Great alternative to a Peloton

A good friend of mine recently bought a Peloton bike and before she purchased it, she asked for some feedback on Facebook.

Whilst I haven’t tried a Peloton, I first of all imagine it’s an excellent piece of kit, with a good online interface and workouts… but it’s not for me. As you’ll maybe know if I follow my workouts, I’m Apple Fitness all the way.

At about £2,000 – £2,500 for the Peloton bike and about £45 – £59 a month, I think the price is prohibitive, but I say go for it anyone who it’ll work for and can afford it, and will use it. Maybe a good alternative to a gym.

Anyone I know who has a Peloton speaks really highly of it, so that’s good, but I wouldn’t justify the cost of it, when I think I can get the same or similar for a fraction of the price, and here I’ll explain what that looks like.

First of all our spin bike – it’s an equivalent of an Life fitness ICG IC1, which I got as an ex display model from Powerhouse Fitness in Glasgow for a bargain £500. But currently (April 2021) you can get one for £845 … about 1/3 of the cost of a Peleton.

It has an onboard monitor which tracks time and cadence (and heart rate), which is all I need. It has a 18kg fly wheel and is a good solid spin bike. We have it on a couple of mats so it’s easy to move over / into position or to the side of the gym if needed.

Then there’s my shoes (which you can buy as part of the Peleton deal if you wish)…

Northwave Origin 2 cycle shoes, £80 from Chain Reaction Cycles – a solid sole, and great for on the bike (inside or outside)… (I got £10 off my first order bringing them down to £80).

… Vs about £145 for Peleton shoes.

Then there’s the workouts … first of all getting them on screen…

Peloton comes with its own screen and you can probably get them online too I’d expect (on an iPad etc).

But here’s my set up to get Apple Fitness and music playing:

– 32 inch Samsung Tv (second hand) = £50
– 4th gen Apple TV box = £50 (as I used RBS vouchers for the rest of the piece on John Lewis)

And my Apple Watch (which syncs with the more expensive / new Peleton too).

The set up allows me to have the workouts on the TV through Apple TV, but I can also have it on my phone or iPad if I want (if I’m away or whatever).

Then the actual workouts – Apple Fitness costs £80 a year, so about £7 a month. (And I’ve had it for free for 6 months after buying two new Apple watches at Christmas time!)

The Apple Fitness workouts include Cycling, Strength, HIIT, Yoga, Treadmill, Rowing, Dance, Cool downs. So you get similar in Apple fitness in what you do in Peleton, for about a 5th or a 6th of the subscription price.

I already have a subscription to Apple Music, and then that allows me access to all of the playlists for the workouts too. And I can play my tunes to through the Apple TV and Tv too if I’m just doing my own thing.

Up front cost
Bike – £845 vs £2,000 – £2,500
Shoes – £80
Set up – £100
= £1,025 vs £2,000 – £2,500

So my up front cost has been less than half of the Peleton equivalent. (Granted with Peleton you can buy it interest free).

Ongoing cost
£7 vs £59 per month
£80 vs £708 a year (£628 saving!)

I get Apple Fitness for me, but also for Fit Girl and those in my ‘family’ too. So that’s good too. (Think that might be the same for Peloton).

An overall saving of £1,475 on the bike and set up, and £628 a year.

For me the ongoing cost is the deal breaker. What a difference!

I’m sure that any formulated online workout offering will be good – Les Mills, Peleton, Apple Fitness, Joe Wicks etc…. but I know what I like (not that I’ve tried the others). It works well for me.

But if you want to and are able to pay for a Peloton and you know you’ll use it … then why not. It seems cool.

However if you’re unsure about Apple Fitness, here’s a review of Apple Fitness from DC Rainmaker (its American, but a good in depth review) –

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Wk14 into Wk15

This last week I was less active, with less cardio and strength work, but regular walks, a full rest day on Thursday where I did nothing, and two active recovery days at the weekend (walking).

I walked around 16 miles, mostly this weekend. Did strength on 3 days, and spin / cycling 2 days. I had a bad sleep on Wednesday night, so I had a good lie in and a rest day on Thursday. All good.

The 3 days rest meant my overall active calories were down, but I planned to track my intake calories (not be greedy) and not eat too much. I averaged about 1650 calories intake a day.

I aimed for a protein intake of about 30%, and tried to eat less sugar, and calorie deficit of about 2,500 and was there or there abouts. As a result my weight reduced a bit… so I’ll keep going with it…

Protein with every meal … yoghurt, protein powder, eggs, meat, milk, cheese, protein bars…. that gets me up to 30% and means I’m fuller for longer.

