The Peloton craze has taken the world by storm. A solid product, combined with a unique “live online class” angle and a sudden increase in people working remotely, helped Peleton jump to the top of its game.
Peloton combines an indoor exercise bike with a large touchscreen and an online account that lets you interact and attend “spin” (riding) classes in real-time. Attending classes with others and having feedback as desired seems to be a very popular addition.
Some might be intimidated by the group aspect, and the thought of competitive leaderboards could be a turn-off. It’s important to know that all of that is secondary to the primary purpose, which is to motivate and encourage riders to exercise with their bikes.
The use of high-energy instructors and ads that are focused on speed and endurance might have you wondering if Peloton is only meant for those who wish to exercise at the highest levels. Don’t be put off by this though; there’s plenty of room for all levels and ages.
I know I’m not the only one who has wondered, “is Peloton good for seniors?” and the good news is that with the right amount of consideration and a willingness to advance in increments, seniors can enjoy and benefit from Peloton as much as anyone.
Is Spin Good for Seniors?
Cardiovascular exercise is vital for those of all ages. Moving muscles and joints helps to maintain a range of motion and promotes a healthy heart and lungs. Both spinning and bike riding, in general, are great ways to get cardiovascular exercise.
The adage “use it or lose it” seems to become more and more true the older we get. For many seniors, it’s vital to engage in exercise that promotes moving and increasing the heart rate, and spinning does precisely that.
Spinning workouts have many important benefits, including helping to lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol levels, increase cardiovascular health, and enhance your ability to sleep. Regular workouts may also lead to better balance and flexibility, reducing the chance of falls.
As well as immediate health benefits, regular exercise can leave you with a better mental outlook through the release of endorphins, which can have a positive impact on your mood, lower stress levels, and may reduce the speed of cognitive decline in seniors.
While it’s essential to check with your doctor before engaging in a new exercise regime, spinning classes at a rate and intensity that is right for you can lead to many health benefits which can improve your quality of life.
Is There a Specific Peloton for Seniors?
Peloton doesn’t have a specific bike model made for seniors. Peloton sells two different bike models: The Peloton Bike and the Peloton Bike+. Both bikes come with access to online classes and training programs. Let’s look at the differences between the models.
The bikes are very similar for the most part, with the Peloton Bike+ having more features and some upgrades to the technology side. Each bike is made for riders between 4 feet 11 inches and 6 feet 4 inches and specifies a maximum of 297 pounds.
The bikes themselves will take up about the same amount of space in your room, about 4 feet by 2 feet, with the Peloton Bike+ being about 6 inches taller at 59 inches. The Peloton Bike+’s touchscreen is close to 24 inches diagonal, while the Peloton Bike’s screen is 21.5 inches.
In addition, the Peloton Bike+ boasts an upgraded sound system and computer, as well as an anti-smudge and anti-reflective coating for the viewscreen. Seniors may find the Peloton Bike+’s larger screen easier to see but will weigh that against its higher price point.
Does Peloton Offer a Senior Discount?
While Peloton offers a Military/First Responders discount, it does not provide any special incentive for seniors at the time of writing. Peloton does offer financing for their bikes at 0% APR.
Is there an Age Range for Peloton?
While Peloton lists 14 as the minimum age for using its bike, there are no limitations on who can use the bikes themselves. They also list no upper age limit, so seniors can feel confident that the product isn’t designed specifically for younger people.
The area where age may play a role is in the choice of classes and instructors, as these can vary in intensity and speed. It’s worth noting that those factors likely have more to do with fitness level and general health than age specifically.
There is a wide range of Peloton classes and programs, and seniors may find some of these are more suited for them, depending on their ability level, stamina, and interests.
Does Peloton Have Workouts for Seniors?
As we age, hormonal changes and the need to consider things such as bone density loss and cardiovascular health start to change the way we approach exercise. Think of it as having the wisdom of your years informing your exercise choices and listening to your body.
In that vein of thinking, rather than looking for classes specifically aimed at seniors, it’s best to look for classes that cater to what you’re looking for from an exercise session.
Consider that your warm-up and cool-down will comprise roughly half of your workout, which may help you make choices about classes in an informed way. Starting with beginner or warm-up classes or even enjoying themed rides might be to your liking.
Best Peloton Classes for Seniors
In the same way that there are many different types of seniors with different interests and levels of ability, there are a lot of different classes you can take with Peloton. So is Peloton good for seniors? Start by being honest with yourself about your ability level or by taking the FTP test (more on that below.)
For those new to spinning, or those who haven’t ridden a bike in a long time (don’t worry, you never forget how!) Peloton offers a wide range of beginner classes. Many of the classes are organized by a specific amount of time that you’ll be riding, as low as five minutes.
Peloton offers low-impact classes that are perfect for those with joint issues. The 10-Minute Low Impact Ride with Alex Toussaint will keep you in your saddle (seat) for the entire workout and allows you gradually warm up and build up muscle so you can take on more significant challenges.
There’s also a Welcome to Peloton Cycling program that is made for those just starting, which covers the basics of spinning and will help you get adjusted to your new Peloton bike and its features.
As you find those easier to handle, you can try out something like the 20-Minute Recovery Ride with Emma Lovewell, which still spends time in the saddle, but begins to introduce you to Peleton counts and bursts.
Once you have the basics down and find yourself looking for more of a challenge, you can begin looking at longer rides and more intense workouts. Another aspect of Peloton classes is the music, so find a style of music you love and let it motivate you.
You can test the waters of climb rides with classes like 15-Minute Intro to Climb Ride with Ben Alldis. Expect more effort to be expended, and you may find yourself rising out of the saddle for more challenging riding.
It may also be time to experiment with HIIT (High Impact Interval Training) in a 15-Minute Intro to HIIT Ride with Olivia Amato. This style of class focuses on shorter bursts of high-energy riding combined with slowing down and recovering in between.
By this point, you’re a pro at the lingo and concepts and are ready to tackle something a little more challenging. The classes are longer, and there’s less resting time and more encouragement from the instructors.
If you’re after a high-energy, no-holds barred workout, you can try Alex Toussaint’s Club Bangers Ride, a 45-minute ride that gets going and doesn’t slow down until it’s over.
If endurance is your goal, try Matt Wilper’s 60 minute Power Zone Endurance Ride to build power and speed and maintain it for an extended duration. You’ll learn about technique, proper pedal stroke, and more general info around training and nutrition.
Best Peloton Instructors for Seniors
You’ve likely noticed that many of the class names we’ve discussed contain a person’s name. One of the features of Peloton is that you’ll have several regular instructors whose classes you can choose from. You may find selecting specific instructors will benefit your workouts.
Shape.com named Matt Wilpers their Best Peloton Instructor for Beginners, citing his ability to make fitness enjoyable for all, focusing on encouragement and empathy over hardcore intensity.
Cody Rigsby is known for his positivity and contagious feel-good spirit. His XOXO Cody class combines nostalgic music with humorous insights and encouragement. He values a feel-good spirit rather than over-emphasizing technical style.
If you’re looking for classes with modern music and an uplifting, encouraging coach, Alex Toussaint might be your man. Alex’s classes don’t shy away from hard work but also provide uplifting positive vibes, both for on the bike and your life in general.
The Peloton app makes it easy to find instructors who might suit your style and follow the ones you like the most. An added benefit is that many instructors teach classes at all levels, so as your abilities grow, you can follow that instructor to a more challenging ride.
FTP Test for Seniors
We’ve mentioned Matt Wilpers a few times now, and with good reason: Matt is one of Peloton’s top trainers, and Matt has put some thought and effort into FTP training. FTP stands for Functional Threshold Power and, put simply, is the amount of power a person can sustain for one hour.
