10 Best Peloton Classes For Beginners In 2022 (Updated)


There are over 4,000 workouts in the peloton that are suitable for beginners. Obviously, I haven’t done them all (it would take me over 10 years or more).

Today I will share some of the best wokrouts you can find on the peloton app for beginners (based on my experience and recommendations from the peloton community).

Key Takeaways

  • The peloton is good for beginners because it offers a wide range of low-impact workouts that range across all 11 categories.
  • The best peloton classes for beginners are lower-intensity workouts, exercise tutorials, and combinations of cardio and strength boot camp sessions.
  • Those classes not only help to develop a good technique but also burn calories while preserving muscle mass.
  • Also, beginner workouts are shorter in duration and less intense, which helps to prevent excessive muscle soreness and develop the habit of exercise.

Peloton beginners guide

Peloton cycling classes have a separate “Beginner” sub-category, which you can find by using a filter tab.

  • Peloton offers over 14,000 rides and only 2.8% of these workouts are marked as beginner-friendly.
  • Beginner rides are for people who are just getting started or have been out of the exercise routine for a long time.
  • These are not the hardest peloton classes. These workouts don’t focus on speed or intensity. They focus on becoming more comfortable on the bike and help to develop good workout habits.
  • Apart from the beginner classes, there are other low-intensity classes that you can do, as long as you choose the right intensity.

Peloton beginner vs intermediate

The thing that separates beginner class from advanced class is the workout intensity and the body’s ability to recover from it.

Training recovery is about the ability to clear all lactate and other free radicals from muscle after exercise.

The volume of reactive oxygen speciesĀ (free radicals) is directly related to training intensity (higher workout intensity means a higher accumulation of lactate and other metabolites).

Below you can see the graph I’ve pulled out from the study done by (Spanidis, et al. 2018) that illustrates the difference in the ability to recover from post-exercise DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) in trained vs untrained people.

beginner vs advanced DOMS

Key takeaways

  • As you can see, the more trained you’re, the more efficiently your body will recover from exercise.
  • On the other hand, the less trained you’re, your body will take longer to recover.
  • The difference between beginners and advanced is not only due to the workout intensity but also to the ability to recover from it.

Consistency in training creates training adaptation and over time those pro-inflammatory compounds are eliminated more efficiently from the body.

beginners vs advanced DOMS

(Above you can see the graph between the amount of pro-inflammatory compounds in trained vs untrained people.)

On the other hand, beginners are more susceptible to muscle soreness because their bodies didn’t adapt yet to quickly eliminate those compounds.

Beginners can use peloton

Beginners can use a peloton because you can control the intensity on the bike by adjusting the resistance and cadence.

  • If you own a peloton bike+, you have the peloton auto resistance feature, which changes the resistance for you automatically.
  • If you have the peloton original, you have to change the resistance manually.

So technically, if you’re a beginner, you can do any workout on the peloton, as long as you adjust the resistance and cadence based on your best ability.

Best Peloton rides for beginners

The peloton app has a list of almost 300 beginner-level cycling classes, however, these are not the only ones that you can take.

In fact, there are tons of other rides that can be challenging for beginners across all categories.

1. Low Impact Ride

There are over 1,000 peloton low-impact rides available in the app. Most of them are in the saddle, which means you don’t gonna have to stand up from the bike.

In a nutshell.

  • Peloton low-impact rides are the cycling class where you maintain your cadence under 100 and you keep the resistance no more than 50.
  • This class focuses on building up aerobic fitness by slowly increasing the intensity.

People who are new to indoor cycling need time to build up their stamina and endurance before they can do more intense rides.

This class is good for beginners because it doesn’t require strenuous effort and helps to work on the aerobic threshold by gradually adding more resistance.

Why I love this class

  • What I also like about low-impact rides is they help to increase your lactate clearance from the muscles.
  • People who are trained and experienced in exercise are less susceptible to oxidative damageĀ and muscle soreness.

2. Power Zone Ride

You can find almost 400 power zone rides in the peloton app. However, for beginners, I highly recommend choosing classes between 15 to 30 minutes long.

In a nutshell.