Next week I’m hoping to get better sleeps… and plan the following training (still no running, although I might try a wee one at the end of the week / 1-2 miles or so).

I had a good outdoor cycle the other day… and the weather is looking good / sunny next week, so I’ll maybe do outdoor cycles instead of spin. I’ll see what I fancy on the day.

It’s nice the spring sunshine is here, pity it’s freezing! 😎

Last week I made it public that I’m leaving the BBC… I’ll have some leave in May, I with my last day mid May, and contract end 31 May. Thanks for all the nice comments about it. It’s been building for a while, so I’m ok with it and I’m looking forward to seeing what’s next.

We had some nice walks this weekend… in the west end and southside. Glasgow is ace.

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End of an era – goodbye BBC

Today a memory came up on my Facebook… it was a link to this post that I wrote 4 years ago. It was after I’d heard about one of the first (of many) job interviews I went for at the BBC where I didn’t get the job, but I tried my best and learned from it.

I finished the post on a positive, by saying I hoped that 2017 would open up opportunities for me… and I was right… but it took another 3 job applications and 2 interviews in 2017, and about 9 months, to secure my brilliant year and a half attachment in News, from January 2018 into 2019.

News was great, everything I’d hoped for… but the attachment ended, and after that I struggled to find my place in there. I tried to be retained in a role where I’d shine, but it wasn’t to be. People in News – I miss you all!

At the start of the year, I decided it might be time to maybe give up on trying to stay and then this week I agreed with the BBC that I would leave, following my role being closed. After 13 years working there, it seems like the right time to go.

People in BBC Scotland – I’ll miss you all! 😇

I’ve worked in various roles there, and the ones I liked best were where I was able to make a difference with many people. Radio, Gaelic, News, the Apprentices…

The first 8-9 years were really good, as was my time in News, but I’ve found it hard to find my place in the organisation for about the last 4 years. It seems there’s no longer a place for me, but that’s ok.

And at the start of this year after repeated attempts of trying to remain with the BBC, I’ve decided to step outside and try my luck in the external world.

It’s sort of scary, tinged with sadness for good friends I’ll miss, and what could have been, but it’s more exciting than anything. Who knows what opportunities the outside world will hold, once it opens up a bit after lockdown!?

Fortunately, as the role is closing (sort of due to the impact covid had had), I’ll receive a redundancy package which will see me right and help me prepare for what’s next for me. Redundancy can be scary, particularly in these times, but I know I’ll be ok. It’ll be a good chance for a fresh start.

I have some good ideas, of what I’d like to do, and how I can bring my experience into develop my career going forward. But at the moment I’ll take some time out to spend it with family and friends.

This has probably been coming for a while, and even when I left to go on leave in March I had an expectation it would happen.

I’ve just brought it forward so that my last day will be in the middle of May, and as of June I’ll no longer work for the BBC. The sun will set on BBC Scotland for me for one final time.

Now in the early part of this year I’ve done a bit of soul searching, and I’ve hired a career coach – Diana Dawson, to help me to establish a positive path and future and build my confidence back up, and I have every faith that it’ll all work out.

In the meantime, I’ll spend time with my Dad, probably enjoying ice cream and steaks together, and be there for my Step Mum and others, and I’ll go spend time with people I care about. Luckily the travel restrictions will have eased just in time, so I’ll hopefully be away for some of May.

Watch this space for what I’ll come up with next as my calling. Eeeek.

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Wks12 & 13 into Wk14 and a new book

The last two weeks was a good break, leave from work… left to do as we wanted, but a little restricted by lockdown, we made the most of it with good walks, plenty eating and sleeping and some good activity too.

Here’s the exercise I did:

Quite a lot of walking, sort of to fill the time, but also to get out and about … in different parks and neighbourhoods in Glasgow. 30 miles walking last week, 22 the week before.

I did more workouts and more cycles last week than the week before, but I reduced my running as planned to give my right hamstring a rest from running.

I had the odd ice cream, but not too many, and as I was on holiday, I just ate what I wanted.

We went to a few parks, including Glasgow Green, the Botanics, Linn Park, Pollok Park, Alexandria Park and Queens Park, along with a few walks in the West End, into town and around the Clyde.

There was plenty to see, and places to get coffees and food. My favourite was Sotto near the Central Station. Yum.

