One thing I’ve gotten really clear on this year is figuring out exactly what works for me (and what doesn’t) when it comes to my peloton workouts.
In this article, I will explain how you can use the Fitbit tracker data with the peloton to improve your overall well-being and get better results.
As a whole, you can use peloton and Fitbit not only to measure your heart rate or steps but also to track multiple metrics like sleep quality, daily readiness score, cardio fitness score, and HRV. You can then use these numbers to modify your workouts based on your personal goals.
Plus, I will share with you my overall experience after using Fitbit for a few weeks (it’s a good one).
What Is Fitbit?
As a whole, Fitbit is an American company that specializes in wireless smartwatches and activity trackers available in over 100 countries.
Historically, Fitbit was known as a pedometer. However, today the smartwatch allows you to track several different metrics.
Compared to other fitness and activity trackers, Fitbit offers the most comprehensive report that includes over 15 different measurements that are stored and displayed via the app with a user-friendly interface.
How does Fitbit works?
It uses multiple sensors like a gyroscope, a built-in GPS receiver, a 3-axis accelerometer, and even an altimeter to track altitude changes.
It also has a temperature sensor, infrared sensors, and ambient light sensors.
The device sends all the data into the Fitbit app using Bluetooth 5.0 technology.
I have recently been using Fitbit Charge 5 with my Peloton bike and I was impressed by the variety of data it shows (more on that later).
However, please remember that you need a premium membership to access most of the metrics and get the full report.
The price for the membership is $7.99/month but it’s usually free for the first 6-12 months, depending on which device you get.
Plus, you can sync your phone with the device, which then sends you notifications from your emails, texts, and more.
Is the Peloton bike compatible with Fitbit?
The peloton bike is compatible with Fitbit and can be used as a heart rate monitor to watch your current effort level.
However, the most valuable features of the Fitbit are not the heart rate monitor, but the analytics that you get from the device.
Fitbit provides you with robust analytics reports daily about your body. You can use that information and adjust your peloton weekly workout program, nutrition plan, and more.
What I like
Wearing a Fitbit during peloton classes will measure your heart rate, as well as steps, and calories burned.
Plus, some of the new Fitbit models can also track things like heart rate variability, sleep consistency, skin temperature, and more.
What I don’t like
The Fitbit does not track what type of peloton classes you did but it does track your activity level, effort level, calories burned, and heart rate. You can use that data to evaluate the effectiveness of your classes.
Which Fitbit Works With Peloton?
Here is the list of the Fitbit activity trackers that work with the peloton app.
- Fitbit Charge 4
- Fitbit Luxe
- Fitbit Ace 3
- Fitbit Inspire 2
- Fitbit Charge 5
And here is the list of the Fitbit smartwatches that are compatible with the Peloton app.
- Fitbit Sense
- Fitbit Versa 3
- Fitbit Versa 2
Is Fitbit Charge 5 Accurate?
I’ve seen an excellent video from Rob where he compares Fitbit Charge 5 accuracy. He compares Fitbit with a sleep EEG device, as well as heart rate, GPS, and pedometer accuracy.
Here is the video.
Also, please remember that Peloton is not the most accurate either to estimate your calories.
How To Use Fitbit With Peloton
- As a heart rate monitor
- Measure heart rate variability
- Daily readiness score
- Detailed health metrics
- Stress management
- Sleep analytics
- Calories burned
1. Use as a regular heart rate monitor
The most common way to use Fitbit with a Peloton bike is as a heart rate monitor. You can sync the peloton app with the device via Bluetooth and it will display your current heart rate while you taking a class.
However, I think you get the most profound benefits from monitoring the stats directly from the Fitbit app.
Here is a list of some of the latest Fitbit metrics.
|Fitbit ECG (Electrocardiogram)|
Active zone minutes
Heart rate variability
Heart rate tracking
Resting heart rate tracking
Running speed and distance
As you can see, Fitbit helps you to see how your body responds not only to your peloton training but also to your lifestyle choices like nutrition and stress.
This can help to improve your fitness level and design your workouts based on the feedback you get from the tracker.
There is no evidence that wearable devices like Fitbit can improve your physical fitness.
However, the data that comes from the devices can be useful to interpret your day-to-day energy level, stress, and sleep patterns.
Here are some of the benefits of using Fitbit together with Peloton.
Why not use a Peloton heart rate monitor?
The peloton heart rate monitor is a strap (and armband) that you buckle around your chest only during workouts and it allows you to read your heart rate.
