How to Fit Theme Rides Into Your Power Zone Routine

How to Fit Theme Rides Into Your Power Zone Routine

Nobody wants to miss out on the latest Artist Series ride, right?

By Catherine HopkinsonUpdated April 7, 2021


With great power comes great responsibility, especially if you’re following a Power Zone workout plan. Power Zone classes are an excellent way to measure your fitness progress, as instructor cues are based on a scale of output zones, which are personalized to your own individual fitness level as measured by a fitness test. It’s a whole thing. If you know, you know. (And if you don’t know, you can easily find out by following Peloton’s Discover Your Power Zones program on your Bike touchscreen.)

So you’re riding three, four or even five Power Zone rides per week. But then how do you fit in that Elvis Ride or Tunde’s latest killer HIIT and Hills, or whatever your preferred non-Power Zone poison is? Can you still do “fun” rides while following a Power Zone program?

Thankfully, just because you hang with the Power Zone crew most of the time doesn’t mean you have to forsake theme classes. Here are some ideas for how to switch things up while training smart:

Warm up With Other Instructors

Especially if you’re going into a tough Power Zone or Power Zone Max ride, you can get your body ready to work and maximize your performance with a short warm-up ride. “I very frequently do a 10- or 20-minute low-impact ride as a warm up for a Power Zone or Power Zone Max and choose non-Power Zone instructors to have fun with it,” says Member Alicia M. “I follow cues unless the cues take me in zone 4 or higher—which is not common in a low-impact ride—and that is only to keep it in a warm-up category for me.” So hop on that 15-minute pop ride to get your fun fix!

Plan It out in Advance

For many who ride a lot, the key to workout happiness is writing it down. Member Joanne K., who is a team leader on a Power Zone Pack team, produces an Excel schedule that suggests how to mix in both strength classes and theme rides while doing a Power Zone challenge (which helps hold Members accountable to doing a certain number of Power Zone classes per week). “I generally do two fun rides a week with a three-ride challenge,” she says. Once it’s there in black and white, there’s no hemming and hawing. Put that fun ride on your calendar if you really want to do it!

Check out the Power Zone Music Rides

Now you can take Power Zone classes that focus on specific genres of music rather than the usual grab bag of styles. For starters, there’s Olivia Amato with EDM, Matt Wilpers with hip hop, Denis Morton with classic rock and Christine D’Ercole with all your favorite 80s jams. These themed Power Zone classes really are the best of both worlds, so keep an eye out for them on the schedule.

Zone out for a Spell

As Matt Wilpers is fond of reminding us, athletes go through seasons of training. But even if you’re not switching between training for an Ironman and focusing on your mountain biking, your fitness level (and your FTP) can and will go up and down over time. It’s totally fine to step away from Power Zone for a while—spin-ups will be waiting for you once you’ve worked through all those exciting classes you’ve bookmarked. Remember: Finding a training plan you can have fun with will help you stick with it in the long run.

img-1-How to Fit Theme Rides Into Your Power Zone Routine