A nice cup of soup, a chicken panini and a coffee. Just right between two. (Fit girl walked with me on most walks, but she doesn’t like to be in pics that are posted).

Shorts and tshirt weather on some days, until yesterday when it got so Baltic I had to wear lots of layers and have a coffee to stay warm. Booo.

I’ve taken some time out and started reading a good book… if you want to learn about weight loss and how our bodies work with the food we eat… it’s a good one. I’m about 2/3s of the way in… and the last 100 or so pages got a bit heavy, but it’s good.

I’m looking forward to reading part three of it. Here’s the background to it:

Tomorrow it’s back to work for a bit… but our body clocks have stayed waking up early sot that should be ok. I plan to do the following training:

Replacing my run days on Tue Thu and Sats with spin and physio strength, and doing strength work (and shorter spin) on other days. Some yoga, foam rolling and walking will be done too.

My sleep has been good on holiday, and hopefully it will be in when I go back to work too. Fingers crossed.

I might get to sit in the garden once things warm up a bit too… Fit Girl has been working the magic in the garden so it’s looking very tidy and good. I’ve made sure there is food for the birdies too.

April for me is about being careful about not being greedy with my food intake, to see if I can shift a wee bit of weight. I’ll learn from the book I’m reading first though.

I’ll do more strength and spin, and get some walks and some hamstring work / recovery in.

And I’ll keep an eye on how my hamstring is… but I’ll maybe stay off the running until May or June, to give it time to recover. Fingers crossed.

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30 Day Daily Deficit Weight Loss

I thought I’d share this with you… for anyone who’s keen to lose weight, David Thompson is a great PT who knows his stuff and gets great results with his clients.

I’ve followed him for a while now, and his no nonsense, simple, motivational and informative approach is great.

I learned from him last year, just from his posts – to simply track calories, be active, create a calorie deficit, and lose weight. I also translated this into me simply not being greedy… and stopping eating when I was full / not eating out of habit.

Anyway, if you would like to join David’s 30 Day Daily Deficit Weight Loss group, all the info, including pricing is on the link here:

And here’s a bit more about it.

I’m not too sure how much it is, but it might be worth it to get a good 30 day kick start and learn how to drop some lbs.

Click the link above to join ahead of Monday 5th April.

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Early Spring workout

I woke early this morning… a good sign for going back to work next week – my body clock is still set at ‘lark’ mode to get me up early to train.

So since I was awake around 7 (and the birdies were singing outside) I figured it would be a good opportunity to get in the garagym for a workout.

The coffee maker in there is a good add… I had a couple during my warm up, along with some good tunes to get me going.

I focused a lot on hamstring exercises to build and hopefully help my right one repair. A good warm up then a few circuits of simple exercises, see below what I did.

I had the heater on to start with, then after I was warmed up I turned the heater off and opened up the door for some sunlight and birdies for company.

A good way to wake up on a bright Spring morning… 55 minutes of warm up and movement, including a wee finisher of press ups and squats.

Have a nice Easter everyone … now where is that Easter egg?

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Wk11 & 12 into Wk13

A week of leave… and we didn’t do much, but it’s all good… walks, runs, eating (in mostly), sleeping, strength … lockdown a plenty.

Here’s the exercise I did in the last two weeks:

This last week I’ve not been in the gym as much, which is fine, but I have walked quite a bit – 22 miles, run 3 times – nearly 16 miles and done two good strength sessions.

I did a good long but hard ‘chipper’ strength session with Lesley on Thursday, abs the shoulders took a wee bit of time to get over that.

We’ve been to a few parks… the Botanics, Queens Park, Bella, Pollok and Alexandra Park.. and I got a good double square sausage roll and a flat white one day… £7 in the West End for both of them… but probably well worth it. I liked Alexandria Park too.. quite big and lots to see.

I have some news I should be able to share at some point… but I’m still trying to sort it all out. Watch this space.

In the meantime, I’ve tried with my running, but my hamstring just isn’t right so I have a new plan for April to give it some rest from running … get some good physio strength and cross training instead.

In March I will have:

Run: 60 miles
Walked: 70 miles
Cycled: 54 miles
Strength trained: 9 times / 7:20

More running than in previous months, but it isn’t working so back to the drawing board with it. I plan to hopefully get out on my my bike some more, and do spin and physio strength in the gym too.

Here’s my plan for next week… which will likely involve more walking too:

I’m not saying I won’t run, but I’ll maybe only do it once a week between 1-3 miles max, to see how my leg is. Rest will hopefully do it good.

