Best Peloton Classes and Instructors for Beginners – What do I need to watch out for?

One of the most common questions we get is what are the best Peloton classes and instructors for beginners? Because, let’s face it, when you first get a Peloton, it can be overwhelming. It’s hard to know where to get started with classes to take and instructors to choose. While this post for Peloton beginners focused on getting you set up on the platform with your username, profile pic and whatnot, this article answers the most common questions about beginner Peloton classes and instructors. This includes:

  • Can beginners do Peloton?
  • Should you ride your Peloton everyday?
  • Who is the best beginner Peloton instructor?
  • What are beginners classes on Peloton like?

In this blog post I’m going to address all of these questions and more. So, read on for the best Peloton classes and instructors for Peloton beginners on the bike.

Peloton cycle classes and instructors for beginners

This section is more for the Peloton bike than anything else. So with this Peloton for beginners guide, I’m going to offer you tips and tricks on common starter subjects for the spin bike or cycle, and those new to Peloton. This includes which rides or classes to take so you can figure out your first cycling class, how often you should be riding and which Peloton programs can help you as a beginner.

Best Peloton instructor for beginners

So many people want to know who is the best instructor for beginners. There are two ways that I can answer this question. One, I can tell you who I rode with the most when I first got my Peloton. Two, I can share with you how to navigate beginner rides.

Instructors I rode with as a beginner

When our Peloton first arrived, my husband and I chose instructors in a very different way than our daughters did. For Bill and me, we wanted a friendly face who wouldn’t be too hard on us during rides. So, for us, as beginners, we found Hannah Marie Corbin to be the best instructor for us.

On the other hand our daughter Annie was already a gym rat. She was excited to have the Peloton bike at home so she could use it when she was home from college. For her she wanted to ride with an instructor who would push her the hardest. Her go to instructor as a Peloton beginner (though not a fitness beginner)? Robin Arzon.

Instructors with beginner classes

After riding while Hannah for a few weeks, I expanded my instructor repertoire, if you will, to include a few more instructors. They were Christine D’Ercole and Jenn Sherman. My husband also expanded his go-to instructors to include Emma Lovewell and Ally Love.

One of the ways we were able to broaden our instructor horizons was to find the instructors with beginner rides and/or advanced beginner rides.

Does Peloton have beginner classes?

If you’ve just gotten your Peloton and you’re worried about finding beginner classes, don’t worry. Because Peloton has plenty of beginner classes.

In fact, nearly every Peloton class is marked as either beginner, intermediate and advanced. So, it’s easy to find plenty of beginner classes.

And how do you do that–find those beginner classes? Using the Peloton filtering tool.

Filtering for beginner Peloton classes

Peloton has a great filtering option. This helps you to find just the right kind of ride you want to take. You can filter rides by length, instructor, theme, kind of music and difficulty.

When you filter by class type, one of the options is beginner. I would start there. Right now there are 250+ beginner rides, in both English and German.

The longest beginner class is 30 minutes. And these longer classes are actually the advanced beginner classes.

Truth is, as a beginner, you should ride with every Peloton instructor at least once. Right now there are so many 10- and 15-minute classes (some labeled beginner, others not). Regardless of what kind of class it is, at 10 or 15-minutes long, you could easily get through the whole roster in no time.

Take one or two or three of these shorter classes with each teacher and see who you like the most. You can always change your mind later.

Searching for beginner rides

In addition to using the filter to find beginner rides, you can use the Peloton search function as well. One the bike, you’ll need to get to the classes screen, then look for the magnifying glass. Click on that to bring up the search bar. On the Peloton website, under “Take Classes,” look for that same magnifying glass on the far right of the screen. Click on it to get to the search bar. In either instance–on the bike or the website–type in the word Beginner. You’ll get a reverse chronological view of the most recent beginner classes. As of this writing they were from Ally Love, Jess King and Hannah Corbin.

