Whether you were an early adopter of Peloton back in 2012 or came to embrace the craze when you caved during the pandemic, bought yourself a Peloton Bike+, and now consider yourself a full-fledged convert, most users find that all Peloton classes are not created equal. Some are infused with zen-like chill, some will push you to your limits (and then some), and some classes are the perfect mix of easygoing accessibility with some interval training to kick things up.
You might feel paralyzed when you’re trying to narrow down which instructor’s class to pop into on any given Tuesday lunch break or Saturday morning long run. While a Peloton representative told Men’s Health the company doesn’t track data around instructor popularity, there’s no denying that some instructors are veritable superstars of the fitness platform, even eliciting a following beyond regular Peloton users for the fitness advice and inspiration they offer on social media.
Since there’s no handy metrics available revealing official intel on the most viewed Peloton instructor, we decided to tap our editors and health and fitness insiders for their faves. To dig deeper, we asked what it is about each Peloton teacher that made their lessons truly stand out and specific aspects of their classes that made them winners.
Some people use Peloton daily (one impressive user credits daily Peloton workouts for helping him lose 100 pounds in six months) and others are more casual exercisers, so we made sure to include a mix of “household names” and lesser known instructors in the mix. The result? An incredible list of the best of the bunch, from running coaches to spin savants.
Men’s Health Executive Editor Ben Court likes that Robin Arzón classes have “old school hip hop with modern radio hip hop too.” Another bonus: “She seems empathetic, feels she wants you to dig [in] and do your best, whatever that is that day.”
If you’re a fan of the ultra marathoner’s Peloton classes on the bike, as well as her strength and cycling classes, check out her book Shut Up and Run: How to Get Up, Lace Up, and Sweat with Swagger or watch her MasterClass course on mental strength.
For heart-pumping indoor cycling workouts that also somehow make you smile, go for Cody Rigsby.
“The thing I really love about Cody is that he is so casual and funny. Riding with him makes me feel like I am riding with a good friend,” says Lauren Sheu, an RRCA Certified Running Coach and marathoner. “He makes me laugh and keeps me entertained the whole time, so I don’t even feel like I’m working out.” Your legs will certainly feel it the next day, though.
Ben Alldis gets praise from Dr. Colin Haines, MD, FACS, Spine Surgeon, Director of Research at the Virginia Spine Institute for his commitment to using proper form.
“Ben’s rides do a great combination of alternatives between sitting and standing, which is ideal for the lumbar spine,” says Haines. “Too much sitting and forward flexion can put excessive pressure on the discs and the standing climbs are a nice break for the back,” he continues, adding that he likes Alldis’ use of upbeat music to keep him pushing.
If you’re a Peloton user, we’re going to go ahead and guess you’re familiar with Ally Love and her “Love Squad.”
According to one fan, she deserves all the hype she gets: “Ali has a way of making us all feel like royalty. She’s always upbeat,” says Natasha Funderburk, a NASM-Certified personal trainer. “She makes us feel like we can sit at her table any day, and that no matter how steep our mountain, we can absolutely climb to the top and make it down the other side.”
Kayla Girgen, RD, LD, enjoys that Denis Morton rides “on the beat” with the music for his classes thoughtfully chosen. “His Power Zone workouts are especially a treat since the music and cadence match perfectly. If you enjoy a challenging yet achievable ride, I highly recommend Denis,” she says. “As he frequently states, ‘I make suggestions, you make decisions,’ so he is always offering modifications to make the ride just right for you.”
On the yoga mat, Denis is also a superb choice. “He is excellent at cueing muscles and movements. I enjoy his yoga videos because he does such a thorough job describing transitions, which allows you to focus your attention on the movement—not the screen,” says Girgen.
Matt Wilpers teaches both spin and stretching for Peloton, and he nails both.
“Matt is the epitome of a Peloton coach. He educates viewers while taking them through the workout. He explains his methodology and benefits to training in a particular way, and he is constantly beaming with positivity,” says Girgen. “Wilpers discusses more than just physical fitness and also touches on health outside the bike, such as eating healthfully and resting properly. He is down-to-earth, and you know you’ll leave the bike or mat with a smile after working out with him.”
Adrian Williams is a go-to lifting instructor for the emphasis he puts on strengthening your core muscles. “Sure, his classes are hard, but he also does a [good] job with the core. Many of his arms and chest exercises also require tightening and strengthening the core, an area critical to maintaining proper spinal health,” says Dr. Colin Haines.
As a spine surgeon, Haines does note that for many of the rowing exercises, he recommends supporting yourself on a workout bench or table. “Hinging at the waist and doing heavy pulls can hurt the back,” he says.
To crush those race day PRs, tune in to Becs Gentry and you won’t be disappointed. “Becs radiates relentless positivity, but mixes it with humility in a way that makes her relatable. She’s able to inspire you as a superhuman athlete while simultaneously coming across as relatable,” says Men’s Health Deputy Editor Spencer Dukoff. “She’s one of the three run coaches for Peloton’s marathon training program, and she’s really pushed me to become the runner I am today. Plus, she’s funny!”
Dukoff also adds that he always fares better with instructors who make him look forward to working out, rather than scaring him because it’s going to be the most intense thing of his life—so if you feel similarly, all the more reason to drop into a Becs session.
In addition to teaching a Tread (Peloton’s treadmill) bootcamp, Jess Sims also teaches strength training and running. Regardless of the class, she really pusher her students to surpass their best.
“The thing I love about Jess is that she always offers some kind of psychological component into her workouts,” says Dr. Marcuetta Sims, PhD, RYT-200. “She focuses on the mind and body connection rather than just focusing on the physical aspects. Despite her classes being challenging, I always leave feeling empowered and motivated, which I appreciate.”
Sheu values that Selena Samuela “really helps you to dig deep and push through your mental hurdles to get the workout done,” noting that she did Samuela’s World Mental Health Day Run in October and was moved by hearing her personal story. “Her workouts feel a bit like therapy in addition to exercise,” Sheu adds.
If you’re looking to leave your Peloton class with a positive mindset shift, Dr. Chelsea Jackson Roberts is a solid bet.
“There are so many things I love about her, but one is that she is so authentic and unapologetic in who she is, which sets an example for people who take her classes,” says Dr. Sims. “She brings her full self to her classes in what she says, the music that she plays, and even the wisdom that she offers from her own practice.”
Guys, even if you don’t think you’re a yogi, challenge yourself to take one of Roberts’ classes and get ready to leave a changed man.
Reviewed by: Dr. Colin Haines, MD, FACS.
Reviewed by: Dr. Colin Haines, MD, FACS.