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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.

To get us started we interviewed Peloton Instructor Irene Scholz to find out what her top tips are for getting the most out of your bike.

Peloton is more than just a bike

Yoga, sleep, strength training — 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!

Do an FTP Test Every Month

FTP stands for “Functional Threshold Power” and is typically described as the output one could sustain for around one hour. The goal of the 20 min FTP Test is to record your highest average power for 20 min. It’s important to warm up, and warm up in the same way when you take the test again. You should take the test once a month to track your progress.

The added bonus is that it updates your FTP stats so when you’re taking a class you know what zone you’re aiming to train in.

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, and know that one of the most common setup errors that go unnoticed is that people don’t have the seat high enough.

Here is a video of our favorite German Instructor, showing us how properly set up your bike, in English of course.

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

After coming back from my wrist injury I consciously corrected my form every time they told me to, and it feels amazing each time I actually had to make adjustments.

You’ll find that some instructors do things to check their form, but don’t tell you to check yours. Whenever I see Denis lift and wiggle his fingers and lift his wrists, I do it, too. No instructor will have perfect form, but they’ll all do things unconsciously to check in on themselves.

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.

Schedule a workout with a friend

Similar to a live class, Sessions is another way to work out together with other members. On the Peloton app, you can schedule any ride or run that’s 20-minutes or longer, then send an invite to your friends so they can join you in that class. Think of it like an Encore class, which is a class that is not live, but the people in the ride are all starting it at the same time.

If you’re like me who is not very organized, you’ll also see all the latest rides or rides people have selected that are available starting every five minutes at the top of the classes page.

If you’re competitive and using the leaderboard to push yourself, these rides are perfect to have real people to compete against.

Skip the intro

Peloton finally added a feature to skip the 1min opening dialogue! You’ll find the button on the top left hand corner of your screen at the start of the timeline.

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 to check in on form throughout the class. We do it a lot during sprints out of the saddle.

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).

How to connect Peloton Music to your Spotify account

Go to your profile on the Peloton Bike and select “Music” on the left navigation column. This page will show a list of all songs you have saved during your workouts.

From the “Music” tab, click the “Connect” button on the top right of the page to link to your Spotify or Apple Music account. Enter your Spotify or Apple Music username and password, and agree to the terms to proceed.

In your Spotify player, open “Your Library” to view your playlists. A new playlist titled “My Peloton Music” should appear in your playlists. If it does not appear, simply refresh the Spotify player by closing and reopening the app or you might need to scroll down through your playlists to find it.

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.

READ MORE: 5 best workout apps to try at home

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!

The bike gets a lot of attention but the app is a treasure trove

Beyond spinning, you’d be pumped to discover all the other classes available in the app. There are yoga, pilates, and barre classes. There are strength-training classes and boot camps. There are even five-minute cardio classes for the whole fam. I also love that there are meditation classes so I didn’t have to continue my subscription on another app.

Pro Tip: Save time by bookmarking your favorite classes in the app on your phone so you can easily find them on the bike tablet later.

How to get a shout out

Take an early class – If you’re taking a live class in Europe before the US wakes up, there will be less people in the class. That way, your chances of getting a shoutout increase and to grab the top spot on the leaderboard. 

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 give you a shoutout 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.

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 so 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 buying them if you have friends sharing your 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 your pedal too much as you’ll risk damaging it.

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!

This article was originally published on May 4th, 2020. It has since been updated to reflect Peloton updates.

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Cybersecurity updates for Google Chrome

Safety, speed, and security

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So much of our digital space’s safety relies on securing our privacy from privy eyes. This is why Google released updates for Chrome to easily navigate and control your privacy settings.

Per-site permissions

It can be disconcerting when certain websites require access to one’s microphone, location, and camera. But, with the updated site safety controls, it’s now easier to now keep track of which site has permission to specific information.

How-to

  1. Tap the lock icon on the left side to open the updated panel. There, you’ll find what permissions are granted for a particular site.
  2. From there, you will be able to easily toggle between sharing and not sharing access to important information for apps and sites.

In an upcoming release, an option will be added to delete a site from browsing history in Chrome.

Cybersafety and cybersecurity updates

Google is expanding its Site Isolation. If you haven’t kept up, this is Google’s security feature that protects people from malicious websites. It works by processing each site separately, so they can’t access data they’re not supposed to. Well with this update, Site Isolation will be covering a broader range of sites, as well as extensions.

With speed and security in mind, Google’s update has one more thing for us: phishing detection. With phishing continuing to be a leading threat on the web, Chrome has been improved with even better image processing in Chrome. Phishing detection is now 50 times faster.

Both site isolation and phishing detection updates have not only optimized safety but also, Chrome’s speed and battery use – keeping you safe and swift.

