Update: I’ve taken my first Bike Bootcamp class. As an original Bike owner I share below my experience. Do these classes work for non-Bike+ owners?
Today is the day. Peloton formally announced the availability of a new type of class called Bike Bootcamp. Tread users already had their own version of Bootcamp and now its available as well for Bike owners.
Essentially Bootcamp classes are a bit like circuit training. You’ll spend some time on the bike, then at some point jump off and continue the workout on the floor. Per the Peloton email:
“Designed for all fitness levels, Bike Bootcamp mixes heart-pumping cardio with full body strength training intervals.”
Peloton instructors leading Bike Bootcamp classes include Jess Sims, Robin Arzon and Cody Rigsby:
And a sample class plan:
A Peloton video ad introducing Bike Bootcamp:
Bike Bootcamp is here! Grab your cycling shoes and your weights and meet us on the leaderboard. See you there, Peloton!
Posted by Peloton on Tuesday, September 15, 2020
Bike Bootcamp is available now on the Peloton Bike and Peloton Bike+.
One interesting thing to point out: the timing of this announcement. Dare I say this is a subtle attempt at counter-programming? After all this minor bit of home fitness news comes out on the very same day Apple announced its own streaming workout service called Fitness+. Further, at only $9.99 per month Apple undercut Peloton’s digital app ($12.99). By the way that’s about 30% less than the premium Peloton needs to pay Apple to sell subscriptions via the App Store. Draw your own conclusions. It will be interesting going forward to see if Peloton adjusts pricing.
Regarding Apple joining the home fitness fray, Peloton had this to say:
Friendly competition is in our DNA. Welcome to the world of digital fitness, @Apple.
— Peloton (@onepeloton) September 15, 2020
How will the transition from the Bike to mat work? And what about our cycling shoes?
Many, myself included, wondered how the concept of Bootcamp would work on the Bike. For the Tread things are easier. You’re wearing running shoes and can easily hop off the treadmill in a moment’s notice. On a Peloton Bike or Bike+ most of us are wearing cycling shoes with cleats so we need to clip-in and clip-out making the transition slower. Further, exercising in cycling shoes is surely wrought with challenges given the instability.
Here’s what Peloton says about Bike Bootcamp when it comes to shoes — essentially they prefer you change to flat runners when transitioning to the mat:
“Once you’re safely off the Bike, you can change into your shoes for the strength portion of class. Jess recommends “wearing flat, non-running sneakers…When you lift weights you want to be as balanced and grounded to the earth as possible, and sneakers with lots of cushion essentially act like blindfolds to all of the sensory receptors in your feet.”
Our tip for the most successful Bike Bootcamp experience is to have all your equipment ready to go before starting your workout. Your water, towel, shoes, mat and weights should all be within reach but shouldn’t get in your way as you move from Bike to floor and back, notes Robin. Plus, the instructors are right there with you and will provide detailed cues each time for the most seamless changeover.”
Source: Peloton Blog
A key feature of the new Peloton Bike+ is a rotating screen. That enables a rider to jump off mid-way in a class, rotate the screen and continue the workout on the floor for enhanced cardio and strength training. As an original bike owner with a fixed screen I’ll be curious to see if Bootcamp is workable by standing behind or to the side of the bike. I’m hoping the screen will still be visible. Then again this setup works well with post-ride stretches which also take place off the bike.
ALSO SEE: Is it worth upgrading from the original Peloton Bike to the new premium Bike+?
You can look for Bike Bootcamp classes under the “Cycling” category on both the Bike and Digital (including iOS, Android, Apple TV, Roku, Fire TV and others).
Peloton has posted a guide about Bike Bootcamp which includes tips on how to setup your space and dives deeper into what to expect.
Taking A Bike Bootcamp Class on the original Peloton Bike (not the new 2020 Bike+):
Does it work?
- Good news! Let me say it right up front: yes, you can take Bike Bootcamp classes on the OG Peloton and the experience is absolutely great, at leased based on my first ride.
- I took the “30 min Bike Bootcamp: Full Body” with Robin Arzon. I figured this was a good first Bootcamp as it’s rated Beginner with a difficulty rating of 7.6/10 and overall score of 99.7%.
- To take the ride you’ll need a few things which Robin advises during the intro: medium weights, running shoes and a workout mat next to the bike.
- Workout plan: 2 min warmup, 5 min cycling (HIIT), 13 min full body on the mat (EMOM or Every Minute on the Minute), 9 min cycling (HIIT), 1 min cool down.
- Transitioning from the bike to the mat involves a shoe change, from cycling to running shoes (and later vice-versa). This worked perfectly fine. Robin gives you approx. 2 minutes and chats throughout.
- Now the big question. Given that the original Peloton bike does not have a rotatable screen, was the class still manageable and could I see the screen when on the mat?
- Yes. I do post-ride stretches on a mat next to my bike. I just used the same location for the mat portion of the class, and there were no issues.
- There are a few occasions — notably when you’re on your back on the mat — when you can’t see the screen. But this is the nature of certain moves. In any case you watch Robin do one demonstrator and then lie down and follow her verbal cues. It just works. And this would be true on the Bike+ too I’d imagine.
- Overall: Bike Bootcamp is fantastic. I like the variety this class offers. I won’t take them all the time, but will mix them in with the usual weekly HIIT, theme rides, Tabata and Power Zone rides.
- You can find Bike Bootcamp classes on the Bike itself of Digital app under “Cycling.” They’re also grouped under a new Bootcamp collection under “Programs.”
- Parting thought: for some reason this style of class made me feel more like being at an actual gym. Maybe it’s changing shoes together before heading to another “station.”
- Note for Strava users: You won’t get a decent workout score doing these as large portions of the ride, by design, are off the bike which results in a lower total output and hence lower “Relative Effort” score.
So if you’re an original Bike owner and were slightly disappointed that the new Bike+ with its rotating screen would be the only way to take the new Bootcamp classes take heart. They work well. In fact the experience, for me at least, was truly Peloton. In other words: outstanding.