How To Use Peloton Bike Bootcamp (Explained)


Today I will show you how you can optimize your workouts by using peloton bike bootcamp classes. In this article, I’m gonna cover what are bike bootcamp classes and why you should start doing them.

In general, the peloton bike bootcamp is a class category that includes over 100 workouts. It’s a combination of cardio and weight training that alternates between riding the bike and doing full-body strength exercises off the bike.

NOTE: I won’t explain here in detail the benefits of bootcamp classes. I’ve already covered that in “peloton bootcamp“, which I recommend you read.

Peloton Bike Bootcamp

The peloton bootcamp classes initially started as Run + Full Body class that was made for the tread users. After massive success, in September 2020, the peloton introduced a new Peloton bike Bootcamp series.

Peloton bike bootcamp classes are considered high-intensity training where you mix intervals on the bike together with a wide variety of weight training exercises. The classes range from 30 to 60 minutes, with an average difficulty level of 8.26.

Keep in mind that using weights on the spin bike is nothing new. In fact, most of the spin class studios use small dumbbells or bars to add variety and extra challenge to the classes.

Peloton bike bootcamp is different because you not only use heavyweights, but you also have to transition from riding the bike into the mat.

What I like about bike bootcamp is time efficiency because I can do two workouts in one session. Plus, when I alternate from cardio to weights I don’t feel muscle fatigue as I would in regular cardio (more on that later).

Does bike Bootcamp count as a cycling ride? In short, the peloton bike bootcamp doesn’t count as a cycling ride. Bike bootcamp has its own category, and any badges, streaks, and milestones are counted separately for those workouts.

Where to find peloton bike bootcamp? You can find peloton bike bootcamp classes in the “bike bootcamp” category. You can also use a filter to choose classes by their type from full-body, body focus, or by the music genre.

How Does Peloton Bike Bootcamp Work?

As a whole, the peloton bike bootcamp works by incorporating elements of strength training into the cycling class. Each class is divided into 10-15 minute segments that alternate interval training on the bike with full-body strength training off the bike.

Peloton bike bootcamp uses the same principle as the popular peripheral heart action training method that was used by former Mr. Universe Bob Gajda in the 1960s.

What is peripheral heart action training? As a whole, peripheral heart action training is a form of bodybuilding circuit training where you alternate between upper and lower body exercises while keeping minimum rest in between. The idea is not to train the same muscle group consecutively.

When you train the same group of muscles for multiple sets, the muscle starts to fatigue because of the lactate buildup. Alternating from upper to lower body helps to flush the lactic acid and allows to continue with the exercise at a higher intensity.

Studies have shown that “Peripheral heart action training as a valid substitute to high-intensity interval training to improve resting cardiovascular changes and autonomic adaptation” (Piras et al. 2015).

Peloton Bike Bootcamp vs PHA

The difference between peloton bike bootcamp and peripheral heart action training is that PHA is mainly using resistance training. The peloton bike bootcamp not only alternates between the upper and lower body but also includes a cardio component.

Another difference is that in PHA you count each exercise by the number of reps you do, where in the peloton bike bootcamp you do the strength exercises for time.

Below you can see the example of the peloton bike bootcamp class.

RoundsPeloton Bike Bootcamp
1Cycling intervals
7 min
2Goblet squats 1-2 minutes
Push-ups 1-2 minutes
Lunges 1-2 minutes
Leg raises 1-2 minutes
3Cycling intervals
9 min
4Side lunges 1-2 minutes
Mountain climbers 1-2 minutes
Dumbbell swing 1-2 minutes
Plank 1-2 minutes
5Cycling intervals
11 min
Peloton bike bootcamp example

As you can see, each round includes different sections where you do either HIIT on the bike for 7-15 minutes, followed by 3-4 strength exercises. The number of rounds per class will depend on the class duration.

60-minute classes usually have 2 strength and 3 cardio segments, where the 30 minutes class typically has 1 strength and 2 cardio parts.

NOTE: Please remember that you do get rest time in the bike bootcamp during the transition from the bike to the mat exercises because you have to change your cycling shoes.

Here you can see the example of peripheral heart action training.