On the other hand, the Fitbit tracker you wear on your wrist (just like a regular watch) 24/7.
This allows us to transmit all information to the Fitbit app and receive comprehensive reports. This way you can see how each class has an impact on your body.
In other words, the Fitbit is so much more than just a heart rate monitor. The Fitbit allows you to measure the heart rate and heart rate variability, which then translates that data into practical suggestions to improve your performance.
2. Measure your heart rate variability (HRV)
Using Fitbit and peloton together allows you to track your HRV (heart rate variability) and adjust your workouts accordingly.
Heart rate variability is the variance in time between the beats of your heart.
Higher heart rate variability means the body has a strong ability to tolerate physical and psychological stress, or it is efficient in daily recovery from that stress.
Below you can see the example of heart rate variability from the ECG.
As you can see, the blue lines I’ve marked represent the HRV (heart rate variability). You can think of it as a measurement of the intervals between your heartbeats.
Studies have shown that “heart rate variability (HRV) is highly useful in diagnostics and is a reliable reflection of the many physiological factors modulating the normal rhythm of the heart. It’s a powerful way to observe the interplay between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems” (Rajendra et al. 2006).
It has a well-established role as a marker of cardiovascular risk, detection of autonomic impairment, and prediction of prognosis in several neurological disorders.
- Higher HRV means the heart beats less frequently, therefore it indicates balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.
- Lower HRV means the heart beats more frequently. This can indicate overactivity of the sympathetic nervous system that is caused by insufficient sleep, poor nutrition, fatigue or stress.
Using the heart rate variability together with the peloton is effective because it allows you to monitor and evaluate day-by-day workouts, lifestyle choices, and how they affect your performance.
It also helps to analyze this data to suggest whether you should or should not train on that day.
Of course, the Fitbit app doesn’t just give you the graphs with your heartbeat.
It feeds the information back into the app and uses it to generate multiple fitness reports.
In other words, you can see how your lifestyle choice affects your progress on daily basis, without booking an appointment in expensive laboratories.
3. Fitbit Daily Readiness
You can use Fitbit together with the peloton to assess your daily readiness to train. Daily readiness score, which is the new feature that helps to optimize your activity level.
The daily readiness score reminds me of the whoop strap strain score.
For me, a daily readiness score helps with workouts because it allows making a smart decision about whether or not I should be training, which intensity is appropriate, and how often I need to rest between sessions.
I can track and monitor my daily workout intensity and see if I’m on the right path, or if I should take it easy.
It will suggest the best workout intensity based on your personal ability to recover.
With Fitbit, I can find the optimal class duration that will be hard enough to cause training adaptation, but not too long to cause muscle fatigue. Also, I can monitor the progress based on your week-by-week fitness reports.
The Fitbit app will suggest how often should you train. Please remember it will not decide for you which classes to take.
Peloton has a number of sleep and calm meditations. Using Fitbit you can see immediate feedback on those sessions in your reports.
In other words, using Fitbit with a peloton allows me to experiment with a variety of workout classes.
One cool thing I’ve noticed about Fitbit is it doesn’t dump all the scientific metrics on you. Instead, it simplifies the numbers on an easy-to-understand scale.
The score is based on multiple metrics mentioned above.
|High readiness score||High readiness score, which is more than 30 means you’re ready to exercise.|
|Low readiness score||A low readiness score, which is lower than 29, means you should spend more time resting.|
As you can see, the readiness score is straightforward.
4. Connect to Fitbit Health Metrics
Fitbit just launched new features called health metrics, which is the ability to gather information about your oxygen saturation, breathing rate, and skin temperature.
Of course, most of these features are not critically important to reach your goals. However, they can provide additional motivation and guidance in the long term.
The amount of oxygen is tightly regulated within the body. The Fitbit is using red and infrared sensors on the back of the device that helps to estimate how well-oxygenated the is blood.
I think that this feature will be helpful for people who use peloton to maximize their performance and need any advantage to improve.
This feature allows monitoring of any minor changes in the skin temperature, and sweat and helps to evaluate how the body responds to stress or training.
According to Dr. Andrej A. Romanovsky from St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, AZ, the skin is the “largest sensory organ in our body, and it further contributes to homeostasis by sensing various disturbances occurring at the border of our internal and external environment” (Romanovsky, 2014).
In other words, skin temperature plays a role in thermoregulation and can provide viable feedback about things like the menstrual cycle, or fever.
The breathing rate (also called respiratory rate) is the number of breaths you do within 60 seconds. According to studies, to normal breathing rate is between 18 and 20 breaths per minute.
