Peloton for Beginners: Starter Tips and Beginner Plan

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When it comes to Peloton for beginners, there is a lot of territory to cover. I know. Because I was once a Peloton beginner. That was me in 2016 when we first got our Peloton bike. I had no idea how to get started, beyond getting on the cycle and just riding.

Lucky for you there is more information out there on Peloton for beginners. For starters when you launch the Peloton app or the Peloton tablet and click around in “programs” you’ll find some “basics” classes to help get your started. In addition, when looking for classes to take, you can filter using the word “beginner.” FYI, even this many years into having a Peloton, I still take beginner classes.

But if you’re brand new to Peloton–like it was just delivered today or it’s coming tomorrow–none of what I said above makes any sense. That’s ok. I’m going to spell it all out for you plus answer common questions.
peloton for beginners

Questions about Peloton for beginners

There a lot of questions centered around Peloton for beginners, especially if you’re new to Peloton.

  • How do I get started with Peloton?
  • How do I turn on the Peloton bike?
  • Can beginners do Peloton?
  • Should you ride your Peloton everyday?
  • Who is the best beginner Peloton instructor?
  • How do I choose a username?

In this blog post I’m going to address all of these questions and more. I want this post full of Peloton starter tips and tricks to be your beginner guide so you can plan for how you can get the most out of your Peloton. Think of it as your onboarding guide for the Peloton newbie. Or a Peloton 101 course. Or an easy to follow Peloton FAQ.

Peloton cycle for beginners

Keep in mind that this Peloton beginner guide is more for the Peloton bike than anything else. Here is my new review of the Peloton digital app, which lets you take tons of classes off the cycle. In addition, I have a review of Peloton yoga using the app, which you can read here. Finally, I get a lot of questions about the best mat for Peloton. So, I just wrote a blog post on that topic.

I don’t have the Peloton tread, so I can’t write a review of that equipment. However, I have been able to do Tread classes using the NordicTrack brand regular treadmill that I’ve had for years.

So with this Peloton for beginners guide, I’m going to offer you tips and tricks on common starter subjects for the spin bike or cycle, and those new to Peloton. These includes how to understand the Peloton schedule, which rides or classes to take so you can figure out your first cycling class, how often you should be riding, plus basics like figuring out your username, setting up your profile and more.

How to spell Peloton

Before I get into the nitty gritty of getting started on your Peloton, I wanted to stop and make sure you’re spelling Peloton correctly. If not, you may not be getting the results you want when searching for information outside of this blog post for beginner tips or other information for those new to Peloton.

When reading comments on my own blog or in Facebook groups, or answering readers questions about the Peloton bike, I’ve seen Peloton spelled in many different ways. This includes:

  • peleton
  • pelaton
  • peliton
  • pelton
  • pelatron
  • pentalon
  • pendleton

Just so you know it is P-E-L-O-T-O-N.

How to start Peloton bike

Before we get into the nitty gritty of choosing a leaderboard name and profile pic, let’s start with something basic–how to turn on or start your Peloton bike. It’s really easy.

Behind the screen or table on the bike is a rectangular button. On some Peloton bike models, this start button is red or orange. On some bike models or generations, this button is grey. Either way, you want to press down on this button to start up the bike.

If the bike doesn’t start up–you need to hold the button down for a few seconds until the tablet lights up–check the plug at the back of the bike. This plug can come loose easily. So, make sure it is secure, pushed in all the way and, of course, plugged into a wall or power strip.

How do I get on a Peloton bike

I have found that getting on the Peloton bike is a lot like getting on a bike that you ride outside. That is, how you “mount” an outdoor bike probably is how you’l get on your Peloton bike.

For example, I’m the kind of bike rider who puts their right foot on the bike’s pedal, and then swings their left legs over the bike seat to get on the bike. On the other hand, both my daughter and my husband get on their Peloton bike differently.

For them, this is how they get on the Peloton. First, they straddle the bike’s frame. Then, they clip one foot into the pedal, and then the next. Finally, they sit down on the seat and start pedaling.

How to clip into the pedals

Of course, my description above brings up another issue with getting on a Peloton bike. How to clip into and out of the Peloton pedals.

In this blog post about Peloton pedals, I talk extensively about how to clip out–a problem many Peloton beginners have. However, I’ve since learned that many Peloton newbies also can’t clip into the pedals.

Here is the best way I can describe how to do that. Have you even gone skiing? You know, where you have to push your toe into the binding? And then you kind of snap your heel down to keep things in place? Well, clipping into a bike pedal is similar.

How do I clip out of the Peloton pedal?

