I recently purchased a new Peloton Row. I have been posting about the experience, such as testing the row at the Showroom (click here to read) and the delivery experience (click here to read). The Peloton Row was delivered on the scheduled delivery date, but unfortunately, my children decided not to nap for a few days, so I had to wait until the weekend to have a chance to set up the row and really take my time. After a few days, I finally got to set up the Peloton Row and take my first classes. Keep reading for my review of the Peloton Row after taking my first class at home.
Setting up the Row before taking the first class
Since I already have a Peloton account (I have had the bike for 4 years), I was able to easily sign in on the row. The first thing you will need to do when you get the row is to calibrate. I actually did the calibration at the Showroom when I did a test, but I did not sign into my account so the calibration was not saved. Once I signed in on the row at home, the first thing that popped up on the screen was to calibrate.
When you calibrate the row, there is a series of short videos by the row instructors that discuss the form and how to calibrate. The videos are short, but give some good instruction about form. I liked the calibration videos and thought calibrating was very simple. The video also goes over how to lock in your feet when using the row.
So why is calibration so important? You need to calibrate the row to your body so that you can use all of the form assist tools available with the Peloton Row. The form assist feature shows you in real time during the class if you are not rowing properly using a cartoon image on the top left corner of the screen. The cartoon images moves as your body moves, and portions of the cartoon person will show up red if your form is not correct on that part of your row. You also receive a report on your form after each class called the Form Rating. In order for the Row to give you this feedback on your row, the machine has to know your body, which is done through calibrating the machine. This is a really important step in using the Peloton Row.
I set the pace level to a level “2”. This was recommended to me to do by the manager at the Showroom when I did my test. I am new to rowing, but want to be challenged at least a little to start.
First Class on the Peloton Row
Although I couldn’t wait to scroll through the classes and jump right in, I first checked out the Programs available for the row. Specifically, I went to the “You Can Row” program. I had heard about this program in a Peloton Row Facebook page I joined after purchasing. As I noted in a previous post, at this time, you can only view the row classes when you are on the row, you cannot view classes on the app. so I used the Facebook group to research the classes and programs before the row was delivered.
I wanted to make sure I was using the correct form and that I understood the row metrics (like the target pace and drag factor), so I thought the “You Can Row” program would be a perfect place for me to start. The “You Can Row” program is a 3 week program made up of numerous classes designed to teach you to row. I took my first 10 minute class (titled Intro to Rowing) with Ash Pryor and then a 5 minute post-row stretch with Katie Wang.
I went really really slow during the first ten minute intro class with Ash. I was incredibly far behind the numbers the instructor called out. I wanted to focus on form in the row and the drills. I moved the entire class, but focused on what she was saying and watching her form.
As I found with the row in the Showroom, the handle felt heavy when I first began pulling back. Once I started rowing, pulling the handle did become easier, but pulling the handle alone is a workout. The 10 minutes class was hard- more mentally challenging than physically challenging. I moved very slowly, as I was trying to pay attention to what Ash was teaching and at the same time focusing on how I was moving my body. I really liked Ash’s energy in the class I took, so I am looking forward to check out another class with her. I enjoyed the class and felt like I learned a lot about the proper form.
The post-row stretch class with Katie was fine. It was very similar to any other stretch I have taken with any other instructor on Peloton.
Honest Review of the Peloton Row After First Class
After setting up and taking my first class at home, I am feeling a bit indifferent about the row. A major factor in my feelings at this point is that I do not understand all the new metrics and settings. My husband and I both took classes on the row at the Showroom and did our first class at home with our row this week- and we have different thoughts about what the metrics mean.
There are a lot of metrics/numbers on the screen during a row class, and after two classes- I don’t completely understand each metric and how to adjust my row to impact the metrics. For example, metrics on the row screen during a class are pace, stroke rate, total number of strokes and output. There is settings options to adjust the pace level and drag factor. I couldn’t tell you what these metrics and settings mean at this point. I will have to spend some time before I get back on the row reading up on the Peloton website. My initial thoughts as to the metrics and settings are that they are confusing and not intuitive.
I am finding it a little frustrating that there is a lot to learn in order to row and that I cannot simply jump on and take a row class. My workout time is limited, as I am home with two kids, so I need my exercise time to count. I did enjoy the row classes I have taken so far (the one in the Showroom and the one at home), and I am committed to learning the metrics and how to properly use the row. I will continue with the “You Can Row” program, which I am hoping will help me understand the metrics so I can get to the point that I can just get on the row and enjoy a class.
Finally, I still find it very annoying that I cannot see the row classes on the app. I like to pick and plan my workouts before I get to exercise. I cannot do that, so I found myself sitting on the row aimlessly scrolling through the classes available. During the time I scrolled, I could have just done a workout. I would much rather scroll through the classes when my kids are asleep at night or when I get a few minutes to myself during the day. I want to find classes with the music I like and favorite those rides before I get to the row so I can max out the time I have to workout.
If you like this Post, keep reading about my Peloton Row experience: