Following up from my Peloton Review — we’ve had our Peloton stationary bike for a few months now (which I can’t believe — time flies)! Now that we’ve spent a decent amount of time with the bike, I wanted to share some of my favorite cycling rides, instructors, tips, and gear with you!
30 min Low Impact:
I’m not trying to adopt a complete bicycling lifestyle and become a hardcore cycler, so I am starting out with the low-impact rides (which are especially great for anyone that is recovering from an injury, that is pregnant, or that has taken a break from the bike). These rides are still fairly intensive so you still get a great workout, but there are no standing cycling segments. Maybe once my body strength improves I’ll build up to the regular rides, but I’m just listening to my body and not trying to do anything that it’s not ready to do quite yet. I will say that I do prefer the 30 minute time frame as I think it’s the perfect length for a great workout (with the warm up and cool down, I think it’s ideal if you have the time).
I’m a huge fan of pop music and those tunes really get me pumped during a ride. Whatever your music preference is, they’ve got the soundtracks for you: Alternative, Classic Rock, Country, Electronic, Hip Hop, Indie, Latin, Pop, R&B, and Rock! I adore this feature of this ride filter because the music is a very important part of the ride for me… I am way less motivated / hyped when the soundtrack is too chill or it features music that I’m not into (looking at you, Country — sorry, Country Music fans! It’s just not for me 😬). This is also a great way to mix up your rides if you’re looking to try something different from your “usual”, but don’t know where to start!
Peloton also offers an option to search within their Artist Series collection which includes every music style! I like to favorite the ones I am interested in on the app on my phone so that when I get on the bike I have the rides I want to take ready to choose from (instead of scrolling through all of the artists… and there are a LOT!).
– As an autumn lover, you know I love the New England Fall Colors ride; it totally feeds my soul and I highly recommend. It’s only 20 minutes (I would have loved for this to be longer!!), but worth it if 20 minutes is all the time you have to squeeze in a workout!
– Since we’re still unable to travel outside of the United States due to COVID spreading concerns, I thoroughly enjoyed the 30 min Paris and 20 min Champagne Region rides (being the Francophile that I am!), but there are so many beautiful scenic rides to choose from!
I mentioned this in my first Peloton post, but there is also an option to ride on your own terms (no instructor guidance on-screen). Our Peloton is in our media room and is pointed at the tv so we can also ride while watching sports, a movie, or even while binging a series if we want! I did one of these rides while watching “Mamma Mia” recently and it was so fun! I picked that movie because it’s a musical so I knew I’d be especially inspired to move with the music.
Admittedly, I haven’t taken very many non-cycling classes yet because I’m obsessed with the bike, but I did take this HIIT class on the Peloton app with Jess Sims while we were waiting for our bike to arrive and I really enjoyed it! I liked Jess’s teaching style of being motivational, supportive, and positive without being too “trainer-y”.
Peloton recently launched Barre classes on their app and I could not be more thrilled. Remember this aspirational workout post? (lol) I really did want to try to add barre classes into my routine and now I can do that easily with my Peloton app via our AppleTv!!! They launched this workout option with 10 classes and I have taken about half of them so far — it’s great to be able to mix up my workouts and exercise other muscle groups (looking at you, arms and abs)! I personally prefer Hannah Corbin’s classes to Ally Love’s because she’s a bit less intense (😬), but since there are currently only ten barre classes to choose from I’m going to try to tackle them all regardless of the instructor.
I do love that the Peloton app is available as a mobile app and as a tv app so that we can take our workouts with us (when we are able to travel again)!
EDIT 8.04.2022 —
Selfishly, I’m so thrilled that some Peloton instructors are becoming mothers because they are launching pre/postnatal classes! I would have loved these while I was pregnant with Sophie because they’re lower impact and designed with mothers’ bodies in mind. I will absolutely be taking advantage of these classes with any subsequent pregnancies.
