Peloton Guide review: A strong propostion for strength workouts

Working out at home became a much bigger thing during the global pandemic, though Peloton existed long before Covid-19. The company arrived in 2012, pushing its own variety of “workout at home” with its original Peloton Bike, which was later followed by the Peloton Bike+, the Peloton Tread and more recently the Peloton Row. In between the Peloton Tread, some bad press and the Peloton Row, the Peloton Guide arrived, characterising a new generation of workouts without the gym.

The Peloton Guide is the company’s first dedicated strength product and it comes in the form of a camera you connect to your TV, allowing you to workout with Peloton’s instructors while it keeps track of what you do, making it a little more interactive than just following along to a video. Is it worth it? Here’s our review.

Peloton Guide


Peloton Guide



Peloton Guide takes home workouts to a new level, giving a greater sense that you’re part of something, rather than just watching along. There’s a cost that comes with this system, but with the camera tracking your motion and reps, it can more accurately guide you through workouts and on your fitness journey.


  • Great motivation
  • Excellent content
  • Easy to use
  • Great for those intimidated by gym
  • Voice control


  • No feedback on form
  • Costs same as gym
  • Limited to one room

Let’s start with the camera

  • 166 x 64 x 42mm, 510g
  • 12MP, 4K, 30fps
  • 2 mics

First and foremost, there’s the hardware. This is a 4K wide-angle camera that you connect to your TV via HDMI. Keep in mind it also requires constant power.

It’s a great looking piece of kit, with a Peloton-branded sliding cover over the lens in case you want to cover the camera to ensure your privacy, as well as a physical mute switch on the rear of the unit.

This is all wrapped in a fabric finish, presenting it as a premium device – like the rest of Peloton’s portfolio of products. It is small and discreet and there’s no chance of it ruining the aesthetic of your lounge or gym. In fact, you barely notice it and the only complaint we have in terms of its design is that it would be great to see it in other finish options, like Withings did with its Home camera many years ago.

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The wide-angle lens on the Peloton Guide will shift to focus on you, much like Apple’s Center Stage feature that you’ll find on its latest iPad models, so that you stay in the image that you see on the screen as you change positions. During our review time, it was as happy when we were doing floor exercises as it was when we were up on our feet and the image is very clear too. You’ll be warned if it doesn’t see all of you in the shot, so you can adjust it accordingly, though the field of view is wide enough that it will see most of the room. We placed the Guide on top of our TV furniture unit, though you can also mount it on top of your TV if you wish.

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The camera has an LED on the front to show when it’s active and there are also two microphones on the top, hidden under the fabric that allow for voice control.

The camera is the element that makes Peloton Guide different to other systems, as it allows Peloton to keep track of what you’re doing, and means you can watch your form alongside the instructor, as well as get rewarded for performing the exercises correctly – more on that in the minute.

Then there’s the remote

  • 6 button
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • IR transmitter

The Peloton Guide comes with a remote – something that none of the other Peloton products offer. This is a simple remote, a little like the Chromecast with Google TV remote and it’s mostly for navigating the Guide’s user interface. The rest of Peloton’s products have a touchscreen but as the Guide relies on your TV, it of course requires a different way of controlling it.

The UI is pretty simple and it will be very familiar for those who have previously used Peloton products, while for newbies, you’ll get used to it in no time. It’s mostly a grid with some menu options, so you can easily find the type of workout you want. It’s literally as easy as choosing something on Netflix, while also suffering the same problem – there are so many choices, you might not know where to start. Peloton does help you out a little though, and if you head to our Peloton Guide tips and tricks feature, you’ll find a few useful hints.

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We recommend trying out the classes that feature Movement Tracker – distinguished with a small logo in the bottom right corner next to the Peloton instructor’s profile picture – as well as those designed for Rep Tracking, as both of these will make the most use of the Guide’s features. You can also access any of Peloton’s other content though, whether that’s yoga, meditation or cycling. While the Guide is designed for strength workouts, it isn’t restricted to them.

