Quitting Peloton? You can save money, even back at the gym

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(NerdWallet) – The 2020 fitness industry was all about streaming classes to your living room, with some people purchasing fancy gym equipment like Pelotons for their homes, while others used rice bags, books and gallon water bottles as makeshift weights.

But many gave up on that in 2021. While Peloton saw massive growth in 2020, the at-home fitness bike company is slowing down. The company’s share price got pummeled last week after Peloton reported earnings and revenue that both missed expectations.

For the three-month period ending Sept. 30, 2021, which is considered Peloton’s first quarter of fiscal 2022, Peloton reported a net loss of $376 million. Contrast that with the net income of $69.3 million the company reported in the same period last year.

“We anticipated fiscal 2022 would be a very challenging year to forecast, given unusual year-ago comparisons, demand uncertainty amidst re-opening economies, and widely reported supply chain constraints and commodity cost pressures,” Peloton said in a company shareholder letter that was sent out last week.

In short, you might be replacing solo workouts on the Peloton in your living room with a real, in-person group fitness class — and you might be swapping Cody Rigsby as your hype man with your actual gym buddies.

And it’s true; people are heading back to brick-and-mortar gyms. In an interview last week on CNBC’s “Mad Money,” Planet Fitness CEO Chris Rondeau said that its membership base is already 97% back to its pre-pandemic levels, a figure that he called “unbelievable.”

Planet Fitness also reported quarterly earnings last week, but — in contrast to Peloton — its figures were far more positive. The company reported net income of $17.4 million, compared with a loss of $3.1 million in the same period for 2020.

If you’re one of the people ditching at-home workouts for in-person training, you might actually find yourself saving money. Here’s how:

Sell your old fitness equipment soon

Remember back in April 2020 when prices for basic equipment like dumbbells and pullup bars were through the roof?  That’s hardly the case anymore. In fact, Peloton dropped its original bike from $1,895 to $1,495 in August.

If the price-dropping trend continues, you might want to offload your old gear before it depreciates in value. Plus, dust-covered gear will likely fetch less than fresh gear.

One of the most efficient ways is to sell your stuff is online. If you’re looking to sell to people all around the world, then sites including eBay and Bonanza allow you to post a range of goods including fitness gear, taking a cut of your sale.

For local sales — which is likely more realistic if you’re trying to offload bulky items too cumbersome to ship, like a spin bike or squat rack — use sites like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace or Letgo. While these websites and apps don’t always take a cut of your sales, you’ll typically have to handle connecting with your buyer, meeting up in person and making the exchange.

Cancel your digital fitness subscriptions

It can be easy to set your digital fitness subscriptions to autopay, and forget that you’re paying monthly, often expensive bills on them.

Both the Peloton All-Access Membership and competitor Equinox+, which offers virtual fitness, yoga and meditation classes, run about $39 per month — and that doesn’t even include the cost of equipment you may need to buy. If you’re quitting at-home workouts completely, make sure you quit paying for them too, as you’ll put hundreds of dollars per year back in your budget.

If you still want to have access, consider applying for a credit card with fitness perks to cut costs. Some Chase cards offer Peloton statement credits, while some American Express cards offer discounts and statement credits for SoulCycle At-Home Bikes, which are similar to Peloton bikes, as well as Equinox+.

Look for free or cheap workouts

There are plenty of free or cheap ways to work out, including joining a recreational sports league in your community or hopping in pickup games at the park. Look for local running or cycling clubs (some are organized by local sporting goods stores) so you don’t have to jog or cycle solo.

And get creative, as working out doesn’t have to be limited to the basics like biking or burpees. Search your local community events, as you may find free dance classes, roller discos or self-defense classes. These are typically funded by cultural centers — or in the case of the self-defense classes, violence-prevention programs — but are free to you. These can still get your heart pumping while also teaching you new skills. And they won’t eat into your budget.

The bottom line

At this point you might be exhausted from at-home workouts, even before you’ve started the day’s sweat session. If you’re tired of working out alone in your living room, don’t feel bad about ditching the fitness equipment that you might have spent big money on in the early days of the pandemic.

You’re likely still paying for digital subscriptions, so you might find room in your budget to replace those fees with a real gym membership. And the sooner you sell, the more likely you’ll be able to find someone willing to take your old gear off your hands before it gets too much wear and tear.

Nearly two years into the pandemic, it turns out that at-home workouts are, for many people, quite simply not working out.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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