In this article, I will explain if peloton bike is effective for soccer and football players, and if so, which classes are worth your time.
As a whole, the peloton is good for soccer and football players because it helps to increase workout volume, without additional running load. People who train for soccer may choose to use a peloton as a safe way to get extra endurance and stamina work.
Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of adding cycling to your soccer routine and why a peloton is more than just an exercise bike.
Peloton For Soccer Players
Using a peloton for soccer players is a great way to control the training load. Athlete monitoring is now common practice because it provides the information to refine the workout protocol, increase performance and reduce the risk of injury.
You can think about the training load as a dose-response relationship. External training load is the amount of physical work done by the athletes in the form of movement. It’s basically how much and how intense they train.
Internal training load is the body’s response to that movement.
This means you can have two soccer players who get the same external training load, but their body respond will be different.
The most common ways to measure internal training load are heart rate and perception of effort (RPE scale). You can also monitor levels of fatigue, amount of sleep, muscle soreness, and overall stress.
Peloton bike is an effective way to maintain external training load (exercise volume) while reducing internal load because cycling puts less stress on the body, comparing to running or football-specific training.
How Does Peloton Help Soccer Players?
Another way to use a peloton bike is to monitor performance.
As a whole, the peloton does help soccer players because it has a built-in power meter that can be used as a performance assessment tool. It can measure power output during the 20 minute FTP test ride and use that metric to provide feedback for each cycling class.
After you take the test, it will unlock the FTP power bar where you can see the immediate response of your effort. Based on those metrics you can choose the intensity that you need to train.
Good soccer training should include a variety of workouts including field training, strength training, plyometrics, and performance conditioning, as well as low-intensity injury prevention exercises.
This requires continuous improvement in aerobic and anaerobic fitness. Many peloton classes (including HIIT, Tabata, and Power Zone rides) works at high intensity, which targets specifically both of those thresholds.
Best Peloton Rides For Soccer Players
Some of the best peloton rides for soccer players will include Power Zone and Heart Rate Zone rides. Those classes allow to slowly build up the resistance and cadence to reach the lactate threshold. Each class includes a number of intervals where you work at 80-95% max heart rate.
I won’t cover here the details about how to use peloton power zone rides. I’ve already covered that in my article “peloton power zone“, which I recommend you read.
But going hard isn’t the only way to use your bike. You can also take advantage of the variety of low-impact rides that are perfect for the recovery day after the match.
Is Peloton Good Active Recovery?
In general, the peloton is good for active recovery after soccer training because it offers a wide variety of low-impact and recovery rides that helps to enhance muscle perfusion and down-regulate. The goal of active recovery is to avoid rigorous activities.
Some of the most common recovery strategies for the day after the match for football and soccer players include active recovery runs, pool sessions, cycling, or upper body strength training (Abaïdia et al. 2017).
Also, keep in mind that cycling is a viable way to train while recovering from injury. One of the most important task for football players is safe to return to play, in the shortest possible time.
This requires the use of a range of training methods to ensure players work at the limits of their capacity, while simultaneously allowing to facilitate optimal tissue healing.
Of course, this requires collaboration between the player and sports physician. Designing an RTP (return to play) exercise program you need to take into consideration current movement capacity, tissue healing, and perception of pain.
Studies have shown that early loading is an effective way to stimulate regeneration with improved biomechanical strength and lower atrophy (Järvinen et al. 2005).
In other words, the sooner you start moving after the injury, the better for healing and recovery.
Peloton is good for injury because it helps to speed up the healing process by recruiting the muscle without significant pain or discomfort. Cycling, as a non-weight-bearing (NWB) exercise, provides a controlled load that is essential in the early stages of return to play.
This helps to be consistent with the training routine and recover faster, without overtraining.
Do Professional Athletes Use Peloton?
In general, professional athletes like Michael Phelps or Roger Federer do use peloton. Many athletes use cycling as an alternative during the off-season to maintain their fitness level. Not only it helps to stay fit, but also it can be done at home.
Some of the peloton rides are extremely challenging. In fact, the most difficult bike classes are 20-minute All-Star Rides with Robin Arzon where she challenges some of the greatest athletes in the world including Kyle Rudolph, Dawn Staley, Kyla Ross, or Matt Grevers.
Of course, cycling will help with endurance but nothing is better for soccer performance than running-based conditioning work. The most effective way to improve in soccer is from training that mimics the match environment.
That includes accelerations, decelerations, agility drills, distance runs, and gym-based activities.
As you can see, the peloton is a great way to keep up with fitness during the off-season, when you’re coming back from the injury, or to reduce workout load from running. It is also a great tool to improve the recovery process after a match or hard training.
I think the best way to use a peloton for soccer is to alternate with the field work because it can help to prevent overtraining. Overtraining is bad because not only it lowers performance, but it’s also a high risk for injury.