139: Is Exercising Your Midlife Crisis? Plus Our Interview With Brock Masters

TCO 139 | Spina Bifida And Peloton


Peloton stock picks up steam after a bullish statement for Wedbush.

Is exercising the new midlife crisis?

The Peloton Prophet was proven right once again. Plus, there’s a NEW prediction.

AdWeek had an irritating article about Planet Fitness’ new “Bike of Shame” ad.

Dr. Ethan Goldstein is doing 365 consecutive days on the bike to help stroke victims.

We have what we believe to be the first sighting of a Tread in film and/or television. And it’s a big one.

The Peloton blog has thoughts on your morning routine.

Has science invented a pill that can replicate the effects of working out?

We have a new way for you to contact us.

Matty met Oprah!!!!

Emma Lovewell has a new series coming – Listening Party.

There’s a new artist spotlight focusing on Lady Gaga.

Irene is doing a live English ride.

The new Athleta line is available in the boutique.

All this plus our interview with Brock Masters!

Listen to the podcast here:

Is Exercising Your Midlife Crisis? Plus Our Interview With Brock Masters

What do you have in store for people?

We have a few fun articles to discuss. We are going to discuss what’s going on with the stock market and we have Peloton profit updates and fun announcements, all kinds of good stuff.

Before we get to all that, shameless plugs, don’t forget we’re available on Apple podcast where you can rate, review, subscribe and the most important thing there is to subscribe. If you have a subscription, you’ll never miss an episode.

We’ll pop right up in your feed.

The high-dollar consultants tell us that we should let you know that the subscription is free. Sometimes people hear subscription and they get worried that could cost them money. That’s not true. It gets to cost you the amount of your cell phone and in your data package. You can find us on Facebook at While you’re there, like the page, join the group. You can also leave us a review there if you are inclined. We have a new review. This is from Melissa B. Quito. She says, “I eagerly await Friday so I can listen to these two. They are funny and informative on all things Peloton. I have the bike and love it. Crystal’s love of the tread convinced me to buy one. My husband, not so much since we now own a tread.” Her screen name now is Tonal and Single. Thank you very much for the review.

I’m glad you’re enjoying your tread. I sure love mine.

The website,, you can go there. You can sign up for our newsletter and every week, you will get links to everything and all the topics and one handy-dandy item delivered for free to you. That’s everything. Let’s dig in.

MarketWatch had a story about Peloton and stock gains.

They said that Peloton shares went up about 0.7% in pre-market trading after a Wedbush analyst, James Hardiman, initiated coverage of Peloton stock with an outperform rating and a $37 price target. They said, “Based on our analysis of the business model, our expansive survey work of both Peloton users and prospective customers and our own experience with the product, we do not believe Peloton will prove to be of a fad, but instead one of a small number of fitness companies likely to be an enduring force going forward.”

It’s everything we’ve been saying.

They need more people like this because it is true. He eventually thinks they’re going to get to four million subscribers, three million in the US up from 600,000 currently. That would be 2% of all US households. That’s a lofty goal. Honestly, I think that’s achievable.

I think it is too. If I owned a gym, first off, the snack machines would be amazing. If I owned a gym, I would be very worried right now. Peloton is doing to the fitness industry what Netflix did to network television and the movie industry. What Apple did to the cell phone industry and the music industry. It’s going to be a problem. They’ll never go away in the same way that every city will still have a bookstore, but you’re not going to find them like you used to.

It’s going to change. If nothing else, what’s in the gym will change.

There was an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal. It was about midlife crises. I thought it was interesting that they’re talking about people hitting their 40s and 50s and having a midlife crisis, but instead of banging their secretary or reaching and grabbing the bag of my own personal life, smoking meth. They’re getting fit.

They’re totally changing. It’s more about going on meditation retreats and doing yoga. It’s about that instead of wild girls weekend in Vegas.

Instead of like, “I’ll be dead soon. I should probably do something crazy.” They’re like, “What if I did something that made me not dead so soon?”

What an interesting change. I’m surprised it took that long. Is it even a midlife crisis if you’re doing something healthy? Can you even define it that way?

It’s like people grappling with their own mortality.

Does that mean I’m having a midlife crisis? Did Peloton give me a midlife crisis?

No, I would say it’s the other way around that you had one and then this was your solution for it. That’s interesting that people are like, “Let’s be proactive.”

It’s huge shift in mindset. That’s great.

My guess is also that it’s probably people that are happy in their lives. If you’re happy in your life and you’re like, “I’m getting closer to death, but I’m digging what’s going on in my life,” I would like more of that life.

You would be more motivated to do something healthy that’s going to benefit your life.

If you feel like you’ve wasted your entire life, that’s when you go out and do something crazy. I thought that was interesting that’s how people are acting these days. The Peloton Prophet, one of their corrections was accurate again. I don’t make it sound like it was one in five, but like “yet again” is how I should phrase that.

Peloton Prophet has nailed it yet again. It would be Eric Yeager, new instructor was officially announced. It’s a thing, he did his premiere ride and all that took place in Germany on German time, so I didn’t get to participate in any way, shape or form. I sure am happy for him and I’m happy for Germany now they have two instructors. Germany instructors are growing. It’s very cool.

Fresh on the heels of that prediction coming to fruition, a new prediction lands on our doorstep.

The Peloton Prophet believes the new Power Zone instructors will be revealed Saturday, January 18th during the Dual Power Zone ride. They also think they know who it is. I want to say that, but I’m not going to, unless you think I should.

I don’t know. What does the prophet think you should do?

I didn’t ask the prophet this one. Gotcha. I would be calling an audible. The prophet feels and the tingly sensation that the prophet gets says it’s going to be Christine D’Ercole. There was not a second one revealed to the prophet via the tingly sensation. I have a feeling that I know who the second one is, if we even have a second one. All good things. All I know that the Peloton Prophet felt strongly about was that we were going to hear about it soon.

I’m concerned personally about the prophet’s tingly sensation. Are there some circulation issues going on there?

I don’t question the prophet. I have learned not to question the prophet.

The profit would know like, “This is a heart attack. I’ve prophesized it. I should go to the doctor.” Adweek had an article about the Planet Fitness anti-Peloton/soul cycle ad.

The Bike of Shame.

It’s a self-congratulatory article. I say that because I thought saying self-filleting was too harsh. In retrospect, this article irritated me.

I would love to hear why it irritated you.

It’s because they were so proud of themselves. This is the Bike of Shame ad that everybody’s been sharing. First off, to me the ad reeks of desperation. When you have to go that negative on your competition, it means you don’t have anything positive to say about yourself. Beyond that, it says to me that they have written off anyone who has a Peloton because anyone who has a Peloton knows what they’re depicting is factually inaccurate. It’s not true in any way, shape or form. They have to know that. They’re in the industry. For them to take that stance, it borders on gas lighting. To me, it says, “We know we’re not getting any Peloton people back. Once they go to Peloton, we’ve lost them forever. F those people, let’s scare the non-Peloton people into thinking that’s what Peloton is. Thinking this is what they’re going to get if they buy the bike.”

I feel like we need to explain to our audience that we know that this commercial doesn’t look like they’re after Peloton because it doesn’t say anything about Peloton. We know that. That’s not how Peloton is. We know that the ad itself doesn’t depict Peloton. The reason that we feel that this company is going after Peloton is because this article specifically says that at the end of the year, they were going with a completely different ad spot, and then all the stuff happened with Peloton’s ad with the Peloton lady, the Christmas gift, etc. They decided to change gears and go with this ad to pile on to Peloton. That is why Tom is saying what he’s saying. There are a lot of people that don’t get it. They didn’t stop to read the article. There are a lot of people that were like, “This doesn’t apply to Peloton.” I know that. That’s my point. That’s why I’m so mad. It’s rude. It’s exactly scaring people who don’t have a Peloton into thinking this is what Peloton is like, when nothing could be further from the truth.

That’s what irritates me about the self-congratulatory tone of the article. What I think is going on is I think they’re seeing their social media metrics rise because the ad is getting shared a lot. What’s driving its, I hate to say viralness because it never got to that level, but what’s driving that I think is a lot of Peloton people going, “That’s BS.”

There are people that think it’s funny. I will also say how hypocritical our entire society is that they will get mad at Peloton for creating a commercial that they added context to in order to make it controversial. Yet, we have a completely rude commercial tearing down all of its competitors and everyone’s congratulating them, including themselves. No one has a problem with it. They think it’s funny. What is wrong with these people?

I’m not a fan of that article at all.

I’m not a fan of the article. I’m not a fan of the ad.

I don’t think that they’re succeeding in the way that they think they’re succeeding.

A lot of people don’t like Planet Fitness anyway because of their stupid lunk bell or lunk meter or whatever it is. I don’t go to them because I have an awesome gym in my basement, so I don’t need to.

It’s funny when the ads are like, “It’s a judgment-free zone.”

Your whole ad is about judgment.

Your ad is judging something. Ultimately, Planet Fitness can’t control what the other people in the gym do. You have no way to guarantee that’s a judgment-free zone.

Instead, you show people sitting on a bike, barely moving their legs and call that a workout. That’s also insulting to people who actually want to work out and challenge themselves. That’s great that you don’t have anybody pushing you, including yourself, if you don’t know how to push yourself because you’ve never learned, myself included. I’m talking about people like me, that is the best reason to have somebody teaching you in a class so that you can learn to go beyond your comfort zone. If you don’t know how to take yourself out of that comfort zone, you’re not going to do it. Sitting on a bike and peddling aimlessly with no thought to it is not good for everybody. That’s fine for people who know what they’re doing. I don’t think there’s a whole lot of them out there.

There are not, even the ones that are out there that didn’t start there.

Everybody had learned somewhere.

On a more upbeat note, The Jewish News had an interesting article.

Dr. Ethan Goldstein vows to ride his Peloton for 365 days. This gentleman is part of our lovely Peloton community. He is riding his Peloton bike for 365 days. All because he wants to raise awareness for the National Stroke Association in honor of his father. He’s been doing this. He was coming up on the last day already. It says, “So far, Goldstein has stuck to his goal. Although it’s hard to find motivation at times, he often reminds himself of a quote shared by one of the Peloton instructors, “I want you to take this ride for somebody who can’t.” May 5th will mark Goldstein’s 365th consecutive day of riding his bike. This date will also be four days after his father’s stroke 23 years ago.”

What an exciting, wonderful way to honor your dad. That’s fabulous. His dad actually passed away in December, so that’s probably why they wrote the article because he had already been working on it and that’s probably one of the reasons that the article was written. We are all supporting you. If there’s anything that we can do, you should reach out and let us know. I don’t know if Ethan Goldstein reads this, but if any of you know him, tell him we are all cheering him on.

There’s also a GoFundMe that he has set up in conjunction with this where all the proceeds go to the National Stroke Association. I would also like to point out how mature I’m being about all this because I just said the National Stroke Association. Where, pray tell, are you at in your Tonal journey?

I just started my tenth week and I am on my third week of my second program. I’m about to finish it up because I have four more workouts to do and then I’m done with my second program. I have gains like 60% of strength. Nine weeks, that’s insane. It’s really cool. I’m very excited about it. I love it as much today as I did at the beginning.

It’s the same way I feel about you. Do you still feel like you’re seeing the benefits of the strength training when you use the bike and/or tread?

Yeah. I’ve been trying to work out more so I’m not seeing PRs because when you spread yourself out, at least for me, when I spread myself out over multiple sports, I don’t have as much energy for any one of them. I tend to not be as well-rusted between workouts. I’m not seeing those PRs. I also was sick in there for a week and I also wasn’t feeling so great with my energy levels and I wasn’t sleeping. I had a whole bunch of stuff happening. It could also be all in reference to that. This week, I’ve been feeling a lot better from the tonal perspective, like how strong I have felt. They get on Facebook pretty often or on Instagram actually, and they’ll be live and they’ll be talking about things. One of the lives that they did, they said that if you are even 2% dehydrated, it can affect how much your strength, how much output you put into a push by 30%. You can feel 30% weaker on any given day by being only 2% dehydrated. That stuck with me.

You wouldn’t think it’d be to that degree.

I haven’t seen as much with the tread and the bike, that same output, but I have started to see definition in my arms, which is very exciting. I have a tiny baby bicep right there?

The odd thing is she’s pointing to her calf.

No, those are gigantor.

You can take the Commit to Fit offer that they’ve got going on, which is a pretty sweet deal.

You have to buy by January 20th for this to count. It’s a very cool deal. You get it and then you do twelve workouts in 30 days and you get $250 back.

That’s a great deal. That’s a great way to encourage people. People always have the perception that you buy fitness equipment and you’ll leave it alone and don’t touch it. If you’re reading this blog, then you probably bought a Peloton and you know that not to be true. For you personally, you’ve overcome that. That’s a great way for people to prime the pump, if you will. You can sweat it out with workouts from strength training, the cardio to yoga and you can learn more about the Commit to Fit challenge at

A while back, we talked about there was somebody on a movie set and they were looking for a tread. The treads had just started to trickle into the marketplace. There weren’t a lot out there and they wanted one for a scene in a movie and they were wanting someone to basically loan them the tread and they would cover the shipping and they were desperately trying to find a tread for a movie that they were shooting in Miami.

I do remember that. I remember that very well.

We figured out what the movie is and it was, Bad Boys for Life. I went to see it at a special screening. There’s a scene in Will Smith’s super badass Miami bachelor pad that’s very sleek and the kind of thing only a single guy could have, because if you had kids it wouldn’t look like that. He’s got a Peloton tread overlooking the city on his balcony that he’s out running on. He’s even got a Peloton water bottle with the letter P that is facing the camera. It’s featured very prominently like you see him running on it. Then he gets done running and he stands there and has a pretty lengthy conversation standing in front of it.

I wanted them to use my tread for that.

We live too far away.

I was all on board and I wanted to meet the actors. They wouldn’t even tell me who the actors were at the time. Now, I wish that would have worked out. That would’ve been amazing.

That would’ve been pretty cool. Also for what it’s worth, it was a good movie. If you like the Bad Boys movies, I think this movie is everything you want in a Bad Boys movie.

That is good to know as well.

There was a neat, little article on the Peloton blog about best morning routines.

They titled it Breaking Down the Myths Of a Successful Morning. They talk about all the different myths, like for example, workout first thing in the morning. Is it better to do that or is it not better to do that? It depends on what works best for you. Sometimes, that’s going to be better for you to work out in the evenings. Sometimes it’s going to be better in the morning. It depends on your schedule, your family but don’t him yourself in is the bottom line.

I think all things being equal, they say that you’re probably better off to do it in the morning, but I think the larger point they’re trying to make is that if doing it in the morning isn’t going to happen and doing it at night is, do the one that’s going to happen.

What’s interesting about that is when I got my Peloton at the end of the year back, it said that I was a an early bird and that 46% of all Peloton users were also early birds, which makes perfect sense to me. Also interesting is that over this year, I have moved away from morning workouts. It’s not working with the schedule anymore. I don’t know if it’s because I changed jobs. I don’t know if it’s a new schedule. I’m not sure what it is, but I’m enjoying working out at night more right now.

I wonder if it’s about it not being new anymore, that when you first get into an exercise routine, you feel like, and I’ve heard you say this, “If don’t do it in the morning, it’s not going to happen.” Now that it’s part of your regular schedule, it’s part of your lifestyle and who you are, it’s a thing you do, it’s easier to do later in the day because you’re like, “I want to do this, but I also want to sleep.” In the past, you would sleep and never get around to doing it. Where now you’re like, “I’ve been doing this for years now, it’s who I am.” You’re more apt to go knock it out at 7:00 on a Friday rather than not doing it at all.

I don’t know. I hope that’s true. I like it. It sounds good.

If it sounds good and it makes you happy with me, then that’s it. Go with that.

This whole article has all kinds of different myths that you can look at and see what works best for you.

I’ve been finding articles. I’ve been on a little bit of a roll, but I don’t think anyone would be surprised that I found this article. This article is all about the likelihood of a pill replacing exercise.

I was shocked when I read this because it says that this pill could replace the exercise protein. It actually mimics the same effects with working out.

It says that when you’re done exercising, they can see that this chemical is on your muscles. They poured it on some rat muscles, in living rats, they didn’t tear open a rat. It was like the equivalent of having worked out even though they didn’t just put that protein on their muscles.

Doesn’t that seem impossible?

I know. That’s some Jetsons stuff right there.

It was flies, not rats. They crawled up and down the test tube to get out.

They had some that they would train for a couple of weeks and let them do it, so they’d get better. Then they had some that didn’t train at all. They gave them the Sestrin and then they were instantly better than the flies who had trained. The fascinating part to me was they took flies that they had trained and gave them the Sestrin and they were no better than the flies they just gave Sestrin.

Think about the implications of that because people already are so lazy. They would never move. If you could take a pill and you don’t have to exercise, you would never move. For real, that would not be good for people. Your body is meant to move. It scares me because this is something that you very well in 30 years are going to hear how it causes cancer.

That would make me wonder like, “Is that a concern long-term?” They also said that there are some positive uses for it that aren’t necessarily to reward the lazy like for the elderly or if you have wasting disease.

