I have to be honest: for the longest time I was afraid of taking Peloton bootcamp classes.
Just the name “bootcamp” scared me.
It made me think of the CrossFit classes I’d seen people posting about on Facebook, and that just wasn’t my jam.
But then last year, Peloton announced a new challenge focused on, you guessed it, Peloton bootcamp classes.
If you completed the challenge, which was taking at least four Peloton bootcamp classes in a two-week period, you got a badge–like a milestone badge.
Well, I’m a sucker for the Peloton badges.
So, I signed up.
Three kinds of Peloton bootcamp classes
Since 2022, when Peloton introduced the rower, it has expanded the different kinds of bootcamp classes you can take.
These days you can take bike bootcamps, Tread bootcamps (walking or running) and rowing bootcamps.
What are Peloton Tread bootcamp classes
At their most basic, a Peloton Tread bootcamp class combines cardio and strength.
You complete the cardio portion on a Tread or treadmill of your choice (if you’re using the Peloton app, like I do with my NordicTrack treadmill).
Then, you complete the strength portion on the floor, off the Tread.
In longer Tread bootcamp classes, you can expect to go back and forth between cardio and strength.
Finally, Tread bootcamps can involve running, walking or hiking.
And trust me: the hiking feels legit like hiking outside.
Have you ever walked on a treadmill at 12% incline?
It’s no joke!
What are Peloton Bike bootcamp classes
Like the Peloton Tread bootcamp classes, a Peloton Bike bootcamp class combines cardio on the bike and strength on the floor.
You can do a bike bootcamp using an original Peloton bike or the Bike Plus.
However, I would think that doing the bike bootcamps on the Plus would be better.
Because you can swivel the screen to see the strength part easier.
With the Peloton Bike bootcamps, the instructors have built in time for you to change your shoes.
If you don’t like the idea of having to get on and off your bike, then the best bike bootcamps for you to take would be the shorter ones.
That would be 30-minute bike bootcamps, of which there are plenty.
You’re only getting off the bike once.
Peloton Row bootcamp classes
The Peloton rowing bootcamp classes are just like the bootcamp on the other Peloton equipment.
However, there is one big difference: as of this writing (2023), the only way to access any rowing content is to own a Peloton Row.
So, if you own another brand of rower, you cannot do the rowing bootcamps at all.
However, you can alway follow the cardio portion of bike or Tread bootcamps on your own rower.
Then, do the strength portion.
Anyway, the Peloton Row has a swivel screen like the Bike Plus, which makes the strength part of bootcamp class much easier.
Benefits of previewing bootcamp class plan
When you preview a bootcamp class, you can see the class plan in that preview.
This will help you figure out how many times you’ll be getting on and off the bike, treadmill or rower onto the floor.
Think of it as the bootcamp class schedule so you can plan ahead.
In addition, by previewing the class plan, you’ll also have a sense of how many minutes you’ll spend in each portion of the class.
For example, a 45-minute Jess Sims 90s bike bootcamp has about 20 minutes of cycling and about the same amount of time doing a full body strength workout.
The rest of the time is spent warming up, cooling down, and transitioning from bike to floor and back again.
With these newer hiking bootcamp classes with Rebecca Kennedy, I took a look at the class plan in the preview for a 45-minute hiking bootcamp.
The schedule for the class was as follows:
- 3 minute warm up
- 7 minute walking
- 11 minute full body (strength)
- 12 minute walking
- 12 minute full body (strength)
Where do you find these Peloton bootcamp classes
You can access both the Tread and bike bootcamps from the Peloton app as well as on the Peloton website.
As I mentioned earlier, you cannot access Row bootcamp classes anywhere but the rower.
You can take any of these Peloton bootcamp classes On Demand (that’s how I’ve been doing it) or live.
For example, recently Jess Sims had a LIVE 60-minute bike bootcamp.
Um, that was a little too hard core for me, since I’m just a beginner.
Are Peloton bootcamp classes good?
After my first classes, this is how I felt.
What had I been waiting for?
I loved them.
The classes were so good!
Sure, I’m sore but sore in a good way.
You may be wondering if a Peloton bike bootcamp counts as a ride or if a Peloton Tread bootcamp counts as a run.
The answer to both?
No, they don’t.
When looking in your profile, under Achievements, you’ll see that bootcamps have their own milestones.
And within that, there are separate lines for Tread Bootcamp Milestones and Bike Bootcamp Milestones and, if you own a Row like I do, Peloton Row Bootcamp milestones.
So, you can see from the image below that I’ve yet to do a Peloton Row Bootcamp.
On the other hand, I’ve done a handful of bike and Tread bootcamps.
Equipment you need for bootcamp classes
In my blog post on the best weights for Peloton, I’d mentioned Peloton bootcamp weights.
Truth is, if you’re already doing strength classes, you probably have everything you need for class.
What are Peloton bootcamp weights
Like in the strength classes, instructors will suggest you have one or more of the following kinds of dumbbells:
I’ve yet to hear an instructor qualify what weight a dumbbell would be to count as light, medium of heavy.
Here is what I learned, though, with my first bike bootcamp classes: you definitely need something heavier than the one, two or three-pound weights on the back of your bike.
So, for me, here is how I organized my Peloton bootcamp weights.
My light weights are five pounds, my medium weights are eight pounds, and my heavy weights are 10 pounds.
I imagine as I do this more and I get stronger that will change.
I’ve already invested in 12 pound and 15 pound weights to add to my Peloton bootcamp weights set.
Mats and sneakers for bootcamp classes
In addition to bootcamp weights, you also want to have a mat nearby.
