Tim Foolery

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Workout Tips – No Really

I’ve written a few times about my journey on the Peloton. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Peloton, it’s a high end stationary bike. It has a large tablet attached which allows you to take live and on-demand classes. There are hundreds of classes on-demand and dozens of live classes each day. Peloton is more than a bike, it’s a community.

While having this bike at home makes it really easy to workout regularly, I still struggle. The easiest excuse I use to have for skipping a workout was that I didn’t want to go to the gym. Perhaps it was too cold. Maybe it was too hot. Too rainy? Really, I was just too lazy and hate working out. Now I just have to go to the basement. It is still very easy to find an excuse.

As I mentioned in my recent milestone post, I have been trying to workout each morning before work. I can’t bring myself to getting up early enough to take a full 45 minute class, but I push myself to take a 20 or 30 minute class before work.

Peloton Exercise Bike
The Peloton Bike! A beauty, isn’t she?

My mornings are very tightly organized. I maximize sleep and when adding a fitness regimen into the mix, I can be thrown out of sorts. I’ve come up with some tips that really cut down on my excuses and have really helped me maintain my morning workout routine. Take a look:

My Workout Prep Plan

Each night before I go to bed, I fully prep for my next morning. I find that if I can just get out of bed, make zero decisions, I can get a ride in. For this, I make sure these four things are set:

  • Filled water bottle in the fridge. I love ice cold water while riding.
  • Bluetooth headphones are charged. After my rides, I check the charge and plug in. Nothing is worse than not having proper headphones for an early morning ride. That’s just a way to piss off the entire house with you blaring spin music at 05h30.
  • Charged heart rate monitor. See above. While not as annoying to your household, it’s just as frustrating to me. I love metrics and heart rate is important to me.
  • Workout Clothes. I set out my workout clothes the night before. Actually, I set them out on the floor right next to the bed. I get up and actually step on the clothes. Just one more reminder not to be a lazy ass.

I keep my cycling shoes right next to the bike too, so there is no frantic searching for gear. That would be an easy excuse for me. I allocate about 30 minutes in the morning for a ride. That includes waking up, changing, grabbing water, gearing up (shoes, headphones and heart rate monitor) and a 20 minute ride. Then it’s off to the kitchen for breakfast.

Without these simple workout tips, I’d really have an easy time skipping my rides. What tips do you have for people like me who aren’t really fitness junkies?

Another Peloton Milestone: 350 Rides

Last week I crossed another major milestone on my Peloton cycling journey. Several months ago, I wrote about my first 200 rides, now I’ve crossed 350 rides. I decided to share some additional stats and some goals for the near future.

First off, my first 200 rides were made up of mostly 30 and 45 minute rides. I found it very hard to make the time to do 45 minute rides regularly. Notice I said “make the time” versus “find the time.” Fitness is all about pushing yourself to do it. My struggle was scheduling exercise. I feel better when I do it early, but I couldn’t consistently push myself to get up an hour earlier than normal just to ride. After work, I didn’t want to hurry home, ride then eat dinner later than normal. I had lots of excuses.

Starting in late October, I started riding twice a day. I found that doing a 20 minute ride in the morning before work was doable. Closing out the day with a 30 minute ride also wasn’t daunting – and I could eat at a reasonable hour.

So my 350 rides are quite varied. I’ve taken some 90 minute rides and some 10 minute rides, plus even some 5 minute rides. Those shorter ones are usually cool down rides.

I am a metric guy, so let’s take a look at some stats from my first 350 rides.


My Next Goal

Now that I’ve passed 350 rides, my next goal is to hit 400 by my 40th birthday. At the time of write this post, I’ve actually ridden 365 rides. I’ve got 16 days until my birthday, which means I need to right more than 2 rides a day, which isn’t outside the norm. On the weekends, I’ve been trying to ride three times, so I’m not too stressed on this goal. My real goal is to time my 400 ride and my 40th birthday.

