The Making of Peloton Outdoor Classes
Sneak a peek into the process of recording your favorite audio-only workouts.
By Alyssa Sybertz•
March 17, 2021
When you take a live Peloton class, whether through the Bike, Tread or app, you see and hear the instructor doing the workout with you and feel inspired by their presence and their connection. When you choose an audio-only outdoor run or walk, it’s an entirely different workout experience for the user—but is it different for the instructor and the production team as well? We went behind the scenes to find out.
The Prep Work Is Different for Outdoor Classes
“This is going to sound silly, but it’s 10,000 percent true: The biggest difference for me is that for audio-only, I don’t have to be camera ready,” says Peloton strength and running instructor Selena Samuela. “So this girl rolls into audio-only recordings sans makeup, definitely not matching outfit-wise, messy hair.”
Despite spending less time on her appearance, Selena says she actually spends more time preparing her plan for how the class is going to progress. “I naturally do a little more freestyling in a live class because I have people taking class live to interact with,” she says. “With audio, I don’t have to connect with a camera, but I have to connect with my words. So I come in with a really well thought-out program for the optimal running experience.”
Production Gets Even More Involved
Similarly, Peloton’s production team also puts in more preparation for an outdoor class. “In some ways you could say the audio-only classes are more work,” says Kevin Chorlins, Peloton’s SVP of Content. “We still have producers prepping everything. But also, we have audio engineers helping to capture the class. For a regular video class, there is often little post-production work needed, but in an audio class, there is mixing, leveling, editing that needs to happen to make sure the class is ready to go on demand for our Members.” While you only hear the instructor on the final class recording, Chorlins says there are typically one or two producers, a coordinating producer, a production assistant and an audio engineer on hand to make sure the finished product is clear and ready for your headphones.
The Instructor Is Still With You Every Step of the Way
In addition to making sure she has a detailed game plan going in, there are a few other things Selena keeps in mind to ensure that Members get the best workout possible. “I want to make sure that I can convey the energy of the class without visuals,” she says. “I also know that Members are not looking at a screen. They're outside, so I'm extra diligent about road maps and making sure everyone knows where we are at in the run.”
Unlike in a video class, we can’t watch the instructor working out with us … so are they? “I'm running with you indoors on a Peloton Tread+!” assures Selena. She runs inside, she says, “in order to get the right sound quality while maintaining authenticity and team spirit.”
In fact, Peloton has state-of-the-art facilities dedicated solely to the creation of audio-only classes. “It’s an artform as much as it is a production practice!” Chorlins says. The goal is to provide Members with a connected, genuine, shared experience in every class, whether it’s audio or video. “If you're taking an audio-only run,” he adds, “you know it's a real run with your favorite Peloton instructor as your running partner.”
Have you tried an outdoor workout yet? Check one out in the Peloton App today!