7 Ways to Get the Most out of Your Peloton Bike

woman using a balance board

If you haven't tried a Peloton bike yet, you should. 

It's a fitness trend that's spread like wildfire around the world, and it's recently become even more popular as people are turning to at-home workouts during quarantine. 

The Peloton experience essentially is made up of two parts: 1. The stationary Peloton bike itself, and 2. the subscription to access live and on-demand classes. 

Once you're set with what works for your budget, all that's left is to throw your leg over the saddle and try it out. Fans of Peloton (and other at-home cycling workouts) love the convenience of working out at home, as well as how targeted and effective the workouts are. 

We listed seven simple and straightforward ways to get the most out of using your Peloton bike—from gear to make the experience more comfortable, to ways to stay accountable.

And, if a Peloton is a little too much for your budget, consider one of these other expert-approved stationary bikes to put a new spin on your home gym.

Get the Right Gear

A Peloton bike basically includes everything you need to get started upon delivery, but adding a few new items can make a world of difference. First, we recommend investing in a couple pairs of bike shorts that have a pad (chamois) built in. This protects sensitive areas from the bike saddle and is especially important as you start to log longer and longer rides (or back-to-back-to-back days). Also, consider picking up a pair of indoor cycling shoes if you didn't order any with the bike itself. They feature stiffer soles and a more supportive upper, and they "clip" into the pedals to keep your feet locked in. This makes your pedal stroke more efficient and allows you to not just push down on the pedals, but pull up to complete the revolution. 

Pump up the Jams

Just watch any pregame warmup with professional athletes, and you'll see that the right music won't just inspire and help get you in the mood, it'll also keep you engaged and pushing as you're deep into the workout. Peloton makes this easy by pairing on-demand and live workouts with specific types of music. If you're a fan of '70s classic rock or what's on the latest Top 40 charts, you'll be able to search by genre to find workouts that fit your taste. You can also turn up the music separately from the instructor if you need a little extra motivation. 

Feel the Breeze

Unlike riding a bike outside where the breeze keeps you cool and wicks moisture away from the skin, riding a stationary bike indoors can have you feeling hot pretty quickly. We recommend buying a portable fan that can either be angled toward your upper body (this helps you feel like you're actually moving forward), and if possible, put your bike in a room with a ceiling fan to increase circulation (open any and all windows if weather permits, too). 

Get Comfortable

Proper bike "geometry" is not just crucial while out riding on the roads but when working out on a stationary spin bike inside as well. The Peloton bike has a ton of adjustability to make the experience as comfortable and efficient as possible—play with the saddle height, saddle depth and the handlebar height until you feel comfortable and areas like your lower back don't feel stressed. Peloton's "Adjusting Your Bike" video is a great place to start (and can be found in the settings on the home screen). 

Find Your Favorite Instructor 

There are a wide range of different classes and instructors, so finding who and what works best for your goals and riding style is important. Like in real life, some personalities are more uplifting and encouraging while others are more demanding and tough, so matching your attitudes can go a long way not only for helping you complete the workout in front of you but for look forward to the next as well. 

Stick to a Schedule 

Consistency is key when it comes to getting the most out of your Peloton bike. Sit down and make a list of your goals, what else is on your training calendar (weight day, runs, etc.), work hours, when you need to drop the kids off at baseball practice, etc. Once you have your basic "life calendar" organized, look for gaps and fill in weekly times when you'll have 30 minutes to an hour to spare for a Peloton workout (compare with your favorite instructors' schedules, too). You can use the Peloton app to bookmark rides, RSVP using the "count me in" feature and add your workouts to your Google or Outlook calendar for reminders. 

Ride With Friends 

A little friendly competition and camaraderie can be a strong motivator to getting you on the bike as well as actually pushing hard during the workout itself. If you have friends who also use Peloton, you can join each other's sessions and ride or work out together. Once you're following each other, you can even video chat during the workout for some added encouragement (or a little friendly trash talk).

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