It’s no secret I love Peloton and have a pretty good handle on the best Peloton instructors. Their fitness technology has changed the home workout game and I can’t get enough. Over the past two or so years, I’ve been turned on to the treadmill, bootcamp, and strength workouts in addition to the OG cycling classes.
I just hit my 600th ride recently on the bike and have a solid feel for the cycling instructors’ personalities and teaching styles. I’ve ridden exclusively with the Peloton app and couldn’t be happier with it. I guess you could call me a Peloton cheerleader… so let’s get into my list of the best Peloton instructors for cycling classes and why. Here are my thoughts after 600 rides.
Best Peloton instructors
So… welcome! Maybe you’ve just signed up for the Peloton app or have gotten the bike and are looking for some suggestions on who the best Peloton instructors are. Or maybe you are on the fence about buying the bike and are curious about all the different instructor options and if they’re worth the splurge.
You’ve come to the right place. I’ve done at least one class with all of the instructors and a handful of the most popular Peloton instructors left me with really strong opinions — both good and bad. Then there are several that left me feeling neutral where I didn’t really care for them one way or another, so I’d need to take a few more classes to get a solid feel for their personality and coaching style.
A couple of things to note before I get into my best Peloton instructors list:
–Regardless of instructor, all of the classes are well planned, rehearsed, and professional. The instructors have mentioned in interviews that they have a producer who works with them to plan out each class in terms of music, coaching, and overall flow.
There are rarely mistakes, every class starts on time, the instructors know their music and cues, there are no pockets of dead air, no rambling stories, or anything less than a professionally coached class. Some are explicit both in music and language from the instructor (expect f-bombs) and all instructors bring their own style to the class.
–The Peloton instructors are there to coach you, so classes won’t have long stretches of just the music. This is something some people love but also a major complaint on social media. Some people just want to ride without all the talk and others love the constant coaching. Some instructors are chattier than others, but don’t expect even one minute to go by where there’s no talking for you to get into the groove.
Even with the less chatty instructors like Emma, I don’t think I’ve ever had more than 10 seconds go by without talking of some sort. It doesn’t bother me, but I understand how it could be a downside for people who just want to ride.
–There is SO much variety in terms of instructors, class format, and music so you’ll find what’s best for you — maybe with a little trial and error. The on-demand library has thousands of classes, so if you take a class with an instructor and felt like the music was a miss, do a search with that instructor in a different genre or format. I’ve found that most instructors teach a variety of different class formats, lengths, and music styles.
–Most instructors are in their 30s and 40s although there are a few outliers, most notably Jenn Sherman.
Here’s a rundown of all the top Peloton instructors:
This is a quick overview of all the most popular Peloton instructors and then I go into more detail about who I enjoy riding with the most.
Alex is crazy positive with MAJOR energy and comes from a military background. His mantra is, “Feel good, look good, do better.” For a party on the bike, take his Club Bangers rides. He’ll get you hyped up and sweating before the first song is over.
In addition to being a top Peloton instructor, Ally is the host of the Brooklyn Nets basketball team and is also a dancer and model. She’s upbeat and really seems to practice what she preaches. She does Feel Good rides as well as rides focused on a different virtue each class called Sundays With Love.
Ben’s a UK instructor who was an athlete growing up and then got into fitness as a side hustle. He made it his full-time gig after leaving his job at a finance firm. His instruction is pretty straightforward and calm without much in the way of inspirational or self-development talk. He’s great at letting you know how much time you have left in each interval so you can give it your all. His climb rides are tough and some of my favorite on the app.
NOTE: I didn’t start riding with Ben regularly until after 200 rides and he’s really grown on me. His House and EDM rides are some of my faves because I love riding to a high-energy beat. But be warned, most of his rides rank 8 or 9 out of 10 and you will push yourself to your max if you follow his cues.
Bradley joined the roster of Peloton bike instructors in late March 2021 and rides from the London studio after having spent a decade in NYC. I took his 30-minute Premiere ride and found him to be energetic and engaging. I look forward to taking more of his classes after he’s had time to let his nerves wear off and settle in a bit.
Camila joined the Peloton fam in October 2021 and is the first Peloton instructor to offer classes in Spanish and English. Originally from Argentina, Camila’s classes are fun and full of personal stories. She brings great energy to the bike and will make you work.
