10 Best Peloton Classes For Beginners (Explained)


Peloton offers over 20,000 different classes from high-intensity interval training to long-distance endurance rides that can be practiced by skilled athletes. However, is a peloton good for beginners?

In general, the peloton is good for beginners because it offers a wide range of low-impact classes that are suitable for newbies. Beginners’ workouts are shorter in duration and less intense. This helps to prevent excessive muscle soreness and develop the habit of exercise.

Does peloton have beginner classes? Peloton does have beginner classes that range across all 11 categories. The classes are specifically designed to develop a good technique for all exercises, slowly improve the general level of fitness and prepare for more challenging workouts along the way.

What are the best peloton classes for beginners? As a general rule, 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.

In addition to seeing the list below with tips for peloton beginners, please read carefully the strength training recommendations at the bottom.

Best Peloton Rides For Beginners

Let me start by listing the best peloton cycling classes 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, several beginner-friendly rides are challenging in all categories.

Does peloton have beginner cycling classes? In general, peloton does have designated beginner-level cycling classes. However, peloton rides are suitable for all levels because you can adjust the resistance and cadence based on your best ability. The indicator you can look for is the difficulty score before you taking the class.

How long should I do beginner classes on peloton? To answer the question how long should I do beginner classes on peloton will depend on the class type you take. For peloton rides, you should spend around 20-30 minutes per class because it’s enough stimulus to create muscle adaptations without getting sore.

Are there any easy peloton rides? As a whole, there are several easy rides on the peloton that don’t focus on speed or intensity. Those classes work on getting more comfortable at the general exercise and are targeted at people who are just getting started or have been out of the routine for a long time.

Also, the peloton has a 6 weeks beginner cycling program where they go through all basics and teaches you the foundation (more on that later).

#1 Low Impact Ride

There are over 700 low-impact rides to choose from in the peloton library. What I like about those rides is that they all remain in the saddle. This way you can gradually work on building up the resistance.

What is low impact ride peloton? Low impact ride peloton is the cycling class where you spend all your time in the saddle, you stay with 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.

Why low impact ride peloton is good for beginners? This class is good for beginners because it doesn’t require strenuous effort and helps to condition the aerobic threshold. People who are new to indoor cycling need time to build up their stamina and endurance before they can do more intense rides.

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 damage and muscle soreness.

Below you can see the graph I’ve pulled out from the study done by (Spanidis, et al. 2018) where they’ve documented trained vs untrained individuals, and their ability to reduce post-exercise DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness).

As you can see, the more trained you’re, the more efficiently your body will recover from exercise.

The volume of reactive oxygen species (free radicals) is directly related to training intensity. Consistency in training creates muscle adaptation and over time those pro-inflammatory compounds are eliminated more efficiently. This means better recovery after the training (Cooper, et al. 2002).

On the other hand, beginners are more susceptible to muscle soreness because their bodies didn’t adapt yet to quickly eliminate those compounds. Therefore, slowly building up the volume and intensity not only helps to burn more calories but also conditions the body to be more resilient.

#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. I also recommend joining the Matt Wipers classes because he does a great job of making people feel really comfortable.

What is a power zone ride peloton? In general, 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.

Why a power zone ride is good for beginners? The power zone ride is good for beginners because uses the extensive 12 minutes warm-up as a way to gradually increase the intensity. This helps to properly prepare the body for higher effort, without getting out of breath. The classes are mostly done in the saddle.

I know when people hop on the peloton bike all they care for is burning as many calories as possible. I get it.

However, when you’re a beginner, you need to spend more time getting the body ready to move. 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 in improving exercise performance while lowering the risk of injuries in the muscles and tendons.

As you can see in the graph above, how much time we want to do warm-up doesn’t always match the time we should be spending.

#3 Beginner Ride

Peloton beginners ride is divided into beginners and advanced beginners. The main difference is in duration. 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).

What is a beginner ride peloton? In general, a beginner ride peloton is a series of almost 300 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.

Why a beginner ride peloton is good for beginners? 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. Standing rides requires more strength in your legs and better balance.

Standing position is the most difficult for beginners because it requires enormous effort to keep the body vertical and the ability to balance the weight between pedals and handlebar while still pedaling to the beat.

Plus, not only do you learn how to safely stand up, but you also learn 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 rides that require climbs for an extended period of time.

Wanna learn more? Check out my article “best peloton classes for bad knees” to learn more about how to get more comfortable on the bike.

Best Peloton Bike Bootcamp Classes For Beginners

This class is very similar to what’s been called the peripheral heart action training method (Mang, et al. 2021) popularized in the 60s. The goal here is to alternate upper and lower body resistance exercises, together with 5-7 minutes of cardio workout on the bike.

What are peloton bootcamp classes? Peloton bike boot camp classes are an action-packed series of workouts that combine short bike rides with strength training of the bike. For this class, you need a set of dumbbells, sneakers, and an exercise mat.

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.

How often should you do peloton bike Bootcamp? In general, you should do peloton bike Bootcamp 2-5 times a week, depending on your total volume of other exercises. People who only do the Bootcamp should be doing it 4-5 times a week. People who do Bootcamp in combination with other workouts can do it 2-3 times a week.

#4 Bodyweight Bootcamp Class

Starting from the bodyweight Bootcamp class as this one doesn’t require any extra weights. All you need is a bike and an exercise mat. The class can last even up to 60 minutes. However, for beginners, I recommend sticking to 30-minute sessions.

What is a bodyweight Bootcamp peloton? 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 lower body to upper body.