Peloton for out of shape beginners

Let’s be honest: you may have decided to splurge on a Peloton cycle because you’re looking to lose weight or improve your cardiovascular fitness or because you feel out of shape. First, good for you for taking control of your health. Now let me share a secret with you: Peloton riding is hard, even for the most in-shape people. For some reason the Peloton spin bike classes feel more challenging than spin classes people might have taken at the gym. I still don’t know why that is, but it’s true. So if you feel out of shape or are overweight, start with the beginner programs I focus on in the next section. It’s the perfect way to get acclimated to your Peloton bike and not feel defeated by it.

Mastering the Basics

Under Programs on Peloton, you’ll find the “Mastering the Basics” program. Technically, it’s called Mastering the Basics: Cycling, because it’s designed for new users of the Peloton bike. The Mastering the Basics: Cycling program is six-weeks long and includes 28 classes. This is how Peloton describes Mastering the Basics: Cycling:

“Level-up your rides in this 6-week program where you’ll discover new ways to improve strength and increase endurance. From using weights on the Bike to interval training, you’ll be ready for anything after this program.”

As I mentioned, the Peloton 6 week beginner program is called Mastering the Basics: Cycling. You’re expected to ride four days per week. Unfortunately, like many Peloton pre-designed programs, you cannot ride at your own pace. You have to follow the schedule Peloton has set. If you miss a class, you have to go back to the beginning and start over. 

Peloton for beginners: trying new kinds of classes

Once you’ve mastered the beginner and advanced beginner classes, it’s time to get acquainted with the different kinds of classes Peloton offers on the cycle. You can do that through the “Welcome to Peloton Cycling” collection of classes.

“This is only the beginning. Brand new to Peloton or just getting back on the Bike? These classes will introduce you to our class types, teach you proper technique and get you acquainted with our world-class instructors. Come away with the foundation and confidence to take any ride that strikes you.”

This is a collection of nearly two dozen 15-minute classes on the bike. Each has a different “theme,” if you will. It includes introductions to the following kinds or types of Peloton cycling classes:

  • HIIT
  • Tabata
  • Climb
  • Power Zone
  • Intervals and Arms

So, if you’ve ever asked, “What is a Peloton Tabata ride,” this will answer that question. Also, this collection also includes a variety of beginner rides. 

Peloton for beginners: getting started

To get started on your first Peloton rides, you’ll need to log into the Peloton tablet on the bike. You’ll use your email or username for your login and set a password. The bike will remember you from here on in.

If you have more than one family member riding, each person needs to set up their profile. Then, you’ll need to choose your profile each time you want to use the bike. When you turn the bike on, the first screen you’ll see will be the profiles. Choose yours and you’ll arrive at a home screen with a ton of class options.

How do you pick a Peloton class?

At the top you’ll see if there are any upcoming live classes. Along the bottom you’ll see an icon that says “classes.” These are all the On Demand rides and classes that were previously recorded live. You can take these at any time. There is a filter within so you can look for classes based on theme, instructor name or length.

Click on classes and you’ll end up in the On Demand library. You’ll notice a spyglass aka search bar in the upper right hand corner. Touch that and your keyboard will pop up. There, you can type in and search for classes based on a theme, musical artist or more.

Choosing your first Peloton ride

So, how do you choose your first Peloton ride? I would choose based more on your own fitness than anything else.

For example, when we got our Peloton in 2016, I was an experienced spinner. I’d already been spinning 3-5 days a week at my gym for the past few years.

My first Peloton ride? A 45-minute 60s ride with Hannah Marie Corbin. Since the classes I took at the gym were an hour long, getting on the Peloton for 45-minutes was no big deal.

You do you on your first Peloton ride

But that’s me. What about you? Have you ever done a spinning class? Has it been a long time since you’ve been on a spin bike? Never been on a stationary bike like a Peloton before?

If this describes you, then you definitely want to start with the beginner rides. I will explain how to find them below.

However, if you’re impatient and just want to get going, I would say that any of the shorter rides are a good place to start. Even a five-minute warm-up ride–and there are plenty of them–will help you ease your way into the Peloton world. These five-minute rides are some of the easier ones.

Best beginner Peloton rides

When it comes to the best beginner Peloton rides, I would recommend using that spyglass to search the term beginner. Literally type in “beginner” and see what pops up. If you see a class you think you like, touch it and then you’ll have these options.

  1. See the class difficulty rating on a scale of one to 10
  2. You can preview the playlist in the class so you can see if you like the music
  3. Start the class

When I was in the category of a beginner Peloton rider, I started with 20-minute classes. There are 15-minute classes, 10-minute classes and even 5-minute classes, but these five-minute classes tend to be warm-up and cool-down classes. They are designed for you to take before or after your “main” class. Trust me–warming up and cooling down is a great habit to get into.

If you’d like a free printable of the best Peloton classes overall, subscribe using the form, below. Once you share your email, you’ll receive this printable that you can print out and keep with you as you explore Peloton.

Does Peloton have 30-minute classes?

You bet Peloton has 30-minute classes. Also, 45 minutes, 60 minutes, 75 minutes and a few 90 minutes. But don’t get ahead of yourself.

Like I said I stuck with 20-minute classes for the first few times on my Peloton bike, primarily riding with Hannah Marie Corbin. Then I moved up to 30-minute classes.

My first 45-minute class was at least a month into riding my Peloton bike and it was a live new wave class with Christine D’Ercole. I finally tried a 60-minute class when Jenn Sherman had one of her Epic Sing a Long rides. And I didn’t die.

Best Peloton classes and instructor for beginners: Riding Live or On Demand

As I mentioned there is a schedule of live rides every day of the week. There are also other kinds of live classes you can do on the cycle tablet. Strength, stretching and more.

You have the same variety with doing classes or rides On Demand. It is all there, literally, at your fingertips–since the Peloton tablet is a touchscreen.

Your first live ride

So many people are nervous about taking their first live ride. Don’t be. The only people who will know it’s your first live ride will be you and the instructor. I’m pretty sure I’ve heard instructors give shoutouts to people for their first live ride.

Trust me: it will make your stomach jump if you happen to get a shout out. It feels so good to hear your username–so choose one that makes you smile and is easy for the instructor to say. And then expect the high-fives to explode on the left-hand side of your tablet.

What are encore rides or classes

In addition to the live rides, you may see rides called “Encore” in the live schedule. So, they’re not quite classes On Demand but they’re not quite live either. So, what are encore rides or encore classes? What does encore mean on Peloton?

An encore ride or encore class is a repeat of a recent live ride. Usually, Peloton schedules an Encore class if it fits with a current theme that they are promoting. For example, in November 2020, Peloton released a series of Beyonce classes across a variety of disciplines. So, you could find Encore Beyonce classes throughout the month.

Encore versus live Peloton classes

Another reason Peloton offers Encore classes is if a group wants to ride “live” at a certain time that might not be popular for the whole Peloton population. For example, there are Peloton users in Germany and the United Kingdom who may want rides at a time that’s convenient for them. But instructors may not be giving a class at that time. Therefore, they plug in an Encore class.

Finally, Encore classes are great if you want to ride with a group of people but there are no live rides to take. This way everyone can start at the same time, and high five along the way.

Encore vs On Demand Peloton classes

So, what’s the difference between Encore vs On Demand Peloton classes? Well, for starters, let’s talk about the similarities.

Both Encore and On Demand Peloton classes are not live. Well, at one point they may have been broadcast live, but once they are no longer live, they could be broadcast as Encore (which appears like a Live class on the Peloton schedule) or simply be available On Demand in the class library.

In fact, some On Demand classes were never live. That is, they “drop” into the Peloton library without having ever been a live class on the schedule.

Final thoughts on the best Peloton classes and instructors for beginners

I would be remiss if I didn’t point you to my other Peloton content, which is also appropriate for Peloton for beginners. This includes my Peloton shoes guide and review, tips on how to make the Peloton seat more comfortable as well as my list of the best Peloton accessories. Yeah, you’ve got some shopping to do, so enjoy.

If I’ve missed anything that you ended up here looking for the answer to–and I didn’t answer it–post a comment and let me know. I’m happy to update this post accordingly with additional answers.

Welcome to the Peloton family. You’re going to love your bike!



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