Because a lot of the strength work involves being on the floor.
You may also want a rolled up towel if you have sensitive knees.
In both my Tread and bike bootcamp classes, we were on our hands and knees for a bit.
Having the extra padding of the towel helped.
Or, you can double up your yoga mats for extra cushioning.
Finally, you need a good pair of sneakers.
Obviously, you’ll already be wearing running shoes or tennis shoes or whatever you call sneakers where you live when doing a Tread bootcamp class.
However, with the bike bootcamps, the instructors will give you time to get off the bike and change your shoes.
They give you only a minute to swap your footwear, but I’ve found that to be plenty of time.
However, if you’re riding your stationery cycle with toe cages and sneakers, you’re all set.
Need wide width shoes for working out? This article can help.
Peloton bootcamp class categories
Whether on the Tread or bike or Row, Peloton bootcamp classes fall into different categories.
These categories usually involve difficulty of the class, length of the class and part of the body you’re focusing on.
There are also classes that use weights that you hold and classes that rely on just your bodyweight.
Length of classes
Most bootcamp classes come in these lengths.
- 10 minutes (warm up)
- 20 minutes
- 30 minutes
- 45 minutes
- 60 minutes
Body focus of classes
Obviously, each Peloton bootcamp class includes some sort of cardio.
It could be as short as 10 minutes or much longer than that.
Some feature one session of cardio; others have two.
All include strength training, but the body parts you focus on can differ.
The strength classifications you can expect to see are:
- full body
- lower body
- body weight (no handheld weights needed)
- upper body
Some of the upper body classes might be specific to a body part or parts, like shoulder and back, or shoulder and arms.
Some of the lower body classes might target a specific area, such as glutes.
Are Peloton bootcamp classes hard?
Well, it depends on a few things.
First, what is the class difficulty you’ve chosen?
Next, how long is that class?
Classes are usually categorized like many other Peloton classes:
Also, are you new to strength training and cardio?
Or have you been riding, running or rowing for awhile?
If it’s the former, yes, the bootcamp classes will be hard.
But good hard.
If it’s the latter, I would still recommend starting out with beginner classes and working your way up.
Here are the best Tread accessories.
Bootcamp classes without the Bike Plus
One of the standout features of the Bike Plus is the swivel screen.
It makes it so much easier to take your workout off the bike.
Obviously, with the bike bootcamp classes, it’s easier not to have to crane your neck to see what the instructor is doing in the floor portion of class.
But you can easily take bike bootcamp classes without having a bike plus.
First, the instructors themselves are teaching using the original bike.
So, they’re talking you through how to see them when you’re on the floor.
I appreciate that as I’m taking my Peloton bike bootcamp classes on the original bike, which I’ve had since 2016.
Casting your bike to a Smart TV
Second, you can cast your bike screen to a Smart TV.
Many people do this for regular cycling classes anyway so they have a bigger screen to see.
Screen casting is also a great option for people who have their Peloton bike in a corner, without room next to it for floor work.
I always cast my Peloton to my Roku TV when doing strength work.
Installing a Peloton pivot or swivel arm
Third, you can invest in an aftermarket product that swivels your screen for you. The folks who make the SpinTray, which turns my Peloton into an exercise desk, created something called The Pivot.
The Pivot lets you swivel your Peloton screen.
The Pivot is from Top Form Design or TFD.
It’s made exclusively to be used on your Peloton.
Use code LEAH10 at checkout to save 10%.
The Pivot changes the arm that holds your table or touchscreen so it can turn to the side.
It’s easy to install, doesn’t cost a lot of money, and basically turns your original Peloton into a Bike Plus–at least screenwise!
Here is my comparison of the original bike versus the Peloton bike plus.
Aftermarket Product to Swivel Your Screen
The Pivot, from Top Form Design or TFD, makes it so that the screen, tablet or touchscreen on your original Peloton bike can pivot or swivel to the side like the Bike Plus' can.
This is a great, affordable option for doing bike bootcamp classes without having to buy a new bike. Therefore, I highly recommend the Pivot for the Peloton bike.
NEW: Use code LEAH10 at checkout to save 10% on the TFD Pivot for your Peloton.
Tread bootcamp classes when you’re not a runner
Like I’ve said, I don’t have a Peloton Tread.
But I do have a Nordic Track treadmill that has served me well over the years.
One of the nice elements of my Nordic Track is it has “jump” buttons like the Tread does.
On the left hand side of the NordicTrack screen, I can press a number to “jump” my incline without having to touch the incline up/down arrow.
Then, on the right side of the screen, I can press a number to “jump” my speed without having to touch the speed plus/minus buttons.
This makes following Tread walking classes so much easier.
And I mention the walking classes, because I am not a runner.
While the Tread bootcamp cardio portion starts out with walking, it eventually goes into running.
Again, I am not a runner.
So, when I’ve taken these classes, I simply fast walk during the run portion.
I’ve still gotten my heart rate up and broken a sweat.
If you’re not a runner and have been holding off taking Tread bootcamp classes, I would recommend you try this walking approach, too.
Overall thoughts on Peloton bootcamp classes
If you’ve never tried Peloton bootcamp classes, don’t be a chicken like I was.
In fact, I’m mad at myself that it took me this long to try them out.
They are fun, they are efficient, and after each class, I feel great.
I’m so glad that Peloton introduced the Peloton bootcamp classes challenge.
Because it got this girl to get off her butt and try something new in the Peloton app.
If you have any thoughts about your own experience with or questions about bootcamp classes, please post a comment to let me know.