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Peloton tips and tricks: How to make the most out of your workout

There’s more to riding your bike than meets the eye

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Fitness is about developing routines and forming habits, so don’t get stuck using just a portion of your bike’s potential! If you’re new to Peloton and are looking to getting the most out of your bike, or already on your 100th ride, we’re sure you’ll find something useful in this list of tips and tricks

Peloton is more than just a bike

Yoga, sleep, strength training — your Peloton has it all. Add in another form of exercise when your legs get tired or you can’t bring yourself to get on the bike. Think about forming a holistic workout plan based on the hundreds of classes Peloton has to offer. If that sounds overwhelming, just try out something new: dance cardio or some chair stretching or learn to use that foam roller you bought at a garage sale 5 years ago! You’ve got so much more at your fingertips than just a spin class. Explore it!

Stretch. Every. Single. Time.

Stretching if the most important part of the workout. You become more prone to injury and tighter on your next ride if you don’t.

Check your set up, even if you’ve been riding your bike a while

Follow the intro videos about setting the seat height and depth (Christine has a great one here), and know that one of the most common setup errors that go unnoticed is that people don’t have the seat high enough.

Change instructors

As you get in better shape your preferences will change over time, someone that you might not have liked when you first started  could be your new favorite.

Do a beginner class

Even 50 rides later, I went back and learned a few things about form I had overlooked.

Check your form every time the instructor tells you to

I injured my wrist, I was riding a little too far forward, but also I wasn’t watching my form. After coming back from my injury I consciously corrected my form every time they told me to, and it feels amazing each time I actually had to make adjustments.

Stop your knee from turning the resistance knob

This means you’re too far forward. Hitting the red knob whether you’re in or out of the saddle means you’re sinking into your joints, and you end up putting weight into your thighs or arms instead of engaging your core. The solution? Push your hips and booty back so your weight is right over the saddle.

Just like real life, there is no pause button

Accept it, there is no way to pause classes. Stop looking. If you drop your water bottle or the doorbell rings, you can’t pause the ride. People have been asking for it since the bike launched but Peloton wants to keep the rides honest. If you take a break you’ll be fresh.

Are you pulling up on the pedals?

Pushing down on the pedals happens naturally. Focus on lifting the opposite foot so you engage your hamstring and glute muscles. It will also increase your output, if you’re going after a personal best, you’ll get more out of your stroke if you’re using your quads on the front of your leg and your hamstring and glutes on the back.

Watch your grip

How tight are you holding onto those handlebars? They’re there for stability, not support. Relying on them to support your weight takes away the core and quad work you’re after. Flutter or flex your fingers during the hard parts (we do it a lot during sprints out of the saddle) to check in on form throughout the class.

Double tap the screen

If you want to get rid of the progress indicators, leaderboard, music and high fives, double tap the screen. If you do it again, it will bring everything back. I find this useful when I throw my towel down and I hide something I want to see. Rather than trying to tap a specific button, I just double tap the screen a few times.

Listen to the songs you liked even after the ride 

Ever wondered what happens to all the songs you liked during a ride? If you connect your Spotify or Apple Music accounts, every song will be added to your playlist! When you do, you’ll see a playlist called My Peloton Music by (username).

Lower the instructors voice

If you have classes where you loved the sound track, save them and then choose to have more music and less instructor. It’s amazing how much having motivational music blasting helps. Hit the volume button on the right hand side of the display and on the touch screen change the mix. Note that you have to do it each time as it always resets back to an even mix of music and voice.

5-minute workouts don’t have the 60-second intro

No getting around the fact that the instructors’ 60-second chat before a ride is annoying. If you want to stack your workouts, you might want to consider doing a few 5-minute workouts instead. They start right away and if you save a bunch you like you’ll be able to get through them pretty quickly.

Try more short classes

Opting for multiple short classes in a day instead of long ones will also lead to getting your milestones earlier. Once you reach a milestone stage — 50, 100, or any other rounded up number, opt for a live ride. You might just get that shoutout!

How to get a shout out

Take a live class. This may be obvious to most but if you’re new to Peloton it may be unclear. The instructor can only shout you out if you are on with them in real-time.

Have an easy to read leaderboard name. If your name is long, has a lot of numbers or no capitalization, it can be hard for an instructor to spit it out while leading a class. If you’re willing to alter your Pelo-identity, try to use real words or phonetic spellings so it is easy to read and to say. And yes, you can change your name without losing all your stats.