I like their examples. It showed me that their head was in the right place. They were thinking about people who were infirm and unable to work out in some way, whether it be the elderly or somebody who might have some spine injury and they can’t walk and they’re not getting the exercise they need. It would be great for those applications. It scares me that other people would take advantage of it and not use it in the way it was intended. That’s pretty much everything we’ve ever done in our entire society.

Welcome to human nature. You have a phone number that you put out on the internet. You said you had an idea for someone we should interview, “You should call this number and leave your suggestions.” You’ve got hundreds of suggestions, but not one phone call.

It turns out none of you like to call things. That was what I learned. Also, you all have no idea how many episodes we have or who we’ve actually interviewed. I know there are tons of you that tune in every week and you know everybody we’ve interviewed. Also, we’ve interviewed 139 people at this time. It’s a lot of people. I had not realized that that much time had passed. I know it logically but we’ve got a lot of great suggestions. It’s going to take me a long time to sort through them because think about it, 52 covers an entire year. You gave me 300, so it’s going to take a while. Thank you, everyone.

You should plot out every one that they suggested and then find out their ages and then do the older ones first.

If you ever want to give us a call and you can ask a question, you can leave a comment, you can say anything that you would like that we can play on the show. That number is (636) 345-5023. Do not worry, I’m never going to pick up that number. You can call anytime, day or night. It’s just a voicemail and it’s a Google number. You’re not getting a private phone number. Call about anything. We want to start putting you on the show. We want to take little tidbits.

It’ll be fun. We didn’t get around to this but Matty Maggiacomo met Oprah.

Two of my favorite people were hugging. I’ve gotten to hug Matty, which was awesome. I met him pre-Oprah.

By the Kevin Bacon Theory, you’ve hugged Oprah.

No, because I hugged him pre-Oprah. I know it’s cool when you get to meet stars, but he hugged Oprah. It was a cozy hug. It was not a side hug.

I’m now a little freaked out about this theory because I shook Tommy Lee’s hand.

I met you after that. Does that mean I touched Tommy Lee?

I’m lucky, I’m not a walking Petri dish.

Who was that guy in that band that kissed you that one time?

Smash Mouth.

You’ve also kissed everybody that Smash Mouth has kissed.

I was doing a stage announcement to introduce Smash Mouth during that sixteen-week window where they matter. As I’m doing it, he sneaks up behind me and puts his arms around me and nuzzles me and kisses the nape of my neck. It was a little weird. There’s a new series from Emma Lovewell coming.

This is pretty cool. It’s another signature ride. In case you might have lost track. We’ve got the Sundays with Love, with Ally Love. We’ve got The Jess King Experience on Thursdays. Every once in a while, we do Spotlight with Alex Toussaint. We’re going to have Listening Party. These rides are going to be a complete music discovery tool. Sometimes it’s going to be indie artists, emerging artists, deep cuts. It’s all over the place. It’s going to be very cool stuff. They’re going to be twenty minutes long and they’re going to be released on demand midnight Eastern on Friday, once a month. This one is going to happen on January 17th.

The other cool part of this is that Emma Lovewell is organizing a group ride for this one that she’s going to be actually on the leaderboard. It’s Friday at 9:00 AM, so people will probably not even have a chance to listen to this before it happens. She’s going to be on at 9:00 AM Eastern and she’s going to be on the leaderboard throwing up high fives, which I thought was cool. It’s indie artists, emerging artists and deep cuts. I think it’s new. DJ John Michael was also seen helping her put this together as part of his new role. They were working on that together, which is also very cool.

Speaking of rides to keep an eye out for. You’re going to have some Lady Gaga content coming your way, who is rumored to be your new Audrey, which I think is a wonderful choice. Irene has a live English ride coming up.

I’m excited about this. This is the first live ride one out of Germany. It was on Hannah Marie Corbin‘s social media, I believe it was on Instagram. You definitely want to check that out. It’ll be a good opportunity to check out how she cues, but hearing in English.

Finally, the new Athleta line is up.

This is the one I told you about that had all of our awesome Peloton members and we gave a shout out to them. They are all being featured on all the Peloton social media channels. Congrats again to everyone. The line looks beautiful. From what I understand, at least one or two pieces sold out right away. It’s very cool.

Joining us is Brock Masters. Brock, how is it going?

How are you doing?

First of all, congratulations on that name. You sound an action star. It sounds badass.

I have kind parents. I have two siblings, Clark Masters and Drake Masters. We’re all blessed with pretty strong names.

It has hard consonants. It sounds like a book that they would have children read in the ‘50s. It’s like a boys’ adventure story.

Brock, I always start off by asking everybody how they found Peloton. That’s what brings us all together after all.

My wife and I decided to get a Groupon to a local spin club. As our Groupon was coming to an end, we were trying to make a decision on whether or not we wanted to join that club. That’s about the same time that I started seeing advertisements for Peloton and newscasts about this new platform. That would have been early 2015. We looked into it and decided to pull the trigger and we’ve had the bike ever since.

That’s similar to your story, except for the Groupon and doing it with a spouse.

The spouse part never happens in this house.

Getting up and going downstairs was a lot easier than getting up and leaving the house at 4:40 on a cold Chicago winter morning.

When you have a new experience, you have to learn how to manage it. Click To Tweet

It makes a huge difference.

It’s much more motivating to go downstairs, get a hot coffee, jump up on the bike within ten minutes of being up, and having to start the car and leave the house.

I was having this conversation with somebody. One of my coworkers was telling me how they didn’t understand how I spent that much on the Peloton. They were like, “Do you know how long I could work out for what you pay for that?” I’m like, “I don’t go there. That’s the problem.”

I had two friends purchase a Peloton after seeing the clip I threw up on the group page. They got motivated and each bought a bike themselves.

Did they use your referral code?

They did and my wife’s got a beautiful Lululemon pants as a result.

Brock, I know that when you posted on the official Peloton page as we lovingly call the OPP. You posted that you have Spina Bifida. Tell us about that and how that affects you in your life.

I was born with a neural tube birth defect called Spina Bifida. It affects anywhere up and down the spinal column. It had an effect on my lower extremities, musculature, bone development, as well as my bowel and bladder. I wasn’t diagnosed until the age of ten. Leading up to that point of a “normal childhood” I was on the local kids’ track and field team. I did the long jump, but I always suffered from some bowel incontinence issues and they couldn’t figure out what it was. Early on, it was diagnosed as behavioral. As I got older, it was clearly not the case. They thought that maybe I had some tropical parasites. I hit puberty at a young age and it was at that time, my feet started to deform and the issues with my bladder started forming and that’s when the diagnosis of Spina Bifida came after an MRI.

I didn’t realize that it could be diagnosed later in childhood. I thought it was usually right at birth.

It typically is, but there are a lot of people out there living with Spina Bifida who may not realize they have it and it does cause no adverse effects on their life. I fell into that middle ground where the tethering of my spinal cord was such that when I started growing from hitting puberty, it presented itself in a physical manifestation, which was the deformation of my legs and feet.

TCO 139 | Spina Bifida And Peloton


When you get a diagnosis like that, what’s the reaction? Is there a moment of, “At least now we know what’s up?”

For my parents and my family, it was suddenly like, “That’s why everything has been happening.” You move into the uncertainty. What does that mean for fixing the issue or managing it? What does our child need to go through in order to have a normal life? Will they have a normal job? Will they be ambulatory? Will they be wheelchair-bound? All of those things go through a parent’s mind. That’s why when I first did put up that post, I opted to get back into track and field and wheelchair racing after going down to McCormick Place in Chicago. The University of Illinois has a large track and field team and a number of their participants race the Chicago Marathon. They had this display set up so the average person off the street could hop in a racing wheelchair and see what it’s like. I was down there with my wife, Andrea. I said, “I haven’t done this or been in one of those things in years.”

I broke my shoulder a few Christmases ago and had a pretty extensive recovery surgery. The doctor said, “There’s a lot of things you probably won’t be able to do again, including heavy weightlifting.” My recovery and went well back to the gym. I thought, “I’m going to hop in this chair and see if I still got it.” I jumped in. It sounds like a cliché but riding a bike felt riding a bike. I was able to get up a pretty good clip on my first time back in the bucket. The next day, I said to my wife, “I want to race the Chicago Marathon.” That’s when I signed up and decided that I would raise money for the Illinois Spina Bifida Association.

What was her reaction to that? Was she worried?

She was super supportive. She’s always been behind me in my endeavors, both with work and physical activity. She went through a lot with me when I had the recovery. She had to learn how to cauterize somebody and learn how to manage a colostomy. A lot was put on her shoulders for the initial four-month recovery until I could take back and manage my own personal care. This was seen as a great opportunity for me to jump back into something I love.

My hats off to her. She’s pretty badass to be able to learn all of those things.

It was an eye-opener for her as well because she knew what the steps were for me to manage these things but never had to experience them personally. It was truly something that brought us closer together as a couple.

That’s a nice positive thing that came out of something that I’m sure was something difficult to go through. I am curious how you became an athlete. Was it because you were already running track and field before your diagnosis? It’s so easy as a kid, I did nothing and I was perfectly able-bodied. I only did what the gym teacher made me do. I can’t imagine becoming an athlete and you have a condition that makes it hard.

Post the age of ten, I’d gone from 10 to 16, probably having roughly anywhere from 2 to 4 operations a year to do corrective actions on my legs, feet, and back. At the age of sixteen, I was using a wheelchair quite a bit in high school because I was always having corrective surgery. It was my father, who is a notorious newspaper article clipper. He came home from work one day and said, “You’ve got to see this article.” It’s about this kid named Joey Radmore, who was a Paralympic athlete at the age of seventeen and was champion in his own class. Joey had cerebral palsy. You put them in a racing chair. It’s almost it magically disappeared and hit one countless event at the Paralympics. As a teenager, you’re like, “Dad, that’s crazy. I’m not going to go look this guy up in the white pages and tell him I want to race wheelchairs.”

I happen to be going to the local wheelchair repair shop to get some work done. This guy Joey was there on a high school coop. I serendipitously got to meet him and told him that I’d heard about him. He invited me out to the local track to do a practice with them. I hopped in the race chair and I did one lap. His stepfather, who was the coach at the time said, “We’re going to track meet in Toronto and you’re on the team.” That was cutting my teeth in track and field. This was a real passion of mine for years.

TCO 139 | Spina Bifida And Peloton


As time went on, my condition started to worsen. It turned out that I had more neurological damage that needed to be addressed in my spinal column. I had this fourth operation on my back, roughly about a fifteen-hour surgery. I was given a pretty bleak outcome being told that there was a high probability that this operation would land me in a wheelchair full-time. To my happiness, I woke and I could tell by the smile on my surgeon’s face, who is predominantly a neutral guy. It must have gone well.

I can’t even imagine, first of all, a fifteen-hour surgery. Let alone going into that surgery knowing that you may be wheelchair-bound forever. It’s probably one of those circumstances where if you don’t the opportunity isn’t great either.

We knew the condition was going to degradate if I didn’t do it, and there was a possibility that it could halt or possibly even improve my situation if I had it done. We had a big family meeting at the time. We had a stick shift car. The parents were like, “Don’t worry about that. We have to put in a ramp. We’ll get a manual.” All those things were discussed. As a family, we decided it was the best course of action. After all that happened, that’s when I discovered cycling on two wheels and got myself involved in cycling.

If anyone hasn’t seen the video, which is probably a lot of people that are reading this, how does that work? How do you marry the two?

I’m in a unique position where I am ambulatory on two feet. I do walk with a limp but my legs are atrophied. Meaning the muscle tone in certain muscle groups does not exist. I don’t have any calf muscle, the ability to stand on my tippy toes, my hamstrings are quite small. I have virtually no buttocks, but I have large quadriceps so that the front muscle, the pushing muscle. What was unique about cycling was I learned how to clip in right away. I realized that you don’t need a lot of those other muscles to marry the emotion of going in a circle.

As I progressed my cycling abilities, the muscle tone I did have got quite strong. I’ve been on a couple of group rides and out riding. I toured with a group called Velo Quebec out of Montreal, Canada. We did a seven-day trip with my father. You meet a lot of people and you’re in bike shorts. I remember one day this French-Canadian guy coming up to me and going, “How is this work? Your legs are so small. It doesn’t make sense.” I’m like, “I don’t know how it works. All I know is it does. I live to pedal.” We were doing 1,000 kilometer or 60-mile days holding speeds of roughly 20 to 22 miles per hour.

For me, it was that opportunity to participate with my peers and get out and be active. Cycling has been in my blood for a long time same with wheelchair racing. That opportunity presented itself. I still had my old racing wheelchair from when I was seventeen years old. After I opted to do the marathon, I wrote a proposal letter to my company. I work for a company that manufactures ostomy supplies and continence care supplies called Hollister Incorporated. I wrote them a proposal and I was fortunate that they were willing to sponsor me. That helped provide some of the funds to purchase the new racing wheelchair that I have.

A racing wheelchair, is that specially made to work on trainers because I was fascinated by your setup? It looks like a bike trainer but with a wheelchair. Please explain this because I’m not good at that kind of technology.

The racing chair that I purchased is probably about 85% carbon fiber. The whole setup is six feet long and has disk wheels in the back. You sit on your legs, so they’re tucked in behind you. It comes in around under fourteen pounds. It’s light and strong. The trainer that the chair is on is a giant roller or a drum that the back wheel locks into and it allows you to pedal or push at a similar clip and cadence as you would be if you’re on the street.

Is that a special trainer that they make specially for racing wheelchairs?

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It’s not off the shelf. I’ll make sure you have a photo that you can share with the readers. It’s roughly 3.5 feet across. The drum is probably six inches in diameter and that trainer that I’m sitting on weighs about 170 pounds.

Did you make it?

There’s a company out of North of Quebec City that manufactures them as well as a couple of American companies. I myself is a Canadian, so I went with the Canadian route and order this product up.

You’re able to ride a bike and the Peloton normally. It is the wheelchair aspect. Do you use that as your basis for running?

I can’t physically run. I’m sure if you put a bear behind me, I’d muster up the strength to do it. Otherwise, running and I aren’t friends. I prefer possible not to have to walk long distances. I’m a fairly big guy. I come in about 195 pounds. Both my legs are about as thin as skin and bones in a couple of areas. Cycling was an opportunity for me to travel long distances under my own power and not exhausting myself. Back when I lived in Toronto, I used to go for a 35-mile bike ride every single day after work. We had some nice waterfront paths. Coming up with this new opportunity to start wheeling and to do the marathon, that is truly the equivalent of running. I started thinking about my training platform and we have the benefit of having the mobile app with the Peloton. For me, I thought, “This is fantastic. I’ve got the trainer in the basement and they launched the Amazon platform app. I got that on my Fire stick.” When the spring hits, I’ll be able to use the outdoor reading platform to not only track my distance but do different sorts of sprint metrics, be able to do different training exercises as well as listening to great music.

To that point, we noticed that on your video you were training with a bike video. Tom is the one that asked me and he said, “Is there any reason that you were training to a bike class versus a running class?”

For me, cycling is in my blood that I take the Peloton classes on the bike all the time. It almost has felt unnatural to get on and do one of the tread classes. I love the cycling classes. The music’s always great. I’ve grown to know some of the instructors and I think of them as my cycling family. For me, using the bike app was the way to go.

I have a question about your Canadian roots. I’m curious as someone who has a lifelong medical condition. What makes you leave a country with socialized medicine to come to a country without socialized medicine?

Socialized medicine as a funny thing because depending on what province you’re from, things can change from area to area. For example, in Canada, you can have your ostomy operation and that for me was having a colostomy or a bowel diversion. Depending on what province you’re in, the surgery may be paid for but those products may be either partially subsidized, 100% covered or totally out of your pocket. It is different depending on what province you are in. I’m from Ontario where a number of things are covered but dental, vision and prescription are out of pocket if you don’t have a supplementary health insurance program.

Do they have issues when people go to other provinces? Do they card you? If you don’t have the right driver’s license, they say no dice. Will people move if one is better based on their personal situation?

TCO 139 | Spina Bifida And Peloton


That could well be the case. A good example is Saskatoon. It has full coverage for catheters if you have a spinal cord injury or spina bifida. Depending on if you were born with a condition or maybe had an injury and don’t have subsidization through either your work and insurance coverage. You may choose to move to a different province.

They won’t fight you on that? They won’t treat you as an immigrant? From here, state to state is no big deal and I didn’t know since there’s money attached to it.

Would that be different?

Would they put up a fight saying, “We’re not going to take and everybody that has all these special issues?”

Not to my knowledge.

That’s something that we do.

I’ve been with my company, Hollister Incorporated, for years. I worked with the Canadian team for seven years. I decided that there was an opportunity to start developing product ideas based on my experience in sales. After submitting multiple patent applications, I was asked if I’d be interested in moving down to the United States and working in research and development full-time. That was my ticket to come down and move to the United States.

At my previous job, I worked for a healthcare company and one of our contracted companies was Hollister. I noticed that when you said you got into racing, you explained how that got into your blood. You talked about having a specific track bike, single-track bike. How is that different from a regular road bike?

