How to PR on your Peloton bike

(That doesn’t involve recalibrating your bike aka cheating)

Hi friends! Hope you’re having a wonderful morning and hope you had a great weekend. I’ll be back soon with some adventures, but for today’s post, I wanted to chat about something that is definitely a little on the niche side, but I thought my Peloton friends would find valuable and could also chime in with their own tips. These tips could be applicable to any type of measurable fitness activity, so even if you’re not drinking the Peloton Kool-Aid, you’ll be able to use some of these strategies in your own routine.

(Please to ignore what looks like a bald spot on my head. 

When I first got my Peloton bike, pretty much every single ride was a new PR! Whenever you take a different timed class (20 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, etc.), you have a PR (Personal Record) for that ride. The PR is based on your output, which is a combination of resistance and cadence. Your output also determines your position on the Leaderboard (comparing your stats with everyone who’s ever taken that class, those who are taking in it real-time with you, and your previous PR). You can check out my full review of the Peloton app here and if the Peloton bike is worth it. (<— spoiler: it is. My Peloton is one of my favorite purchases in the whole world.)

As time goes on, it gets more difficult to hit PRs, and there’s no way I go into each ride expecting to PR. Usually, I remember how I feel at the end of a record ride, and I’ll know whether or not I have it in me. (I literally finish these rides huffing, puffing, and dripping in sweat. I maybe hit a PR once every month or so.) When I first Googled for strategies on how to hit new records during your Peloton rides, I was shocked to see how many people admitted to recalibrating their bikes. You can apparently recalibrate them so your output is higher than it should actually be. To me, this is the worst of the worst. Not only does it make it more challenging for us honest folks to place on the leaderboard, but when it comes down to it, it’s cheating. There would be nothing rewarding or fun to me about getting in the top 10 for a ride knowing I did it by recalibrating my bike, ya know?

I realized there are some strategies I already follow when I’m in the mood for a shiny new PR. I thought I’d share them in this post, and I’d love to hear any of your tips for Peloton, or even getting more out of any workout you love!

How to pr on your peloton bike

How to PR on your Peloton bike:

1) Work out in your ideal workout window. We all know that point in time during the day when we’ll work a bit harder. For me, it’s midmorning. I’m awake, the stress has melted away from the breakfast and school drop-off insanity, and I’m ready to crush it. If I work out before the kids get up, I’m usually still half asleep, and if I try to get in a ride late afternoon, I’m kind of tired, so I don’t work as hard. Midmorning it is. 

2) Treat it like a race! This one may seem a little silly, but I think it makes a difference! Wear comfortable, functional clothes (and socks!) that you love, fuel and hydrate appropriately, and possibly take this ride directly after an off or easy day of workouts.

3) Decide you’re going to PR. For the rides that I hit a new PR, I get on the bike with the mentality that I’m hitting one. I’ve NEVER hit a PR by getting on the bike and thinking, “Hmm, let’s just see what happens and how we feel today!” I have to decide I’m going for it, and really work to go after it. 

4) Know what instructors and type of ride will push you to PR. I know that Robin, Alex, and Denis are usually the ones to push me really hard. I love Cody, Emma, and Ally, but these are more fun rides than PR style rides for me.

4) Don’t allow your output to drop more than 3 below your previous PR. This is my top tip! You can watch your previous PR on the leaderboard the entire time. If it ever gets higher than 3 above your current output, crank the resistance, take it out to position 3 and pick up your pace until you hit it. I don’t like to play “catch up” the entire time, so I’ll usually use the first 10 minutes to blast my output above my previous PR, so if I need to let it slide a little later on, that works. 

(Maybe my craftiest self-timer pic ever lol. 10 seconds to run to the bike and clip in! PS I’m obsessed with the new align shorts.)

5) Don’t always listen to the instructor. This one is kind of weird but true. If I’m doing a 45-minute ride and the class is doing arm work for a few minutes, I skip the arm work and keep pedaling. I only do this for PR rides (because I like the arm work!) — if you stop your legs to do arms, your output just drops too quickly. This also means that sometimes they’re recovering while I’m cranking the resistance and speed. Yes, it kind of defeats the purpose of the way the instructor designed the ride, but my competitive friends out there understand.

So, there ya go!

Do you like using metrics during your workouts, or do you go with the flow?

xoxo

G

* If you decide to purchase a Peloton bike, use my referral code: XXKJQU. This will get you $100 off accessories!