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The system also supports voice. This is so that you can do things like pause the workout, go back or skip forward, without needing to grab the remote. It’s a useful addition when you might be in pose on the floor or gripping dumbbells when the doorbell rings. It’s also great for switching up the Self Mode view, which has three options comprising Minimise, Stack or Side-by-Side. The latter two appear larger on the TV, giving you a better view, but you don’t see as many of the class metrics so we preferred the Minimise view. Each to their own though.

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Voice control requires you to say “Ok Peloton” before a command, though it is trained to the user and it works brilliantly in our experience. It means that if someone else walks into the room, they can’t start messing with your workout. Like other system such as Alexa, training your Peloton voice profile is just a case of reading out a few lines of text. It’s the easiest way to navigate the Guide, though anything you can do with voice, you can also do on the remote. It’s just a little more faffy.

Selecting your Peloton Guide workout

  • All of Peloton’s content on offer
  • Programs, Collections, Classes
  • Body Activity

As we briefly mentioned above, the Peloton Guide offers up all of Peloton’s content. That means you’ll see the Peloton Cycling workouts, alongside yoga, running, walking and plenty more and you can filter as easily on the Peloton Guide as you can on the company’s other products in order to find the perfect class for you. Chances are if you are considering the Guide though, you may have a particular focus on strength, which like other areas, has its own tile on the user interface.

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Strength workouts are divided into logical types, such as full body, core, body weight, legs, chest and back and so on. They come in various lengths and you’ll find various formats, as well as a huge selection of instructors. The beauty of this is you’re free to work on particular areas and build your own fitness routine in the longer term, or you can let Peloton do some of this for you by selecting one of the Programs or Collections on offer. The Programs are all quite short though – weeks rather than months – so you are still responsible for making a lot of the decisions yourself – something Peloton could improve on. Give us a year plan and we are here for it.

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Back to the workouts though, and once you’ve selected the workout you want, it quickly loads up with your Peloton instructor so you can get started. You can also filter by muscle groups, or select the muscles you want to work and have those workouts shown to you. Like other Peloton products – and perhaps more importantly for Guide – there’s a Body Activity feature that keeps track of the muscle groups you’ve been working on. When you choose a workout you can see which muscle groups you’ll be targeting. Often that’s in the description of the workout, but you can always click through to confirm.

As you complete different workouts, Body Activity shows you what you’ve worked on that week and month – across all Peloton products including the app – with its body diagram that highlights the different muscle areas. Using this, Guide recommends workouts to you, aiming to provide some balance, so if you’re always doing legs, it might elevate core or upper body work to ensure you get a whole-body workout. The choice, however, is yours, so if you’re a runner looking for core and leg strength, you’re free to do just that.

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For each workout – in true Peloton fashion – the instructor welcomes you to the session, tells you what you need and walks you through the workout plan. There’s a short warmup and cooldown as always, although there are longer dedicated sessions for warming up, cooling down and stretching if you prefer.

There are also demos at the beginning to show the exercises you will complete, so you can check you have the technique. This is one area that voice control comes in handy, as you can skip this if you’re coming back to a workout you’ve performed before. All Peloton workouts follow a similar structure in that respect and that’s no different for Guide. It might be the cheapest Peloton product available, but you still get the premium experience offered on all the other devices.

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The left-hand side of the screen tracks where you are in the workout with the schedule at the top and your metrics further down, showing your heart rate and Movement Score or Rep Tracker – more on those in a second. While most of that is familiar to anyone who has used Peloton before, the Movement Score and Rep Tracker are specific to Guide, as is the Self Mode.

As we briefly mentioned, you can change the self view, making your own camera image smaller or larger, side by side or stacked with the trainer video. You can also be right in the centre of the screen in Self Mode. This means that for those who want to closely check their technique, they can do so with a larger preview of themselves, though there is no actual feedback from Peloton itself on form. You’ll need to figure that out for yourself.

To get the most out of Guide, you will need some basic equipment – a floor mat and some dumbbells of varying weights – although there are also plenty of bodyweight exercises so weights aren’t a necessity to begin with anyway.

Let’s go Peloton!

  • Familiar experience
  • Leaderboard
  • Movement Score / Rep Tracking

Peloton Guide features instructors that will be familiar to existing Peloton users, so you can dive into your favourites and get to work. Workouts are delivered with the enthusiasm you’ll have come to expect from Peloton, support by music – and there’s even a track listing so you know what you’re listening to.

