Peloton now lets you schedule group runs or rides with a select group of friends – even if they don't have one of the company's branded treadmills or exercise bikes.
With gyms closed and sports clubs cancelled around the world, online workout services like Peloton, Fiit and Apple Fitness Plus have seen a surge in popularity, but while they're a good way to get an intense workout, they lack the social side of a regular running or cycling group.
- We've tested and ranked the best fitness trackers available today
- Need something with GPS? Here are the best running watches
- If you're a keen swimmer we've got the best waterproof fitness trackers
A typical Peloton class is huge, with enormous leaderboards that make it all but impossible to keep track of your usual workout buddies. Peloton Sessions changes that by letting you choose a class in the iOS app, then send an invitation to a small group of friends, who you can chat with and compete against.
You can set up running and cycling sessions, and anyone can take part provided they have some sort of treadmill or bike and a Peloton Digital subscription. If your friends aren't sure they want to invest in the monthly plan, they can try it free for 30 days first.
Hit the (virtual) road
Peloton Sessions proved very popular in beta-testing last year, but it isn't the only way to work out with your friends without leaving home, and Zwift is a good alternative if you prefer long group rides to intense spin classes.
Last year, Zwift hosted a Virtual Tour de France, with riders including Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas and Egan Bernal using competing for a digital yellow jersey, and you can do the same (with or without the gruelling mountain stages).
There are several ways to join a group workout on Zwift. You can load the same route as a buddy, select their name from the list of participants and select 'Join', take part in an organized event (such as a race), or create a Meetup for your club.
It's great to have more options for virtual group workouts, and we'll soon be putting together a guide to help you host an online cycling or running club. Stay tuned.