  • The power zone ride peloton is a series of classes designed to slowly build up aerobic fitness.
  • Each class consists of a long warm-up where you’re introduced to short 30 seconds intervals.
  • In the main workout, the goal is to gradually increase the intensity aka zone level.

The power zone ride is good for beginners because uses the extensive 12 minutes of warm-up as a way to gradually increase the intensity.

This class is a part of the peloton power zone series. All of the instructors describe the intensity by referring to “power zones” that range from 1 to 5.

Keep in mind that you need to first do a peloton FTP test to unlock the power bar and to follow along with the instructor’s cues.

Why I like this class

  • This class helps to properly prepare the body for higher effort, without getting out of breath. The classes are mostly done in the saddle.
  • I recommend joining the Matt Wipers classes because he does a great job of making people feel really comfortable.
  • I also love this class becasue it reminds us to spend more time on the warm-up.

When you’re a beginner, you need to spend more time getting the body ready to move.

See the graph below.

how much time we spend on warm-up classes
  • On the left side is the illustration of how much time we spend on the warm-up.
  • On the right side is the illustration of how much time we should spend on the warm-up, especially the beginners.

That’s why I like Power Zone Rides.

Doing extensive warm-ups not only helps to increase the metabolic rate but also increases muscle temperature and blood flow (Park, et al. 2018).

Which is key to improving exercise performance while lowering the risk of injuries in the muscles and tendons.

3. Beginner Ride

Peloton’s beginner rides are a separate class sub-category. It is divided into beginners and advanced beginners. The main difference is in duration.

In a nutshell.

  • A beginner ride peloton is a series of almost 400 rides specifically designed for newbies who are new to indoor cycling.
  • Those classes last between 20 to 30 minutes. The main goal is to build up strength, and stamina, as well as motor skills like getting on and off the saddle.

This class is perfect for beginners because not only it helps to strengthen the cardiorespiratory system, but also teaches the skills like standing while pedaling.

It’s the first introduction to peloton out of saddle workouts. Standing rides requires more strength in your legs and better balance.

Why I love this class

  • Firstly, I like this class because it has a similar long-form warm-up (around 8-12 minutes) and a shorter main workout (7-15 minutes).
  • Secondly, the standing position is the most difficult for beginners.
  • It requires enormous effort to keep the body vertical and the ability to balance the weight between the pedals and handlebar while still pedaling to the beat.

Plus, you not only learn how to safely stand up, but you also how to do short 20 to 30 seconds intervals while being out of the saddle.

This is an important skill, especially for people who eventually will progress to more challenging peloton climb rides that require being out of the saddle for an extended period of time.

Best Peloton bike bootcamp classes for beginners

Peloton bike boot camp classes are an action-packed series of workouts that combine short bike rides with strength training on the bike.

For this class, you need a set of peloton dumbbells, cycling shoes, sneakers, and an exercise mat.

In a nutshell.

  • The goal here is to alternate upper and lower body resistance exercises, together with 5-7 minutes of cardio workout on the bike.

I like this type of class because it’s time-effective and helps to work out without muscle fatigue.

When you constantly transition between cardio and weights you don’t exhaust any individual muscle group.

Here is the list.

4. Bodyweight Bootcamp Class

Starting from the less intense, peloton bike bootcamp class (bodyweight) doesn’t require any extra weights. All you need is a bike and an exercise mat.

In a nutshell.

  • Bodyweight bike bootcamp is a series of classes where you combine HIIT training on the bike, together with bodyweight exercises on the mat.
  • This circuit training involves 4-5 bodyweight exercises that alternate from the lower body to the upper body.

I recommend this class because it helps to work on both strength and cardio at the same time.

The combination of bodyweight circuit training with bike rides helps to increase the heart rate, and ramps up the metabolic rate, without exhausting the muscles.

The class can last even up to 60 minutes. However, for beginners, I recommend sticking to 30-minute sessions.

Why I love this class

  • What I like about peloton bike bootcamp is it keeps you moving around, which makes it more interesting.
  • It does require changing shoes when you transition from the bike to the floor and vice versa, but you do have a designated time for that.
  • I also find that I get more energy when I combine strength and cardio in the same training.
peloton bootcamp is good for beginners

My workouts are typically done in the early morning. And even if I’m short on time, doing Bootcamp always guarantees I get a good sweat.

