Peloton Cardio Classes Review (Everything you need to know)


Recently, I had to travel abroad and I needed a good cardio workout that I can do on the go. I choose the peloton. In this article, I will explain if peloton offers any cardio classes, and if so, which ones are the best.

As a whole, the peloton has over 250 cardio classes that are done on the mat without the treadmill or bike. The classes usually follow a circuit training style workout with 4 exercises done back to back, and they range from high intensity to low-impact.

Keep reading to learn more on how many calories does the peloton cardio burn and which classes are worth your time.

What Are Peloton Cardio Classes Like?

Overall, the peloton cardio classes are like most of the popular on-demand fitness programs that are available on the market including T25 or P90x. Each class is 20 to 30 minutes long and involves a lot of jumping and moving around to work your muscles and get your heart rate up.

You can access peloton cardio classes from your bike or the Peloton digital app on a mobile device or laptop. To find them, simply select the little icon where it says “cardio” in the middle of the class selection.

I’m a huge fan of those types of workouts because they can be done on the go, especially when you don’t have access to the bike or regular gym. They are also the perfect way to stay active if you don’t have much time on your hands.

What Type of Cardio Classes Does Peloton Have?

The peloton offers different types of cardio classes, but they are mainly focused on high-intensity interval training. Those workouts are short, intense, and very effective in burning calories. However, they also involve a lot of high-impact exercises, which can be difficult for beginners.

Are Peloton cardio classes hard? Overall, the peloton classes are hard because they use different types of exercises including pushups, snatches, running, jumping, and kicking. They also use compound exercises with or without weights, while keeping minimum recovery time.

Are they effective? Technically, the peloton cardio classes are effective because they challenge both aerobic and anaerobic fitness. The most popular cardio class is HIIT, which is been recognized as a more efficient training method, compared to moderate-intensity continuous training.

What I like about the peloton cardio classes is they help me to save time not only at home but also when traveling. Traveling and finding a new gym that I like can be difficult because you need to usually sign a contract for several months.

This means you need to spend more time to find the gym without the contract, or you just have to train on your own. That’s what having access to peloton cardio is a game-changer because you can stay active, even if it’s just 20 minutes a day.

Is 20 minutes of cardio enough? Overall, the 20 minutes of cardio is enough, especially if you have a busy schedule or you are away. Busy people can mix peloton cardio with non-exercise activities like walking to increase calorie expenditure. However, in the long term, you should add strength training.

You can check out the full list of “best peloton strength classes for beginners” in my article.

Best Peloton Cardio Classes

Overall, there are not many cardio workouts on the peloton app, comparing to strength or cycling. Every week you have almost 90 new peloton rides, and only 3-5 cardio sessions.

Here you can see the list of best peloton cardio classes.

#1 HIIT Cardio

This is the most liked cardio workout on the peloton. Each week you have 3-5 live sessions that are automatically saved into the peloton library.

What is HIIT cardio on peloton? As a whole, the peloton HIIT cardio is a high-intensity interval training session that is done off the bike. All together you have almost 200 classes that range between 10 to 30 minutes. You can further filter by class difficulty or instructor.

Why HIIT cardio is effective? Overall, the peloton HIIT cardio is effective because it involves intermittent bursts of vigorous activity, followed by active rest periods. This allows to keep the class short but enables for the same benefit as that moderate-intensity exercises.

Realistically, this class is good for everyone because most of the classes are for all levels.

HOWEVER.

The peloton doesn’t have beginner cardio classes. This means that people who have knee or back problems or are undergoing any rehab should stick to the bike rides.

Another way I like to use peloton HIIT cardio is to combine it with yoga. Doing cardio before yoga helps to reduce muscle stiffness. When muscles are more elastic it is much easier to stretch as you can maintain poses for longer and deeper.

#2 Dance Cardio

Peloton cardio dance is more for fun and variety than anything else. I’m a strong believer that it’s better to do active recovery in a form of fun workouts, rather than doing nothing.

What is dance cardio on the peloton? Overall, the peloton dance cardio is a groups class that uses dancing moves and implement some basic choreography. It’s usually taught by a couple of instructors and involves a combination of salsa, cha-cha, hip hop, and reggaeton moves.

Why Peloton dance cardio is effective? As a whole, dance cardio is effective because it constantly moves your body in new ways. Not only it helps to exercise the muscles in all directions but also helps to release chemicals that are good for the brain like oxytocin, dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins.

Here’s the kicker.

