Whether it's a long walk in the afternoon or an early morning yoga class, we all have our preferred way of staying in shape. For a majority of fitness enthusiasts, it's hopping on a Peloton bike for a quick 5-minute cool-down, a 30-minute Tabata session or an hour-long hip-hop ride.
Senior Peloton instructor Alex Toussaint is a go-to for all aforementioned exercises, and he joins a growing list of health pros who have catapulted their career from your digital personal trainer to a bonafide celebrity. Though his acclaim erupted during the height of the pandemic, Toussaint's humility remains a catalyst of his success. "It definitely does," the native New Yorker told Yahoo when asked whether his popularity still feels surreal. "...I tend to remind myself of where I come from. It kind of helps you stay locked in."
The making of a fitness champ
The 29-year-old's first exposure to cycling came from mopping floors in a gym years ago. He asked the owner if he could try out as an instructor. The next day, he was on the saddle. Part of what makes Toussaint so revered within the fitness community is his championship mentality. That's not a trait he acquired overnight, but rather a collection of characteristics he developed at military school in his adolescent years.
He adds: "I think military school was the first time I had to look around and be put in an environment where I didn't know anybody. And I had to learn about them. I learned what they like, what they don't like, how they like to receive, how they like to give, how they like to communicate, etc. It helped me understand how to work among different sort of teams. I feel very flexible."
Throughout our conversation, Toussaint couldn't go more than a minute without referencing his family. The child of Haitian immigrants, maintaining the dignity of his surname is frankly Toussaint's biggest motivator.
"My dad's the biggest critic in making sure that I'm elevating," he admitted. "He'll be like, 'Yeah, it's good. Can we be great? How can we make it better?' ... I've seen firsthand all the things my mom has sacrificed. All the times that I've grown up not seeing her around because she was working hard to put me in the best schools possible.."
Toussaint's fave recovery tools
Because he spends a considerable amount of time cycling, Toussaint relies heavily on top-notch massagers to keep his legs strong and circulation on point. Hyperice is his brand of choice for massage guns and more, and though he's been a part of the Hyperice family since 2020, Toussaint says he'd been using their products long before the partnership.
One of his picks? The Normatec 3 massage legs — as amazing as you'd imagine, they include seven levels of compression and special pulse technology to promote healing and improved mobility. But they're not cheap, at $799. "The Normatec allows me on a daily basis to execute the highest level of my ability," Toussaint says. "How you recover is how you play. How you play is how you win. How you win is how you live."
Before splurging on the Normatec, Toussaint recommends starting with the Hypervolt Pro ($399). Designed for everyone from moms on the go to Super Bowl quarterbacks, the powerful massager relieves sore joints and lasts for three hours on a charge.
Toussaint recommends regular recovery, so that it becomes second nature. "Create this level of discipline where recovery is part of your routine," he said. "...It provides a certain level of direction for your day."
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