How To Choose Peloton Dumbbells (Heavy, medium, or light?)


Choosing the right weights for peloton classes will have a big impact on your results.

Today I will review the dumbbells that are available on the peloton website and also give some recommendations on how heavy you should go, based on your goals and fitness level.

dumbbell for peloton class

For the peloton, you should get a couple of pairs of dumbbells that vary in weight. Some cycling classes include upper body segments where you use 1-3 lbs dumbbells. However, the strength and Bootcamp classes come with the use of 10-30 lbs dumbbells.

In other words, you will need different weights for different classes.

Overview

In general, you need peloton weights because many of their classes require to use dumbbells, resistance bands, or other workout gear.

Each peloton class has a detailed description and displays what type of weights and equipment are used for the class.

In a nutshell, there are three types of weights.

  • Light
  • Medium
  • Heavy
peloton dumbbells used for class

The weight of the dumbbells will depend on your fitness level, strength, and the type of classes you’re planning to do.

It is also not uncommon to see classes that require you to bring multiple types of weights just because they do different exercises.

For example, in most of the peloton glute workouts, the instructors use both heavy and medium dumbbells that range from 10 to 30 lbs.

multiple weights for peloton classes

Peloton light weights

Peloton recommends using light weights for isolation movements that work on smaller muscle groups like triceps kickbacks, lateral raises, or front raises.

These exercises work on muscles that don’t need high resistance to stimulate muscle growth. Instead, they

Instead, they rely on a high amount of repetitions to induce momentary muscular failure and metabolic stress.

You can also see light weights during peloton arm workouts like “Arms & Light Weights” or “Intervals & Arms Ride”, as well as some shadowboxing classes.

Peloton medium weights

Peloton medium weights are the most commonly used dumbells in strength classes. They are used for the exercises like hammer curls, overhead extensions, and some advanced core movements.

They are also used in some of the peloton classes for weight loss becasue they help to increase your heart rate and burn more calories.

From my experience, medium weights are perfect for full-body workouts.

These classes are circuit training style workouts where you do one exercise after another, back to back.

I also see peloton instructors picking up these dumbbells for exercises that are in the medium rep range (8-12 reps).

They are also commonly used for peloton bike bootcamp and tread bootcamp classes.

Peloton heavy weights

Pelton heavyweights are mainly used for compound and lower-body exercises like squats, deadlifts, lunges, and glute bridges.

I personally don’t usually use heavy dumbbells. I prefer using kettlebells becasue they are more versatile and take up less space.

When it comes to classes, heavier weights are commonly used by an American ultramarathon runner and Peloton’s VP of Fitness Programming, Robin Arz√≥n.

Are Peloton dumbbells good?

Yes and no.

In general, peloton dumbbells are good but they are slightly overpriced (more on prices later).

When you buy a peloton bike, you can choose the package that includes multiple accessories. Essential package or higher already includes a pair of light 1-3lbs dumbbells.

You can also purchase a pair of rubber-coated cast-iron weights that range from 5 to 30 lbs from their website.

However, if you don’t have any mobility restrictions and your goal is to get stronger, you need to implement progressive overload.

This means you should be looking at weights that will challenge you.

What weights should I get for the Peloton?

It is possible to get a good workout with just one pair of peloton medium weights. However, some peloton programs require you to bring all three types of dumbbells.

For example, in their recently released split training series, which is an advanced and intermediate 1-week routine that targets one muscle group per day, you need to have all three types.

peloton weights for split training

In a nutshell.

  • If your goal is to use mainly bikes or tread, I would suggest you pick up one pair of medium weights.

Peloton light weights are too light

From my experience, I don’t recommend getting a lightweight because they’re too light (unless you have some injury and cannot handle the heavier load).

Light weights are good for seniors, overweight beginners, and people who have shoulder injuries.

They are also good for people who are undergoing some type of rehabilitation and can still benefit from using light 1-3 lb dumbbells.

My experiment

To prove my point, I’ve done a little experiment on the peloton bike.

The objective was to compare peloton rides that use weights vs no weights in terms of energy expenditure and calories burned.

On two separate days (one day off in between) I’ve done one peloton ride each.

Here is the breakdown.

DayClass
Day 145-minute Interval & Arms Class
Day 245-minute Interval Class
  • As you can see, the time and type of class were the same.
  • The only difference was that during the interval and arms class you stop cycling for 4 rounds and start doing dozens of biceps curls, shoulder presses, and triceps kickbacks.

Day 1

  • On my first day, I did a 45-minute Interval & Arms with Tunde Oyeneyin which included 4 rounds divided into two sections.
  • The first section was bike intervals (7 minutes) and the second section was arm exercises (3-4 minutes of biceps curls).
  • During these 3-4 minutes of arm work, my heart rate dropped significantly. The total amount of calories burned from day one was 416.

Day 2

  • On my second day, I completed a 45-minute Interval class with the same instructor (according to the class description, this workout should be less difficult).
  • In this class, I didn’t stop the bike to do my arm, which helped me to maintain my heart rate at the same level for the whole 45 minutes.

