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Make Space For: Consistent Fitness

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I am not one of those people that intrinsically enjoys exercise, my natural inclination has historically been repose, perhaps with a book. Over time however, I have come to appreciate the benefits that come with regular exercise, including extra energy, calories burned and improved mental facility.  That said, it’s still challenging to make space for a fitness routine of interval cardio and strength training 5 days a week. For me, the secret to consistency has been cultivating habits that remove as much friction as possible from the process.

At the very beginning of the pandemic we got a Peloton. My previous routine had been Flywheel spinning and barre classes, taken early in the AM a few minutes from my house.  I loved the community at Flywheel plus the proximity to home. When everything shut down in the Spring of 2020 I finally agreed to get a Peloton (Jay had been wanting one but I had a strict rule about not filling our house up with large exercise equipment.) I was skeptical that the experience would match up with what I was used to but since fitness choices were limited at that time it seemed like the right time to try it. I quickly became a convert and have not ventured back to any in-person workouts since it was delivered 3+ years ago. This blog is not an ad for Peloton but damn, it’s a pretty compelling product. I’m writing about it because the folks at Peloton are masters of removing friction from my workout process which is how I’m able to stay consistent. Below are the 3 biggest ways that Peloton has enabled my fitness goals through convenience.

No Commute

My commute to my Peloton is down one friction-free flight of stairs

When you have a busy life the drive to and from the gym is a material factor in determining whether you have time to work out. Even my super-short round trip to Flywheel cost me 20-30 minutes each morning, which meant I had to get up at 5:00 and leave the house at 5:15 to make a 5:30am class. That’s really early, even for me! In my new life I can get up at 6:00 and be on the bike by 6:15. That’s frictionless, baby – no excuses.


This is not me shadowboxing but it sure does look like Peloton’s Robin Arzon, doesn’t it?

Peloton has classes that are 5 minutes all the way up to 90 minutes. They have a multitude of instructors for all of my different moods. They offer a variety of workouts spanning both cardio and strength. This all means that there is literally no reason for me to bail on a workout. If I’m not feeling motivated I cut my ride back from 45 minutes to 30. If I’m traveling I choose something like shadowboxing that doesn’t require equipment. If I’m super sore I dial back to a low-impact class. I think the most impactful factor for me is the ability to dial back if I need to and do less instead of nothing. In the old days I had to make a class, meaning if I couldn’t get there because I overslept or had to leave early for work I had to bail and thus skipped my workout entirely that day. Now I never skip when a circumstance arrives, I just do less.

Stacking Classes

Peloton’s Class-Stacking feature removes the small friction points that used to throw me off track.

I swear Peloton took Class-Stacking straight out of James Clear’s Atomic Habits. Clear calls it Habit-Stacking but it’s the same concept. You program your classes in a ‘stack’; one right after the other so your workout flows seamlessly. I used to skip my strength workout quite a bit because I was tired after getting on the bike and it took several hits on the touch screen to find, select and start my strength class. Even though it took less than 2 minutes it was still friction that presented me with a nice offramp before I could finish everything I had planned to do. Now I edit, select and stack my classes the night before and the whole thing just flows once I get started.

There are so many other reasons Peloton works for me: the quality of the instructors and production, the challenges and badges you can earn and nothing beats the value. After the investment of the bike and/or tread the membership fee is $540 annually for Jay and I both. Compared to Flywheel or an Equinox membership where I would be paying almost 7 times as much and adding 90 hours of commute time per year it’s by far the best value, which makes me feel good. The lesson here is what a huge impact small bits of friction have on the human brain. If you can remove the friction points the consistency you desire will be within your grasp. In my case I’ve been able to make more space in my life for fitness because Peloton has made it so easy to do.

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