On the topic of speed,

Chrome Actions have made tasks easy and fast. From, typing “delete history” to “edit passwords,” Chrome Actions performs tasks at your beck and call. Since its introduction in November 2020, people have been using Chrome Actions millions of times. And now, there are even more tasks you can have Chrome do.

Try these out:

For example, typing in “safety check” allows security checks of passwords and scan for malicious extensions. And, typing “manage security settings” or “manage sync” enables quick access to relevant controls.

These new updates are coming to Chrome on Android, Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chrome OS in the upcoming weeks.

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mWell: new health & wellness app for Filipinos

Because, really, we needed this.

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Metro Pacific Health Tech Corporation (MPHTC) is looking to transform the digital health care ecosystem. With what, you ask? Well, with mWell. mWell is a health and wellness app made for every Filipino’s holistic well-being by providing you the medical aid you deserve through a secure digital space.

mWell has partnered with CareSpan, Philcare, Keralty Clinic, board-certified doctors and health practitioners. That way, they can give you access to the best digital medical aid.

For doctors, clinics, and hospitals

Doctors, clinics, and hospitals all over the country are welcome to sign up to mWell. With it, they can set up their own virtual clinic and virtual labs for free. From there, they’ll be able to easily book and manage digital appointments, access patients’ confidential medical records, and issue e-prescriptions.

If you’re a board-certified doctor who isn’t tech savvy, don’t worry. You’ll be given a quick and easy training to be able to access all of mWell’s services so you can immediately digitize your practice and reach more patients nationwide.

For the everyday Filipino

mWell provides everyday Filipinos access to professional consultations, wellness programs, products, and drug delivery services. With the partnership of Medicard, you can book COVID-19 testing services.

Starting August, mWell will let you access e-Pharmacies. From buying prescribed meds and getting them delivered to your doorstep, to buying PhilCare health insurance products for dengue, accidents, and emergencies, they’ve got you covered. They’re even launching nationwide virtual medical missions.

More coming

On September, mWell is partnering with Aktivolabs to let you monitor and track physical activities, sleep schedule, and stress so you can work on improving your health and wellness. And, for PLDT Home customers, you can avail free consultation with mWell doctors. The app is available for Android and iOS.

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5 Memoji-inspired outfit ideas: His and Hers

Play dress up virtually with the public beta preview of iOS 15

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Unveiled at this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference keynote are new customization options coming to Memoji on iMessage, including a much-awaited feature: outfit selection.

In 2019, Apple rolled out the most significant Memoji customization update. That year, users were able to apply makeup, change hair color, wear piercings and jewelry, and pick from different styles of headwear and glasses. The only thing missing was being able to choose clothing.

If you have the public beta of iOS 15 installed, you can now virtually play dress up and plan outfits for those trips you’ve been dreaming of and activities you’ve been deprived of after a year of quarantine.

#1 Romantic date night 

Who doesn’t like dressing up for a romantic date that will take you from a dinner at a restaurant to a cocktail or two at a speakeasy? Changing out of pajamas can do wonders to your mood.

His: a crisp long sleeved button down and his favorite hat

Hers: a flirty dress and statement earrings

#2 Stroll at the botanical garden

Has your apartment turned into a mini greenhouse with all the indoor plants you’ve adopted? Driving to the nearest botanical garden will either make you feel zen and content, or convince you that your plant collection is insufficient.

His: a breezy shirt and a pair of sunglasses

Hers: a colorful sundress and a top bun

Safari adventure

If there’s anything we learned about ourselves this past year, it’s that we all desire to be out in nature from time to time. A safari trip might not be realistic right now, but no one’s stopping you from imagining one.

His: a two pocket utility shirt and a cowboy hat

Hers: a loose tunic and a fedora

Sunny weekend at the beach

No summer is complete without a beach trip; and no beach trip is complete without some refreshing piña coladas, swimsuits that show off your summer bod, and copious amounts of sunscreen.

His: a linen top and a pair of polarized sunglasses

Hers: a long coverup, a pair of pearl earrings, and a straw hat 

Hike in the fall

Not a beach person? Maybe the mountains and autumn foliage are more your jam. Just make sure to stay warm from top to toe without sacrificing style and comfort.

His: a cable knit sweater and a fisherman’s hat

Hers: a turtleneck sweater and a beanie

BONUS: Big business convention

There’s never a bad time to get a good blazer or a pantsuit. You might not be able to wear them out to trade shows yet, but looking your best for Zoom meetings is always appropriate.

His: an olive green knit blazer, a black oxford shirt, and a skinny tie

Hers: a beige blazer, a pair of cat-eye glasses, and a pair of gold earrings

Apart from more than 40 different outfits, multicolored headwear, and new options for glasses, iOS 15 offers nine new Memoji stickers that include a shaka, a hand wave, a light bulb moment, and more.

iOS 15 will be available this fall as a free software update. If you’re interested in trying new Memoji outfits now, you can sign up for the public beta here: https://beta.apple.com/sp/betaprogram/

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