Do you come to them and offer it or is it just you go through a cycle or is there more to it? How does that work?
It’s actually one of my favorite parts because I do run that. Part of it is we’ve got so many requests from riders. “I want what Robin is wearing. I want what Hannah is wearing.” That’s where I came up with the idea. I said, “Why don’t I just design an outfit? I can’t buy everything that the instructors are wearing and sell it.” Robin gets these niche brands that I can’t get access to sometimes. I was like, “Why don’t I design an outfit with each instructor which is them and we can do that?” We developed the program. The way that works is, for instance, we’re doing Ally Love’s right now. I said, “It’s so cute. I want every piece.” I said to Ally, “We’re going to start thinking about your outfit. Start thinking about exactly what you want to do and then we’re going to meet.” Four weeks later, she came to me with all of her ideas.
When I see the instructor’s ideas, I then know what vendor to go to. I have a vendor that can do exactly that. I have a vendor that printing capability or whatever. Now, I went to those vendors and Ally and I meet with them and we just work on structuring an outfit. We do fittings, we do samplings. Now the outfit is done. I’m having her think, “What’s your concept behind it? How do you want to market it? What’s the visual you want our marketing email to look like? What’s your energy here?” She’s telling me that and we’re going to go meet with the marketing team and the design team and do all the marketing material. It’s truly a collaborative effort from designing the outfit to the marketing of the outfit, to the messaging and everything. It’s a time for them to do something different than instructing. They get to have fun creating this line with us.
Out of curiosity, have you ever run into an instructor that doesn’t know what they want, that doesn’t have a vision?
The men, usually. The women know what they want. The women come in with a storyboard, a color story. I haven’t run into that with any of the women at all, not even with Jenn Sherman. She came in with a clear idea of what she wanted. She wanted to be rock and roll. She wanted her Tuesday tribe. It’s been pretty easy and clear. It’s more the men coming in, “What do you think? What should I do? Why don’t you tell me?” I’ve got to pull out from them what they want to convey about themselves to the riders. “What is it about you want to convey or what is your favorite look?” With Alex Toussaint, that’s what we did. Actually, that’s not fair. He came in and said, “I know I want to do my look good, do better.” He wanted to put that on something, but he didn’t know what else you wanted to do or what that’s something should be to put it on. We took what he likes to wear and did that.
I don’t think that I ever saw any of Alex’s stuff available. You were talking about planning and how you brought in a planner to figure out when you need more. I have a couple of questions that go with that. One is how do you decide to bring something back if it did sell out fast? Two, it seems like with the instructor lines in particular, once they’re gone, they seem to be gone. I don’t know if you guys do that on purpose or if it’s like we’re going to refresh that every once in a while. What are your thoughts on that?
Usually, when we decide to reorder something, it’s based basically on lead time. Can I get it fast enough while there is still demand for it? If a vendor can turn something around to me within four weeks, then I’ll do it. I will get it back on the site. Right now, we’re sold out a few key styles. You’re going to see them back online in about four weeks. If it’s longer than that, I don’t do it. I know our new line is going to drop six weeks after because we drop a new line almost every six weeks so by then, it won’t make sense for me to do the reorder. The lead times are a big influence. However, that being said, we got so many requests. I read everything that comes into [email protected] just because I want to keep my finger on the pulse of the business and make sure we’re taking care of everyone. We got so many requests for Robin’s tank again, Christine’s tank again, Alex’s shirt.
It’s funny you said that because we got so many requests for those instructor pieces, I brought them back even though it was eight week lead times, nine week lead times. We did bring those back. If I’m getting enough of our riders asking for something, we listen. That’s what we’re here for. I’m trying to make stuff that people want to wear and want to enjoy. As for the instructors, I did that with them. The ideas that we won’t restock unless there are a lot of requests because the instructors are all going to get to do this again. Jenn Sherman, she’s going to get to do another outfit with us again. As soon as I get through all of the instructors, then it’s time for Jen to go again. She was our first one. That’s why we don’t replenish because they’re going to get to design something again. The caveat to that is if we’re getting enough requests, for sure, we’ll make it again.
That makes sense. It also answers another question that I had. I was curious if you ever considered having a line of clothing that’s like an evergreen always available that has the instructors’ quotes, the key things they always say.
Yes, we have considered that. It’s funny you said that because you’ll see part of our holiday line, it’s a whole idea of this inspiration. Let’s start the year inspired, let’s get going and we’re using the quotes of the instructors. We’re developing that now. That’ll be a good program. I think that’s what people want. We’re going to put their signatures on stuff. We’re going to put quotes. I know I like that. I’m a home rider and I do 2 to 3 6:00 AM classes a week and the things they say are important to me. Robin will say something, they’ll be like, “That’s right, Joe. Stop thinking that negatively. Let’s think about how Robin is thinking about these things. I’d wear a shirt with a quote like that to remind myself.”
Have you ever thought about creating a wish list or something where somebody can mark it like, if that comes back and that way if you had enough people mark it, you would know we should bring that back?
We do have that feature. Maybe I need to make it more prominent on the site. I read those reports every Monday looking what’s being requested if it comes back in. It is there on the site. Maybe I need to look into making it more noticeable.
That might be a user error on our part. I might get so distracted by the shiny things I want.
That’s not that big. Email me if you go on the site and you don’t see it because I want to make sure people see it. I look at that report every Monday of what is being requested a lot.
Maybe if it sells out, you can have the buy button flip to a wish button.
I’ve got to make this clearer. I’m glad you pointed that out.
Have you ever spent time actually working within the boutique? It sounds like you do all the creative behind the scenes. I don’t know how you’d ever had time. I was curious.
No, I do. When we opened our first store in the Short Hills Mall back in October, November 2013, we worked in the store every weekend. We would work there and try and sell bikes. I got that experience. With our East Hampton store, I would work out of there a lot in the summers, which I loved, which was eye-opening for me to understand some of the issues our sales associates might face or how hard sometimes it is to pitch a customer on something. I have had that experience and it’s fun too. Talking with customers, sometimes you want to do a good job. It’s hard.There's an automatic conversation that customers have when they come in the Peloton boutique, less so than at a traditional retail place. Click To Tweet
Do you happen to remember when you’re doing the store, the actual physical sales, when it’s that new, the first person that took the leap and said, “I’ll buy this thing even though it’s so untested at this point?”
I do remember that. It was so exciting. If you’re buying it, we get so excited. One of the questions we always used to get in the early days was, “What if you guys go out of business? What do I do with this bike after that?” We got that question all the time. Now, we don’t get that question anymore. That was fun. We’re not going anywhere.
I was thinking when you sell that very first bike and you’re either like, “That’s the start of a great thing or did we just screw this dude?”
That’s the weird thing about our business is that we’re not just selling a bike. You leave and we’re saying, “Goodbye. We don’t care about you anymore.” We care a lot about it. You are now part of our community. We need to keep you engaged, happy and entertained, and we’ve got to make it interesting. It was such an interesting business in that way. The minute you leave the door, you’re part of our lives forever, so to speak. You’re right. The customer leaves, we got to do good by them. We’ve got to make sure we’re giving them a great product with great new features, great apparel. Definitely, that’s at the forefront of our minds.
I see on Facebook and stuff, the people that haven’t bought yet get a little sticker shock about the monthly fee. I understand that to one degree, but I think of what a lot of times people don’t realize is that also incentivizes Peloton because you guys want to keep your business. You want to keep that monthly fee rolling in. You’ve got skin in the game. You’re not there to just sell a bike. You also need to keep them involved. It incentivizes you guys to continue to have a great product.
To make sure that the coaches are doing their best. I’ve got to make sure my team is doing its best. Everyone feels that here, which is what makes working here pretty exciting. Pressure is a negative word, but it is the real-time pressure to keep giving and creating a good product.
You guys are hitting that one out of the park. When you worked in the boutique, did people come in looking for specific items that they had seen maybe at another store? Since you do drop a new clothing line pretty often, were they looking for things?
To be honest now because the brand has gotten so strong, they’re looking for things that have the Peloton logo on it. The way I started to boutique was, I used to have about 50% was Peloton branded and the rest was not branded because we wanted it to be this boutique type of thing. That was the concept, like an Equinox. As time went on, I noticed that no one was buying the stuff that didn’t have Peloton on it. Now if you go into a store, it’s 100% Peloton brand, except our Chelsea store. That still has some of the specialty items and Westchester and some of our bigger stores. Generally now, people are coming in because they want something with Peloton on it and that’s been fun to watch our business evolve that way.
I think it’s funny how many of the “problems” that you deal with are good problems. Like, “We didn’t think we’d be selling clothes quite this quickly, but what are you going to do?” “We had these things to sell, but anything that didn’t have our branding on got thrown away.”
We had to sell it on sale or samples. You’d have a fire sale for it. It’s been interesting. I bought the summer line thinking, “I hope I didn’t buy too much. That seems like so many units.” Now we’re already selling out. My merch planner is scratching her head, thinking, “We’ve got to buy more for fall.” If we went out at fall, I’m going to be shot.
That sounds like a challenge. This community can rise to that challenge.
I know a lot of ways you’re like the job interview equivalent of, “I think my greatest weakness is I care too much,” except in your case, it’s true.
We’re listening to our customers and trying to give what they want. Sizing has been an issue, so we’re trying to make sure we have a nice variety of sizes for both men and women. That’s why I read every boutique at Peloton Cycle email that comes in from the site so I can make sure we’re staying on top of the needs.
At Peloton, you guys listen to everything from every direction. I constantly see things being answered on Facebook. I see requests being answered by having new features and obviously, you’re doing the same with clothing. It’s wonderful that you guys listen to the community the way that you do. It’s unique. It’s one of many things that pull the community together and make it such a wonderful brand.
It is special. John, one of his favorite things to say is that we truly are one of the first interactive media companies. We are a media company. We’re streaming live television thirteen hours a day or something like that. We can interact with our audience. We can say, “Crystal, speed up,” or “You’re doing great on that hill.” We can interact with you through the camera, through that fourth wall. That’s so unique. That’s one of the pillars of our company. We want to do that in every respect, which is why I like to respond to be nimble with the apparel, which is why the marketing team likes to respond on Facebook. That’s part of what we’re striving for. I’m glad that you feel that. I’m glad that it’s coming through.
I’m totally counting that as I just got a shout-out from Jill Foley.
I get so excited when I get a shout-out where they’re like, “Jill, how are you doing?” I’m so excited. You can’t fight the feeling of excitement.
Will you tell us your leaderboard name?
It’s so boring. I’m Jill F. It’s really creative.
You were in from the early days.
That was it. It was because that was when I was testing the bike back in the day when we were building the prototype, it was like, “Jill F.” I didn’t think of anything cute.
Is it easier or better for riders to order online or in person? What is the best from a rider experience and what’s the best from a Peloton’s preference?
It’s either. I want customers getting it anywhere they can. I buy online a lot because I’m testing. I want to make sure the warehouse is wrapping it nicely and stuff. That’s always a good experience. The problem is you can’t try it on. It’s fun to go into the stores and feel everything and be able to try on. We try and keep the selection consistent. Online is our broadest selection. Our bigger stores like Chelsea and Westchester and Short Hills, they will have that full selection. As the stores get smaller, you’re not going to see the full selection. Our merchant planner is studying what colors, sizes, styles do best in each store. We’re often sending Boca something a little different than we’re sending Manhasset.
We study what people are gravitating towards at each store. We’re getting better at that each season as we have more data and as our merchant planner is able to focus on it. Not all stores have the whole selection. That’s a lesser experience but hopefully, it’s the selection we think they like. We’re going to be doing a lot of promotions to drive people to stores because the stores do move the products slower than online. When we launch online, we sell a lot fast. We’re trying to get people to also go to the store. There will be some fun promotions in the stores this summer, like free flip flops with a purchase and that thing. In that sense, the store experience is going to start getting more fun too.
Store exclusive, perhaps?
Exactly. The flip flops are store exclusive. You could only get them if you go to a retail store. There will be other little exclusives like that as well.
My wife is going to make me fly to Santa Monica to get a pair of flip flops.
You could go to our Century City store.
We’re at Century City. Which one’s that?
Our Century City store is the other big mall in Los Angeles, east of the 405.
We’re in St. Louis, Missouri. The closest one for me would be Chicago probably.
We’re going to have a second one there too, I think in Skokie. We’re looking at that market. It’s exciting.
The way some people want to go to all the baseball stadiums, that’s how she is with Pelotons.
We love that. We get so many home riders coming into the studio here. It’s so great to see it and see the cameras and see what the instructors look like in real life and it’s fun.
I noticed that you guys have a little traveling Peloton going around the United States. Is there any merchandise available at any of those travel sites?
No, they’re not. We’re not offering any merchandise in those.
I’m curious because I know that they were small, but I didn’t know if that was like you could also get a thing.
No, unfortunately that didn’t happen yet. You never know.
I know you said that you were a lawyer by trade. Did you ever work in any other retail settings to compare what it’s like in your boutique?
I’m ashamed to say I only worked in retail three days when I was in college at Abercrombie & Fitch, only so that I could get the 50% off of the apparel. A couple of college friends and I went and did that. We worked there for three days, got 50% off, a lot of clothes and then quit. I do not have much experience but I spend a lot of time with our current retail team. We say it’s so hard to manage field teams, but we do a very good job. Every Tuesday we have a huge sales call. Everyone gets on video so we can stay connected. There’s a lot of communication, maybe some over-communication. It’s very transparent. We feel connected and the retail team is excited. They know the product is selling is good. They know it’s an asset to people’s lives, helping them be healthier and happier. When you’re selling a product like that, it’s something it does inside of you as opposed to selling any old widget. I feel like it’s a good retail experience when I spend time in the stores. Everyone seems happy and there’s positivity. It’s nice. It’s good.
I would think that the energy from the customers would be different than a traditional retail setting as well. Is that true?
That’s absolutely true. They are excited. In your living room every day or wherever your bike is. Sometimes you want a little bit more connection than that. That’s what the retail stores can be and they get to know their retail store or sales associates. They want to come in and see what new apparel there is. There definitely is a fun experience because there’s a little bit of an emotional-psychological connection. With your instructors saying things and you’re having your own spiritual journey on the bike, then if you go into the Gap, you’re not having some connection with the Gap or a Ritzy or whatever it might be. We do see that level of excitement. People want to talk about their bikes. It’s so fun. People want to come in and talk about their favorite instructor and maybe get some more tips, “Who else should I try?” There’s an automatic conversation that we can have with our customers when they come in, less so than at a traditional retail place.
You guys, in your own way, are building your in-house celebrities. There’s that element of it that people are excited to see the instructors or whatnot in a way that’s like the Gap, as you said. They can never provide that.
They are becoming celebrities because you look at them on a screen all day. It’s like a TV actor. John’s cousin has a bike. She came in and I took her to a Robin class and she got all flustered when she met Robin. I was like, “What is wrong with you?” She was all flustered and she was like, “My hands are shaking.” I’m like, “This is interesting.” She’s like, “That was weird.” When we left, she’s like, “I was so overcome by emotion because I see Robin every day and I listen to her and a lot of things she says helps me in my life. Just seeing her, I got star struck.” That was so eye-opening for me.
You’re like, “It’s just some lady I work with.”
You realize at that point we are in people’s lives in a meaningful way sometimes.
It was. The entire time we walked around at the cocktail party at the last HRI, I couldn’t say anything to any of them. I took my picture with them.