Join class early. Live classes usually start 3 or 4 minutes prior to the recorded session and “when the lights go down.” During this time instructors casually chat with the people in studio. They also scroll through the leaderboard to see who is on and give quick shout outs. It might not quite be the same as getting it during that final hill but it is nice to know they see you and it can give your entire workout a boost.

Ride on your birthday. Make sure your birthday is set in your profile.

Use an easy-to-read name. Some saucy name will never get shoutouts and if it’s really vulgar, Peloton HQ will probably ask you to change it.

Toe clips are great! For your friends…

I made the mistake of getting toe clips instead of shoes. I made this choice not because I was being cheap, but because I wanted to share the joy of Peloton.

The problem with using toe clips instead of real shoes is that you can’t pull up when you’re bringing your foot around. I’m not a cyclist, I didn’t think that these things mattered. After a few months I decided to get the shoes and it made a huge difference! If you want to increase your output and workout your whole leg, you need the shoes.

I’ve gotten good at clipping and unclipping the toe clips. The first time it took 30 minutes, now it takes just 30 seconds! I still suggest if you want people to come around and use the bike, they’re worth every penny.

Make clipping out a little easier

What I learned about installing the toe clips is that you have to loosen one of the screws. I also noticed that if I forgot to tighten it, it was really easy to unclip. It takes practice to snap your foot out in a single graceful movement. Cheat a little, loosen the screw. The disadvantage to doing this is that when I’m standing and have my full weight pushing and pulling on pedals I hear a creak. You need to twist your ankle out at a 90 degree angle out from the bike. I’m never in danger of my foot unclipping, but it sounds like I need to tighten things up a bit, which I do.

Don’t loosen it too much, you risk damaging your pedal if it’s too loose.

Understand the types of rides

If you’re new to Peloton, some of the terminology and slang used will probably be confusing. Here are some basic ride types to get you started:

Low-Impact. This doesn’t mean low effort, but in general it means that the cadence won’t go over 100, the resistance won’t go over 50, and there will be little or no “out of the saddle” sections (i.e. standing).

Groove. This type means less cadence dictated by the instructor and more based on riding to the beat of the music. It can also sometimes include more movement on the bike. When people ask, “what ride is more like Soul Cycle?” this is one of the frequent answers.

Live DJ. This means exactly what it says: a live DJ is in studio mixing songs and helping to drive the class. These are fun when the DJ and the instructor have a good rapport.

HIIT. High intensity interval training or HIIT is a series of intense periods followed by a quick rest period. PRO TIP: avoid doing this as your first ride.

Tabata. This is a type of HIIT ride, but it follows a specific pattern. The classic Tabata pattern is 20 seconds of effort followed by a 10 second rest. I think “Tabata” translated means sweaty; or death.

70’s / 80’s / Y2K / Classic Rock / EDM. These are rides based on the associated genre of music, and it’s not limited to these. There’s country, jazz, broadway, etc.

Power Zone. Based on your calculated Functional Threshold Power, these rides direct you through seven different zones of output from “Very Easy” to “Max Effort.”

Call a Friend

If you’re wondering what the 5MP camera on the bike is for, during a live ride you can do a call with a friend. But first, you have to be friends on Peloton. In your Profile settings, go to Social, then Enable video chat.

During a live ride, invite friend to ride at the same time. Click on their name on the leaderboard and an option to call them will appear. This will activate the camera located on the top part of your screen. A small window showing their video feed will appear on the instructor’s right. Now, you can see each other as you ride, talk (if you can) in between each pedal stroke, and enjoy milestones together — virtually, of course.

Fair warning: make sure to only use this feature with good friends because that angle is not flattering. There are only so many people that I would let watch me die during one of Irène Scholz’s rides.

Did we miss any tips or tricks? Let us know in the comments!

— with additional tips from Carol RH Malasig

If you’re keen to try reading this in German, visit Mobile Geeks!

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WhatsApp delays roll-out of new privacy policy until May

Signal and Telegram are trending instead

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Photo by Dimitri Karastelev on Unsplash

WhatsApp rolled out a new privacy policy that clearly specifies how the instant messaging app will leverage your data for monetization. But the new privacy policy is on hold.