Clipping out is a bit different than clipping in. So many people have trouble with this. Maybe you ended up here because you were searching Google for the answer to how to unclip your Peloton shoes

Start by standing up on your pedals. Next, push down on the resistance knob. While continuing to push down on the knob, twist or turn your heel away from the bike. Think about how you might crush a bug with the ball of your foot. You may even lift your heel up a bit as you turn it away from the bike. Then, repeat on the other side.

How do I pick my Peloton name?

When it comes to choosing your Peloton bike name, keep the following in mind. It isn’t just your name when you use the Peloton cycle. Peloton names are used across devices and programs.

Your Peloton bike name is also your username for logging into Peloton, the Leaderboard name that shows up during rides and your screen name whenever you’re inside the Peloton ecosystem. FYI, LB means Leaderboard on Peloton. It’s the scoreboard, if you will, that shows up in every class to show where you are “placing” among your teammates.

Ideas for Your Peloton Leaderboard name

So, how do you pick your Peloton name? The answer there is no right answer for how you pick your Peloton name. You have to pick something in order to log in and take your first Peloton ride.

I find that one of the biggest challenges for beginners to Peloton is figuring out what you want to call yourself and making it fit in 15 characters. That’s all you’re allowed for Peloton usernames. You can use letters, and add numbers and the underscore or underline to your name. But that’s it. You can’t use any special characters.

Peloton leaderboard name ideas

Many people will add something about their professional in their username. I see a lot of DOC or RNs or LAW going by on the Leaderboard. Other members will work something in about their family in their screen name, like “GirlDadof3” or “MomofTwinBoys.” There are a lot of usernames with “dogmom” or “catlady” in them–so lots of pet lovers. Still others will give a shout out to their alma mater in their Leaderboard name. I see “GoBlue” often. That’s OK–we’re Michigan fans in this household.

Some people get really clever and creative with their Peloton usernames. Some of my favorites include “MomCantHearYou” and “MazelTough.”

You’ll notice that these two LB or leaderboard names are all one word. That’s how the names work. You can use upper and lower case letters and, like I said, even the underscore or underline to separate words. But all together your Peloton name is one word. So keep that in mind.

Peloton names with food or wine

There are some fun and funny Peloton LB names that highlight users’ love for food and wine. Many times in a ride or class, I’ll see names going by like PeloforPino or Pelowine or Peloforcake or CookiesandPelo or WillRideforWine or something like that.

In fact, if you have a wine or food inspired leaderboard name, you can find some fun personalized products on Etsy. I’ve highlight a few below.

Personalized Products: Peloton with Food and Wine

Always use vowels in your Peloton LB name

When choosing your Leaderboard name, always use vowels. Sound your name out phonetically. You may know what you’re trying to say. But one of the reasons you want an easy to read username is so that if an instructor sees your screen name during a ride, they can give you a shout out. (More about shout outs later) I’ve been in classes with instructor Christine D’Ercole where she wants to give you a shout out, really she does, but she says, “People, give me some vowels.”

Speaking of instructors, I’ve heard instructor Denis Morton chuckle and say, “Punny, I like that” when someone has done wordplay with their username. So if you want a cool, creative and clever user name, do some wordplay, like “MazelTough” (instead of Mazel Tov) or “PeloniousMonk” (instead of Thelonioius Monk).

Having mentioned the “pelo” prefix, keep in mind that a lot of people use “pelo” in their usernames. You may find a limited selection of usernames still “available” with Pelo in them. However, if you happened to have a name with the sound “el” in it, and want to have fun using your name, you could be creative with something Peloton-ish. Like, if your name is Sheldon, you could “Sheldonton.” See what I did there?

Peloton for beginners: username ideas

I’ve heard some people ask if there is a username generator or a name maker. When I Googled this, I did find some options, but I can’t vouch for any of them.

Instead, the easiest way to check the availability of your username or to figure out one that fits your personality is to look right in Peloton. Login (you can use your email if you don’t have a username yet) and look for people to follow–that’s how you’ll see people’s usernames.

You can start by typing what you’re thinking of using as your username and see what comes up. As I mentioned above, a lot of people use “pelo” in their Leaderboard names. Once you start typing that in, Peloton will auto-populate it and you can see what others have called themselves.

Can you change your Peloton name?

Yes, you can absolutely change your Peloton name. At any time. When I first started riding, my username was Leahtard. Why Leahtard? It was a childhood nickname from when I took ballet classes and we wore leotards, except my friends said I was wearing a Leahtard–because my name is Leah. Get it? It’s a pun.

However, I soon realized that the “tard” suffix might sound like I was somehow making fun of the “R” word. Not cool. So I changed it to “Leah_is_Pawsome.”

peloton for beginners username

Once you’ve determined your Peloton username or Leaderboard name, you’re probably going to want to get some Peloton swag that that you can customize with your leaderboard name. Etsy is a great place for that. In fact, in my post on Peloton gifts, I highlight all of this Peloton stuff and more. Have fun checking that all out.