Christine is a pro track cyclist who is all about changing your inner monologue and empowering you to love yourself. Her catch phrase is, “I am. I can. I will. I do.” Christine’s climbs are killer and many of her rides are predominantly in the saddle. She regularly talks about body positivity and self-love.
Cody is hilarious and has fun classes that just “aren’t that serious, boo!” He’ll make you forget you’re on a bike and you’ll be done with the workout before you know it. Like some of the other instructors, Cody too has a dance background and also does groove classes where the beat of the music guides the class. As of September 2020, he also teaches Bike Bootcamps.
Denis has lived all around the US and brings a ton of experience to his rides. He is one of my favorites — for his quality playlists, laid back teaching style, and riding on the beat. Denis also teaches yoga for Peloton.
A former DJ from Martha’s Vineyard, Emma has great music, classes, and energy and is not over the top. She’s my overall favorite instructor and also has a dance background. She, too, does groove rides and is one instructor who consistently rides to the beat of the music in her classes.
Hannah has a dance background as well and I liked the classes I’ve taken with her. They seem to be on the easier side and I keep her in mind on days I want to go a little easier. I’ve only take a couple of her rides and she was good, but I don’t ride with her often. If you want a great foam rolling class, look up Hannah’s series. It’s excellent and left my legs feeling great.
A UK instructor who was a competitive triple jumper and has well-structured classes that will push you. I ride regularly with Hannah and her EDM and climb rides are some of my faves. I love her personality and straightforward coaching style that lets you get lost in the workout and forget all about the clock. She often says, “Don’t be a silly sausage” and I love the expression. Still no clue if that’s a common British thing to say or just a Hannah-ism. 😉
Jenn is from NJ like me, so she scores some points right out of the gate. She’s an accomplished group fitness instructor who commands the room in a confident, straightforward way, and wow, will you work hard. Jenn is also Peloton’s first instructor — having joined the company in 2012 — and isn’t afraid of using the f-bomb in her classes.
Solid instruction without fluff, be warned that Jenn loves to sing along and while some people aren’t into her singing, I don’t mind it at all. It’s in tune and shows how much she vibes with her music. Another thing about Jenn is that community is huge to her and you’ll hear her personalized shoutouts to riders she’s gotten to know personally over the years. Love that!
Jess is a passionate instructor with an off-the-wall personality you can’t help but love. She also appeared on the dance reality show So You Think You Can Dance. Jess loves EDM (electronic dance music), which I appreciate because her music choices help you make it to the end, and her endurance-based Sweat Steady rides will kick your butt.
You’ll be pushing the whole time without much in the way of recovery. Don’t let her glittery exterior fool you — these rides will push you to your limits mentally making you question if you can hold on until the end.
Jess is my favorite strength instructor and as of September 2020, she now teaches the newly launched Bike Bootcamps. You’ll alternate between intervals on the bike and strength work on the floor. She’s a natural on the bike and I look forward to the new bootcamp content. She wastes no time and is great about cueing what’s next.
Kendall has experience in professional cheerleading, gymnastics, dance and boxing and left her job at a tech startup to pursue a career in fitness. Kendall is a solid coach, not over the top in terms of personality or coaching style, and has super positive energy.
Leanne is a UK instructor and I enjoy her coaching style and music choices. I’ve ridden primarily low-impact rides with her and she’s great at keeping the class moving and fun even when it’s all in the saddle. She switches up cadence and resistance pushes so you never get bored. I’ve found her low-impact classes to be quite challenging — definitely not low-intensity by any means.
Matt’s a former Division I distance runner and focuses on technique as much as fun. He loves rock playlists (hey Nickelback) and is someone I ride with every now and then when I want solid coaching and to focus on the ride. Matt’s also one of my favorite tread instructors. No fluff and gets right down to business. His 30-minute Tiesto ride from January 2021 is one of my favorites — Matt cues 50-60 resistance in the warmup!
Olivia is from New York, and while she’s super petite, she’s a powerhouse. Her rides are tough, and I don’t say that lightly, but her coaching gets you through it leaving you feeling accomplished at the end. If you ride with Olivia, be ready for a major challenge. Proceed to her tabata classes with caution and know if you push it to your max, you will be feeling it and on the verge of vomiting. Be warned. 😉
Robin is the VP of Fitness Programming and a former lawyer. She is super outgoing with a lot of energy and is great at motivating you right until the end. Robin’s classes are no-nonsense and challenging, so consider yourself warned. If you like to hustle on the bike, Robin is your girl.
