If you would've told me I would be obsessed with my Peloton bike a few years ago, I would've laughed. I never was into spin classes and was always a runner. However, after an injury, I ended up needing to find a lower impact workout.
I was a fan of the Peloton running and bootcamp workouts so I decided to jump in and buy a bike for my low-impact workouts.
I'm so happy I did!
The Peloton bike ended up being one of the best purchases I've ever made and has helped me also become an even better runner.
In this blog post, I'll share with you my tips for beginning to workout with Peloton, my recommended beginner workout and everything you need to know to get started with the bike.
Table of Contents
- What is Peloton?
- Is Peloton Good for Beginners?
- Getting Started
- Bike Delivery
- Buying a Treadmill
- Picking a Leaderboard Name
- Peloton Terminology
- Beginner's Workout Plan
- Best Peloton Classes for Beginners
- What to Do On Your First Peloton Class
- How Often Should You Use the Bike?
- Is a Peloton Bike Worth the Money?
- What is the Difference Between Beginner and Advance Beginner Rides?
- Does the Seat Hurt?
- Final Thoughts
- More Helpful Peloton Articles
What is Peloton?
Peloton is a high-tech workout company that sells cycling bikes, rowers, and treadmills. In addition to high-end equipment, Peloton also has studios in New York City and London that create high-quality workouts that users can stream right on their bikes, treadmills, rowers, and phones.
Is Peloton Good for Beginners?
One question I'm asked a lot is if Peloton is good for beginners and I always say yes! Peloton has classes for all levels and has special content for beginners.
When I first got my Peloton bike I was a beginner as well. I had never taken a spin class in my life and had no idea what to expect.
I was actually recommended to get a Peloton bike after I injured my ankle and needed a low-impact workout to do, instead of running.
Since I got my bike in the summer of 2020 I've been obsessed! In this post, I'll share with you my experience as a beginner and tips and tricks I wish I knew when I first got started.
Ready to get started with Peloton? Here are some things you should do first:
Buying a Bike
The first step is to buy a bike. There are currently two different options of the Peloton bike available: the Bike and Bike+. The biggest difference between the two are the features. The Bike+ was released in the summer of 2020 and the big new features are:
Adjustable screen (rotates 360 degrees)
Connects to Apple Watch
Auto Follow (Bike resistance will change automatically when the instructor calls out a different resistance)
You can buy Peloton directly through their website, at Dick's Sporting Goods, and now on Amazon!
Related Post: What's the Difference Between the Bike and Bike+?
How Much Does a Peloton Cost?
A Peloton bike cost $1,895 or $49/month Peloton recently dropped the bike price and the bike is now $1,496 or $39/month if financed and the Bike+ costs $2,495 or $64/month.
In addition to the bike, you do also need to have an All Access Membership to access the classes and content. This membership is a separate $40/month and allows unlimited users in your house to stream the content.
Tip: Insurance companies are beginning to offer to pay for Peloton memberships! Check with yours to see if you can get your membership reimbursed.
One thing to note is that as soon as you buy your bike, your loan begins and you pay - so if delivery isn't for a few months, you might have to make a few payments before it arrives.
Your membership to Peloton classes also starts as soon as you order, but Peloton doesn't charge you for that until your bike arrives.
Related Post: My Experience Financing my Peloton Bike with Affirm
In select markets, Peloton will actually sell refurbished bikes at a lower price. This can be a great deal because oftentimes these refurbished bikes were barely used (like when a lot of members decided to trade in their bikes to get the Bike+ in 2020).
To see if refurbished bikes are available for purchase in your area chat with Peloton support.
Buying a Used Peloton
Another way to get a discounted Peloton bike is to buy one from someone, like on Facebook marketplace or the Peloton Buy/Sell/Trade Facebook group.
There are many members that are selling their bike because they've found that they don't use it as much as they thought they would or they're out of the return window.
I don't really recommend buying a used bike from someone unless you actually know them and know that the bike is in good condition.
When you buy a used bike off someone it voids the warranty so if the bike is faulty, you could potentially need to pay for all of the repairs out of pocket.
Bike delivery can range depending on how busy they are fulfilling orders. I've had friends who have received their bikes as soon as a week after ordering, and I've also had friends that it's taken 8-10 weeks to get their bikes.
Generally, bike delivery will take longer during peak times - like around Christmas/ New Year's, so keep that in mind when you're ordering.
You can also check with Peloton support on estimated delivery times before you order.
Related Post: Everything You Need to Know About Peloton Bike Delivery
Buying a Treadmill
Peloton recently re-launched treadmill sales! Right now only the Tread is available for purchase, but hopefully, the Tread+ will become available sometime in 2022.