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The music certainly helps, compared to some video-based workouts, which only have the trainer chatting and nothing else. Of course, there’s plenty of chat from the instructors too, which helps motivation and gives the sense that you’re part of something and the leaderboard adds to that. You don’t get the personal attention that you would in a gym class where an instructor can walk over and correct your posture – but that’s always going to be the downside of workouts at home anyway.

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The Movement Score system uses the camera to detect the movements you make and match those to the workout you’re doing. Therefore, if you’re supposed to be doing weighted squats and you perform those squats, you’ll get a full Movement Score.

The logo illuminates as you work through a set of exercises, so also provides some sort of guide to the number of reps you should be doing. It also means that if you’re on your third set and you can’t complete them because you’re too tired – that’s also reflected.

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The Movement Score system is smart enough to detect if you perform the wrong exercise. If you start doing dumbbell curls instead of squats, you don’t chock up anything on the Movement Score; if you do nothing at all, again, there’s no Movement Score, so it’s another motivational tool, as well as being a clever bit of AI motion tracking. In our experience, the movement tracker recognises around 90 per cent of your movements. It’s not flawless, and it will miss the odd one, but it catches most of them and overall, it’s very good.

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The Rep Tracker feature – different to the Movement Tracker – was in beta when we reviewed the Peloton Guide. It is only available on certain workouts and it will count your reps, as well as calculate how much you have lifted based on the weight information you enter. Like the Movement Tracker, we’d say the Rep Tracker is around 90 per cent on the money. It’s great for calculating your progress too as you can see a comparison of how much you lifted between the same workout but days, weeks or months apart.

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The Peloton Guide also supports Bluetooth heart rate sensors, the company’s own, as well as third-party and devices like the Apple Watch, and this allows heart rate to be displayed on the screen as you’re working out. It also allows Peloton Guide to estimate your calorie burn, while giving you a sense of what heart rate zone you’re in, which contributes to your Strive Score – another Peloton specific metric. Strive Score is what determines your overall effort for a workout and gives you something else to compete against when you do a similar workout next time. Once you’ve completed a workout, you’ll get a summary and your important scores, with medals and badges also awarded as you progress.

Putting the cost into perspective

The Peloton Guide is Peloton’s cheapest piece of hardware with that initial outlay of £275 or $279. Then there’s an ongoing subscription, which is £24/$24 a month.

That’s slightly cheaper than the All-Access Membership for Peloton Tread or Bike, which is £39/$39 a month. If you already have that All-Access Membership (perhaps because you own a bike), then you’re covered already and you don’t need a new subscription.

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So, for existing Peloton users, it’s a case of buying the Guide hardware and opening up access to a slightly more advanced system when it comes to tracking and enjoying Peloton strength workouts.

Of course, Peloton offers strength training, alongside the Bike or Tread through things like Bootcamp, as well as through the Peloton Digital App. The app is only £12.99/$12.99, so you can immediately see there’s an increased cost associated with the more advanced system.

If you have the Bike or Tread though, the Guide adds to the experience with all your Guide, Bike, Tread, Row and app workouts summarised in your Profile and all contributing to your Body Activity detail.


Peloton starts from a strong position of having a brand and range of instructors and workouts that people are familiar with. It’s also a really great experience: it’s easy to use, there’s plenty of choice and it works, with the camera allowing for some sense that you’re actually doing what you’re supposed to be doing.

The cost is more or less equivalent to a gym subscription, the advantage here is that you don’t have to leave home and you can enjoy the privacy of workout out at home no matter how confident you are. The downside, of course, is that you have to provide your own equipment and you don’t get that one-to-one instruction you might get at a gym.

There are a range of home workout subscriptions now available from the likes of Apple Fitness+ or FIIT and Peloton Guide does sit at the top end of those options in terms of cost. But it also offers more from the experience – there’s a greater sense that you’re part of something and getting some sort of feedback, rather than being left to workout in isolation in your own front room. Overall, the Guide delivers exactly what it sets out to do – brings the Peloton treatment to strength workouts and makes for a great experience.