“Before graduate school, I was anti-sweat and only went to the gym for smoothies,” recalls Peloton Member Robin B. (#RobinRidingHood) with a laugh. That all changed when, as a Ph.D. student, she started interning at a company that had free food available all day and her clothes stopped fitting like they used to. She decided to start taking HIIT classes at her workplace gym and was quickly hooked.
“Working out helped break up my day and gave me something non-work related to do,” explains Robin, now a professor based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. “Since then, I have gone to the other extreme and now work out five to six days a week.” In October 2020, she purchased her Peloton Bike and proudly notes that, since then, she’s taken a Peloton class almost every day, mixing it up across cycling, yoga, stretching, and meditation.
Finding Her Power Zone
When Robin first got her Peloton Bike, she chose rides based primarily on the playlist. But more than 100 rides in, she wasn’t seeing the improvement in her output that she was hoping for. Plus, after a bout with Covid, her cardio endurance had suffered. After fellow riders in social media groups recommended the Power Zone program to her, she decided to give it a try.
“I thought the classes were a cool concept because everyone takes the class at their own fitness level,” says Robin. “However, I was pretty skeptical that riding at a zone 2 or 3 for a few weeks would improve my FTP score and overall output, but it worked!”
After sticking primarily with Power Zone endurance classes (“I like that the work time is longer at lower zones because duration is my weakness”), Robin was shocked to find that her FTP score rocketed up 14 points—a “shocking” discovery because she wasn’t hitting max outputs or PRs in her rides. “I was seeing improvement with what I thought was lower effort,” she admits.
Besides upping her performance and endurance, Power Zone rides have introduced Robin to new instructors, music, and Members. She cites Denis Morton and Matt Wilpers as her favorite Power Zone instructors, “especially when Matt tries to dance,” and adds, “I also discovered my love for Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit.” Since joining Peloton, Robin has bonded with Members from the #BGM, #BPR, and #ThayerPlayerz Tags and is part of a crew that’s set a monthly goal to complete 50+ miles on the Peloton Bike and 10+ yoga or meditation classes.
Mindful on Her Mat
Robin also turns to yoga, stretching, and meditation to focus on flexibility, strength, and stress reduction. Yoga used to intimidate her, but instructor Chelsea Jackson Roberts has made her feel right at home.
“I always felt out of place at yoga because there were few people that looked like me, and the music wasn’t the most exciting,” says Robin. “I love that Dr. Chelsea represents inclusivity within yoga, and that she switches up her music to songs that I can groove to. I have never had a Black yoga instructor—it’s very exciting!”
Sleep meditation classes have become her savior when it’s time to wind down. “I am a thinker, so I often replay the day’s events in my head or start to plan out the next day at night, which makes it nearly impossible to fall asleep quickly,” she shares. “The sleep meditation classes are magical because I have been able to turn a one-hour sleep routine into 15 minutes or less, meaning more rest! Ross Rayburn is a sleep magician, but I have also experimented with some of the gratitude, acceptance, and courage meditations.”
With nearly 1,000 Peloton classes under her belt, Robin’s dedication to her fitness routine, whether she’s powering up on the Peloton Bike or winding down on the mat, is an inspiration. She sums it up best with, “I may not be the fastest or strongest, but I am consistent!”