As of now, Tread deliveries have just begun in the US. I ordered mine the week of launch and am still waiting to schedule delivery.
Picking a Leaderboard Name
Once you get your bike, the first thing you'll want to do after it's assembled is pick out a leaderboard name! Picking out a leaderboard name can be stressful but the nice thing is that you can change your leaderboard name at any time so you're not stuck with a name you don't like.
Your account is ultimately linked to the e-mail address you used to sign up for the membership.
When I began I started with the leaderboard name Spin_For_Smores but decided to change it to Ali_Van as I was able to get more into running and boot camps.
Tips for Picking a Leaderboard Name
Here are some of my tips for picking a leaderboard name:
Make it Easy to Read so other users and instructors can read it quickly. If an instructor sees your leaderboard name they might even give you a shoutout during a live class!
Keep it PG13 to get shoutouts. Instructors won't give shoutouts if your username has swears or is inappropriate. You don't have to keep it Disney clean, but just try to keep it PG13-ish.
Use Hobbies to come up with leaderboard names. Get creative with your leaderboard name by adding in your hobbies and passions into it. My first leaderboard name was Spin_For_Smores because I'm absolutely obsessed with S'mores!
How to Change Your Leaderboard Name
Hate your leaderboard name? Change it! You can change your leaderboard name as many times as you want in the settings.
The nice thing is that your milestones are all linked to your e-mail address so when you change your leaderboard name you won't lose any of your progress.
Related Post: Peloton Milestone and Badge Guide
Before we hop into the beginner workouts, let's take a minute to go over some Peloton terminology I'll use in this post.
There are a few different types of classes Peloton offers:
Warm Up/Cool Down
These are extra time you can spend warming up and cooling down. By default, every Peloton class has 2-5 minutes of warm-up (it varies) and 1 minute cool down at the end.
These are recommended beginner and advanced beginner classes to take. Instructors will usually teach you a little more about the proper form and techniques.
Low impact rides are great to take as an active recovery day. While they're called low impact, they're still a great workout.
These workouts usually are higher resistance and lower cadence rides, as well as rides where you'll do some technique work.
Some of my favorite ones are with Matt Wilpers where he will teach you some techniques to make your pedaling more efficient.
Power Zone classes are like personal training on the bike. You do a quick 20 minute test to determine your zones, and then in the classes instead of the usual resistance and cadence call outs, you'll hear zone call outs.
Most of my personal training is done in power zone classes.
Related Post: Everything You Need to Know About Power Zone Training
Climb rides are rides with a ton of hills (a.k.a high cadence)
Live DJ rides are when a live DJ will come into the studio and create custom mixes for the class. It's kind of like a club meets spin class.
There are a few different ride types that fall under the intervals category. These include HIIT rides (or high-intensity interval training), HIIT and Hills, Interval and Arms (half ride, half arm workout), and Tabata.
Music rides are themed music rides. Some of these include:
Club Bangers Ride
Happy Hour Rides
Feel Good Rides
Heart Rate Zone
These are older types of rides that used to focus on riding based on your heart rate zone. I believe these have been replaced with Power Zone rides, but the old classes are still available on demand.
Groove rides are rides where you're doing choreography on the bike. You ride to the beat of the song (instructors will call this out), and then do some choreography out of the seat (or saddle).
My favorite groove rides to do are with Cody because he does a great job explaining what to do.
Pro Cyclist rides are rides that are lead by pro cyclist Christian Vande Velde. I've only taken a few of these classes and most of the ones I took are formatted like a power zone ride.
What is Resistance, Cadence, and Output?
A few other terms you'll hear when you do a ride are resistance, cadence, and output.
The higher the resistance the harder the workout will be. Rides generally start on a flat road (20-30) resistance and then will go all the way up to 50-70.
The highest resistance on the bike is 100. Instructors will call out recommended resistance ranges so you know what the goal is during class.
Cadence is how fast your legs are turning around. Rides will usually start at 80-100 cadence recommendations, and then instructors might call out higher if it's a HIIT section or lower (like 50-60) if it's a climb.
The highest cadence you'll hear is 120 and the lowest is 50.
Output is a combination of resistance and cadence and is what is used to determine your rank on the leaderboard.
Ultimately, the higher the cadence and resistance the higher your output will be.
Beginner's Workout Plan
Now that we've got our account and leaderboard name set, it's time to hop into a class. Here are my tips and recommended workouts for beginners.
Beginner Workout Programs
Under the Collections section of the Peloton workouts (it's also on the app), Peloton has created a collection of workouts they recommend.
The collection is called "Welcome to Peloton Cycling" and it has 18 classes that will introduce you to the different types of classes Peloton offers and the different instructors.
