Peloton vs Lifting Weights For Weight Loss

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Peloton vs Lifting Weights For Weight Loss

Weight loss is a goal that many individuals strive to achieve, and there are numerous approaches to help accomplish this objective. Two popular methods that have gained considerable attention in recent years are Peloton and weightlifting. Peloton is an innovative fitness platform that offers immersive classes such as indoor cycling, while weightlifting involves resistance training using free weights or machines.

In this comparison, we will delve into peloton vs lifting weights for weight loss, providing insights, shedding light on the benefits of working out with each approach, and addressing potential considerations that may affect your decision-making process.

Peloton Equipment

Peloton Exercise Bike

The Peloton exercise bike is the flagship product of the Peloton brand. It features a sleek design, a high-definition touchscreen display, and adjustable resistance levels. The bike allows you to participate in live and on-demand cycling classes from the comfort of your home. With real-time metrics and a leaderboard, the Peloton bike provides an immersive and competitive workout experience.

Peloton Treadmill

In addition to the bike, Peloton offers a treadmill known as the Peloton Tread. It offers a spacious running surface, a built-in touchscreen display, and a range of workout options. With guided runs, scenic routes, and high-energy classes, the Peloton Tread brings the outdoor running experience indoors.

Peloton Digital Membership

Even if you do not own the Peloton equipment, you can still access the Peloton experience through the Peloton Digital Membership. This membership provides access to a wide variety of fitness classes, including cycling, running, strength training, yoga, and meditation. You can stream these classes on your phone, tablet, or smart TV, allowing you to work out wherever and whenever you choose.

The Peloton Community

Interactive Features

Peloton fosters a sense of community and engagement through its interactive features. These include the leaderboard, where you can see how you compare to others in the class, as well as the ability to follow friends, send virtual high-fives, and join group challenges. These features add a social and competitive element to your workouts, making them more engaging and motivating.

Instructors and Motivation

Peloton instructors play a significant role in creating a motivating and immersive fitness experience. They are highly skilled, charismatic, and provide guidance and encouragement throughout the classes. With their expertise and infectious energy, Peloton instructors help keep you motivated and engaged in your workouts.

Benefits Of Peloton

1. Convenience and Accessibility

One of the primary benefits of Peloton is its convenience and accessibility. With the equipment located in your home and the option to stream classes on various devices, Peloton allows you to work out on your schedule without the need to commute to a gym or fitness studio.

2. Variety and Flexibility

Peloton offers a wide variety of classes and workouts, catering to different interests, fitness levels, and goals. Whether you prefer cycling, running, strength training, or yoga, Peloton provides options to keep your workouts diverse and engaging. The flexibility to choose from live or on-demand classes further enhances the variety of your fitness routine.

3. Weight Management

Peloton workouts contribute to calorie burn, which can aid in weight management and help prevent obesity-related health issues. Engaging in regular Peloton sessions can support weight loss goals by increasing energy expenditure and promoting fat loss while preserving lean muscle mass1.

4. Motivation and Accountability

The Peloton community, interactive features, and motivating instructors create an environment that promotes accountability and motivation. The sense of competition on the leaderboard, the support from virtual high-fives, and the encouragement from instructors can all help keep you motivated and committed to your fitness journey.

5. Performance Tracking and Progress Monitoring

Peloton provides detailed performance metrics, such as speed, resistance, cadence, and output, during your workouts. These metrics allow you to track your progress, set goals, and measure your improvement over time. The ability to see your performance and celebrate milestones can be motivating and empowering.

6. Improved Cardiovascular Health

Regular Peloton workouts, such as cycling or running classes, can improve cardiovascular fitness, strengthen the heart, and enhance blood circulation. This can lead to a reduced risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure, and improved overall cardiovascular function2.

Peloton Classes And Workouts

In your Peloton weight loss journey, the platform offers a wide range of classes and workouts designed to help you achieve your goals. From energizing cycling classes to high-intensity interval training (HIIT) sessions and strength training workouts, Peloton provides the variety and intensity you need to make progress and shed those extra pounds.

