When I first got my Peloton bike, I quickly became obsessed with my output number and climbing the leaderboard. I followed the leader's call-outs for resistance and cadence, but no matter what I did I'd still end up in the middle of the pack. After some trial and error, I finally figured out a way to improve my output score!
In this blog post, I'll go over how to improve your Peloton output, what output is used for, and more!
What is Output?
Output is a metric that's displayed on the middle of the Peloton bike screen that is calculated by your cadence (how fast you're peddling) and resistance on the bike. Peloton blog explains it really well:
Total Output, measured in KJ (kilojoules), is how much work you've done over the whole ride. This is calculated by taking the average output times the number of seconds in the ride divided by 1,000. For instance, if you average 100 Watts in a 2,700-second ride (45 minutes), your total output will be 270 KJ.Peloton Support
To get higher output, you'll want to increase your resistance or cadence (or both!) and it'll increase the output number
What is Output Used for?
The output number is used to compete on the leaderboard. The higher your output in a class, the higher your ranking will be.
Output can also be used for training. In Power Zone training, you'll take a 20 minute FTP test - or Functional Threshold Power test that will calculate your average output. Using this number, you'll get assigned zones (or "power zones") and in the Power Zone specific classes the instructors will call out which zone to be in for each section of the ride. After a few weeks, it's recommended to retake the FTP test and see how your output compares.
Related Post: Everything You Need to Know About Power Zone Training
How to Improve Peloton Output
The best way I've found to improve your Peloton output number is to do a training program like Power Zones. By consistently training with customized numbers in your zones, you're able to actually improve your output. I also like that in Power Zone training it's up to you how you hit your zones - either by increasing cadence, resistance, or both.
Does Output Actually Matter?
Personally, I think output only matters when you compare it to your own results. There is so much that can go into having a higher output number - like weight, height, etc. that I don't think the output is really a good measure and I wish there was another metric Peloton used to calculate leaderboard rankings.
The best way to improve your Peloton output is to do a training program like Power Zone. Peloton has a free Power Zone program under the collections section of the bike, called "Discover Your Power Zones" which is great to start out with. If you're looking for something a little more social, I recommend participating in a free Power Zone Challenge like the ones hosted by Power Zone Pack.