Peloton’s limited social features are expanding—sort of. The company is bringing back a feature called Sessions, though only in its iOS app.
The original iteration of the Sessions feature let you join an on-demand class in sessions that started every five minutes, allowing smaller groups to work out together. It was essentially a scaled-down version of the live leaderboard experience, which can include tens of thousands of cyclists or runners. But Sessions was a beta feature that was phased out toward the end of last year, and Peloton users were not pleased.
Now Sessions is back, and it’s a little more useful. Instead of having to wait for a session to begin on the 5-minute mark (though you can do that, too), the new version works in tandem with Schedules, which Peloton introduced in February. In a software update rolling out today for the Peloton iOS app, you can now schedule a session of any cycling or running class longer than 20 minutes. After picking a day and time to take the class, you can share the link to the scheduled session with a friend (or multiple folks) using the iOS Share Sheet.
Peloton will send a notification to your Bike or Tread five minutes before the class you’ve scheduled begins, and when you tap to join the session, you’ll see your friend(s) on a more intimate leaderboard, which allows you to compare outputs if you’re competitive like that.
People have been using Peloton’s other social features, which let you follow friends and add hashtags to your profile, to coordinate rides together for ages. The leaderboard of an on-demand class always displays the users currently taking the class, and you can filter that leaderboard by followers or hashtags, which is how friends or coworkers have traditionally compared outputs and tried to decimate each other. But the return of Sessions makes group workouts more intentional, like an actual boutique spin class or a group run would be.
Now, if only Peloton would move its excellent Stacks feature from a web-only tool to its apps and allow you to schedule out weeks of classes in advance, well, I would have no possible option but to actually work out.