It wasn’t so long ago that Alex Toussaint was mopping floors and doing maintenance at the spinning studio Flywheel. Now he’s one of the most popular instructors on at-home streaming giant Peloton. So when the 28-year-old drops some inspirational patter—perhaps he’s feeling “extra hyped and definitely blessed,” one of his signatures—it just hits a little harder. It’s certainly a big part of what’s made the Long Island native such a crowd favorite.
Peloton has parlayed pandemic-enforced isolation into an absolutely massive year—the company’s stock has more than tripled in value since the beginning of March. But Toussaint has been at the company for ages, relatively speaking, having joined up in 2016. Now he digitally teaches thousands of riders each day, and keeps the inspirational talk going even off the bike: “I thrive knowing that every single day I have an opportunity to go live out my passion,” he tells GQ. “I don’t have a job. I have a passion and just wake up everyday every single day to live that out. That excites me.”
We recently caught up with Toussaint to talk about his workout routine and diet, from what goes in his morning protein shake to his favorite sweet treat.
GQ: Is there such a thing as a normal day in your life?
Alex Toussaint: My eyes open around 6:30 or 7:00 in the morning. I have this routine that I’m very strict on. Before my feet touch the ground, I do this inhale confidence thing. I take time to be present, thank God for an opportunity to wake up and the opportunity to inhale confidence. I take three strong, deep breaths before my feet touch the ground. Then when I go to the bathroom, after I wash my face and brush my teeth, I actually do the same routine again—but on the third exhale, I actually yell into the mirror. My neighbors probably think I’m crazy for that, but it’s just my way of letting all of my negative energy out and releasing anything weighing me down mentally or physically from the day before, from the week before, whatever the case may be. This way, I start the day with a new, fresh mindset and new, fresh approach. I’ve been really diligent on that for the past three years.
Strong start to the day. Then what happens?
If I have time, I’ll try to get on the Peloton app and do a 10- to 20-minute meditation. If not, I’ll make a smoothie before I head out the door with my puppy—he’s an eight-month-old French bulldog and he’s gotta get his morning cardio in.
What’s in the smoothie?
Almond milk, frozen pineapple and strawberries and Ladder protein. I’m a texture guy and the texture is totally different if you’re going with frozen versus fresh fruit. Oh, and vanilla protein at all times. Then, it’s ideally my turn to get a workout. I’m an early workout guy. I hit it by 8:00 A.M. if possible, at the latest. Whether it’s basketball, cross training, even getting on the Peloton—I just need some kind of movement for the body, because I know later on that day, I’ll probably have to teach, and I like to work out before I teach. That way, my body is ready—it’s good prep for the class.
What’s for lunch?
Either I’m going to have a big chicken salad or something with some rice and heavy protein. I don’t have a strict diet. I have a term I use, I disciplined myself within the freedoms. Basically, I’m a very loose kind of person. I know what my body can take in and what it can’t. I know I disciplined myself enough where it’s like, I know I can’t eat certain things on certain days. So I have a crazy sweet tooth, I love things like cereal and cookies. But I know that over the course of a week, I’m not eating that every single day. By Thursday, I get a little more flexible. I’m very big on Grandma’s Cookies.