Peloton launched bootcamps on the bike starting September 15, 2020. Since then Peloton live and encore classes, and gave them their own section entitled “Bike Bootcamp.” These bootcamp classes no longer count towards rides but are their own category.
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What are Bootcamp Classes on the Bike?
In any Peloton bootcamp class, you alternate your time on and off the treadmill or bike with floor work using bodyweight or weights and then jump back onto the machine. If you’re familiar with CrossFit, you may know many of these moves.
Peloton has offered bootcamp classes for a while, but only on the Tread. For those of us who don’t have a treadmill, Peloton members have substituted their bikes or even ellipticals for the treadmill sequences.
While this sounds easy, it’s been less than ideal. If you’re using the bike, this requires you to start your exercise on the bike, wearing your spin shoes, hop off the bike, quickly change into sneakers to do the floor work, then go back onto the bike to finish the workout. All this, without a pause button, which means you couldn’t take a live class, only those on-demand.
But with the introduction of Peloton classes designed specifically for the bike, these moves become seamless. The instructors even give you transition time built into the class to change out your shoes. Personally, I do the strength training portion barefoot.
Why Should You Add Bootcamp Classes to Your Workout Routine?
While cardio exercise is great for the heart, strength training builds muscle. Plus, weight training improves your metabolism, which helps you to burn more calories throughout the day. To really lose weight, you need a combination of both cardio and strength training workouts.
Peloton motivates me like no other workout, yet, I know I don’t do strength training enough. I think that consistently adding bootcamp workouts to my fitness routine might be the golden ticket for me to finally drop those last few pounds.
(Note: Peloton recently added resistance band workout classes).
Which Instructors are Teaching the Peloton Bike Bootcamp Classes?
Cody Rigsby, Jess Sims, Robin Arzon, Tunde Oyeneyin teach the bootcamp classes.
For more information about the Peloton instructors, check out this blog post, with some surprising facts about each of them.
What Equipment Do You Need for a Bike Bootcamp?
Any spin bike will do, even those not manufactured by Peloton. You can stream the classes through your TV, phone, iPad, or computer.
The newer Peloton Bike + features a swivel screen and automated resistance. It’s no coincidence that Peloton announced the new bootcamp classes the same week as the bike, as the new bike seems designed with these classes in mind.
I used to start the class on my bike and a computer at the same time (and then delete the duplicate) but then, I bought The Pivot, which enables you to swivel your bike’s touchscreen around 360 degrees. I exclusively use this method now.
Get 10 percent off your Pivot order with this link. Use promo code MYPURSESTRINGS10. They also manufacture the SpinTray which turns your Peloton (or other spin bikes) into a spin bike desk.
As long as you give yourself enough room to workout alongside the bike, you can do these bootcamp workouts with any spin bike. You may want to stream the entire class through another device rather than the Peloton monitor to give yourself maximum visibility of the class from all vantage points (bike and floor) during the workout.
Some classes require only your own bodyweight. Others require a range of moderate to heavy weighted dumbbells.
Peloton sells weights on their site, ranging from 5 to 30 pounds but you can purchase these weights as well as any of their required accessories elsewhere.
Weights are hard to find these days so grab them wherever you see them in stock. I’ve had my eye on these Bowflex all-in-one set of weights forever.
You will not use your 1, 2, or 3 pound dumbbells in the bootcamp classes.
How to Tell if You’re Using the Right Sized Weights
In a recent Facebook Live (video at the end of this post), Cody Rigsby, Jess Sims, and Robin Arzon emphasized form over everything else, meaning there is no one size fits all weight. Use whatever weight is appropriate for you but always try for something heavier than you think you can lift.
It’s trial and error but here are some helpful tips to determine if the weight is appropriate?
Are you struggling at the end of the set? If yes, that’s good because the weight is probably right for you.
Are you struggling the entire time? If yes, the weight is too heavy and is affecting your form.
Can you do over 15 reps in 45 seconds? If yes, you need heavier weights.
Weights for Lower Body Workouts
For the lower body moves, Cody and Jess suggest a minimum of 20 pounds (moderate weight) and 30 lbs (heavy weights).
Weights for Upper Body Workouts
Cody and Jess recommend starting with a minimum of 15 pounds for your arms and 20 lbs for your shoulders.
*You can lift heavier weights using your lower body.
Place any yoga or workout mat next to your bike. You can also use squares like these but always make sure your mat has enough padding to cushion your knees.
You need enough room to squat, plank, and raise your arms and legs side to side and up and down.
Since day one, I’ve been riding with SPD shoes. If you want to do this too, you need to change out the pedals. You can find out more about that here in this blog post entitled Peloton 101: Everything You Wanted to Know About Peloton (But Were Afraid to Ask).
It’s possible since the cleats of SPD shoes are recessed, unlike the Look Delta cleats, that you could do the bootcamp workouts without changing your shoes at all.
I grew up in New York where we called our athletic shoes sneakers. Now, living in the midwest, they’re tennis shoes. Whether you call them sneakers, tennis shoes, running shoes, or trainers, you’ll want to have a comfortable pair beside you.
Slip-on shoes would make the transition even easier.
I always do my strength training workouts without any shoes on at all. Depending on past injuries, your comfort level, or need for extra support, you may want to wear shoes.
Duration of the Classes
You’ll want to start with a beginner class if you’re new to the bootcamps but classes will range from 30, 45, to 60 minutes in length.
Where Can You Find the Bootcamp Classes?
They’re listed under cycling. So far, the following bootcamp classes have been added. Bookmark these for later:
How Often Should You Take the Peloton Bike Bootcamp Classes?
Personally, these bootcamp classes make me nervous. I know they’re great but hard. If you’re new to strength training, expect soreness and ease yourself into them.
Start with the beginner classes and then do the 30-minute sessions for a while. Cody recommended doing these classes 2-3 times per week and Jess recommended 2-5 times per week.
Spinning 5-7 times per week as I do is probably not the best use of my time. I’m excited to add these classes to my schedule.
Bootcamp Terms to Know
AMRAP: acronym for as many rounds (or reps) as possible. As you improve, you’ll be able to do more of the given exercises in a set period of time.
Arnold Press: a shoulder press named after Arnold Schwarzenegger
Burpees: a stand into a squat into a plank, back into a squat and upright into a stand
EMOM: acronym for every minute on the minute. You must complete a set of exercises in that minute, after which you move on to the next set, so you’re really working for your rest time. The slower you move, the less rest you have. Jess Sims was quoted here in this article explaining it in more detail.
Froggers: a plank into a squat where you propel yourself forward and back
Single Leg Deadlift: requires balance to move one leg back behind you while moving into a neutral, flat back and lowering weights to the floor
Snatch: with a wide hip stance using your lower body to give you power to lift a weight over your head in one movement.
Thruster: squat that moves into a shoulder press
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