Recently Studio SWEAT on Demand (SSoD) streaming on my iPhone stopped working due to an Apple iOS upgrade issue. I had become ‘addicted’ to SSoD back in January 2017 and depended on their cycling workouts for my mental and physical well being.
It was near the end of the year and I felt lost without them, plus I had a goal of 1000 miles before the year was up. So... while SSoD worked diligently with Apple to resolve the issue I was led to try another provider.
I had seen commercials for Peloton (the "P" word as I like to say) on TV. They painted a picture of intense workouts with very polished, driven trainers, instructing people in much better shape (and outfits) than me, sweating and very satisfied with the workout. So, feeling a little like I was cheating on Cat and the rest of the SSoD crew, I downloaded the "P" word app, and started their 14 day trial. That would get me to my goal until the technical issue was resolved.
Frankly, I was surprised. After doing several workouts by at least 5 different instructors, there was consistency in the following:
- Completely impersonal & scripted. The room is always very dark so you couldn’t see anyone in the class. You couldn't tell how they were doing in the different drills, and the instructors never interacted with the people in the class. In SSoD classes, it’s easy to tell how the group is collectively feeling. Plus, the SSoD instructors make an effort to know how attendees are doing, whether it be at-home or in-studio. If someone is new, I see them speaking to them in a welcoming sense, not in a "We have another person to add to our following" way.Much was clearly scripted. After a few minutes, there must have been a cue to give a shout out to someone not physically in the audience, and that happened several times throughout the workouts. Shout outs are nice, but these didn’t seem sincere. There was no interaction with the participants in the class.
- They don't seem to encourage feedback. There is no place to comment on the classes like you can on SSoD, which to me says there is no interest in receiving feedback. SSoD even responds to comments, positive and negative ones (which are rare).
- Lack of instruction & motivation. After explaining their own bike functions, there was not much in the way of how to properly do some of the drills, or encouragement to push yourself. There is also a lack of cueing, like telling us how many more seconds were left in a sprint. I didn’t feel like any of the trainers really care whether or not their clients are getting a good workout, which is what I think most people need from a trainer. I really felt like I was doing the workouts alone.
- They can't seem to do what they ask their riders to. This one really got me, and then my husband was in the room for a couple of these instances, and he even noticed... the instructors consistently STOP CYCLING! During some of the more strenuous pushes, the trainer would stand still and just talk or dance while telling me to keep cycling. As my husband put it... ’that’s not much motivation if they can’t even do the workout.’ And I agree! He even commented that he’d never seen my other ones (meaning my SSoD trainers) do that. SSoD trainers lead by example, and that is so motivating.
- Not a family-friendly environment. The commercials made Peloton look very professional and polished yet consistently the trainers curse. Many of us are working out with children in the room and that just isn’t acceptable. There is a warning given if the song lyrics are explicit, but no indication of the trainers using bad language. It simply isn’t necessary.
I realize there are all types of people with different personalities, and people working in service fields such as fitness have to find a balance to reach individuals while in a group setting. In my opinion, SSoD does just that. Every single instructor makes an effort to connect with the actual people and with the SSoD streamers, Komrades as we're now known. They all seem to genuinely care about our well being, physically and mentally. They make us all feel like we are family. With SSoD, there is camaraderie among the Komrades that is evident
Thanks SSoD! I'm so happy to be back.