Peloton Guide Review: Transform Any TV into a Guided Strength Training Workout


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The latest Peloton gadget, the Peloton Guide, retails at $295. It is the latest product from Peloton. “It” indoor cycling bikeTo own. Smart home gyms, such as the Mirror, Tempo, and TonalIf you’re familiar with these expensive devices and the space they take up, then you will know that it can be very costly. Peloton has created a smaller, more affordable device that tracks your movements in class. This allows you to enjoy the benefits of a smart home gym with no need for a lot of space. 

The Peloton Guide can be used in conjunction with strength training classes by Peloton. It allows you to track your form and performance throughout the session. Peloton’s original Peloton was an innovator in interactive home workout equipment. But how does the Guide compare as a smart fitness device for smart people? I gave the Peloton guide a try and had lots of thoughts. You can read my review of the latest Peloton gadget here.


  • Small enough to fit in tight spaces
  • Peloton products at an affordable price
  • It is easy to follow a strength-training program.

Avoid it

  • Software doesn’t always detect movement
  • Do not correct your form, or count reps
  • Peloton guide is an additional fee, which could alienate current Peloton users who don’t want to spend for another device.
  • This app, Peloton digital app, or Peloton bike cannot be accessed.

How we tested

Even though smart home gyms have been around for a while, many brands have released their own versions in recent years. Although I have tried other smart fitness equipment, I knew that I needed to see the Peloton Guide as an independent entity. I had never seen a similar device before. It isn’t a traditional smart home gym because it’s compact and consists only the camera and AI.

These important features were key to my testing of the Peloton Guide:

Setup:It is it simple to set up? It works with all TVs. Is strong Wi-Fi signal important?

Space:Can the device take up too much space? Is it possible to use it in a small room? This device can capture people with different heights. 

Feedback:What kind of unique feedback can this device give that other smart home gyms cannot? Is the feedback accurate?

It’s easy to use How does it work? Are the instructions easy to follow? 

What is the cost of the Peloton Guide?

Generally if you purchase a Peloton bike or treadmill you’re shelling out somewhere between $1,500 to $3,000 – even with The latest 500-dollar discount. The cheapest Peloton Guide package, which includes only the Guide, is $295. This makes it a great option for people on a tight budget. Peloton offers customers a risk-free 100-day trial of their Peloton Guide before making a purchase. 

Upgrade to the Guide Strength Starter Package for $545. It includes three sets Peloton dumbbells ranging in weight from 5- to 30-pounds and a mat. Guide Power is the last package. It includes six pairs (ranging in weight from 5 to 50 pounds), a mat for exercise, and a heart rate monitor. The price ranges from $935 to $1270, depending on which weights you choose. You don’t have to use Peloton-specific dumbbells in these classes. You can use your own weights from home. 

To access the Guide classes, you will need an All Access Peloton membership. This is an additional cost. Peloton offers a special for Guide-only Members with an introductory rate starting at $24 per Month through 2022. This is a significant discount on the regular $44 per Month rate. All-Access membership allows you to create up to five profiles per household. You can also use the same account to access the Guide if you already have a Peloton All-Access Membership. 

How does the Peloton Guide function?

The Peloton Guide can fit in any space as long as it has an HDMI port and a 16-to-9 aspect ratio. The Guide weighs only 18 ounces and is small enough that it can fit into most spaces. The Guide comes with an adapter, power cable, HDMI cable and power cable as well as a mounting bracket. Peloton suggests placing the Guide in a stable location about 3 to 6 feet above the ground. This will allow you to access Wi-Fi at speeds greater than 3 megabytes per sec. The camera should point towards a clean, unobstructed area with sufficient light.

I set the Guide on the TV Stand in my living room. It was easy because the camera isn’t very large. Once you have found a place that works, you can mount the Guide on the magnetic mounting that holds it in position. It took me the longest to set up my Peloton account, and make sure that I could sync the Peloton heart monitor (which is optional). The Guide is compatible with Bluetooth heart-rate monitors. Apple Watch support will soon be added. 

The final step was to calibrate my TV’s screen using the Guide settings. This is important because my TV screen images looked bigger and more out of frame than I expected. But, after calibrating the screen to fit it, the issue was resolved. 

I had to experiment with the camera positioning to ensure it was pointed in the correct direction and was able to capture my entire body. Once it views you, you will see a box outline around you. The Guide will alert you if it cannot view you well. 

The Body Activity Guide will tell you which muscles are ready for exercise and which need to rest. 

Giselle Castro-Sloboda/CNET

After the Guide is operational, you will be able to choose from the compatible strength classes on Peloton’s roster. The icon for classes that can be used with the Guide looks like a water droplet and is located at the lower right. You can choose classes based on the Body Activities Guide. This guide will show you a silhouette and highlight the muscles that you have worked on over the past seven to thirty days. This will allow it to suggest classes based off muscle groups that have not been worked on. It also allows you to avoid exhausting the same parts every time. The bluer a muscle appears on the body activity model, the more you use it. 

The Peloton Guide Self Mode on a TV.

Peloton Guide’s Self Mode allows you to view yourself side-by-side with the instructor.