On the 17th April I finally have a haircut booked, after 3 months it’s grown a bit and is getting a little annoying. I’ll just do what my hairdresser says this time – she knows best.

Earlier in the week I had a nice surprise delivery of some flowers… the same day I got some flowers delivered to a friend who helped me a lot. So that was nice.

And I got to wear my new lucky Rohan jacket quite a lot too. Very toasty warm. And I had a few wee Easter eggs too. Shhhh.

Now I’m just waiting on what I hope will be exciting times ahead… it all just needs to fall into place… and that may take a few weeks, or a month. Fresh starts and change for me anyway, I think, we will see. And let’s see if I can fix my right leg once and for all too.

In the meantime I’ll keep ticking along, getting good sleeps, physio, plenty exercise and rest and recovery. I can’t wait to be out of this lockdown, but we’ll put up with it for a bit longer.

At least I / we have everything and more than we need in our wee house, garden and garagym. Even coffee in the gym now 😂 (It was this time 8 years ago we closed the deal on it all.)

Hope you have a nice week next week.

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Latest addition to the garagym / cafe

Ok… I admit it… this may be getting silly now… but stick with me. So, sometimes, I wake up early on the weekends and want to get in the gym, or go a run first thing. But I like to have a coffee or two before I do…

The only thing is, my coffee machine makes a lot of noise, and I wouldn’t want to risk waking up the rest of the house…

I could go without, or have a chilled can of coffee, or maybe even boil a kettle and make one old style.. but I’d probably still make a racket…so I came up with a good cheap alternative.

I got this… second hand on Facebook marketplace… for just £20! A Nespresso magi mix coffee machine (a bit similar for he one I had before I got my current one).

I spent some time descaling it and cleaning it up, but this morning I got a (noisy) coffee from it; without waking anyone else up! It makes a good strong coffee, using my existing capsules, too.

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Foxy’s Garagym hoodies

I don’t know why this took me so long, but I finally have my hoodies branded with my Foxy’s Garagym logo. Ha.

I wear them in the gym as a warm up, and I’d had the chest logo printed on one of them. Now I’ve got three hoodies with the logo prints on the chest and back.

Be the best you can be. 🙂

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Wk10 into Wk11

Last week was a bit of a big week for me, for a few reasons… but physically I was a bit tired after giving blood on Thursday, so I took some time to rest and recover.

I started off the week strongly with training, then just took it as it came. But I did 3 runs, 2 strength sessions, 1 yoga session, 1 spin session and a few walks.

I got some good sleeps in for recovery too..and a good nap on Saturday too. What else is there to do? Not a lot – eat, run, eat, walk etc.

Here’s the training I did:

As I posted, on Friday my run was quite hard. My heart rate was way higher than it is normally, a clear side effect of giving blood the day before. But I had a good rest day on Saturday, including that big nap… and a nice wee walk to waken up again.

The run this morning was fine… 5k, easy enough, with my heart rate back to normal. So that’s good. My vision was blurry for a couple of days, and I knew I needed rest. Should be back to normal soon.

My garmin has a good measure in it – body battery, which shows when you’re burnt out or recovered… it’s clear from it that Wednesday took it out of me, and Thursday and this weekend enabled me to recover.

I had a few treats delivered last week (and thank dog it’s pay day tomorrow!)… my new custom metcons, I’ll try them out properly in the gym tomorrow:

My new wee second hand nikon s7000 camera to take on runs with me…

And finally my new Rohan jacket to keep me warm … it’s very comfy. And very warm!

I’ve been continuing to track my calories … mainly to stop myself being greedy and it’s been a good week, although I could have eaten more protein.

My calories were similar to last week, about 1400 a day in total, taking into account what I ate vs hat a burned. -200 deficit each day.

Only 26% protein though. So I’ll try and eat more protein (less sugar) next week.

Like I posted on my Facebook page, here’s what I’ve done and here’s the result…

Next week I plan to do the following training, building it back up to do more in the week again:

My runs are going ok, but there’s still a low level of pain in my right leg – maybe a 2/10. It’s making runs less enjoyable, but I’ll stick with it and see what happens. Some rehab work on it tomorrow in the gym I think.

I’m a year working from home now, and I must admit I’ve settled in well with it. It’s good having the gym on our doorstep anytime, and it’s good not having any commute too. I wonder how long working from home will be normal? Who knows.

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