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What muscles does the peloton work?

Peloton firstly started their journey via Only Peloton bike, and now they are a full Fitness training company. Peloton has strength, stretching, yoga, Pilates,Cardio, Bootcamp, Barre classes in addition to cycling and running classes that help build muscle.

The Peloton bike is cardio equipment, so most of us go for the bike to shed on weight and build a lean body outlook. However, not everyone goes for the bike to lose weight. Actually, a good number will simply take the Peloton bike to stay in shape and within the same weight range. The only change they probably want is a lean outlook.

So, Does Peloton build muscle?

The Peloton does promote muscle growth because it offers a variety of interval Programs that work both rapid and slow-twitch muscle fibers. In addition to this, there are also classes that target specific parts of the body such as the biceps and triceps.

One of Peloton’s most popular programs, Total Strength by instructor Andy Speer, is designed to help Members build muscle over a period of four weeks and is perfect for beginners and experienced lifters alike.

Does Peloton Cycling Build Muscle?

Yes, Peloton cycling builds muscle. However, only specific muscles will gain from cycling, and other than the core, the rest are leg muscles. Your quads, hamstrings, calves, and hip flexors will be stronger and with more muscle mass, especially from resistance cycling

Which Peloton cycling classes have more resistance? The Peloton classes that I find with optimal resistance include climb and Hills during HIIT and Hills rides. The Power Zone Endurance classes are also excellent since you have to maintain Cadence at a specific resistance in a particular period.

However, you will have to be selective with the cycling classes you take on Peloton if your goal is far from shedding weight.

Can Peloton Get You in Shape?

Yes, Peloton can get you in shape, especially if you take combined classes. While classes concentrating on cardio are aerobic and fat burning, the classes concentrating on resistance and strength training will tone the muscles.

It would help if you had a lean yet shapely outlook by the end of it.

Can You Build Muscle with Peloton Bike?

Yes, you can build muscle with Peloton. Peloton cycling classes requiring optimized resistance and weights are muscle building.

Peloton bike classes for muscle gain include;

  1. Bike Bootcamp: Bike Bootcamp involves cardio cycling that incorporates strength training. The strength training will turn the fats into lean muscles, which prevents much weight loss during the cardio sessions.
  2. Climb rides: Climb rides involve a progressive increase in resistance during cycling until you are at a point where you literally strain to get a cadence. The increased resistance tears leg muscles as you try to achieve a cadence. Amazingly, as you heal, the tissues and muscles are back stronger, sometimes larger than before.
  3. Power Zone rides: Power Zone rides technically build on muscle endurance. You will be in a specific zone in which you will maintain the Cadence for a specified duration. The endurance, in turn, burns your body fat and transforms it into muscle mass, which you will need for strength.
  4. Intervals and Arms Rides: Intervals and Arms will require to join the class with light to medium weights. You will alternate free weights sessions with ride bursts, which optimize your workout benefits. Most importantly, this is your chance to build on your arm muscles with the fat shed during the cycling sessions.
  5. HIIT and Hills Ride: HIIT and Hills rides are a blend of high-intensity interval rides, which will get you sweating hard, and hills climbing. Hills help build the leg muscles, particularly the quadriceps.

How does the Peloton bike work for building muscles?

Essentially, the Peloton bike only helps build muscles when resistance is optimized instead of Cadence. 

Usually, resistance is behind hypertrophy, which is muscle gain in exercise. The strain in resistance cycling leads to muscle tearing. Thanks to your protein-rich replenisher after the workout, the muscles heal fast, but you get stronger and sometimes larger muscles this time.

“While carbohydrate intake is important, protein is critical. Protein is the most important and essential component of nutrition and the foundation of muscle gain,”

Robert Graham, M.D., an internal and integrative medicine physician in New York City: reference: forbes.com

He says. If you’re wondering how much protein you need to build muscle, Dr. Graham recommends 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight.

What Muscles Does Peloton Work?

Peloton works a range of muscles, depending on the type of class that you pick. Below is a summary table of muscles you work on the different cycling classes suitable for muscle building;

[su_table responsive=”yes”]

Muscles involved Peloton Class
calves Intervals and arms, HIIT and Hills
glutes Intervals and arms, HIIT and Hills
hamstring Intervals and arms, HIIT and Hills, bike Bootcamp
quadriceps Climb rides, Power Zone Endurance
core Climb rides, Power Zone Endurance, bike Bootcamps


What muscles does Peloton bike work?

 Or rather, what areas do spin classes target? Since the Peloton bike involves pedaling, even under resistance, the only muscles it helps build are the lower body muscles. These include

  • hip flexors
  • hamstrings
  • quadriceps
  • calves
  • and glutes

Therefore, if you are up for a Peloton spin class, you should be excited about well-toned hips, booty, and legs for that athletic look you’ve been dreaming of sporting.

However, cycling has also proven significant for the core region other than the lower body muscles. It is a common observation that you will need core strength during cycling. Core muscles include abs, transverse abdominis, internal and external obliques, and lower back muscles.

Therefore, you find your core muscles contract for the best part of the class. With this continuously forced contraction, the core muscles strengthen and tone.

Does Peloton Work Your Whole Body?

Yes, it does. However, you have to schedule different class combinations to achieve whole-body training.

Basically, the Peloton bike and treadmill work on the lower body. However, strength training, Bootcamps, and cardio are split into upper body, lower body, and full-body exercises. 

Let’s use a table to grasp better the different classes that you can target for different body muscles;

[su_table responsive=”yes”]

Muscles involved Peloton class
calves Intervals and arms, HIIT and Hills, tread speed, tread intervals,  lower body strength
glutes Intervals and arms, HIIT and Hill, tread speed, tread intervals,  lower body strength
hamstring Intervals, and arms, HIIT and Hills, bike Bootcamp, tread speed, tread intervals,  lower body strength
quadriceps Climb rides, Power Zone Endurance rides, tread endurance, power walk, hiking, lower body strength
core Climb rides, Power Zone Endurance, bike Bootcamps, strength, cardio, tread Bootcamps
Arms Intervals and arms, strength Upper-body, bike and tread Bootcamps 
Full body Yoga, full-body strength, Pilates, bike and tread Bootcamps
Chest Cardio, full-body strength, upper-body strength, 


Resistance Vs. Cadence: Which is Best for Muscle Building via Peloton Bike?

Resistance is definitely better than Cadence for building muscles. This is because resistance breeds strain, which in turn nurtures endurance, a key ingredient in muscle building.

On the other hand, Cadence will burn more fats and calories, which are excreted out of the body. Therefore, it helps lose weight as opposed to ginning muscle mass.

Of course, resistance will burn more fats and calories compared to Cadence. However, the fats burned are transformed into muscle mass and not eliminated from the body.

Related Post: Adjust/Change Resistance on Peloton Bike & Bike Plus (Auto & Manually)

Does the Peloton Bike Build Leg Muscle?

Yes, the peloton bike actually builds the leg muscles the most in the whole body due to the concentration on pedaling.

What leg muscles do the Peloton work?

The Peloton bike builds all the leg muscles, though each muscle will depend on the cycling style.

  • Peloton cycling where you are seated will work on the quadriceps.
  • Cycling classes where you have to stand on the pedals work on the calves, glutes, and hamstrings.

How long does it take to build leg muscles cycling?

Well, the duration it takes will depend on the type of cycling classes you take, complementary exercises, and your diet.

If you take more resistance classes, your leg muscles will increase faster. However, you should also include a healthy protein meal in your everyday diet. Most importantly, couple your cycling with strength training, especially squatting with weights.

You can see small results in even two to four weeks, after you begin cycling workout. But all in all, depending on how fit you are, it can take three to four months to see a significant improvement.

The truth is that you cannot gain leg muscle dramatically just by cycling. This is because, as much as you will turn your cycling into a muscle-building exercise, it is still a weight loss exercise. Therefore, it builds muscles slower than it creates a leaner outlook.

Does Peloton Cycling Make Your Legs Big?

Some of us want to display the large leg outlook, while others will do anything to display a sporty lower body. Which begs the question; does Peloton make your calves big? Will I grow big thighs with Peloton?

The Peloton will help you grow leg muscles, but not in a dramatic kind of way. If you just cycle without other strength training incorporation, you will only increase leg muscles by small margins. Therefore, if you want that small leg outlook, cycling will do. This is more so if you consider classes with more Cadence than resistance.

However, you will need more than just Peloton cycling for big legs and thighs. You may have to lean on the Bootcamp classes, as well as more of lower body strength training.

Does Peloton Cycling Tone Your Stomach?

Yes, Peloton cycling tones your stomach. All you need to do is cycle right, with your stomach muscles in mind.

Usually, the best cycling for stomach muscle toning is sitting upright, with your stomach contracted during the workout.

Alternate with crunches during the ride, which go well with single-arm ride combinations. These will help contract your stomach muscles even more, hence toning the muscles.

Best Peloton Cycling Classes for Muscle Building

  1. 45 min climb ride with Christine D’Ercole
  2. 20 min climb ride with Ben Alldis
  3. 30 min intervals and arms ride with Hannah Frankson
  4. 30 min HIIT and Hills ride with Leanne Hainsby
  5. 45 min power zone endurance Hip Hop ride with Matt Wilpers

What Muscles Does Peloton Bike Bootcamps Work?

The Peloton bike Bootcamp involves cycling bursts that alternate with strength training. Usually, the muscles worked in the class will depend on the type of strength training incorporated.

If it is the lower body, then the whole class involves working on and toning lower body muscles. These include glutes, hamstrings, calves, and quads.

The upper body involves concentrating on the upper body during strength and the lower during cycling sessions. More often than not, these are the chest and arm muscles on top of the leg muscles.

Then there are full-body Bootcamps, which target all the body muscles. These include; the core, legs, arms, and chest muscles. 

Finally, there are core Bootcamps, where strength training involves core toning and strengthening workouts. The core muscles include the belly, oblique muscles, and lower back muscles.

Muscle Building Bike Bootcamp Classes

  1. 30 min bike Bootcamp: core with Tunde Oyeneyin
  2. 45 min bike Bootcamp: full body with Jess Sims
  3. 30 min bike Bootcamp: upper body with Cody Rigsby
  4. 30 Min bike Bootcamp: lower body with Callie Gullickson


What muscles do the Peloton work? Peloton can work on all body muscles, depending on your classes. Usually, the treadmill and bike classes work on leg muscles and extend to the core muscles. 

However, Peloton also features strength and cardio training, which focuses on the whole body and specific muscles. Therefore, it is up to you to decide which muscles you want to work and how long.

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Written by

Luky k.

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