Home workouts, as great as they are, often lack the sense of camaraderie that studio-goers take away from the in-person class experience. Peloton thinks it can change that: The fitness company just partnered with Verzuz — the web series that throws together producers and artists in battles over catalog strength and spontaneous songwriting prowess — in an effort to make sweating in solitude more competitive.
“Peloton Verzuz” is an extension of Peloton’s Artist Series, which is a collection of themed workouts set to a specific artist’s catalog or new album. The new Verzuz collaboration celebrates “the iconic music of two legendary artists, in one friendly competition, across multiple disciplines,” according to an early draft of a press release reviewed by Rolling Stone. Round one will feature songs by Brandy and Monica to honor Women’s History Month with an “empowering musical celebration.”
The schedule includes a run for treadmill-owners on March 29th at 7 p.m. ET, a stationary bike ride on March 31st at 7:30 p.m. ET, and a full-body strength class on April 1st at 12 p.m. ET. Music fans who want to participate but don’t have Peloton equipment can download the app, which offers a 30-day free trial, to partake in strength classes. After their live launches, the classes will become available to access on demand, Peloton’s head of music Gwen Bethel Riley confirms.
Participants will be able to use Peloton’s tagging function to join the #VerzuzBrandy or #VerzuzMonica teams. Members will receive a custom badge for taking a “Peloton Verzuz” class, Riley tells Rolling Stone.
“At the end of the month, we’ll celebrate both artists by adding up every Verzuz Tag, and sharing a recap of who our community showed up for,” she says, emphasizing that the series is about “community” and “celebration” above all else, bringing people together over common ground rather than pitting them against one another in a divisive way.
When asked whether social media platform Triller, which recently bought Verzuz, is involved in the cross-brand partnership, Riley would only say that “Peloton Verzuz will live solely on the Peloton platform.”
For the next round — the timing of which has not yet been revealed — teams will form around the music of Swizz Beatz and Timbaland, the producers who founded Verzuz.
Swizz Beatz describes the series as a “no brainer” to Rolling Stone, adding that he believes music and fitness belong together: The energy of Verzuz keeps fans on the edges of their seats, exciting and motivating them — much like a good trainer does. He loves the idea of melding virtual concert experiences with workouts, he says, and Peloton “felt like a perfect fit.”
Peloton has not confirmed a specific number of rounds, but Riley describes Peloton Verzuz as “an ongoing partnership,” noting that Peloton aims to “surprise and delight” with the rollout of future experiences and hinting at more programming from “influential artists” to come.