I was the opposite because I don’t ride the bike because I’m lazy. I went to HRI and was like, “I’ll take your picture with that person.” She’s like geeking out and I’m like, “Whoever that is, sure. Click.”
I get it though. They’re on TV essentially. It gets that celebrity feeling.
It’s interesting that I’m going to abuse my communications degree here for a moment. Marshall McLuhan talked about hot media versus cold media and radio, which he considered hot media because you had to use more of your head when you use it. You had imagined. You ended up being more engaged with the radio. This was before radio was nothing but music. They were telling me stories. You had to be engaged with radio stories in a way that you weren’t with television. Television was considered cold. I almost feel Peloton flips the script on that because it’s television but you are engaged with it in a way that somebody like Marshall McLuhan, who coined the phrase global village, in a way that he could’ve never envisioned. You’re literally interacting with your television and you’re engaged psychologically in a way with it that you would never be with traditional television.
I’m going to use that one. I’m going to share that one with John.
I’ll type it all up for you. It’s like, “I finally got to use something from my mass communications degree. How about that?”
That is very interesting and it’s a good point.
I might be the first person ever to utilize their mass communication degree. I think that’s all the questions we have for you. Do you have a Twitter handle or an Instagram or something like that, you would like to plug here?
No, I don’t have any of that. Come to the boutique website and check it out. It’s all I have to plug.
If they want to find you on the leaderboard, it’s Jill F, as you revealed. It’s funny how the people with those sorts of leaderboard names are like, “They’re so boring.” Everybody says that but at the same time, it’s almost like a cool vanity play because you had to be so early in to get one like that. It’s almost like saying, “My email address is [email protected]” Who has that? Not me. Thank you so much for taking the time to join us.There is nothing worse than putting on something that makes you feel bad or uncomfortable. Click To Tweet
It is my pleasure. Thank you for taking an interest and interviewing me.
You’re very welcome. Also, thanks to everybody at Peloton for being so supportive and letting us have instructors and people like you on.
We think it’s fantastic. I’m excited.
Thanks, guys. It’s lovely talking to you.
If you do come to any open houses or anything like that, let me know. I want to make sure I can meet you in person.
That is so nice. Thank you. We will definitely do that.
Jill Foley is a big deal. There’s no way she gave us a recipe.
She gave us two. It’s like a one and a half. It’s a variation.
Is it like a doughnut covered in ice cream?
She went totally healthy.
We need to after Chris Merrill.
We had Sophia after him.
Chris Merrill is like, “You start with a bucket of lard and then you put in some ice cream sprinkles and drink it through a chocolate straw.”
You two on the Facebook feed and then Lisa Carlson and Jackie jumped in. You guys were killing me. That was my favorite thread on the internet. I loved it. It was very entertaining. For anybody that doesn’t know what I’m talking about, you should totally join The Clip Out Group because you are missing out.
These are the things you’re missing. All these witticisms that you get once a week, they could just happen at any time in The Clip Out group on Facebook.
It was great. Back to Jill Foley’s recipes, they do a lot of smoothies in the morning because they are very busy people. I get the impression they keep it pretty real.
Back to Jill Foley’s recipe.
They love smoothies and because they make a lot of smoothies, they use powders. She gave us two powders, Green Vibrance and PB2. She has two go-to smoothies. If she needs a little bit of an extra pick me up after a ride, she starts with coffee and then she adds a frozen banana, almond milk and a scoop of the PB2 protein powder and then adds some ice and blend away. She had another smoothie and I figured I would go ahead and do both. If you have just nutrition after a ride, you’re focused more on that than a pick me up, she suggests almond milk, a scoop of the Green Vibrance, also the frozen banana and a cup of frozen berries or pineapple. You add some ice and blend away.
I say that it’s awesome that she shared a recipe and not that it is awesome and I will eat or drink it.
There was fruit, there were coffee and milk. Nothing here is for you.
I will do chocolate milk. That’s about it. That was very nice of her to do not one but two recipes. I know she’s a busy lady.
She’s been very delightful throughout the process. I was so happy that she did that awesome interview with us.
If you want to find that recipe, we will post it on our Facebook page Facebook.com/theclipout, both of them.
If you want to find this, you can do that at the aforementioned Facebook.com/theclipout. You can also join The Clip Out Group where you can post things a little bit easier for other Clip Out readers to see more readily. You can also find us on iTunes, rate, review and subscribe. If you’re an Android user, we don’t talk about this bunch because we figure if you’re an Android user, you already know how to do this stuff. You can get this one a whole lot of places, whether that be Stitcher or Google Play. I don’t think we’re on the iHeart app yet, but we’re on TuneIn. We’re in all sorts of places. We’re on pretty much all of them. If you find one that we’re not on, just shoot us a message to the Facebook page and I will do my best to rectify that. Who will we be talking to next time?
It will be Kristy Carruba.
What are we going to be talking to her about?
We are going to talk to her about her journey to Peloton, but we will also talk to her about all of the fantastic things happening over at the JSS Tribe. She’s one of the admins for the JSS Tribe.
She’s got all the scoop. I can’t wait.
For those of you that asked, you shall receive.
That’s it for this episode. Thank you for tuning in. Until next time.
- Jill Foley
- Denis Morton
- Emma Lovewell
- Matt Wilpers – Past episode
- [email protected]
- Chris Merrill – Past episode
- The Clip Out – Facebook group
- iTunes – The Clip Out Podcast
- Stitcher – The Clip Out Podcast
- Google Play – The Clip Out Podcast
- TuneIn – The Clip Out Podcast
- JSS Tribe
By Crystal — 2 months ago
Peloton may have earned its reputation in the fitness industry, but another product is competing its way to American homes. Tonal claims itself as the world’s most intelligent home gym and personal trainer and is ready to move you with its awesome techie features. Here to impress Crystal and Tom O’Keefe with this product is Tonal CEO Aly Orady. Aly points out what sets their equipment apart from Peloton and shares how their incentivizing strategy can transform the way people engage with it, thereby transforming their lives for the better. Crystal and Tom also share their thoughts on the controversial Peloton commercial and how it has affected the company’s integrity.
Listen to the podcast here:
The Peloton Commercial Everyone Is Talking About And Our Interview With Aly Orady
What do you have in store for people?
We’re going to talk about the Peloton commercial. I know you’ve heard it to death, but we’re going to talk about it anyway. We’re also going to talk about all the new stuff that happened with Peloton. They added a bunch of things. Tom found an article we’re going to discuss. We’re going to touch on the stock market. We’re also going to include a little message that we received. We’re going to talk about an update on Tonal, how that’s been going and some other new things that Peloton is doing as far as giving. The new collection dropped. We have a former instructor update that we’re going to touch on. We have The Clip Out challenge. You’re going to pick a square or two, so you may want to pay attention.
Before we get to all that, shameless plugs. Don’t forget we’re available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play or wherever you get your podcasts, you can find us. While you’re there, be sure to subscribe so you never miss an episode. It makes it nice and easy so you don’t have to remember because remembering gets harder the older you get. Also, you can go to our Facebook page, Facebook.com/theclipout. Like the page and join the group so you can converse a little bit more easily. Check out our website TheClipOut.com, where you can sign up for our weekly newsletter. It’s where you’ll get all the show notes, links and videos and all that stuff just sent straight to your inbox so you don’t have to comb through the Facebook page to find some stuff that’s maybe 3 or 4 days old. There is all of that. Let’s dig in.
Let’s talk about the commercial now. We talked about it when we came out. You liked it. I was a little bit more lukewarm on it. For a lot of reasons, people are now vilifying it.
That is all the accurate information. I have to say, this is not my favorite Peloton commercial ever, but the reaction that it’s gotten, it’s not deserving of that. Although I find it fascinating that this commercial came out and all of a sudden, it goes viral. It’s like, “What took you so long?”
It took that long for it to reach the critical mass of frequency to people, see it a couple of times, and they’re like, “Wait a minute.”
An overview in case you somehow missed this commercial. The commercial we’re talking about is the commercial in which the woman gets a Peloton Bike for Christmas from her husband. She does a year-end review. She documents her experience. Her first live ride, her first shout-out, getting her milestone ride, getting up at 6:00 AM and things like that. She presents it all in a video form to her husband to say thank you for the amazing gift that she got. Apparently, all of that boils down to she’s been kidnapped, her husband beats her and makes her lose weight.
Even though she’s already thin.
She’s already thin so what the hell did he get her a bike for? It’s funny. People are all up in arms like, “Peloton doesn’t get it. They’re so focused on weight.” They never said the change was about losing weight. Never did they say that you added it.
People are used to when they see a fitness advertisement for product or fitness equipment, it’s about weight loss. That’s the intention. That’s a fair thing for the consumer to assume. If they’re going to send a message that your transformation isn’t just on the scale, then they need to do better storytelling. There needed to be some acknowledgment that she had requested the bike.
I do totally agree with that. I think there’s Peloton shorthand for those of us who are going to have a bike. We know that that woman was excited to get the bike because she wanted the bike.
You know why she was nervous to get on the bike where she was nervous about a live ride. That’s something that you see repeated time and time again on the OPP. People talking about being nervous getting on a live ride. They’ve had the bike for six months and they still haven’t done one. That’s a common occurrence. If you’re not already in the world of Peloton, someone saying they’re nervous about getting on a spin bike or a stationary bike sounds ridiculous.
I do feel that Peloton missed some of those moments of storytelling. As a person who owns the bike, it was very easy for me to fill in. That’s why I did like the commercial. It wasn’t my favorite, but I certainly didn’t hate it. I get why people did. I get why they feel Peloton didn’t tell the whole story. I think that there were other ways to go about this. I think that they could have described it and I think the Peloton now knows that they need to pay a little more attention to that. However, the real victim here is the poor lady in the commercial. Now, she’s a meme on the OPP. Everyone is like, “I lost my shoes,” and they have that fearful look in her eye or whatever. “I’m about to do power max ride for the first time,” and that look is on her face. It makes me sad because, as you’ve said a million times, Tom, she had to have been so excited to get this job for Peloton. Now it’s turned into, “Can she even walk down the street?” It’s everywhere.
I know I have to translate everything into pop culture and nerd and I picture someone to be like, “I got cast in the new Star Wars project. It’s so exciting,” and then it’s the holiday special featuring songs like What Do You Buy A Wookie When He Already Has A Comb? That would be sad.
The thing is that there’s so much happening here. They’re saying the stocks have taken a hit because they had this horrible ad and there’s so much backlash about it because they lowered the price, which we’ll get to. That’s another subject. The price has dropped. Here’s the thing. The entire stock market was crap. Regardless of your political affiliations, the stock market was affected by the fact that the president said, “We’re moving forward on trade, putting all that stuff in place,” embargoes or whatever he’s doing. The point is the entire stock market took a huge dive that day, not just Peloton. It has continued to slide. The rest of the stock market hasn’t gone as bad. I also think that it’s very possible that after they see all the sales that occur, it’s going to go right back up. It is a blip. This is nothing. Peloton in the long run I believe will be the better for this. I don’t know if you want to jump into their response.
They were hoping it was going to blow over.
No, I disagree. I think they were like, “Let it go. Let it run.” There’s no such thing as bad press and this is a silly thing and it’s everywhere. It would not surprise me if it shows up on Saturday Night Live.
It was on Jimmy Fallon.
It’s been on NBC. It’s been on Entertainment Tonight or whatever. It’s literally been on everything.
Even we were interviewed by our local NBC affiliate. They came out to the house and did a thing.
As soon as we see it, we’ll post it out there. Be nice because I was wearing workout clothes on camera. I’m a little vulnerable with that. It was right after Thanksgiving. It is not my best moment.
We’ve never told this story, but in this news piece, I revealed that I bought you the bike without you asking for Christmas. I ordered you to start a podcast and document it all. It was me. I apologized.
Thanks a lot, Tom. Peloton’s response to this whole thing was basically like, “You guys misunderstood. We’re sad that you misunderstood and fitness is important to us.” It was pretty short. They didn’t have a lot to say and they didn’t say who said it. It was a spokesperson for Peloton. I feel like this has been taken way too far.
People for years have been wanting them to do something, a campaign similar to like what Dove does. Maybe this will the impetus for them to do that.
It will be interesting to see what Peloton does with it. Consistently, Peloton has taken what members have said and they have listened to that advice. It doesn’t always take the form that we would like. It doesn’t mean that you get exactly what you want because there’s a bunch of us, but they do listen and they do make changes based on it. I am very curious to see what they do with their next ad.
In the midst of all this hubbub, there was actually a positive article in Forbes.
It’s a smart article. I enjoyed it, not just because I agreed with it, but it does help. It was from Forbes, like Tom said and it’s called, How the Peloton Ad Radically Changes the Conversation About Mental Health and Being the Boss of Your Own Life. I feel like this article sums up the real feelings that Peloton was attempting to say. There are so many things that can happen from this bike that aren’t weight loss. They’re being stronger, being fit, being able to have stamina to ride for 50 miles, 100 miles, 200 miles and thousands of miles in one year. Also, what can never be ignored is mental health. Anxiety, stress, depression, all of those things have been shown to be improved over and over again by exercising. I truly believe that this bike, that exercise in general makes me a different person. I do not feel settled when I don’t exercise at all. I’m sure you noticed.
No, you’re always charming and delightful. Are there fluctuations? I was unaware.
You look like the terrified lady in the ad. I thought that this article summed all of that up very nicely.
I concur. I like the one line they had. It says a lot about the people that they view exercise as punishment. I do, but it is interesting that the tone of so many people is like, “How dare someone exercise.” I get it’s also the mentality of their perception is that the husband is making her or there’s some passive-aggressive act of here’s a piece of exercise equipment. It does say a lot about how people view exercise.
It also says a lot that they’ve never tried it because that is how I felt about exercise most of my life. That’s it. Peloton doesn’t feel like that. Peloton is different. It’s like if you guys would just stop bitching long enough to try the product, maybe you might feel differently and you too would get the commercial. We all agree the commercial could have been done in a clearer way, but no one’s trying to fat shame, hate shame or anything, least of all Peloton. They would never do that. This is not who they are.
All of that eclipsed the fact that they have lowered the price for Peloton Digital.
It’s a big drop. $19.99 was the price and now it dropped to $12.99. Some facts that not everybody is aware of because not everybody has been around the entire time. The interesting thing is Peloton Digital used to be $13 and then it went up to $19.99. Now, it’s returning to the price. The other thing that I don’t think a lot of people understand is that at $19.99, you could have multiple accounts on it. No more. Now, it’s cheaper, but it’s per person. You and I could have had one digital account for $19.99. Now, we each have to have a $13.
What happens if someone was doing that already? What if it’s a couple, they got to buy two now?
I think they have to buy a single one. I did not see any notification of that. I saw your price is lowered.
If they had an option where like, “You can save the $20 level and have multiple accounts.”
They didn’t go into that. I haven’t seen any complaints about that. What I have seen is a lot of complaints about, “Are you kidding me? I pay $40 for my bike and these people get to have all the same content for $13?” I would say, “You also get all of the metrics and you get all of the software updates. You get it not only for the bike, but you get it for the tread. Let’s not forget, now it’s unlimited. Before, you could only have four accounts. Now, it’s unlimited. If we had ten people living in this house, ten people could have accounts.” It says unlimited now.
It’s a different product. It’s like complaining that Netflix charges you $9.99 a month to stream, but you can have the DVDs mailed to you for $8 a month.