You can as many of these classes as you'd like and can do them in any order. Some examples of the classes are:
Into to HIIT Ride
Intro to Climb Ride
Intro to Arms and Intervals
20 Minute Beginner Rides
30 Minute Advanced Beginner Ride
In addition to beginner Peloton cycling classes, they also offer beginner strength training, Bootcamp, yoga and running.
Related Post: What is Peloton Bike Bootcamp?
Best Peloton Classes for Beginners
Any of the classes that are labeled "Beginner" are great options to start with! In reality, you could always do a regular class too and just adjust to your current fitness level.
I've found that all instructors do a great job at calling out resistance and cadence goals for every level (and if a range doesn't work for you, listen to your body and do what works for you). Instructors' ranges are just a guide and ultimately you control the workout.
Best Instructors for Beginners
My favorite instructors for beginners are Cody Rigsby, Matt Wilpers, Ally Love, Bradley Rose, Robin Arzon, and Denis Morton.
I like these instructors because their classes generally offer a good resistance range that can be adapted to any fitness level.
I do recommend trying all the instructors though, and giving them a few chances- one that's a favorite to me might not be a great fit for you!
How Long Are Classes?
Peloton classes range from 10 to 90 minutes. I usually recommend beginners start with 10-30 minute classes first, before they get into the longer rides.
How to Find Beginner Classes on Peloton
You can find beginner classes by filtering to class type "Beginner" in the drop down. Beginner classes will also be labeled as beginner in the class title.
Recommended Beginner Schedule
When you're starting out with Peloton, I recommend starting with 3-4 days of workouts and doing a ride that's 30 minutes or less. My recommended beginner schedule would look like this:
Monday: 15-minute beginner ride
Wednesday: 30-minute beginner ride (an arms interval ride would be great!)
Friday: 20-minute beginner ride
Saturday: 20-minute low impact ride
Sunday: Rest or active recovery day with yoga
As you get more comfortable working out, you can begin to add more classes to the mix as well as start doing longer rides.
One of my favorite calendars to follow is the Hardcore on the Floor calendar, which is a free workout calendar that's released monthly.
The calendar combines rides and strength workouts so you get a perfect balance and it's for all fitness levels!
Related Post: Hardcore on the Floor Calendar Review
What to Do On Your First Peloton Class
The number 1 thing to do on your ride is to have fun! Working out should be fun and something you enjoy! The second thing I recommend doing is listen to your body.
As a beginner, you'll likely feel uncomfortable and/or fatigued as you complete the class. If it's too difficult for you, just decrease the resistance and if you're not feeling much of anything then bump up the resistance.
I would also not recommend looking at your output or focusing on the leaderboard - there are usually people who don't follow instructor cues and bump up their cadence and resistance just to get to the top of the leaderboard.
Stick to the class, listen to your body and ignore the leaderboard.
If you're on a live ride, you might even get a shoutout from an instructor for your first class!
Related Post: Live Classes vs On Demand
How Often Should You Use the Bike?
I would recommend using the bike 2-4 times a week when you first begin, all depending on your fitness level.
If you're brand new to working out, start slow and then gradually work your way up to more days or longer workouts.
While it might feel great to work out every day, I do recommend taking a recovery day every few days to give your body a rest.
You could also do an active recovery day and do a yoga, meditation, or walking class.
Related Post: All About Peloton Barre Classes
Is a Peloton Bike Worth the Money?
In my opinion, the Peloton bike is absolutely worth the money. I like the metrics and data it provides me, which is something you wouldn't be able to get if you use an off-brand bike with the Peloton classes.
What is the Difference Between Beginner and Advance Beginner Rides?
The difference between a beginner and advanced beginner ride is that in the beginner rides the instructors will teach you more of the basics to riding like it's your first ride.
In advanced beginners, they don't teach as much of the beginner info and it's almost like a regular class.
Does the Seat Hurt?
This is totally a personal opinion. It took me a few rides to get used to the seat but some people recommend buying a seat pad or specially padded shorts.
I recommend trying the seat for a week or two before buying anything extra for the seat.
If you do need a seat, I always recommend this one from Amazon! It's one of the top rated ones for Peloton bikes!
Related Post: Essential Peloton Accessories
All in all, having a Peloton is one of the best investments I've ever made. The instructors are motivating and the classes make workouts fun throughout the week.
If you're looking to get started riding or buying your first bike, follow my beginner guide, and feel free to reach out if you have any questions!
Don't forget to add me so we can ride together! My leaderboard name is Ali_Van.
More Helpful Peloton Articles
Here are some of my other helpful beginner Peloton tips: