Peloton output refers to the average power output that is measured in watts. It’s one of the most important metrics to track your progress and overall cycling performance.
Output reflects the total work done on average in any given workout or spinning session. In other words, the amount of energy expended per unit of time. Watt is the unit of power output and it equals one joule per second.
It is possible to increase your output by increasing either cadence or resistance or both. Both these measures are also shown on the Peloton screen when you’re working out.
A lot of people are not aware of how to interpret these metrics and use them to improve their performance over time. If that’s the case with you, you are in the right place because here we are going to discuss everything there is about Peloton output and what can be the best output depending on your age and fitness goals.
So, let’s get started.
Table of Contents
What is Peloton Power Output?
When you’re working out, one of the metrics that tell a lot about your athletic performance is the power output. Not every piece of equipment comes with a power meter and oftentimes you have to use a meter separately to measure your output.
It’s not important to go into the details of how a power meter actually gauges a cyclist’s power. But it is useful to know that most devices measure applied torque and combine it with another metric known as angular speed to finally calculate the power output.
The advantage of having a Peloton bike at home is that it comes with a built-in power meter. You don’t have to do the lengthy calculations yourself because the bike’s screen shows everything you need to track your progress during a workout.
However, unlike traditional cycling, in this case, the power output is measured as a function of your cadence and resistance. Cadence refers to rotations per minute (in the case of cycling or spinning) or in simple terms, how fast you’re pedaling.
Resistance is the level of difficulty you set for yourself and it is reading from 0 to 100%. The higher the resistance, the more difficult it is to turn the pedals. You can set the resistance level in Peloton by turning the resistance knob either left or right. If you turn it to the right, you are increasing difficulty and vice versa.
By now you must have guessed that power output can be increased by increasing either of these readings. 60 to 80 RPM is considered a good cadence for recreational cyclists; however, if you want to compete with elite cyclists and those on the top of the leaderboard, you will have to reach a cadence of at least 110 RPM.
What is a Good Peloton Output?
To determine what is a good power output depends on the nature of the workout and the total time you spend on the bike. If you go for a 30-minute ride, 180 to 250 watts is considered a good output.
Some people may argue that average output is not a very useful metric. However, it’s a number that Peloton uses to determine your position on the leaderboard when you’re competing against other people in the same class. The higher this number, the higher your ranking will be.
Another important use of this metric is when you want to start training in specific power zones. Peloton offers seven Power Zones, each having its own range of target output. If you want to enter this program, you will first have to take the FTP test. FTP stands for Functional Threshold Power and you can determine it by taking a 20-minute FTP test ride.
Here is a summary of a good Peloton output score categorized into duration of rides.
|Ride Duration(minutes)||Good Average Output (watts)||Good Total Output(kJ)|
As you can see, average output keeps on decreasing with increasing duration, whereas total output keeps on increasing. This is because the total output is the total amount of work you have performed during a ride and it will naturally be a higher value if you are spending more time on the bike.
How to Improve Your Peloton Output?
Since we measure average output, the reading will be different for different classes depending on how long they last. For example, a 20-minute ride will yield a different output as compared to a 60-minute or even 30-minute ride.
Your body weight and height or stature also affect your Peloton output. You might be a faster cyclist outdoors but if you are light in weight and have a small stature, your indoor cycling performance or power output will be low as compared to a heavier rider.
This is because heavier people need to produce more power even if cadence and resistance readings are the same.
Although their power output will be higher as compared to less heavy people, it will be more difficult for these people to maintain this output for longer durations.
If you want to improve your Peloton output, it is recommended that you start training in the seven Power Zones. This program allows you to train in specific zones till you’re ready to move on to the next level. Since you know your target output, you work harder to achieve it and then move one step up at a time.
You can reach out target output by increasing either cadence or resistance or both. It’s up to you to experiment using different combinations and see how you improve.
Peloton Output Chart By Age
Peloton output is interpreted differently for different age groups because at a younger age, you are more capable of generating power. However, it’s not always true that a 30-year-old individual will have a higher output than a 50-year-old individual. The latter might be physically more fit and active than the younger person and hence more capable of producing higher output.
According to a survey, 65% of Peloton users in the United States are between the ages of 25 to 45. According to the Peloton output chart by age, 37% of people in the 35-44 years age group share the same output. The next age group to share the most output is 25-34 years and the percentage is 28%.
Individuals in the 45-54 years age group share 22% of the Peloton output.
What Factors Affect Peloton Output?
In addition to your age, overall fitness level, weight, and many other factors like the intensity of a workout may affect your Peloton output. If you choose a higher intensity workout, you will generate more power in a short span of time. Examples of such rides are 20-minute FTP test ride and HIIL ride.
If you’re physically fit and active, you will be capable of sustaining the same output even for longer durations of time. Heavy and physically not-very-fit people will reach their fatigue threshold sooner and hence wouldn’t be able to sustain a ride for a long time.
Since males are generally stronger than females, their output will be different even if we compare them to a female of the same age and fitness level.
If you increase resistance consistently and maintain your cadence at a steady level, your expected output should be between 111-115 for 40 resistance level and 80 cadence value. While for 100 cadence value, the output at the same resistance level is expected to be between 160-165.
It is recommended to take longer rides and focus on your performance to improve your current fitness level. It is also a good idea to start personalized training so you don’t have to exhaust yourself every time you take a ride.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best Peloton class for high output?
If you want to increase your power output, one of the recommended Peloton classes is Tabata ride and it lasts for 30 minutes. Experts recommend cycling for at least 30 minutes every day to improve your cardiovascular health. In this time period, you can expect to have traveled around 8 miles and burn 300 calories, which is a good fitness indicator.
What is a good average output on Peloton?
Although 150 to 250 watts is considered a good Peloton output for any type of workout or class, you need to adjust this number by your body weight. Power to weight ratio is a measurement of power in relation to your body weight.
You can get this measurement by taking your power output and dividing it by your total weight in kg. For example, if your weight is 50kg and your output is 100 watts, the power to weight ratio will be 2.
Power to weight ratio is important when you’re either taking a long ride or one that goes uphill most of the time. On flat terrains, raw power is a much stronger indicator of your total output than the power to weight ratio.
If you have a higher power to weight ratio, it shows that you possess a greater proportion of lean muscle mass. Hence, it is also a good indicator of your overall fitness and performance. If you want to improve your power to weight ratio, you can either increase your power output while cycling or reduce your weight.
How accurate is the Peloton output?
It has been observed that Peloton output is about 10% lower than the actual power that you produce during a workout. Since Peloton uses cadence and resistance readings to arrive at an average output measurement, it might be affected by some external factors.
You should also know that to generate an accurate output reading, your bike must be properly calibrated. The bike can be calibrated by adjusting the amount of space between the flywheel and the brackets.
It is recommended to calibrate your bike on a regular basis. Since Peloton users do not train for triathlons, even 10% accuracy is acceptable. You can still find out if you are progressing with time and use the readings to train in Peloton Power Zones.
How to tell if your bike needs calibration?
You need to keep a close check on your cadence and resistance values and see if they match with the output showing on the screen. If the numbers seem utterly ridiculous, you probably need to recalibrate your bike.
Calibrating your bike is not difficult but Peloton doesn’t recommend doing it. This means the bike’s results are almost always accurate. However, if you recently moved your bike or replaced one of its parts, then it is advisable to get in touch with a Peloton technician and see what they recommend.
Peloton score is now considered a status symbol among people who ride the bike on a regular basis and compete with their Peloton friends. This score reflects your average output for a particular ride measured in watts.
However, this number remains almost constant for all types of workouts regardless of their duration for a given fitness level. The number that actually changes is the total power output, which is measured in kJ and it’s a measure of total work expended during a workout.
A structured training program can help you increase your power output thereby improving your power to weight ratio. In addition, if you are able to maintain your ability to produce power and lose weight at the same time, you can rest assured that your training is moving in the right direction.
If your power to weight ratio turns out to be 2 if you’re a man and 1.5 if you’re a woman, you belong to the untrained riders’ category. However, it’s very much possible to improve your power to weight ratio and reach the level of professional racers who can sustain more than a 6 W/kg power to weight ratio.
If you want to achieve this, it’s highly recommended that you start training in the Power Zones program offered by Peloton. This will help you identify your target output for various zones and work hard to achieve that target and move up slowly and gradually.
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