It’s like going out to the forest and ripping through the woods in full suspension mountain bike generically putting it.

I was making that way harder than it was. I thought it was some special racing bike. What inspired you besides wanting to do this and to sign up for the Chicago Marathon? Have you been wanting to do a marathon or was it that moment in the chair?

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When I was in my early twenties, I competed in a sprint triathlon, where it was a one-kilometer swim, a fifteen or twenty-kilometer bike ride and a ten-kilometer run. I did that and swam the swimming portion. I rode the bike portion and instead of running, I use the race chair. That was probably one of the last events I did. At that time, I thought that doing a marathon would be a pretty cool experience. Having had the back operation and not being able to further that opportunity at the time fell by the wayside. In the last couple of years, the thought has been in my mind and as my shoulder recovered, and I realized that the strength was there. I always wondered if I could get back in the chair. My old chair being 22 years old, I’ve put on a couple of pounds since I was seventeen years old. It was putting two sausages in one casing. It wasn’t until I got to go down to McCormick Place and sit down in a larger seat that I realized that I still got this in me and the opportunity presented itself.

It was quite serendipitous. A woman that I’d met many years ago at an event in Ontario saw the video that I had posted on Facebook about me at the event at McCormick Place. She and her friend who runs the Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association reached out to me and said, “Brock, I saw that you’re doing this. Would you be interested in coaching young kids?” I don’t think I waited two minutes to reply, “Yes.” This all happened within a week and I’m involved with the Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association. They’re an incredible affiliation out of the Chicago land area. The statistic is that roughly 30% of the athletes who compete in the Paralympic track and field come from their club. They are a force to be reckoned with and I have the opportunity to work with and coach young athletes. They’re a great club and a great club for me to be able to train with as well. They have a number of athletes who compete in the marathon every year. I’ll have the opportunity once the weather gets better to get outside and start working with the people to do the marathon.

How do people who might have kids or maybe other loved ones in their family who want to do Adaptive Sports get into that? Do they do a Google search to find out what’s near them? Are there several places that do that and work with people who want to do more, but don’t exactly know what they should be doing?

There are clubs all across the United States. I would suggest looking up the Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association. Cindy and her team are affiliated with clubs all around the country. If you’re not in the Greater Chicago and/or Illinois area, they can certainly put people in touch with the right people who can concert up either loved ones or friends or family with a local club that they can get involved with.

I have a question for you about the Chicago Marathon. When you sign up for a marathon, do you automatically have to raise money? Do you become a fundraiser automatically? Is that something you can opt-in to?

For someone myself, who was coming out of the woodwork deciding to do this, there are a couple of ways you can get involved. You can either try and get an initial spot when the marathon goes live. You can enter into a lottery and there’s X amount of additional spots available. You could either be an elite athlete and have qualified for Chicago, or you can do what I’m doing, which is opting in to raise money for a charity.

You chose the Illinois Spina Bifida Association, I assume, because that is a cause near and dear to your heart.

I went to McCormick Place and that was on a Saturday. The race was on a Sunday, the actual marathon and on Monday, I contacted the Illinois Association Spina Bifida and said, “I’m going to do the marathon.” On Tuesday, Amy and Cindy reached out to me about the Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association and I got involved with them. It made it all truly came together within one week.

What is the goal that you are trying to raise for the Spina Bifida Association?

I was given a goal of $1,250. I put out a Facebook campaign as well as a GoFundMe Charity campaign that was specifically through the Illinois Spina Bifida Association. I was able to raise close to $1,000 within my first campaign. I put the campaign on the Peloton community Facebook page. Within four hours I had raised almost $2,000. I’ve over doubled my goal for the year and I still plan to do some fundraising as we move through. I was truly touched. Within four hours, the Peloton community sponsored me to almost $2,000.

TCO 139 | Spina Bifida And Peloton


They’re going to raise your goal, you probably should have paced yourself a little bit more. They’ll go, “Fancy pants.”

I received a kind email from the association that was thrilled to see that I signed up in late November 2019, and by January 2020 I’d already doubled my goal for them. They were they’re appreciative. I’m appreciative of the community.

What do they specifically do for people who have spina bifida? How do they help them?

What’s great about these associations is they are a resource to parents who have young children who don’t know where to go and don’t know what’s facing them. They need to find information on neurologists, orthopedic surgeons or neurologists. As people get older, they act as a community and help to bridge that gap between the pediatric environment and the normal medical care system. You can imagine if you spent your entire life as a kid going into the hospital where there’s lollipops, clowns, doctors and parents who are there to turning eighteen and hearing your name and a number in a cold medical center. They help with that transition and prepare people to take on their own care, and places having their parents there with them. Also, it provides a community and an event planning environment. For example, the Illinois Spina Bifida Association is hosting an adult night for anyone who is an adult, over eighteen who has Spina Bifida come out, join and watch a roller derby tournament. They also provide social experience.

That’s great that they do so many things. This is not the first time that you have been involved with raising awareness or raising money. I know that you were also a volunteer for a youth ostomy program. How did that come to be?

Prior to joining Hollister, I had my own manufacturing company in Canada that made ostomy accessories. Through the Canadian Ostomy Association, I met a group of individuals who every year would put on this youth camp. For me, the first time I heard the word ostomy or stoma, I was fifteen. The idea of getting a bag at fifteen years old isn’t an awful idea. I thought to have the surgery for years until I was about twenty years old. After a trip to England, I’m living in a tent and having to manage my bowel routine in a different fashion. It became apparent that this was going to be the best opportunity for improved quality of life. When I was 23 years old, I had the opportunity to be a volunteer at this camp. One of the things I love about the camp was that we had kids anywhere from the age of 8 to 18 who had either bowel or bladder diversion.

The camp also took in kids who needed to have one of these surgeries but was reluctant to have it. They had the opportunity to see other kids, peers their age running around, having fun, going on the water slides, doing high ropes courses, mountain biking. Doing all these activities, swimming in a pool and not being held back by their condition. I thought for myself that if had that experience, I probably would have had the surgery a lot younger. I was fortunate that I get to volunteer for one week every summer for over a decade.

That’s amazing for kids to be able to see. That makes a lot of sense. Thank you for doing that. What a great program.

It’s my pleasure. If there are any readers who have friends or family who have young children who have an ostomy or a bladder diversion of some kind, they can look up the United Ostomy Association of America‘s youth rally, or the United Ostomy Association of Canada’s youth camp. Those are both two fantastic programs. They work to raise money to help fly out kids whose families maybe can’t afford it. These kids form bonds for life with peers, who understand what they’re going through. Through their youth into adulthood remain close friends and a support network.

How was that when you finally pull the trigger on that? Once you got on the other side, were you like, “I should have done this sooner?”

TCO 139 | Spina Bifida And Peloton


I’ll be frank and say that it took a good six months to realize that this was the right decision to make and like anything, it changes a challenge. As adults or even teenagers, you forget what a pain in the butt it was for your parents to toilet train you as a kid and that you hated it. It’s the same similar process. This is a new experience and you have to learn how to manage it. Once someone emotionally adapts to having this operation, they realize that it’s not a limiting factor to their ability to lead a fully enriched fulfilled life as a person.

It sounds like a process of mourning because you’re mourning the loss of the control of your body in a way. I can see that that would be difficult to wrap your head around an emotional level. It makes a lot of sense that you have to go through a process.

For me, part of that was cycling. I started to realize that this wasn’t going to hold me back. I was worried about leakage, skin health and all of these problems. You find the right products that meet your needs and certainly for me, that was within the family of Hollister. It was serendipitous that I ended up coming to work for them as an organization. These products provide me the full ability to live my life to its full potential and for that, I’m grateful.

Was that a coincidence that you ended up working for them? Were you already traveling in those circles and fell into it? How did that come about?

I had my own company and I was having some differences of opinion with my business partner. I had been traveling to different trade shows around Canada. The people at Hollister were always so kind to me. I was a party of one at these events. They’d invite me out for a drink and they’d have me sit at the table with them. I’d said to my father at a young age, “If I ever went to work for one of the big manufacturers, the only one I would consider working for was Hollister.” Sure enough, they approached me for a job in Canada and I sold my organization. I join them without thinking twice about it. That was years ago.

It seems your whole life has been affected by this but you’ve also found ways to not only process it emotionally but give back to other people who it seems that they might be struggling with it. It seems to touch every part of your life is what I’m trying to say.

As you move forward and you see people who have either had something an ostomy or spinal cord injury and need to use contents care products. The one thing that helps people recover both physically and emotionally is sports and physical activity. For me, this was a great opportunity to get out and share that message with people. For example, for the Spina Bifida Association, I do believe that I am probably one of the first people who has spina bifida who will be racing on behalf of their organization. I’m excited about that. I’m grateful for Hollister themselves to provide me with a financial donation to buy a racing wheelchair.

How can our audience help out? Maybe they didn’t see your post originally. How can they chip in or take part in some capacity?

If they’re interested, I would encourage them to look up both the Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association and the Illinois Spina Bifida Association. These are two phenomenal organizations that are dedicated to the betterment of people living with disabilities. The Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association’s motto is, “No one left on the sidelines.” That’s a powerful motto. I was blown away by the comments and people telling me how inspired they were when they saw me on the roller doing a Peloton class. For me, that’s second nature and some of the comments from people saying how inspired they were and they would remind themselves of seeing that anytime they felt lazy and didn’t feel getting on the bike. It was moving.

When you said how much you motto, clearly you seem to have built your life around it.

It’s certainly something that was near and dear to my heart far longer before I heard them ever say it. I’m fortunate to be a part of their organization and I’m excited to be training with their team as we lead into marathon season.

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We’ll make sure to post the links on our Facebook page to make it easier for people to find so they can help out if they’d to.

I’ll put in a plug for Hollister as well. If anybody out there has an ostomy and it’s having issues with their skin health, it’s the number one thing is to ensure that the product sticks to you and we have some great products. You can contact or look up our 1-800 number. We have a great team of specialists here who can help you get the right products to live your life to the fullest.

What is your leaderboard name?

My leaderboard name is silly. It’s Chubs in the Pug. I found this ridiculous meme on the internet and it was a hipster-looking person, and he’s wearing a picture of his pug dog and sitting in his lap. It’s his pug dog wearing a t-shirt of his face. I couldn’t let this picture go. I didn’t know what I would do with it if I would make a t-shirt of these guys in their t-shirts. It was right when we got the Peloton, so I had to pick it up. I’ve got a couple of head shakes from my beautiful wife. It has grown on her.

My first thought was, “Was that the Canadian version of BJ and the Bear?”

It’s my FM radio name.

I was thinking of that show, Jake and the Fatman. The dog and that guy. I don’t remember what the guy’s name was because nobody cares. The dog’s name was Jake.

Do you have any advice for people entering the world of the Peloton?

The number one piece of advice is to take it easy. If you’re new to cycling or you’re new to Peloton, take the introductory classes. Don’t dive in on a 45-minute hit ride your first day on the bike. Get to know the bike and how to set up your positioning properly. Make sure that you’re doing that so that you’re avoiding joint pain or stress on your muscles. Be sure to stretch when you get off the bike. You can’t perform properly the next day if you don’t take care of the moment you are in. Be sure to have a good warm-up and a good stretch after each and every ride.

TCO 139 | Spina Bifida And PelotonI want to make sure that people can find you on social media because they’re going to be curious about you.

You can certainly look up my Instagram handle. It’s @BrocknessMonsterr. I worked with a gentleman and every time he’d walked by me at the office he’d always yell, “Brocknessmonster.” I tried to pick up that name on Instagram and somebody already had it so I tweaked it a little bit. You’ll see a lot about wheelchair racing, cycling and a lot about food. I trained to be a chef prior to switching careers and getting into healthcare. You’ll see a little bit about cars. I’m not one to fix up cars, but I am one to paint cars.

To paint cars?

You can’t buy your youth back but you can buy the car you drove when you were younger. A couple of years back, I bought a 1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse because that’s what I had back in culinary school. When the car showed up, I bought it sight unseen from Florida. The car was in good shape but the paint was horrific. As I started looking into what it would cost to paint the vehicle, it was going to cost me more to get the vehicle painted than I paid for the car. I started looking at my options and there’s this incredible company based out of Florida called They sell kits that allow you to paint your home vehicle at home with a peelable automotive paint.

You blew my mind. It sounds like a car wrap.

It is a wrap, but it’s a spray car wrap. You take the car off in your home garage and spray wrap your vehicle. It takes about two and a half hours to take the car and takes about two hours to paint the car. In less than a full day at the office, you have a different colored vehicle.

Why is that not everywhere?

You’d be shocked to see how many people do this. For those of you out there, check them out.

I’ll be googling that.

I’m going to put flames on my CRV.

When you are made fun of you can peel them off.

TCO 139 | Spina Bifida And Peloton


That’s exactly what I would do too. I would feel great shame nonstop. Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy day to join us, Brock. We appreciate it.

It’s been an absolute pleasure. I appreciate the opportunity to speak both to you and to the Peloton community.

They love you and everybody is going to enjoy learning your background because your amazing pictures and videos are so overwhelming to see something being used. Nobody’s seen these racing wheelchairs on a trainer before, so you’re blowing people’s minds. Everybody’s going to be curious.

Growing up with this in my life, it’s so normal. For the community to reach out and say, “What is that? How does that happen? Where’d you get those?” “I have a friend who’s in a wheelchair, where can I set them up with that?” To me, that is the best part of this. People in a community working together, elevating each other, getting away from all the BS that can come along with social media. Instead of trolling each other, they’re truly being supportive of one another.

On that note, good luck on the Chicago Marathon. I have no doubt you will crush it.

Thank you so much. I appreciate this time.

Thank you.

Important Links:

About Brock Masters

TCO 139 | Spina Bifida And Peloton

Experienced Global Product Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the medical device industry. Skilled in Medical Devices, Capital Equipment, Healthcare, Building lasting Customer Relationships, and Sales Effectiveness.

Strong marketing professional with a Chef Diploma focused in Culinary Arts from Algonquin College of Applied Arts and Technology.

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138: The Peloton Moms Facebook Group Has Been Infiltrated and our interview with Monique Caradine

TCO 138 | Fitness As A Community


Truthfully, getting a strong start on your fitness journey can be one of the most difficult things to do. But enjoying fitness as a community transforms the experience, making it collaborative, and creating accountability between you and the other people in your little circle. Monique Caradine is the founder of OverFlow Enterprises LLC, a personal development company for women. Monique chats with Tom and Crystal O’Keefe about the advantages of making your fitness journey a community effort. Thinking about a new approach to your own personal fitness? This might just be it!

Listen to the podcast here:

The Peloton Moms Facebook Group Has Been Infiltrated and our interview with Monique Caradine

What do you got in store for people?

I know I say this every week but so much.

I want to ask you, what do you have in store? Let’s pull back the curtain. It’s a little bit of BS because I already know. You gather everything and then I stack it in what I think is the most important order.

The guy who doesn’t ride or exercise in any way is the one stacking the order but it works.

I think me not being invested makes me a better judge of what’s an important story. There are three or four things that on a regular week would be like, “That’s easily the top story or the headline of the episode.” This week I went, “Struggle is a strong word,” but I was like, “That could work too.” There was some back and forth in my head. There’s a lot that goes on in there. It’s not just carnival music. Give them a sneak peek of what’s in store.

We’re going to talk about a new monitor, where is it going? What is it for? We’re going to talk about some major, I feel, potential drama happening on the Mom page. Then there are some updates with Peloton. We’ve got competitor news out the wazoo because it was CES. That’s how that rolls. New instructor rumor and an update. Then some other little things that came up as part of conversation and instructor news.

Before we get to all that, shameless plugs, don’t forget we’re available Apple podcast. You can go there, rate review, subscribe. You can also find us on Facebook, While you’re there, like the page, join the group and you can leave a review there or on iTunes, either place. We have a review. It is from KristinTTU. She says, “I love this show. I started listening after homecoming. Now, I look forward to my Friday drive to and from work because it’s Clip Out day. Keep up the great work, Tom and Crystal.

Thank you for this very nice review.

Thank you for listening while you commute. Also don’t forget we have a newsletter. We talk about a lot of things every week. There are lots of links and articles. You can get that directly in your inbox weekly if you sign up for our newsletter at While you’re there, if you’re so inclined, there’s even a donate button. We aren’t going to stop you. That’s all of the things we have to push. Let’s dig in.

There is a new monitor in the works?

Yes. According to, there’s an article that talks about a new monitor that was filed with the FCC. The big question is what is the monitor for?

It’s for monitoring.

What device, Tom? There are a couple of major lines of thoughts because I pay attention to everybody. All the rumors are that there’s a huge contingent that feels potentially this could be for a new smaller treadmill that they’ve discussed. It could also be for a new rower, maybe both depending on how big or small the new treadmill is. The other side of the coin seems to think no, this is a new monitor for the treadmill. It’s version three because apparently there’s already a version two out there. A little bit of history, if you have a bike, those bike monitors have the model number starting with RB. Then if you have a tread monitor, it starts with the letters TC. The listing of this new monitor started with TTR01, which I believe stands for Tiny Tread and Rower. As my little joke, I’ve been amusing myself since this article came out. We don’t know what it will mean, but that’s the big mystery.

