Alongside the release of the Peloton Guide, Peloton created tons of new strength programs. If you’ve been wanting to try out some of these programs and don’t know where to start, this post is for you. You’ll learn about the differences between each program and what equipment you need.
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- The History of Peloton Strength
- Peloton Introduces the Guide
- The Benefits of Strength Training
- What Sized Weights and Dumbbells Should You Use for Peloton Strength Classes?
- Recommended Equipment for Peloton Strength Classes
- What Types of Equipment Do You Need for Each Strength Class?
- What Equipment Do You Need for Peloton Strength Programs?
- Final Thoughts
The History of Peloton Strength
When Peloton first came onto the scene in 2014, it focused strictly on indoor cycling classes. Within a couple of years, they added some “Beyond the Ride” classes, mainly short light weights and arms classes done on the bike. In 2018, Peloton started focusing more on actual strength classes like core. Instructors Emma Lovewell debuted her first “Crush Your Core Program” and Andy Speer introduced his “Total Strength Program.”
Peloton Introduces the Guide
In the spring of 2022, Peloton came out with the Peloton Guide (and of course, I needed to try it). You can read my full review here.
One great thing that occurred with the release of the Guide is that Peloton started paying attention to and delivering more strength programs and content. There are even some exclusive Peloton Guide classes discussed below.
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The Benefits of Strength Training
I’m not a doctor or a personal trainer so this is based on my own research and personal results:
- Weight Loss: When I’m trying to lose weight, the only way I see significant results is when I incorporate more strength training into my workout schedule.
- Metabolism: One huge benefit of strength training is that you can continue to burn calories even after your workout ends, more than from cardio exercise. In fact, most days now, if I have to choose, I’ll take a strength class over cardio.
- Physical Changes: I can see the difference in my body when I focus more heavily on strength training.
- Fight Aging: Strength training is important for bone health, balance, and coordination.
- Inner Strength: There’s the badass factor. I feel strong and that gives me confidence.
What Sized Weights and Dumbbells Should You Use for Peloton Strength Classes?
This is subjective and depends on many factors.
Are you new to strength training? Are you recovering from an injury or recent pregnancy? Are you currently pregnant? It even comes down to your age, gender, body type, and which part of the body you’re working. For example, you can use heavier weights for lower body workouts. I always have to go down in weight when I work my shoulders. Lateral raises are killer!
For me, I consider light weights anything from 5 to 10 pounds. I also have a set of 8-pound weights. Mediums are 10 to 15 pounds, and heavy weights are anything over that. Currently, 20-pounds are my heaviest weights but I think I’m ready to upgrade to 25’s.
My weights are pretty consistent with Peloton’s recommendations. How do you know when you’re ready to go up in weight? If you can complete a full circuit without straining through the last few reps, you’re probably ready to increase to the next level.
I often keep a full range of weights in front of me so I can modify for each body-specific exercise.
Recommended Equipment for Peloton Strength Classes
There are a few universal pieces of equipment you’ll want to get. (Check out this post If you’re interested in other must-have Peloton accessories.)
1. Workout Mat
For a long time, I did strength training barefoot but I realized a good pair of shoes made a huge difference to my stability. This is the pair I have.
You can use your computer, iPad, or phone to view the strength training workouts. If you have the Bike Plus, your screen swivels and you’re good to go. If you have the original bike as I do, I highly recommend the Pivot by Top Form Design. (Use code MYPURSESTRINGS10 to save 10 percent).
GET 10% OFF THE PIVOT FROM TOP FORM DESIGN PRODUCT WITH THE LINK ABOVE OR CLICK ON THE IMAGE. USE CODE MYPURSESTRINGS10
If you buy the Peloton Guide, you need to use a television.
If you can, I recommend installing a mirror to check your form. If you use the Guide, you don’t need a mirror as you can see yourself on screen using self-mode.
While some classes require only bodyweight like Pilates, Barre, or the aptly named Bodyweight classes, you’ll want to get a set of light dumbbells to start, along with medium and heavier weights. I recommend getting 5, 8, 10, 15, and 20-pound dumbbells and weights.
6. Heart Rate Monitor
An Apple Watch works great with the Peloton app or Bike during strength classes to monitor your heart rate on screen. However, it does not work with the Guide. For that, I recommend getting either Peloton’s heart rate monitor or this USB one, which I have.
What Types of Equipment Do You Need for Each Strength Class?
Peloton offers the following strength classes:
Lasting between 5 and 10 minutes, these pre-workout strength classes typically utilize no weights. They can focus on specific body parts, like upper body, lower body, or glutes and legs, but most are full-body workouts.
Equipment: You need a mat and rarely, a light weight, 5 to 10 pounds.
Arms & Light Weights
These exercises are meant to be taken on the bike, although you can hop off the bike if you prefer. The classes are similar to the arms interval section during a ride. These classes have little to no breaks and often use isometric exercises like lateral raises. Think of these classes more as toning than muscle building.
Equipment: very light weights, ranging from 1 to 3 pounds are recommended.
As you can probably tell from the name, there are no weights needed. Classes generally range from 10 to 30-minutes.
Equipment: workout mat
If you’re new to core strength, Emma’ Lovewell’s Crush Your Core Program is a great place to start. It’s a 4-week program. There’s a Crush Your Core 1 or 2.
But most Peloton instructors teach core. Rebecca Kennedy even has standing core classes, plus there are now tons of pre-natal and post-natal core classes. I especially love Adrian Williams who makes mentions his hatred of core classes throughout the entire class.
Equipment: mat, sometimes a light weight.
Full Body Strength
Taught by instructor Jess Sims, these classes are designed for when you only have a short time to get a workout into your day. Warning: these classes are intense, meaning I often avoid them. And yes, Jess will make you get that “glazed donut look.”
Equipment: You need a mat and medium weight (ranging from 10 to 20 pounds) or heavy weights.
Total Strength Program
The Total Strength, 1 and 2 is a set of programs taught by Andy Speer.
Total Strength 1 is for beginners and intermediates. You progress over the course of 4 weeks.
Total Strength 2 is at an intermediate level and taken over 6 weeks.
Equipment: you will need a full set of weights, light, medium, and heavy, and of course, a mat.
Strength Roll Call
This is Peloton’s newest strength training program and one of my favorites. Each day from Monday to Friday, a Peloton instructor will teach a live strength training class at 7:30 am EST. The focus is on a different body part each day:
- Monday: full-body workout
- Tuesday: glutes & legs
- Wednesday: core
- Thursday: upper body
- Friday: full body
The instructors are Jess Sims, Selena Samuela, Callie Gullickson, Ben Alldis, Adrian Williams, and Jermaine Johnson.
Prior to May 2022, when Peloton introduced Roll Call, in order to have a balanced workout plan, one needed to sort through the strength classes and create a schedule or find an existing plan. One in particular, Hardcore on the Floor, led by a personal trainer, took all the guesswork out and became one of the most successful Peloton-related groups on Facebook.
Equipment: mat, light, medium, and heavy weights.
Upper Body Strength
Arms & Shoulders Strength
You’ll work your arms and shoulders the entire time during these classes, usually 20-minutes in length. Ben Alldis is my favorite instructor. The time seems to fly and he gives excellent instruction. I also love Callie Gullickson especially since she doesn’t take herself seriously.
Equipment: workout mat, light, medium, or heavy weights
Chest & Back Strength
These classes usually involve planks and pushups.
Equipment: workout mat, usually medium to heavy weights
Upper Body Strength
Upper body strength is a category and also a subcategory of Peloton strength. These classes are usually 10 to 30-minutes. I have to give a shoutout to Daniel McKenna here. He makes the classes fun and I can listen to his Irish accent all day.
Equipment: workout mat, light to medium weights.
Lower Body Strength
Glutes & Legs
The lower body strength classes consist of only glutes and legs classes. They range from 10 to 30-minutes in length and are taught by all the strength instructors.
Equipment: workout mat, medium to heavy weights
There are only a few boxing bootcamp classes so far, all taught by Selena Samuela or Rad Lopez. Classes are 20 to 45-minutes.
Equipment: workout mat, light to medium weights
Strength for Runners
These classes are designed to help runners with core stability, flexibility, and overall strength. These classes range from 5 to 30-minutes and are taught exclusively by Matt Wilpers and Becs Gentry.
Equipment: workout mat, light, medium or heavy weights
Yoga instructors Kristin McGee, Anna Greenberg, Aditi Shah, along with Ally Love, Emma Lovewell, Jess King, Rebecca Kennedy and Kendall Toole teach the pilates classes. Classes range from 10 minutes to 45-minutes and can get quite advanced.
What Equipment Do You Need for Peloton Strength Programs?
There are a few Peloton Strength Programs worth noting. You can find them on your Bike, Tread, App, or Guide under Programs.
You can take the 4-week or 6-week program with Andy Speer or the 4-week German version with Erik Jager.
Equipment: You need a mat and a set of weights ranging from light to heavy.
Matty Maggiacomo and Oliva Amato teach this 6-week program.
Equipment: workout mat and a full set of weights.
Crush Your Core
Emma Lovewell teaches two versions of this program, Crush Your Core 1 and Crush Your Core 2.
Equipment: workout mat
Taught by Kendall, Rad Lopez, and Selena Samuela. This is a two-week shadowboxing class.
Equipment: No equipment is needed.
Peloton Guide Exclusive Programs
I think these are my Peloton’s best programs because they’re so structured and take all the thinking and planning out of strength training. Peloton offers:
This will be an exclusive Guide program. Right now, it’s available on the app, both live and on-demand.
I’ve taken all of the bootcamp classes: Tread, Bike, and Boxing. And, I have to be honest, I haven’t gotten into them but once I started taking Floor Bootcamp, I was hooked. Jess Sims and Selena Samuela alternate days teaching this class featuring cardio on the mat exercises along with weight training. On the last day, they come together and co-teach. It’s a 4-week program.
Equipment: workout mat, full set of weights.
You have the option of taking the 3-day Intermediate Split Strength Program with Callie Gullickson or Matty Maggiacomo, or the 5-day Advanced Split Strength Program with Robin Arzon or Adrian Williams. These programs are designed to be repeated.
I hope this post clears up some of your questions about the Peloton Strength classes and programs. If you have any questions or comments, please respond below.