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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.
"I went to military school, so I'd say my teaching style is more 'drill sergeant,'" Flywheel Sports cycling instructor Alex Toussaint told Racked, "But don't worry, you're guaranteed to have a good time during my ride!" The East Hampton native (yes, there is such a thing!) got the bug for fitness at an early age when he began military school in Missouri starting at 14, waking up at 5am for long morning runs. He returned back to his Long Island roots after three years and brought the discipline of an intense fitness regimen to his local high school's basketball team, with his team going to the state's final four championship. So it makes sense that the 23-year-old gravitated towards Flywheel after graduating college.
Toussaint started out in the East Hamptons studio as a member of the facility team, but quickly took a shot at the instructor podium after falling for the studio's culture and the proprietary performance technology of the bike—in other words, he was drawn to Flywheel's competitive nature. And while you'll typically find Toussaint in several of Manhattan's studios, his favorite location from which to instruct to teach is pretty obvious: "Having grown up in East Hampton, I'm partial to this studio. Having your friends and family—and even past high school teachers!—in the stadium makes the experience that much more enjoyable."
Read on to learn more about the cycling instructor who now counts famous faces like Whitney Port as fans, from where he works out outside of Flywheel and his go-to pump-up song of the moment to the secret habit you might not expect from someone with a military background.
What's your go-to song right now for getting pumped up before or during a workout?
Right now it's "Blessings" by Big Sean—I play this song the moment I step out of my apartment. It's a great song that not only motivates me, but also sets the tone for my day. Music is crucial when it comes to workouts. When crafting my Flywheel playlists, I'm all about making sure that everyone has at least one song they can relate to during the ride. I believe if you can relate to the song, you'll work that much harder when you hear it, and you'll push yourself to the limit.
If I weren't a fitness instructor, I'd be a...
Music producer or an engineer.
Reveal something that even your most dedicated students don't know about you.
Working out and wearing indoor cycling shoes all the time can do a number on your feet, which is why I get pedicures almost once a week.
Gym style (or athleisure) has totally exploded over the past couple of years. What's your favorite way to rock it?
I love to wear Lululemon shorts and Nike Roshes—they're both perfect for my constantly-on-the-go lifestyle, because comfort is key! Now that it's summer, I complete the outfit with one of my Flywheel tanks.
If we spilled out your gym bag right now, what would we find?
Nike socks, Flywheel tank tops, Lululemon briefs, cocoa butter lotion, a protein bar, and deodorant.
Besides your own studio, whose classes do you love?
When I'm not FLYing, you can find me sweating at Barry's Bootcamp or WillyB CrossFit. Be sure to try trainer (and fellow Flywheel instructor) Jared Stein there!
What's your favorite cheat meal?
Hands down, pizza! When I'm back home, I make sure to stop by Fierro's for my favorite slice—chicken bacon ranch!
Where can we find you when you're not working out?
I'm unwinding with personal spa days or simply relaxing at home. I can't start my morning without catching up on CNN and ESPN.