Clearly, it means something. Watch this space. Give credit where credit is due. Oftentimes, we’re saying, “We read this on or we saw this at CNN’s reporting or whatever.” This one’s all you. You have discovered that the Peloton Mom’s Group on Facebook has been infiltrated, compromised, if you will, by I don’t want to say spy, I’ll go with douchebag.

To be fair, I don’t know if this person’s trying to be a douchebag. I think they’re trying to be funny.

It’s a thin line sometimes. I walk it gingerly. Not everybody’s good at it as I am.

Here’s the deal. I scroll through a lot of pages pretty quickly. I happened to see a story that stood out to me on the Mom page, and I’m not trying to call any mom out, it just stood out to me. As I was scrolling through Instagram, that same story caught my eye. I thought, “This person must have posted in both places.” Then I saw that what they had done was scratched out the name of the group and left Mom Group at the end, then they took out identifying marks so there were no names listed. Then they proceeded to make fun of the post. I was like, “What is this?” Because the name of the account which is called The Mommy Group Says has nothing but these posts.

It’s all posts basically making fun of privileged women in mom groups, complaining about things that seem petty. Complaining about first world problems.

What bothers me about this is people think that they are protected. I know that they’re not. First of all, I realized that if you are on Facebook or you’re on the internet, you’re out there. I know that. These people, not everybody knows that when they’re in a group and it’s called a private group, they think that their thoughts are at least somewhat protected. It has not occurred to most of them that they would not only be screenshotted but then made fun of.

It also makes me wonder, this person posted a story about children not being happy with a Christmas present. It’s a present that most people would feel like your kid should have been happy with. People were chiming in with variations of their kids maybe being ungrateful about things. I’m wondering if this Instagram page is seeding these stories, if maybe the initial story is BS just to prime the pump in order to get other people to chime in with their own real life stories.

I don’t know because they don’t screenshot the comments. There’s a little bit of it, but it’s like what you can see in the screenshot. They’re screenshotting the initial.

I thought they were doing both. I thought they were priming the pump and then being like, “Look at what we’ve got all these people to say.” Either way, it’s a little seedy.

If you are the owner of the account, The Mommy Group Says, and you are annoyed by this, keep in mind, we are not accusing. We’re telling you what works. We’re telling you how it looks and this is how it looks. For those of you in the Mommy Group, watch what you say or in any groups. This one is targeting mom groups.

There could be other things out there doing something similar.

The point is nothing is private on the internet. You should never assume it is. If you are posting in a group, anybody can take a screenshot and do whatever they want with it. Be careful out there.

We had an outage outrage. You can’t spell outrage without outage.

There was a post that got posted on the OPP, over 700 comments before it got deleted. It did get deleted. I don’t even know what the original comment was. Apparently, it hacked a lot of people off because apparently, and I didn’t see it, I’m just telling you from the other things that I read that it sounded very entitled because apparently Peloton is not allowed to go down. Especially on a Saturday morning when this person is trying to work out.

It is bad timing, but it’s not like they selected that time. Things happen. Considering how many people get on their system every day, the fact that how rarely this occurs is pretty impressive.

This one took the whole system down. There have been times where people have been not able to access things. It doesn’t affect everybody at once. For whatever reason, this one affected everything and everyone. It was all platforms including customer service, sales. They were without any kind of movement. It was actually within The Clip Out group, somebody from the Sales Department posted and they said it was a rough couple of hours, but they came in to that. They started their day with that. They survived and it wasn’t that bad. From their vantage point in sales, they were very imaginative and got the job done. We appreciate all of the folks at Peloton who worked very hard to make it work, who make it work every day by the way. Thank you for all that you do despite the people crabbing at you.

The Peloton wife is back in the Peloton news.

I have a sub to this. I saw Peloton lady, Monica Ruiz, got a free Peloton. It was given to her by Peloton.

I just hope to Christ, she asked for it.

I don’t know that Peloton gave it to her for free. I am telling you that because a person who claimed to be a Peloton employee said that is what happened. I didn’t go fact checking, just to be clear. Regardless, she did get one. Then the other thing I saw is she is now a Wilhelmina model as of today.

What’s a Wilhelmina?

That’s a huge modeling agency. It’s pretty much top-notch.

That’s good that she was able to turn this into a move forward at her career. I’m sure there was a period of time when she wasn’t sure.

Although, I am tired talking about it.

While we’re talking about the ad, there was some interesting stuff that you found at

I have to say that I believe it was Helen Watson sent me this article, so can’t take credit for it. She found it, but it is at YouGov. She thought it was interesting. She thought that other people might be aware. This gives some statistics, it tells about where Peloton was through this whole debacle from an advertising standpoint. It said that Peloton actually raced its way to the top of the advertising hill in December, that it had gained one of the most significant increases in ad awareness, which is a YouGov metric that tracks whether somebody has seen or heard an advertisement by a company in the last two weeks. It goes across this little timeframe. It starts at October 27th and it looks like the first week of November, Peloton launched the ad. Then the percent of awareness is right around 18% on this graph. It stays there until about December 6th or 7th. It starts to take up the very end of November.

It’s trending up towards about 20 and then it hits 20, then that’s when the backlash starts.

It says the ad goes viral on December 8th, and that’s where there’s a huge thing. Between December 8th and December 22nd, it is now at 32%.

Perhaps, it wasn’t as much of a debacle as we were thinking. I don’t think that they did this purposefully. You can’t plan something like this. I hate it when people are like, “Make us something that goes viral. I didn’t think about that make a viral thing.” Maybe this paid off in ways that in the moment when people are coming at them from all directions complaining, maybe it didn’t feel like. At the end of the day, it was a net positive for them. They clearly aren’t done with commercials because it sounds like there’s already another new commercial in the works.

I don’t know what the end result is going to look like, but I know that it stars Tune Day. I’m excited about that because she’s brand new and she’s already starting in a commercial. That’s so cool.

Good for her. There were some companies that hope to be competitors to Peloton that had some news. Echelon, who we make fun of to no end. I have to say they were bringing the heat.

I will admit that this is a surprising development. Echelon has announced that they are partnering with Samsung to expand their offerings. The reason I’m not sure about that is because Samsung is a big deal. I very much respect the Samsung.

We have multiple Samsung products in this household.

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Almost everything we have is Samsung. That’s a lot of things. They’re saying that this partnership, this is a big one. There were a couple of other things from Echelon. This one, they’re saying echelon is going to have classes that are going to be available on more than twenty million TVs. It’s going to come through a launch on Samsung Health on TV. People are going to have access to free and exclusive content from partners in general but including Echelon.

I guess Samsung is going to have their own health app and Echelon will be importing to that.

Samsung already has that.

There’ll be an Echelon app on your Samsung television, which is probably for the best for Echelon. We have a Samsung television and I don’t go dig in through to look if there are new apps, but if it’s a Samsung app, Samsung is more apt, no pun intended, to push it in front of you to try and get you to notice it. That’s good for them. They had some new products that they revealed.

This is the other part that I think you were referring to that they were bringing the heat. They now have a rower. There was another product they did. It’s a tread treadmill. Now they have the four products because they had the mirror already. They had the bike, they had a mirror that they were doing complete knock off as well. Now, they have a bike and a rower that they introduced at Consumer Electronics Show.

The treadmill was a little weird-looking.

That’s a different one. That’s a different topic.

I get them all confused.

I know, there are so many. There was a lot that came out because it’s the next topic. It was all covered at CES and there were multiple things that happened. I don’t remember seeing a picture of the actual Echelon treadmill. I did see a picture of the Echelon rower. It’s another rower.

There are only so many things you can do to the design of a rower. To that point, there’s another treadmill entering.

You might remember that Lisa Niren is a past Peloton instructor. She also came on the show and we interviewed her. She was working for a company called Studio. She was doing what is very similar to active and such where they were doing runs on an app, like outdoor runs. They started using it on treadmills as well. That was around the time that Peloton had announced their treadmill, but they hadn’t come to market with it yet or anything like that. It was just out there. I’m giving you a timeframe because at this point, Studio has announced that they have a treadmill that they are putting out in the market. They are partnering with HUMEAI. It’s a company that claims that they have more wearables than anybody else in the world. They’ve sold more and they seem to do third-party after-marketing stuff. You don’t see their name on it, so you would know.

Studio has partnered with this company and they will have this tread. The interesting thing about the treadmill that they are coming out with is that it also has a 43-inch glass that is put on the wall right in front of it. That looks very similar to what you would think of when you think of the mirror concept. It’s for three things. One, with the treadmill, it allows you to see the classes you’re taking. Two, with the treadmill, it also has a camera in it that allows it to see your movements and to be able to tell you whether or not your form is good. That’s pretty interesting. It’s not going to lie. If you don’t want to be seen, if you’re concerned about that, you can cover up the camera very easily. No big deal. The third thing it’s supposed to be used for is to do any other kind of floor workout. They specifically mentioned yoga, sculpt and something else that I can’t remember right now.

The treadmill looked like it had a significantly smaller footprint than Peloton, but it looked like it was designed where you would leave a gap between the treadmill and the wall that the TV is hanging on. Let’s talk about that. I’m not sure how I feel about this treadmill because it does sit back from the wall. It would have to because that screen is 43 inches long and it goes all the way down to the base of the treadmill. You’d need to have some movement to be able to see around that because if you’re going to do floor work and use it on the treadmill, you would need to have it in such a place that you can see it from both directions. I think that’s why you pulled the treadmill back. The other thing that I’m not too sure about at all, I need to see it in person, feel it in person, it doesn’t have any crossbars. There’s nothing that goes across the front of the treadmill. Basically, you could go off the front or the back of this treadmill is what I’m trying to say. Then it’s got these arms that look like the arms of a hospital bed or something.

It reminded me of when my grandma fell and they had to do physical therapy.

That’s exactly what it reminded me of. I’m not digging the aesthetics of that. Beyond the aesthetics, I worry about the safety. We had several people chime in. I felt that Susie Barris made the most compelling comment about that. She said that because she had brain cancer, she had all of her treatments. Her scans had been clear. The point is she still has all of these dizzy spells and balance issues. She’s saying that if you don’t have something in front of you to grab, that’s scary. Just human nature, if you start to fall, you put your hands forward. If you don’t have something in front of you, that’s really dangerous. The other thing is that the controls are on these handlebars that we already described it looked like hospital beds. You put your phone on it. According to the article that was here, it says that you control the treadmill with your phone.

It’s like Bluetooth.

It’s all new and it was just released in CES. The Studio folks are super excited about it. Lisa Niren, who used to be an instructor at Peloton, she is gushing about that. She says that it’s an amazing treadmill. It’s not unsturdy at all. If I ever get a chance to go look at it in person, I absolutely will, because I would love to do that. To be fair, it gives me pause from a lot of safety concerns. Treadmills are a dangerous thing to have in your home. Bad things happen to kids and animals.

You need to be cognizant of that.

I don’t know what’s going to happen.

It’s fascinating to watch so many people enter this space with similar business models attached to it.

I saw an article also, I believe John Mills posted it. Basically, the headline was CES can be wrapped up that it was just a lot of Peloton wannabes. I think John Mills brought up a good point that these companies are all claiming to be able to come in the market at a fraction of the price of Peloton. Peloton has been saying that they want to be able to reach people of every price point. If that’s true and if that’s something they still plan to do, it’s like game on. What are you going to do about it?

Did either of these companies said what the price point’s going to be?

Echelon, they’ve had their prices out there for a while for the bike and that Mirror thing. I don’t feel like their prices are that competitive for Echelon because they have three different styles of bike. The one that actually compares to a Peloton that they totally lie about in all of their advertising and say that all of them compare, it’s pretty much the same price as a Peloton. That’s what I know about Echelon. I have not checked out the Mirror compared with the Reflect that they call it. Then these two new ones, I haven’t seen pricing. The studio with their treadmill and their Mirror, that’s a combo of those two things. There has not been any pricing released at all. They just debuted it at CES. Nothing is out there yet.

You would think if they’re not significantly cheaper, I would think at this point, Peloton now has name brand awareness that is going to give people comfort. All these companies want to be Pepsi to Peloton to Coke. Right now they’re more like RC Cola.

I have to agree and maybe that’s okay. Maybe it’s just Pepsi and Cola and RC Cola. There’s room for all.

There was a time when Pepsi was more like RC Cola in terms of market share and perception. You’ve got to start somewhere. Maybe one of these will be great and kick her ass and it will be a game changer. At the moment, I think people are a little skeptical. The Peloton prophet had a prediction about Germany a little while back.

We had talked about Eric Yeager was going to be one of the new German instructors. We had our first German instructor and that was Irene Scholtz and nothing was said about Eric Yeager. Here we are and there was a post he had on Instagram that it was clearly taken from the Peloton HQ rooftop. We know because we’ve got issues, we watch way too much Instagram.

Way too much about Peloton. Let’s not forget that.

As soon as that was posted before you knew it, it was taken down. The damage was done.

Too late, that ship has sailed.

Everyone saw it. I don’t even know where this came from, but supposedly his first class is going to be on January 14th. It’s not on the schedule. I’m not sure why they think that.

It’s looking more and more like the Peloton prophet was right. Don’t question the prophet. How’s your total stuff been going?

It’s great, except for the fact that I couldn’t work out much.

It’s because I got you sick. I love you so much. My love makes you sick. You made that very clear.

Anyway, I was looking at my numbers because I was able to finally do a workout. I have been doing tonal for nine weeks now. Then I’m in the middle of my second program and I have increased my strength by 55%. That’s insane.

That’s a lot. Good job.

Thank you. I’m very proud of it and I’m very excited about it too.

Do you know what your next thing is? How far are you into your current plan that you’re doing?

There are usually four-week programs and the one I’m in right now, which is called Lean In with Liz Letchford. I am two weeks in. I just finished two weeks, so I have two weeks to go and then I’m switching. I don’t know what I’m switching to. I want to do some program that’s total body. I feel like the reason that I had such a huge increase with my PRs and stuff is because I was doing so much legwork. The Lean In has been focused more on upper body and core, which I love. It’s great. For me, I think I want to have the whole body. The other thing I might do is do something more specific but then intersperse it because they have lots of cool things you can try. They have a selection of classes that you can do that are more fast-paced, designed to get your heart rate up. Then they also have one-offs that you can do that part of a program that you could throw in a lower body or throw in a core workout or they also have yogas. There are lots of options.

You can do Tonal now and take the challenge to crush your 2020 goals. If you buy one before January 20th and complete 12 workouts in 30 days, they give you $250 back. That’s a great deal. I think that’s such a great plan to like, “If you use this like you should, we’ll reward you.” Sweating out with workouts from strength training to cardio to yoga and you can learn more about their Commit to Fit Challenge at I thought this was cool. I know that when you complete certain activities on Peloton, they give you badges. Up to now, they have been digital badges but some of the stores have actual badges now.

Apparently, you can get a little century badge when you go to the store.

You have to pull out your phone and show them that you did a hundred or how do they do that?

Word of mouth says that you tell them and it’s based on the honor system as of now. I will say that the couple of times I’ve been in the store, they pulled up my profile and they were randomly, not in a creepy way, but like, “You do this or you like that or that kind of thing.” They very quickly can look it up. They know your leaderboard name, so it’s not a big deal.

Is that in all stores or select stores?

I think it’s in all stores in the Continental US but I don’t actually know because I heard this sporadically. They didn’t make an announcement about it. This was coming in from different stores. I don’t know if they’re rolling it out. I don’t know if this is everywhere. I don’t know any details about it.

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You’ve got to make a special trip to the store.

Also if there’s anything happening like with the UK, Germany, Canada, I haven’t heard anything from those areas, so I don’t know.

I think that’s pretty nifty.

It’s pretty nice looking too. It’s about the size of your digital badge. It’s what it looks like from a visual standpoint. It looks like a pin. It’s a metal and it’s engraved. It’s very nice-looking.

We watched a movie called Brittany Runs a Marathon.

I posted about it on Instagram and Facebook. I feel like there are a lot of you out there who probably don’t follow social media that closely, who might be interested in it. This movie is so great, especially if there’s something fitness-wise that you’ve struggled with in your past or that you want to do, but you’re not sure you have the courage to do it or maybe you’re not sure you have the time to commit to it. This movie for me brought all feels. She starts out overweight and she goes to her doctor and she has to deal with all the mental aspects of like, “I want to make a change but I’m not sure how to do it.” I’m not going to go blow by blow on what happened. It was some very powerful points that spoke to me like the very first time she decides to go for a run. How her hand was on the door and then she pulled it off and then she put it back on and then she put it off. Whenever she started running she was like, “Just to the end of the block,” and then the block kept getting longer.

They did shot in vertigo where the camera zooms in as it’s pulling back. Everything stretches. For our younger audience, it’s a shot. They stole that from Poltergeist.

I felt it. I vibed with this character so much. It’s a true story. There’s a whole thing that she’s trying to do for the New York City marathon. It’s very inspirational.