I know what you may think… Are the health metrics useful with peloton training?
For me, Fitbit health metrics are useful because they provide feedback about your workout, nutrition, and stress on multiple days (and weeks).
The Fitbit app analyses the data and gives suggested recommendations.
5. Monitor Fitbit Stress Management
Fitbit app has a new feature where you can track and monitor your stress. It also has several stress management options like mindfulness sessions.
The mindfulness sessions (together with other video and audio content) are available only via Fitbit premium.
Fitbit stress management program is useful with peloton classes because it provides feedback about your current stress. It also suggests you take meditation or relaxation classes if the numbers are above the baseline.
The peloton app has hundreds of short yoga and meditation sessions. These meditation classes can be used as a way to reduce the Fitbit stress score.
Not only that.
You can see how responsive your body is to meditation and which meditation techniques are the most effective for you, based on the results from the stress management score.
6. Take advantage of Fitbit Sleep Analytics
Another new Fitbit feature that can be helpful for your peloton classes is the sleep score and advanced sleep analytics available in the Fitbit premium.
I find that the Fitbit sleep tracker increased my mindfulness around sleep. It also showed me how a bad night of sleep has a negative impact on my performance, food choices, energy, and mood throughout the day.
The sleep tracker does help with peloton workouts because it increases self-awareness around the importance of sleep and the impact it has on fitness goals.
One thing I love about Fitbit is it allows me to experiment and see how my sleep changes when I read a book, when I eat a large meal or when I have a glass of wine just before bed.
It also has realistic sleep recommendations, as well as detailed information that dissects each night into sleep duration, restless sleep, deep sleep, and REM sleep.
7. Track your calories
Another way you can use Fitbit together with the Peloton bike is as a way to track your calories burned in the workouts.
The peloton bike does have a power sensor, which measures the METs and translates them into calorie expenditure.
However, this only applies to the classes when you’re on the bike. When you’re doing strength, walking, yoga, pilates, or bootcamp, it’s hard to know how many calories you burn (without a heart rate monitor).
The Fitbit allows you to measure your calories burned not only during any class but also outside of your workouts.
Please remember that “energy expenditure from exercise ranges from 15 to 30% between individuals” (Hunter et al. 2004). This means the body burns only up to 30 percent of calories from the workouts.
Over 70% of the calorie expenditure comes from NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis) and BMR (basal metabolic rate).
Now watch this.
Wearing Fitbit 24/7 helps you to monitor how many calories you can burn even outside of your peloton workouts. Then, you can experiment and see what type of activities contribute the most to your fitness goals.
How To Connect Fitbit To Peloton
Here are the steps to connect your Fitbit to the peloton bike. Please remember that you will only be able to see the heart rate on your peloton app, and all of the features mentioned above are available in the Fitbit app.
- Head on the “Settings” tab on your Peloton bike and scroll down to select “heart rate monitor” bottom.
- Ensure your Bluetooth is enabled and your peloton bike is connected to WiFi.
- Press and hold the back and bottom buttons until you see the Fitbit logo on the screen.
- Click refresh on the peloton app and wait until it finds a Fitbit device.
How To Sync Fitbit To Peloton
Apart from using Fitbit as a regular heart rate monitor, you can also sync your peloton with the Fitbit app and streamline all your workouts.
- Log in – Start by logging in to the peloton bike and choosing your profile.
- Select “More” – The mode button is on the bottom right corner of your bike with the icon of three dots. This will open an additional sidebar menu.
- Select “Personal Profile” – This will open your personal settings menu where you can find your personal info, customize your profile settings, and share your rides on social.
- Select “Social” – This will open a new tab with a list of apps that can be synced with the peloton bike.
- Choose “Fitbit” – From the list of apps, choose Fitbit. This will authorize the peloton to sync your bike with the Fitbit app. You can also choose to share your rides with Fitbit automatically.
Please remember to have your Fitbit login and password on hand when connecting from the bike.
Once you completed the syncing process, now you can upload all your workouts to the Fitbit app using the “Share” button at the end of the session. All metrics from this workout will be automatically posted to your Fitbit dashboard.
Using Fitbit with the peloton gave me real-time feedback about how my body works and helped me to optimize my day and my lifestyle choices.
What I like about the new Fitbit is it uses heart rate variability, which is becoming more popular in the personal fitness tracker space.
If you’re using the peloton and you have specific goals, getting your sleep, nutrition, and recovery organized will pay you in spades.