For the longest time, I steered clear of my boyfriend's Peloton. The speedy pedaling and booming voices of the instructors were a little too intimidating for me. But if you've ever witnessed anyone using a Peloton, you know that even though the workouts are no joke, the payoff is well worth it.
So, despite the daunting prospect of navigating real-time classes with Peloton veterans, an overwhelming amount of customization, and a seemingly confusing interface, I decided that even if I never lived up to that Peloton wife commercial, I might as well get in some pedaling to pass the time. If you've decided to take the leap like I did, but you're not sure exactly where to start, here are some tips I learned along the way.
1. Take your time adjusting the bike before you start working out
While it might be tempting to skip the introduction videos and start your Peloton journey right away, it actually pays to watch all of them beforehand. If your seat isn't at the right height, or your cycling shoes aren't positioned on the pedals correctly, it's going to be a lot harder to power through a tough class. However, if you're sure everything is adjusted properly, and the bike still feels uncomfortable to sit in, it might be a good idea to invest in a pair of bike shorts. The seat does take awhile for beginners to get used to, but don't worry — after a few rides it'll practically be an extension of you.
2. Try out lots of instructors before you settle on a favorite
Second only to your own mental and physical strength, Peloton instructors have a huge impact on your overall workout experience. You never know if you'll find encouragement in an instructor with a calming voice who showers you with words of affirmation, or an intense one who guides their workouts like a drill sergeant. And who's to say it won't change depending on your progress, or how you're feeling on any given day? The great thing about Peloton is that it's all tailored to you and your goals, abilities, and workout preferences, so it's worth taking the time to explore what classes and instructors serve you best.
3. Start out with an on-demand ride instead of a live ride
The biggest thing keeping me from hopping on the Peloton was the idea of working out live, especially considering I'd never taken a cycling class in my life and had no idea what to expect. Fortunately for Peloton beginners like myself, or anyone who simply feels overwhelmed by live rides, Peloton offers on-demand workouts, too — and speaking from experience, they're the best way to get comfortable with a Peloton. Nonetheless, when you do decide to participate in a live ride, there's no reason to feel intimidated, because classes are judgement-free zones, and giving virtual high-fives to other riders is actually a standard practice.
4. Join a tribe
If you're most drawn to the interactive nature of Peloton, you'll definitely want to join a tribe. It's one of the best ways to hold yourself accountable for your workout goals, and it's a lot of fun, especially if you've been known to enjoy taking group classes at the gym. The more rides you do, the more you'll begin to notice hashtags, like #PowerZonePack and #PelotonMoms. These hashtags represent tribes of all sizes and their corresponding Facebook groups, which are made up of other Peloton riders like you, who you can interact with and plan rides together.
5. Stack your classes
Peloton allows you to stack classes, which means you can customize your very own workout routine with as many types of classes as you want, and it'll all be organized and conveniently accessible every time you hop on the bike. This allows you to seamlessly transition from one class to the next without stopping in between to search and scroll through a bunch of different options. It's a huge energy saver, so make sure to stack your classes to get the most out of your Peloton routine.
6. Connect your AirPods and your Netflix
The more enjoyable you make your workout, the more likely you'll want to stay on your bike. I truly have a love-hate relationship with my Peloton, because even though it totally kicks my ass — literally and figuratively — I can watch Netflix on it, and that's a total game changer. Even if you're just in the mood to listen to some music, you can easily connect your AirPods or Bluetooth headphones to help you get in the zone. (FYI: Peloton instructor Cody Rigsby plays the best music in his classes.)
7. Put your best foot forward
The first time I participated in a live class, an instructor gave me the best yet simplest advice that I now tell myself every time I feel my motivation dwindling in the middle of a workout: just start pedaling. It wasn't my thousandth ride or my best performance in the slightest, but because I pushed myself to keep pedaling when I was ready to stop, it was one of my proudest moments on the Peloton. Whether you start with the Disney-themed classes like I did, or Adrian Williams's Bring the Heat HIIT, as long as you're putting your best foot forward, you can't go wrong.