  • Cycling Classes – Peloton’s signature cycling classes offer a high-intensity cardio workout on the bike. These classes are led by experienced instructors who guide you through various terrains, intervals, and challenges to improve endurance and burn calories.
  • Running Classes – Peloton’s running classes are designed for treadmill workouts, providing a dynamic and engaging cardio experience. Instructors lead you through intervals, hill sprints, and endurance runs to improve your running performance and cardiovascular fitness.
  • Strength Training Classes – Peloton offers a variety of strength training workouts that target different muscle groups using bodyweight exercises or weights. These classes focus on building strength, improving muscle tone, and increasing overall functional fitness.
  • Yoga Classes – Peloton’s yoga classes are suitable for all levels, from beginners to advanced practitioners. These sessions focus on improving flexibility, balance, and mindfulness through a combination of yoga poses, flows, and breathing exercises.
  • HIIT Classes – High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) classes offered by Peloton combine bursts of intense exercises with short recovery periods. These workouts are designed to boost your heart rate, burn calories, and improve cardiovascular endurance.
  • Barre Classes – Barre classes on Peloton provide a low-impact workout that combines elements of ballet, Pilates, and strength training. These classes aim to strengthen and tone your muscles, improve posture, and enhance overall body stability.
  • Dance Classes – Peloton offers dance-inspired workouts that combine energetic movements with cardio exercises. These classes provide a fun and engaging way to improve coordination, rhythm, and cardiovascular fitness.
  • Meditation Classes – Peloton’s meditation classes focus on mindfulness, relaxation, and stress reduction. Led by experienced instructors, these sessions offer guided meditations to help you find calmness, clarity, and mental well-being.
  • Stretching Classes – Peloton’s stretching classes are designed to improve flexibility, mobility, and recovery. These sessions include gentle stretches, yoga-inspired movements, and myofascial release techniques to relieve muscle tension and enhance recovery.
  • Outdoor Running Classes – Peloton offers guided outdoor running workouts that you can follow using the Peloton app. These classes provide audio coaching for outdoor runs, giving you motivation and guidance while enjoying your outdoor exercise.

The Basics Of Lifting Weights

Resistance Training Principles

At its core, lifting weights involves exerting force against resistance to stimulate muscle growth and strength gains. Understanding the following principles is essential for effective and safe weightlifting:

  • Progressive Overload

To make progress, you must gradually increase the demands placed on your muscles. This can be achieved by adding weight, increasing repetitions, or adjusting the intensity of the exercise over time.

  • Proper Form

Performing exercises with correct form is crucial to prevent injuries and ensure optimal muscle engagement. It is essential to learn the proper technique for each exercise before increasing the weight or intensity.

  • Range of Motion (ROM)

The range of motion refers to the distance a joint can move during an exercise. Performing exercises through a full range of motion helps improve flexibility, joint stability, and muscle activation.

  • Rest and Recovery

Adequate rest between workouts is crucial for muscle recovery and growth. Plan for rest days and allow sufficient time for each muscle group to recover before training it again.

Types of Resistance

There are various types of resistance that can be used during weightlifting exercises, including:

  • Free Weights

Free weights refer to equipment like dumbbells, barbells, and kettlebells. They provide a wide range of exercises and allow for greater freedom of movement.

  • Weight Machines

Weight machines typically have a fixed range of motion and provide guided movements. They are beneficial for beginners or individuals with specific strength or rehabilitation goals.

  • Bodyweight

Bodyweight exercises use the resistance of your own body to build strength. Examples include push-ups, squats, and pull-ups.

Benefits Of Lifting Weights

1. Increased Strength and Muscle Mass

Lifting weights is a proven method for increasing muscle strength and size3. The progressive overload principle in weightlifting stimulates muscle fibers to adapt and grow stronger over time. This leads to enhanced physical performance, functional strength, and improved overall muscular definition.

2. Weight Loss and Metabolism Boost

Lifting weights can be an effective tool for weight loss and weight management. Strength training increases muscle mass, which in turn raises your basal metabolic rate (BMR), resulting in more calories burned at rest4. Additionally, weightlifting workouts can be intense and contribute to calorie expenditure during and after the exercise session.

