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Welcome back to our Hottest Trainer competition: our search for NYC's most talented fitness instructor! Over the next two weeks we'll be profiling 16 of the city's top workout pros before you get to vote for your favorites.
"My to do list has one thing on it: do epic shit." Those aren't exactly the words you'd expect to hear from a corporate lawyer, so it's a good thing that Robin Arzon ditched that career to become a running coach and cycling instructor at Peloton. The 33-year-old that hails from Philly and is the product of Cuban and Puerto Rican parents literally knows no boundaries—"fueled by the ethos that there is no finish line, my life's mission is to redefine, reform, and rethink possibility through movement"—despite dealing with Type 1 diabetes from an early age. "One time, I ran five marathons in five days across Utah."
And when she's not literally running around the city training for ultramarathons, Arzon keeps busy with Undo Ordinary, a fitness movement she co-created that unites athletes interested in both sweat and style; she even serves as the editor-in-chief of its print publication, Undo. She's putting those writing skills to further use by debuting her first book with Harper Collins next year—and yet still finds the time to let loose at karaoke.
Read on to learn more about this self-proclaimed "ambassador of sweat," from the gyms she hits up when she's not training to just how single she actually is (plus, her ambitious back-up career).
What are the classes that you teach? Which one is your favorite, and why?
I coach runners with my strength and speed class Run Strong (available through Classpass), and cycling, exclusively at Peloton Cycle. The global platform of Peloton is a game changer: My HIIT metrics ride streams from our NYC studio to bikes all around the world. My favorite class of the week is my live DJ ride on Fridays with DJ John Michael—we redefine happy hour.
Describe your training style: Are you a drill sergeant? More laid-back?
It's tough love all day! Excuses are excused, and my threshold for bullshit is low. I expect a lot from my crew. We don't wish—we train.
What would you say is the hardest thing about what you do?
For me, the hardest thing is giving individual attention to everyone who desires it. I wish I could clone myself and respond to every single email, tweet, and Instagram comment. I don't take a single member of my tribe for granted.
What's your favorite outdoor workout spot in the city?
I run thousands and thousands of miles across my boyfriend, NYC. The Williamsburg Bridge is the most epic place to run.
What's your go-to song right now for getting pumped up before or during a workout?
I'm hip hop forever: Wu Tang's "Ain't Nothing to F*ck With" is on repeat, and I also rock A$AP "Wild for the Night" a lot. Yogi & Skrillex;s new track, "Burial," is fire. Beyoncé, my queen, is always in the mix, too.
Gym style has totally exploded over the past couple of years. What's your favorite way to rock it?
"Sweat With Swagger" has been my tagline for a minute—it's about unapologetically being you. I used to be a lawyer, so I relish spandex as business casual. I've also been rocking a Tupac bandana since 1994.
Reveal something that even your most dedicated students don't know about you.
I cry all the time. I believe life is complete with salt water—tears, sweat, and the ocean.
Besides your own studio, whose classes do you love?
Running is my first love. But if I'm not ultra-training, then I'm at Tone House or Barry's Bootcamp. The entire Tone House crew is fire—they are athletes' athletes. Looking at Noah Neiman and Mike Espinosa at Barry's every week never hurt anybody, either—eye candy for days up in there!
What's your relationship status?
Oh, girl, so single I'm sleeping diagonally.
Have any of your clients ever come on to you or asked you out? What did you do?
I've received super flattering notes, flowers, gifts, and even a plaque; I've never, ever dated a client though.
Can you share a moment with a student that was truly inspiring?
After teaching a Turkey Burn ride on Thanksgiving morning, a rider who had been in my class weekly for months handed me an envelope detailing how my classes helped her through a breakup, laying out specific things that I said. I had no idea! She came every week and rode like a total gangster. You literally don't know what someone is going through. I signed up for my first marathon after a breakup, so I get it.
What's your favorite cheat meal?
Anything from Champ's Vegan Diner—the entire menu is crack.
What advice would you offer to someone who is just starting in your class?
The progress will come if the hustle is real. I love the accessibility of my ride: It's hard, but we create it so I establish the floor for resistance and you create the ceiling.
If I weren't a fitness instructor, I'd be ...