Sam’s a UK instructor who is passionate about fitness and the arts and has a calming energy. I’m not a fan of Sam’s coaching style and found his classes a little bland for my personal style. But I plan on taking more of his classes now that my dad has a bike and ranks same as his #1 instructor.
Tunde used to be a celebrity makeup artist and has great energy and a style of coaching that will get you hyped up and ready to give your best. I find myself riding with her more and more. Watch out, her arms sections are HARD!
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Best Peloton instructors overall?
It’s impossible to say who the best Peloton instructors are for you because we all have different personalities, goals and are looking to get different things from a workout. My best piece of advice would be to try a short class from each of the instructors so you can get a sense of their teaching styles and personalities.
There are All For One rides where each instructor coaches a different song, but I don’t feel like each person gets the spotlight long enough for you to get a sense of what a longer class with them would be like.
And picking favorites is majorly subjective. For every person who doesn’t care for Cody’s style and thinks he’s the most annoying Peloton instructor, there will be another person who only rides with Cody and loves him. Also, some instructors might be your favorite for when you’re in a certain type of mood or looking for a certain ride. Lately, I’ve been loving Christine’s low-impact classes.
Here’s some background on my cycling style which influences my favorite Peloton instructors list below. I’ve been indoor cycling since age 18 and it’s my favorite cardio activity. I don’t require much motivation to get on the bike consistently and push hard.
I like to keep a calm, cool head when cycling and don’t care for over-the-top theatrics, too many distracting motivational phrases, or where I feel like I’m watching a performance.
In terms of music, I tend to lean toward EDM and music that has a strong beat. Emma’s music jives with me the most.
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My favorite Peloton instructors and why:
***Overall favorite instructor: Emma Lovewell***
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Emma wins and deserves the top spot on my best Peloton instructors list! Emma’s classes are the ones I keep going back to and I ride with her over half the time. First, her music is top notch. That’s super important because a bad playlist can ruin an otherwise good ride. She’s the best fit for my musical tastes and tends to play a lot of electronic, pop, and indie. She even hosts listening parties that feature new, up-and-coming artists on Friday nights.
Emma is also one of the few instructors who does groove rides (Cody too!) where you ride to the beat of the music and incorporate a little bit of choreography like tap backs, hinges, and pushups.
In terms of instruction, she’s calm but brings great energy to every class and is probably one of the top Peloton instructors who talks the least. Emma has this understated confidence that you can’t help but be drawn to. She’ll push and encourage you without the annoying catchphrases or antics you may find elsewhere — just supportive coaching and motivation to playlists that will keep you pushing until the end.
I also regularly ride with:
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Olivia is another instructor with a coaching style I vibe with — great energy but a cool head and nothing over the top. Her rides can be super challenging and I take her HIIT & Hills, but what I gravitate toward are her low-impact rides.
In these rides, you don’t come out of the saddle and while you won’t PR or have any max efforts, they’re still great workouts on recovery days, for beginners, or when you just want to take it easy. I wrote an entire post on why Peloton low-impact rides are NOT a waste of time here.
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Ally is one of my favorites and has great energy and variety. I like her coaching style, and while she has a strong on-bike personality, she’s not over the top. Out of the ladies on my favorites list, she probably has the most flair in terms of coaching style but is super encouraging and real.
She also has a series of classes called Sundays with Love that focus on a particular virtue in each class. They often have Christian music and can get emotional. Try them when you need extra encouragement and support. She also has Feel Good Rides that I love.
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Tunde is new to Peloton as of the end of 2019 and I find her to be on the calmer side with no theatrics. Her workouts are tough and get the job done without any BS. Also, her arms are RIPPPPED so take some of her strength workouts too.
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Alex always brings heaps of energy and it’s contagious. I ride with him when I need a boost and want to work hard. He’s not for when I want a light day and am looking to take it easy. Alex’s Club Bangers rides are a ton of fun and feature high-energy club hits that’ll make you feel like you’re out dancing for the night — on a bike. I feel like a majority of his classes have hip hop playlists and that’s when he’s at his best.
