By Jason DeRusha

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — They have been the hottest pandemic purchases: home fitness equipment. Bikes, treadmills, rowing machines. So many Americans bought Peloton stationary bikes during 2020, people are waiting months to get theirs delivered.

“These at-home options are really good for adherence to an exercise program,” said Chris Lundstrom, Ph.D., director of the Sport and Exercise Science masters program at University of Minnesota.

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The experts call it “connected” fitness — traditional at-home workout equipment but attached to big video screens or online coaches.

“I think it engages the mind a little more, makes the workout go quicker, and provides some motivation,” said Lundstrom.

The big screen can come with a big price tags too. Peloton’s sales have doubled during the pandemic. Today it costs just under $1,900 for the bike, plus $39 a month for the classes.

Peloton is different from many of the devices in that it offers live classes, and a competitive environment if you so choose. There are similar experiences at a much lower cost. MYX Fitness offers a similar stationary bike with an included screen, without the live workouts, for just $1,299 (often on sale closer to $1,000), and classes are $29 per month.

Both offer similar benefits, according to Lundstrom.

“You’re really interacting with your workout. Might be seeing your heart rate, your data, a course you’re running or biking with changes in topography,” said Lundstrom.

Does having a screen with an instructor motivate people to use the equipment more often and stick with it?

“That’s a great question. It seems likely,” said Lundstrom, acknowledging that more research will need to be done.

There are other forms of connected fitness if cycling isn’t for you. Connected treadmills, like the most popular NordicTrak, with a 22-inch screen for $3,000.

Rowing is also popular. The Hydrow rowing system is about $2,000; you can use your own tablet or phone on the Echelon Rower for around $1,000. Even with a screen, Echelon is cheaper at $1,640.

There are connected punching bags like Fight Camp Boxing for $1,219. And a full length mirror that turns into a giant screen with an instructor called, Mirror, for $1,500.

Lundstrom said these high-tech home workout machines do get results, however, “anything you do works too,” he noted.

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Here are more details on the devices mentioned in this story:

CYCLING

Peloton Bike
-Group live classes
–Competitive
$1895
$39/month for classes
https://www.onepeloton.com/bikes

MYX Fitness
-don’t need cycling shoes
-heart rate monitor
$1299
$29/month for classes
The MYX

RUNNING

Nordic Track Commercial 2950
Bluetooth speakers, a 22′ inch screen, and fans meant to simulate the sensation of running outdoors
$2999
Includes 1 year of classes
$39/month for classes
https://www.nordictrack.com/treadmills/commercial-2950-treadmill

BOXING

FightCamp Boxing
$1,219
$1349 for extra wraps and gloves
https://joinfightcamp.com/shop/
$39/month for classes

ROWING

Hydrow
https://shop.hydrow.com/
$1995
$38/month for classes

Echelon Rowers
https://echelonfit.com/pages/smart-rowers
$1040 with no monitor
$1640 with a 22” HD screen
$38/month classes

MIRROR

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Mirror
$1495
($100 and free shipping right now)
https://www.mirror.co/shop/mirror
$39/month

Jason DeRusha