Everything You Need to Know Before Your First Peloton Class

Everything You Need to Know Before Your First Peloton Class

Peloton Members give you the scoop before you get on the saddle.

By Colleen TraversUpdated March 17, 2023


If you’ve been anxiously awaiting the arrival of your Peloton Bike you may be putting your shoes on before the delivery truck is even out of the driveway. But before you crank up that resistance knob, make sure you’re ready for your first Peloton class with these Member tips. From advice to help you stay safe to genius tricks to mastering the Peloton App and finding the right classes for you, these tips will make navigating that home screen and clipping in for the first time a little less overwhelming.

Get the Right Gear

Yes, the rides are supposed to be tough, but you shouldn’t be uncomfortable merely sitting on the Bike before you even start. “Buy yourself a pair of padded bike shorts if you’re not used to sitting on a bike seat,” says Amy Chow, a Member since 2019. “You may only need to wear them for about two weeks, but it will make back-to-back workout days manageable as you start.”

Another important must-have are clip-in cycling shoes that work with your Peloton Look Delta pedals, or any set of pedals and cycling shoes you already own. Even those who are used to indoor cycling with sneakers and toe cages (where you slip your foot into a cage rather than physically attaching it to the pedal itself) should make the investment in proper footwear rather than switching your pedals out for cages. “The shoes were a new experience for me and very intimidating,” says Chow. “But it made my workouts more effective both physically and mentally. Your body is able to move more smoothly and generate more power clipped in. Mentally, there are many times I would have stopped during a ride, but I pushed forward to finish because I was clipped in. I constantly think to myself, ‘Let’s just finish this ride, I’m already in it.’” Make sure to check out the “Mastering the Basics” program on your Bike to get started as well as the Bike introduction videos to help you learn how to clip in and out as well as tips on setting up your seat height and handlebars. You can also pop into a store location for in-person assistance with fitting and clipping if you’re still unsure about your set up.

Find Your Functional Threshold Power (FTP)

One of the most cult-worthy programs from Peloton are the Power Zones Training Rides, a method used by elite cyclists to track fitness and see improvements over time, and the HRZ Endurance Rides (short for heart rate zone), which help increase power and endurance by hitting four heart rate zones over the course of a single ride. For those looking to get started in these programs, it’s important to know your own personal heart rate zone, says Dennis Meister, a Member since 2019. “I didn’t know there was an HRZ fitness test until recently and I wish I had done that to get my FTP right away.” Your FTP is a way to understand how much output you should be producing for all of these zones. Get started by taking Matt Wilpers’ “10-Minute FTP Warm Up Ride” to get more background on power zones and then take his “20-Minute FTP Test Ride.” Both can be found in the “Power Zone” class type filtered under his instructor name.

Take Advantage of the Peloton Community

The Bike is a great tool, but what makes the rides so special is sharing it with the robust Peloton community. “I didn’t realize how much the Peloton community would mean to me,” says Kirsten Whipple, a Member since 2017. “I’ve connected with old high school friends and met new people, and we all help each other get on the bike.” Find your crew by checking out some of Peloton’s Facebook groups before you get started. There are pages for working moms, nutrition enthusiasts, App-only Members, and so much more. Whipple says she loves to use these groups to swap helpful tips and find ride suggestions. Facebook aside, tap into the Peloton site when you’re traveling to find a Bike on the road. “I found a Reddit thread with a list of hotels that had Peloton Bikes and now I only stay at those when traveling,” says Meister. For a complete list, use our Peloton Hotel Finder here when planning your next trip.

Test Out All the Instructors

It can be easy to pick an instructor and stick with them, but Members say the best way to push yourself is not to get stuck in an instructor rut in the beginning. “All of the instructors have amazing qualities,” says Whipple. “It took me forever to find some of my favorites because I was only riding with the first few instructors that I tried.” You’ll need a roster of different teaching styles as well based on your mood and what you’re looking for in a ride. “Finding a trainer that resonates with how you want to feel when working out is key to your workout experience,” says Chow. “Depending on the day you may want a best friend-type who will push you while you discuss your favorite boy band member, a spiritual journey leader, someone who helps with a self-love therapy mini-session, or something entirely different.” The good news? There’s an instructor for every one of these scenarios and by testing them all out you’ll find exactly what you need on the days you need it most.


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