RoundsPeripheral Heart Action Training
1Dumbbell chest press 12-20 reps
Leg press 12-20 reps
Lat pulldown 12-20 reps
Goblet squats 12-20 reps
Bend over row 12-20 reps
Lunges 12-20 reps
Overhead press 12-20 reps
2Dumbbell chest press 12-20 reps
Leg press 12-20 reps
Lat pulldown 12-20 reps
Goblet squats 12-20 reps
Bend over row 12-20 reps
Lunges 12-20 reps
Overhead press 12-20 reps
3Dumbbell chest press 12-20 reps
Leg press 12-20 reps
Lat pulldown 12-20 reps
Goblet squats 12-20 reps
Bend over row 12-20 reps
Lunges 12-20 reps
Overhead press 12-20 reps
Peripheral heart action training example

As you can see, the peripheral heart action training works by repeating the same round over and over. You only do one set per exercise and immediately move on to the next one with no or minimal rest in between.

Are Peloton Bike Bootcamps Effective?

In general, the peloton bike bootcamps are effective because the combination of strength and cardio forces the blood to quickly circulate through the body, which increases the maximum oxygen consumption, and therefore, calorie expenditure.

In other words, it not only works on muscular strength but also enhances the aerobic base at the same time.

Another thing I love about bike bootcamp is the intensity. There is a big difference between doing squats or push-ups immediately after getting off the bike versus going cold. My heart rate is elevated before I even grab the weights.

This helps to maintain 70-80% of maximum heart rate, which is considered a vigorous effort level even with medium weights (or bodyweight exercises).

After I’m done with circuit training, I get back on the bike to do another round of cycling intervals. This keeps the workout more interesting.

Also, time goes by much faster.

Peloton Bike Bootcamp For Weight Loss

High-intensity interval training is one the most effective weight loss methods, right after strength training.

According to the ACSM Health and Fitness Journal survey, HIIT was voted as the #3 of the top 20 fitness trends among 37,075 health fitness professionals worldwide (source).

In short, the peloton bike bootcamp is good for weight loss because it not only burns more calories than regular cardio but also leads to muscle hypertrophy. It also helps to improve balance, coordination, strength, and endurance.

How many calories do you burn on peloton bike bootcamp? In general, you can burn from 400 to 800 calories on peloton bike bootcamp per class, depending on the intensity and duration. Also, people who choose heavier weights will increase their effort level, which will translate into higher calorie expenditure.

Bootcamp is one of the most intense training programs, however, the actual number of calories burned will depend on a number of factors:

  • Class duration – Peloton bike bootcamp has 30, 45 and 60 minute classes.
  • Difficulty level – Difficulty score is a metric used by peloton to describe how tough is the class on the scale of 1 to 10. Most of the bike bootcamp classes are between 8 and 8.5.
  • Lean body mass – People with more muscle mass will use more oxygen during the workouts, therefore, burn more calories.
  • Resistance – Doing exercises with heavier weights will generally use more energy, comparing to bodyweight exercises.

I don’t typically do 60-minute sessions because I always seem to struggle with time. On the other hand, when I don’t have more time to train, I always like to choose something less strenuous like low-impact rides.

Here you can see my calorie burn from the 45-minute bike bootcamp class with Cody.

537 calories burned in peloton bike bootcamp

As you can see, the class is very effective because I work hard.

However, please remember that you cannot do HIIT workouts every day, especially if the class is more than 45 minutes (more on that in a second).

Are there any peloton bike bootcamp programs? As a whole, the peloton doesn’t have any bike bootcamp programs that last for multiple weeks. The only workouts available are single classes. There are 4-5 new classes each week added to the peloton library.

Peloton Bike Bootcamp Schedule

You can add peloton bike bootcamp to your weekly schedule despite if you train for weight loss or performance.

How often should you do peloton bike bootcamp? In general, you should do 1 to 3 peloton bike bootcamp sessions per week, depending on your fitness goals. People who train for performance can do bootcamp more often, but people who want better body composition can use it once or twice per week.

High-intensity workouts put a lot of physiological stress on the body. This means you need to have sufficient rest time to recover between workouts.

For weight loss, I recommend focusing on low-impact or climb rides as your main workout and adding bike bootcamp once a week.

Here is an example of a weight loss schedule.

WeekdayPeloton class
MondayFull Body Strength Class
TuesdayLow-Impact Ride
WednesdayBike Bootcamp Full Body
ThursdayPower Walk
FridayFull Body Strength Class
SaturdayFocus Flow Yoga
SundayRecovery Ride
Peloton bike bootcamp plan for weight loss

As you can see, a good weight loss program does include bike bootcamp, but it’s not the only class. A number of my clients use the peloton daily, and the majority ask what is the best “bang for their buck” when it comes to weight loss.