3. Improved Bone Health

Weightlifting helps promote strong and healthy bones. The stress placed on bones during weightlifting stimulates the production of new bone tissue, thereby reducing the risk of osteoporosis and improving bone density5.

4. Enhanced Functional Fitness

Lifting weights improves functional fitness, which is the ability to perform everyday activities with ease and efficiency6. By strengthening the muscles, tendons, and ligaments used in daily movements, weightlifting enhances stability, balance, and coordination.

5. Enhanced Metabolic Health

Weightlifting has positive effects on metabolic health markers such as insulin sensitivity and blood glucose control7. Regular resistance training can help lower the risk of developing conditions like type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

6. Psychological Well-being

Engaging in weightlifting can have significant psychological benefits. The release of endorphins during exercise promotes feelings of happiness and reduces stress. Weightlifting can also boost self-confidence and body image, leading to improved mental well-being.

Key Weightlifting Exercises

Compound Exercises

Compound exercises are multi-joint movements that engage multiple muscle groups simultaneously. These exercises are highly effective for building overall strength, promoting muscle growth, and burning calories. Some common compound exercises include:

  • Squats – Squats target the lower body, primarily the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. They also engage the core and lower back for stability.
  • Deadlifts – Deadlifts work the posterior chain, including the muscles in the lower back, glutes, and hamstrings. They also engage the upper body muscles, such as the back and shoulders.
  • Bench Press – The bench press primarily targets the chest muscles (pectoralis major and minor), but it also engages the triceps and shoulders.
  • Rows – Rows target the muscles in the upper back, including the rhomboids, trapezius, and rear deltoids. They also engage the biceps.
  • Overhead Press – The overhead press targets the deltoid muscles in the shoulders, as well as the triceps and upper back muscles.

Isolation Exercises

Isolation exercises target specific muscles and involve movement at a single joint. They are often used to develop muscle definition, correct muscle imbalances, or isolate specific muscle groups. Some common isolation exercises include:

  • Bicep Curls – Bicep curls focus on the bicep muscles located in the front of the upper arm.
  • Tricep Extensions – Tricep extensions isolate the triceps located at the back of the upper arm.
  • Leg Extensions – Leg extensions primarily target the quadriceps muscles in the front of the thigh.
  • Calf Raises – Calf raises isolate the calf muscles located in the lower leg.

Peloton vs Lifting Weights For Weight Loss

Does Peloton Help with Weight Loss?

When it comes to weight loss, Peloton can be a valuable tool to incorporate into your fitness routine. Here are some factors to consider:

Cardiovascular Exercise

Peloton offers a range of cardio workouts, such as cycling, running, and HIIT classes. These exercises elevate your heart rate and increase calorie burn, contributing to weight loss when combined with a proper diet.

Calorie Expenditure

Peloton workouts can be intense and help you burn a significant number of calories. The exact calorie burn depends on factors like your weight, intensity level, and duration of the workout. Higher-intensity workouts tend to burn more calories.

Variety and Consistency

Peloton’s extensive library of classes ensures that you have access to different workout styles, durations, and intensities. Consistency in following a workout regimen is key to achieving weight loss goals, and Peloton offers a variety of options to keep you engaged and motivated.

Motivation and Accountability

Peloton’s live and on-demand classes provide a sense of community and accountability. The instructors offer guidance, encouragement, and motivation, making it easier to stay consistent with your workouts.

Does Lifting Weights Help with Weight Loss?

Lifting weights can be an effective method for weight loss and body composition changes. Here’s why:

Increased Metabolic Rate

Strength training, including lifting weights, helps build lean muscle mass. Muscle is metabolically active, meaning it burns more calories at rest compared to fat. As you gain more muscle, your basal metabolic rate increases, leading to more calories burned throughout the day.

Fat Burning

Weightlifting workouts, especially those that involve compound exercises, can increase the body’s fat-burning potential. These exercises engage multiple muscle groups, which require more energy and result in higher calorie burn during and after the workout.

