By Charlotte Thun-Hohenstein
Could you fit an entire live spinning class into your living room? Peloton Cycle, an up-and-coming spinning studio in New York City, claims to be able to do just that. The simplest description for how Peloton operates is that they live-stream their classes to a giant tablet attached to your (custom Peloton) bike. Peloton’s President, Graham Stanton, claims that they have mimicked the experience to a degree of 98 percent, incorporating real-time interaction with other classmates, instructor, and one’s own performance metrics. It’s clearly a world away from the bike in your parents’ basement accumulating laundry.
Virtual fitness is becoming a trend in the world of exercise. The idea has already caught on with more surprising candidates: Body & Pole, a Manhattan-based studio for pole-dancing and aerial, set up B & P TV just this past year in order to offer their studio classes live-streamed and on-demand. In the case of pole-dancing, only students at a certain level are allowed to use the virtual classes—the direct guidance of an instructor is crucial to avoid injury. But ultimately, as the studio’s co-owner Kyra Johannesen explains, the appeal of virtual class is as much about access to superstar teachers from anywhere in the world as it is about convenience.
Will virtual classes ever replace the 3D experience entirely? Both Kyra and Graham agree that the aim is not to replace the physical experience, but export it beyond the studio walls. With NYC tourists already visiting Peloton to meet their favorite instructors in person, the live studios seem set to become fitness meccas for their worldwide following.
Host, Writer – Charlotte Thun-Hohenstein
Video Editor – Andy Morell
Script Supervisor – Matthew DeMello
Research – Lisa Autz
with guests – Kyra Johannesen, Graham Stanton