Do you ride with Peloton? Who is your favorite instructor? Are you one of those riders who believe that rides don’t count if they are less than 45 minutes? If you are a Peloton user, hit me up on the Leaderboard – my username is TimFoolery (obviously).

A Peloton Milestone – 200 Rides in the Books

As this post publishes, I’m in the midst of my 200th ride on the Peloton Bike.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Peloton, let me school you.  Some say that Peloton is an exercise bike, which is true, but it is so much more.  Peloton offers live streaming classes at least half a dozen times a day, seven days a week.  Plus there is a library of a few thousand previously recorded live classes on-demand for you to ride whenever you want.  Peloton employs a dozen full time instructors teaching a variety of classes both on and off the bike.  The classes have varying music styles as well as class types (Low Impact, Climb, Tabata, High Intensity Intervals and Power Zone, to name a few).  Between the live and on-demand classes, you can easily find a ride that suits you from a workout style to musical preferences.

Peloton Exercise Bike

The Peloton Bike! A beauty, isn’t she?

Unlike traditional stationary bikes at home, this one feels more engaging as you are actually working out with other people all over the world.  The large tablet screen on the bike includes a leader board that ranks you against other people riding (or who have ridden that same ride) – another level of encouragement.  The tablet also shows about a dozen important stats relating to your ride, including cadence (leg speed), bike resistance, output (a combination of the first two), heart rate, time and others.

There is a strong feeling of community with Peloton.  There are Facebook Groups, Regional/Local Meet Ups, and if you ride frequently enough, you’ll start to see the same people on the Leader Board and you can follow them and keep up with their work outs and even ride together.  It’s more than a traditional stationary bike.

The Peloton bike arrived in May 2017 and we started riding immediately.  Unlike many of the vocal users online, I wasn’t addicted.  Let’s be honest, I’m not an avid “work out guy”.  I hate working out.  When I was younger I could eat anything I wanted and never gain an ounce.  Not so much any more.  That’s why we got the bike.

Fast forward 14 months and I’m crossing my 200th Ride Threshold.  I enjoy riding the bike.  I absolutely feel stronger (both in pure muscle strength and heart and lung capacity).  When I wake up, I don’t have the urge to jump on the bike though.  Once I am on the bike, I do find it encouraging to ride with others.  I will frequently zero in on someone near me on the Leader Board and make sure to push my self hard enough to beat them at the end.  Being competitive on a bike that goes no where in your basement is really easy with the Peloton.

As this posts, I’m actively riding a 90-minute ride with instructor Matt Wilpers.  Matt is by far the most frequent instructor I’ve used (82 of the 200 rides).  He focuses on Power Zone Training (Google it) and that was my main focus for the first portion of my bike ownership.  It’s easy to follow along and it’s based on easy to understand stats and metrics.  I’m a numbers nerd.  I ended up getting a little burned out on this type of training and branched out.

Since I’m a numbers guy, I thought I’d share some graphs that I found interesting.  Yes, Peloton does allow you to grab your ride data and pull it down directly into an excel file for all your numbers nerds out there.

I’ve technically ridden 2,193 miles since getting the bike over 6,915 minutes while burning 102,867 calories.  Does that mean I’ve actually lost about 29 pounds (a pound is about 3,500 calories).  No of course I haven’t.  I’ve actually gained about 8 pounds since I started riding.  I don’t think my eating habits have changed all that much, and my clothes don’t fit all that differently (definitely not tighter), I just know that I’m stronger.  If you are looking for weight loss, you’ll need to really focus on your eating habits. You can’t really exercise away a truly awful diet.

I’m happy with our purchase of the Peloton.  I find myself setting individual goals like: Ride Every Day This Week, Ride 5/10/20 Days Straight, Burn 5,000 Calories This Week, etc.  It keeps me motivated.

Are you a Peloton enthusiast?  If so, follow me – yes, my Pelo Name is TimFoolery, so it’s pretty easy to track me down.  Who are your favorite instructors?  Any advice for keeping me motivated for my next major milestone?  Any other of my stats you’re interested in?