Speaking of Etsy, I sell a Peloton-inspired workout schedule and planner there. You’ll find more information about that at the bottom of this post.

Also, this blog post can help  you understand the Peloton schedule of classes.

Setting up your Peloton profile

Each Peloton bike or Tread can have multiple profiles attached to it. In fact, from what I’ve heard, you can have as many as 20 different profiles.

The way you add new profiles to your Peloton is simple. One, from the home screen, tap the plus symbol +. Two, follow the instructions to create a new profile. Three, save. Really, it’s that simple.

Peloton for beginners: profile picture

Don’t forget to create a profile picture for yourself. If you don’t upload a picture, you will appear as a letter in the little round circle where your profile picture is supposed to go.

You can take a picture of yourself using the camera on the Peloton tablet–didn’t know that was there? Me either until someone tried video-chatting with me during a ride. Um, no. Now there is a piece of blue tape over the camera.

Anyway, I found it easier to log into the Peloton app on my phone, and grab a picture from the saved photos on my phone for a profile picture. You can also connect Peloton with your Facebook profile and get pictures that way, but that’s a little too big brother for me.

How to choose a profile picture for the Leaderboard

Your profile picture should be clear and uncomplicated. The circle is so tiny on the Leaderboard. So, if you’re far away in the picture or in front of a busy background or in a large group, no one will really be able to see you.

Of course, you don’t have to actually show your face in your profile pic. You can create something in Canva (which is what I’ve done), or you can show an icon that means something to you.

For example, the people who tend to have a username about being a dog dad or cat mom usually have their pet as their profile pic. People who have their alma mater in their user name might show that college or university’s icon in their profile pic. Like I said I’ve seen a lot of “GoBlue” usernames go by on the Leaderboard, and they often have the maize Michigan M in their profile pic.

Confused about Peloton terms like leaderboard? This Peloton FAQ blog post should help.

Best Peloton instructor for beginners

So many people want to know who is the best instructor for beginners. There are two ways that I can answer this question. One, I can tell you who I rode with the most when I first got my Peloton. Two, I can share with you how to navigate beginner rides.

Instructors I rode with as a beginner

When our Peloton first arrived, my husband and I choose instructors in a very different way than our daugthers did. For Bill and me, we wanted a friendly face who wouldn’t be too hard on us during rides. So, for us, as beginners, we found Hannah Marie Corbin to be the best instructor for us.

On the other hand our daughter Annie was already a gym rat. She was excited to have the Peloton bike at home so she could use it when she was home from college. For her she wanted to ride with an instructor who would push her the hardest. Her go to instructor as a Peloton beginner (though not a fitness beginner)? Robin Arzon.

Instructors with beginner classes

After riding while Hannah for a few weeks, I expanded my instructor repertoire, if you will, to include a few more instructors. They were Christine D’Ercole and Jenn Sherman. My husband also expanded his go-to instructors to include Emma Lovewell and Ally Love.

One of the ways we were able to broaden our instructor horizons was to find the instructors with beginner rides and/or advanced beginner rides.

Does Peloton have beginner classes?

If you’ve just gotten your Peloton and you’re worried about finding beginner classes, don’t worry. Because Peloton has plenty of beginner classes.

In fact, nearly every Peloton class is marked as either beginner, intermediate and advanced. So, it’s easy to find plenty of beginner classes.

And how do you do that–find those beginner classes? Using the Peloton filtering tool.

Filtering for beginner Peloton classes

Peloton has a great filtering option. This helps you to find just the right kind of ride you want to take. You can filter rides by length, instructor, theme, kind of music and difficulty.

When you filter by class type, one of the options is beginner. I would start there. Right now there are 250+ beginner rides, in both English and German.

The longest beginner class is 30 minutes. And these longer classes are actually the advanced beginner classes.

Truth is, as a beginner, you should ride with every Peloton instructor at least once. Right now there are so many 10- and 15-minute classes (some labeled beginner, others not). Regardless of what kind of class it is, at 10 or 15-minutes long, you could easily get through the whole roster in no time.

Take one or two or three of these shorter classes with each teacher and see who you like the most. You can always change your mind later.

Mastering the Basics

Under Programs on Peloton, you’ll find the “Mastering the Basics” program. Technically, it’s called Mastering the Basics: Cycling, because it’s designed for new users of the Peloton bike.

The Mastering the Basics: Cycling program is six-weeks long and includes 28 classes. This is how Peloton describes Mastering the Basics: Cycling:

“Level-up your rides in this 6-week program where you’ll discover new ways to improve strength and increase endurance. From using weights on the Bike to interval training, you’ll be ready for anything after this program.”

