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“Movement” – A Short Biography of Robin Arzon

artwork of Robin Arzon commissioned by Shape Concierge

Robin Arzon is a well-known figure in the fitness and wellness industry. After working as a corporate litigator for a few years, Arzon decided to pursue her passion for fitness and left the legal profession to become a certified running coach and personal trainer.

Robin Arzon's journey from a traumatic hostage situation to a successful fitness career is a story of perseverance and transformation. Driven by her passion for running and a desire to help others, Arzon turned to fitness as a form of therapy, eventually transitioning from her role as a corporate litigator to become a certified running coach and personal trainer. Her unique coaching style and motivational skills quickly gained her a following, setting the stage for her future success in the industry. In 2014, she joined Peloton, the popular at-home fitness company, as one of its founding instructors.

Robin Arzon's rise to fame is largely attributed to her role as a Peloton instructor and her unique coaching style. In 2014, she joined Peloton as one of its founding instructors, and her high-energy workouts and motivational catchphrases quickly gained popularity. Arzon's success led to her promotion to VP of Fitness Programming in 2016, cementing her position as a driving force behind Peloton's revolutionary at-home workout experience.

In September 2020, Robin Arzon surprised Peloton members by announcing her first pregnancy during a live "Together We Ride" cycling class she was teaching from the New York studio. Throughout her pregnancy, Arzon continued to teach a variety of classes on the Peloton platform, while also developing an extensive series of prenatal workouts tailored for expecting mothers.

These included prenatal yoga, strength training, cycling, and more, all designed with appropriate modifications and intensity cues for pregnant women, in consultation with an OB/GYN. The prenatal series aimed to keep moms-to-be active in a safe way during pregnancy.

Apart from her work as a fitness instructor, Arzon is also an accomplished author and brand ambassador. She has written two books: "Shut Up and Run" and "Strong Mama," which combine her personal experiences with her expertise in fitness and wellness and a celebration of Motherhood.

Arzon has also partnered with various brands, including Adidas, to promote their products and to spread her message of empowerment and inclusivity. Her influence and impact extend beyond the fitness world, as she has been featured in numerous publications and has spoken at conferences on topics such as entrepreneurship and personal branding.

Arzon's unwavering commitment to inspiring and motivating others through her work has remained steadfast, even in the face of personal challenges like her 2014 Type 1 diabetes diagnosis. Her dedication to fitness and wellness, coupled with her commitment to promoting inclusivity and body positivity, has made her a role model for many.

Robin Arzon was born in Philadelphia in 1982, to a Cuban refugee mother and a Puerto Rican father. Growing up, Arzon was immersed in her multicultural heritage, which she credits with shaping her worldview and instilling values of resilience, determination, and hard work.

Arzon's parents were hardworking individuals who instilled the importance of education in their daughter, and Arzon took their advice to heart. She was an excellent student in high school and went on to earn a Bachelor's degree from New York University and then she went on to attend Villanova University School of Law.

Arzon's early life experiences have undoubtedly played a significant role in her interest in fitness and wellness. As a Cuban-Puerto Rican woman, she understands the importance of representation and the power of self-care in creating a healthy, balanced life. In her own words, "fitness is not just about the body; it's about the mind and the soul."

Robin Arzon's early life experiences and education have laid the foundation for her success in the fitness industry. Her multicultural heritage, combined with her parents' emphasis on education and hard work, has helped shape her worldview and instill values of resilience, determination, and hard work. Her interest in fitness also played a significant role in her journey, ultimately leading her to become a successful Peloton instructor.

Robin Arzon's entry into the fitness industry was driven by her passion for running and her desire to inspire and impact people's lives. Her coaching approach is a masterful fusion of inspiration, empowerment, and a dash of tough love, creating a unique style that resonates with her audience. Arzon's early work with various fitness companies led her to her current role as one of the most popular and recognizable instructors at Peloton, a company that has revolutionized the at-home workout experience.