A study done by Dr. Young-Ja Jeong documented two groups of people and the psychological changes after 12-week dance movement therapy (Jeong et al. 2005).

The results showed significant improvement in most of the neurohormones, including serotonin and dopamine.

In other words, dancing makes you feel happier and more positive. It also helps to stabilize the sympathetic nervous system, which helps to speed up recovery and reduce emotional stress.

My advice is to not look at the dancing as a calorie burn (it burns more calories than I’ve expected) but more of a recovery and de-stressing practice. You can do dance cardio on your own, however, I usually like to do it in a group of friends because it’s fun.

If you like the dancing part, you should check the Beachbody app. This app has much more dancing programs than peloton. You can read more about it in my article “peloton vs beachbody” here.

#3 Low-impact Cardio

Peloton doesn’t have dedicated low-impact cardio classes, but they have many lower-intensity cardio workouts like warm-ups and family fit breaks. These classes are less strenuous on the body and can be done by everyone.

Are Peloton low impact cardio classes effective? As a whole, the low-impact cardio classes are effective, especially when done on the rest days. Doing active recovery exercises in the form of low-impact helps to reduce muscle fatigue and improve blood lactate clearance while maintaining training volume.

Studies have shown that active forms of rest (light exercise, walking, swimming, cycling, low-impact cardio) helps to reduce muscle soreness and improve performance, compared to passive recovery (doing nothing).

How Many Calories Does a Peloton Cardio Burn?

On average, the number of calories burned in 20 minutes peloton cardio class is between 200 to 400 kcal. The exact number will depend on your level of fitness, current lean body weight, and age. It will also depend on the intensity that you train.

Here you can see the number of calories that I burned in the cardio HIIT class with Adrian Williams on June 17. The class was just over 20 minutes and I’ve managed to do it before my flight at 6:30 am.

Calories burned after peloton HIIT cardio

As you can see, that’s 360 kcal, which is about 18 kcal per hour.

To bring that into perspective, please have a look at the average calorie burn in some of the common exercises below.

ExerciseKcal per hourKcal per 20min
Peloton HIIT cardio360
Boxing394131
Calisthenics573191
Bicycling537179
Elliptical level 5351117
Jogging501167
Jumping rope630210
Kettlebell workout702234
Pilates21570
Walking25183
Swimming leisurely430143
Tennis523174
Caloire burned in peloton cardio HIIT vs other exercises

As you can see, peloton cardio classes are not only an effective way to save you time, but also burn way more calories comparing to other regular forms of workouts.

When To Use Peloton Cardio Classes?

I usually use peloton cardio classes when:

  • Traveling – When I travel I don’t spend much time workoing out. However, I do want to stay active so adding 20 minutes quick workout to regular non-exercise activity is enough. This can be done in the hotel room.
  • During the day – I typically have drop in energy around 2 pm so instead of drinking lots of caffeine I prefer to either have a quick 10 minute workout, go for a walk or do both. This help me to continue being productive in the afternoon.
  • Group class – Most of my friends are gym people. This means instead of hanging out in the bar we like to meet at the gym or even at home doing workouts. It makes it fun.
  • Early mornings – Instead of drinking coffee I like to break a sweat first thin in the morning. This helps me to stay sharp and energetic for rest of the day.
  • Together with other classes – On the days when I feel like going hard I don’t like to do one thing for 1-2 hours. Instead, I prefeer to do 2-3 different workouts like yoga, cycling and strength all together.

Of course, I wouldn’t recommend doing only peloton cardio as your main workout. To optimize muscle hypertrophy and maintain a lean physique you want to keep strength training as your main workout type.

Peloton Cardio Class Workout Plan

Here is an example of how you can use peloton cardio to build your workout plan.

DaysPeloton class
MondayBike Bootcamp
TuesdayCardio HIIT + Yoga Flow
WednesdayOutdoor Walking
ThursdayFull-Body Strength + Cardio HIIT
FridayTempo Run
SaturdayDance Cardio
SundayOutdoor Walking + Restorative Yoga
Peloton cardio class workout plan

As you can notice, peloton cardio can be part of the more holistic and complete workout schedule that includes strength, aerobic, and flexibility.

Conclusion

Overall, the peloton cardio classes are an excellent addition to their cycling program not only because it provides a good variety, but also is a great option for on the go workout.

The hardest peloton cardio is HIIT and it can burn anything from 12-18 calories per minute, depending on how much effort you put in. However, to maximize the energy expenditure you can always combine that with other workouts.

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.

Recent Posts