Her GadgetMatch

Peloton: A cult I want to join

Cult or not, both Peloton and traditional spin classes are great workouts if you’re already into fitness

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I’ve heard and read about Peloton mostly from the hype in tech news and commercials on TV. When people talk about it, I hear them refer to it as the cult of Peloton. As someone who recently fell in love with spin class, my curiosity is peaked. If you’re a Peloton customer, you don’t just like it — you love it! It’s not a piece of exercise equipment; it’s a lifestyle.

On a recent trip to New York, I noticed my hotel was close to a Peloton studio. My hotel also had a Peloton bike in the gym. As I roll towards 40, I’ve accepted that my body needs me to pay attention to it. So I fed my Peloton curiosity and went to the studio to take a class. I also took a virtual one in my hotel — more on that later.

Peloton studio experience

If you’ve ever been to a high end spin studio you’ll be familiar with the set up at Peloton. For those who haven’t done a modern spin class, you basically get shoes, locker rooms that have many products, and someone to help you set up your bike. The experience screams premium and makes dropping US$ 35 seem justified.

Like most workout studios, the room is very cold when you walk in. Today’s spin classes are done in the dark with very loud music — almost like going to parties. At the Peloton studio, the bikes are set up around a stage on three sides. As we waited to get started, Jenn, the instructor, was already interacting with everyone online. I’ve heard and read of Peloton before, but I didn’t realize that the class I was attending was being live streamed to hundreds, maybe thousands of people.

“RoadCruiser, it’s your 400th ride! Congratulations and thanks for being part of the Peloton nation,” screamed Jenn. “RidnMama happy 100th ride, Pelotooooon!”

Hearing the word Peloton happened consistently throughout the ride. Like being in actual cults, being in a Peloton class felt a bit like being indoctrinated. The same way cults repeat ideologies and phrases, Jenn would randomly scream Peloton for all of 30 minutes. When I started counting midway, I heard her say it 11 more times.

What caught me off guard was the fact that Jenn essentially ignored the class and was in constant eye contact with the cameras around the room. One camera would slowly go from the left side of the room to the right, and her gaze would follow it. It was distracting and felt like I was watching something I wasn’t supposed to.

Having done no actual research on Peloton before going, I left the class confused. Being the journalist that I am, I asked the sales girl at the front desk a ton of questions. I found out that there are only two Peloton studios in the whole world: one in New York, and the other in London.

Suddenly I felt very lucky to have taken a class in one of the two studios. Then almost immediately I realized that I was doing things completely wrong. Most Peloton customers will never step foot into a physical Peloton studio, and they probably will never want to. Peloton’s main focus is giving virtual classes, and that’s what they’re good at.

Peloton only set up studios to livestream the instructor for the virtual classes. The London studio starts putting classes online in the morning and the New York studio has classes until late at night, covering all of Europe and US timezones. Unlike other spin studios, real world classes at Peloton are only a byproduct of content creation for their virtual community.

Virtual Peloton class experience

The next day I went to my hotel’s gym to take my first virtual class. When I logged on, there were no live classes about to start, so I took one of the many pre-recorded ones. The bike lets you choose by class type, instructor, genre of music, and style of ride — I chose a 90s hiphop class.

When the class started, I found Jess, the instructor, looking at me straight in the eye from the 21.5” HD display of the bike. Suddenly the thing I found the creepiest from the live class was the thing I loved most of the virtual class. The connection I felt with Jess was far stronger than the one in the studio — even stronger than I’ve ever felt at a traditional spin class at SoulCycle or ride.bln.

Being more engaged resulted in a much better work out compared to the one I did in the studio. Admittedly, I’ve only taken a single virtual class, but I’m already convinced Peloton can bring the same high end spin class I take in studios into my own home.

The traditional spin class experience

In Berlin, I take spin classes at ride.bln. They have beautiful locker rooms and attentive staff. The environment is pretty much identical to Peloton’s NYC studio, except smaller. That’s pretty much where the similarities end.

My favorite instructor at ride.bln is Malin. Her style of dancing around the studio, correcting people’s postures, and reading the room so that we’re getting the best workout we can are the little things that make going to a real world spin class great — things you won’t ever get from a virtual class. Seeing my instructor pushing through with her eyes closed honors my struggle. Her energy makes me want to give her spin class everything I’ve got.

Photo from ride.bln

I am genuinely curious what her take would be if she tried to adapt her style to Peloton. Closing her eyes through a tough segment is not something she would be able to do as a Peloton instructor. Her style would have to completely change and having gone to her classes, I fear they would become soulless. Can she bring the same engagement to a class while staring into a camera? I’m afraid not.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

If you were to get a Peloton bike and join the cult, you can probably replicate the dark room with the same loud music at home, but I’m not sure it would really be the same as going to a good spin studio. What Peloton is is not exactly a replacement, but an alternative for people like me who don’t have a 9-to-5 routine.

What the cult of Peloton has done is remove several barriers of having to go to spin class. Spin classes may only last 30-60 minutes, but you also have to factor in the time to go to the studio, get ready, and everything that comes after. Peloton also made it easy for its customers to start and do spin classes more consistently. You can be a newbie and not get intimidated by the people around you and just spin at your own pace. You can even do the same classes when you’re traveling, no matter which timezone you’re in.

The best part of being part of the Peloton cult is not the high end equipment nor the classes; it’s the strong virtual connections it’s been able to create to motivate you to achieve your own fitness goals — whether you’re on your bike at home or some other place in the world.

