I’ve been exploring the world of Peloton since the exercise bike showed up in my home office last week. While Peloton does not work with GymKit, there are two Apple features that work with the workout system.
Peloton bikes and treadmills offer limited Apple Music integration for streaming music subscribers with linked accounts. Workouts tracked with the Peloton system can be saved to Apple’s Health app, too, although logging sessions with Apple Watch requires some configuration.
[Update 4/5/2020: New more tips for using Apple Watch with Peloton bikes or treadmills: BlueHeart app lets you pair Apple Watch with Peloton as a heart rate monitor, and Heartbeatz is a hardware solution that bridges Peloton and Apple Watch heart rate data. My preference remains Polar OH1+, but there are options.]
Apple Music integration
Peloton subscribers don’t have to be Apple Music subscribers, but there’s a special feature for trainers who are members of both services.
Peloton treadmills and bikes are high-end consumer workout machines with large touch screen displays and built-in speakers, but you can’t actually play Apple Music from Peloton. Instead, Peloton integrates Apple Music with the songs that fitness instructors play during virtual classes.
Each class has its own playlist that helps push trainers through each session. While working out, trainers can tap the music icon on the top left to see what song is playing.
There’s also a heart icon that lets you favorite that song, and Apple Music integration automatically creates a Peloton playlist on your account that updates automatically with music you’ve liked.
Peloton only launched the feature (which also works with Spotify) about six months ago.
Apple Health sharing
If you exercise with Peloton and have an iPhone, you can easily log workout data from your bike or treadmill to Apple’s Health app.
Peloton Digital for iOS supports a variety of workouts for subscribers including indoor and outdoor running and cycling, yoga, strength training, and more. iPhone users can optionally log these workouts automatically in the Health app by giving permission in Peloton Digital.
The feature is found on the ‘More’ tab under the ‘Health App’ section below ‘Add-Ons’ which launches the Health privacy permissions section.
This lets you safely share data secured in the Health app like vitals, age, and walking and running distance with Peloton to improve your user profile. You can also allow Peloton to write data to the Health app including calories actively burned during a session, heart rate, mindful minutes from meditation, and even running and cycling distance.
Peloton and Apple Watch
Peloton’s Health integration is awesome if you don’t have an Apple Watch but want a way to save workout data to your Health app. For Peloton trainers who log workouts with Apple Watch, Peloton’s Health integration can be confusing.
That’s because Peloton doesn’t work with Apple GymKit, the special feature that lets Apple Watch and select workout machines securely share workout stats in real-time for the most accurate results.
Peloton bikes, for example, know your cadence, resistance, and distance traveled, and your heart rate if you pair a Bluetooth heart rate monitor with your machine. Apple Watch has its own heart rate monitor (or you can pair an external monitor) and uses built-in sensors to determine pace and distance traveled.
Since both systems use different methods for tracking stats, you might have competing results for information like calories burned and distance traveled after a workout. I tend to trust the Apple Watch (which calibrates to your movement over time) for its calorie readout, and the Peloton bike for its cycling distance data.
My current approach is to allow Peloton to read all supported Health data and only write Mindful Minutes data for meditation. This guarantees my Apple Watch Activity app won’t double the number of workouts logged when tracking with Apple Watch and using Peloton.
Another strategy is manually sorting data sources to prioritize certain stats when two sources contribute the same information. Apple details how to prioritize sources on its Health app guide. This method shouldn’t double workout data, but it still may result in double listings for the number of workouts tracked in the Activity app.
More to explore
If you’re new to the world of Peloton like me, there are plenty of resources from places like Reddit and YouTube for exploring ways to use your Apple gear with your Peloton bike or treadmill. You can also learn more about Peloton equipment and Peloton Digital for iPhone and iPad on Peloton’s website.
Originally published July 22, 2019. Last updated April 5, 2020.
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