If you’re a person who is a single person in your home, you own a Bike, you don’t own a Tread and you’re not using any of the other content other than the Bike, I can see where you’re a little frustrated. You’re paying $40 and you don’t have anyone to share it with, but the Bike itself would personally for me be worth it. I’m still good with paying the $2,000 for that because I love having the metrics live. Not everybody cares about that. If you don’t, there are bikes out there that go for it and you can use the digital membership and that’s fine. I love having live metrics. I love having my heart rate showing up and being able to high five my friends right on my screen. I find all of that integration worth it to me.
Has there been any insight as to why they lowered the price?
No. There are theories, but they are just theories. People theorize that they want to make it more attractive to basically get you as a gateway drug into the rest of the products.
That’s what I was thinking is that I wonder if they had some data that showed them that people that subscribe to digital eventually ended up going, “I’m using this. I want the real thing,” and they’d buy a Bike and they upgrade. I’m wondering if they realized that they weren’t stair stepping people as quickly as they used to because the barrier to entry got higher.
I’m curious to see because they did not address this on the last stockholders’ call. I’m surprised they didn’t. They talked a lot about digital subscriptions and how it was bringing in new users. What they did not talk about was they were planning on lowering the price. Now, it’s going to be another three months before we get the feedback and why they did that. The other theory of why the stock price has dropped is because they lowered the price. From a shareholder’s perspective, that sucks. They’re punishing Peloton by selling off their shares. We’ll see because also, at the same time all of this is happening, they also made some other major changes. Those major changes are now there is an Apple Watch app that people have been asking for forever. There is a Fire TV app. I’m going to start with the Fire TV app. It means if you have a Fire Stick, you can use the Peloton app on whatever TV that you have that with.Peloton buyers who are frustrated with their purchase are those who are not using the product. Click To Tweet
That’s a good clarification. When I hear Fire Stick, I think it means you need penicillin.
People seem to be very happy with that so far because now they don’t have a mirror to their TV or cast. They can simply use their app to do yoga or whatever on the TV. That’s great. However, the Apple Watch, people are not as happy about. I asked some people because over in the Peloton Data Junkies group, I needed them to explain to me why they didn’t like it. You can use it with non-Peloton apps, so you can run outside, get your data, you can run on a non-Peloton Tread, but you can’t use it on the Peloton Tread. It’s still not giving people what they want and when you use it outdoors on a non-Peloton run, you still have to take your phone with you.
A lot of Apple Watch apps, from my understanding, you don’t need to have your phone with you when it’s running on your watch and the Peloton one, you do. People are frustrated saying, “The technology is there, why aren’t you using it?” I say, “It sucks, doesn’t it? Join the Android club. I’ve been there for a long time.” I say that jokingly. They’re not quite as happy with how that turned out. My greater point is all of this happened in one week. You would think that even if shareholders were upset about the price, they would be like, “They dropped these other things that everybody’s going to love.” It is down overall. It reached a high at 37 and now it’s like the last time I checked, it was down to 31-something.
I will check the stock ticker at TheClipOut.com and it’s at 31-31.
That’s what it closed at on Thursday, December 5th. It’s been a rollercoaster week for Peloton, but it’s still trading higher than the IPO. To me, that’s still great. That’s a win. It’s going to be fine.
I did some show prep. I found an article on the internet about fitness.
Tell us about this article.
I thought you read it. I just read the headline.
Don’t worry. One of us actually did the work. This article, it’s from StudyFinds.org and it talks about the age in which many people give up working out. On average, what would you guess would be the age that people would be like, “I’m too old to work out?”
I would think if you’re already doing it, if you’re already an exerciser, it’s part of your life, that it would be in your 60s that you would do it. Once you’ve made it part of who you are, you would keep doing it until there was some major medical issue that sidelined you.
That’s the interesting thing. Two in five respondents admit that they feel too old to get back in the gym. That is 41 years old. The survey of 2,000 adults found out on average the age in which the survey felt too old to work out regularly was 41.
It also is interesting to me that age was one of the obstacles. The most common barrier was not having time, which if you had a Peloton, wouldn’t be a barrier anymore. Peloton is changing the world one exercise at a time. In our interview later with Aly, he’s going to talk about how Peloton opened the door for connected fitness and it is a game-changer. It’s completely changing the landscape and I find that interesting and that it’s coming from someone else who has started a company doing the exact same thing.
The interview is with Aly Orady, who is the CEO of Tonal and he’s also a Peloton user. He’s got a Bike. He got a leaderboard name, which he will reveal in the interview so you can follow him if you’d like. He has great things to say about Peloton as well. His fitness journey is fascinating. The work that went into Tonal and the thought process, I found it very interesting, which is says a lot considering it’s about fitness and it’s me.
I was surprised by how interested you were. I loved the product to begin with, but like many of you, that second fee, I’m not too sure about it.
I thought he had good answers and we will wait and let him explain it to you. I thought he has some good answers. He’s not explaining the price, but explaining the value. That’s the important thing. I was like, “That’s a good point.”
Back to other stuff. There was an interesting article on CFO Dive. I don’t know what KPIs stands for.
Key Performance Indicator.
Which ones the Peloton people track?
Jill Woodworth, who’s their CFO, talked about how they focus on three KPIs or key performance indicators. They were doing a panel discussion and it was hosted by The Wall Street Journal. That’s where this all came from. They focus entirely on their members, which I don’t think shocks any of us. They focus on their strategy. They want to know what things do our members like, what intensity and which instructors. If the engagement is going up, then that means the customers are happy. Also, they test everything before they give it to users. They can track how often one of us is using it. They can right off the bat tell us what works and what doesn’t. They can tell each other what works and what. They’re not going to tell us anything. It goes away or they change it. That’s why. Even though they have all these other things that they’re looking at, that’s what they’re focusing on. What are we using? What do we like? Besides that, the other big thing is churn. They’re looking at all these other things. They’re tracking all these other things, but they’re saying that the bottom line, these three things are the things to focus on. I say, “It’s working.”
We had a real nice voice message.
We had a Facebook Message. She left us a voice clip.
It’s from a Susan Burton Dunton. She took a German ride and told us all about it.
“Hi Crystal and Tom. I’m Susan Burton in Austin, Texas. I’m an OJ from 2014 and my leaderboard name is SusanATX. I’m calling you all to let you know that I finished the 45-minute premier ride with Irene. I have to say even though it’s in German, I didn’t understand everything, of course, but I still got a good workout. I could still make out what she was trying to say and accuse it. About midway through the ride, she said she was going to switch over to English and she took the time to thank some of the American instructors. It was sweet what she had to say. She switched back over to German for the rest of the class. Anyway, I loved it. She was very comfortable in front of the camera. She had a great presence and great energy. I want to encourage everybody to jump on and give her a try. I’m thinking if we ride with her enough, we can all learn to speak fluent German. Check this out. This is a count down from three, drei, zwei, eins. If you’re not into it, don’t care about it. Go on there to look at her because she is smoking. Sending you all love from the heart of Texas where we got the best barbecue, Tex-Mex, and live music. Bye now.”
How can they do that if they would like to?
You can do it in a couple of different ways. It’s basically you just need to get a voice clip to me. You can do that through Facebook Messenger by pressing the little microphone. It will say press and hold to record or you can send it over like an mp3 player. Use your voice recorder on your phone and send that on an email. Honestly, anything that gets to an MP3 works.
We had a couple of celebrity Peloton sightings, so let’s rank these people so they feel bad about themselves. We’ll start with Molly Sims who is the editor of O Magazine, Oprah’s magazine.
I was sent an Instagram post where you can see in the background, she has both the tread and the bike, and that was in Health Magazine. In the O world, we found out that Gayle King has a Peloton Tread on her list to ask Santa for.
Do you think there’s any skirmish between Gayle and Oprah? Oprah put a Flywheel. Oprah had a Flywheel on her Oprah’s Favorite Things list. Now, Gayle is wanting a Peloton Tread. Has there been a falling out?
No, I think it’s just that Oprah sells the list. It’s like we put this stuff on a list that people pay for and then there’s a list of what you actually want. I think she and Gayle are dead on. They would agree that Peloton is way better.
Also, Alanis Morissette.
She’s doing a 25th-anniversary tour.
That means she’s playing the whole thing from start to finish.
No. She came off the latest album. She’s doing her old hits and she’s playing some of her latest songs.
As a concert promoter, I love it when they play new songs. It’s great for beer sales.
They will do that, I’m sure. I hope that I get to go to. Tom, I want to go to Molly Sims.
My goal is to get all put together for next year. I’ve been gathering them.
The new holiday collection is out. You don’t need the Alanis tickets for Christmas.
No, that’s not true, Tom, because I use referrals.
You don’t need the Alanis tickets. You’ve got all the stuff that’s there. Can you use referral codes for Alanis tickets?
I can see the sad puppy dog face she’s making.
It’s holiday collection, I was a big fan and I didn’t even get all the things I wanted. I held back, believe it or not. I got a green outfit. It’s like emerald green and it’s gorgeous. I had to get that. I had to get the white shirt that matched it perfectly. I also had to get the Peloton pajamas. They look cozy, although they are ridiculously expensive. That was a lot. I also got a whole other outfit that was pink and gold. It’s like the sunrise one. I got a shirt to match that too. I also got a decal and some earrings. It’s going to be lots of packages. Maybe I don’t need those Alanis tickets.
It all comes full circle. Finally, we have a Steven Little sighting.
For a while, he’s been teasing about, “I’m coming back.” Everyone’s like, “Here we go again. What does this mean this time?” What it means is he’s completely out of the fitness game.A lot of movement is through cuing and through a learning curve. Click To Tweet
He’s not doing it professionally.
It’s not quite the same, Tom. I’m sure he still works out, but now he is selling real estate in Florida, so he’s got his own website, StevenLittle.Raveis.com.
He came from the world of real estate. He’s done this before. I know people loved Steven Little. There is a great deal of passion there. People like to know where the instructors that are no longer with Peloton have landed and what they’re up to.
That reminds me, I also have an update on Nicole Meline. She has a brand-new journal that’s out called The Aspire Journal and it’s a great way to keep track of your personal and fitness goals all in one place. You can find that on her website. You Google Nicole Meline, it will pop right up.
Joining us is the CEO and Founder of Tonal, Aly Orady. How is it going?
Thank you for having me. It’s going great.
Thank you for taking the time to do this. This is cool.
We’ve never had someone with their own producers setting things up and an engineer and it’s very fancy.
We’re excited to be here and we were in the production business and so maybe we overdo things sometimes.
We’ll take overdo as opposed to underdo any day. Tell us what exactly sparked the idea for Tonal for you?
It was a personal struggle, to be honest. If you rewind and look at my background, I’m not the person who should be the CEO of a fitness company. My first job out of college was working for Hewlett-Packard on their supercomputing lab, where I was designing computer chips and I worked there for a couple of years. Being in Silicon Valley, I went to a bunch of startups and was building telecom gear and video, on-demand gear. The things that bolt to a Verizon cell tower, Comcast data center. I started working on even heavier equipment, like the stuff that might go into Goldman Sachs data center to crunch lots and lots of numbers.
I then built a company in Silicon Valley. I sold it to Samsung. When I was 35 years old, I hit this breaking point with my health where professionally I was having a blast. It was doing great but by that point, I had Type 2 diabetes. I had sleep apnea. I was overweight. I had been overweight my entire life actually since I was a kid and I’ve struggled with my weight. It felt like I was heading to a point where if I didn’t do something about it, it was going to be like that for the rest of my life. My health is just going to continue to degrade. Quite frankly, when I saw my doctor and he was getting louder and louder.
He sat me down. He’s like, “You have to do something about this.” He started getting personal. I woke up one morning and I’m like, “I’ve got to do something about this.” I quit my job and said, “If I make something my full-time job, I succeed at it. When it’s not my full-time job, it always falls to the wayside. I’m going to make this my full-time job.” I spent about nine months getting to fitness and I lost about 70 pounds. I completely reversed the sleep apnea. I got diabetes very well under control to the point where my test results might argue that I’m not actually diabetic.
I got that all under control. Along the way, the first thing I did is I started doing a lot of cardio and watch what I ate. I’d go to the gym and hop in a cardio machine and I lost a lot of weight in the first four weeks, and then I plateaued. I was reading a lot, trying to figure out how to break through this plateau. I looked over and all the personal trainers were over in the weight room. I started to read more about strength training and quickly realized that strength training helps you build muscle. The most you build, the higher your basal metabolic rate and the easier it becomes to burn fat as opposed to cardio, which if you do too much it, you can burn muscle in the process, which reduces your basal metabolic rate and makes it harder for you to lose fat.
It’s ironic. I started figuring out how to strength train, which turned out to be hard. After doing this for about nine months, I got comfortable with it really. I got addicted to it. I loved it. I was getting up every morning at 5:00 and heading to the gym because that’s when I could be there and not have anyone else in my way and get it done well. I came to a point where I lost all this weight and I was thinking, “I’m going to have to get a job and probably have to commute and have a family, have kids, and have all of these responsibilities in life at some point. I can’t keep coming to the gym every day at 5:00 in the morning.”
That clearly is not realistic. I’m staring at this giant piece of equipment at the gym and I’m thinking to myself, “How can I shrink this down to something I could fit in my one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco?” That light bulb moment was when I realized that the reason this machine is so big is that it relies on big metal plates and gravity to generate resistance or generate force. If I could use electricity instead, I might be able to shrink it down. I went home. I ordered some parts. I strapped it into my kitchen counter and about three months later, had our first working prototype.
It wasn’t very good. Let’s call it a proof of concept. It was like the flux capacitor moment. It didn’t go below 25 pounds. It didn’t go above 40 pounds. Now, Tonal goes from 5 all the way up to 200. It only did one exercise. You couldn’t do full body, but it was enough to prove that this could be a thing, that this could work. The rest is history. Along the way, I also realized that the challenge with strength training, in general, is not just getting the equipment in your house. We’ve always been able to stick a stationary bike and the corner or a treadmill in the basement, but strength training takes up your whole garage.
I didn’t have a garage. Shrinking down equipment was huge. The other one is I was walking around the gym with a sweaty, crumpled up piece of paper in my back pocket. Strength training has always been analog. It’s never been digitized. You’re taking notes half the time. I’d finally graduated. In strength training, you jump in ten-pound increments. You might graduate from the 40-pound dumbbells with a 50-pound dumbbell and then I’d come back the next weekend, forgot that I graduated and I instinctively pick up the 40-pound dumbbell again. That’s what it’s like in the world when you had to rely on your memory. With Tonal, it’s all digital and automated.
You have coaches that guide you through all of your workouts. You have AI that keeps track of how much weight you should lift on every single exercise, adjust the amount of weight depending on how many reps you’re supposed to do, decides when it’s time for your way to go up. It goes up in one-pound increments. You’re not waiting six weeks to graduate from 40 pounds to 50 pounds. Pretty much every week, you’re bumping up by a pound or two on all of your movements. It’s also more motivating and it’s more fun than it’s in your home and there aren’t other sweaty people stealing your equipment from you. It’ great.
I would think that when you jump up but your only option is jumping up by ten.
There are probably times when you’re not quite ready, but then how do you get ready unless you make the jump?
What I always struggled with was I would be good about going to the gym, let’s say three times a week, but then something would happen. I could only go one time a week. I’m like, “Should I go back a pound or do I pick up where I left off? I certainly can’t up to my weight at this point.” It was that struggle of never knowing where it’s good to be picking up or I would just forget. I would lose the piece of paper. The piece of paper was gone.