WhatsApp, owned by Facebook, has announced that it will delay enforcing its new privacy terms from February 8 to May 15. In the blog post, the company says that none of its privacy-focused features are changing.

“We’re also going to do a lot more to clear up the misinformation around how privacy and security works on WhatsApp. We’ll then go to people gradually to review the policy at their own pace before new business options are available on May 15,” the statement said.

It faced massive backlash as users are worried about their personal data. When the privacy policy changes went public last week, the response from the public was downright brutal. Alternative apps like Telegram and Signal started trending worldwide as users started joining it in hopes of ditching WhatsApp.

Even though WhatsApp is end-to-end encrypted, Facebook will still fetch some crucial information like your transactions, location, and other behavioral data from linked Instagram profile. And, we all know Facebook has a nasty reputation as far as personal data management is concerned. What makes it even more outrageous is that the policy is leave or take, and there’s no third option.

In the wording used, WhatsApp says the new privacy policy will change how it partners with Facebook to “offer integrations” and that businesses can use Facebook services to manage WhatsApp chats. It said that hat all private messages between friends and family members will remain end-to-end encrypted.

According to a CNBC report, India’s technology ministry also asked WhatsApp to withdraw planned changes to its privacy policy that has drawn widespread backlash.

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Ultrahuman is an all-in-one fitness app

Workout, meditate and sleep soundly

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Staying physically and mentally fit is extra challenging during a pandemic, but it’s become essential now more than ever. Ultrahuman is a fitness app launched that offers a very convenient platform that targets the three main health points: physical exercise, meditation and sleep. It helps you stay fit from the moment you wake up until you go to bed!

This newest app, which debuted on CES 2021, features different content per category. It includes home workouts and yoga programs from world-class athletes and professional trainers to focus on your physical strength. You can choose from various workouts — from running and yoga to weightlifting and HIIT. The app is designed for all fitness levels.

With the app’s biofeedback technology, you can also track your heart rate and calories burned in real-time.

There’s also content focusing on mindfulness, including guided meditations, bedtime stories, calming meditation music, nature and sleep sounds, breathing exercises, among others. Manage stress and anxiety better by improving your mental health and sleeping patterns with the help of this series.

You can also listen to “brain music”, a section where you can find songs curated by “neuro-musicians” that aids focus, sleep and productivity.

Ultrahuman also partnered with UCLA, Mindsize, and Unified Mindfulness to bring the best of mind science and technology together.

The app is available on iOS and Android, and is already rolled out across 50+ countries globally. It’s been recognized by Apple as one of the top apps they love. Apple Watch users can also integrate their app to track their health progress real-time.

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Prepare your meals through your phone, fridge using Samsung SmartThings

The kitchen, simplified

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With everything going on in the world, it’s no surprise that people are spending more time in the kitchen and looking out for new recipes.

The good news? Samsung has just the thing to get it sorted quickly and easily. They’re bringing in Family Hub features into mobile users through the SmartThings app.

Samsung’s SmartThings Cooking service helps bring all of your Samsung kitchen appliances together. How? It lets you search, plan, purchase, and meal prep seamlessly through your phone or fridge through the SmartThings app.

On top of that, it recommends customized recipes based on your taste and preferences while considering ingredients available to you. You can scroll through recipe collections when you’re undecided or quickly zero-in on meals that suit your cravings.

SmartThings Cooking, powered by Whisk, is accessible through Samsung’s SmartThings. If you’ve got the Family Hub in your smart kitchen arsenal, there’s no need to fret.

The fridge keeps tabs of what you have and don’t, adding missing ingredients directly to your online grocery cart for at-home deliveries. Not to mention, you can shop through Walmart, Kroger, Instacart, and Amazon Fresh, using the Whisk network.

With SmartThings added to the Family Hub smart fridge, you get to enjoy all the cool features and more! You get to access your other smart kitchen gadgets through widgets on the screen, prioritize most used apps, and feature family photos, notes, and recipes.

And, if cooking is what you’re worried about, Samsung has you covered for even that. SmartThings guides you through easy cooking steps and lets you control cooking modes, temperatures, and time settings with one touch. Leaving you with little room for error.

So, with all that in mind, was it really a surprise to see Samsung’s Family Hub win its sixth consecutive CES Innovation Award this year? For us, not quite.

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