How I clocked up 20,000 workout minutes using the Peloton app
I thought 15,000 minutes was the top ‘award’ for 2021 (increased from the max in 2020), but it turns out I still had 5,000 to go!! This morning, I was surprised and delighted to see the gold 20,000-minute badge pop up at the end of my cooldown yoga session.
20,000 minutes is a long time to do anything. To be fair, this wasn’t concurrent. If it had been, it would have taken almost half a month. That’s equivalent to 1.984 weeks, 13.889 days, or 333.333 hours, or 8 x 40 hour work weeks. When I look back at this achievement, it certainly felt like more than 2 weeks straight. Factoring in ‘work weeks’ — 8 weeks of exercise is actually quite a lot! It’s interesting how perspective changes things.
When I started off this challenge early in 2021, tens of thousands of minutes felt so far away. But for some reason, I was still confident that I could get there. After all, based on what I’ve come to learn from Matt Wilpers (the boy-faced daddy of Power Zone training), it’s all about time under tension and… consistency trophies. 20,000 minutes is one heck of a consistency trophy.
The thing I particularly enjoy about this achievement is that it can’t really be ‘tricked’. We all know those people who try to game the system — the ones who gain satisfaction from going zone 7 in a 5-minute cooldown or a longer, meant-to-be-leisurely recovery ride, jonesing for that #1 on the leaderboard. Congratulations, person, I want to say whenever I see one of these folks, You are officially a douche. People can theoretically acquire ‘streaks’ and the number of ride/workout milestones just by taking the shortest, most simple workouts. I personally don’t have any issue with people spending all their time doing 5-minute meditations if that’s what works for them (and heck, I could do with more of that in my life myself! I know there are some judgers of these types of things, but I do not count myself as one of them at all).
With this particular achievement, however, all of this peripheral stuff just goes away. Take a 5 minute class? Counts as 5 minutes, but good for you. Crush an easy ride to get to #1 on the leaderboard? Doesn’t extend the minutes, but good for you. Miss a day? Doesn’t undo a single thing. The only real way a person can ‘game’ this achievement is by literally hopping off their bike mid-ride, or ‘taking’ a workout class without actually taking it (ie pressing play and walking away). If someone is in that latter category, there’s no helping them.
Aside from this, 20k minutes so far in 2021 has taught me a few things I wasn’t necessarily too sure about for myself. It turns out that I can stick to things, in a big way. I’ve seen progress, both scale- and non-scale victories. I’ve enjoyed the discipline of getting up first thing in the morning and following a really well-curated program (or two, when I’m concurrently working on both a PZP challenge and the HardCore calendar). I enjoy many workouts; the ones I don’t enjoy during the workout, I usually enjoy after. Some instructors are classic and never go out of fashion; others start out a bit tricky to enjoy but they grow on you; and it’s okay if some just don’t grow on you — pick another class. You can use light weights instead of resistance bands, however you do need a foam roller for those classes (highly recommended, shout-out to Hannah Corbin for these!). Andy Speer is funny. When you see Robin Arzon or Jess Sims on the calendar, an oh man reaction is perfectly human. Selena Samuela will probably incorporate clamshells and one-legged glute bridges in most of her workouts, and they are glorious!
How did I find 20,000 minutes of activities on the Peloton app to keep me occupied, and not get so bored that I wanted to give up completely? I need to give credit where credit is due — many thanks to the Power Zone Pack for whipping me into shape with some amazing training challenges throughout the year. And to the HardCore on the Floor team for keeping me motivated month after month with the most thoughtful, well-curated calendars that emphasize progress over perfection, focus on all of the muscle groups, and also build in active recovery and full recovery days each week. I genuinely couldn’t have done this without either of you!!
After 20,000 minutes of working out with Peloton, I feel like I’m part of a great, motivational community who cares about fitness and wellness, with everyone having their own specific goals. I am proud of this achievement, and plan to continue racking up consistency trophies to round out the year, and head into 2022 with a goal of continuing to focus on my health and wellbeing. If you’re thinking about doing the same, I say go for it!