Now, that we’ve been at Tonal, it took us 3.5 years of product development to get Tonal to market. Those first three months were like the very beginning. Along the way, some of the things that we’ve learned are number one, most people have terrible strength training routines. A lot of times, people tell me they’ve been following the same routine since college or that they just downloaded something off the internet and they’ve been using it for a few years. You’re not supposed to do that. Your body gets used to it and you’re supposed to switch up your routine every 4 to 6 weeks.
The other thing we realize is most people lift the wrong weight. They lift too little weight, and then they’re basically doing cardio instead of strength training and don’t even realize it or they lift too much weight and then their form suffers. They don’t get the benefits and that increases their risk of injury as well. Nailing how much weight should I be lifting is super important to get the results that you want and to have it be fun and not get yourself injured. Also having a good routine is super important. The vast majority of people have no idea how to program a good routine. That’s why coaches are so important.
When you’re looking at most cardio instruction, group fitness or even Peloton, the instructors are there to motivate you. Most of what they’re doing is they’re motivating you. They’re entertaining you. They’re keeping you engaged or getting you to push yourself harder. We, for the most part, know how to cycle. We know how to run. We’ve been doing those things since we were children. Strength training is less intuitive. When you’re with a personal trainer, the education burden is a lot higher. That’s a lot of what we’re doing with Tonal as well. We’re teaching people this new thing. When someone’s new to it and they’re learning how to strength train or someone who’s been doing it for a few years, but could be doing it way better with help, we’re also helping them achieve that as well.
To that point, something that I keep seeing come up over and over again as I talk about my journey with Tonal is that people ask, “What about the form aspect of using the Tonal?” Because you’re not able to get the feedback to say, “My back’s not perfectly straight.” I’m listening to the cues, but people worry that they aren’t going to know what form to use. Is that something that you think a lot of people struggle with or do you think there’s just a little bit of a learning curve? What do you think about that?
We think it’s a learning curve. In the early days, we went through 3.5 years of product development and in two of those years, we had people working out on Tonals regularly. In the final year, we put Tonals in 25 homes for an entire year and tracked 50 people as they worked out on these things. Somehow, they all managed to keep it a complete secret. We were in a building with fogged out windows and no one knew what we were working on. These 25 people were kind enough to keep it off social media and completely keep it quiet until the day we launched and announced the company. We learned a lot.
That’s a bigger achievement in the machine itself. You got 50 people to exercise and not share it on Instagram. What’s the secret?
How do you know someone’s going to be running a marathon? Have a 30-second conversation with them. They will bring it up. They totally kept it a secret. We learned a lot and one of the things that we learned is people learn how to do yoga off of YouTube. With a lot of the cueing that we give and a lot of the instruction, we were teaching people how to move properly. They’re learning how to do it. There is a learning curve. A lot of it is people coming to our communities. We have a bunch of these Facebook groups that are formed and sometimes people go there and ask questions. A lot of times, our coaches are filming supplementary videos and throwing them on social media to dive a little deeper. Here’s the other piece, which maybe you haven’t experienced yet. We have a lot more of this coming. The smart handles that you can use to turn the weight on and off with a click of a button. They also have accelerometers in them where we can measure your movement in three dimensions.
We’re crunching a bunch of that data. We have some of it, but as you get smarter, as our algorithms and our software get smarter and smarter, you’re going to hear better and better, more personalized cues specifically for your form. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but sometimes when you hear Tonal say things like, “Three reps left to go,” or “Last rep, good job,” that’s not prerecorded stuff. That’s personalized to you and happening at the moment that you are at three reps left to go. There are other things you might have heard some of our coaches say like, “Remember to move at a slow and controlled pace,” or “Try going a little deeper into your squat.” That’s all based on the data and the measurement that we have of what you’re doing. While we do believe that a lot of movement is through cueing and through a learning curve, we also are working on all of these avenues of personalized intelligence and personalized cueing for every single person.
People are getting more feedback than they realize, that’s crazy.
I logged into one of our communities one morning and one of our users said, “The first time that it said three reps left to go and I had exactly three reps left to go, I thought it was a coincidence, but by the third or fourth time, I was starting to wonder.”
I thought like it would automatically happen when you got down to three reps. Not every time, but just to keep you engaged. I thought that was an automatic thing. That’s fascinating. It’s cool.
It’s personalized. There’s a lot of personalization in programs. The pacing is personalized. The thing if you’re running or cycling or doing cardio types of activities, that’s usually interval-based. You’re doing something for 30 seconds at a time. In our high-intensity workouts, which are more like conditioning, the workouts are interval-based. When we’re doing stuff that’s more personal training type of content where we’re trying to help you build muscle or hit a specific goal that’s based on strength training, it’s important that you’re hitting rep targets rather than time. It’s important that you do six reps. It will take one person twenty seconds, one person 40 seconds to do that same thing.
Our videos speed up and slow down to match the pace of our users so that if one person needs a little bit of extra time, they won’t feel like they’re falling behind and they won’t rush into strength training, which is a great way for someone to get injured. We don’t want them rushing. We also won’t finish their reps and then sit around waiting for the video to catch up with them. My worst nightmare, pick up their phone and start texting a friend and then you’re no longer working out. Those are the things that you’re trying to avoid. The pacing is personalized. As you get more proficient at moves, actually the amount of instruction you hear will decrease. We say it’s like having our personal trainer and there’s a lot of technology in there that is trying to get people a more personalized experience.
I have noticed that the Tonal business model is similar to the Peloton business model. Was that on purpose or was that something that evolved?
When I started Tonal, one of the big questions you ask yourself is, “Who are you going to sell this to and for how much?” A lot of people look at the Peloton business model and they’re like, “This is a subscription model.” What you do is you sell someone a piece of equipment and then you get to collect membership dues for a long time. Hence, it becomes a profitable business. That’s not how I see it at all. What you’re doing is foregoing the profit you would have made on the bike, or in our case, the Tonal on day one. You’re foregoing that profit by keeping the price of that equipment as low as you can. You’re spreading that profit over the course of the next couple of years. As people pay these membership dues, that’s when you collect the profit.
Like Peloton, we make no money, no profit off of the Tonal. We make all of our profit off the membership. What that allows us to do is to keep the price of the Tonal low so that it can reach as many people as possible. Fitness equipment is expensive and for a lot of people, it’s prohibitively expensive. If you go on Google and type in the word functional trainer, which is the class of equipment that that Tonal is, you’ll find that most of the equipment costs way more than Tonal and it isn’t affordable. What that does is it limits your market size and limits your ability to impact people’s lives. The lower you can keep the price, the more people you can reach and the more lives you get to impact. In return for that, what we elect to do is use a subscription model where we spread the membership dues over for the course of the next few years. When I looked at Peloton, what appealed to me about the model is you can reach a lot more people and impact a lot more lives. All you have to do is be willing to wait longer to get that profit. It’s a great model.
Can I ask, or maybe you haven’t calculated this or maybe you don’t want to say, but if you weren’t doing this model, how much do you envision the Tonal would cost?
If it wasn’t the membership model, the alternate route that I considered was to go to market with a product that costs $9,995, believe it or not. In all fairness, if you were to compare the Tonal and its capabilities with all the other functional trainers on the market, it would totally be a fair price.
Let me ask you this because I have no frame of reference. What does a functional trainer cost?
They cost anywhere from $5,000 to $8,000.The lower you can keep the price, the more people you can reach and the more lives you get to impact. Click To Tweet
That’s right in line. Honestly, as a consumer, I would prefer this model not just because of the lower cost. Although you could argue over the life of using it, you might end up paying more. I would prefer this because I feel now the company is incentivized to continue creating content and servicing the product in a way that if it was a onetime transaction, they’re not.
It makes it so that we want to make people as successful as possible. Fitness women vendors have for years sold equipment to people and then they don’t use the equipment. Fitness women vendors have no reason to care. For us, we wake up every morning, we check our metrics, like how many people worked out. If someone isn’t working out, we call them. What this does is it allows us to reach as many people as possible. With the financing programs with $149 a month, it makes it much more affordable for a lot more people as well. That’s a great way to expand reach. When you ask the question, “Why this business?” it was about reaching as many people as possible at the end of the day.
Along those lines, one thing that stood out to me is that Tonal’s monthly subscription price is $50 a month. Peloton is $40 a month. How do you explain to customers that difference? I totally get what you’re saying about the cost of a functional trainer, but on the other hand, you could make the argument that for Peloton, that’s for their Tread content, their Bike content and their yoga, etc. I’m sure you have a reason for that, but that’s the big holdup that I hear from people is, “I don’t want to have two fees.” I’m curious what your thoughts are on that.
The $49 a month versus $39 a month, there’s a little bit of nuance in there. One is we’re replacing personal training and personal training sessions cost way more than studio classes. That’s one reason we charge them. Also, the $49 a month includes sales tax and the $39 a month doesn’t. It does even that out a little bit. In terms of the two subscriptions thing, one of the things that we’ve heard a lot from people who own Pelotons and I think you’re aware there’s some overlap, is they say that once I got my Tonal, I finally canceled my gym membership. They had their Peloton Bike for their Tread, but they kept the gym membership and they kept paying for it because that’s where they would go to strength train. Now they got a Tonal and they’re replacing that gym membership they paying for with the Tonal. For a lot of folks, that evens out. In people’s minds, they think of the products as complimentary and they think of their budget for strength training as different from their budget for cardio.
The other thing is we help people achieve goals. We’re not just interested in how often someone works out. We’re interested in whether or not they achieve the goal that they want. Our programs are designed around certain goals. We have a four-week weight loss programs. We have a twelve-week muscle-building program. We have programs to help people get stronger. We have programs to help people train for running a 5K or get ready for ski and snowboard season. That’s the powerful thing about strength training is personal trainers can use it to help you achieve all sorts of different goals. It’s like a Swiss Army Knife if you have an expert who knows how to create the programming. For us, we were delivering not just workouts, we’re delivering outcomes and that’s how we think about it. At the end of the day, if you stack up the value of having a gym membership and having a personal trainer help you figure out what programs you need to follow in order to achieve a goal and teach you form, $49 a month is a steal.
I’m curious too about vertical integration or your supply chain. Does Tonal keep everything in-house or do you find yourself having to outsource a lot of things? I feel there’s a lot of technology involved. I’m curious how that works for Tonal.
We keep almost all of it in-house. Clearly, there are things that we outsource like manufacturing and logistics but all of the software, all of the content production, the programming, the curriculum, all of that stuff is done in-house. We spun up a second studio in Hollywood. We now have one in San Francisco, where we film daily and the second one in LA. It’s trying to crank up the amount of content and the variety. It’s a very poorly kept secret that yoga is about to launch on the platform. In addition to the strength training content, we have a lot of this high-intensity content. It’s hit conditioning types of workouts which are interval-based to keep your heart rate up for 20, 30 or 40 minutes, depending on the type of session you’ve chosen. Of course, all the more traditional strength training stuff, which is very programmed for specific goals and outcomes. We do all of that in-house and it’s keeping us busy.
Have you ever considered some bundle for Peloton users to offset that maybe sticker shock of having two monthly subscriptions?
We see the products as complementary. I think a lot of our existing customers do too. Frankly, even if we were to consider something like that, it takes two to tango.
We get that question so much. Many people are interested. A lot of people that are interested also buy, but the initial reaction from people is, “I don’t want to have a second payment per month.” Obviously, we’ve talked to a lot of people that have gotten past that and are very excited to have both. From my own experience, I can absolutely say that it is very complimentary. I would agree with that.
I’ve been surprised since we started talking about it how quickly people seem to have gotten past it. I thought that there would be more resistance and I’m sure that there are still some out there. Some people, it’s just not in their budget and there’s nothing you can do about that and we understand that. I was surprised how many people were like, “You got me.”
Once someone has been in one of our programs for a couple of weeks or has gone regular with it and worked it into their fitness routine, they do fall in love with it. It provides a structure to people’s fitness lives because it’s not one-off workouts. It’s a program that does change the way people think about fitness. No one who’s had the product for a long time comes back and was like, “This is way too expensive.” In fact, they’re usually saying the opposite like, “This is well worth it.” On the financing programs, we worked pretty hard to roll out a 36-month financing program. We rolled that out and it brought the monthly payment down to $149. That was to make it more affordable for more folks. Health and fitness is an investment in oneself and it’s for the full household. It’s generally not just for one person, multiple people are using it. I hope you both try out the partner workouts that we have now, so two people can share a Tonal and work out at the same time. Those are fun and you guys can poke fun at each other, which I know you both love to do.
I don’t know whatever will it take to get Tom on a workout, but I did try the partner workout with a friend of mine who came over. We did a workout together and it was awesome. I loved it. Tom, he’s anti-exercise.
It’s my personal mission to get Tom to do a workout. I bet this is the thing that could break him and get them working out regularly. Let’s see if we can pull that off.
He did do a dead lift. When we got the Tonal set up, I was like, “Here. Try this.”
I was testing the resistance aspect because it makes that popping sound when you turn it on. The first time we turned it on, we were like, “Did we break it?”
When you turn it on, it goes through a quick calibration. The resistance, when people touch Tonal for the first time, the thing I most often get is, “This is heavy,” or “This can get heavy.” We say 200 pounds, but people look at it and it’s small and it’s sleek. They underestimate it and don’t realize 200 pounds is enough force to pick you up off the ground. A lot of people comment about how smooth it is. I don’t know what your experience was, but that’s what we hear most often.
It’s incredibly smooth. Our fifteen-year-old has been using it. He’s excited to do strength training. It’s cute to see him do it as well.
If he gets too ripped, I might not have the choice. I have to start doing it to keep them in line.
We’re going to crack you one way or another, Tom. Do you want me to partner workout with you?
The readers would kill me for all this and you’re like, “No, you’re out.”
The whole reason you’re here is to be the anti-workout. I finally cave and it’s not a Peloton. I wouldn’t feel too guilty. Now, he wants to make it happen.
Do you have any partnerships that you would like to see? I understand Tonal is completely separate from everything else. It has its own unique values, but I also can’t help but wonder if there are things that you see the bigger picture that you want to do with Tonal? That might be a joint partnership or a joint venture with anybody out there? Have you ever considered anything like that?
Nothing that we’re ready to talk about yet. Some of the things you would probably guess on your own. We’ve already started putting Tonals in a couple of hotels and those pilots are going well. We’re going to be doing a lot more of that. Some of the other things that we’re excited about are ones that you probably wouldn’t necessarily guess but potentially some stuff with physical therapy. Some of the more inspiring stories that we hear online are folks coming to us, saying that they’ve had back pains for years and after X weeks on Tonal, their back pain is gone for the first time in their lives or they feel themselves get stronger.
We released a program to help people who have shoulder pains manage that shoulder pain and that’s getting good reviews. The thing about strength training is it’s powerful. I didn’t realize this, but one in two Americans suffers from some musculoskeletal pain, back pain, shoulder pain and neck pain. Strength training is the only way to treat those things. If you go to a physical therapist, they will have your strength training too. There’s no drug. They’ll give you painkillers, but there is no drug. Strength training is the only way. I don’t know that those are necessarily partnerships, but they’re things that when we think about all the ways that we can improve people’s lives, it’s an area we think a lot about. The more places we can get Tonals, it makes it accessible to as many people as possible. We like hotels and we’re also thinking about other places where we can get Tonal so that we can touch more and more lives, which is what we care about.
