After 10 years leading Peloton rides, superstar teacher and newly minted Lululemon ambassador Cody Rigsby trusts himself when he gets on the bike. He doesn’t need an amp up song or meditation, no mantras or pre-class yoga flow. Rigsby simply gets dressed, brushes his teeth, and is ready to teach his thousands of students, greeting riders with his signature charisma and wit.

But that doesn’t mean you’ll get the same Cody Rigsby every day. Because, as many of his fans know through deep investment in his relationships and cultural hot takes, he’s got a life beyond the bike. How does that manifest on the Peloton? Well, it depends.

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  • Cody Rigsby, Peloton instructor and Lululemon ambassador

“Either I compartmentalize all the bullshit and I just leave it aside, and I light up and I really enjoy what I do on that stage/bike, or I absolutely just grab it with me and I use it to fuel me through my workouts or my performance,” Rigsby says.

Both options are valid for Rigsby. The most important thing is to make sure he’s doing the ride either way.

To make sure things that are important to him get done, Rigsby is big on scheduling and planning ahead. And using compartmentalization to keep Life with a capital L from undermining plans—like a great ride you put on your schedule because it’s important to you—can be a great tool.

“Your time is like a financial savings account. If you don’t put away money in your savings account before you spend it on fun stuff, it’ll be gone.”

“Your time is much like a financial savings account,” Rigsby says. “If you don’t put away the money in your savings account before you spend it on fun stuff, it’ll be gone. So that’s how I think of strategizing and taking care of myself.”

On the other hand, on the days that Life does enter the chat, Rigsby’s students might just have an inkling, even if it is unintentional.

“I guess I’ve never really thought about it, but I’m sure if I was going through a breakup, I really was trying to let it out through some intervals and a Kelly Clarkson song,” Rigsby says. “I’m sure that is true.”

Rigsby also thinks there’s power in bringing real life rawness to class, for both teachers and students.

“What I’ve learned through being at Peloton for 10 years, and especially because a lot of people came to myself and my colleagues through a global pandemic, is that that vulnerability allows people to feel like they’re seen or that someone else is going through their issues,” Rigsby says. “It really creates an amazing sense of community. And so no matter if I’m having a shitty day or a great day, that vulnerability and sharing it just infuses my work with purpose.”

“Vulnerability allows people to feel like they’re seen or that someone else is going through their issues.”

Cody Rigsby’s advice for getting moving even when you’re feeling ‘meh’

Vulnerability on the bike (or any workout) can look like a few things: acknowledging what you’re bringing to your workout might not be your all-time best; that you’re not feeling one hundred percent; or that it was a struggle just to get moving. Rigsby says that’s totally normal—and something you can actually tap into to fuel your rides.

“Something that I preach in my classes all the time is just do the best that you can today, not the best that you did 10 years ago,” Rigsby says. “Sometimes that best is fighting through and processing emotional and mental BS that’s going on in your life.”

That might mean you do a workout with lower intensity, or it might mean you jam it out to Kelly Clarkson like Rigsby. Either way, because movement usually will make you feel better thanks to a ton of mental health benefits, Rigsby sees having a routine you can fall back on as an investment in serving the future you who might not be feeling so in the mood for a workout.

“I feel that a lot, and I feel that sometimes for a week at a time, and I think that’s normal,” Rigsby says. “I think the most important part is when you are in the mood, really solidify that within your habits, really make that part of your day so that when the meh kind of feeling comes in on the days and the weeks that you don’t feel it, you still know that it’s part of your habit.”

Within that consistency, some flexibility and self-compassion can also help you unlock your ability to get moving. Rigsby suggests adding some variety to workouts on days that feel a little harder, especially by tapping into things that feel different and fun, like dancing or walking with a friend.

“Those things that are a little bit more playful or fun and bring us into more of a childlike state, [that] sometimes for me has also brought me out of funks before,” Rigsby says.

Remembering and reaffirming your “why” can also help you deal with that funk. When Rigsby is not feeling so hot, he knows that people have literally traveled from all over the world to come ride with him in the studio. He feels he owes it to everyone who showed up to bring whatever the best version of himself is that day.

Who are you riding, running, or lifting for? Remember that, and you’ll be crushing those intervals in no time.

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