Robin Arzon's fitness journey was sparked by a traumatic incident she experienced while she was an undergraduate student at New York University in the summer of 2002. At that time, she and 40 others were taken hostage at a wine bar in Manhattan's East Village by an assailant armed with three pistols and a samurai sword. During the ordeal, the captives were doused with kerosene and threatened with a barbecue lighter. Robin was used as a human shield after being grabbed by her hair. This harrowing experience inspired Arzon to start running as a way to physically "run the trauma out". A year later in 2003, on a whim, she signed up for her first race - a 10K - which launched her journey as an athlete. Over the next decade, while pursuing her law degree and working as a corporate litigator, Arzon became an avid marathon runner. The hostage experience and running helped her heal and ultimately discover her passion for fitness that led to her career change.

Robin Arzon's journey from a traumatic hostage situation to a successful fitness career is a story of perseverance and transformation. As with many who have faced adversity, Robin's path was not a straight one. Her first steps towards a fitness-centered life were born out of the pain and trauma she experienced after being taken hostage in Manhattan's East Village in 2002.

After graduating from New York University, Robin pursued a career in law at Villanova University in Pennsylvania but found that the long hours and stressful workload did not fulfill her as much as her growing passion for fitness. She turned to running to cope with the lingering effects of the trauma and discovered that exercise gave her a sense of power and agency within her own body.

Despite her initial aversion to exercise as a child, Robin's love for fitness grew with each step she took. She participated in a 10K race on a whim and, despite having no training, found that she loved it. Running became her medicine, and she continued to pursue it even after moving back to New York City to work as a corporate litigator.

Eventually, Robin found that her passion for fitness surpassed her desire for a legal career. She obtained certifications as a running coach, personal trainer, and spin instructor and left law to pursue fitness full-time. She joined Peloton in 2014, and since then has coached over a million people virtually and in person.

Along the way, Robin has also become an advocate for stress management, a topic that is all too familiar in our fast-paced, modern world. Stress has physical manifestations beyond the mental sensations of anxiety, such as sweating, a rise in heart rate, and the release of stress hormones like cortisol. In extreme cases, internalizing chronic stress can lead to dysregulation of the nervous system and immune system, resulting in high blood pressure, arrhythmias, sleep disorders, and anxiety.

Yet, Robin has shown that with the right tools and mindset, we can manage stress and overcome its effects on the body and mind. She shares six techniques for coping with stress: stop and drop, focus on breathing, acknowledge your thoughts, take responsibility, know you can make the change, and be aware of "selfing." By channeling stress and finding healthy coping mechanisms, Robin believes that we can recover and grow more resilient.

Robin Arzon's journey from trauma to triumph is a testament to the power of the human spirit to overcome adversity. Robin's story reminds us that our struggles and hardships are not insurmountable. Rather, they are opportunities for growth and transformation.

In 2013, Arzon founded Undo Ordinary, a fitness movement that seeks to disrupt conventional exercise routines, and launched Undo magazine, a print publication dedicated to this philosophy. Additionally, in 2015, she joined a select group of 20 Americans to traverse the Serengeti as part of National Geographic Channel's MYGRATIONS, a gripping adventure that chronicled their trek across the Serengeti Plains to Kenya's Maasai Mara during the annual wildebeest migration. Eschewing maps or weapons, the cast members, consisting of survivalists and athletes, carried only food and water as they braved the elements. In 2016, she became a certified running coach under the auspices of the Road Runners Club of America.

In addition to her role as a Peloton instructor, Arzon has also gained a large social media following, with hundreds of thousands of followers on Instagram. She uses her platform to share motivational messages and insights into her personal life, including her struggles with Type 1 diabetes and her commitment to a vegan lifestyle.

Arzon's popular catchphrases, such as "I am, I can, I will, I do," have become synonymous with her brand and have inspired many riders to reach their fitness goals. Her impact on the fitness industry has been significant, and she has been recognized as one of the most influential people in the industry by publications such as Forbes and Women's Health.

Robin Arzon has expanded her influence beyond fitness, using her platform to become an author and brand ambassador. Her strong message of empowerment and body positivity has resonated with many and has made her a sought-after figure in the fashion and lifestyle industries.

