How to Develop a Peloton Instructor's Mindset
Alex Toussaint and Callie Gullickson share what keeps them moving on days when it feels good…and days when it doesn’t.
By Samantha Lande•
Sometimes, even the thought of working out is daunting. No matter the cause—whether it’s your job, family obligations, health issues or something else entirely—we’ve all had moments where we lose motivation and would rather just skip the workout.
Peloton instructors have those days too. That may be hard to believe when you watch them go hard on the Bike, Tread or mat—but over the years, they’ve learned how to push through those days when their motivation is fleeting or their vibe feels a little off. We asked instructors Alex Toussaint and Callie Gullickson to share their secrets with us, so you’ll know what to keep in mind next time you’re just not feeling it.
If you’ve ridden with Alex, you’ve probably heard him say, “Smile, you woke up!” His words aren’t lip service. That appreciation for life and the opportunity he’s given each day is what keeps him moving. “Without a doubt, gratitude plays a role as my driving force,” he says. “If anything, it’s the fuel to the fire that keeps me going on the good or bad days.”Callie also tries to practice gratitude in everything she does, but especially as it relates to her health. “Going into a workout, I simply keep my objective in mind,” she says. “Whether it be to feel good, provide mental clarity or to move one step closer in the direction of a goal, I always prepare by remembering my why.”Need a little extra focus on gratitude? We have plenty of gratitude meditations on the App to put you in the right mindset.
Acknowledge the Struggle
You can be grateful to move your body while also recognizing that some days are just harder than others. “Everyone has days where we feel ‘off,’ even myself,” Callie says. “A part of life is knowing that each day is going to bring different emotions, vibes and experiences.”And when you experience those feelings, there’s no shame in admitting it. “Absolutely I have those days,” Alex says, “and to keep it real, I try to acknowledge what’s going on and sometimes I can’t. I allow my discipline to carry me on the days motivation won’t.”The bottom line: You’re human, and this is all normal. Give yourself permission to feel whatever you’re feeling.
Trying to be more like Alex when it comes to discipline? Having something to hold you accountable—whether it’s a set schedule or a workout buddy—might keep you motivated. Try one (or all) of these suggestions from Callie if you’re looking to stick to or dive back into a workout routine.
Try something quick. “It can be a short 10 minutes carved out of your day,” she says. “Most of the time we end up craving more once we get going.”
Be confident that you’ll find motivation again. “Remember that you found success and happiness in your routine prior, so you can absolutely find it again.”
Take It Slow
Sometimes you might have more than one or two unmotivated days. If you’ve fallen out of your routine for longer than you’d like, there’s no need to rush back to exactly where you left off. “Life is a marathon and not a sprint,” Alex says. “There are days you’ll be at full speed and other days where you feel like barely going anywhere. Either way, you never stop moving!”
And remember, if it worked for you before, you can fall in love with your workout routine again. What did you enjoy about exercise when you first began? How can you recreate that feeling now? “We get back to the process,” Alex explains. “The same formula we used to start the journey is the same one we go back to whenever we fall out of routine.”
That might mean starting with a lower-intensity ride, run or strength class, or focusing on something that helps your mental health, like a meditation or relaxing full-body stretch. With a little bit of mindfulness and discipline, you’ll be back in no time, feeling ready to tackle whatever challenges are thrown your way.
“When we struggle with motivation,” Callie says, “it’s not to show our weaknesses but to discover our strengths.”
Read on for some of our favorite motivational quotes from Peloton instructors.