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My first-ever Peloton ride was with Denis and he secured a spot on my list from Day 1. Sometimes Denis comes across as self-assured but it’s more of a confidence thing and not arrogance. His classes are solid although some people might think his singing and jokes are a little cheesy. It’s all part of his charm. Denis teaches with a cool head and inspires you to give your best for that day. His playlists are usually on point too and he teaches to a variety of musical tastes.
Best Peloton instructors for beginners?
The great thing about indoor cycling is that all rides can be adapted to beginners. That said, Peloton has numerous on-demand classes as well as live rides that are geared toward beginners and you can search for them specifically on the bike and app.
All the instructors have coached beginner rides of various lengths, so if you’re new to Peloton, take a bunch of beginner rides until you feel confident enough to move on. Part of the fun is trying different instructors.
Beginner rides tend to be a bit easier than traditional rides with plenty of recovery built in, often shorter as well, and will focus on form. The instructors will coach you to get the most out of your workout in the safest way possible while giving you the confidence you need to move on from beginner rides.
In terms of instructors, I feel like they’re all well-rounded and have the ability to coach a variety of different rides. But it’s true that some excel and really vibe with certain types of rides. Instructors who do great beginner rides are Hannah Marie Corbin (her rides tend to be on the easier side overall making her a great choice for those of us new to the bike), Matt Wilpers (great form cues), Denis Morton, and Christine D’Ercole. Those are my preferences, but really you can’t go wrong.
Best Peloton instructors for shoutouts
As Peloton’s popularity increases, especially during the time of lockdown and social distancing, instructor shoutouts are harder and harder to get. There are just too many people with milestones and birthdays on live rides for the instructors to get through all of them. Several have said as much on the rides and even shared on Instagram stories what their screens look like during rides — hundreds and hundreds of milestones.
If you want to maximize the likelihood of getting a shoutout, you have to take a live ride (duh!) not on-demand and show up early because sometimes instructors will shout you out during the preshow instead of the actual live class.
Try to take a ride at a less popular time and definitely not an artist showcase or special theme ride that Peloton promotes in advance. Riding with a less popular instructor will also help your chances. Still, there are no guarantees.
One thing that will lower your chances of getting a shoutout is having a suggestive username. According to a Peloton employee who posted on a Reddit, instructors are discouraged from shouting out riders with suggestive or explicit usernames. So keep that in mind!
Best Peloton instructors for cyclists
If your first love was riding a road bike outdoors with indoor cycling coming later, you’ve got options. A common complaint among road cyclists is that Peloton instructors focus too much on the class ambiance (dancing, motivational stories, etc.) and not enough on solid training sessions that will make you a better athlete.
Many of us come to Peloton for fitness but also fun and it’s all about getting a good sweat on, but if you want to seriously train, Power Zone classes are my top pick for that. They’re currently taught by Matt Wilpers, Christine D’Ercole, Denis Morton and Olivia Amato.
Power Zone classes are accessible to cyclists of all levels and you’re only competing against yourself, with a focus on output. Don’t be intimidatd by them! After you take the FTP test, you’ll have your seven specific zones mapped out and then can train accordingly.
As Peloton explains, “During a Power Zone Ride, your instructor will cue a specific zone, which will direct you to hit the corresponding output range on your Bike. By using these customized output zones as a guide, you will be able to see and feel yourself improve as each zone becomes easier to achieve over time.”
In addition to Power Zone classes, I’d recommend rides from Matt Wilpers and Ben Alldis for cyclists looking for less fluff on the bike and solidly programmed rides. Christine D’Ercole is a pro cyclist and she’s also a great pick, with many of her rides predominantly in the saddle.
Is Peloton worth it?
Absolutely, 100% YES! Only you know if an official Peloton brand bike or tread is in your budget, but speaking about the Peloton class offerings themselves, my answer is a HUGE yes! Peloton classes are top notch and totally worth it.
Why is Peloton worth it? Well, it comes down to these reasons for me: class variety, quality, and the convenience.
All Peloton classes are professionally taught and filmed, there are thousands upon thousands to choose from across all disciplines (and new live classes daily), and it’s so easy to get your workout in when you know you don’t have to head out to the gym.
Back in the day, I’d have to walk to my gym, wait for my 55-minute class to start, do the class, and then walk home after class. On days when you are tight on time or can’t leave your house, it’s so much more do-able to grab a quick class on Peloton.