5. Body Focus Class

I would only recommend doing a focus class for beginners if you feel that bodyweight Bootcamp is relatively easy.

In a nutshell.

  • Body focus bootcamp class is a session that includes two 5-minute interval rides and one 15 minutes of strength training.
  • Unlike bodyweight bootcamp, for the body focus class you will need to use dumbbells or kettlebells.
  • This class increases your cardiorespiratory demand and helps to build strength at the same time.

Why I like this class

  • I like this workout becasue it reminds me Orangethery class. It’s a combination of functional strength training and cardio.
  • This is great for people who want to get stronger, but not necessarily bigger.
  • Alternating between cardio and weights conditions your heart and stimulate the muscle, but it doesn’t give enough resistance to bulk up.

Maghsoud Nabilpour, a doctorate student from the University of Mohaghegh in Ardabili, says “altering between strength and cardio in one session can be considered as a low-risk treatment for people with hypertension”.

“It can help to improve blood pressure, increase muscular strength, and enhance overall fitness,” says the researcher.

Best Peloton tread classes for beginners

Apart from cycling, running is one of the most popular forms of cardio worldwide. However, beginners won’t be able to run a marathon or even a 10K right of the gate.

So if your goal is to start running and you’re looking for the best way to get started, the peloton has a ready-made beginner running program and hundreds of classes.

In short.

  • Peloton tread has almost 250 beginner tread workouts.
  • All of the tread classes can be done either on the treadmill, or outdoors in the fresh air.
  • Peloton tread classes range from walking, a combination of walking and running, as well as HIIT interval and tempo training.

If you prefer tread than bike, then yes, peloton tread is a good alternative.

  • It helps you to gradually build up strength and stamina.
  • It can be used by newbies, as well as by skilled athletes.
  • There are a variety of programs available if you want to train in long-distance running or simply burn extra calories during peloton walking classes.

6. Running Skills

Running skills is something that I haven’t seen before in any of the fitness apps (this is what separates good program from outstanding program).

In a nutshell.

  • Running skills peloton is a series of classes that teaches you exactly how to run (literally).
  • It’s like having a personal coach. The class is focused on learning about the correct form, running with cadence, how to pace, correct stride mechanics, and more.

People who have never been taught how to run efficiently are more prone to develop inefficient forms, which can lead to injury.

Peloton running skills helps you to build good habits from the start. This class explains every step whenever you want to jog or sprint.

Why I choose this class

  • There are dozens of scientific research coming out each year about the proper running form, how to run most efficiently, and reduce the occurrence of injury.
list of studies on running technique
Google Scholar list of scientific research about running technique
  • I think peloton did a great job becasue their series of classes “Running Skills” explains the latest research about running biomechanics to people who don’t spend time reading research, yet want to know how to run efficiently.

If you’re not into science and you don’t follow all the experts, it’s very difficult to know all the insights.

I think this class is a great resource for every beginner who wants to build a good habit because it teaches you the stuff that you may not even hear before.

This sub-category of running classes is an perfect example which illustrates that Peloton went the extra mile to cater to every single individual, especially beginners.

7. Recovery Run

A recovery run is another excellent option from the peloton that caters to both beginners and advanced runners. I think this is the best peloton tread class because it can be used in a variety of ways.

In a nutshell.

  • Recovery run peloton is a series of classes designed to increase muscle perfusion, enhance recovery and reduce muscle soreness.
  • It starts with a long walking warm-up where you engage both your arms and legs before you hit the speed.

I can definitively recommend recovery run for beginners because it has an easy pace that allows running daily without overloading the body.

Some of the best peloton recovery classes takes 20 minutes, which means you can do them on your day off, or as a part of your progression to more challenging runs.

Why I like this class

  • What I like about the recovery class is that you can use that as an active recovery time.
  • According to studies, the most effective way to reduce muscle soreness from a hard workout is by doing some light steady-state cardio (Dupuy, et al. 2018).
  • It can also be used as a primary way of run, especially for beginners.
  • This class is not about speed. It’s more about showing up and doing the work at a comfortable pace. This means it helps to develop a habit of running, before adding more intensity.