Many people think about bootcamp workouts and look at them as a badge of honor. The truth is that you only need to do it once or twice per week to get the results.

Rest of your time focus on strength training, low-intensity, and long-duration rides.

See the example of a performance schedule.

WeekdayPeloton class
MondayBike Bootcamp Full Body
TuesdayRecovery Ride
WednesdayBike Bootcamp Full Body
ThursdayRecovery Ride
FridayBike Bootcamp Full Body
SaturdayLow-Impact Ride
SundayRestorative Yoga
Peloton bike bootcamp plan for performance

That’s how I would use peloton bike bootcamp for performance. When you train for performance, you want to have more high-intensity training days, but you also need to remember about recovery and rest.

Is peloton bike bootcamp hard? As a whole, this class is hard because it requires training at 70-80% of your maximum heart rate, which is effective, but not suitable for everyone. Beginners and people who struggle with mobility may find this workout too intense.

Peloton Bike Bootcamp Classes

There are over 5 types of peloton bike bootcamp classes that allow you to choose the classes more specific based on your preferences. These classes include lower body, upper body, full-body, core, and body weight.

They also have several mixed workouts with different music genres that range from pop, hip hop, to even specific artists like Sam Smith or Silk Sonic.

To be honest, I don’t go crazy with music workouts.

Why?

Because I noticed that peloton music classes are less intense and have a lower difficulty level. That’s why I prefer to filter by either duration or type of class (which is mainly full body).

Peloton Bike Bootcamp Equipment

In short, for peloton bike bootcamp classes you need an exercise mat, set of weights, and water bottle. You also gonna need regular shoes because each time you get off the bike you will have to change from your peloton cycling shoes.

What weights do I need for the peloton bike bootcamp? As a general rule, for bike bootcamp you should have a couple of pairs of weights that range from 10 to 30 lbs, depending on the class exercises and your fitness level. Some exercises like goblet squats or snatches require heavier weight.

On the other hand, you can do exercises like biceps curls or triceps kickbacks with 10-15 lbs weights. In the beginning, I always kept a couple of different pairs of weights just in case.

Now, I got a full “peloton dumbbell rack” where I store all of my weights. You can learn more about it in my article here.

For most days I like to maintain a medium effort level because it’s easier for my joints and I feel more energetic. On the other hand, on days when I do train hard, I like to go heavy.

I was quite outspoken about using heavier weights. However, please keep in mind that how heavy you go should only be terminated by your fitness level.

What shoes do you wear for bike bootcamp? For bike bootcamp, you need to have two pairs of shoes. One pair is the regular gym shoes that you need for off-the-bike exercises. Another pair is the cycling shoes that you use for the peloton bike with the delta cleats.

That is one reason why I prefer doing peloton bootcamp on the tread instead of the bike.

Peloton Bike Bootcamp vs Tread Bootcamp

The peloton bike bootcamp and tread bootcamp are completely the same workouts. The only difference is that on the tread you do run instead of cycling. Plus, you don’t have to change the shoes from the tread each time you get off.

I find that tread bootcamp is more beginner-friendly because there is no need to change all the time. However, a shorter transition means a shorter rest period so the classes are also more challenging.

Peloton Bike Bootcamp Without Bike+

Doing peloton bike bootcamp with the original bike is challenging (and frustrating) because you cannot rotate your screen like with bike+. This makes it hard not only to see the exercises but also to pay attention to the correct form of the exercises.

How do you do Peloton bike bootcamp without a new bike? In short, to do peloton bike bootcamp (or any off the bike class) you have to move your bike to see the screen better, use peloton digital from your mobile phone or screencast bike to the nearest TV.

  • Move your bike around – Chanigng your bike set up can significantly help you see the screen clearly. Make sure you have enough space for easy access and trasntion from the exercise mat to the floor.
  • Peloton digital – You can stream your wokrout from the app and bike screen at the same time. You can use your phone, ipad, or any other mobile device.
  • Screencast – You can connect your bike screen to the TV and stream the wokrout directly.

Conclusion

As you can see, the peloton bike bootcamp is an effective tool, but it should not be used every day (especially for beginners).

Also, please remember that if you find that using weights is too much, there are a few bodyweight bike bootcamp classes you can try.

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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