Anyway, if you’re wondering, “Is Peloton worth it?” the answer is a resounding yes. If you’re buying a Peloton bike or tread, don’t forget your accessories like shoes, a mat, and a Peloton tank. You won’t regret this investment in your health!
Peloton instructors reviews: Who I ride with when I’m in a specific mood
I don’t usually ride with Robin, but when I want to be pushed to my limits, I take her tabata classes. Her style of coaching is super effective for max efforts and well planned out. Robin’s larger-than-life personality will drive you to give everything you’ve got. My favorites are her climb tabatas where the efforts are pushes through heavy resistance and not quick legs.
When you’re in a bad mood, take a class with Cody because it’ll make you forget about what’s getting you down. He’s an instant mood boster. Cody is funny and doesn’t take himself too seriously.
I mentioned why I love Alex above. He’s incredibly positive, will push you to your max, and brings crazy energy to each class.
I still can’t believe I didn’t start taking Ben’s classes regularly for well over a year. He is fabulous when you want to get down to business and just do the workout without much in the way of personal stories and extra chit chat. His climb rides will leave you totally spent and as I mentioned above, his EDM song choices get me so fired up.
I mentioned Olivia above and I feel like her low-impact classes are some of the best around. These lower intensity classes are a must and are far from a snooze. I put them off for over a year thinking they’d be super easy and therefore not worth my time. WRONG! Olivia does a great job at explaining the effort level and holding you back while still letting you sweat it out.
Keep in mind Olivia’s non-low impact classes are TOUGH and you will be pushed to your max if you do one of her HIIT & Hills, Climb or Tabata rides. She is definitely one of the harder instructors!
Emma for the win! Her classes are a 10 out of 10 for me and I just vibe with her coaching style, personality, and musical choices.
Worst Peloton instructors
Instructors I don’t ride with often: Sam Yo, Hannah Marie Corbin
I can’t say they are the worst Peloton instructors because that wouldn’t be fair and no Peloton instructors are bad — I can’t stress that enough. Everyone is professional and coaches a solid class.
But what is true is that you’ll be drawn to some instructors more than others and that’s OK. Some of you out there will love instructors I don’t care for and vice versa and it doesn’t mean they’re the worst Peloton instructors; it just means they’re not the best fit for you.
For me, Sam and Hannah are the worst Peloton instructors for me personally in the current moment. They just don’t jive with my style and don’t push and motivate me the way I need. I found Sam Yo’s classes to be a little subdued or even boring and Hannah C. didn’t push me the way I had hoped (but her low impacts are great). Sam is my dad’s favorite instructor though!
I’m open to trying them again and on different types of rides. Even though they’re not instructors I ride with often, Sam and Hannah are professional and coached well put-together classes. It just wasn’t a fit for me.
Another note on the worst Peloton instructors is that your opinion may change over time as you get stronger, have different fitness needs, and just go through life.
I took Ben once when he first came to Peloton and didn’t care for him at all. I didn’t ride with him at all until about 150 rides later and now I take one of his climb rides weekly. Same with Jenn Sherman. For whatever reason, I didn’t vibe with her and now I think she’s fab and I find myself riding with some of my early favorite Peloton instructors less often.
Anyway, that’s all to say give instructors a second chance in 3 or 6 months and see if they’ve changed or if you have. You might surprise yourself in the best way.
How much do Peloton instructors make? What’s a Peloton instructor salary like?
Lastly, something people really want to know is how much do Peloton instructors make. According to a Bloomberg Businessweek article, Peloton hires its instructors as full-time employees, not contractors. There’s a lengthy hiring and training process and many of the best Peloton instructors were scouted for the job.
The article confirmed that “more-senior instructors make upwards of $500,000 in total compensation—not counting the money they can make from external sponsorships” and “regulatory filings show current and former employees as of Sept. 30, 2020, held stock options with several billion dollars of unrealized gains.”
Also, in former instructor Daniel McKenna’s lawsuit against Peloton, it came to light that his salary was $260,000.
So there you go, some insight into the Peloton instructor salary.
So what about you? Who are the best Peloton instructors in your opinion and why?
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If you want more of my Peloton content, read these posts:
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Disclosure: I have no affiliation with Peloton and this best Peloton instructors post is not sponsored.
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