When I first started working out with the Peloton app I thought all weights were created equal. I quickly realized I was wrong and there definitely were good - and bad - dumbbells to use for each class. Here's my experience with different dumbbells and what I've found to be the best ones to use - and ones to completely avoid.
How to Choose What Weight To Use
Peloton makes it easy and will tell you what weights to grab ahead of time for each class. If you miss it in the intro screen, instructors will also mention it in the 1 minute warm up. Generally, you'll want to have a light, medium and heavy set of weights available.
What Classes Use Weights in Peloton?
Currently, classes that use weights are:
- Cycle - There are classes that are marked "...and arms" under the Cycling folder (HIIT and arms, Intervals and Arms, etc.) These classes will have intervals where you'll use the bike weights for portions of the class. Recommended weights are 1-3lbs.
- Strength - Unless marked as a body weight or resistance band class, almost all Peloton strength workouts will use weights. In the class info and at the beginning of class the instructor will tell you what type of weights to use. The instructors refer to the weights as light, medium and heavy and will give a weight guide - one thing to note: medium to one instructor will be different than another instructor. I've generally found the range is:
- Light: 5-10 lbs
- Medium: 10-20 lbs
- Heavy: 15lbs+
- Peloton also has "Arms & Light Weight" classes that are taken seated on the bike that use the lighter bike weights (1-3lbs)
- Bootcamp Classes - Similar to strength, bootcamp classes will also use weights. Instructors will give you a heads up before class on what weights to use.
Best Weights for Peloton
My all time favorite weights to use are individual dumbbells with flat bottoms, like these found on Amazon here. I like these because they're easy to switch out during a workout and they're flat so they won't roll around (doing renegade rows with a round dumbbell is no fun!).
Solid cast iron core dumbbells (individual weights)
The downside to free weights is that they do take up a lot of room, depending on how many sets you get. Amazon does sell racks (and even rack sets with dumbbells like this one) to keep organize, but they can still be a little bulky.
When you order a bike or tread Peloton does give an option to add on dumbbells and those are a great option too. The only downside is during peak times I've heard it can take a while for the dumbbells to arrive.
While buying individual dumbbells can be a little pricey at first, the nice thing is you can always start out with a small set and add to it as you move up in weight. I recommend starting with a small, medium and large set with weights you're currently at and then adding on as you move up in weights.
Worst Weights for Peloton
I really wanted to love adjustable weights because of how compact they were, but ultimately I've found they're a complete pain to use. Currently I use a Bowflex set that goes up to 52 lbs and while it's nice to have the heavy weight option it's makes the weights super bulky and almost awkward to use. I also don't like that they take a few seconds to change weights - which might not seem like a ton of time, but when you're in the middle of a bootcamp or rep set it becomes annoying to have to switch.
Originally I used this smaller pair of adjustable weights and while they weren't as bulky as the Bowflex, it was still annoying spending so much time to change weights in between exercises.
These adjustable dumbbells replace 15 sets of weights. Weights adjust from 5 to 52.5 lbs in 2.5 lb increments up to the first 25 lbs. Easy-to-use selection dials for adjusting weights. Easily switch from one exercise to next and with the turn of a dial you can change your resistance, enabling you to gradually increase your strength.
Where to Buy Weights
My favorite places to buy weights are Amazon, Target and Dick's Sporting Goods. I've also had good luck finding weights at TJ Maxx, but they tend to carry lighter (under 12lb) weights. I've also been surprised to find that retailers like Best Buy also carry dumbbells and are very affordable!
Facebook marketplace, garage sales and Goodwill are also great places to get used dumbbells at lower prices.
Overall I've found the best type of weights to use with Peloton workouts are regular, old dumbbells. While it's nice to save space with an adjustable set like Bowflex, they tend to be a pain when you have to do a quick transition as well as are super bulky.