8. HIIT Run

Generally speaking, the HIIT run classes are mostly used by trained people who work on their anaerobic threshold.

However, several peloton HIIT runs are also a perfect fit for beginners because of the greater recovery to high-intensity ratio.

In a nutshell.

  • Peloton HIIT run peloton is a high-intensity running class that introduces different types of interval training.
  • The most popular way to do HIIT on peloton tread is by manipulation of speed (fast pace followed by the slow pace).
  • Another way is to manipulate elevation (increasing the incline on the tread, followed by a flat run/walk).

I like this class because it gently increases the heart rate. You start by doing short 30 – 60 seconds runs, followed by the recovery time of walking.

It also has an extensive warm-up that gives enough time to increase the core body temperature.

Why I choose this class

  • This class is good for beginners becasue the long recovery time allows you to catch your breath back before you hit the speed again.
  • Within 20 to 30 minutes of class, you will do 5 to 8 intervals. This is enough to trigger muscle adaptations, without exhaustion.

HIIT runs are also part of the peloton for runners series, which is a combination of different workouts that helps to improve your running (whenever thats building strength, flexibility or stamina).

Best Peloton yoga classes for beginners

I went through many of peloton yoga classes to have full confidence when I recommend one to my clients.

I’m a yoga teacher myself and I use yoga postures with almost every single client. However, I don’t have time to record every asana.

In a nutshell.

  • Peloton yoga is good for beginners because it offers over 900 different beginner-level sessions that range from 5 to 45 minutes.
  • Each class is different. Some classes offer full-body yoga sessions, while others help to focus on one specific position.
  • Also, if you haven’t done yoga before, the peloton has a 3-week beginner yoga program, which I recommend you check out.
  • Adding yoga to your peloton workout plan is effective way to improve your flexibility, while reducing muscle soreness.
  • If your goal is to have a stronger upper body or be able to do a headstand, you can choose specific classes designed for that.

9. Focus Flow

Out of the hundreds of peloton yoga classes, I think focus flow is the perfect start for beginners.

This is like having a personal yoga teacher that shows you every element of the class before you do the full session.

In short.

  • Focus flow peloton is a yoga class series where you spend all sessions learning specific positions like crow pose, tree pose, balancing pose, or forward fold.
  • These classes also select specific asanas that target individual muscles like glutes or hamstrings.

Focus flow is good for beginners because not only it builds up the strength for each posture, but also teaches the correct form and progression of the most frequently used asanas.

Why I love this class

  • It targets each muscle group if your goal is to build strength or flexibility.
  • This is not a regular vinyasa or Hatha class. It’s more like a workshop where you can spend more time and work on things that you want to get better at.

When it comes to instructors, I recommend you should try a class with Ross Rayburn as he makes you feel comfortable and is great at explaining all the details of biomechanics.

10. Yoga Basics

Yoga basics are a series of classes, similar to focus flow. I like to recommend this class for beginners who have never done yoga.

In a nutshell.

  • The yoga basics peloton is a series of tutorial classes that teaches single yoga moves like chaturanga, downward dog, or sun salutation.
  • The class duration is between 5 to 10 minutes long and it doesn’t have any warm-up or cooldown sequence.

This class is good for beginners because it helps to prepare everyone who hasn’t done yoga before to be confident when doing the full class.

Why I like this class

  • Going to the class in the local studio can feel slightly intimidating, especially if you’ve never done this before.
  • This series of classes help you work on the foundation in the comfort of your home.
  • If you feel like you need to work on the foundation first, here you can spend all your time practicing the basics.

Conclusion

  • Peloton has thousands of beginner classes across every category. It include beginner tutorials, which is a great way to find a form of workout that you like at your own pace.
  • I think this program is the perfect starting point for beginners who want to safely increase their performance, burn fat and maintain a healthy weight for years to come.
  • Obviously, this saves a lot of time and allows you to practice in the comfort of your home.

Michal Sieroslawski

Michal is an exercise physiologist (MSc) and a veteran endurance athlete. He loves to experiment and share his successes and failures to help busy men and women who want to lose weight.

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