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16 Comments

  1. Nicole Horrocks on August 26, 2019 at 10:40 am

    Great tips! I also agree that who you choose to ride with makes a big difference – I know I’ll be hustling harder with Robin, too…who isn’t?! I will say that I’ve PR’ed a ton in Cody’s classes by keeping to his max in the resistance range and pushing from there. It’s definitely getting harder to PR, but it’s nice to see it happen when I have fresh legs and lots of energy to burn!

    • Fitnessista on August 27, 2019 at 12:02 am

      i used to PR with cody but haven’t in a long time. usually i’m just dancing along on the bike 🙂

  2. MaxSpeed on August 26, 2019 at 10:40 am

    I had to laugh when I saw this post title! I follow you on Peloton and have to admit, I’ve achieved a PR or two by looking at your rides where your output is something I was impressed by, following your stats throughout the ride, and pushing myself to either have a point or two higher resistance or going a tiny bit faster throughout the class. Ahaha!! The motivation to know that I can keep up with you and even sometimes getting a point or two more is a lot of fun! Keep it up! Your efforts are inspiring others!

    • Fitnessista on August 27, 2019 at 12:02 am

      no way! that’s so awesome to hear!! thank you so much <3 (love that you beat me sometimes, too! the friendly competition aspect adds another fun layer to the classes for sure)

  3. Kirsten on August 26, 2019 at 12:16 pm

    I am new to the Peloton world (I have had my bike just over a week!). I am obsessed with it! So far I have 13 rides under my belt. My comments are probably not very meaningful due to my newness! I have started choosing the ‘here now’ option on the leaderboard and competing against those people! When I see their output it really motivates me to haul a$$

    Recalibrate the bike??? Are you serious? That is totally cheating. How could you feel good about your effort knowing that you lied? That’s pretty sad! My husband always tells me that golf is a game of honor, yet it is amazing how many people he has played with who have cheated their way around the golf course! Only to brag during happy hour how they just shot the best game of their lives! To me, that is right up there with ‘tiny’ men that feel the need to drive an expensive sports car (making up for something else that is lacking).

    Have you heard the latest controversy in the Peloton world concerning a ‘pause’ button? That is another way that you could alter the leaderboard too. Which is obviously why there is no such thing! When I’m on my bike, if the door bell rings, I ain’t getting it!!!!!

    • Fitnessista on August 27, 2019 at 12:01 am

      oh my gosh, if they got a pause button there would be no way for an honest person to get on the leaderboard. people are intense about it! i’m the same way- if anything happens while i’m on the bike, i deal with it when i’m done haha

  4. Stacey on August 26, 2019 at 11:39 pm

    Gina,
    I am currently using the Peloton app and I love it, but am seriously considering purchasing the peloton bike. My question is, if you purchase a bike do you then only have access to the cycling classes through the tablet on the bike or are you able to also get access to their other classes (strength, yoga, etc)?
    Love your blog and podcast!
    Thanks for your help,
    Stacey

    • Fitnessista on August 27, 2019 at 12:00 am

      if you decide to go for it, you will looooooove it. i’m pretty sure on the bike you only get access to the cycling and stretching classes but i could be wrong. the other types of classes i’ve done have been on my phone, so i’m not totally sure. i can check for you in the morning!

      • Stacey on August 31, 2019 at 10:32 am

        Thanks, Gina!

    • Susan Hogan on August 31, 2019 at 10:23 pm

      When you purchase a Peloton & the subscription for live rides you get access to everything that Peloton has to offer! Spin class, tread, yoga, strength training, stretch, core workout, outdoor running, bootcamp. I’m sure that im leaving something out! Lol
      You get it all!

  5. Jen on August 27, 2019 at 9:16 am

    I also find that taking a 5 or 10 minute warmup ride first makes all the difference when trying to hit a PR!

    • Fitnessista on August 28, 2019 at 4:19 pm

      ohhh i haven’t done that!!

  6. Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious on August 27, 2019 at 9:54 am

    I would love a Peleton bike. I teach so many classes right now that I would never use it. It’s definitely on my bucket list though!

    • Fitnessista on August 28, 2019 at 4:19 pm

      you would loooooove it. you’re right though, it’s hard to get in your own spin workouts when you’re teaching a lot.

    • Laura on August 30, 2019 at 3:24 pm

      First of all I love this post. Totally agree you can NOT follow the instructor if you want to PR. The comments also gave some great tips! And now I think I should try a Denis ride bc I never have ! Thanks ! Is your bike name fitnessista?

  7. Alyssa on August 28, 2019 at 8:27 am

    I think even cranking it during the arms section is cheating. If you want to hit a 30 minute PR, then choose the 30-minute class that doesn’t have arms. I actually think Peloton should change their PRs to be not just duration based but class type. A PR in the 45-mins intervals & arms is ways different than a 45-min low impact.

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