This Is How Often You Should Use Peloton (Explained)


Peloton is a great solution to get your workouts done without leaving your home. But how often should you use peloton?

In general, you should use peloton 3-4 times a week if you’re a beginner. A the beginning the body takes more time to recover from exercise. People who are already used to intensity can increase the workout volume up to 5-7 days a week.

But this all depends of the type of classes you do, duration of the class and your working schedule. In this article I will explain how to design your own peloton bike workout plan and how to fit into your lifestyle.

How Often Should I Use Peloton?

Generally, you should use a peloton around 3-4 days a week to start. As you getting more comfortable with intensity and your muscle soreness fades away quicker you can increase the volume by adding more training sessions or days.

In the beginning, the most important factor is recovery. We need to understand that the person who is already physically active has a different recovery rate, comparing to an untrained person.

What is the recovery rate in exercise?

Recovery rate is the efficacy of how fast your body can eliminate all the byproducts after an exercise session. When you exercise, especially during the eccentric phase, the muscles produce several pro-inflammatory compounds (myoglobin, creatine kinase, lactate, cytokines) that cause damage to muscle fibers.

The release of those compounds causes post-exercise muscle soreness called DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). This is the muscle pain that you feel even several days after the session.

To help you understand this concept better, please have a look at the study done by Dr. Ypatios Spanidis from the University of Thessaly in Greece. He documented 40 volunteers and divided them into two groups.

  • Group 1 (Trained people who did aerobic and resistance training sessions at least 3-4 times a week on the regular basis)
  • Group 2 (Untrained people who didn’t exercise)

The goal of this research was to examine the levels of inflammatory markers in the blood after exercise in both groups and see what was the difference. They also looked at the levels of muscle soreness 24 hours, 48 hours, and 72 hours after exercise.

The results

DOMS in trained versus untrained individuals

As you can see, the difference between trained and untrained people was quite significant. People who were trained and their body was already adapted to exercise-induced oxidative stress, not only had lower DOMS immediately after the workout, but also were able to recover faster (Spanidis, et al. 2018).

Here in the table below you can see that trained individuals have a much better recovery rate, especially in the period between 24 – 72 hours.

Pre24 hours48hours72 hours
Trained1.003.524.523.00
Untrained1.004.215.344.43
DOMS in trained versus untrained individuals

Untrained people have a much lower capacity for clearance and recovery, therefore they feel muscle pain and tension for longer. On the other hand, trained people, who already spend few weeks on the peloton bike have a higher capacity for the clearance of those pro-inflammatory compounds.

In other words, they can train more and they don’t get so sore anymore. The body adapted to the exercise intensity and is more efficient in the clearance of those compounds.

Recovery is also an important factor in injury prevention. People who train while being sore and have muscle tension are more likely to get injured (Cheung, et al. 2003).

Should you use peloton when sore?

Generally, you shouldn’t use a peloton when sore because muscle soreness impacts your performance. It puts extra stress on muscle ligaments and tendons. During the workout, you may not feel the pain because of endorphins, but once the workout is done you may get injured.

Of course, there are several methods to increase the recovery rate, but I won’t be covering them here. I’ve already done that in “soreness after exercise“, which I recommend you read.

How Many Days A Week Should I Do Peloton?

How many days a week should you do a peloton does depend on your fitness level. People who are just getting started should do 3-4 days a week. People who are already familiar with the routine and feel comfortable with the intensity can do 5-7 days a week.

I’ve surveyed 3 different social media platforms where I’ve asked over 500 peloton users how often they use peloton bikes and what time of the day is the most suitable for them. I also asked my clients how they fit peloton into their schedules. Here are the results.

The results

As you can see, almost all of the people asked were using their peloton first thing in the morning. The typical reason for that was that it gives them more energy or that’s the only time they have available. People said they days are always busy so getting up even 15 minutes earlier makes a difference.

Morning ridesEvening rides
96% 4%
528 people prefer to do a morning workout22 people prefer doing an evening workout
How many people prefer doing peloton morning versus evening

Another question I’ve asked was about the frequency and how many days a week are you currently using your Peloton bike. Here the numbers were much more spread across the board.

Here are the results.

How often you do pelotonNumber of people
once a week16
twice a week27
three days a week121
four days a week187
five days a week77
six days a week66
seven days a week54
Survey of 550 peloton users on how many days a week they use their bike

As you can see, the numbers vary. As we look at the graph above we can clearly see that only 10% of people use peloton bike every day. I hope it helps you to realize that you don’t need to be 100% time on the bike. In the beginning, it’s not about the frequency, but sustainability.

In fact, most of the people (308 participants) do it between 3-4 days a week. Of course, those numbers don’t have to be used as a reference. It just helps to put things into the perspective and realize that it’s not either you do it every day or you don’t do it at all.

Also, please remember about an extensive list of peloton low-impact rides that can be done on your off days. Those rides not only help with recovery much better than passive rest but also reduce muscle soreness and are beginner-friendly.

Can I Do Peloton Every Day?

In general, you can do peloton every day, as long as you choose the low intensity and short-duration class. Classes with high intensity and high duration often lead to muscle pain. Classes with short duration and medium-low intensity allow for consistency.

In other words, if you want to do peloton class every day, it is better to reduce the intensity down and choose short 15-20 minutes classes. This way you won’t overtrain and you can stay more consistent.

On the other hand, if you go with the highest intensity and longest duration for 7 days a week, it won’t take long until your body will give up. When the workout intensity exceeds the ability to recover from it, it leads to overtraining and injury.

You remember this survey I’ve showed you? I’ve actually took the time to ask all of the people who said they do peloton 7 days a week and ask them for some tips for beginners or anybody who wants to use bike more often.

Here are the best 5 tips for people who want to use peloton bike every day.

Tip #1: Wake up early

Try to wake up at 4:00 am for workouts. The first few days are hard of getting up early but your body will eventually get used to it. If 4:00 am is too early for you, then start by getting up 15 min early than you do now. Do a 15 min class. Ove time just keep adding time.

Tip #2: Try shorter rides

Try shorter rides because something is better than nothing. Set a small goal to do just do a 5-minute class. Then once you’re in the middle of the workout, you’ll feel better and often choose to do another 5-minutes. On some days when all you have is 5 minutes to give, that’s ok. Start with frequency (even if it’s short).

Tip #3: Do more in the evening

Even with a long day, you have 15 or 20 min to do a quick ride. It’s exhausting but worth it every time. 10 minutes is better than no minutes. Do you think you could start with squeezing 10 minutes in? You can always check on the news or watch your favorite tv show while you’re on the bike.

Tip #4: Change your mindset

Remember that you GET to do it, not have to do it. Change your mindset from ‘I don’t have time” to ‘I’ll make a time”. There are 24 hours in a day and there are 5-45 minute rides. Set your alarm for 6:00 am with some motivational song like Queen’s “Bicycle Race”.

Tip #5: Do more on weekends

You might have to be a weekend warrior. If your week is just too hard to do a full class, take advantage of your weekend time. If that’s the only option, do your hardest and longest workouts on the weekend. Do short workouts on busy days, save longer stacks for weekends.

Just like peloton Matt Wilpers always says to start with frequency, then add duration, and then intensity.

Is It Bad to Ride The Peloton Every Day?

It is not bad to ride a Peloton bike every day because you can adjust the intensity and duration. On the days when you have more time and energy, you can do longer 45-60 minute sessions. On the days when you don’t have time or energy 15 minutes is enough.

In other words, you don’t need to max out every day. There will be days where you want to reduce your intensity. And that’s ok. I have several clients who have zero time during the week and all they can fit in is just 15 minutes class first thing in the morning.

How Often Should I Rest From Peloton?

In general, you should rest 2-3 days from the peloton, especially in the beginning. People who just get started need more time to rest and reduce muscle soreness. During the rest time, you can implement active recovery exercises like walking or stretching.

Do you need rest days from peloton? In general, you do need rest days from the peloton because it will help you to recover and prevent injury. However, rest days can still be used to do some low-level activities like playing outside, hiking, yoga, or outdoor cycling.

How do I know if I am overtraining on peloton? Generally, you know if you’re overtraining on a peloton when your body feels weak, muscles feel tight and you have low energy. You also know when you’re overtrained when you feel like you lost the motivation and the workouts leave you worse than before.

Getting the right start and pacing yourself from the beginning will help you to prevent overtraining. Over time, the body will build up enough lactate clearance capacity so you recover faster from the classes and slowly you can implement progressive overload.

What is a progressive overload in peloton? Progressive overload in peloton refers to increasing the volume of your training classes to improve the exercise adaptations, improve physical performance and body composition. It means doing more sessions, more intensity, or more duration.

Progressive overload is important if your goal is to get fitter and improve your overall performance. When you progressively increase the intensity, volume, or duration of your rides, you will get stronger, faster, and leaner.

The problem is when people jump too fast, too soon because they want to be fit tomorrow. Which you know it doesn’t work like that. Getting a slow start is critical because it gives the body enough time to create physiological adaptations.

Conclusion

As you can see there are several ways to skin the cat. This means you don’t need to go all out. You can definitely pace yourself and design your peloton rides around your schedule that fits your needs and matches your fitness level. For people who just getting started, a single 15-20 minutes peloton session is a great start.

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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