Body Composition

Lifting weights not only helps you lose fat but also shapes and tones your body. By building muscle and reducing fat, weightlifting can lead to a more defined and sculpted physique.

Improved Insulin Sensitivity

Resistance training, such as lifting weights, enhances insulin sensitivity. This means your body can utilize carbohydrates more effectively, helping to regulate blood sugar levels and potentially reducing the risk of developing insulin-related health conditions.

How Many Calories Can You Lose with Peloton and Lifting Weights?

The number of calories you can burn with Peloton workouts or lifting weights depends on several factors, including your body weight, workout intensity, duration, and individual metabolism. However, here are some approximate calorie burn estimates:

Peloton: The number of calories burned during a Peloton workout can vary widely. On average, a 30-minute cycling class can burn anywhere between 200-400 calories8, depending on factors like resistance level, cadence, and effort. Higher-intensity workouts, such as HIIT or advanced cycling classes, may result in even greater calorie expenditure.

Lifting Weights: The calorie burn from weightlifting varies depending on factors like the exercises performed, weight lifted, repetitions, and rest intervals. On average, a weightlifting session can burn around 100-300 calories per 30 minutes8, although this can vary widely based on individual factors and workout intensity.

It’s important to remember that weight loss occurs when you maintain a calorie deficit, which means burning more calories than you consume. Combining Peloton workouts or lifting weights with a balanced diet and overall healthy lifestyle can help you achieve your weight loss goals more effectively.

Final Thoughts

In the comparison between Peloton and lifting weights for weight loss, both Peloton and weightlifting offer unique advantages for weight loss. The best choice depends on individual preferences, fitness levels, and goals.

Peloton provides a convenient at-home cycling experience that effectively burns calories and improves cardiovascular health.

On the other hand, weightlifting builds muscle strength, improves body composition, and boosts the resting metabolic rate, leading to long-term weight loss benefits.

Combining Peloton workouts with weightlifting can yield optimal results, burning calories and enhancing muscle development.

Personal fitness goals, time availability, and preferences should guide the decision between Peloton and weightlifting.

Consistency and a balanced diet are crucial for sustainable weight loss, and seeking guidance from professionals can create an effective personalized plan.


1 Sayer, A. (2023). Peloton Weight Loss: 5 Best Peloton Workouts To Shed Some Pounds. BikeTips. https://biketips.com/peloton-weight-loss/

2 Sissons, B. (2020, November 25). Comparing biking and running for fitness and weight loss. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/biking-vs-running#heart-health

3 Department of Health & Human Services. (n.d.). Resistance training – health benefits. Better Health Channel. https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/resistance-training-health-benefits

4 Huang WY, Wu CE. Interventions to Improve Body Composition, Upper and Lower Extremity Muscle Strength, and Balance Ability of Older Female Adults: An Intervention Study. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Apr 14;19(8):4765. doi: 10.3390/ijerph19084765. PMID: 35457632; PMCID: PMC9033118.

5 The Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Institute. (2015, December 20). Bone Density and Weight-Bearing Exercise – The Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Institute in Fort Worth. The Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Institute in Fort Worth. https://www.osmifw.com/sports-medicine/bone-density-and-weight-bearing-exercise/

6 Cadore EL, Rodríguez-Mañas L, Sinclair A, Izquierdo M. Effects of different exercise interventions on risk of falls, gait ability, and balance in physically frail older adults: a systematic review. Rejuvenation Res. 2013 Apr;16(2):105-14. doi: 10.1089/rej.2012.1397. PMID: 23327448; PMCID: PMC3634155.

7 Strasser B, Pesta D. Resistance training for diabetes prevention and therapy: experimental findings and molecular mechanisms. Biomed Res Int. 2013;2013:805217. doi: 10.1155/2013/805217. Epub 2013 Dec 22. PMID: 24455726; PMCID: PMC3881442.

8 Harvard Health. (2021, March 8). Calories burned in 30 minutes for people of three different weights. https://www.health.harvard.edu/diet-and-weight-loss/calories-burned-in-30-minutes-for-people-of-three-different-weights


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