Peloton adds “Quests,” sends riders on special missions based on clues dropped on Instagram

Gamification and fitness go hand-in-hand.

Peloton bike. Sweat storms are not optional.
Peloton bike. Sweat storms are not optional.

Peloton (NASDAQ: PTON) continues to roll out new features and do all it can to build on the momentum the shelter-in-place life has generated for its fitness business. The latest is “Quests.”

When I logged into the Peloton app this morning (ClintTheMint), an interesting and ultimately welcoming new feature announcement popped up:

Introducing Peloton Quests notification on the Peloton App

And per the email here’s more on how it works:

“Over the next 4 weeks, we will be dropping clues on Instagram about hidden classes in our library, and it’s up to you to find them. Each class you find will be rewarded with a special badge upon completion.”

So you basically search for the Peloton class (archived, on demand content) based on the Instagram clue, take the class, and then receive a special badge.

What was the first thing I did after learning about Quests?

Well, of course I thought: I must earn this badge!

Silly I know, but there’s something about earning these badges that helps keep me motivated, and indirectly helps keep my mind and body in balance (i.e. sanity) during COVID-19.

Once I found the class — a popular ride from the summer of 2019 — I bookmarked it and shared it with Loni Stark so that we can both take the ride later when we have 30 minutes to spare.

The Hunt is On
Peloton Quests is a 4-week program designed to keep subscribers engaged.

I admit, I used to think gamification was silly. Do we really need to continually reward ourselves for every trite achievement? Aren’t there more pressing issues in the world? etc.

Yet, motivation is a really important part of fitness. If you’re not inspired chances are you’ll skip a workout or two. In the case of the Peloton bike, I’m absolutely floored by how motivating the instructors are, day in and day out. I’ve never worked out this hard — and actually enjoyed doing so. My wife had to practically rip me from the bike yesterday as I just kept stacking class after (addicting) class, letting the motivation (and copious, raining sweat) fuel my imagination for Stark Insider video ideas. In a past life, at the gym (Club Sport in San Jose) I used to find my best creative thinking and brainstorming took place in the sauna — tranquil, especially with my headphones on blasting obscure Canadian 80’s new wave. Now that place is the Peloton bike. I don’t know what life would be like without it, not only during this pandemic, but going forward too.

Peloton Badges - Achievements - Clinton Stark
Because: badges.

That motivation, of course, comes down to the instructors.

I most often PR (personal record) when taking a class by Alex Toussaint. He brings the absolute right mix: a bit of military discipline (based on his background) + some NFL training toughness + a sprinkle of Neon Deion Sanders vibe. An exceptional instructor.

Then I learned about Power Zones. That led me to classes by Matt Wilpers, the technician. Also top notch. And to Robin Arzon (queen). Ally Love. Denis Morton. Kendall Toole. Cody Rigsby (that Boo, Backstreet Boys guy). Jess King. Jen Sherman. Christine D’Ercole. Emma Lovewell. Tunde Oyeneyin. Aditi Shah (yoga). Just all so awesome, each with their own approach to teaching and motivating; not to mention their own signature looks and catchphrases.

Plus, let’s not forget the Peloton London crew with Ben Alldis and and Hannah Frankson and Leanne Hainsby, among other standouts. Be warned though, here you will at some point more often than not be listening to Coldplay. On the other hand: The Verve and Queen.

Peloton bike. Sweat storms are not optional.
Peloton bike. Sweat storms are not optional. (ClintTheMint)

Part of the fun of the whole Peloton experience has been tracking all the metrics. There’s a lot of them. Anyone who cycles already knows FTP, cadence, measuring fatigue, etc. Apps like Fitbit, Apple Health/Activity, Strava have really opened my eyes to fitness tracking. Now I can confidently track things like my resting heart rate over time. Strava does a great job of tracking work effort trends, even assigning a “Relative Effort” score to each workout. And all of this is not just about the bike either. I’ve now discovered a world of yoga and meditation too. And strength/core training (ugh, tough). Plus some fun cardio.

Okay then, we haven’t learned much here. But, just possibly, 2 things:

  • I’m fully inducted into the Cult of Peloton
  • Peloton now is giving away hidden badges for taking the hidden classes of the week

Stay safe, baby!