It was shot at the 2017 New York marathon. You see actual footage of that. We should all say that it’s a funny movie too. It stars Jillian Bell. You would probably recognize her but not necessarily know her name. She had some pretty featured roles on Curb Your Enthusiasm. I think she was in 22 Jump Street. She’s been in stuff like that and she’s really funny. This was her first starring role I think. It was a funny movie. I enjoyed it too.

She also said that she actually had to gain 40 pounds for the movie. Her weight loss journey that you see was real. As a person who’s struggled with weight loss in my life, I appreciate it. It was very cool.

If you’re looking forward, if you have Amazon Prime, it was an Amazon movie, so it’s available for free with your Prime video package. There you go. On the heels of that, there was an interesting article about running late in life. Every once and a while, I do a little work.

You’ve been doing a lot of work lately because this is the third article in a row you come up with. It talks about how this article is called Too old? Too slow? No! Debut marathoners may add years to life. It says that first-time marathoners, even if they take on the challenge later in life, they are able to lower their blood pressure and have healthier arteries. They were talking about on average, the study that they looked at, there were 138 first-time marathon runners. On average, those new runners were 37 years old and 49% were male and they had not been running for more than two hours per week before the study began.

It’s interesting that the split is almost perfectly 50/50 because 49% is that’s exactly the gender split. 51% of the population is female.

It said also for fellow people who don’t have race paces, we like to finish what we started like myself. The average marathon time at the end of the study was 5.4 hours for women and 4.5 hours for men. They weren’t breaking any records. After you’ve done this event and before you’ve done this event, what kind of arterial stiffening or hardening did these people have? That was the whole point of it. They said that on average, there was a decrease equivalent to a four-year reduction in their arterial age and a drop in systolic, which is when the heart muscles contract and diastolic, which is when the muscles relax. Blood pressure of four and three respectively. They said it’s possible to reverse the consequences of aging on our blood vessels with real-world exercise in six months. These people were not doing extreme levels of exercise. They were not losing extreme amounts of weight. They were just training. For those of us who were trying to be better as we hit our 40s, that’s good to know.

Trying to be an Olympic athlete, just trying to get a little movement.

I thought it was great news. Good find, Tom.

Our challenge is still going on. People seem to be responding. We’re seeing lots of people entering, which is great.

The prize in case you’ve forgotten, is a twelve-week subscription to Stronger U. It’s $449.

That’s quantifiably awesome. You can sign up for that by going to What are the rules again?

The rules are you fill out the entry form, which is right there on the website. Then you say yes to getting our newsletter. Then you break up January into four weeks, however you want to for seven-day periods. For each of those seven-day periods, you work out three times, twenty minutes each. No meditation.

She figured that out because that’s the kind of thing I do. She’s like, “What would Tom do?” It fits in very handily with stuff you’re already doing. You don’t have to do anything you haven’t done before or not planning to do. You need to do it three times a week.

The only other thing you need to know is it needs to be on your Peloton records. You can do it on digital. That’s fine. We need to be able to go into your Peloton profile and see what you did. If you win, that’s what we’re going to be doing. If you don’t meet the criteria, you no longer win. We will move on to the next person.

We should probably also say we find people who are stronger who were kind enough to throw in this prize. We had so many people asking us about the discount that we did. They have revived that.

They gave us another discount. It’s going to be 10% off of any of their packages. All you’ve got to do is enter The Clip Out code, which is called Clip Out 20.

It’s very simple. You go to their website, and enter, Clip Out 20. You save 10%. That’s good through the month of January. Yup. There is a new partnership in the works.

It’s all about clothes, Tom. I know you’re not going to be interested in it, but it’s a partnership with Peloton. They partnered with Athleta and Hill City. Athleta might sound familiar to you because it’s a Gap brand. For a lot of people, this is a very big deal because people buy Athleta a whole bunch. It’s a huge seller and the community outside of Peloton. The other cool thing is there were real people from our community that were included in this. It wasn’t supposed to be released until the 15th. We don’t know what happened, but it got leaked. I want to give a shout out to you, Steve Chan, Christina Riviera, Sienna Ferris, Mike Miller and Holly Hayes, who were all fine models for this awesome campaign beginning on 0115 when the new collection drops. Congrats to all of you

Alex Toussaint has a partnership of his own.

It’s super exciting. He’s not going anywhere for anyone who still thinks that. He joined as an athletic training advisor. This is amazing, good news for him. Just like some of our other instructors are, they’re doing Adidas or they’re doing Nike. We have lots of ambassadors for that. That’s very similar to what we’ve got going on here. He gets to work with people like LeBron James. I don’t know if he’s actually working with them but he’s on the same level because they are also represented by people like LeBron James. This is huge for Alex and we are so proud of him.

I always know when an athlete is a big name, if I haven’t heard of them. Typically, if they’re not a Harlem Globetrotter, you’ve got nothing. I don’t know who they are. Finally, Cody and Emma are doing a dual ride.

One of the things that was mentioned in John Foley’s email that came out at the beginning of this year, 2020, he said, “We’re going to have dual rides,” and this is our first dual ride. It’s going to be Cody and Emma. It’s going to be at 8:30 PM Eastern. It’s going to be a groove ride. If you like Cody and Emma, you might remember they were dancers together in a former life. They’re being brought together again for the first dual ride of 2020.

Joining us is Monique Caradine. Monique, how is it going? 

Tom, how are you?

I’m good. Crystal is here. It will be odd if she wasn’t. 

It’ll be a little weird.

This is exciting. I know we were talking a little bit before we officially started, but I am excited about this because we met when we were at She Podcasts LIVE. It’s cool to find a fellow Pelotoner out in the wild and that you were kind enough to agree to come on our show.

I remember when I met you, I saw your t-shirt. It was the first day of the conference. How you’re all wide-eyed and you’re taking it all in, I see you and I notice your Peloton t-shirt. I’m like, “Do you have a Peloton?” She’s like, “Yes, I have a Peloton. Not only do I have a Peloton, but I have a podcast about Peloton.” I’m like, “It was meant to be.”

We were off to the races instantly. Speaking of Peloton, how did you originally find it?

I would always see the commercials on TV and having experienced spinning in previous years and fell in love with spinning classes. When I started to see the commercials, I’m like, “That will be cool.” I started to see the commercials. It wasn’t in our budget at first. My husband surprised me with a regular spin bike from Sam’s Club or somewhere. There was nothing wrong with that but it wasn’t the same.

As a husband, I know exactly you’re like, “There’s nothing technically wrong with these gift, but it’s wrong.”

It’s not what you asked for. 

No, but I wanted. Long story short, this is the sad part of the story. We live in Puerto Rico, hurricane Maria hit the Island in 2017. I had my little spin bike and it was in our outdoor living space. When the hurricane came, we had stored all our furniture and stuff in this area that we thought would be secure and safe from the hurricane. That hurricane was incredibly vicious that it ripped away our storage unit, ripped away our storm shutters and my bike was in that area. It threw everything all around our yard. The bike didn’t make it out of that storm. Anyway, we managed to recover from that. Thank, God. It was about in August 2018, my husband surprised me with a real Peloton.

He was forever redeemed.

He got the husband of the year award for that one.

It’s nice that in some small way, something positive came out of the hurricane. 

I can’t even imagine what you guys went through. Were you still on the island when it hit? How did that work for you?

That’s a great question because I was in Chicago right before the hurricane hit and I was on my way back home. I didn’t even know the hurricane was coming. I was at the airport leaving Chicago, my son called, “Mom, there’s a hurricane coming.” I’m like, “Lucky me, I get to go back to Puerto Rico just in time.” Literally, I got back home and we started to prepare for the hurricane and that’s when we started putting all the furniture up. I was here during the hurricane. It was quite an event. I’ll never forget, it’s the scariest moment of our lives, but thankfully we got through it. I’m grateful for that.

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Where do you go when a hurricane is coming, especially when you’re on an island? 

It’s weird because living on the island, we’d been here for a couple of years and we had hurricane scares and threats before, but nothing ever really came. We’d get a little tropical storm or something like that. When this hurricane came, the way our house is positioned, we’re in a valley. We’re at the base of a little mountain area. I’m like, “We should be good.” I didn’t have a concept of 180-mile an hour wind, what that do no matter where you are. I’m taking it for granted. I’m like, “We should be good. We’re safe. We’ve got the storm shutters. We’re all set.” I’m chilling. I’m having that wine, making tacos as the storm is coming. I have no idea, what’s about to happen. For us, we had made the commitment to hunker down at home. We put all the shutters down and we had our generator, we have some water stockpiles. We’re like, “We’re good.” We gassed up the cars. To answer your question, there is nowhere to go. They had shelters and stuff here for people who lived in homes that were not structurally sound so to speak. Those people went to shelters, but there’s really no place to go. You’ve got to hope and pray that your house can withstand the damage.

The rest of your house was okay?

Yeah. We did have damaged. Most of the homes in Puerto Rico are built in concrete because this is a hurricane zone. They try to account for that. We did have damage, about $150,000 worth of damaged. We lost some of our roof and we lost a lot of our outdoor space and shutters. The wind came in and ripped everything apart. I’m grateful that we had the resources to repair the damages and the insurance helped out a little bit, but not a lot. It did help out a little bit. At this point, we are all good.

That’s amazing. I’m glad to hear that. I know it’s already been a couple of years since then obviously, but it’s hard to come back from that. I’m glad to hear you are in such a good place.

Where do you go within your home when that happens? I’m assuming since it’s an island, you don’t have a basement.

Is it like when we have tornadoes in the Midwest, we go to the inner most room of the house or if you have a basement, that’s where you go but not everybody has a basement. Is that what you do there too?

Yeah. It’s exactly what we did. We started out in our master bedroom. We thought, “We got this.” All the storm shutters were down and we felt like we would all hunkered down in the master bedroom. If it got really bad, we would come into the walk-in closet of the bedroom. It was me and my husband and my son and our dog. The crazy thing about it was this storm was bad and it started to intensify. The balcony doors to our master bedroom started to buckle and give way as the wind started to increase. At that point, we decided it’s not safe to stay in the room because we ironically had some construction done on our balcony. The doors wouldn’t lock down like they typically would. As the wind would blow, the doors would literally slam open. It was weird and scary. We decided early on because, Tom, you’re going to trip out on this. My husband was trying to be the strong man. You know how you all do, right?

Not me. Whatever you’re about to say, no, I don’t do it. Remember, we met at an all-women’s podcast event. Don’t ever forget that. 

My husband is trying to be the man and he tried to hold the doors shut as the wind was blowing. I’m looking at him, bless his heart and I said, “Hon, you know we’re at the beginning of this storm and it’s only going to get worst.”

“You’re not going to be able to hold that for twelve hours.” 

“I don’t know how to break it to you. You are not stronger than a hurricane.”

He gave up after about five minutes of fighting with the storm. We did have to evacuate the master room and we went to a different room. It was a room within the interior of the house. That room did begin to take on water eventually because this was an unprecedented storm. It did begin to take on water. We had to evacuate that room and then we went to another room and we pray because after that, we had no place else to go.

I’m glad it stopped there. That sounds super intense.

This is probably a nice avenue for you to be able to discuss this because the other people that live in Puerto Rico, when you try to tell that story, you’re like, “Whatever, you aren’t special.”

There are so many people that have stories that are so much worse. Some people say, “Our entire roof blew off. All the windows and doors were broken out of our homes.” My story that I share with you all is nothing compared to what so many people did. The thing that I’m grateful for from that hurricane, it was traumatic. It was devastating. It was all those things, but we were so lucky to have been involved. I literally took a break from work because you have to understand that hurricane took away our cell phone service, our internet and our power depending on where you lived on the island, anywhere from 5 to 9 months. I couldn’t work because my business is online-based. I couldn’t work for those entire nine months, couldn’t make a phone call. We depended completely on our generator for power. We got to know each other well as a family during that time. We played some board games. I’m grateful because not only did we become closer as a family, but I was able to throw myself into the relief efforts of my community. Along with some friends of mine and members of my church, we threw ourselves into providing food for families in our community, necessities. I’ve never talked about this. Thank you so much for letting me discuss it a few years later.

This is cool.

We would go house-to-house, door-to-door, block-to-block, neighborhood-to-neighborhood, checking on people, seeing what they needed, making sure their kids had food, making sure they had things like Band-Aids and alcohol and basic stuff because the stores had nothing. People didn’t have access to cash because you couldn’t use an ATM machine. People were a little bit desperate. For fourteen months, I was working on almost a daily basis, strictly doing relief for my community here in Puerto Rico. That was the most gratifying and difficult year of my entire life but I wouldn’t trade that for the world.

The reason I said, “This is cool,” is because you have this amazing outlook on that. Many people and myself included, I would be sad, upset and frustrated and that turns you into a victim and you turn something very tragic into this positive experience. That is not something everyone can do and you should be very proud of that. That’s amazing. 

Thank you so much for saying that.

How long was the hurricane? 

I remember we went to bed at about 10:30 and it was windy. I’m from Chicago, so I know about wind. This is like a Chicago wind thing. That was around 10:30. I remember my mom called because she was probably watching the news and we had already lost power at that point. We still had cell phone service, but my mom called at 1:30 AM. She said, “I’m checking on you, guys. Is everything okay?” I’m like, “Mom, we’re good. We’re fine. We’re sleeping. I’ll call you as soon as we can.” As she’s saying, “Goodbye, I love you,” or whatever she was saying, I heard the static and the phone cut-off before we officially end the conversation. That was at 1:30 AM, it started to get progressively worse and it went all the way until about 12:30. It was about eleven hours that storm went. It went all through the night. That was the longest night of our lives.

I bet your mom was freaking out. 

If you don’t have power, you don’t have cell service, how do you let your mother know that you’re okay?

You all have no idea. My husband and my son had a charter boat business. They decided to open up a charter boat business. We live in Puerto Rico, we’re right on the ocean. They started the business a couple of years ago. One of the things that when you have a boat of any kind, it’s always wise to have satellite phones. When our crew is out on the water, they don’t have cell phone service, if there’s an emergency, they can always pick up one of the satellite phones to make a call. He had the presence of mind to say, “We knew the hurricane was coming. I’m going to make sure I go get the satellite phones off the boat.”

That’s way more impressive than holding down a shutter. 

He’s a pretty smart dude. I had to give him kudos for that one. You all are going to trip out on this. We have satellite phones and with the satellite phones you can’t call from your house because the phone has to be able to reach the satellite. You have to go outside to make a phone call.

It’s like DIRECTV. It needs to see the sky.

We couldn’t call anybody until the storm began to settle down. It was 12 or 13 hours after the storm. I was finally able to get a call out to the family. They were having anxiety attacks, panic. Everybody was like, “Oh my God,” because they had no idea. All they could see was what was on the news. We were finally able to get a call out to the family and we said, “Everybody is okay. We’re fine. We can’t talk long. We don’t know when we’ll be able to call you in the next time, but we’re good.” The cool thing about that satellite phone is that we were literally able to take that phone to several of our neighbors, people in our community who had no way of contacting their family. They were able to use the satellite phone to let somebody in their family know, “We’re okay. Everybody’s safe. We’re good. You don’t have to worry.” You can’t imagine when people can get pulled to a phone to call somebody, anybody back in the States.

You guys were like angels. You’re walking around with this ability to communicate and nobody else has the ability.

As soon as you started the story, I’m like, “This ends with everyone using the satellite phone. She probably could have paid for the damage to her housing and it’s $5.” 

People were offering to pay us. They were like, “We’ll pay you, just let us use your phone.” It’s like, “Chill. No problem. We were all in the same boat, so absolutely. Don’t be trying to have long conversation though.”

Save some juice for the next guy. 

You guys are amazing. What an ordeal and you finding all these ways to help other people. You could have been in the movies where it’s like a post-apocalyptic scene and they’re all crammed in their house and they won’t open the door for anybody. You guys are out like, “Anybody need some Band-Aids? Call your mom.” I love that.

When you finally got power back, what was the first thing that you did? 

When I finally got power back, I did several things simultaneously. I used my dishwasher and my washer and my dryer probably all at the same time.

My first thought was like, “I’m taking a hot shower,” but the water won’t be hot because you get power back, your hot water heater hasn’t heated it up yet. You still got to wait.

It was quite an ordeal. We had a generator, it was challenging to keep that thing filled up with gas on a weekly basis, but we managed to do it. There were a couple of days where we had no power, we had no generator. I had to cook dinner out on the barbecue grill. There were days I didn’t have my hot coffee because there was no way to make hot coffee. You discover what you’re made of.

You guys are resourceful. If there’s ever something happening to the world, I’m going to come to Puerto Rico and find you. 

Come to my house and you’ll be good to go.

I’ll be like, “Monique will know what to do.” 

You’re going to need your satellite phone number.

We had meals ready to eat and everything. We were good to go on.

Back to Peloton. Tom takes us down tangents. I never know where we’re going to go, but that was all super fascinating. I’m glad we got to hear all of that. Actually, I want people to hear about your podcast because when we talked in person, I was fascinated by what you do. Can you tell us about your podcast and what you do with people?

My podcast is called Sisternomics. It is a podcast for women entrepreneurs, which gives them practical tips, resources and advice on how to get to their next income level. I’m also using the podcast as my own personal accountability platform because my goal is to get my business to seven figures by April of 2021. People can follow my journey toward that goal by listening to Sisternomics. In my work, I am a coach to women entrepreneurs. I help them to stop stressing about money, stop chasing after it, stop worrying about it and finally use their gifts and their genius to make more than enough of it. That’s what I do in the world.

What I also found fascinating was that you use so much psychology around money. It’s like people who eat emotionally like myself. You can talk about dieting all you want, but until you deal with the emotional eating aspect of it, you’re always going to struggle with that. I felt like what you were doing dealt with money in that aspect.

TCO 138 | Fitness As A Community

Fitness As A Community: When you get access to a fitness community, you start to make connections within that community, and you also fall in love with the instructors.


We all have a story about money and that story is usually developed when we’re children around the age of 5, 6 or 7, sometimes a little bit younger. However you saw your parents or your closest family members handling money is typically how you grow up handling it as well. I always like to say that the only thing that stands between a woman and the money that she desires is the story that she tells herself. That story comes from how you saw your parents handling money. What happened when they had conversations about money? Was money even a topic of conversation in your household? All of that drives our relationship with money and our experience with money. My job is to help you break all that down. If the story that you have right now doesn’t fit who you are today or the goals that you have, then it’s up to me to help you rewrite the story so that it matches who you are and the goals that you have.

Isn’t that fascinating, Tom?

Yeah. My parents never talked about money.

That’s something to do with your story. I’m sure Monique could break it down, but it means something.

My story is when I would see my parents dealing with money, there was always tension or it was always, “No, we can’t afford that. No, you can’t go to the sleep away camp. No, you can’t get the fancy jeans that your girlfriends are wearing.” I saw my dad working 2 and 3 jobs. It was an interesting dynamic for me. The story that I grew up with, because all of us have a story including you, Tom, even though they didn’t talk about money, we all have a story and my story was, “The only way you’re going to make money is if you work 50, 60 and 70 hours a week. Money is only going to come to you if you’re constantly away from your family. You can’t make money doing fun, creative things like a podcast or coaching or anything like that. You’ve got to work your fingers to the bone.” That was my story. Even as a money coach, even as a host of Sisternomics, even as a person who’s had a successful career in broadcasting in radio and TV, I still every day have to work on my money story because I have to make sure that those old, disempowering thoughts and beliefs, I have to make sure that they’re not affecting the person that I am and the income that I want to create.

That’s funny because those are all messages my parents sent me and then I ignored them. I didn’t do any of them. Now, I have the fun job.

You found a way to create your own story to do what you wanted to do, but not everybody can. There are many years that I felt like I had to work 80 hours a week to be able to make enough money to support the family. Before you and I were married just to be clear, for anybody reading.

Gainfully important readers, pull my own weight, which is considerable because I’m fat.

I used to do that all the time. What you do is fascinating and I hope people who read to our podcast check you out because what you are doing is great and can help a lot of people.

I love doing this work. I know that when we have enough money, first of all, when we adjust our relationship with it and realize that there’s no shortage of money out there, that there’s plenty of it and it’s enough of it to go around for all of us to be wealthy. When we start to realize that and we start to take away the stress and all of the misunderstandings around money, then we can begin to create it easily and create it in fun ways and then also create a legacy of wealth so that our children, our grandchildren and our great-grandchildren can benefit from that because that’s the way it should be. When all of us are wealthy, we have the ability and the resources to make an impact on the world. That’s what it’s all about.

I should throw in here, you would like this, I was raised by a female entrepreneur in the ’70s and ’80s.

Tell her about the award your mom got.

My mom owned a printing company. Both my parents own printing companies. They owned one together and then they got divorced and started separate printing companies, but not like in a competing way. She was involved with the community and did all sorts of stuff. I still have the plaque she got. This is what the plaque says and it cracks me up, “First Lady President” of her Rotary Club.

It kills me. I love it so much. Bless them, they were trying. 

They make that in the nicest way. 

They loved her so much.

It did no harm.

They did not but it’s funny to see it, “First Lady President.” She might actually been the first female member in the Rotary Club when they first opened it up, the women joined. Then in classic Betty O’Keeffe fashion and then taken over the whole thing.

Back to Peloton this time. It sounded like when you and I talked, Peloton was your go-to work out at this point. I would like to hear why that is for you?

It’s something about the community, Crystal, that is addictive. I cannot get enough of it. I’ve done workouts before. I told you I had a spin bike, gym memberships and whatever. This is the first time that I have been consistent because when you have the access to the community, then you start to make connections within the community. Then you start to fall in love with the instructors because they’re like your best friend in your head. I’ve got to get on Alex’s ride or I have to go and see what Cody is talking about. It’s something about it. They’ve got this formula down to a science and I’m hooked.

I clearly am too, so I get it. Tom still has not taken a ride. 

Tom, I’ve got a question for you. What is it going to take to get you on that bike?

I’m good.

In our Facebook group, they had that joke going around that they were going to make a bike out of chicken tenders and that maybe he would ride that. 

I would just eat it.

He would eat it, he wouldn’t ride it.

You love the community. Have you gone to the studio in New York? 

Yes. I was there in summer. I was able to ride with Christine and I absolutely love her. She was nice. The thing I love about her is that she is comfortable in her skin. I don’t know for me, as a woman that’s quickly approaching the age of 50, even though I know I don’t look a day over 35.

You really don’t, you say that jokingly. You look a lot younger than what you say you are. 

I wouldn’t have guessed that you’re as old as me. 

Thank you, guys, for saying that well. I met her and I’m getting to a point where I’d no longer judge myself in terms of, “I’m too this or this part of my body is imperfect or whatever.” For women, that’s an ongoing struggle. I’m now probably in the past year getting to a space where I’m not going to judge myself no more. I have to fall in love with me the way I am right now. I’ll still get on my bike and I’ll work out every day. For now, I’m going to accept myself the way I am. I love Christine because she does the exact same thing. She personifies this whole idea of women being comfortable in their bodies and I love her for that. I rode with her in summer. It was a blast. I didn’t get to ride with Alex, but next time I’m going to go and make sure I’ll ride with him. My new favorite is Matt Wilpers.

Is that for Power Zone rides or in general?

I finished taking Discover Your Power Zones. He was low on my radar. I wasn’t feeling his vibe or anything, but I knew that after having my bike for a year, I want to be more powerful on the bike. I want to be higher up on the leaderboard. I said, “Let me go ahead and mess with Matt and take his class and see what he’s talking about.” Matt for me is like Bay. He is my favorite coach of all times. He’s a rock star in my eyes. I wish I would’ve taken Power Zones when I first got the bike.

That’s interesting because I have this theory. You have 3 or 4 instructors you connect with but typically, they fall in quadrants. If you’re an Alex girl, it’s very rare that you’re a Christine and Matt girl. If you’re Christine, you’re definitely Matt. Alex usually is not lumped in with those threes. I am fascinated by that.

I’ve tried to try a little bit of everything. You’re right because I’m in the BGM community and all of them are in love with Alex. They love Robin. There’s very few in the community that love Matt. The thing I love about Matt is that he makes the bike makes sense. It’s not ride into your heart falls out. You don’t kill yourself with him. Everything he does has a strategy to it. It has meaning behind it. That’s the thing I look for in a coach, someone that can literally guide me to my next level and that’s exactly what he does. That’s why I love him so much. He’s amazing.

He does do that. That is absolutely true. That’s wonderful. I love that you try all the different instructors because we all should. You don’t know who you’re going to mesh with until you take a few of their classes. That’s great that you do that.

The bike has so much to offer. How can you not? That bike is everything. It’s just the floor workouts, the yoga, the meditation, I want to do all of it. Literally, when I finish my workout and I worked out with Matt, I said to myself, “I wish I could spend the whole day sometimes exploring some of these classes because they’re so amazing. I love it.”

I hear you. You have no idea how many days that I am at work. I’m like, “I want to go home and work out.”

I know how you feel.

She gets home and I’m like, “Let’s watch TV.”

My husband is to the point where he’s like, “You’re going to work out right now?” He knows. In my household, my husband and my son, they’re like, “You’re working out tonight, right?” “Yes.” Everything else is going to have to wait. I’ll get back to it when I’ve finished my workout. It’s a part of my life.

Here’s the thing, things might have to wait but your workout will never be as long as the weight of post hurricane. You’re like, “I’m going to be gone for 45 minutes. You can deal with it.”

That’s an excellent point.

They will never ever bother you again. If they were, you will be like that. That is your get out of jail free card. You mentioned BGM, but a lot of people in the Peloton community, they have so many groups. They may not have heard of Black Girl Magic. Can you talk about that tribe? 

Black Girl Magic is a group of black women who are on varying levels of their health journey. I love this community because it’s so positive and everyone in there is encouraging and everybody respects where the other person is on their journey. You’ve got some people in there who are like fitness models and true athletes. You got people like me, I’m just a mom, trying to stay active few times a week. This is a funny story about my leader name. My leader name is Play Time is Over. Let me say how I came up with that name. I changed the name a few months ago before I was using my name, Monique Caradine. It was boring. One of the girls in the BGM in our little Facebook group, she’s a physician and she looks amazing and she posted a picture of herself. This woman has a six-pack to die for.

I looked at her and I said to myself, “This woman looks amazing.” She is probably around the same age as me. She explained how she got to where she is and how she works at. She was very nice to give us her whole entire workout and even some of her diet and stuff like that. I looked at her and I screenshotted her picture on my phone because I’m like, “If she can do that, I can do that.” That is what made me change my name to Play Time is Over, so I can get by myself daily that I’ve got the take it up a notch. That’s what made me take Matt’s Discover Your Power Zone. That’s what made me start getting down on that floor and doing some of that little strength workouts. I did Emma’s core workout all because I saw that picture.

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Does she know that? Does she know that you are so inspired by her? 

I told her. I don’t know if she realizes the impact that she has had on my whole entire life, but I did tell her that she was truly an inspiration for me.

I love how that community does that for each other. That is amazing.

What I did was I started another subgroup from the Black Girl Magic group and there are ten of us in a little subgroup. We are ride or die accountability partners. We decide each month we say, “This month we’re going to focus on Power Zone training. This month we’re going to focus on endurance or strength or whatever the case might be.” We hold each other accountable every day. We create a little calendar. We say, “This is our workout for the month. How’s everybody doing? Check in when you finish your workout.” Somebody says, “I didn’t get to do my workout.” We say, “No problem, try to get at least ten minutes in.” It’s amazing the friendships and the connections that we’ve developed from that group. It’s awesome.

I am so glad that you are telling us about this group because it’s been a couple of months because we’ve obviously had been trying to have this conversation since I’ve met you. There was a BGM HRI in New York and Tune day and Jess Sims was there. The entire tribe at that HRI, they came into the class and it was Sims class that I did one morning and I was doing a run and the energy in that room was electric. It was fabulous. They looked like they were having so much fine and Jess Sims was having a great time. I love her. I don’t know if you’ve taken any of the classes with her since you’ve been using the bike and she’s a tread instructor. Have you had the chance?

Yeah, I did. I take her strength classes. I actually took one of her classes and it was killer. I took her upper body strength class. It was amazing. She’s no joke.

On Saturday, she has a class that she calls the Saturday 60 and it’s either a boot camp at 60 minutes or it’s a 60-minute run. If it’s a boot camp, she does these insane moves, the strength moves. You’ll do fifteen minutes run and then you’ll do fifteen minutes of strength and you jump back on and do a fifteen-minute run. By the end, you want to hurt her because it’s so amazing. She is tough. She’s amazing. I love her so much.

I like her a lot too.

I’m glad everybody gets to hear about that tribe because I tried to reach the admin and I sent a message. You know how you have the other messages on Facebook? It went there and I never heard from her. 

Let me know, I’m happy to put you in touch with her and let them know that you want to reach out and stuff. I can make that connection for you if you’d like.

That would be great. I’d love to hear more. You told us your leaderboard name and how you came up with it. You just changed that?

I changed that in the last couple of months. I changed it probably at the end of August to September, something like that.

Are you happy with your progress so far? 

I’m happy with my progress. I have what I call a six-pack starter kit. I’m starting to see some lines. My weight is very stable. It’s maintaining at a good weight. I also got some nice arms. I’m trying to get those tune day arms.

If you do, that’s amazing. I have tune day goal arms. They are my goal. I don’t have the arms but I would love to have them. She’s talking about no joke. She’s a beast on the bike.

I PR every time I ride with her. She is amazing. I’m actually trying to get her on my podcast, so hopefully I can make that happen.

That would be fabulous. If you do, let me know because I want to hear it. Are you going to go through a Peloton to do that or are you reaching out to her directly?

I reached out to her directly actually.

It’s not about Peloton necessarily your conversation? 

Some of it will be obviously, but a lot of the things that I’m helping women do. I want to talk to her about the business of fitness. Since it’ll be around the first of the year, we all have fitness goals. I love her energy. I think she can add a lot of value to my audience in terms of business as well as health and wellness.

There’s no doubt. I’m sure you’ve heard her backstory.

A little bit of it. Not all of it.

She’s amazing. I don’t remember what country she grew up in, but she was overweight when she was thirteen. She ended up losing all that weight and looks the way she does now. That’s inspirational for teenagers especially because many kids these days, at least our kids, they sit around, do nothing. She’s super inspirational. She’s amazing.

She’s got a good vibe and good energy, she’s awesome.

Do you have any advice for people who are starting their fitness or Peloton journey?

My best recommendation would be to do Matt Wilpers’ Discover Your Power Zones because that’s a great way to develop a good understanding of your bike. It’s a great way to understand your body on the bike. It’s a great way to develop the right technique early on so that you don’t just jump on. My first ride was a 45-minute ride with Cody, and then while it was fun and it was great, I may have developed some not so good habits because I didn’t do the right techniques and stuff. If I could offer anyone any advice, especially if you’re a newbie, go ahead and jump on with Matt Wilpers and let that be your guide and then start trying the other folks. The main thing is don’t take it so seriously. Cody always says, “Have fun and live your life.”

That’s great advice. I love it.

I was thinking it’s like yard work. Everybody wants to have the nice manicured lawn, but first and foremost, you’ve got to mow the thing. First, you mow it and then once you’ve mowed for a while, then you look around and you’re like, “Maybe we can throw on some fertilizer.”

It’s good advice, Tom. 

Until we live in the suburbs.

The next thing you know, you’re putting those little fancy lines, those diagonal lines.

You’re cutting the grass like catty corner. It looks all fancy and not unlike exercise. I hire someone to do it.

Smart man you got there, Crystal.

I agree, except for the exercise part.

Where can people find you on social media and whatnot? Normally, I say if you would like to be found, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that you would like to be found.

I would like to be found and you can find me everywhere, @MoniqueCaradine. My podcast is called Sisternomics. You guys have been so much fun. Thank you for letting me share my story. I’ve never shared it to that degree. I’ve never shared it with such depth. I thank you guys for letting me get that out.

You’re very welcome.

I feel like we had a special experience. Thank you for sharing that with us. 

It’s my pleasure.

It was wonderful to talk to you and I hope that we are able to keep in touch. If you somehow pass by St. Louis, let us know.

I’ll definitely let you guys know. Actually, I may be in St. Louis in summer. If I make it that way, I will definitely let you know.

That would be fabulous. You take care and thank you again for doing this. 

Thank you so much.

Thank you, guys, so much.

What do you have in store for people next time?

We have another exciting interview. We are going to be talking to Brock Masters, who if by any stretch of what I saw on the official Peloton page, you guys have seen him, you just may not know his name. He has Spina Bifida. He was racing along in his fancy racing wheelchair while taking classes on Peloton all over the OPP and it’s awesome. We’ve got to talk to him.

TCO 138 | Fitness As A Community

Fitness As A Community: Don’t take it too seriously. Still make sure to have fun and live your life.


He has a badass name, Brock Masters. He sounds like he should be a character on one of those old cowboy shows. Anyway, that’s who we will be talking to you next episode week. Until then, where can people find you?

People can find me at They can also find me at Instagram, Twitter, on the bike and of course the tread at Clip Out Crystal.

You can find me on Twitter, @RogerQBert or on Facebook at Don’t forget, while you got your podcast delivery device in your hand, you should make sure to subscribe so you never miss an episode. If you want to find out more about the show, you could do that at While you’re there, like the page, join the group and of course sign up for our newsletter at That’s it. Thanks for tuning in and until next time, keep peddling and running.

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About Monique Caradine

TCO 138 | Fitness As A CommunityWhy do you think you would be a great guest on the show?
this bike has been the ONLY thing that has me excited about working out consistently! I truly believe that Peloton is the answer to world peace. Real talk!

How old are you?

Leaderboard name

Who is your favorite instructor?
Hard to name just one! Alex because he helps me PR consistently, Cody because he’s fun, Jenn because she’s cool and i love her hip hop playlists, Matt because he makes the bike make sense (I just finished his Power Zones program), Christine because she’s so confident in her skin, Tunde because she’s fresh!

