I Tried Bike Bootcamp for the First Time

I Tried Bike Bootcamp for the First Time

After less than five minutes, I was certain I’d made the right choice.

By Dana Meltzer ZepedaUpdated November 19, 2020


I could barely contain my excitement when I first heard Peloton would be launching Bike Bootcamp classes. I'm a working mom who is currently homeschooling two young kids, so finding enough hours in the day to juggle both strength and cardio classes isn't always easy. More often than not, I just throw in the towel (literally!) and end up skipping strength training entirely.

As a longtime health and wellness writer, I know this is a huge no-no, but I just can't seem to stick to a well-balanced schedule. Whenever I try, I usually get interrupted by a family member, co-worker or friend. So I usually just opt for a 30- or 45-minute interval ride with Robin, Emma or Ally instead.

That said, I've really been wanting to incorporate more strength training classes into my regular workout routine. I know this is one area where I fall miserably short, so I felt like a kid on Christmas morning when the first Bike Bootcamp classes finally dropped. There was only one dilemma: Which class should I try first?

After much debate, I finally decided to take a 30-minute beginner bootcamp with Jess Sims. I'd never tried any of Jess' classes before, but I've always heard how fantastic she is on the Tread. So her first bootcamp class seemed like a good place for me to start.

After less than five minutes, I was certain I’d made the right choice. Jess was friendly, upbeat, and funny—but also tough and no-nonsense, which helped motivate me to step outside of my comfort zone.

“Team, thank you for being willing to try something new,” she said. “I know it's kind of scary at first, but please don't be nervous. I've got you. Every single pedal stroke, every little movement on the floor. I've got you!”

I'm not going to lie, I was still pretty nervous since I had no idea what I was getting myself into. But as Jess kept talking—and I kept riding—the butterflies in my stomach finally began to settle down. Maybe I really would survive the class, glazed donut look and all!

And, truth be told, Jess's transitions from the Bike to the floor were pretty darn near perfect. Yes, I was racing back and forth a lot since my Bike is squeezed into a corner of the living room, and my workout mat is set up in front of the TV in my family room. But there was still plenty of time to “visit the shoe store” and step on the mat for a killer series of squats, push-ups and sit-ups.

After hopping back on the saddle, I finally felt like I had found a more effective way to maximize my workouts. Maybe I don't have time to spend hours and hours lifting and riding right now. But Bike Bootcamp really does make it possible to have the best of both worlds.

“Raise your hand if you're ever pressed for time,” Jess said during class. “You might only get 20 minutes to yourself, 30 minutes to yourself. If you're lucky you get an hour. You don't have to choose now between cardio and strength. It's all wrapped into one, and it's all complementary, meaning what we do on the Bike complements what we do on the floor.”

Amen, sister!

I could so relate to everything she was saying. Not only do I rarely have time to myself anymore, but even if I did, I wouldn't have the slightest clue which strength classes to take or how often I should be taking them. Bike Bootcamp takes all of the guesswork out of the equation by doing the hard work for me, so I don't need to worry if I'm getting too much or too little of cardio or strength training.

This may have been my first bootcamp class but it definitely won't be my last. Like Jess said: “This is just the beginning. It is not about how much time you spend on a daily basis. It's about consistency.”

And now, thanks to Peloton, I've finally found a way to be more consistent with my entire workout routine.

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