There are currently 21 Peloton cycling instructors to choose from (and the list is always growing!), so there are certainly options for everyone! I love the variety because everyone has their own riding style and / or music genre preference so it’s easy to find instructors that you “jive” with. In the beginning I tried out a variety of different instructors, but I have found myself gravitating toward the same handful of teachers for my cycling classes and I love each of them for different reasons:
Cody is FABULOUS in every sense of the word. I enjoy his rides because he always lets you know what to expect from the ride up front and his ride style is a lot less about frequent resistance knob / cadence adjustments, and a lot more focused on building strength & endurance from sustained hill climbs (which I personally prefer) or HIIT sequences. The manual resistance knob is sensitive so finding the right number can sometimes feel like cracking safe so I’m not keen on making a ton of adjustments during my rides. 😅 I’m also a HUGE fan of Cody’s playlists!!! His casual [one-way 😉] conversations and fun banter helps the class time pass quickly — I’m often surprised that my 30 min ride is over already! “Grab some water and get your life together!” #BooCrew
Tunde’s sweet positivity is so fun to ride along with. For the same reasons that I like to follow Cody, I enjoy Tunde for her ride style and her leadership throughout class. Her personal health journey is super inspiring to me, I enjoy her [one-way 😉] conversations during class, and she also has great playlists! Total side bar: I think Tunde has such fun personal style! She was a makeup artist prior to working at Peloton and it really shows through in her classes because this girl brings the glam to her bike! Her outfits, makeup, hair… she always looks so cute and I personally know that a cute outfit helps me feel inspired to work out, so I totally appreciate that about Tunde! #TundesTribe
Sam has a very calming and positive presence during his rides (he’s an ex-Buddhist monk which makes TOTAL sense once you’ve taken his rides). His British accent is ultra charming, he’s a great class guide, and is motivating (but not in an aggressive, loud, or ultra passionate way). I’m personally not getting on my bike after getting amped up on a pre-workout drink so I don’t need that kind of wild energy on my rides. 😂 I definitely recommend giving Sam Yo a try, especially for your Beginner rides. Can I get a #YesYo !?
All of this to say, I think it’s important to try out as many instructors as possible so that you can find the ones that you like to work out with the most. We all have different workout styles and preferences so I really appreciate the variety and range of instructors — I thought the other instructors that I have followed along with were great, but just not necessarily for me and my needs. I shared my favorites with you and the reasons why, but I would also say that this is kind of a personal decision (similar to dating!) in the fact that not every instructor is going to be the right fit for you. 😉
I am normally a no-show sock kinda girl, but for this application I like a little bit more coverage to avoid any potential blisters from the edges of the bike shoes. I’ve shared the ankle socks I have and like well enough (they’re affordable, but not so cheap that they’ll fall apart after two uses; they get the job done), but I’m considering upgrading to these cult favorites.
Peloton offers their own wired earbuds (which I suppose would be a good backup just in case your wireless ones ever quit on you), but I will tell you that the last thing you want while working out is to be tethered to something. Get the wireless headphones; I promise they’re worth it. My husband and I both love our Apple AirPods and would recommend them to anyone. (I have this silicone cover to protect my case and my husband has this leather cover to protect his).
My lips end up getting super dry during my workouts so I like to slather them with a yummy balm before I hop on the bike; that way I can focus on the ride and not how uncomfortable my lips feel. 😅 I linked my current favorite — it’s moisturizing without being sticky and I adore the vanilla birthday cake scent!
Keeping long hair out of your face during your workouts is ideal — you don’t want your hair distracting you by falling out or annoy you by sticking to your neck, back, etc. I have had the best experience with these hair ties that seriously STAY PUT! I just placed another order for myself and sent a set to my sister-in-law because I love them so much. Highly recommend! If you’d like $10 off your first order click here!
OMG do these rides make you sweat! I mean, that’s the entire point, but you will definitely want to keep a small towel handy. Additionally, if you suffer from hyperhidrosis like I do, I recommend placing two washcloths on the handlebars, one under each hand wherever you normally rest them on the bar. The handlebar is certainly cushioned, comfortable, and has an excellent grip, but the washcloths just help to eliminate additional cleaning by absorbing any of my excess hand sweat. 😅
*UPDATE: Since writing this post I have discovered this product that fits like a sleeve over the bike’s handlebars and will stay put to absorb excess sweat. As someone who suffers from hyperhidrosis I appreciate this design so much and I’ve got one in my cart!