What is your favorite tribe?
Black Girl Magic the Peloton Edition (aka BGM Queens) – such a supportive, positive and motivating group!

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137: New Power Zone Instructors Are On The Way Plus Our Interview with Irene Bassock

TCO 137 | Peloton Bike


It’s no wonder that biking is a very good form of exercise. For those who are wary about biking outdoors, the Peloton Bike is a step-up of the good old indoor bike. For the uninitiated, the Peloton Bike is a high-end indoor bicycle equipped with a Wi-Fi–enabled, 22-inch touchscreen tablet that streams live and on-demand classes which allows the user to compete with other members. 50-year-old attorney, Irene Bassock, joins Crystal O’Keefe and Tom O’Keefe in this episode to talk about her Peloton Bike experience and why she’s loving it.

Listen to the podcast here:

The Peloton Bike Experience With Irene Bassock

Joining us is Irene Bassock. Irene, how’s it going?

It’s going well. It’s a little surreal being interviewed.

Think of it as us hanging out, getting to know you.

If it makes you feel any better based on past one of these where we’ve done, that novelty wears off quick. By the end, you’ll be like, “Are we done? I’ve got things to do.”

Thanks for inviting me.

Thank you for taking the time to do this and humoring us with telling us all about your Peloton experience. If you’ve ever had the opportunity to read the blog, you probably know that the first question I always ask is how did you find Peloton?

That’s an easy one. I do want to say I’ve read every single episode of the show. How did I hear about Peloton? My sister, Jane, used the Peloton app when it first came out and it was free. She knew I took spinning classes and was raving about these workouts. She talked about it all the time. I was on a business trip. I had to go to Chicago in November of 2015. While I was staying at the Weston, I went down early to do a workout before the conference started. There was a Peloton sitting right there. I had arrived at the gym right when it opened.

It was early and no one was there and the Peloton was sitting there. I went, “Go check it out.” I took a ride with Nicole. It was weird. The bike sucked me in. I remember 45 minutes later looking up at myself in the mirror across from the gym. The gym was full of people at this point and I was a mess, sweaty. I cannot believe that I looked like that in public. I barely got off the bike without falling. I was like, “That’s it. I have to buy one of these.” Literally, it was on my way back home at the airport. I ordered one and it came 2 or 3 days later. It was a done deal.

You were all-in instantly. Was that a live ride that you took with Nicole?

No, I think it was on-demand, but it was interesting because I didn’t even think about live versus on-demand. In fact, when I got off the bike, the gym manager came over to ask me how I liked the ride, which was obvious. He said that the bike had arrived in their gym a few days before. I was one of the first people that used it. I would love to figure out what that ride was that I took, but I’m sure it’s been purged by now. It was great.

If you wanted to know, you could scroll all the way down on your profile.

TCO 137 | Peloton Bike


I didn’t even sign it. I signed in the gym. I don’t think I even had a profile. It was strange because I didn’t even tell my husband I bought it. I tucked it on another credit card that I have. I’m sure he knows about it, but he doesn’t know about it. I justified it. I canceled my gym membership. I didn’t even realize I had this before, but my company’s health plan had a program where if you sign up for gym membership, they will pay you X number of dollars every quarter. I justified that that money would be used to pay for the Peloton. My company accepted the Peloton monthly financing and they applied that health reimbursement amount to the financed amount, which I was surprised that they did.

Since you had a gym membership, were you already working out regularly? Were you an occasional gym-goer or were you like many of us where you have a gym membership and never use it?

What I most regularly did at that point was I did a lot of long-distance running. I was using the gym for the spin classes. I’d go maybe once a week. It was a family gym membership and I was the only person in the family using it. I saved some money by canceling it. I was definitely getting a better workout on the Peloton. Eventually, I did give up running. I found that as I was getting older, too many aches and pains and even though I still consider myself a runner, I don’t run at all anymore. Kudos to you, Crystal, for taking up running. I did the opposite.

As Tom always says, all of my joints were in new condition. It’s the benefit of starting late to the game.

I missed running so much and I miss the races. I miss running outdoors with friends and that was the hardest thing was giving up the running, but I have never felt better.

Don't pigeonhole yourself, just experience everything. Click To Tweet

If it makes you feel any better, Irene, I go so slowly. You still wouldn’t be able to do any of those things. It’s like walking with a little bit of a fast forward. That’s my speed. It’s still running.

I love that my sister convinced me to try Peloton took her another year from when I purchased my Peloton for her to purchase her Peloton. That’s been fun because she lives in Denver. I’m here in Connecticut and we try to ride with each other. We sometimes use the video chat function to look at ourselves while we’re sweating away. She’s like the only person I would be brave enough to use that with.

It’s a little awkward. I’m not going to lie because you can only hear one side or the other. It’s mostly gesticulation. It’s basically doing hand gestures at each other anytime. I’ve used it anyway and it’s not pretty.

I wonder if they’re going to keep that functionality. I wonder how many people use it. With my sister, it is a silly thing to do. It’s easier to get on our phones and talk to each other or video chat that way. I’m wondering if that will ever be disabled. I’m sure a lot of people have that camera taped over on their bikes.

I am sure that there are and I don’t know. A lot of people don’t talk about it and I know about every new person says, “What’s that for? Why is there a camera?” That’s a good question.

I did get a few visits from the Cheer Fairy early on. It’s been a while, but those were definitely memorable moments.

TCO 137 | Peloton Bike


Getting a visit from the Cheer Fairy is memorable. I totally know what you mean. For anybody out there who doesn’t know, we have a whole episode where we interviewed the Cheer Fairy, but she will literally video chat with you and cheer you on. If it’s a special milestone ride and there are signs and there’s usually some neon lights involved, it’s fun and festive. You cannot miss it if it happens.

Except for the phone call, take the video chat.

You have to talk to the Cheer Fairy at least once. Speaking of the Cheer Fairy, how involved in the community do you feel you are?

I’m pretty involved. I’ve always done live rides and followed other people, but it took a while for me to get engaged in the community. I certainly followed the OPP early on before the numbers got out of control. It was a different community at that point. Things changed for me. I have to owe it to you, guys. I was listening to one of your episodes and you had interviewed someone in a tribe now that I’m a co-administrator of. Because of the interview that you did, I decided to join and got to know a lot of people. I liked the racing and the pacing that they were doing. The whole tribe was dedicated to ‘80s music and I’m an ‘80s kid. I joined and met the most wonderful people. In fact, shortly after I joined, I went to an HRI that was last minute, but it was one of those HRIs where everyone said, “This works. Let’s go to New York.”

A whole group of us went down to New York in October of 2017 and met each other for the first time in person. It was funny. Everyone had the same introduction, “I can’t believe I’m doing this. We’re not like this. This is not what I normally do.” Everyone had the preface why they were there and how they weren’t some weirdo on the internet. We found that we had so much in common beyond the bike. Everyone had Type-A personalities. Everyone loves the structure, worked hard, and played hard. It’s a great group of people. From there, I’ve joined a few other tribes and pretty much stayed committed to those tribes along the way. In addition to the first one, which was Fast Times. I’m an active member of the Mileage Maniacs and in the last year or so, I joined the Pelo Law Moms tribe.

It's so stressful when you're not able to help people to the degree that they need the help even when you do your job and do it perfectly. Click To Tweet

I have to laugh about the Fast Times because that’s the group that we got kicked out of or I got kicked out of. Tom was never in it. I’m not going to go down that road. It made me laugh that you said that. I’m glad that you met many great people there though and throughout all of the different tribes. For Mileage Maniacs, we interviewed Peter Gaan. The last group that you said, Pelo Law Moms, I’m curious about that group. How many people are in that group?

I’d have to check. It’s one of the smaller groups though.

I understand it’s small, but I also understand it is quite active.

I’ve got a son who’s in high school and a daughter in college. When I joined, I felt like a lot of the vibe was about trying to balance a law practice with having younger kids. I went through that. I get it. I’m done. My kids are older so I don’t have the same day-to-day struggles, but I’m almost like the grandmom in the group, “It’ll be fine. You’ll look back fondly on these days. Everything will work out. Don’t stop working. You’ll be fine. The kids will be fine.”

By the way, you have one of the most photogenic families I have ever seen. You guys always look like you should be gracing in the front of a magazine cover, all of you. It’s crazy.

My kids take 100 photos and then they select one. Come on. It’s working for you. It gets passed around and they delete. We could always Photoshop those if their eyes are closed.

TCO 137 | Peloton Bike


Circling back on the Cheer Fairy, it’s Episode 10 and that was Lisa Carlson. We also in that episode discuss a pending IPO.

Lisa Carlson, right after I went to New York City for the first HRI back in 2017, I convinced my sister to fly in for it too because I didn’t want to go alone. She flew into New York. It turned into one of those funny weekends and I could not have done without my sister. This is going to make me sound crazy because so much happened in one weekend. Lisa Carlson had organized a Sunday afternoon Connecticut-based Peloton meetup in New Haven. She got us on one of those group bikes where you peddle and you drink. I saw my sister who had flown into New York. I said, “Before you go back, we have one more thing we need to do. We need to peddle this group bike around New Haven and drink a lot on a Sunday night and then you’re free to go.” That’s what happened to it was between the drinking and going bar to bar on a Sunday night in New Haven. I remember us having Peloton signs and going through the campus of Yale and being obnoxious. These poor kids are touring the campus with their families. It was horrible. It’s a little bike trip. That was a memorable afternoon.

I can’t believe you did that at the end of your first HRI visit because that weekend, I don’t know about you, but I was exhausted.

It’s tiring. My husband drove down to New Haven to pick us up. He was horrified. He was like, “What is Peloton drink?” He was a little jealous and a little freaked out that he’d find me in the back of a trunk somewhere, “Who are these virtual people? What have they done to my wife?” He’s a little apprehensive about some of these relationships, but he’s come to embrace it over the last few years.

Every time you meet your fake friends, it’s a little weird. You don’t know, but you meet them and it’s like you’ve always known them. It’s crazy.

No matter how you feel, just run one mile and your body will take over from there. Click To Tweet

Crystal and I met online. There was no exercise involved.

When I was dating, I would text people and be like, “This is who I’m going out on a date with. This is where we’re going. If I should get murdered, at least you’ll know who to blame.”

Going back to the Pelo Law Moms, it’s an active group. I personally found a lot of comfort there beyond the kids and all those issues when I decided to leave my job in the last few months. I had been working at one company in-house for several years. When I decided to leave before even talking to some of my friends, I went to that group and solicited feedback from other attorneys who went from in-house to opening up their own law firms. It was amazing to hear all the different stories from these strong women who made some difficult choices and learn about the good and the bad. That group was supportive. In fact, I did strengthen a number of my personal relationships with a few members of the group. One member in particular, we’ve partnered and affiliated and I’m picking up and performing work for her law firm in New York and that has been great. She’s been a fantastic mentor to me. I wonder if I could have done it as well as I’m doing it if it weren’t for her, her support, feedback and cheerleading in my corner.

I’ll tell you, the whole Peloton and the binds that it makes for people, the connections it makes are incredible. I never can get over it how it happens.

I’m also connected to Robert Brinker‘s group, the Dragon family. He is such a positive person and has embraced both me and my sister. In fact, he’s in Aspen and my sister’s in Denver, so they speak regularly. They’ve developed a nice, strong relationship. I look at him as being a friend to a great guy and knows how to bring people together. Another cheerleader that’s always there to give you that support that you needed when sometimes you don’t know you even need it.

He is a cool person. I’m impressed by the art that he does, his outlook on life and the joy that he spreads. We’re going to be interviewing him. It is wonderful. I’m definitely looking forward to that. Tell us which instructor you ride with the most and why?

TCO 137 | Peloton Bike


I’m an instructor agnostic. I like riding live, so I’ll take live rides based upon what fits in my schedule. I found myself on an EDM ride and who was the instructor? It was Cody and I’m riding and I’m looking at my output and I’m like, “What the hell?” This is not my music genre. I don’t usually ride with Cody, but what a ride. I always surprise myself. I’ll jump on anything. I always find that the rides are great. I hear new music that I never thought I would appreciate. The advice I’d give to anyone is don’t pigeonhole yourself, experience everything.

I wholeheartedly agree with that especially when you’re first starting out, you don’t know what you like or what you don’t like. You might think a certain thing by judging a book by its cover, but you hop on a ride and you might have a completely different experience than what you expect.

Nobody is disappointed in me. I heard her say, “I’ll jump on anything, but I let it slide.” She could sue me. I still want people to think like, “Is he okay? How did he not have something to say there?”

If you could have seen the face he made, Irene. I thought we were going to slide right past it but no, he went back.

I’ve got a rep to protect. I don’t want people to think I’m slipping now that I’m pushing 50.

Finding a smaller group with people who have interests in common to yours is critical to feeling engaged. Click To Tweet

You mentioned you used to be a runner, you don’t run anymore, but do you use any of the other Peloton content like the yoga or the strength exercises, anything like that?

On a regular basis, I use the meditation and that came out of a challenge I did with the Maniacs. It was right when they started rolling out a lot of their digital content. As the challenge proceeded, the teams that we were assigned to had to do yoga, walking, all these floor workouts. I became acquainted with the digital offerings, which I didn’t end up using other than the meditation. What I do for a full-body workout is I do a bar. The workouts would be too much for me. The bar is a nice combination with the spinning, but the meditation is something that I try to do on a daily basis.

I was sitting here watching his face and it was totally dead serious. I didn’t even see that one coming.

You’re a lawyer and you’ve already talked about getting drunk. I could’ve gone 1 of 2 ways with that. I went with a professional way because your husband is already upset.

Do you know what they say about lawyers? We’re heavy drinkers. The stress of the job gets to you and you end up drinking too much. We have a bad rep when it comes to drinking. If my reputation is that I go to the bar, I’d rather have it be the workout bar than the drinking bar, but I’d probably do both too much.

I don’t see why it’s stressful. It’s the clients that go to jail.

TCO 137 | Peloton Bike


What law do you do if we may ask?

We do employment law. For many years, I did the defense side. I represented companies and work for the man. When I left my job at the company and opened up my own law firm, I switched sides and now I represent employees.

When you represent employees, what is stressful about that from your perspective? From the person who’s going through the lawsuit, I get what’s stressful for them. Because you have all these deadlines you have to meet, is that the pressure of you want to win for them? Is it all of the above or is it something I would never even think of?

It’s not the deadlines. I’m a person who feels deeply and now that I’m working with individuals, I’m seeing how bad the situation is for them, I feel horrible. It’s like being a friend and seeing someone in the worst moments of their life and knowing that you can help them but hoping that you can also help them. I know I have all the expertise to do it, but you don’t have everything within your control. If someone won’t settle or agree to do X, Y and Z, I want to do more. What is stressful is not being able to help them to the degree that they need the help. Even when you do your job and you do it perfectly, it’s still a crappy situation to be in. No one feels happy.

You probably never feel like you made everything better. You want to make everything better, but you can’t tie a bow on it and call it a day.

Unless someone is looking for vengeance, that sometimes helps.

I feel like even then, with my own dealings with the legal system, divorce-related, I get arrested. I feel like there aren’t many times when one’s side walks out and crushed it. Both sides walk out going like, “Yeah but no.”

You get part of things that you want and you don’t get others and so you’re happy on one hand and frustrated on another. I would assume with the law you’re doing, you’re ending up in some similar situations.

They call it employment law as corporate divorce law. For the years that I represented corporations, I didn’t have to internalize a lot of the things that were going on. I was acting for the corporation and it didn’t get as personal. I’m still working through some of these emotions, but now with individuals sitting down in front of me, my heart goes out to them. I want to be their champion and make things right. I’m sure that as the days and the weeks and the months and the years pass by, I become more seasoned representing individuals that may change for me. It’s hard to let these feelings go. That’s where the stress comes from.

Plus, if a corporation gets dinged, it’s like your company, you’ll be fine.

It’s a different thought process than a person going through something like that. That makes you a good attorney though. At least from where I would be sitting, if I were having somebody represent me, I would want somebody that cares like that. I totally mean that. You’re taking it personally. You’re fighting in their corner in a way that a lot of people don’t have somebody fighting in their corner, whether it’s for work or medical or whatever. It’s hard to find somebody who will get in there and fight for you. At the same time, be careful. Don’t burn yourself out because I can see that happening too.

TCO 137 | Peloton Bike


I work hard and I play hard.

We’ll find you at the bar cycle again. That’s awesome.

How often do you get to the studio?

For an HRI, I probably get once or twice a year. Fast Times had a joint one with Mileage Maniacs. The days are flying by. That was fantastic. Also, when I get into New York for business, I’ll always try to get in a little bit earlier so I could take a ride in the studio. It’s always fun. You end up bumping into people you know. I take whatever live ride is there. Sometimes I’m riding with instructors that I don’t ordinarily ride with. It’s a great level of energy in the studio. It’s wonderful. They’re great to home riders in the New York studio.

I feel like I want to binge on rides when I’m there. I want to do as many as I possibly physically can do while we’re there. At least that first day because probably everything will happen the second and third days. I’m like, “I don’t know how much time I’m going to have to do it.” That first day I’m like, “4 or 5 rides, let’s do it.”