Results

Take a look at the picture below.

calories burned in peloton rides with and without dumbbells
Peloton ride with versus without weights
  • On the left side, you can see pictures of my Garmin watch that shows I burned 416 calories during the 45-minute Interval & Arms class.
  • On the right side, you can see in the 45-minute Interval class I burned 537 calories, which is 121 calories more than on day 1.

Here are the details.

DayClassDifficultyResults
Day 145-minute Interval & Arms8.9416 calories
Day 245-minute HIIT & Hills8.5537 calories

My thoughts on peloton lightweights

The point of doing this experiment was to prove that adding the 1-3 lbs dumbbells to the peloton class doesn’t lead to better results.

  • If your goal is to tone your arms, it is much better to do a peloton upper body class (or bike Bootcamp) that targets the arms, shoulders, and upper back with medium to heavy weights.

How to choose a weight for peloton classes

Here are some tips you can to feel more confident and choose the right weights.

  • Choose a weight that allows you to do the first 10 reps with moderate difficulty (on a scale of 1 out of 10 that should be 7/8). 
  • Go to a local Walmart, Costco, Sports shop, or local gym. They will have some weights available. Use them for a few minutes and try to see how the weights feel.
  • Reach out to a spouse, friend, coworker, or someone who is already familiar with weights. If possible, go together to the store and ask for advice.
  • Hire a personal trainer for 1-2 sessions to walk you through basic exercises and weights you can use. Ask for printed tutorials of the exercises you’ve covered.

Things to keep in mind

You don’t want to go cold turkey and just buy random weights based on other advice from people who don’t know you.

  • For example, asking people on social media groups may seem like a good idea because people are generally genuine and helpful.
  • However, it may not be the most accurate reference because those people don’t know you, your fitness, and your strength level.

Which peloton classes use weights

You will see instructors use weights mainly in the peloton classes without bike, as well as in some bootcamp classes.

Strength classes

Choosing the right peloton weights for strength training will depend on your fitness level. Knowing the right type of weight requires some level of body awareness.

This comes mainly from experience in lifting weights and exercising.

In a nutshell.

  • For beginners and intermediate lifters, I recommend choosing a pair of 10-15 lb dumbbells because they can be used for most of the exercises.
  • For advanced lifters, I recommend going heavier and choosing the weight of 20-30 lb dumbbells.

Bootcamp

Peloton bootcamp is a series of classes where you combine resistance training with cycling or running.

For example, you alternate lower-body movements with upper-body movements. I like this type of class because it helps to get fantastic workouts, without muscle fatigue.

From my experience, for the peloton bootcamp classes, I recommend getting a pair of 15-20 lb weights.

Where to buy peloton weights?

You can buy peloton weights directly from their website.

However, I spoke with a few peloton owners and everyone told me that they got their weights from other, more affordable places.

Keep in mind that you will need to pay $45 to $95 for a pair of weights. If you think about it more, you can get the same weights from eBay or Amazon for half of the price.

For example.

  • Peloton charges $115 for a pair of 20 lbs dumbbells. You can buy a pair of the same size weights at Amazon for $40.
  • Peloton charges $155 for a pair of 30 lbs dumbbells. You can buy a whole horizontal rack with multiple dumbbells (total of 200 lb) for less than $200 at Costco.

What Weights Do Peloton Instructors Use?

In general, peloton instructors use branded peloton weights (10-25 lbs) in all of their workouts, depending on the class and type of exercise.

Exercises with single weight like goblet squats allow for bigger weight, whereas exercises like overhead press call for lower weight.

What I like about the peloton class is that all instructors are clear with their advice and give a lot of good tips on the movement.

That’s why I always recommend peloton digital to all my clients who want to get fit in the comfort of their homes.

My thoughts

  • Overall, I suggest that peloton dumbbells are essential but they are not worth it for the price that peloton is selling.
  • I would not recommend buying 1-3 lbs weights just for the peloton arms classes.
  • I also think that smaller weights are useful, but only to a selected group of people like seniors, newbies, or people with a range of motion issues.
  • Instead, I would reinvest that money and spend a little extra to buy 2 sets of medium weights that you can use only for the strength and Bootcamp classes.
  • For people who have a full range of motion and don’t have injuries, it is more effective to use 20-30 lb dumbbells because they provide more resistance.

How to store peloton dumbbells

  • You can store peloton dumbbells in the house, garage, or basement.
  • The coated dumbbells don’t absorb any moisture, however, if left in the dumb area.
  • You can also use a special dumbbell shelf or keep them on the yoga mat.

Conclusion

Choosing the right peloton dumbbells isn’t an easy task, especially for beginners. It is much better to spend some time and do a little research before buying anything. Asking friends or family members for help is always a good idea.

Michal Sieroslawski

Michal is an exercise physiologist (MSc) and a veteran endurance athlete. He loves to experiment and share his successes and failures to help busy men and women who want to lose weight.

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