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Is A Peloton Good For Weight Loss?

Updated: Sep 7, 2023

My Peloton Bike in my Basement
My Peloton Tucked Away In My Basement

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Peloton My Winter Cardio

When I'm lifting weights I'm in my shed I've started to convert into an exercise space. I like the decluttered simplicity of it but unfortunately, the shed doesn't have electricity in it so I have two options when it comes to cardio. First I can go run/walk outside which living in Oxford, MI we have a great trail called the Polly Ann to do that on. The problem though is winter in Michigan isn't always a great time to go out for a trail run. The second option is the Peloton which is my cardio equipment of choice in the winter.

Peloton In A Nutshell

The Peloton is more than just an exercise bike with a monitor. It's a spin bike that allows you to take a wide variety of classes with world-class trainers. There is no fighting for a spot at a class in a real studio or having to deal with traffic to get there. You're going to take that live or on-demand class in your own home. The live classes are happening throughout the day and provide interactive fun. First, the instructor may call out your name if it's a special milestone or birthday. Second, live classes have a real-time leaderboard so you can compete with other riders that are there with you virtually. If you're not into the live classes then on-demand is an option. You could take a class from last year because maybe you like the instructor or the music playlist. Peloton also throws down monthly and yearly challenges that keep you motivated and eager for your next ride.

Peloton Classes and Instructors
A Wide Variety of Classes and Instructors

Two Kinds of Peloton Stories

When I bought a peloton I signed up for the Official Peloton Member Page on Facebook. It's a great place to search for tips and advice for the newbie rider. One of the popular topics is weight loss. Stay on there long enough and two different posts about weight loss results dominate the topic.

  1. The Inspirational/Feel Good Posts- They've done exactly what everyone hopes and dreams when you drop thousands of dollars on a piece of exercise equipment. They jumped on that bike and rode it all the way to weight loss town! 50 pounds, 70 pounds, and even 100 pounds of weight loss have been posted. Their life has been totally transformed. The room their Peloton is in has been transformed into an Instagram-worthy shrine to the company!

  2. The What The "F" Am I Doing Wrong Post- This post is exactly what you dread after you drop thousands of dollars on a piece of exercise equipment. They claim they are riding every day and the scale hasn't gone down and possibly even gone up! They are ready to give up and are usually asking for help from fellow members. The bike is going to be a very expensive place to hang clothes in the near future.

Peloton + X = Weight Loss

The two types of people mentioned above both bought Pelotons but had entirely different outcomes. The first lost weight and is seemingly living a Peloton lifestyle. The second is spinning their wheels and frustrated that their life isn't more like the Peloton commercials. What's the X factor? This is what I believe separates the two outcomes.

  1. Successful Peloton Rider-This person bought the Peloton but that's not the only change they made or experienced. This person did some research and not only is hitting the bike but making changes to their diet. They are eating nutrient-dense food and lowering calorie consumption enough to create a deficit. But that's not where it ends. This person also realizes how much they enjoy riding the peloton. Enjoying it so much that they actually looking forward to clipping in for a session.

  2. Frustrated Peloton Rider-For whatever reason they bought the bike. Maybe it was the commercial or maybe it was hope that this time they would be successful. Buying the Peloton was a change for them but thats where the change ends. They figure they are riding so they shouldn't have to change their calorie consumption. They ride but they don't exactly enjoy it so it's a chore. They skip days and they usually pick the shorter bike rides.

How Many Calories Can You Burn on the Peloton?

That's not an easy question to answer I can only give you some examples of my recent workouts. Here are a few different rides that vary in time and intensity.

15-minute HIIT Ride

252 Calories Burned

20-minute Low Impact Ride

227 Calories Burned

30-minute 80's Ride

428 Calories Burned

45-minute Low Impact Ride

555 Calories Burned

45-minute Bootcamp

647 Calories Burned

Those are bike rides and one Bootcamp. The Bootcamp ride is intervals of bike riding and weight lifting. On the Peloton platform, you can also take weight lifting classes, stretching, yoga, and outdoor walking/running classes. I've taken all of them in the past but for this post, I just wanted to focus on the bike. If you are serious about weight loss or general fitness you'd be crazy not to take advantage of all the variety they have to offer.

What Does it Take to Lose 1 Pound?

To burn 1 pound of fat you have to create a calorie deficit of 3500 calories. If you are shooting for 1 pound a week of weight loss (a great moderate goal) that works out to a calorie deficit of 500 a day. You can see with the 45-minute rides I hit 500 plus a day but you can also see on other rides I would fall short.

The easiest way to create a deficit of 500 calories a day is to combine diet and exercise consistently. You could take a 20-minute ride and burn 220 calories and also cut your calorie intake by 280 calories to get there. Throw in some weight lifting it gets even easier! Diet is the single most important variable in your weight loss strategy. Eating too much pizza and riding the Peloton for 60 mins won't get you out of a calorie surplus.

TIP-If your looking for a calorie calculator to give you an idea of where to start try here

Find Activities you Enjoy

There have been studies on this but don't we already know the answer? If we enjoy an activity, we will do it and do it often. If something makes us uncomfortable we are probably going to avoid it. I love fishing and try to do it as often as I can. I hate painting the house and avoid it until I have to. The bottom line is you should apply this to your exercise activities. Does riding a spin bike sound like something you'd like to do or not? Answer very bluntly to yourself. If not, don't buy one and figure out something that you would like to do. For me riding the Peloton is a fun interactive way to burn some calories and get my heart rate up. Don't listen to people on commercials or social media trying to get you to buy the "best weight loss" product ever. The Peloton is a high-tech piece of exercise equipment but if you enjoy walking down a trail then walk down a trail!! If you're not going to use it your Peloton is going to end up being a very modern and sleek piece of equipment to hang clothes on!

30 Min Ride With Bradley Rose
30 Min Ride With Bradley Rose

The Verdict

Of course, the Peloton can help you lose weight. It burns calories but so can walking, weight lifting, or playing basketball. You cannot lose weight no matter how much you're on your Peloton if your diet isn't in check. You're also not going to be as successful with your weight loss efforts if you're not enjoying aspects of it. Would you enjoy playing pickleball every day? If the answer is yes do it! Would you enjoy streaming an interactive workout on a Peloton? Then do it! Whatever your choice is make sure you enjoy it!

UPDATE 3-5-2023

I have started a 30-Day Peloton challenge where I will ride on the bike for 30 mins every day for 30 days straight. I will be weighing in to see what happens. Check it out!

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