It’s no secret I love Peloton. Their fitness technology has changed the home workout game and I can’t get enough. Over the past year, I’ve been turned on to the treadmill, bootcamp and strength workouts in addition to the OG cycling classes. I just hit my 200th ride this week 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 and why. Here are my thoughts after 200 rides.
Best Peloton instructors
So… welcome! Maybe you’ve just signed up for the Peloton app or have gotten the bike. Or are on the fence and are curious about all the different Peloton instructors. You’ve come to the right place. I’ve done at least one class with most of the instructors and a handful of 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.
–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.
–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.
Here’s a rundown of all the Peloton instructors:
Note: I’ve never ridden with Leanne or Irene. Nothing against them, just haven’t felt a strong pull to try any of their classes yet.
Alex is crazy positive with great energy and comes from a military background. His mantra is, “Feel good, look good, do better.”
In addition to being a 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.
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.
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.
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.
Denis has lived all around the US and brings a ton of experience to his rides. He is one of my favorites and 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 Marie Corbin
Hannah has a dance background as well and I liked the classes I’ve taken with her. I’ve only take a couple of her rides and she was good, so I’ll have to update this once I’ve tried more of HMC’s classes.
A UK instructor who is good but I don’t feel too strongly about her classes one way or the other and didn’t feel pulled to try more.
German instructor who has a diverse fitness background.
While she’s no longer with Peloton, Jennifer Jacobs’ class archive is vast and worth a look if you’re into no-nonsense riding. JJ makes you work hard and there’s no fluff or flowery monologues.
Jenn is from NJ like me, so she scores some points right out of the gate. She’s an accomplished group fitness instructor and isn’t afraid of using the f-bomb in her classes. I haven’t taken too many classes with her but she has solid instruction and fun playlists.
Jess is a very passionate instructor but I found her classes to be like performances. Not my style at all.
Kendall has experience in professional cheerleading, gymnastics, dance and boxing and left her job at a tech startup to pursue a career in fitness. I’ve only ridden once with Kendall and found her to be a solid coach, pretty calm, and not over the top. I’d ride with her again.
UK instructor. I haven’t had a chance to take a Leanne ride yet.
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.
Olivia is from New York, and while she’s super petite, she’s a powerhouse. Her rides are tough but her coaching gets you through it leaving you feeling accomplished at the end.
Robin is the VP of Fitness Programming and a former lawyer. She is super outgoing with a lot of energy but her big personality may not be for everyone.
Sam’s a UK instructor who is passionate about fitness and the arts. I’m not a fan of Sam’s coaching style and found his classes a little bland and lacking energy.
Tunde used to be a celebrity makeup artist and has a great energy and style of coaching. I find myself riding with her more and more.
Who are the best Peloton instructors?
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, for example, 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.
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, huge personalities, 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.
Another thing is that I tend to have better rides with the American instructors. I love accents — my husband has an accent — and I have no problem understanding British accents, but I think the British accent can be distracting. I tend to focus on it and it takes my mind off my ride.
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 where you ride to the beat of the music and incorporate a little bit of choreography like tap backs and hinges.
In terms of instruction, she’s calm but brings great energy to every class and is probably one of the instructors who talks the least. She 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 can border on preachy and almost religious at times and aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. 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 slightly cocky 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.
Peloton instructors for when I’m in the mood for a specific type of ride
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 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.
Emma for the win! Her classes are a 10 out of 10 for me and I just vibe with her style.
Worst Peloton instructors
Instructors I don’t care for at all: Jess King and Sam Yo
I can’t say they are the worst Peloton instructors because that wouldn’t be fair. Some of you out there will love them. It’s just that Jess and Sam are the worst Peloton instructors for me personally. They just don’t jive with my style. I found Jess King’s personality to be a bit over the top for me and Sam Yo’s classes were a little boring, even forced, with no energy. Just not my thing. Even though they’re not instructors I’ll take again, they were professional and coached well put-together classes. It just wasn’t a fit for me.
So what about you? Who are the best Peloton instructors in your opinion and why?
If you want more of my Peloton content, read these posts: