When he’s not on the Bike you can usually find Peloton instructor Alex Toussaint on the basketball court. As long as he can remember, Alex’s go-to cross training routine is something that he’s leveraged as a way to stay in shape but also destress at the same time. “Basketball was my first love before I got into cycling,” says Alex. “It has always been a form of therapy for me, a form of expression.” We talked with Alex to learn exactly how his favorite pastime has turned into something that keeps him strong in so many ways.
Moving In A New Way
Cycling has become such a familiar motion for Alex so stepping outside the pedals to move in new ways has proven to be beneficial for him. “Incorporating a sport that you love and that moves you in all three planes of motion is going to help your other workouts and overall fitness,” says Alex. He notes that it’s also a way to sneak in some more running, something that he usually finds challenging to fit in to his normal routine. “I like to trick my body–I don’t really like to run but I like to play basketball,” says Alex. “Being on the court makes you run so I can kill two birds with one stone.” Inversely, Alex has found that his time on the Bike has made it easier to beat his competitors on the court. “That’s actually one of the best things about cycling at Peloton–I up my conditioning game,” he says. “When I get on the basketball court I’m able to outrun anybody for the duration of the game so when it comes to crunch time and that last quarter, game winning shot, I have more energy than other players.”
Alex’s cross training routine has allowed him to build a community around his favorite sport and network with people he may have never met if he didn’t step foot on the court. “I think the beautiful thing about pick up basketball is that you never know who you’re gonna play with but you have to communicate with someone you never met before in your life,” says Alex. “Similar to Peloton, you never know who you’re riding with and you never know who you’re going to meet on the Leaderboard–the next thing you know you wind up in New York City at Homecoming becoming best friends!” So if you’re looking into your own cross training routine, remember that there are benefits of expanding your circle. Not only will it allow you to have fun and stay in shape, but it could also introduce you to amazing people who you’ve never met yet.
Sweat & Destress
We all know that all forms of exercise have destressing qualities to them but Alex encourages you to find something that truly brings you joy and that you could potentially use in a therapeutic way. “I remember I used to be outside in my backyard for hours until 12:00 or 1:00 in the morning because I loved it so much,” says Alex. “To this day, the stress relief I get from just flicking my wrist and watching the ball go into the hoop is the most priceless feeling of all time and I’ve never gotten tired of it.” While you may not be shooting hoops like Alex, pick an activity that makes you excited to be there.
Complement your Peloton workouts with a cross training routine that is safe and reasonable for your body. “If it’s something that’s not too time consuming I’d say add it in 2-3 times a week,” says Alex. “But if it starts affecting your workload to the point that you’re not performing to the best of your ability you might need to cut back–listen to your body and always trust yourself.”