What Is A Good Peloton Output? And How Does Peloton Calculate Output?

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Peloton Output is one of the most essential pieces of data to highlight your progress on a Peloton bike.

But this information leaves a lot of us wondering: What is a good Peloton Output?

What constitutes a “good” Peloton Output is a very individual concept, and will vary massively from cyclist to cyclist. Personally, I’d be delighted if I could sustain a 250 W average across a half-hour session, but a professional would look down on that as pretty useless!

For most riders, their average Peloton Output in that half-hour session would be around 180-250W, which gives you a bit of a benchmark on what a “good” output is – but there’s much, much more to it than that!

In this article, we’ll be covering:

  • How Does Peloton Calculate Output?
  • What Is A Good Peloton Output?
  • 3 Key Factors That Affect Your Peloton Output
  • 6 Tips To Improve Your Average Peloton Output

Ready to learn the particulars of Peloton Output?

Let’s get started!

Woman cycling an exercise bike in a sunlit apartment.

How Does Peloton Calculate Output?

Peloton gives you two types of output numbers for your rides: total output, and current output.

The Total Output figure is indicated in kilojoules (KJ), which is the amount of energy you have expended during the whole class.

Your current output is measured in Watts (W). This is the energy you’re putting through the pedals at any given moment.

Your current output on Peloton is calculated using the revolutions per minute (rpm) of the bike’s pedals, and the resistance level set. You adjust the resistance with the red knob on the bike to make pedaling easier or harder. 

The Total Peloton Output calculation takes the average output in Watts, multiplied by the duration of the ride in seconds, and divides it by 1000.

For example, if you rode for 1800 seconds (30 minutes) at an average of 100W, your Peloton Output would be 180kJ.

You can improve your Peloton Output by increasing your cadence and/or resistance.

It’s worth noting that you can increase your Peloton Output more by cranking up the resistance than by purely pedaling faster!

What is a good Peloton Output? Woman looking at the screen of her exercise bike.

What is a Good Peloton Output?

Broadly speaking, an average Peloton Output sits between 150 and 250W.

But a good Peloton Output depends on the individual and a few other factors. We’ll go into these in more detail, but the class you’re taking, your FTP (Functional Threshold Power), fitness level, body mass, and age all affect what you’d consider a good Peloton Output.

Let’s take a look at the average Peloton Output across a few different session lengths:

Average Peloton Output 30 Minutes Session

The type of class you take, along with its intensity, will make a difference to your Peloton Output. For most riders, their average Peloton Output for a 30-minute session sits between 180 and 250W.

However, you will have a much higher Peloton Output if you join a more intense class, such as a high-intensity interval training session. A good Total Peloton Output for 30 minutes is between 300-480kJ.

Average Peloton Output 45 Minutes Session

During a 45 minute session, you can expect an average Peloton Output to be between 150 and 220W.

But if you want a good Total Peloton Output, you should aim for 400 to 650kJ for a 45-minute class, such as a Power Zone or HIIT class.

Average Peloton Output 60 Minutes Session

An average Peloton Output for a 60-minute class should produce 150 to 250W.

However, more intense sessions should leave you sweating after racking up 450 to 700kJ for your Total Peloton Output.

Woman riding a Peloton bike as part of a class.

3 Key Factors That Affect Your Peloton Output

As we mentioned earlier, your average Peloton Output depends on a few factors. These include your experience riding a Peloton bike, the specific workouts, your gender, age, and flexibility.

Let’s look into these in a bit more detail.

#1. The Intensity Of Your Workout

As you start to try the various Peloton workouts, you will notice that your output will be much higher during the more intense workouts. The more challenging activities include FTP test rides, Tabata, HIIT, and hill rides.

#2. Your Fitness Level

How fit you are makes a massive difference to your average Peloton Output.

You’ll notice this effect becomes more pronounced on longer rides. While riders with low fitness levels will be able to achieve high Peloton Outputs in short bursts, they won’t be able to sustain them over an extended period to reach high total Peloton Outputs as well as a fitter rider could.

#3. Power Zones

In the Peloton world, you’ll see that there are different exertion levels called ‘Power Zones’. Before you can join a Power Zone, you need to take a 20-minute test to determine your Functional Threshold Power (FTP).

Once you’ve done this, you can see which Power Zone is suited to you based on your results. The bike will give you a fixed target for your cadence that you need to reach within your 45-minute Power Zone ride.

Everyone in your Power Zone is set the same cadence level, so to be competitive, you can reach a higher Peloton Output by turning up the resistance.

No matter your fitness level or experience, Power Zone rides will improve your performance. There are seven different Power Zones that will help you target specific elements of your fitness.

Here is a rundown of each:

  • Zone 1 (Active Recovery): This is the easiest zone that requires an FTP of 55% or less. If you are recovering from injury, just getting started, or elderly, you should start with a few rides in zone 1.
  • Zone 2 (Endurance): This zone is still pretty easy, even for beginners. It requires an FTP between 55 and 75% and is ideal for long, low-intensity rides.
  • Zone 3 (Tempo): You need an FTP between 75 and 90% for this zone. It gets similar results to zone 2 training, but in a shorter time with higher intensity.
  • Zone 4 (Lactate threshold): This is a more challenging power zone that requires you to be more experienced on your Peloton bike. The lactate threshold is often considered the borderline between low and high-intensity work.
  • Zone 5 (VO2max): Riding in zone 5 is arduous work, as you need an FTP of 105 to 120%.
  • Zone 6 (Anaerobic capacity): As you can imagine, Power Zone 6 rides are incredibly hard work. You need an FTP of 120 to 150% to give them a go.
  • Zone 7 (Neuromuscular power): If you can get to this point, you will have an FTP of 150% and beyond. This is as hard as it gets in Peloton.
Man leads a group of riders on exercise bikes.

6 Tips To Improve Your Average Peloton Output

#1. Wear A Good Pair Of Cycling Shoes

Riding while wearing proper cycling shoes will help to improve your average Peloton Output. They’ll remain comfortable for longer, and being clipped to the pedals will make your pedaling more efficient.

#2. Refine Your Peloton’s Setup

Just like your road bike, you need to be comfortable on your Peloton bike to get the most out of it. Make sure your seat height, handlebar height, and pedals are set up perfectly for you.

#3. Fuel Your Sessions Correctly

If you don’t fuel your Peloton sessions, you’ll tire quickly, which will affect your average Peloton Output.

Make sure you hydrate properly before, during, and after your ride too!

#4. Hit The Gym

Adding some strength training into your workout plan will go a long way to improving your Peloton Output. When you have strong leg and core muscles, you can put more power into the pedals, which is a great advantage when riding Power Zones.

#5. Make A Playlist

One of the best ways to motivate yourself is to put together an energetic playlist. It will take your mind off the suffering and help you maintain your momentum.

#6. Do Regular FTP Tests

It is an excellent idea to do an FTP test every month. This will help you track your progress and motivate you to keep going.

Two women chat while riding exercise bikes.

What Is A Good Peloton Output? – Answered!

There are some factors that you can and cannot change when it comes to getting a good Peloton Output. But if you use the Power Zones effectively, your Peloton Output scores can be a great way to keep track as you progress with your power and fitness!

Found this Guide useful? Learn more from the BikeTips experts in the articles below!

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Tom is an experienced freelance cycling journalist and mountain biking expert who competed nationally in the junior ranks. Now based in the world-famous mountain biking destination of Morzine in the French Alps, Tom spends his summers shredding off-road trails by bike and his winters on the same mountains on a snowboard.

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