The present invention is directed to systems and methods for controlling an exercise device with one or more control signals associated with an exercise program received from a telephone answering service. The exercise device includes an input device through which a user can request an exercise program from the telephone answering service. The telephone answering service delivers selectable options to the exercise device, which presents the options to the user. In response to the user selecting a particular option, the telephone answering service delivers the selected exercise program, including one or more control signals, to the exercise device. The exercise device identifies the one or more control signals, either by detecting the audible representation of the one or more control signals or analyzing the electronic representation of the received exercise program, and controls one or more operating parameters of the exercise device based upon such one or more control signals.