Why do you think that this is all happening now in terms of what they’re terming connected fitness? It seems like it’s having a moment and taking off.
It’s a confluence of a bunch of things. One is technology. If you rewind the clock, if John had tried to start Peloton ten years earlier, the computing system, the tablet that’s built into the Peloton wasn’t ready. The internet wasn’t ready for that streaming. That was a big part of it, the technology getting to that point. If we had tried to build a Tonal ten years earlier, it probably would have cost twice or three times as much as it does now. As technology has advanced, the cost of the components have come down and made these price points more realistic. The second one and I have to give gift credit to the entire Peloton team. They proved something that no one else had known before. People have always looked at home fitness equipment and assume that it’s going to start collecting dust after six months.
The fact that they figured out a model that aligns the incentives of the equipment manufacturer and the member so that you keep working to make sure that your members are using the product day in and day out for years, that is powerful. It transforms the way people engage with fitness and as a result, that transforms people’s lives. I think that the proof point has brought a lot of investment to this industry. There’s us doing strength training and I think we’re the only ones doing strength training, but we’ve also seen a lot of other equipment hit the market in the cardio side. There are other bikes and other treadmills and rowers. There are all sorts of stuff out there. It was all sparked by what Peloton did. They had a lot of trouble raising money from investors. We had a lot less trouble and the credit goes to them for that.
That would open the doors for you. I didn’t think about that, but that does make sense. Do you see Tonal as being a direct competitor to Peloton or not?
I view it as extremely complementary. At the end of the day, people need to do both. You need to do strength training, you need to do cardio. I own a Peloton Bike. I’m a fitness fanatic. I use both products now. In my case, my core, my program is on Tonal and that’s what I’m following and I complement it with cardio. You need both and I view them as very complementary.
Would you like to share your leaderboard name with our readers?
It’s BeYourStrongest. It’s also Tonal’s tagline.
She can make fun of you. Hers is ClipOutCrystal. We’re doing the same thing.
It’s great because you clearly believe in that too. That’s important to you. That’s perfect for a leaderboard name. That’s awesome.
A lot of us have Pelotons at work and it’s complementary. We have bikes, we have treads. John says it’s the best cardio machine on the planet. Tonal is the best strength training machine on the planet. It’s full-body workout in something the size of your TV and it’s the most advanced piece of strength equipment ever created. We wholeheartedly believe that it’s the best strength training machine on the planet, just as John believes that the Peloton is the best cardio machine on the planet.
Speaking of Peloton, why does Tonal not have live classes? I think I know the answer to this, but I’m curious if I’m right.
It’s the personalization. Peloton is a group fitness experience and group fitness instruction is, by definition, one instructor speaking to 30 people or 3,000 people. With Tonal, it’s all very highly personalized. That video you’re watching, we didn’t point a camera at someone for 40 minutes, record a 40-minute video and then play that back to you. The way that video is playing back to you is highly personalized. We have software AI getting in under the hood and mucking with the video and we’re switching the audio around to make you hear the things that are personalized to you. We’re stretching the video so it gets shorter and longer to accommodate your pace. Once you’re doing all that mucking around under the hood with AI, like a game engine, you can’t go live. For a lot of our more personalized content, it’s not live. It’s on-demand. For a lot of the other stuff we have around the conditioning, high-intensity interval content, the yoga content, we do intend to eventually go live with that stuff when the time is right.
That’ll be interesting for people to have different options so you can have multiple different levels of doing your strength training, but then doing yoga live. I think that’ll be a good mix for people.
We spent a lot of time grappling with this question in the early days and we interviewed people and we’re like, “Why are you so excited about live?” It turned out that as we pushed on it, they were more excited about fresh. What’s important is not the fact that it’s truly live. We find that I think only about 12% of riders are alive in Peloton rides, if you’re looking at it as an example, the vast majority of people aren’t live. Why do you care about so much live? What they cared about is the fact that they always knew that every time they were going to step into a workout, it’s going to be a fresh new experience. It’s not like a DVD where you just keep playing the same DVD over and over again. That’s what we prioritize. That’s why we film every day. That’s why we spun up a second studio. It’s about creating as much fresh content as we can for folks. One day we will go live but the freshness is what we live and die by.
I thought it was cool that you guys added a bunch of new moves to the move library. It didn’t even occur to me that you could. One day, I was on Facebook and I was like, “We added all these new moves.” I was like, “That’s amazing. I had no idea.” I didn’t know I was missing any, but this is cool.
That was coming from our community. They were telling us, “We’re like cables, functional trainers, cable trainers like what Tonal is, except the other ones are analog and run on big metal plates. Ours is digital and runs on electromagnetics. Functional trainers can be used to do a very wide variety of things. They’re the most versatile strength training machines, which is why they’re used by a lot of pro athletes and Olympic coaches and things like that. It’s called functional training. First of all, members of our community, we’re starting to do things that we didn’t have in our library. They started sending us emails saying, “Can you add this? Can you add that?” At some point, we aggregated everything that folks had requested and added them to our library, which also meant we had to teach our AI how to select weights for all of these movements because that’s an important part of it.
We added them all in. The other thing that we released is a workout builder. If someone wants to create their own workout and not necessarily follow one of our videos, then they could just pull out our mobile app, create the workout on the mobile app where you select the movements you want and set how many reps do you want it to and how many times and all that stuff. Walk up to a Tonal and you can literally run through your own workout and we’ll run you through it and automatically select the weights for you and decide when it’s time for you to lift more weight or less weight all automatically. That’s been well received. It was like a party in our community the day we released that.
I am still intimidated to try anything like that. Plus, I’m doing a program, but I thought that was cool that you could put anything you want in there and then it shows up on the machine whenever you got. That’s awesome. Kudos. I like that a lot.
At the moment, you guys only ship to the US. Is it difficult to get into other countries? Are you planning to branch out or are you focused on the States for now?A good leader board promotes good behavior. Click To Tweet
International is something that every company aspires to, obviously including Tonal, but right now, we have so much work to do in the United States. We had our first huge holiday season getting through Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which was on fire. We have to do that again and get ready for that next level of expansion. We’re now up to six retail locations. There’s a lot of work to do right here at home. We’re definitely prioritizing that.
I know that’s not an easy process to move into other countries. It’s a lot of logistics. I can’t even imagine.
With the machine going 100 pounds per arm or 200 pounds total, what percentage of people need more?
Like a bodybuilder or somebody who lifts heavy, are they still able to use?
Would a pro athlete need something that was weightier or could they utilize this?
Tonal goes up to up to 200 pounds or 100 pounds per arm. The resistance that comes out of Tonal, it’s a pure resistance. A 100-pound dumbbell or a 50-pound dumbbell, any dumbbell for them, the faster you move, the lighter it gets. This is why on a bicep curl, you could pick it up, swing it. When it’s down by your knee and by the time it’s up to your chest, it’s super light. Tonal isn’t like that. It’s 50 pounds of resistance the entire time through your entire range of motion, no matter how fast you’re moving. You pick up a 50-pound dumbbell and you can do bicep curls relatively easy compared to a Tonal. You set it to 50 pounds and do way harder. It’s because of that no momentum, no inertia aspect to the way that our system works.
Our 200 pounds is way heavier than a regular 200 pounds. What we engage in is mostly functional training, which is a multi-joint movement, full body. For most people, getting up to 200 pounds is hard and it takes a long time. It took me two years of training on Tonal before I maxed it out on one movement, which is the dead lift. Even at that point, you have other levers to pull. You can do more sets, you can do a slower tempo. You do 200 pounds and you’re going up, down. That’s not as good as four seconds up, four seconds down. There are a lot of levers that you can pull to stretch that weight.
It’s generally on 1 or 2 movements. Pro athletes use functional trainers for a lot of his functional training, multi-movement and velocity-based training. When you’re doing that type of training, you’re generally not doing heavy weights. You’re generally in the 30 to 70 range and not pushing it. Olympic lifting, which is the stuff you see the big guys at the gym doing, you’re manipulating momentum more than pure resistance. It’s a different style but it’s also way more injury prone and it’s not something we would be pushing for people to do in their homes alone without having a workout buddy there. It’s a much more appropriate form of training for the home. It’s super versatile. You can drive a lot of outcomes with it.
That’s what we want, is versatility in a small and safe footprint. You’ve seen on the Tonal. The arms are all the way up overhead all the way down to the ground. You can do everything from dead lifts, squats and bench presses. You can turn the weight on and off, which allows you to do movements. Most people wouldn’t do on a cable train or you wouldn’t normally use a cable trainer to do a bench press with a bar. Getting underneath the bar with the load on it is hard. For us, you can turn the load off, get into position and hit a button.
It turns it on. You do your bench press. When you’re done, you hit the button, it turns it off. If you want a buddy there to spot you, Tonal will spot you. When you start struggling, it will begin to reduce the weight like a spotter who’s there to help you out get those last few reps. It was designed to be a system that’s versatile, that would allow you to do a lot of things in the comfort and convenience of your home. There may be people who go to the gym and do 600-pound squats and they’re happy doing that. That’s fine. For the rest of us, there’s Tonal.
Tell us about the Tonal community. Are you growing the community? Do you think that the Tonal community is as involved as the Peloton community? As you mentioned, there’s a lot of overlap.
There are three communities now that have formed and they’re all super vibrant. One of the things that I like about the community is people are going deeper on what they’re talking about. There’s a lot more education. Strength training is a meatier topic. Every day, there’s something new and people are asking interesting questions. It’s vibrant because of that. I enjoy that and I follow all the communities and I read as many posts as I can. That’s been great for us. People are being supportive of each other. People are trading phone numbers and texting each other for accountability and all that stuff. It’s exciting. For people who are thinking about even buying a Tonal but haven’t yet, a lot of times, they’re going into the community to ask questions about the product. People who’ve had the product and can share real-life stories, not information off our website, which is pretty standard. What is it like to have this product in your home? They’re going to the communities and real people are sharing real stories and it’s helping people make decisions about whether or not this is the right thing for them.
Personally, what’s your favorite feature on Tonal?
I’ll pick two. My favorite two features are number one, turning the weight on and off. It’s magical the first time you feel it. I love that feature and it allows you to do things that you would never dream of doing. We have Paralympians training on Tonal. I got an email from one of them and he said, “This feature allows me to do things I could never imagine doing otherwise.” It makes the system twice as versatile and it’s powerful. I love that feature. The other feature I love is the AI that chooses how much weight you should lift. Here’s a real story. We spent probably about a year developing and training this AI.
For the first year, we had Tonals and everyone in the office was working out on Tonals and following the programs, but we all had to manually choose our own weights. It would remember how much you lifted and pull up the same weight the next time, but you had to decide how much you wanted to start with and when it was time to increase the weight. We turned this AI on and the first time I walk up to it, it basically brings up a number for my squat, which is double what I had been squatting for the year prior. I was in the middle of the workout and I hit pause. I ran over to the engineer or one of our physiologists. I’m like, “You’ve got to come and check it out. This is a bug. It’s having me lift twice as much weight as I’ve ever lifted.”
They looked at me and they’re like, “How’d you know it’s wrong? Do it and see what happens.” I totally did it and I had no idea I had been lifting half as much. I’m the CEO of a fitness company and I had no idea I was squatting half as much weight as I should have been for a whole year. It’s such a powerful feature. Even in our communities, there’s this love-hate relationship where every time your weight gets upgraded, where we’ve decided next time you’re going to lift more weight, you get this chime. Some people are like, “I hate that sound.” It’s so awesome. It’s so powerful.
You should have a ringtone where people can pick their sound where they could make it something really mean.
There are those GPS on the market where you could reprogram them to have like Samuel L. Jackson’s voice.
If the weight, instead of going up, if it decides you needed to go down in your weight, it could do like a sad trombone or the losing sound from The Price is Right.
Do you have any fun stuff that you can tell us about that’s coming out for tips for the future?
I already spilled the beans on yoga. What we spend a lot of our time working on is intelligence. A lot of what we’re doing is trying to make the products smarter, more intelligent so that weight recommendations are better. The cueing that the feedback that you’re getting is more relevant to you. We have better insights and personalization. That’s where we spend a lot of our energy and that’s about making our workouts as effective as possible. I did spill the beans in one of our communities that we’re working on leaderboards. I’ll go ahead and spill the beans a little bit more publicly here. The leaderboards are going to be a fun thing. We’ve been running leaderboards internally at Tonal. A lot of that is about learning what the right type of leaderboard is. A good leaderboard promotes good behavior while a bad leaderboard can encourage people to do bad things or root against each other. We’re trying to make sure that we nail it before we roll it out to the community so everyone’s a big, happy family.
That’s got to be a rough leaderboard to calculate. You probably can’t go as simple as like, “Who’s lifted the most,” because that’s not fair or even equitable.
Another example of the leaderboard that we killed. Do we have streaks in our system where it’s like, “How long have you gone without missing a workout?” Every week your streak gets longer. If you’re going to miss out, you get that doomsday push notification on your phone, which says you’re about to lose your streak. People come back and work out, which is great. That’s what we want for them. We had a leaderboard where streak length was how you ranked on the leaderboard. The longest streak was further up. The only way to advance on that leaderboard is if you knock someone else off and you’re rooting against people. We’re killing that and we can’t have that. We’ve got to be rooting for each other here, not against each other.
You’d have people go into each other’s houses and taking them out so they can’t do their workout.
Turn off their notifications.
“I’ll buy you a two-week vacation to an island where there are no Tonals.”
Do you think that this is the only product that you guys are envisioning selling or do you have thoughts of other things?
When we think about adding new products to our product line or expanding our offering, it’s about the content. Right now, the Tonal piece of hardware we built is probably the most versatile piece of equipment ever created. It can do so much, way more than even any functional trainer because of the advanced weight modes we have and the fact that you can turn away on and off, which allows you to get into position for more movements. When we think about expanding our offering, it’s about more intelligence and having more content. The way we added yoga, the way we added these high-intensity conditioning types of workouts, that’s where we’ll be adding more stuff. Take the platform that we have and make it deliver more stuff. That’s how we think about that.
If somebody just got their Tonal. It’s day one, what’s your biggest piece of advice for them?
Download the mobile app and take the strength test because that’s how we figure out. When you create your account, we ask you for your goals. We ask you for some basics, the same thing as a personal trainer would ask you. We make you take a strength test. When you take that strength test, that’s what feeds that initial data into our weight recommendation engine. We can choose weights for you when you do all of your movements and then get into a program. Don’t be shy if two weeks later, you’re like, “I’m not digging their programs.” That’s totally cool.
We find that people who have the mobile app and are in a program, they’re the ones who work out most consistently. When you click that join program button, you’re making a commitment. This is a four-day a week program and it helps people stay on track. Get in the community. The communities are awesome. They’re filled with wonderful people. Those are all the things that I would say. Invite a friend over for a partner workout too. We were surprised at the uptake of that feature. We thought some people would dig it and it’s something people love, way more than we anticipated, which has been fun to watch.
I could see why because it allows you to workout together. Most people are not going to have two Tonals hanging on their wall, so that’s great to be able to do that workout together. I wouldn’t know what that’s like with my partner.
Thank you so much for taking the time out of your schedule to join us. This has been a lot of fun and very educational.
Thank you so much for having me. It’s always fun to tune in and I’m happy to be a guest.
Is there anywhere people should go and look for you on social media that you would like to be seen, followed, liked or whatever they do on the internet machine there?
They can find me on Twitter. I’m @AOrady. I’m on Instagram @AOrady. I’m also on Facebook. People know that I’m in the communities and they often tag me in posts, so they can find me on social media. I’m not that active. I’m not the person tweeting twelve times a day. People can follow me in case one day I start tweeting or spill the beans on an upcoming Black Friday sale or something. I don’t know how other CEOs do it where they’re tweet storming all day long. I have customers to take care of and employees to care for. It’s a full-time job.
What do you have in store for people next time?
We’re going to talk to Janet Barr. We get to hear all about her amazing cookies. She is still selling them. It’s @SweetTooth out on Instagram. You should check it out. There’s even a code on the JSS Tribe right now if you’re in the JSS Tribe.
Here’s what you need to know. We all know how poorly I eat. When I tell you a cookie is good, it’s good. That’s all you need to know. That’s what people have to look forward to. Until then, where can they find you?
You can find me on Twitter @RogerQBert or on Facebook at Facebook.com/tomokeefe. You can find the show online at Facebook.com/theclipout. While you’re there, like the page and join the group. While you’re in front of your internet delivery device, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter at TheClipOut.com. Thanks for tuning in and until next time, keep pedaling.
- Apple Podcasts – The Clip Out Podcast
- Spotify – The Clip Out Podcast
- Google Play – The Clip Out Podcast
- How the Peloton Ad Radically Changes the Conversation About Mental Health and Being the Boss of Your Own Life – Forbes Article
- Peloton Data Junkies
- Nicole Meline
- @AOrady – Twitter
- @AOrady – Instagram
- Facebook – Aly Orady
- Twitter – Crystal O’Keefe
- @ClipOutCrystal – Crystal O’Keefe’s Instagram
- @RogerQBert – Twitter
About Aly Orady
Based in San Francisco, Aly Orady is a 20-year silicon valley veteran, engineer and serial entrepreneur. Aly started his career at Hewlett-Packard’s Computer Systems Laboratory designing super-computers, followed by technical leadership roles at a series of startups, including Kealia, Inc. (now Sun/Oracle).
Armed with an M.S.E.E. from Stanford, and a B.Eng. from McMaster University, Aly founded Pano Logic where he served as the company’s Chief Technology Officer and oversaw core technology development, architecture, and patents.
As Pano Logic’s founder, Aly also served on the board of directors and has filled a broad array of functional roles including product management, go-to-market planning, business development, and manufacturing operations. Aly’s technical expertise includes cloud, virtualization, enterprise management, networking, and computer architecture. In 2015, Aly went on to found Tonal, a stealth startup with an innovative approach the fitness. Stay tuned.
By Crystal — 2 months ago
Another day, another set of exciting news about Peloton. In particular, talk is going around town about a rower and a second less-expensive treadmill on the way. There are also rumors about what’s going over on the OPP along with some new instructors and showrooms. Crystal and Tom O’Keefe discuss all of this and the changes happening to the show in this episode. Plus, they have Ann Kingman over at the show to talk about Tonal – what it does and doesn’t do, and how it works with her bike. Tune in for more!
Listen to the podcast here:
A Rower And A Second Tread Are On The Way Plus We Talk to Ann Kingman
You’re not in a good mood. I will try to get you in a good mood.
I’ve certainly been in a better mood.
We’ll explain to people. She got stuck at work. We were recording this on Thursday afternoon. The goal was to get this done so she could do the Billy Joel Ride Live with Jenn Sherman and the Billy Joel Ride starts in nine minutes.
Apparently, that’s not happening.
The news will be very short and will be shameless plugs, there’s an Apple, here’s a bunch of stuff and have a nice day. Here’s an interview out.
No, we committed to this. We’re doing this. I can take it on demand. I’m trying.
You’re trying to keep a good mindset about it which is nice. You know how much I love the Billy Joel. What if I sat there and sang Billy Joel to you while you rode?
You have to go to a movie so you won’t need that either.
I do look like Billy Joel, like old fat Billy Joel, not young Billy Joel. It’s like sneakers in a suit coat. He’s standing out of a stupid New York holding a trumpet, even though he is a piano player. They never understood that one.
What have you got in store for people?
There’s a lot. Even by Peloton standards, it’s a lot. We are going to talk about rumors that are abounding about Peloton, what’s going on over on the OPP and some changes that are happening to the show. We have Peloton commercials to discuss. We’re going to pick the new The Clip Out Challenge. There are articles to talk about, new instructors and showrooms. It’s all over the place.
Before we get to all that. Shameless plugs, don’t forget that we’re available on Apple Podcasts. You can go there and subscribe. Wherever you’re getting your podcast from, you should subscribe so you don’t miss an episode. They’re waiting for you.
We are on Facebook.com/theclipout. You can go there, like the page, join the group and stay up-to-date on things. You can communicate with us and other readers. That’s always fun. Our website is TheClipOut.com, where you can sign up for our newsletter so you can get the show notes delivered right into your inbox. If there’s a video link and you don’t want to scroll through the Facebook page, find it and it will come right to you. While you’re on Facebook, you could leave a review for us. We have a new review. This is from Annie_Bee. She says, “Keeping up-to-date with Peloton is fun, easy and entertaining with Crystal and Tom. Thanks for providing this awesome podcast y’all.”
Thank you, Annie. That was a sweet review.
I think we’ve done all the damage we can do there. Let’s dig in, shall we?
Bloomberg was dropping some info bombs on people out of the blue. As you process that one, you’re like, “Here’s another one.”
If you missed it, Peloton to sell a cheaper treadmill and a rowing machine in 2020. There’s also rumor of Fire TV apps.
Fire is Amazon.
Apple TV and Apple Watch app, that’s what the other one was. All of that to happen in 2020. Here’s the thing that is important is the “source.”
That was fascinating.
They were like, “People familiar with the situation.” Who is over there snitching at Peloton because I know it’s not the freaking Prophet? The Prophet would have told me.
They better have.
It’s Bloomberg. They’re not small. They’re not the rumor mill.
It’s not some little rinky-dink website where you’re like, “Really?”
I’m baffled by this and then I have to address this. It’s very important, a cheaper treadmill. People who are freaking out over cheaper. Let’s talk about that. Cheaper does not mean less quality. Cheaper does not mean that it’s what you want for what you’re using. What it could mean and we don’t know because none of this has been confirmed by Peloton. It could be a smaller footprint and it’s specifically lighter, has a smaller screen and things like that. Maybe there are no slats for homes that can’t take a big huge piece of machinery like the current Tread is.
Especially as they’re trying to roll out into foreign markets. People have a lot less of a footprint in their home for an item like that.
I don’t know what it means but I want to put that out there because the gut reaction was, “Are you kidding me?”
This is BS or why are they putting out junk?
Peloton is not putting out junk. That’s another thing. That was in response to some of the posts that I’ve seen. I shouldn’t go there. They upset me more.
A lot of companies have products that are similar but at different price points like cars.
They absolutely do. The big concern is what is going to differentiate them then because there’s already a ton of treadmills out on the market. If it’s going to be cheaper and it’s not going to have all the bells and whistles, then why buy Peloton Tread and that’s cheaper.When you are running a marathon, the longer you can stay at a certain pace, the better off you are. Click To Tweet
Let me answer your question for you.
I know the answer but you go ahead.
If you’ve already got a bike or a subscriber, if you already like the service that they’re providing you from a content standpoint, but maybe $4,000 is a little steep to drop on a treadmill that maybe this price point is more appealing to you.
Yes, and that could be. The point being there are other treadmills that are already out there. You don’t need a Peloton treadmill.
They don’t network and give you the metrics and it’s not baked in in the same way.
Of course not but I’m telling you what the naysayers say.
Don’t buy one, naysayer.
There’s a contingent of people who are frustrated and are looking for Peloton to fail. You always have that. Regardless, this confirms what we already knew that the Rower is coming, but how can you confirm it when we don’t know the sources?
That’s a fair point but Peloton’s silence on the issue is deafening.
They were also silent about the mirror issue and they did not buy the Mirror.
This one feels different than that. I get not addressing every rumor about who they may or may not acquire. There also might be problems legally from the SEC standpoint on addressing things like that. If you say no to things that are untrue and then someone floats one and you don’t say no, the fact you said yes and that could be a problem.
Shares were up, so prices were up. There’s that.
This one feels different than a rumor.
I don’t think it’s a rumor. I do think it’s true and there are a couple of reasons. One, I’ve been hearing about the Rower for a very long time now. I’ve heard about the tread. I’ve heard the possibility of it. I didn’t hear that from as many sources though. The Rower is happening. There are too many people I’ve heard it from. The other thing that makes me think this is true is that all of the financial advisors have it in their notes. They are going by this as fact. They trust Bloomberg enough to know that it’s a fact. What was the other thing though? You were talking about Stifel Nicolaus.
Stifel Nicolaus sent out a report that recapping what’s going on with Peloton since there was a lot of major news about them and their stock was rebounding. It addressed three key points. The first was the treadmill and rowing machine, apps for Fire TV and Apple Watch, which we’ve discussed. I don’t think we’ve seen this anywhere else but in this report, it says that Peloton is doing very well on Google Trends. The report says, “Given Peloton ramps, sales and marketing spending ahead of the holiday season, Google query volume for Peloton trends tends to trend up beginning in November. Early in the holiday season, relative search volume through the first two weeks of November for Peloton is up nearly 120% year to year.”
That’s an interesting indicator.
It says this year the company is highlighting in its marketing campaign for the first time the $58 per month price point for the bike with financing. Additionally, the company’s home trial program, which launched on September 12th which allows first-time bike purchasers to try it risk-free. It is based on midpoint guidance for fiscal quarter two and churns rate expectations. They believe the company expects approximately 140,000 gross adds in the quarter versus 90,000 gross adds in last year’s December quarter. That means new subscribers, not advertisements. They’re expecting to do 140,000 new subscribers before the end of the year instead of the 90,000 which they did last year, which was a ton.
That’s a 55% increase.
We didn’t put it in our show notes as something to talk about, but there’s one of those ambulance chasing lawyers. I should be careful so we don’t get sued by them too. Going around saying, “The stock didn’t come out at the right price. Do you want to sue Peloton?” It’s a very common thing for these companies to do something like this but I also think that it got a lot harder.
It doesn’t matter though because until the price is where they said it would be. The IPO was at 29. Even though their stock rebounded, it rebounded to where it started the morning after the IPO was done. We’re still not back at what the IPO price was.
We’re not but its gaining ground based on this news.
I’m just saying if they don’t have a leg to stand on the first place, but they would still have one is my point.
You’ve got a nice email this week from Peloton.
It is a beautiful little card. Do you want to tell them what they were celebrating?
They were celebrating the OPP reaching 200,000 members. When you got your bike, there were 8,000.
That is crazy. Three years to go from 8,000 to 200,000 and growing. They posted a video which, of course, if you have the newsletter, you will get in your inbox if you didn’t see it already out there on Peloton’s Facebook page. All the instructors are saying congratulations to the members and how much they appreciate us and stuff. It’s very cool.
We should talk right now about some changes to the show. Fear not, there won’t be anything too radical, but we made some changes behind the scenes, which will have a slight impact on things that are front to facing.
The big thing is we’re not going to be with our podcast hosts anymore. We moved to a new podcast host.
We had been with a company called Acast. The reason we selected them was because they don’t charge you to host your podcast. Most services charge you for that and it’s not an inexpensive undertaking. The more downloads you get, the more money they charge you. Typically, it is how that works. They do not charge you, but how they make their money is they insert ads into the show and sometimes wildly inappropriate ads.
We’ve had reports of ads in other languages about products that they had no idea about. Stuff that made no sense for the audience.
We have no real control over what products were going to be in it. Sometimes we had no control over what language they were going to be in.
They literally told us nothing. We had no control over any of it.
We reached a point where we’re big enough now, where we can undertake that. That means we’ll have our own ads there.
You will no longer have ads that are completely irrelevant. You will now have ads that are relevant to you as an audience.
What this means is we have more control over what ads are in the show. We get to curate them and we get to handpick things that we think will have some interest to you or have a greater likelihood of being interesting to you.
It is our first collaboration.
It’s a big one, it is Tonal.
Just so you know, the interview we’re doing is from Ann Kingman. She reached out because she had a Peloton and a Tonal. We interviewed her and since that interview, Tonal has reached out and said, “We would like to work with you to talk to your audience about Tonal.”
The interview is coming up. She talks a lot about what Tonal does and doesn’t do and how it works in concert with her Bike. If you don’t know, it was recorded weeks before we talked to Tonal. It’s not like all of a sudden we’ve turned it into an infomercial. It’s the way things landed. Please take that with a grain of salt. That’s was not our intent. That being said, you’ve been jonesing for one of these things for a while.
I have and I’ve been super curious about it.
You’ve been salivating for one of them. This worked out because you like to leave little hands around the house about Christmas time and because they want you to try it out, they were kind enough to send us one. As excited as she is about having a Tonal, I’m doubly excited. Thank you to Tonal for that.
It’s super cool that it is on its way. It’s going to be here. It’s very close.
We will be posting about that when we get it.
We’re going to do a whole baseline and talk through how is this going to work with what I’m already doing? How is this going to work on the Bike? How is this going to work with the Tread? Do they have programs that are going to make sense to do with what I’m already doing? Am I going to be able to get faster and stronger? Most importantly, what is my baseline strength because I’m a competitive type A. It’s a different kind of leaderboard. We’re going to see where it started. We’re going to do this for a few weeks, around eight weeks. We’re going to see how much strength I gained over that period. We’ll be talking through that.
That’ll be a fun little thing to track. We know we haven’t started this yet, but if you’ve already been on the fence about Tonal and you’re thinking about getting one, you can try it risk-free for 30 days. If you go to www.Tonal.com and you can get $100 off their smart accessories when you use the promo code The Clip Out. Go there. You can take care of that. I know we’re supposed to be telling them to buy one of these things. A lot of companies have big Black Friday deals.
They do. That’s a good point. I don’t know if Tonal is going to have one or they aren’t going to have one. What I do know is they told me that regardless of what you pay for it, if they have a promotion that launches within 30 days, you will have that honored. For example, let’s say they give you a free bench or something for your Tonal for Black Friday. If you get $100 off and you have bought it within 30 days, Black Friday pops up and there’s a free bench. You will automatically get the free bench.
You call them back and you tell them, they bench you.
Here’s an important thing, Tom. For all those people out there who are thinking as I do, and I know there’s a lot of you. If you wait until Black Friday, what’s that line going to look like to get it installed?
You could be getting out in front of the rush. That’s good thinking. That’s good information to have. Go to Tonal.com and use promo code The Clip Out. It’s Tonal, be you’re strongest. Speaking of commercials.
They have a couple. We talked about the Christmas commercial about how much I liked it because all the lights were popping on the houses and everything. It came out with one that has this woman who gets her Peloton on Christmas. It appears to be Christmas morning. She has a year’s journey and she’s talking on her phone. She records her journey with her bike over a year and then she presents it to her husband as a thank you because he bought her this gift last Christmas.
That’s when I’m hearing. She’s on the bike, on the internet and the husband is sitting around not doing Jack. Was he built like Jason Alexander?
She had no likeness to me. Let’s just say that. There were some mixed messages and reviews on this one. This one did not resonate with people the way the Christmas one did. People felt like Peloton did not get a chance to capture the excitement. One of the things was when she wakes up and she’s like, “It’s 6:00 AM, I’m getting up for this ride.” They didn’t take the next step to capture but then she got on the ride and all of her friends high-fived her. She was so glad she did it because that’s real life. They were some things that people felt didn’t come across as real as they could have.