Giselle Castro-Sloboda/CNET

Once you’re ready to start a class you need to set up Self Mode. This allows you to control how you see yourself in class. You have two options: you can view yourself fully on screen and the instructor screen will be displayed to the left. Split screen allows you to see yourself side-by-side or stacked above the instructor. This is useful if you want your form to be on par with theirs. It was distracting to see myself in full screen. I prefer the split screen mode, where I can view both the instructor and myself. 

If privacy is a concern, the cover can be removed from the camera to hide it when not in use.

Space requirements

Peloton Guide’s advantage is that it doesn’t take up much space. You need at least 4.5 feet by six feet of space. This space is approximately the same size as two yoga rugs placed side by side. It is important to keep your TV at a minimum distance of 2-3 feet. This device can be used by people of different heights. You need to find the best stance for you. 

The Peloton Guide: What it is like to use 

A class with the Guide will be a different experience than one without it. The Guide uses AI technology to track and analyze your movements. You can then compare your form to the instructor during class. (Though it is possible for the Guide to correct your form.

You can see demos of the exercises before you take a class. The teardrop-shaped movement icon will fill up when you begin the class. This indicates how many exercises have been completed. This is subject to it capturing you in frame during the exercises – which it didn’t always do for me. It also noted that if you take a longer break, or move slower than usual, the tracker assumes that you’re not moving and doesn’t fill up all the movement icons. This is a problem because strength training should be done at a slower pace that a cardio-based class. Based on the information the Guide captured, you will see your statistics and the number of exercises that you have completed at the end. Your chances of earning an award badge are higher if you keep track of your movements throughout the class. 

Peloton's movement tracker on a TV.

The Movement Tracker will let you know how many movements were captured at the end. 

Giselle Castro-Sloboda/CNET

I found the movement tracker inconsistent depending on which exercise I was doing. Although it could have been my fault, I made sure that I was visible to the camera. If users are fixated on their screens instead of the exercises at hand, this could prove distracting. If you do push-ups, for example, it is not a good idea to crane your neck so that you can see the screen. 

Exercise programs

The Peloton Guide was designed to be used with specific Peloton strength classes and not its tread or cycling classes. There are currently three classes: Floor Bootcamp taught by Jess Sims & Selena Samuela, Split Programs which is a 4-week program designed to work different muscle groups, and Live Guide Classes taught by instructors. 

Peloton’s program functions as a personal trainer for someone like me who loves strength training. It’s a good start for people who need more structure and a strength-training program. The Guide is a great option. If you are looking for an extra boost in your strength training, the instructors can be a great motivator. 

Pros and cons

The Peloton Guide, like any piece of exercise equipment, has its pros and con. 


  • It can be placed in almost any space and is great for apartments, basements, or living rooms.
  • Peloton is affordable enough to be tried by anyone without spending more than $1,000.
  • A set strength class schedule can be very motivating. 


  • You can’t tell if your frame is out of focus unless you look at the screen continuously.
  • If you don’t move at the expected speed, the tracker assumes that you’re not moving. It doesn’t fill in the movement icon completely.
  • Novice lifters will benefit more from the Guide, if it could correct your form and count reps or decide when to lift heavier.

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How the Peloton Guide compares 

Although the Peloton Guide is the first AI home gym I’ve heard of on the cheaper and smaller scale, there are bigger smart home gyms that it will be competing with on the market. The smallest smart home gym I would compare it to is the Tempo Move

Tempo Move is intended to be a smaller version of the Tempo Studio, and it comes with weights and a small stand for storage. Although Tempo Move costs more than Peloton Guide (it retails at $495) and requires a bit more space, it’s still cheaper than the Guide Strength Starter package. 

Tempo Move’s AI technology is also more advanced than Peloton Guide’s because it allows you to use your smartphone and acts more like a personal trainer by correcting your form and letting you know when it’s time to increase your weights. I think the Peloton Guide has the potential to be just as good with a few tweaks, and Peloton’s spokespeople told me that they plan on evolving the Guide with lots of upcoming feature updates.

Final verdict: Is the Peloton Guide worth it?

If you’re somewhere between a beginner and intermediate experienced strength trainer, then you may like the Peloton Guide. Novice lifters will probably not find this device entirely helpful if it isn’t helping them know if they’re doing an exercise correctly. 

Devoted Peloton members who already own the bike or treadmill may not feel like it’s necessary to purchase an additional device if they can take the same strength classes through the same membership. A possible feature the Guide could include in the future is being able to read and correct cycling or running form, which would make it a more appealing purchase to existing Peloton bike or tread owners. For example, the Guide could serve helpful for people new to indoor cycling who need help measuring the right height settings for their bikes. Or even making sure that their form is correct during the three different positions used in class. Likewise for people running on the treadmill, the Guide could make sure they maintain decent running form during class. 

Although the Peloton Guide is a good start for Peloton to jump into the smart home gym market, I still think it has a few kinks it has to work out as well as features it needs to add to make it comparable to the competition. It’s got a lot of potential and I’m looking forward to seeing what new upgrades are added to the Peloton Guide in the near future. 

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.


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