If you’re like many Peloton Bike or Tread owners, you look forward to regularly clipping in or lacing up, eager for that cardio sweat session with your favorite instructor and friends across the country. What you may be missing out on? A host of bootcamp workouts that focus on full-body strengthening and working specific muscle groups.
Their benefits are many. In addition to building muscle, which raises your metabolism and burns calories when at rest, regular strength training keeps your bones healthy and eases symptoms of several chronic conditions. Strengthening exercises also boost mobility and flexibility, making everyday tasks easier to complete.
Brian Albright knows this. The 51-year-old Michigan native and his wife Olivia have used their Bike and Tread four to five times a week since purchasing them in 2014 and 2018, respectively. But since the Tread arrived, Albright has begun tacking 20-minute bootcamp classes onto his workouts one to three times a week, something he says has made a big impact on his workout routine.
“It has helped me learn new exercises I would not have done on my own, especially core work,” he says.
Better Overall Health
Studies show that regular strength training can lower the risk of certain cancers. A study in Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise found that people who lift weights have a significantly lower risk of developing colon cancer than those who don’t exercise with weights.
It’s also been shown to reduce your risk of osteoporosis, by increasing bone density and lowering the likelihood of fractures, which is important as we age. Weight-resistant exercises can also reduce the symptoms of arthritis, depression, heart disease, back pain and diabetes.
“Strength training can help with medical conditions by building muscles used in everyday activities,” says Tara Allen, RN and certified nutritionist. “It also helps with restoring balance, and pumping out feel-good hormones called endorphins.”
The more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism–even when you are at rest. While there are plenty of important health benefits to cardio alone, if you’re looking to make a long-term investment in your fitness, you’ll want to make strength training an integral part of your exercise routine.
Studies support this. One Harvard study that tracked 10,500 men over 12 years, found that 20 minutes of daily strength training was more effective at preventing future abdominal fat (correlated with cardiovascular diseases and diabetes) than cardio alone.
The good news is you don’t need a gym’s worth of equipment, or to be a pro at pumping iron to get an effective strength training session in.
If you’re a Tread owner, all you need to take a bootcamp class is a workout mat and your weights. If you’re a Bike owner and want to try it out, it’s as easy as logging on to the Peloton app for any number of bootcamp classes incorporating a treadmill, weights and a mat. Many are just 20 minutes, which means you can get a sweat session in without eating into your day.
Another plus? Bootcamp classes are so effective that you may end up ditching your gym, if you use one, something Albright is considering.
“I go the local YMCA to lift heavy weights,” he says, “but am thinking about canceling my membership and focusing on weight and bootcamps via the Tread.”