Cult or not, both Peloton and traditional spin classes are great workouts if you’re already into fitness. If not, hearing people talk about it all the time can be annoying and does you no good. All of these classes are just tools to achieve our goals, and no amount of tech is good enough a motivation as the one that comes from within.

SEE ALSO: Confessions of a non-runner


Editor’s note: This is a slightly modified excerpt of an article written by the same author published on MobileGeeks.com.

Apps

5 best makeup filters on Instagram Stories

Nothing like the convenience of virtual makeup!

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Since time immemorial, apps and smartphones’ built-in beauty modes have allowed us to apply airbrushing, contour, lipstick, blush, and eyeshadow without lifting a makeup brush. But there’s nothing like the convenience of the virtual makeup we get through filters on our favorite social media apps.

Here we’ve rounded up the best makeup filters you should save on Instagram Stories. Apologies for the barrage of selfies you’re about to see!

Francesca

If, like me, your go-to everyday look is the winged eyeliner then Francesca is filter you need to save on your Stories. It’s best used when you haven’t drawn anything on your lids yet as it might be difficult to match your wingtip with the filter’s.

Try the Francesca effect here.

Eyelashes

If you’re the type who can’t leave the house without mascara, Eyelashes is the one you need to save. It won’t curl your lashes in real life, but any selfie you post from here on out will look like you made the effort to look nice even when you just got out of bed. There are 3 different styles of lashes because one size does not fit all looks!

Try the Eyelashes effect here.

Natural

Want to look fresh at 5pm even without retouching? As its name suggests, Natural will remove blemishes and blot oil from your face and the resulting selfie will still look as natural as possible. It also adds a little bit of tint to your lips without going overboard.

Try the Natural effect here.

Glitter Lips

Smudged lipstick after a greasy meal is a problem we all deal with. Get that selfie on point even without a trip to the powder room with Glitter Lips. Choose from 7 different glossy shades — there’s nude, pink, even gold!

Try the Glitter Lips effect here.

+2 Vintage*Blush II

This filter adds freckles and blush to your cheeks, and smoothens your skin out. But +2 Vintage*Blush II isn’t just a makeup filter — it also changes the mood of your entire photo to something warmer. You get a total of 4 different looks, with two adding noise to the entire image for more of that vintage feel.

Try the +2 Vintage*Blush II effect here.

We all get by with a little help from friends and technology. As with anything, use makeup filters in moderation and with the best of intentions.

Do you use makeup filters on Instagram Stories? Let us know what your favorite is in the comments below.

SEE ALSO: PSA: Snapchat dysmorphia is real

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Apps

Spotify’s Disney Hub lets you listen to everything Disney

Make music a part of your world

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You’ve got a friend in me — I mean, in Spotify and Disney. Together, they created a dedicated Disney Hub which includes playlists, soundtracks, and podcasts for Disney fans of all ages.

To find Disney Hub, open your Spotify app and search “Disney.” You might encounter a barrage of suggested playlists, but make sure you click Disney as a genre.

Among the curated playlists, you can find Disney Hits which are comprised of top songs from popular Disney and Pixar films across the world. You can also play Disney Favorites, Disney Classics, and Disney Sing-Alongs featuring nostalgic songs we love.

Speaking of love, Disney has a Disney Princess playlist for those currently in love and obsessed with their crushes. It’s complete with love ballads. Action-oriented fans can also treat themselves with Marvel Music and Best of Star Wars.

As we all know, music is one of the key ingredients why we all love Disney. Music makes every film memorable and magical, and now we can bring the experience to a whole new world. Now, let’s see how far we’ll go into the unknown. Let’s make music a part of our world!

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Her GadgetMatch

The future of shopping solves a common fashion mistake

It’s like having your own stylist and personal shopper

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One of the most common shopping mistakes we all make is buying clothes that don’t fit well and don’t look flattering on our bodies. This is nothing new, but it’s easier said than done.

When shopping, you should not just take into account sizing and fit, but also the fabric, cut, and style of a clothing item, as well as your own body type. All these factors affect how something looks like when worn. With the ThinQ Fit, LG hopes to solve these shopping woes, and more.

The ThinQ Fit Collection Zone allows visitors to virtually try clothes on, without having to step into a typical fitting room. It’s an evolution of LG’s original Smart Mirror concept, and uses 3D cameras to get your height, accurate measurements, as well as your body type. It will then suggest styles that would look best on you.

While virtually trying clothes on, you can check the fit map. It’s essentially a heat map that shows you which parts are too tight or too loose. This can also help you check if you should go a size up or down.

With the lookbook mode, you can get a virtual “feel” of the clothes to check the fit and texture. With taps and swipes you can see how a flowy blouse falls on your body. You can also see how an outfit would look like if you tucked it in or rolled its sleeves up.

With tailor mode, you can virtually hem your clothes. Jeans too long for your legs? Just swipe up to see how they look like when altered before even going to the tailor.

It also allows you to virtually style an outfit before buying. When you edit your avatar you can try on different accessories like shoes. This makes it easier to see if your outfit will work with existing items you already own.

The technology is far from final but the idea of having a tool that will help me in my journey of finding my personal style is exciting, to say the least. Seeing what’s flattering for my body type, as well as cuts and textures that look best on me without going to a physical store takes the joy out of retail therapy; but if the future of shopping means saving so much time and being wiser about my purchases, sign me up.

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