Same here and you’re tired. Even though I don’t feel like I’m working out as hard, my outright is a little bit lower. I have a fan at home. There’s no fan there. You end up getting sweaty and gross. You’re going back to back rides. You’re meeting people in between the rides. It’s much energy, but it’s exhausting. I always burned myself out. I need a whole day afterward to sleep and rest up because it is taxing.

I wish we lived closer. I know I say that all the time, but I do. It would be amazing. Does anybody else in your family use the bike?

My son and my daughter both have accounts. My son has two rides. My daughter, since 2015, I don’t know, maybe twenty rides. The answer is no. I find my daughter occasionally on, but they’re a little freaked out by me and they don’t want to touch it. I gave him the stink-eye.

I started a new job. I had a hard epiphany at how much I talk about the bike. I know it because we’re on the show. I know I talk about the bike, but I had worked at the other place like my evolution of Peloton. Even as it ramped up, they adjusted accordingly. These poor people are like, “What happened?” I come in. I’m wearing the Peloton jacket. I’ve got a Peloton bag and let me sell you Peloton.

She’s like, “Do you have a personal relationship with Peloton? Have you heard the good news?

I’m a little out of control. I didn’t know it was that bad. They ride. There are two people there that one of them has a bike and one of them doesn’t have a bike, but they ride. I’m like, “This is what you should take based on your personality and this is what you should try. You should do this and that.”

TCO 137 | Peloton Bike


My husband and I took two weeks off and we did this hiking trip in the Swiss Alps with another group, strangers. We didn’t know them. We went on this tour. On the first day of the hike, I learned that one of the other hikers owned a Peloton. Immediately I was like, “Who’s your favorite?” He’s looking at me like I’m crazy. He’s not one of those riders.

It is funny that many people are rabid about it. You forget that there are some people that they ride the bike. That’s the extent of their involvement.

We were coming back from the cruise. Do you remember that guy that sat in front of us? I started talking to him because he had a Peloton shirt on. I thought, “We’ve got one.” He was like, “I don’t do any of those things.” He didn’t know anything other than the rides he takes and he was more into scenic rides. He had no enthusiasm.

My husband, some of his friends from college have Pelotons. One day he came home from work and he goes, “I want to let you know those normal people who own Pelotons aren’t like you.”

I disagree, I think you’re the normal one. These newer people who have come to Peloton later in the game haven’t gotten the bug in the same way that the people earlier on did. There are exceptions to that. There are people that are as fanatic as we are. They’re newer, but some of them don’t like social media or if they do, they’re not on it all the time and the OPP is not welcoming.

They do try the OPP and they get punched in the face and they’re like, “Other Peloton people are dicks.”

It’s a different experience for people now versus back in 2016, 2015. It’s a completely different personal experience.

I remember on my first HRI, we had a cocktail party on the Thursday night before the actual HRI. We’re at a bar and Dennis Morton shows up, “Let’s hang out.” We hung out for a while, talked about surfing. It was such a normal fun conversation. I didn’t think anything of it at the time. Now fast forward a couple of years, I can’t even imagine one of the instructors stopping over for a happy hour and hanging out for the night. It wouldn’t happen.

If it did, everybody would be texting their friends and that place would get mobbed in seconds.

I remember too when the OPP were only a couple of hundred members. Who was it that used to post like, “Who’s riding what ride?” You’d see who was riding because they’d post on the OPP. It was easier to follow certain people and they had their own little shtick or the stuff with the coffee cups, the magic pants, all these neat little things that now are lost in the thread. I also remember the fighting that started on the OPP. Do you remember when there was the splinter group, The Badasses? I remember going, “Yeah, I’m joining The Badasses.” I don’t think that even exists anymore.

Those splintered and that became the OG Badasses or something and then there are the real Badasses of Peloton. It is still out there.

TCO 137 | Peloton Bike


I’m not following either anymore, but there was a lot of drama early on. Nothing like what we see now.

It’s a little boring out there because it’s all like, “I have a milestone. My pedals squeak.” It’s literally the same five things over and over again. I rarely ever see anything unique as you said with the cups and stuff.

I also remember knowing the people on the page, someone who was in financial distress even.

I know exactly what you mean because when we started the show, that was my thinking. There are all these people that I see every day that I want to get to know. Now I still have that, but it’s from all the other groups, not from the OPP but that’s where it started. I would see the same people over and over again. I can’t even tell you the number of people that we’ve raised money for that needed a bike or had health issues. They’re on and on. We’ve done that. It’s different. Now if you ask for anything, they’re like, “You want money from us.” They get mad.              

That’s where the tribes have become important especially the ones that are in smaller numbers and people can find their own. For new riders, the first thing to do is get off the OPP or don’t look at it every day. You don’t have to be active. Finding a smaller group with people who have interests in common to yours is critical to feeling engaged or at least having the same feeling of engagement that we had earlier on.

What is your leaderboard name?

It’s Scream.

I haven’t seen your picture in a while, but I love that you always had your face like you were screaming.

I was screaming. We have a house up in Vermont. During the ski season, it’s a house full of people. One morning, I was driving 1 of the 3 cars to the mountains and there must have been eight adults and twenty kids. It was like herding cats and ski poles and skis and boots. I couldn’t get everyone out of the car or in the car. I can’t remember whether we were dropping off or picking up. I remember taking a selfie, screaming like, “This is insane. What are we doing here?” When I selected my leaderboard name, which Scream is an old nickname, I thought back to that picture. I’m like, “I have that picture somewhere like freaking out.” It was a legit scream.

It was appropriate. I love it.

Thank you.

TCO 137 | Peloton Bike


Do you have advice for newbies or like we did that so I don’t want to put you on the spot for more if you don’t have any at the ready?

My advice to newbies, especially if you’re getting into a fitness routine, is to ride consistently. You don’t have to do a heavy ride every day, but staying close to the bike and working it into your routine. I’m a big supporter of early morning rides before the day gets away from you. Trying to at least sit on the bike, pedal, moving your legs, you’ll end up going farther than you think that you would have even on a bad day. Consistency is key absolutely.

I should remember it more often get on the bike even if I don’t feel like it.

They used to say with running is that when you’re scheduled to run, run the first mile. No matter how you feel, run 1 mile and your body will take over from there but run the first mile.

They probably didn’t know that it takes me 30 minutes to run over too.

I’m still impressed that you’re running. That is fantastic.

Thank you. It’s sweet. I’m being self-deprecating because I am like a turtle.

Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy day.

Where can people find you on social media? If somebody wants to hunt you down as an attorney, how should they go about that?

I’m on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. I’m under Irene Bassock for Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, which I don’t use, but my handle there is @I_Scream_Louder. I know I was late to Twitter, so Scream wasn’t available. For my law firm, the name of the firm is Empower Legal Group and you can find us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram under Empower Legal Group. There’s a Twitter handle, which for the life of me I’ve forgotten, but it doesn’t matter. I don’t use Twitter all that much.

Thank you for joining us.

Irene, thank you for doing this. I appreciate it.

Thank you for asking. I appreciate it. Thanks.

Important Links:

About Irene Bassock

TCO 137 | Peloton BikeI’ve been riding since 2015. I’m passionate about the bike and the community and all the positive things it’s done for me and others.

I love sharing stories about the personal and work relationships that this bike has brought me. Plus, my husband is suspicious of my passion for the community. He truly does. He’s so afraid that I’m part of a cult.

136: Turn Your Bike Into…A Sex Toy? Plus our interview with Rob Brinker!

136: Turn Your Bike Into…A Sex Toy? Plus our interview with Rob Brinker!

  • Peloton starts to put “The Ad” behind them.
  • Monica “Peloton Wife” Ruiz gets a role on The Bold & The Beautiful.
  • When worlds collide – Monica Ruiz meets Steven Little.
  • Turn your Peloton into a…sex toy?
  • A candidate in Texas parodies the Peloton ad in a campaign commercial.
  • Crystal updates her Tonal progress.
  • Germany gets a new commercial.
  • After Crystal was on the news, people were asking, “What’s that thing on your bike?” We start to answer that question. (Key Word: Start)
  • We pick another square in The Clip Out Challenge.
  • We announce a new contest and have details on how you could get a FREE 12-week Stronger U session.
  • Past Guest Update – Slim Chandra-Shekar gets a new website for his artwork.
  • Rebecca Kennedy has travel tips for Peloton users.
  • Matty Maggiacomo does a Grinch run with the help of Tunde.
  • The instructors pick their favorite classes of the year.
  • There’s a new Celine Dion ride courtesy of Matty Maggiacomo.

All this plus our interview with Rob “Punk Robb” Brinker.

135: Ryan Reynolds Hijacks the Peloton Controversy and our interview with Janet Barr

135: Ryan Reynolds Hijacks the Peloton Controversy and our interview with Janet Barr

  • Commercial-Gate continued this week with Ryan Reynolds entering the fray as he hired the “Peloton Wife” Monica Ruiz to star in a commercial for his Aviation Gin.
  • Also, Monica Ruiz makes the rounds on Good Morning America and The Today Show. 
  • And the commercial gets mentioned not once but twice on Saturday Night Live.
  • John Foley has embarked on a ‘listening campaign” with his first stop being Washington D.C. Hmmmmm….
  • Robin Arzon gets body-shamed and the body-shamer gets Robin Arzoned-shamed. 
  • Crystal updates her Tonal experience and is showing some serious progress.
  • Life Fitness is introducing “Peloton style” bikes for, ummm…gyms?
  • Rebecca Kennedy gets an award for her Instagram account.
  • Oliver Lee is featured on
  • Peloton introduces a new Artist Series with Melissa Etheridge. 
  • Andy Speers is launching a new strength training program.
  • Peloton announces its holiday hours. Be prepared to talk people off the ledge when the rollout starting December 24.

All this plus our interview with Janet Barr!

134: The Peloton Commercial Everyone Is Talking About And Our Interview With Aly Orady

TCO 134 | Peloton Commercial


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, Like the page and join the group so you can converse a little bit more easily. Check out our website, 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.

TCO 134 | Peloton Commercial

Peloton Commercial: Besides weight loss, Peloton promotes strength, fitness, and stamina.


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 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 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.

TCO 134 | Peloton Commercial

Peloton Commercial: With Tonal, everything is digital and automated and there are coaches in all workouts.


“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,

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.

It’s intimidating.

TCO 134 | Peloton Commercial

Peloton Commercial: As you get more proficient at moves, the amount of instruction decreases.


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.

TCO 134 | Peloton Commercial

Peloton Commercial: Tonal is a program that changes the way people think about fitness.


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.

TCO 134 | Peloton Commercial

Peloton Commercial: Tonal is the best strength training machine on the planet.


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?

People can find me at They can find me on Twitter, where I suddenly got active, Instagram, the Bike and the Tread @ClipOutCrystal.

You can find me on Twitter @RogerQBert or on Facebook at You can find the show online at 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 Thanks for tuning in and until next time, keep pedaling.

Also, running.

Important Links:

About Aly Orady

TCO 134 | Peloton CommercialBased 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.

133: Peloton Stock Rebounds and we interview Daniel Klarkowski

133: Peloton Stock Rebounds and we interview Daniel Klarkowski

  • Peloton stock rebounds and closes higher than its IPO rate for the first time.
  • Peloton Germany launches with their first instructor Irene Scholz.  You can learn more about Irene in this Peloton blog post
  • Crystal has completed her first week of using Tonal. How’s it going?  Hint, I freaking love it!
  • Peloton has two new music collaborations with Coldplay and A$AP Ferg.
  • We pick a new square in The Clip Out Challenge.
  • The Peloton Blog talks with former NFL player and current analyst Booger McFarland.
  • Jenn Sherman trains with the New England Patriots. This video is really awesome and Jenn is right on the field!
  • Was there a Peloton Prophet sighting?  Where? Who?
  • Oprah’s Favorite Things list out and *gasp* Flywheel is on it.
  • The Peloton Black Friday sale is up and running.
  • Peloton releases a special Thanksgiving video with messages from the instructors.
  • We give you a rundown of all of the Thanksgiving-themed classes that are available.
  • Peloton employees give their recommendations for gifts for the fitness buff in your life courtesy of
  • We have an update on past guest Howard Godnick.
  • Madison, WI is getting a showroom.

All this plus our interview with Daniel Klarkowski!  Daniel’s blog can be found here.  The post that led me to Daniel (about Peloton) is here.  Daniel posts stories on his Instagram at and you can follow him on Strava. 

132: A Rower And A Second Tread Are On The Way Plus We Talk to Ann Kingman

TCO 132 | Peloton Rower


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 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, 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?

We shall.

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.

TCO 132 | Peloton Rower

Peloton Rower: Tempo running is about getting to a speed that’s hard for you and you do it for a longer period of time.


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 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 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.

Olivia Amato.

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 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

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?

TCO 132 | Peloton Rower

Peloton Rower: Everybody’s different. Take the instructor’s call for output with a grain of salt and know that that means work hard.


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.

TCO 132 | Peloton Rower

Peloton Rower: What is great about Power Zone Training is it’s so individual. They’re telling you to do something and it doesn’t mean you have to do it.


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.

Thank you.

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?

People can find me at They can find me on Twitter, Instagram, the Bike and the Tread @ClipOutCrystal.

You can find me on twitter @RogerQBert or on Facebook at Don’t forget you find the show online, 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 That’s it for this one. Thanks for tuning in and until next time, keep pedaling.

Also, running.

Important Links:

131: Data-mining Peloton’s First Earnings Report and interview with Jeffrey Porzio

131: Data-mining Peloton’s First Earnings Report and interview with Jeffrey Porzio

  • Peloton releases its first earnings report and it’s chocked full of interesting information.  We discuss the highlights.  What’s next for Peloton ?
  • Peloton has big things planned for Germany including stores in five different cities, timing and new instructors!  
  • Peloton has acquired a design firm and a manufacturing firm.  The manufacturing firm is one that Peloton has worked with since the beginning (Tonic) and this will allow Peloton to grow faster!
  • The manufacturing firm has a recently filed a patent on a rower.  Another definite indicator that Peloton is moving forward with a rower, although certainly not proof!
  • reports on Peloton’s ever-increasing stable artist series.  
  • GQ tells all about a day in the life of John Foley.  I really enjoyed hearing all the details – especially how he has 7 minutes of conversation during transit time to and from lunch!
  • We pick another square in The Clip Out Challenge…will we get a winner this week?  Statistically speaking, it’s time!
  • Peloton releases a new TV commercial.
  • Google has purchased FitBit.
  • Soul Cycle now has a special “retreats” for its members. 
  • Matt and Cody are going to be in the UK and we have the details.
  • Becs Gentry and Oliver have beginner fitness tips on
  • Kristin McGee has new pre and postnatal yoga classes.
  • Chase Tucker celebrates a birthday
  • Robin Arzon and DJ John Michael celebrate 5 years of DJ rides.
  • Matty Maggiacomo scares the living crap out of Jess Sims.

Plus we interview Jeffey Porzio.  

You can find more Jeff  below!

The Unconventionals Podcast (Season 6, Episode 1) – Peloton and the Fitness Experience that Won’t Quit​​

All In: How Our Work-First Culture Fails Dads, Families, and Businesses–And How We Can Fix It Together

By Josh Levs​


130: We Interview Ben & Leanne plus Howard Stern Has A Favorite Instructor

130: We Interview Ben & Leanne plus Howard Stern Has A Favorite Instructor

  • Howard Stern has a favorite instructor and he can’t stop talking about her!   Can’t really blame him.  Jenn Sherman is amazing!  
  • Robin Arzon gives out her phone number on Instagram?  I mean its A NUMBER, but its really not that different than any other social media.  So why is she doing it?  Find out our thoughts here.
  • NBC News does a story on Peloton and Mirror.  The author of this article figured out what we already know! Its time to quit the gym.  
  • John Foley sits down with Vanity Fair.  No new information, but a great opportunity for everyone involved.
  • We pick another square in The Clip Out Challenge.  Find out who we picked for week 9!
  • Selena Samuela has new Tread classes with special music.  A 20 minute metal class from 9/20/19 at 7:25 am.  A 20 minute pop run class featuring all American Italian and Italian pop artists from 10/21/19 at 6 am ET.  A 45 minute pop punk run from 10/1/19 at 6:30 pm ET.  
  • There are three new classes (Christine D’Ercole on Bike, Andy Speer on Tread, Ross Rayburn Yoga) spotlighting P!nk.
  • Alex and DJ Mustard team up for a new Spotlight On 6.
  • Ross Rayburn gets a promotion and is now Master Instructor of Yoga. 
  • The final Facebook Live in the marathon training series has arrived.
  • The New York Marathon is this weekend  – good luck to Becs Gentry and Matt Wilpers, as well as Eric Chaffin and Keri Greene-Maskell from episode 129!
  • Halloween is over but the special themed classes are still there. 
  • Peloton Canada celebrates its first anniversary.
  • Vancouver gets its first store.

Plus, our long-awaited interview with Ben Alldis & Leanne Hainsby. We ask them the questions that you submitted!

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