I had to cram a year in 30 seconds.
I know, that’s the tough part. People also felt like, as usual, this would be better served by showing an actual member. We get that every time. I thought it was sweet. I had to watch it a few times because I watched it with the sound down. You’re not getting it. When I watch it with the sound up, I liked it. I also see people’s points too that it doesn’t feel as heartwarming as some of the others. We had the UK commercial come out, which was more of what you’d call a standard Peloton commercial. Here’s the Bike, here are the instructors on the Bike. It featured a lot of Ben Alldis because it was featured in the UK. It was great to see them have such a very high-level commercial that’s coming out this time of year. That is the important thing.
Let’s pick a square.
Let’s do that.
You’ve got everything all pulled up over there.
Let me get it up here. I’ve got my mouse where it should be this time.
Spot number twelve. This could be someone’s luck. Someone could win.
I feel the wheel is enough of this already. The wheel spin is getting shorter and shorter.
It’s fifteen minutes of any Amato workout.
Tell them what they could win.
They will get a $50 gift certificate to Sabra & Sand brought to you by Gina and her mother.
It sells all sorts of purses and unisex purses.
There are all kinds of bags and jewelry, handcrafted. It’s very cool. Also, unisex included.If you like the Peloton experience and you want to get into strength training, you will like the Tonal experience. Click To Tweet
Becs Gentry had a nice write-up in Runner’s World.
You might remember when we talked about the New York City marathon that she had a giant PR. This article was about her PR and how she trained to get it. She was talking about how much she uses the treadmill, specifically the Tread to train to increase her speed and that she did a lot of training on the treadmill because she did her classes. This is crazy because this woman not only taught all of her classes but then would run a second time every day to do 100 to 120 miles a week as she prepared for her marathon. She had such a fast time. It clearly paid off so well for her. That’s fabulous. This article is great. She talks about the benefits of all of her training. For those of you who avoid treads, treadmills, don’t. They can be very effective, especially during the wintertime. You might look like a badass when you go outside and you’re running and it’s cold and it takes a great picture for Instagram, but you also might slip and fall and hurt yourself. Stay indoors where it’s safe and warm and run fast. That was her advice.
Run fast. That’s great advice for a marathon. I never would’ve thought of it.
The thing is that she talks a lot about tempo running. Tempo running is about getting to a speed that’s hard for you and you do it for a longer period of time. The reason that’s so important that she teaches you is that when you are running a marathon, the longer you can stay at a certain pace, the better off you are. She did so much of her training at her tempo pace and doing all these sprints and stuff. That’s why she was able to speed up so much in the last year. It’s very cool.
While we’re talking about the magazine, Self Magazine featured Jess Sims.
It did and I thought it was interesting because they referred to her as a certified training at the fitting room and shadow box. No mention of Peloton. It was a complete total body workout. It was exclusively for Self Magazine and Jess created the entire thing. She also does all the little videos for everything. She is featured all over Self Magazine at Self.com. It is awesome. I love her workouts. She’s great.
We have two new instructors.
It’s funny to me that this didn’t lead at the top. We have so much news that this would have been big news. It still is big news but it would have been the big news. There are two new instructors, Sam Yo and Hannah Frankson. Both are going to be instructors in the UK. They both had their premier rides. I have to point out that the Peloton Prophet was correct. Hannah Frankson, we called it. I say we because I don’t get credit for it, but I am the voice of the Peloton Prophet. I didn’t make the prediction, but I talk about it. The Peloton Prophet called this a very long time ago and it also explains another reason why Cody and Matt were in the UK. We talked about that. They were at the Kings Road location and they did some visits. There’s another UK showroom opening in Oxford. I can’t help but think they’re going to pop over there as well. Maybe they will, maybe they won’t. Don’t forget, Germany is opening. Will they stay long enough to do the launch in Germany? I’m very curious.
You would think since they’re already over there.
It will be interesting. I have no idea. I haven’t tracked Cody or Matt to see if they were back. I don’t know.
Speaking of Germany, since it will be the big German opening, we have a German guest next episode.
This is all thanks to Helen Watson because had she not posted the article that I read that was in German, I had it translated by Google because I sure did not do it. At any rate, Daniel who is a sports blogger for Germany. He is going to be on our show. We’re going to interview him and it’s perfect timing for the launch.
There’s a little sneak preview as to what people will have. You will sadly have already missed it, the big Billy Joel ride is happening.
Billy Joel and Jenn Sherman, it’s going to be amazing. It’s happening right now. Kristin McGee is going to do a yoga flow. Matt Wilpers is doing a run.
Are we sure that’ll be in American, in the New York studio? Could he do that in the UK studio?
They don’t have the Tread studio built yet. The tread is not live in Europe at all.
This episode is brought to you in part by the Spintray. You might’ve seen people talking about this on the OPP. They post pictures of it and whatnot. It’s a tray that sits right on your Bike.
It fits very cleanly and securely.
There’s nothing to attach or anything. You can just strap it right on and you’re good. When you’re done you can pick it right off. Some people were like, “What do you need this for?” Every ride is created differently. Not every ride is the most intense thing. You need a place to set your phone or your laptop if you want to get some movement in your day, but not necessarily your most intense ride ever.
You don’t need to have a Tabata ride every day. Some people don’t have the ability to have a Tabata ride every day. Some people work from home and they want to get some work done while they’re working out. Every workout is different. There are definitely people this does not apply to. That’s not going to work for you. There’s also a ton of people that it’s going to apply.
Multitasking mom, somebody recovering from an injury. There are all sorts of reasons that you could maybe use something like this. The best part is it comes on and off the bike so easily. You can use it for one ride, not use it for four rides and then put it right back on. It’s not a twenty-minute project to install. If you’re interested or if you want to get one for a loved one, the holidays are right around the corner. You can get 10% off with promo-code The Clip Out at TheSpinTray.com.
Joining us is Ann Kingman. Ann, how is it going?
Thank you for having me.
Thank you for joining us. I am super excited about this. We’re going to talk about Peloton and some other things. Ann, how did you find Peloton originally?
It’s not that exciting of a story. I walked by it in a mall. My husband had to hold me back and this was a couple of years ago. The person in the store motioned me and said, “Do you want to take a class?” I ran away. I was like, “No, not in the middle of the mall.” I didn’t think about it after that. I was doing CrossFit and a couple of other different kinds of workouts. I was always worked out for the last ten years, off and on. It’d be like six months on, ten months off. I stayed in a hotel this past spring for work and somebody said to me in the elevator, “Did you check out the workout room? They have Pelotons.” I didn’t bring any of my workout clothes or anything. I didn’t even go into the workout room, but I then could not get it out of my mind. This was two years or two and a half years after I’d first seen it. It was the thing that I had to have now. We researched it and I went and took a ride. I’d say from that meeting that we had in New York where I heard about it in the exercise room to the time I bought it, it was two weeks.
You were like, “Whatever.” You were all-in.
I was afraid of that. When I saw it in the mall, it was so shiny and pretty. Honestly, I’ve been on exercise bikes before and I always hated it. It was always the worst thing that I would ever do in the gym. I wasn’t good at it.
I don’t think you can be good at most of those bikes. They’re ugly and clunky and there’s nothing good happening there. I’m not saying there are not good stationary bikes, but most of what you find in a gym is not inviting.
No. This was so pretty. I love tech. I knew if I walked into that store, I was doomed. I don’t know why at that moment, I didn’t need it or it wasn’t fitting what I needed. When I heard about the Peloton, I was looking for something. CrossFit wasn’t fitting into my life anymore. I was having issues with scheduling. Even though I thought I would hate working out at home because I had tried it before with videos, YouTube or whatever and I never would do it. Something about that Peloton got in my head and I justified it by saying that it was for me and my husband’s birthday to share because our birthdays are one day apart. I got it in April and he took his first ride.
Did you get it this past April of 2019?
Were you active before you got the Peloton? You said you did CrossFit, but were you already working out all the time at that point?
No, I am lazy. Tom and I are separated at birth in that way. There’s Newton’s first Law of Gravity. An object in motion will stay in motion but an object at rest will also stay at rest. I get home from work and sit down. It’s hard to get back up and get going. I didn’t work out from the time I left college until after I had kids. It got to be like, “We had to do something.” It’s off and on. It has been, I would say, the joking but it was true. Six months on and then 10 months off doing nothing and regaining whatever weight I had lost. I loved CrossFit. The problem with CrossFit is there are times that the classes are held and they’re very specific. I had a 5:30 PM class or a 6:30 PM class and if I got home at 5:40 PM, I missed the 5:30 and by the time I got myself together, I was deep into either cooking dinner or sitting on the couch reading a book and I couldn’t get myself to that 6:30 PM class.
I hear from you. That’s why I have to work out in the morning. On a rare occasion, I will work out at night but for the most part, if I don’t work out in the morning, it’s not going to happen.
My problem is I need to work out when I get it in my head. I worked from home a lot. If I want to work out at 4:13 PM, if it hits my head, that’s when I have to do it. That’s what I love about the Peloton is I’m very rarely taking live classes because the moment I’m inspired to work out, I need to do it right then.
Blending Peloton and CrossFit together conversation-wise, another reason that we wanted to talk to you is you have the Tonal. Tell us about that. I need to know all the things.
I love them both. They’re different. They are so complementary to each other. When I got the Peloton, I quit my CrossFit membership and I joined a regular big box gym.
I feel quitting CrossFit had to be a huge battle. You hear so much about how all-consuming CrossFit can be. I feel, “Do they make that ugly for you?”
No, the dirty secret is this was the third time I’d quit CrossFit. Like I said, six months on, ten months off. I understand where they get that rap. If you find a good one, it’s like a family. They understand. I was paying three times a week and I was coming twice a month. I don’t think it was a big shock to the owners and the coaches when I said I’ve got to quit. They know. I’m over 50 and happily married for a long time. My goals have changed. It’s not so much about what I look like as far as what I don’t want to look like in 30 years or what I don’t want to have to use to help me get around or whatever. When I quit CrossFit and got the Peloton and I love the Peloton, but I knew I needed some strength training. It’s so important for everybody. Women especially because we don’t grow up in a gym. Now they do, but women before 1980 or 1990 did not grow up with the idea that weightlifting was a thing that women tend to do.
It’s before Title Nine is what I mean. It is when they leveled the playing field, pun intended, for male and female sports and in public schools. That’s when you start to see more of it. With the age you stated, before that kicked in.
When I was in high school, I went to a “women’s gym” with my mom but it was like those Nautilus machines, but I don’t think they were even that. It was basically those rubber band things that you see in those machines that you put around your waist and they jiggle.
Is it the exercise equipment you would see on The Three Stooges?
That’s how I remember it. I went with my mom. I was young, I don’t know. Now, my strength training is super important. I fell in love with the Peloton, I quit CrossFit and joined a local gym down the street. I hated the experience. I had a good weightlifting program. There’s a woman online who’s a wonderful coach and she provides programming and I was following it and I was happy. The whole experience of going to this gym and waiting for a piece of equipment or getting this side-eye from some guy who is like, “What are you doing here little girl?” It is a real thing. I tried to man up and not let it get to me and own the gym and all that other stuff. It was uncomfortable.
I needed to do something else. I tried the Peloton Strength Workouts on Peloton Digital which I liked. We have dumbbells and I didn’t need to buy too much more equipment, but I was missing the structure of our program. That’s when Facebook decided to haunt me with ads for Tonal. I was at this stage where I was thinking about the Peloton Tread. I saw the Tonal and I saw the Peloton Tread and they were roughly the same price. I thought, “I have cardio. I’m riding the bike every day, I’m loving it. I’m doing these strength programs.” I felt I was spinning my wheels because I do an upper body class one day and then, “This looks fun. Let’s do this lower body or let’s do this bootcamp.” I wasn’t feeling I could make any progress. It was, “Pick up the medium dumbbells. I’m being lazy, so my medium dumbbells are going to be five pounds.”
The struggle is real. That is so true. She’s so right. I deal with that every day. She gets me.
Maybe we’re all separated at birth but this is a real thing for a lot of people. I looked at the money and I was like, “If I’m going to spend this money on the tread, I’m getting a great tread, but I can run outside.” What I ended up doing was getting an off-brand treadmill used.
That’s a great solution. It is because then you can still use the Tread content on digital. You’re already paying for digital, so why not?
I did that. I paid $500 for a good treadmill that has the buttons that you can push to jump right to the speed. That was important to me but then I said, “If I do this, I can justify the Tonal.” The problem with the Tonal when I was looking at it is that they had one showroom at that time and that was in San Francisco and I’m in Massachusetts. $4,000 is a lot to spend on something sight unseen. I even went to the Peloton store and rode the bike knowing I was going to order it that day, but I at least went through the motions of pretending I was trying it out before I order that.
You get one last chance to screw it up.
There are a couple of Tonal Facebook groups out there. I said, “If anyone’s in New England, I will bribe you with baked goods or wine if I can come to your house and test it out.” There was a woman who answered and she said, “I’m 2.5 hours away if you want to come up.” We tried to find a date and it was 2.5 weeks. Before that date rolled around, I had ordered it. I was like, “Thank you very much. You will not be getting wine or baked goods from me because it’s coming next week.”
Here’s the thing, think of how much money you saved on not giving her wine or baked goods.
I am dying to know what this thing is like. Take us through. You opened it up or you walked up to it because it’s hanging on your wall. What happened?
It’s hanging on your wall and it looks like a long television or television turned on its side. A lot of people look at it and they think it’s a workout mirror because it’s oblong. There are these arms from the back that fold out and they come forward and then they fold out. Imagine the TV with two arms out to the side and they can go up or down. They can be arranged in different places, locations and angles. You attach the regular gym attachments to them. The handles or a bar. You can use the Tonal accessories which they say they cost extra to buy. You have to buy them. It would be not at all worth it to buy the whole Tonal but not buy the accessories. Consider that it comes with it. You can also use off-brand extra accessories that you would find at the gym. I don’t know how many people are familiar with these, but it’s almost like a cable machine at the gym.
They have the weight stacks and you put the pin in the 30 or 40 pounds, it’s that except there is no weight stack. The weight stack is all done by magnets. It can give you up to 200 pounds of resistance, but there’s no heavyweight stack or anything that you have to deal with. It’s all digital. You open the machine and there are workouts but you could also do a move if you want. Let’s say you wanted to do a deadlift. You’d set up the arms and put on the bar and then you can set your weight if you want. There are a bunch of things that sold me on it. If you’re doing a dumbbell exercise like a squat or a bicep curl, let’s say bicep curl. Five pounds feels good. The next dumbbell that you have at the gym is usually ten pounds. Ten pounds is maybe too heavy. For women, those five-pound jumps can be problematic, especially with upper body strength. You get into doing squats and if you’ve got 35 pounds and then jumping to a 40-pound dumbbell, I can barely carry it to where I need to do the squat.
If you’re squatting and curling, forget it.
It’s much more elegant when you squat with a Tonal because you have this handle in your hand and you set the weight. You can set the weight in one pound increments. If you’re doing a bicep curl and five pounds is good, you can go to six pounds, to seven pounds and then to eight. Besides the fact that there’s all of this technology built-in and it will estimate your weights for you, you do a little three-movement workout. It takes maybe ten minutes and that sets your weights. Every move you do after that Tonal will estimate what the weight should be. When you take one of the classes, it’s like Peloton classes, they have instructor-led classes.