As mentioned it’s six weeks long, and you’re expected to ride four days per week. Unfortunately, like many Peloton pre-designed programs, you cannot ride at your own pace. You have to follow the scheduled Peloton has set. If you miss a class, you have to go back to the beginning and start over.

Peloton for beginners: trying new kinds of classes

Once you’ve mastered the beginner and advanced beginner classes, it’s time to get acquainted with the different kinds of classes Peloton offers on the cycle. You can do that through the “Welcome to Peloton Cycling” collection of classes.

This is how Peloton explains what “Welcome to Peloton Cycling” is:

“This is only the beginning. Brand new to Peloton or just getting back on the Bike? These classes will introduce you to our class types, teach you proper technique and get you acquainted with our world-class instructors. Come away with the foundation and confidence to take any ride that strikes you.”

This is a collection of nearly two dozen 15-minute classes on the bike. Each has a different “theme,” if you will. It includes introductions to the following kinds or types of classes:

  • HIIT
  • Tabata
  • Climb
  • Power Zone
  • Intervals and Arms

So, if you’ve ever asked, “What is a Peloton Tabata ride,” this will answer that question. Also, this collection also includes a variety of beginner rides.

Wondering about Peloton scenic rides? This guide can help.

Peloton for beginners: what happens during rides

There’s a lot of lexicon to learn when you get started with the Peloton. Things like LB for Leaderboard, high fives, milestones and shout outs.

What are shout outs on Peloton?

You’ll hear people talking about getting a shout out on Peloton. This happens when an instructor welcomes you for your first ride or congratulates you on hitting a milestone. What’s a milestone on Peloton? When you reach a certain number of rides or classes, or when you ride for an extended period of time.

What does a milestone ride mean?

The Peloton instructors can see you when you’re riding–see your Leaderboard name, that is, no you at home on your bike–and they can see if you are riding a milestone. I believe the first milestone beginner Peloton riders can get a shout out for is their very first ride and then not again until 50 rides. However, you will get badges on the bike for your 1st, 10th and 25th rides along with the 50th, etc.

As of this writing, I’m closing in on my 1,400th ride. I got a badge for ride 1,000 and I won’t get another badge until I hit 1,500. But I did get a shout out for ride 1,350 and have heard people get shout outs for 1,300–even though there is no badge associated with it.

You’ll also get badges on your profile for riding on consecutive days. Three days, seven days, 10 days, 30 days and so on. Same thing with consecutive weeks. So, if you’re wondering, “Should you ride your Peloton everyday?” Heck, yeah, if you like to earn badges.

Here’s my blog post that explains all about Peloton milestones.

peloton for beginners ride badges

Peloton for beginners: how to high five on Peloton

Other riders will also get notified if you’re hitting a milestone when you log into a ride or join a live class. This includes ride milestone and how many days you’ve been riding milestones.

You’ll see little hands showing up on the left-hand side of the tablet. This is people giving you a high five. Want to know how to give a high five or high five back on your Peloton? Tap the hands to give a high-five back. It’s ok to high five strangers.

peloton for beginners high fives

Peloton high five etiquette

You may be wondering about the etiquette of Peloton high fives. Here’s a great thing to keep in mind: no one is judging you.

For example, I don’t keep tabs on who high fives me during a class. So, if I high five someone and they don’t high five me back, honestly, I don’t even know. And I don’t hold a grudge.

But basic high five etiquette is you should–if you can–high five someone back when they high five you. Assuming it is appropriate, given the class you are taking.

I mean, if you are in the middle of Zone 7 push during a Power Zone class, taking your FTP test or, frankly, doing a sleep meditation, then, no, don’t worry about high fiving people back.

Speaking of power zones, here is my blog post on Peloton Power Zone.

Sometimes you may find that people are sending multiple high fives. There have been some bugs in the system lately where people don’t see their high fives going through. So they keep tapping the hands to make sure they did go through.

You, on the receiving end, are getting multiple ones. Just high five back once. And understand that this person isn’t stalking you or being obnoxious. In fact, it’s the opposite–they’re just trying to be friendly.

How to exit a ride when you’re done

Once your class is over, you’ll see a change in the screen. The class will “disappear” and so will the leaderboard. In it’s place will be an overview of how you did on the class. That will be on the right-hand side of the screen.

Across the top you’ll have the option to rate the class or continue with your stack (if you’ve stacked classes; visit this post on the Peloton schedule to learn more about stacking classes). In addition, if you look to the far left of the screen, you’ll see the option to exit the class. Tap that to get out of the class and exit it.