In terms of Peloton, FTP is a gauge of how hard your body is working and can help you determine how far you can or should push your body when exercising. As always, consult your doctor and listen to your body when engaging in any strenuous exercise.
There are a lot of different ways to measure FTP, from a 5-minute test to riding all-out for an entire hour. Matt recommends the 20 minute FTP test developed by Hunter Allen. He warns that the test is hard, so seniors should read up and be prepared before trying the test.
The test is based on the highest power output achievable in four segments of riding, each lasting five minutes. Consider that you’ll be riding to your maximum potential for 20 minutes without a break. You will likely need to spend some time building your stamina up before trying the test.
Once you’re ready for the test, you’ll concentrate on achieving the highest power out level, one of the ways Peloton measures performance in each of the four segments. You’ll aim to increase your power output in each of the four segments, so it’s important to pace yourself well.
You’ll now have a number that applies to a 20-minute ride. Wilpers notes that you need to decrease that number by five percent to get a good estimate of your hour-long FTP. You can then use that number to determine levels for your general exercise.
Any FTP within zero to 55 percent of your maximum will fall in the Active Recovery zone, where your body is moving and working, but not to the extent that you’re pushing your limits and stressing your system.
From 56 to 75 percent is your Endurance Zone, the level at which you’ll be building up your stamina and endurance. At this level, you’ll be able to push for a longer time without exhausting yourself or depleting your body’s energy supplies too quickly.
From 76 to 90 percent is the Tempo Zone. Here you’ll be in full cardio mode, pushing yourself and depleting your energy very quickly. Activities like High Impact Interval Training will push you into the Tempo Zone, and even beyond, for short bursts, then drop to lower zones.
Above 90% is essentially going all out, pushing your body to its current limits. Considering that the level is based on what you were able to achieve in a 20-minute segment, you’ll want to be careful about activities that push you into this zone.
While it’s easy to say there is a specific set of guidelines, rules, and warnings for seniors, the truth is that exercise potential is an individual thing, and you and your doctor can come up with a reasonable level that is safe and beneficial to you.
5 Things a Senior Should Consider Before Buying a Peloton
As with all things, you’ll need to determine if a Peloton Bike is the right choice for you. You know yourself better than anyone, and you’ll need to decide if Peloton will be a good fitness choice, if it’s something you’re likely to stick with, and if it will be beneficial to you and your health.
1. Can You Afford a Peloton Bike?
The standard Peloton Bike costs close to $2000, which can be paid in installments for around $50 per month. The Peloton Bike + is closer to $2500 or around $65 per month. Seniors on a budget will need to consider whether this type of investment is possible before jumping in to buy a Peloton.
2. Are you likely to make this a habit?
Considering the hefty price tag, you’ll want to be sure that Peloton is something you’ll stick with. If you’re the kind of person who picks up a new habit and drops it a few months later, you might want to reconsider.
3. Do you have the space for a Peloton?
While the Peloton bikes aren’t huge, you’re essentially buying a bike that will be inside your home or garage for the foreseeable future. When planning, make sure you take space around the bike into consideration.
4. Will this fit in your lifestyle?
If you’re an active senior, out and about a lot of the time, you might think twice about buying a Peleton. You may be able to get the same benefits with a standard bike, one which you won’t have to break the bank to buy.
5. Is this within your health limits?
While the Peloton is a great way to improve your general health and well-being, you’ll need to consider whether your current health level will be compatible with taking on a regular exercise regime. As always, this is likely a conversation for you and your doctor.
Peloton is a great way to improve your health while maintaining some social contact via online classes. The ability to exercise at your convenience is a great benefit for those who can’t make it out to a gym. Seniors can certainly use Peloton and have a great time doing so.
Active living is extremely important to most seniors, and Peloton seems to be a well-thought out product that offers many benefits. Hopefully, you now have the answer to the question, “is Peloton good for seniors?” With a little research and consideration, you may find that Peloton is a great fit for your lifestyle.