Which Peloton Ride Type Is Right for You?

Which Peloton Ride Type Is Right for You?

There’s no one-ride-fits-all solution when it comes to hitting your fitness goals.

By Colleen TraversUpdated July 7, 2021


As any Peloton instructor will tell you, the hardest part of your workout is showing up. That may be true, but if you’ve spent time scrolling through the long list of Bike classes, you know that picking which one to try can sometimes feel impossible. And while it’s easy to get sucked into the black hole of possible options, you don’t want to waste precious minutes that you could spend sweating in class fretting over which format to choose.

Try this pro tip before you pick: Don’t judge a book by its cover (or should we say don’t judge an instructor by their spandex?). “Be open to trying different instructors,” says Peloton instructor Tunde Oyeneyin. “You may find a great class in someone you would have least expected.”

If you already make it a point to take different instructors but are still stuck on where to start, look no further. Here’s a breakdown of the most widely used Peloton Bike classes, so you can choose the best ride to reach your goals.

If You Want to Get Sweaty Fast: Intervals

These rides include HIIT & Hills (which stands for high-intensity interval training), HIIT, Intervals and Intervals & Arms. This type of workout is considered an anaerobic one. That is, one that requires a lot of energy in a small window of time, so your body doesn’t have enough oxygen to keep up. The lack of oxygen doesn’t mean you can’t breathe, it just means that your body breaks down glucose to use as a source of energy instead.

“Interval classes increase your anaerobic metabolism by focusing on shorter efforts with minimal recovery time between each push,” Tunde says. “Taking an interval class will leave you drenched with sweat and your heart pumping.” Clip into one of these rides when you want a good old-fashioned cardio session while also working toward building lean muscle.

If You Need Something More Gentle: Low Impact

Low impact does not mean no effort or even low reward,” Tunde says. “What it does mean is that this ride will be lighter on your joints.” These rides are done completely in the saddle, with a maximum resistance of 50 and cadence no higher than 100 at any given point. You’ll ride at a steady pace, making this a great option for those who need a recovery day or are hopping back on the Bike for the first time in a while.

If You Want to Build Endurance: Climbs

You’ll ride both in and out of the saddle for these rides, working to reach a certain cadence at a higher resistance. Climbing in the saddle will be much harder than out, and you’ll rely on the power of your legs to get you to the top. You can do a climb ride at any fitness level, but if you’re a beginner, you may want to start with a shorter 10- or 20-minute ride. Climb rides are great for building your endurance to help you ride for a longer period over time. (Here’s what Members say about Climb classes.)

If You’d Like to Track Your Progress: Power Zone Training

Power Zone rides will have you hitting specific output levels at different times throughout the class. These targets (or “zones” as the instructors call them) are completely based on your own personal fitness. Before you begin, you’ll need to find your functional threshold power (FTP), which will help find your zones for each output range. Start with a 10-minute FTP Warm Up Ride and then take a 20-minute FTP Test Ride to find your FTP and average class output.

Going forward, you’ll be able to see your Power Zones on screen for any class you take, whether it’s a Power Zone class or not. These classes are a great way to see how your fitness has improved over time and can help you determine if you’re working as hard as you could be. Learn more about Power Zone Training.

If You’re Just Looking for a Good Time: Music & Themes

Exercise is a tool for stress relief, and there’s no better way to boost your mood than with a music or themed class. These rides will have playlists centered around a certain era, genre or concept (like AllyLove’s Feel Good rides or Jenn Sherman’s My Mixtape series). Each one is designed to make you sweat and smile at the same time.

“The music is really the star of the show for these rides, and the efforts work in tandem to create a beautiful story,” Tunde says. Make sure to rotate one of these rides in when you want to do just that—ride. Don’t worry so much about your goals and instead just focus on being present. Music is a powerful motivator, and you may surprise yourself with a PR without even thinking about it.

But don’t assume these classes will be easy to coast through. “Many music-themed rides are considered ‘fun first’ but don’t be surprised if an instructor sneaks in a spicy interval section,” Tunde warns. “We like to keep our Members on their toes and ready for anything!”

Now you know the ride types—discover all the features Peloton Bikes have to offer.

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