On the other hand, if you want to stop a Peloton ride so you can get out of it, you can tap the top left of the screen at any time. Then, the option to exit will show up and you can leave. If you do this during a class, Peloton will ask you if you want to resume the class. But you don’t have to resume. I’ve left classes early by exiting out for a number of reasons.

Finally, if you need to pause your class, that is now an option. But, it’s an option with a caveat: you can pause only On Demand classes. Right now you do not have the option to pause a live class.

By the way, if you’re wondering what a paused class looks like on the bike, look, below.

what it looks like when you pause a peloton class

Peloton programs and how to find them

When it comes to program for beginners or any other set of classes on Peloton, there are two places you’ll find them. One, you can look at something literally called Programs. Two, you can look at Collections.

Where do you find Programs and Collections? On the bike tablet, it will be either across the top or the bottom of the screen. (Peloton keeps changing their placement.) On the Peloton app, you’ll see it across the top of the screen.

And on the Peloton website, here’s where you’ll find programs and collections. After you log in and go in under “My Membership” and then “Take Classes,” you’ll see Programs and Collections listed across the top. It’s also there with Schedule, Classes and Challenges.

Now, let me explain the differences and similarities between Programs and Collections.

What are Peloton programs

Peloton programs are organized sets of classes designed to introduce you to different elements of Peloton training. For example, there is a Peloton program called Beginner Strength and another called Beginner Yoga.

In addition, it is under programs where you’ll find the Build Your Power Zones program. This is a great introduction to Power Zone training on the Peloton bike.

Here is a link to my blog post about Power Zone training

How do Peloton programs work

These Peloton programs are usually a few weeks long. They are designed to be done in a specific order, over a certain amount of days or weeks.

Previously, when completing programs, like Discover Your Power Zones, you could go at your own pace and when it was convenient for you. This was how I did the Power of Sleep meditation program on the Peloton app. I took the classes I wanted in the order I wanted. Well, no more.

Now, you have to follow the set schedule for each Peloton program. This means doing each class on the specified day. If you miss a day, you can’t just jump to the next class in the series. And you can’t just go back and retake the class you missed. You have to start the whole program over again. I think this is a huge flaw in the Peloton programs programming, and I wish the company would fix it.

What are Peloton collections

Whereas Peloton programs are specifically designed training programs, the Collections are much more fluid. These are collections of classes that fall under a certain theme.

For example, when Peloton partners with musical acts or puts together themed musical classes, such as with Beyonce, the Beatles or a Broadway series, you’ll find the classes under Collections. However, it’s confusing that the “Welcome to Peloton Cycling” and “Welcome to Peloton Running” “programs” are listed under Collections. Shouldn’t they be under Programs?

Peloton stacked classes

In early 2021 Peloton introduce the option to stack classes or workouts. What does that mean? That you can create a workout or exercise plan that organizes your classes in one place.

Basically, once you create a list of stacked classes, then you have preloaded classes that you can access on the bike, Tread, website or the app. Then your stacked classes flow one into the other so you never have to stop in between and search for your next workout.

How to stack Peloton classes

In order to create a stack of Peloton classes, you have to do this on the Peloton hardware (Peloton bike or Peloton Tread), or on the Peloton website or the Peloton digital app. Unfortunately, at this time you can’t create or access stacked classes on a Smart TV, such as my Roku TV.

However, recently, stacks started showing up on Apple TVs. Maybe Roku isn’t too far behind? Hello, Peloton?

Once you’ve created a stack of classes, you can access them from any Peloton devices, including the app. It doesn’t matter if you created your stack on the bike and then want to switch to the website. The stack will reflect where you are in your progression.

As I mentioned above, however, the one place you cannot access your stack is the Peloton digital channel on Smart TVs. I hope that changes soon.

Getting started organizing your class stacking

Here are the steps to organize your workout through stacked classes. First, find the class you want to take. You’ll noticed a + sign inside a box. Tap that to add to your stack. 

Second, find the next class you want to take. Look for the plus sign inside a box in that class’ description. Tap to add to your stack of classes. Continue for as many classes as you want to add to the stack.

Actually starting stacked classes

Next, to start your stacked classes, on the Bike or Tread, look at the lower right side of the screen for the boxes with the plus in them. Tap on that to access your stack. Start your first class. 

Finally, when your first class is over, you’ll see a gray box on the top right of your screen. It will ask if you want to continue with your stacked classes. Tap on that to bring up your next class. Start the class as you would any other class on Peloton.

Accessing stacked classes on the Peloton app

Here is how to access stacked classes on the Peloton app.

First, open the Peloton app on your phone. 

Second, the first thing you’ll see come up is the notification that says “Up Next in Your Stack.” Tap on it. 

stacked classes on app 1

Next, it brings up the first class in your Stack.