So, I adore my FitBit (full review here) and I wear it everywhere in my daily life to monitor my step count, calories burned, and my heart rate. That being said, it’s less necessary while riding the Peloton because you can sync your bike to the FitBit app to track your stats. 🤯
After every ride the bike asks if you would like to “share your ride” with a few health tracker apps, FitBit being one of them! The info is sent over Bluetooth and is tracked in my FitBit app so I can see how many calories I have burned, etc. I love this seamless integration! I should be wearing my FitBit to monitor my heart rate, but I don’t want to “double count” my activity and give myself a false sense of accomplishment. 🤣 However, I definitely do wear my FitBit any time I am doing a workout when I am not on the bike so that I can get “credit” for the activity. (Also, just to clarify, I wear the rubber band on my FitBit when working out, not the metal “watch” band).
It’s not a secret that bicycle seats aren’t comfortable… stationary bike seats are no exception. All of the instructors in the Beginner classes almost always seem to address it: “Your body will get used to [the seat] after 7-10 days.” Which absolutely turned out to be true, but we decided that we wanted a little extra cushion to help us get used to the bike seat anyway. We ended up ordering this seat cover and I’m so grateful for it because it helped me be more focused on my workout than on how uncomfortable my butt was! I stopped using it once my body got accustomed to the seat, but if hard bike seats are a concern for you I highly recommend this seat cover!
Additionally, if you’re considering a Peloton for postpartum exercise I promise that you’re going to want the extra seat cushion (especially if you’re healing after a natural birth).
After a few weeks of daily bike rides, the outer arch of my left foot started to feel tender so I Googled it and it turns out that if you aren’t stretching properly before and after workouts you can cause strain to muscles in parts of your feet and eventually long term damage(!!!). I ordered this spiky ball to help stretch out the muscles in my feet as well as doing these exercises to recover and prevent any further pain. The ball certainly did help me loosen up the tightened muscles in my foot and the tenderness has totally subsided now that I have been doing my stretches regularly. If this happens to you, order the ball! It was super affordable and was SO worth getting rid of the pain.
Cute Workout Clothes:
I always feel more inspired to exercise when my workout gear is comfortable and pretty. 😅 Of course, I adore everything from Lululemon (their Align pant is a cult favorite for a reason!). I really love the pieces from IVL Collective as well; their cuts are great and the moisture-wicking fabric is wonderful… not to mention the details like the scalloped hems on special releases! LoveShackFancy recently had a collaboration with Bandier to create some really feminine workout pieces and I absolutely LOVE mine! The colors are exactly my aesthetic (they mix and match with so many other pieces in my closet!!) and you know I love everything floral and girly. I find that if my leggings start to pill, that this fabric shaver makes them look and feel brand new again!
Whatever your style is, I encourage you to find pieces that you love and feel great in, whether that’s just support you need for your chest, or some pants that really make your ass look amazing! It really is a mood boost and helps to motivate me to get moving. Other active brands that I love to shop are: Athleta, Fabletics, Alo Yoga, and Outdoor Voices.
These shakes are perfect to drink post-workout to help your muscles recover! I looove my Premier Protein shakes and often use them as meal replacements, but now they’re also great supplements to replenish my body after a ride. I personally like all of the flavors (except for the fruit ones… not my fave), but I think the best ones are: Café Latte, Caramel, Cookies & Cream, Peanut Butter, Pumpkin Spice (seasonal), and Winter Mint Chocolate (a new seasonal that tastes like a melted Andes mint!!!).
The bike itself is super low maintenance, but I can guarantee that you’re gonna get sweaty on your rides (which is what the workouts are designed for!) so routine cleanings will definitely be needed.
We like to use Windex and a microfiber cloth to clean the touch screen monitor, but we like to use baby wipes or a general disinfectant on the rest of the bike / mat (as recommended by the Peloton blog). I wipe the bike seat and handlebars off after every ride with baby wipes, but once a week we wipe the whole thing down with disinfectant (look — we get sweaty, okay?! lol).
Additionally, a brand that I trust implicitly in regards to cleaning has shared a lot of great tips for cleaning your at-home workout equipment here!
One last thing: there will occasionally be software updates, as there always is for technology, so be sure to keep an eye out for any messages related to those!
I tried to cover everything I could think of in this post, but if you have any other questions, please let me know in the Comments section below.
Sending hugs —