It’s a treadmill, boutique fitness class and life coach all wrapped up in one fancy (like, very fancy) package.
Let me start by saying I am not a natural runner. As far as cardio goes, I’d rather do a short burst of burpees (and I don’t love doing those, either) than jog around the block. It would take a colossal shift in my daily routines — like say, the one brought on by a year-long closure of, well, almost everything — to pique my interest in the activity.
I bring this up because it’s nearly impossible to separate my review of the Peloton Tread — the new, seriously souped-up treadmill by the makers of the world’s most coveted at-home exercise bike — from the current state of the world. Pre-pandemic, I was a regular (OK, semi-regular) at spin studios and functional-training classes. During the pandemic, one Ontario-wide stay-at-home order turned into another — and then another — and my world shrunk considerably. Before, at-home exercise equipment was, at least for my lifestyle, nice to have. Now, it feels necessary.
So while the Peloton Tread is, admittedly, a sleek piece of exercise equipment in any context, it was the overwhelming desire to simply move, without having to leave my home, that made me eager to try it out. When I ultimately found myself looking forward to runs, no one was more surprised than me. Read on for my full review of the new Peloton Tread.
What is the Peloton Tread, exactly?
At its most basic, it’s a seriously ergonomic treadmill. Beyond its overall sleek design, club-worthy sound that blasts from four front-facing speakers, and large HD flat-screen display, it has smart features like knobs to easily change speed (up to just over 20 km/h) and incline (up to 12.5 percent).
It’s the second treadmill Peloton has ever produced — the earlier and more expensive iteration is now called the Tread+ — but the first to be available in Canada. At $3,295 plus the cost of a monthly subscription ($49/month), it is pricey undertaking.
The Tread does offer more than your traditional treadmill, however: the Peloton subscription comes with an array of classes beyond running/walking/hiking, like pilates, strength, meditation and artist-themed bootcamps. Then there are the instructors, who have a life coach-like quality about them; in between sharing pointers on running technique, they’re known to muse about setting goals and finding your purpose.
Not to be overlooked is the community aspect of a Peloton. The on-screen leaderboard displays all the participants in a class, whether it’s live or not. You can sort through the list to find your own Peloton-using friends or filter by hashtags, like #PelotonMoms or #PelotonGolfers, to find like-minded groups. I’d be remiss not to mention the certain cachet that comes with owning a Peloton, especially during the pandemic, when waitlists for delivery of its cycling bike stretched on for months. Consider it the Telfar bag of the fitness world.
How loud is the Peloton Tread?
Treadmills are decidedly not quiet pieces of equipment. The Tread has the standard treadmill hum to it as it runs and then you have to factor in the sound of slapping sneakers against the belt. If it makes additional noise while inclining/declining, it’s inaudible to me.
To put this in context: I live in an apartment that spans the top two floors of a house. We placed the treadmill on the very top floor (delivery and set up is, thankfully, managed by the Peloton team and included in the purchase price). While I can’t hear the Tread running from behind a closed-door on the second floor, it does slightly reverberate throughout the house. While I couldn’t comfortably sit next to it and watch a show without jacking the volume on my TV way up, my downstairs neighbours have never complained about the noise.
What is using the Peloton Tread really like?
It’s the closest I’ve felt to being back in a fitness class since the pandemic began. When I spoke to Peloton trainer Jess Sims ahead of the Tread launch, she gave me the best advice I’d ever heard on trying to become a runner: do less. I heeded her advice and started slow, with 20-minute beginner walk/run combo classes — and let me tell you, runner’s high is real, my friends.
By the third week of running three-to-four times a week, I felt ready to do the hour-long Beyoncé bootcamp, which combines circuits of running on the treadmill with strength training done off of itl. I found myself entirely enjoying the class, which was particularly surprising when I realized this format was nearly identical to a trendy workout class I had tried once when it opened in Canada and never, ever returned to.
OK, but what if I’m already an intermediate or advanced runner? Are there classes for me?
Definitely. My roommate, who regularly used the treadmill at her gym pre-pandemic and frequently partakes in outdoor runs during the summer, reported the Tread felt soft on her ankles and knees compared to her outdoor runs. She also liked the breadth of running classes; you’re always able to find an option that matches the time frame and intensity you’re in the mood for. And if you want to just run sans instructor, you can pick from various scenic options, like sunny New Zealand.
TL;DR. Should I get a Peloton Tread?
If you are committed to at-home workouts (at least a few times a week) for the foreseeable future, the Peloton Tread is a sleek option for beginners to advanced runners who want to round out their training with stretching and strength classes.
If your living space is limited (it would be a tight squeeze in a standard-sized one-bedroom Toronto condo, for example), a treadmill may not be your best workout-from-home equipment option.
Shop workout gear to bring your treadmill workout to the next level:
Reebok Nano X1, $150, reebok.ca
Part running shoe, part training shoe (and fashion editor-approved), the Reebok Nano X1 is the ideal sneaker to support you both on and off the treadmill.
Lululemon Energy Bra, $64, shop.lululemon.com
This ribbed, sweat-wicking bra from Lululemon offers support for B to D cups during medium-impact activities.
Arc’teryx Delaney Leggings, $99.95, mec.ca
These sustainably made leggings are quick drying, perfect for wherever your workout takes you.
Joe Fresh High Neck Sports Bra, $19, joefresh.com
This racerback sports bra is an affordable favourite of fitness creator and Joe Fresh ambassador Sasha Exeter.
Allbirds Tree Dashers, $175, allbirds.ca
For the sustainably minded, there’s the Allbirds Tree Dasher. It’s all the same eco-friendly production they’re known for, now in a shoe that’s specifically designed — and vigorously tested — for running.