See? You really can create a class list on the bike, Tread or website, access it on the app on your phone, and then go back and fix it on the website, if you don’t have Peloton hardware.

Organize your Peloton workout plan

Do you want to organize your Peloton workout plan beyond one stack? May I recommend this Peloton workout planner calendar, which I designed and is available on Etsy? It helps you plan out a week’s worth of classes in three areas:

  1. cardio
  2. strength
  3. stretching

It has helped me to level up my workouts to be about more than just riding the bike. Plus, it’s only $2.99. It’s a digital download and PDF printable. Download once, use forever.

In the meantime you can read more about this Peloton workout planner calendar here

Choosing your gender in your Peloton profile

Finally, you can get a shout out if you ride on your birthday. However, you have to go into your profile settings so that your birthday shows.

I found that in addition to making sure the Peloton cycle has your birthday in the settings, you need to make sure that you’ve chosen your gender. One time I rode on my birthday and didn’t get a shout out. It was then that I realized that my gender wasn’t showing in my profile so I guess my birthday wasn’t either.

By the way, Peloton is super progressive about riders and their genders, and gives you three options:

  1. female
  2. male
  3. nb (non-binary)

Peloton for beginners: getting started

To get started on your first Peloton rides, you’ll need to log into the Peloton tablet on the bike. You’ll use your email or username for your login and set a password. The bike will remember you from here on in.

If you have more than one family member riding, each person needs to set up their profile. Then, you’ll need to choose your profile each time you want to use the bike. When you turn the bike on, the first screen you’ll see will be the profiles. Choose yours and you’ll arrive at a home screen with a ton of class options.

How do you pick a Peloton class?

At the top you’ll see if there are any upcoming live classes. Along the bottom you’ll see an icon that says “classes.” These are all the On Demand rides and classes that were previously recorded live. You can take these at any time. There is a filter within so you can look for classes based on theme, instructor name or length.

Click on classes and you’ll end up in the On Demand library. You’ll notice a spyglass, search bar in the upper right hand corner. Touch that and your keyboard will pop up. There, you can type in and search for classes based on a theme, musical artist or more.

Choosing your first Peloton ride

So, how do you choose your first Peloton ride? I would choose based more on your own fitness than anything else.

For example, when we got our Peloton in 2016, I was an experienced spinner. I’d already been spinning 3-5 days a week at my gym for the past few years. 

My first Peloton ride? A 45-minute 60s ride with Hannah Marie Corbin. Since the classes I took at the gym were an hour long, getting on the Peloton for 45-minutes was no big deal.

You do you on your first Peloton ride

But that’s me. What about you? Have you ever done a spinning class? Has it been a long time since you’ve been on a spin bike? Never been on a stationery bike like a Peloton before?

If this describes you, then you definitely want to start with the beginner rides. I explain how to find them below.

However, if you’re impatient and just want to get going, I would say that any of the shorter rides are a good place to start. Even a five-minute warm-up ride–and there are plenty of them–will help you ease your way into the Peloton world. These five-minute rides are some of the easier ones.

Best beginner Peloton rides

When it comes to the best beginner Peloton rides, I would recommend using that spyglass to search the term beginner. Literally type in “beginner” and see what pops up. If you see a class you think you like, touch it and then you’ll have these options.

  1. See the class difficulty rating on a scale of one to 10
  2. You can preview the playlist in the class so you can see if you like the music
  3. Start the class

When I was in the category of a beginner Peloton rider, I started with 20-minute classes. There are 15-minute classes, 10-minute classes and even 5-minute classes, but these five-minute classes tend to be warm-up and cool-down classes. They are designed for you to take before or after your “main” class. Trust me–warming up and cooling down is a great habit to get into.

If you’d like a free printable of the best Peloton classes overall, subscribe using the form, below. Once you share your email, you’ll receive this printable that you can print out and keep with you as you explore Peloton.

Does Peloton have 30-minute classes?

You bet Peloton has 30-minute classes. Also, 45 minutes, 60 minutes, 75 minues and a few 90 minutes. But don’t get ahead of yourself.

Like I said I stuck with 20-minute classes for the first few times on my Peloton bike, primarily riding with Hannah Marie Corbin. Then I moved up to 30-minute classes.

My first 45-minute class was at least a month into riding my Peloton bike and it was a live new wave class with Christine D’Ercole. I finally tried a 60-minute class when Jenn Sherman had one of her Epic Sing a Long rides. And I didn’t die.

Peloton for beginners: Ride Live or On Demand

As I mentioned there is a schedule of live rides every day of the week. There are also other kinds of live classes you can do on the cycle tablet. Strength, stretching and more.