The instructors program it in so that the weight is right for the number of reps. If you have 100-pound deadlift and the workout has five reps, it might give you 100 pounds, but if it’s fifteen reps, it might make it 75 pounds. It all happens automatically. You don’t ever have to track your weights. I didn’t realize how freeing it would be to not have to keep track of the move I do, the number of reps, the number of pounds. When I would go to the gym, I had an app, but a lot of people still do it on paper. Honestly, sometimes it’s easier. There are not great apps. You don’t have to do any of that. If you have a workout, you follow it. You can raise and lower the reps of the weights if you want. They set them. For me, they’ve been pretty accurate.
There’s no going back and finding another way. Does it automatically shift to that weight?
Yes. If you’re doing a class and the first move is a bicep curl, it’s going to give me ten pounds. I do my bicep curls at ten pounds and then the coach says, “Now, we’re going to do squats.” The machine will automatically set itself up for 35 pounds or whatever it is I’m doing and then you do that. The handles that you have, this is why the smart accessories are great, is because they have buttons on them that you can turn the weight on and off. I can turn the weight off, get into position, put the weight where I need it, and then turn it on with my thumb and start squatting. It will count the reps for you. When you’re three from the end, it beeps and then it beeps when you’re two away. Then it gives a different beep when you’re done. You don’t even have to count. It doesn’t squat for you, but it does everything else for you.
It should have a little cheer when you’re done.
The instructors do that. They all have their own personalities. As you can imagine, like the Peloton instructors, some of them are, “We’re going to throw confetti at you when you’re done.”
Are there live classes like Peloton?
They’re not live, they are recorded. This is the other cool thing. The technology, they’ve managed to do this and it blows my mind when I think about it. Let’s say, in your workout, the instructor says, “We’re going to do bicep curls.” You see them do it with you 6, 7, 8. If you fall behind, it loops. They keep going. You can sit there and you could take three hours to do your eight dumbbell curls and the instructor, the coach keeps going. You don’t feel you’re slowing down or you don’t have to pause it and rewind. You don’t have to do any of that. It loops and it looks seamless. You’d think it would look weird but it doesn’t. It’s amazing.
What I like about it too is that there are a lot of programs. This is what I was saying like with the Peloton strength, I was missing the structure. There are a lot of classes, most of them are four weeks. The one I’m doing right now is twelve weeks but in three phases. Each phase is four weeks beginner, intermediate and advanced. The one I finished was four weeks. Day one, you do certain movements. It was three days a week for me. Day two, you do these other movements and then day three you do different movements. On week two, day one repeats itself. You can see the progress that you’re making. If you did fifteen pounds on day one, you do twenty pounds on day two, there’s your progress.
Will it show you, “This is what you did last time, this is what you’re doing this time?”For newbies, try not to worry about the instructor calling out output. Click To Tweet
It’s not only that, but it will show you how much weight you lifted at the end of each session which is amazing. The first time I did it, I looked at 8,600 pounds or something. It’s the number of reps times the number of pounds and it totally makes sense, but it looks cool when you see, “I did that?” In the next week, you can see that you lifted 9,000 pounds or whatever it is.
How long are these classes? You’re talking to these programs and you’re doing a few moves. Are we talking 20 or 40 minutes for the programs?
It’s 25 to 45 minutes depending on which ones you do and how fast you do it. A lot of times with these kinds of programs, like the traditional bodybuilding programs which they call them, if you do it at the gym, they’ll always say, “Do two deadlifts and then rest two minutes and then do another set.” What I like about this too is instead of resting, they give you some mobility work or some stretching or something that goes along with the movements that you’re doing, but you’re not standing around and it’s helping with your recovery. You never stop sitting there, waiting for something to happen. They’re beta testing some high-intensity workouts. Those are a little bit more like the ones on the Peloton, where you’re always moving and you’re getting your heart rate up and you do things more for time. You don’t do a number of reps, but you might squat for 60 seconds. They’re beta testing some of those. If there’s a good response, they’ll roll out more of those. They’re playing with the idea of live classes but I haven’t seen that yet.
Obviously, you’re comparing against what you did last time, but are you comparing against anybody else? Is there in these classes?
You don’t see anybody else’s data?
There’s no leaderboard, there’s no real interaction with other people who are using Tonal at all.
Does that ever feel lonely? Do you feel like you’re missing out? Does that feel sad?
No, because I’m a weakling and I don’t want to see that I’m getting ten pounds when everybody else is lifting 60 pounds.
I get that part. Do you feel, “I would like to give somebody else a high five?” Let’s say that we got a Tonal and I was like, “Let’s work out together.” Can we work out together?
Not yet. I feel you could at some point because one of the things that they have that I haven’t tried, but they started a partner mode. As long as you’re doing the same program, we could use partner mode and it would give me my exercise and then when I’m done, give him his and that would keep track of those separately. It would change his weights when it was his turn and my weights when it was my turn. There is a camera built-in, it’s not turned on. It’s down the road possibly.
Can you use the weights without a class?
There’s something called free lift mode. I want to say there are 150 movements or something like that built-in where you can choose it and you can see a demo. If you want to do a deadlift, you can do the deadlift. It will keep your weight, it will remember it for next time but if you want to do something that’s not in its database, you can do it. It would work. One of my questions was like, “If the company goes away, am I left with this box on my wall?” In fact, all of the electronics are there. I’m not sure what stats and what data would be kept, but the actual weight machine would still be operational. There’s a trainer in Northern California who has a number of Tonals in his gym. He programs his own workouts for his clients using the Tonal. I don’t think he does any of the classes with them. He leads them through whatever movements he thinks. He’s very creative and he’s had extra attachments and shown a bunch of things on Facebook for the rest of us to play around with.
You said back at the beginning, you feel that this complements the Peloton.
If you like the Peloton experience and you want to get into strength training, you will like the Tonal experience. They both seem well-designed and bought out. I never felt like, “This is clunky. I wish this was more like the Peloton experience.” I think much thought, research, and attention to detail has gone into the design of the Tonal as it has gone into the Peloton Bike.
It has a pretty good monthly fee to it too. Do you ever get frustrated that there are two monthly fees because that’s my big hang-ups?
I do. I wish that Peloton would buy Tonal or Tonal would buy a Peloton or whatever so I could only pay one monthly fee. It is what it is. This is the best experience for me. It’s certainly not a need. You can get strength in training other ways like you can get running or biking any other way. For me, paying the second fee, which I believe is $49 a month is a good value for what I’m getting. It’s very good value. I was paying that at the gym without any programming with the side-eye and the waiting for the equipment. Once you take away the initial outlay, which of course is no small thing, and I realize not everybody can do that. It is something that, for me, brings good value if you can swing it. I certainly would not recommend that anybody put a second mortgage on their house or take food off their kids’ table to do this.
If you have the means and can make it work, it doesn’t take a lot of space. You need about seven feet total, so 3.5 feet on either side of the machine when it’s hanging. An area to work out in, I’d say of about 7 to 8 feet in front of it. You can put a piece of furniture there, if you wanted it in your living room and then move the chair out of the way if you wanted. A lot of people do have them in their living rooms and in their dining rooms. I’m lucky to have a spare bedroom. I kicked my kids out when they went to college and send them upstairs and I took the room over for our gym equipment. It does not take up a lot of space in it. It looks sleek. You wouldn’t be embarrassed to have it in a public space in your house.
How does a weekly workout schedule look for you combining Peloton and the Tonal?
That’s the problem. I want to do everything. Right now, I’m doing a three day a week Tonal plan. I do that pretty much every other day. I finished the Power Zone Challenge which I was also doing three rides a week. That works great. I would love to run also on the treadmill so that I can justify someday buying the Tread. If I never use the one I have, I can’t justify buying a new one. I said something to the Tonal coach, “I want to do this and this. How would I work in all out?” She’s like, “Honey, we can’t make more days in the week.”
If you’re doing Power Zone Training, it’s hard to do. The challenges would be hard to work this in, but what you could do if you weren’t doing the challenge is do more hit runs or the shorter runs in the shorter rides on the days that you weren’t doing your strength. That’s what I was thinking about doing.
In fact, there is a program on Tonal called Better Bike and Tread. It’s designed specifically to work with Peloton. The coach has a Peloton, the instructor who leads the workout. I haven’t taken it yet but it is specifically designed to work with either the Bike or the Tread and both. I’m sure you can figure that out too. She’ll do the Tonal workout and then she’ll say, “Do a twenty-minute hit ride.” She’ll recommend the ride to do in conjunction with that. They are very complimentary.
Do the coach work with Peloton? If it says, it’s complimentary. It mentioned the bike or the tread. I’m surprised they didn’t have to ask permission to do that.
I’m not sure. I haven’t taken the workout. I’m not sure in the actual workout that it specifies Peloton because there are also classes for runners, there’s running strength and running recovery. A lot of the programs that are on Tonal, they’re not all traditional bodybuilding workouts. There’s a lot of mobility. There’s recovery. There’s hiking workouts, things to strengthen specific muscles. I believe there’s a winter sports one. The coach had a Peloton and wanted to do both programs to workout that would be great and beneficial for both. It was designed to improve the biking and running. There is a Facebook group that is called PeloTonal. It is for Peloton fans who also are interested in Tonal. It’s an unofficial group. It’s not affiliated with Tonal or Peloton, but it’s out there. There’s some good info there.
Do you know ballpark how many people are in it?
In the PelaTonal group, I’m not sure. I know in the Official Tonal Group, there are only 700. The other thing that I like is I feel the OPP is where we are with the Tonal Facebook group right now. Not only are they nice, the coaches participate, they’re on there all the time. You can ask them questions like, “This movement was bothering my arm.” They’ll video a modification for you. There are 508 members in the PeloTonal group.
That’s Peloton and Tonal. That’s a pretty solid number.
Especially when you think there are 700 something in the Official Tonal Group. It also shows you how they cross over. It’s very much the same customer.
Probably the same 500 people are like, “We should join the other group.” In Peloton, we’re so used to being in Facebook groups that the fans are starting them because we’re so used to having them.
There is an unofficial Tonal Group also. Anyone can join. The Official Tonal Group, you have to have purchased and they ask your name and email and they double-check that you’ve purchased it before they let you in.
That’s got to keep things a little calmer or more even keel.
I would imagine. They have a community manager who works for Tonal, who runs that group. She does a great job. They’ve learned some lessons from some other fitness technology companies.
Let them get another 179,000 people there.
We’ll see how they do. I’m sure she does a great job and that’s nothing against her.
I’m not getting paid by them. I have no affiliation with them at all. I am excited to have it in my family and friends hate me. I figured it for you guys and your readers because it’s new to you. There are some exercises that you lay on the floor.
What’s your leaderboard name for Peloton and do you have a leaderboard name for Tonal?
I do not have a leaderboard name for Tonal because there is no leaderboard. I sign in with my email. It knows my name, they greet me. For Peloton, my leaderboard name is 2Slice.
Was that your name when you are in a hip hop crew?
She didn’t say no. This is going to get interesting.
It’s a joke because I love hearing others every time you ask someone their name. I love hearing the backstory so I will share mine even though it’s embarrassing. My kids both go to Syracuse University for college. The mascot of Syracuse University is the Syracuse orange. The actual mascot is this flashy orange, a cute character named Otto. I love Syracuse. My husband and I also both went there but one thing drives me nuts and that is the Facebook groups where the parents chatter among themselves, parents of those Syracuse students, always refer to their kids as slices, like a slice of the orange. Instead of saying my daughter, they’ll say my slice. It rises me up a wall. I was like, “I need a leaderboard name.” My husband was like, “How about 2Slice?” I’m like, “That sounds tough.” I did like the hip hop sound of it, but indeed it’s more of this joke of this thing that I can’t stand. It’s funny because I’ve ridden with Hannah Marie Corbin a few times and she always shouts it out. Even if it’s not a milestone, she’ll be like, “2Slice, I see you.” I’m not changing it.
It is fun to say it is. It’s great. It’s a perfect leaderboard name. I love the story behind it. I never in a million years would have guessed that.
Nobody would. I found out that your intern Chet goes to Syracuse, so now you can tease him and call him a slice as well.
Chet is a slice and a dog. He’s a puppy and he has paws instead of hands. He’s a slice. Do you know Jenn Sherman went to Syracuse?
I do. She graduated a few years after me. They built this huge fancy new gym and I was hoping that she would somehow hook them up and get them Peloton, but they don’t have Peloton in the gym.
That’s a little sad. That’s okay.
That way I can’t be jealous.
We should ask if you have any advice for newbies. You gave us all sorts of Tonal advice. Do you have any Peloton advice, Pelo advice from 2Slice?
I would say for newbies to not worry about the instructor calling out output. It makes me a little crazy. I spend most of my rides on Power Zone Rides. When I take a non-power zone ride and the instructor says, “Go for 300 output,” that makes me nuts. Ignore that. For newbies, that is frightening to think that here I am trying to get whatever your first couple of rides, you might not even hit 100. The instructor is giving you these huge numbers and you think, “I’m never going to be able to do this.” It does get easier and you will get closer. Everybody’s different. To take that with a grain of salt and know that that means work hard.
Every bike is different. On my bike, I might be able to hit 300, but on your bike, maybe I can only hit 200. That’s very good advice.
I had to talk myself into that a few times, I will say. It was that or quit. That’s what I love about Power Zone Training is it’s so individual. You can individualize everything. They’re telling you to do something doesn’t mean you have to do it. They can’t see you and they’re not going to slap you.
Before we go, where can people find you on social media?
Twitter is the best. I used to be much more active on Twitter than I am now. I’m @AnnKingman on Twitter and also on Instagram. In many of the various Facebook Peloton groups, including The Clip Out Group.
Thank you so much for taking the time to join us.
Thanks for having me and thanks for letting me talk about Tonal.
It’s been a blast. Thank you for taking the time and talking to us, educating us, and trying to convince Tom that I need one.
Tom, she needs one.
I can tell on the look on her face.
Thank you, Tom. Thank you, Crystal.
That’s it for this one. I shouldn’t say pray tell. You have prayed and told.
I have told.
We know what next episode is.
We’re going to be talking to Daniel from Germany.
This is the only very German name. I’m not going to lie. I’m a little disappointed.
That’s what you have to look forward to next episode. Until then, where can they find you?
You can find me on twitter @RogerQBert or on Facebook at Facebook.com/tomokeefe. Don’t forget you find the show online, Facebook.com/theclipout. While you’re there, like the page and join the group. Don’t forget, we’re available wherever you get your podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Google Play Store, any of that stuff and Spotify. While you’re there, you can subscribe so you never miss an episode. Subscribe to our newsletter at TheClipOut.com. That’s it for this one. Thanks for tuning in and until next time, keep pedaling.
- Facebook – Peloton’s Facebook page
- Ann Kingman
- Sam Yo
- Hannah Frankson
- PeloTonal – Facebook group
- Official Tonal Group – Facebook group
- @AnnKingman – Ann’s Twitter page
- Instagram – Ann’s Instagram page
- The Clip Out Group – Facebook group
- Twitter – Crystal O’Keefe
- @ClipOutCrystal – Crystal O’Keefe’s Instagram page
- @RogerQBert – Tom O’Keefe’s Twitter page
- Apple Podcasts – The Clip Out Podcast
- Google Play Store – The Clip Out Podcast
- Spotify – The Clip Out Podcast