How Peloton Instructors Prepare for Class

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How Peloton Instructors Prepare for Class

Everyone’s got special pre-class rituals, whether it’s a cup of tea or a dance party in the dressing room.

By Catherine HopkinsonNovember 17, 2021

Gearing up for a workout can be a process. Maybe you have to psych yourself up to hop on the Peloton Bike or Tread, maybe you have a pre-workout snack or maybe you just don’t think too much about it. Well, rest assured that your beloved Peloton instructors do think about it. After all, they’re not only working out for themselves—they’re leading the show for thousands of people, so they need to be absolutely on point. How do they get there? How do they get ready to be motivating, upbeat and focused for whatever length of time they’re on camera? We asked; they answered.

Get in the right headspace.

Most of the instructors we polled used the word “grounded” to describe the ideal headspace. Olivia Amato wants to be “pumped and grounded,” Nico Sarani shoots for “happy, relaxed and grounded” and Ally Love is looking for “grounded with a dash of dance-party energy.” Kristin McGee broke it down even further: “For yoga, I like a combination of energized but focused and grounded. I like to have a clear head and be really present, but I also like to keep a light, happy attitude since yoga is also about having fun and finding freedom in the mind and body.”

Find some human connection.

In a Covid world, where we do our work and our workouts—and maybe still a good deal of social events—in front of a screen, it’s helpful for many instructors to find a sense of connection with others. “I’m the happiest being around people!” says Bradley Rose. “Socializing, having a good ol’ chinwag (as we say here in the U.K.), and having fun is really the best part of the job. Having a scroll on the Leaderboard and finding fun Leaderboard names of our Members makes my day too.” Kristin feels the same: “I like seeing my fellow instructors. They make me really happy, and just a little social interaction before class or an elbow bump is helpful to feel confident and get out on the mat!” Pro tip: Follow your fave instructors on Instagram and you may catch a quick glimpse of their pre-class shenanigans on stories.

Prep, prep, prep.

“I go through my notes a hundred times, and—if time allows—do a happiness meditation in the car,” Nico says. Ally kinda nerds out before the party starts: “I listen to an audiobook, usually something around self-help and/or business and then transition into vibing out to the playlist(s) that I’m about to teach while I do my makeup. I do dance parties in the dressing room while no one’s around, and of course, that’s the energy I bring into the preshow with me to set me up for class.”

Pump up the jams…or break out the jam.

Some instructors play the class playlist or something upbeat: Nico is partial to “feel-good oldies or Pharrell Williams’ Happy,” while Ally goes for “Drake radio or tropical house.” And what’s this about jam? Well, Bradley says he listens to music all the time while programming a class, “so before the class, I switch things up: a nice cup of Earl Grey tea, a scone and the beautiful sounds of London really get me to my ideal headspace.” How civilized!

Hit the hydration station.

Water is great, but have you tried Ally’s favorite drink? “Hot water + lemon + honey. This drink is one of my most favorite pre-class rituals,” she says. Kristin can’t eat much before a yoga class (inversions aren’t great for digestion, after all), “but I do like having a Nuun tablet in my water for extra hydration,” she says. And Nico? “I’m loving my matcha latte!” she gushes.

Look the part.

Olivia tries to match her hair and makeup to the vibe of her class, which we guess means she goes for a “glitter assassin” look every time. (Her classes are killer!) Ally says getting the right look is very important to her: “I take my time doing my hair and light makeup, as well as picking out an outfit that matches the essence of the ride type and intensity. I tend to do bright colors for fun-first rides and darker colors for fitness-first rides.” And if you think only the women instructors are concerned about this type of thing, you’ve got another think coming: “I use moisturizer, eye cream, deodorant and hair paste—I get so many DMs about the hair-care product I use,” says Bradley. “It’s a secret—or else everyone would have better hair than I do!”

Do you.

If you’re looking for a little ritual to help you gear up for a tough workout (or even a recovery one!), do some experimenting and see what works. Ally has some sage advice on this point: “There’s a saying, ‘Whatever gets you up for the game,’ and that’s what I lean into. Rituals are so personal, important and usually come in handy the most when it’s a day that I have low energy. It’s a way I get to be me, the best of me—even when I’m not feeling my best.”

Ever wonder how Peloton instructors put together a class? We’ve got the inside scoop.

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