You have the same variety with doing classes or rides On Demand. It is all there, literally, at your fingertips–since the Peloton tablet is a touchscreen.

Your first live ride

So many people are nervous about taking their first live ride. Don’t be. The only people who will know it’s your first live ride will be you and the instructor. I’m pretty sure I’ve heard instructors give shout outs to people for their first live ride.

Trust me: it will make your stomach jump if you happen to get a shout out. It feels so good to hear your username–so choose one that makes you smile and is easy for the instructor to say. And then expect the high-fives to explode on the left-hand side of your tablet.

What are encore rides or classes

In addition to the live rides, you may see rides called “Encore” in the live schedule. So, they’re not quite classes On Demand but they’re not quite live either. So, what are encore rides or encore classes? What does encore mean on Peloton?

An encore ride or encore class is a repeat of a recent live ride. Usually, Peloton schedules an Encore class if it fits with a current theme that they are promoting. For example, in November 2020, Peloton released a series of Beyonce classes across a variety of disciplines. So, you could find Encore Beyonce classes throughout the month.

Encore versus live Peloton classes

Another reason Peloton offers Encore classes is if a group wants to ride “live” at a certain time that might not be popular for the whole Peloton population. For example, there are Peloton users in Germany and the United Kingdom who may want rides at a time that’s convenient for them. But instructors may not be giving a class at that time. Therefore, they plug in an Encore class.

peloton encore cycling classes

Finally, Encore classes are great if you want to ride with a group of people but there are not live rides to take. This way everyone can start at the same time, and high five along the way.

Encore vs On Demand Peloton classes

So, what’s the difference between Encore vs On Demand Peloton classes? Well, for starters, let’s talk about the similarities.

Both Encore and On Demand Peloton classes are not live. Well, at one point they may have been broadcast live, but once they are no longer live, they could be broadcast as Encore (which appears like a Live class on the Peloton schedule) or simply be available On Demand in the class library.

In fact, some On Demand classes were never live. That is, they “drop” into the Peloton library without having ever been a live class on the schedule.

For example, the other day I took an evening yoga class with instructor Denis Morton. I legit took the class in an evening.

But, if you looked at the class in the On Demand lineup, it “broadcast” at 10 a.m. one morning. So, clearly, the class “dropped” in the morning, never actually broadcast live that morning, but was designed to be taking as a winddown for your day in the evening. Does that make sense?

Benefits of Peloton membership

In addition to getting a great workout, your Peloton membership brings other benefits. This is especially true if your purchased a Peloton bike or Tread. So what are some of these benefits? Let me lay them out for you.

Free use of the Peloton app

As a Peloton bike or Tread owner, you pay a monthly membership fee to access all of the classes on your equipment or hardware. You also get to access all of the classes in the Peloton app. For free. Here is more about the Peloton digital app.

You can get free Peloton clothing

In addition to your free shirt when you hit the Century Club, you can get free Peloton clothing in another way. And that would be by sharing your unique Peloton referral code with others who may be interested in purchasing a Peloton bike or Peloton Tread. This is part of the Peloton referral program.

How the Peloton referral program works

Here’s how that referral program works.

  1. You share your unique Peloton referral code with someone who may be buying a bike or Tread.
  2. They put in that code when they make that purchase.
  3. That code saves them $100 on Peloton accessories bought at the same time as their bike or Tread.
  4. In return you get a $100 credit to use at the Peloton boutique.

Speaking of discounts, here are two ways for you to get a Peloton membership discount.

How many times can I share my code

The primary owner of the Peloton account can share their unique code up to 12 times each calendar year. At the beginning of the next year, your code “resets” and you can share it again. Then, you can earn more free clothing from the Peloton boutique.

According to Peloton since purchasing my bike in 2016, I’ve shared my code with 28 people who have since gone on to do 12K+ workouts. Wow. The Peloton referral program really works.

I’ve blacked out my actual referral code because sharing it on my blog goes against Peloton’s terms of service.

Where do I find my Peloton referral code

You’ll find your Peloton referal code under your profile on the Peloton website. Not the app. Nor is it on the bike or the Tread. It’s on the website only.

Look under your profile for the phrase “Refer Friends.” There you’ll find your unique code to share for others to save and for you to earn free Peloton clothing and swag from the boutique. 

How to redeem Peloton referral code

So, let’s say someone has used your referral code to buy a bike or Tread. Now you’ve got a $100 credit to spend at the Peloton boutique. This is how you redeem it.

One, go shopping. Two, spend at least $100 so that you get the full value of your Peloton referral credit. Three, checkout.

Unfortunately, if you spend less than $100 you can’t use the remaining credit to pay for shipping. You’ll always have to pay for that out of pocket.