Why bodyweight Bootcamp peloton is good for beginners? This class is good for beginners because it helps to work on both strength and cardio at the same time. The combination of bodyweight circuit training with bike ride helps to increase the heart rate, ramps up the metabolic rate, without exhausting the muscles.

What I like about bike Bootcamp is it keeps you moving around, which makes it more interesting. It does require changing shoes when you transition from the bike on 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. 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. The only difference between the body focus and body weight is that in body focus you use weight. So you get much better muscle stimulation, which triggers muscle protein synthesis.

What is body focus class peloton? Body focus class peloton is a Bootcamp session that includes intervals of cycling and strength training including weights. This class increases your cardiorespiratory demand and helps to build muscle mass at the same time.

Why body focus class is good for beginners? Body focus peloton is good for beginners because it incorporates 15 minutes of strength training with full-body exercises using light to medium weight dumbbells, together with two 5-minute ride intervals. This way you can work on both aerobic and strength.

I like this workout because it helps you to work on your strength and endurance, without adding muscle size. Which 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.

Also, according to (Nabilpour, 2018), this type of workout “can be considered as a low-risk treatment for people with high blood pressure to improve blood pressure, increase muscular strength, and enhance overall fitness.

Still curious? Have a look at my article “choosing peloton dumbbells” to learn more about how to choose your weights correctly

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.

Does peloton tread have beginner classes? In general, peloton tread has almost 150 beginner tread workouts. All of the classes can be done either indoors on the treadmill, or outdoor in the fresh air. Classes range from a simple combination of walking with running, all the way to HIIT interval and tempo training.

Is peloton tread good for beginners? As a whole, peloton tread is good for beginners because 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 long-distance running or simply burn extra calories.

#6 Running Skills

Running skills is something that I haven’t seen before in any of the exercise programs. This is what separates good programs from outstanding one because they obviously went the extra mile to cater to every single individual, especially beginners.

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

Why running skills peloton is good for beginners? Running skills peloton is good for beginners because it helps you to build good habits of running. People who have never been taught how to run are more prone to develop inefficient form, which can lead to injury. This class explains every step whenever you want to jog or sprint.

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. However, regular people don’t read scientific papers.

Google Scholar list of scientific research about running technique

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.

#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.

What is a recovery run peloton? In general, 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.

Why recovery run peloton is good for beginners? As a whole, the recovery run is good for beginners because it has an easy pace that allows running daily without overloading the body. The class duration is typically 20 minutes. It can be done on your day off, or as a part of your progression to more challenging runs.

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).

But it can also be used as a primary way to running, especially for beginners. This class is not about speed. It’s more about showing up and do 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.

What is HIIT run peloton? HIIT run peloton is a high-intensity running class that introduces different types of interval training. The main ways to do HIIT are either by fast pace running followed by walking or slower jogging. Another way is increasing the incline on the tread, followed by a flat run/walk.

Why HIIT run peloton is good for beginners? In general, the HIIT run peloton is good for beginners because it gently increases the heart rate 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.

I like to recommend this class for beginners because 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.

Do you like running? Check out my article “peloton for runners” to learn more about how to improve your strength, performance, and recovery

Best Peloton Yoga Classes For Beginners

I went through hundreds of peloton yoga classes for beginners to have full confidence when I recommend one for 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.

Also, the peloton has a 3-week beginner yoga program, which I recommend you check out.

Is peloton yoga good for beginners? In general, 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, where others help to focus on one specific position.

This way you can build your personalized yoga program based on the body part or asana you want to work on. If your goal is to have a stronger upper body and 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.

I also think you should try a class with Ross Rayburn as he makes you feel comfortable and is great at explaining all the details of biomechanics.

What is a focus flow peloton? 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.

Why focus flow is good for beginners? 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. It also 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. Positions vary from simple hip openers all the way to headstand or firefly.

#10 Yoga Basics

Yoga basics is similar to focus flow. I like to recommend this class for beginners who have never done yoga. Going on 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.

What is a yoga basics peloton? In general, 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.

Why yoga basics peloton is good for beginners? 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. If you feel like you need to work on the foundation first, here you can spend all your time practicing the basics.

Wanna learn more? Check out my article “peloton yoga for strength and recovery” to learn more about how yoga at home can elevate your progress.

Best Peloton Strength Classes For Beginners

Peloton offers over 2500 on-demand strength classes that range from 5 to 45 minutes. However, are those classes any good for beginners?

In general, peloton strength classes are good for beginners because they work your whole body either with or without equipment. They also can be used on their own or as a supplement to your regular weight loss or running program.

I know people who just getting started want to see results as fast as possible. However, when you’re a beginner it is much better to first work on your strength before you think about losing weight. That’s why for every client I recommend doing strength training first instead of spending hours on the cardio machines.

Spending hours on cardio can burn more calories. But having more muscle and strength helps to maintain the results (Cava, et al. 2017). This means not only you can get lean but your results will last for years to come.

Peloton beginner workout plan, especially in the beginning, should include more strength than cardio. This helps to increase metabolic rate and burn more calories at rest.

I’m not gonna be covering here the strength classes for beginners. I’ve already covered that is separate article “best peloton strength classes for beginners“, which I recommend you read.

Conclusion

Peloton has thousands of beginner classes across every category. 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.

As you can see, a lot of peloton collections include beginner tutorials, which is a great way to find a form of workout that you like at your own pace. 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), nutrition coach, Ashtanga teacher, and fitness blogger. He shares his successes and failures to help busy men and women squash down 20, 50, or even 100 pounds of fat without leaving their home.

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