What if I have multiple referral code credits from Peloton

If you’re lucky enough to have had multiple people use your code to buy a bike or Tread, keep the following in mind when redeeming your credits. You cannot stack them.

That is, you can apply one $100 credit to a single shopping trip. If you have more than one $100 credit to spend, you’ll need to make mulitple shopping trips online.

Speaking of shopping trips, at one point you could use your referral code credit of $100 to shop at a physical Peloton store. I’m not sure if that’s still possible. I’ll check on that and get back to you.

Final thoughts on this guide to Peloton for beginners

I hope I’ve done a good job helping you figure out how to set yourself up for your very first Peloton ride. It was important for me to remember back to when I was just a wee beginner Peloton rider, just getting started, and the things that confused me or that I wanted answers to.

I would be remiss if I didn’t point you to my other Peloton content, which is also appropriate for Peloton for beginners. This includes my Peloton shoes guide and review, tips on how to make the Peloton seat more comfortable as well as my list of the best Peloton accessories. Yeah, you’ve got some shopping to do, so enjoy.

Peloton-Inspired Workout Planner Schedule Calendar PDF Printable

I designed this Peloton-inspired workout planner calendar because I found that I was great at getting my cardio on my Peloton--through cycling classes or walking on the Peloton app, for example--but I was neglecting the rest of my fitness routine, meaning strength and stretching.

Once I created this planner, which is now available on Etsy, and could fill in which classes I was going to do each week, I got better at actually following through. This is from someone who has had the Peloton since 2016.

How it's organized

To make it easier for me--and for you--to find your class on the Peloton tablet or in the app, I created a space for the class instructor, the kind of class, the date and time, and the class length. That was if you're doing the classes On Demand, you can filter by class length and instructor so it's easier to find them and bookmark them. I've also suggested themes to make it easier for you to find classes you could do for cardio, strength and stretch.

I find that writing down my workout plans as my fitness tracker on this calendar works better for me than putting them in a digital calendar, where I can simply ignore the notification.

Page 1 of this PDF is Monday through Wednesday.

Page 2 is Thursday through Sunday.

This comes in a version that is pink and red and another that is blue. Download once and print forever.

If you want to follow me on the Leaderboard, I'm #Leah_is_Pawsome

Here is my blog post that explains more about this calendar.

If you prefer to do all of your shopping on Amazon, here is a link to my Peloton essentials shopping list. In addition, you may want to check out my exclusive page on Amazon where I recommend products from dozens of my blog post.

If I’ve missed anything that you ended up here looking for the answer to–and I didn’t answer it–post a comment and let me know. I’m happy to update this post accordingly with additional answers.

Welcome to the Peloton family. You’re going to love your bike!

12 thoughts on “Peloton for Beginners: Starter Tips and Beginner Plan”

  1. This is the fifth article I’ve read and still don’t understand what cadence or output or how to exit a workout to go back to the main screen or what some of the other terminology means? Are there captions for deaf people (a member of my family). I feel like a lot of these beginner things assume way too much.

    • I’m sorry my article didn’t answer your questions. If you can let me know what other terms you’re unclear about, like a list of terms, I would gladly update my post to answer those questions. Yes, there are captions for deaf people but only for On Demand rides. In other words, there is no close captioning when taking a ride live. If you can let me know what else you have questions about, I’ll update my article AND record an IGTV to answer them.

  2. So if bike name and LB name are the same, what if you have multiple users on the same bike/account? Or, do you name the bike and also choose a LB name?

    • Hi, Christy: I never “named” my bike. Each person who wants to ride the bike needs to create their own “account” with an email and password on the Peloton website. Then, you can log into the bike and it will save the multiple profiles so each time you turn the bike on, you can choose a password. Does that help?

  3. Thanks for all the great tips! I just received my peloton last week and have never done spin before, loving it so far and did my first live ride yesterday! I have heard the instructors say to check out ride recommendations at the end of a ride. How do you find that? Thanks so much! Maybe I’ll see you on the Leaderboard, I’m GlitterNGlo.

    • Sure! When you are riding on the Peloton bike, after you exit a class, a screen usually comes up with 3-4 other class recommendations. Unfortunately, if you are an app user, that doesn’t happen. Hope that helps.


  4. Thanks so much Leah! This is super helpful. I just started following you. Quick question should I remain private or have an open page?

  5. Awesome info, thanks!

    Based on your helpful tips I’m going to change my user name 🤪 It’s currently MW17588 which is just weird.

    QUESTION! When looking at the different types of classes… what is the difference between biking and cycling?! 🤷🏻‍♀️

    • I’m glad I’ve inspired you to pick a new LB name:

      From what I understand, BIKE is the equipment and CYCLING means the classes on the bike.

      Hope that helps.



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