Robin Arzon has authored two books to date. The first, titled "Shut Up and Run: How to Get Up, Lace Up, and Sweat with Swagger," is a motivational guide and journal tailored to runners of all skill levels. The second, "Strong Mama," chronicles her journey through pregnancy and motherhood as a Type-1 diabetic.

In addition to her writing, Arzon has also become a brand ambassador for several companies, including Adidas. She has worked with the company on multiple campaigns, including the "Here to Create" campaign, which promotes inclusivity and empowerment in sport. Arzon's partnership with Adidas has been particularly impactful, as the company has used her as a representative of their push towards gender equality and body positivity.

Arzon has also worked with several other brands, and her partnerships with these companies have helped to further spread her message of empowerment and positivity and have made her a recognizable figure in the industry.

Arzon's influence in the fashion and lifestyle industries has also been recognized by several media outlets, including Vogue, Elle, and Forbes. In 2022, she was featured on Time's "Time 100 Next" list, which recognizes rising stars and future leaders across a variety of industries.

Robin Arzon has leveraged her success in the fitness industry to become a powerful force in the world of fashion and lifestyle. Her message of empowerment and body positivity has resonated with many and has helped to redefine the traditional standards of beauty and fitness. Through her writing and brand partnerships, she has continued to spread her message and inspire others to lead healthy, fulfilling lives.

Robin Arzon's personal story is a remarkable testament to her unwavering resilience and determination in the face of adversity. In her early twenties, while working as a lawyer in New York City, Arzon was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes just three weeks before running her first ultramarathon. Despite the initial shock and fear, she learned to manage her condition through a combination of insulin injections, a healthy diet, and exercise. Arzon has also been open about her struggles with body image, using her platform to promote body positivity and self-acceptance. These experiences have undoubtedly shaped her approach to fitness and wellness, further solidifying her role as a relatable and inspiring figure in the industry.

Arzon's dedication to a vegan lifestyle is also an important part of her personal life. She has been vegan for several years and has spoken about how it has transformed her health and overall well-being. In interviews, she has talked about how she has more energy and feels more vibrant than ever before.

Beyond her health and wellness practices, Arzon is also happily married to Drew Butler, an investment banker. The couple tied the knot in 2019 and have been together ever since. Arzon has shared photos and posts on social media celebrating their love and their partnership.

Overall, Robin Arzon's personal life is just as inspiring as her career in fitness. Her struggles with Type 1 diabetes and her commitment to a vegan lifestyle demonstrate her dedication to health and wellness, and her loving relationship with her husband is a testament to the power of love and partnership.

Robin Arzon has made a significant impact on the fitness industry through her unique coaching style and inspiring personal story. As a role model for women, she has worked tirelessly to promote body positivity and inclusivity in fitness, earning her a place among the most influential fitness personalities of our time.

One of Robin's greatest contributions to the fitness industry has been her ability to connect with her clients on a personal level. She has also been a keynote speaker at various events, sharing her story and motivating others to pursue their passions. Her partnership with Adidas has helped to promote inclusivity in fitness, with a focus on creating clothing for people of all shapes and sizes.

Robin has also been a vocal advocate for body positivity and inclusivity in fitness. As someone who has struggled with body image issues herself, she is committed to helping others embrace their bodies and focus on their health and fitness goals, rather than their appearance. Her work in this area has inspired countless women to feel confident and empowered in their fitness journeys. She has encouraged women to embrace their bodies and break free from societal beauty standards. Her efforts in this regard have not gone unnoticed, as many have praised her for promoting a healthier and more accepting view of fitness.

In addition to her role as a fitness advocate, Arzon has also been a strong proponent of mental health awareness and self-care. Drawing from her own experiences with trauma and stress management, she has incorporated mindfulness practices and emotional well-being into her coaching approach. By emphasizing the connection between physical and mental health, Arzon has helped to destigmatize mental health struggles and encourage her followers to prioritize self-care.

In February 2023, Arzon published a new children's picture book titled "Strong Baby", a follow-up to her bestseller "Strong Mama". The book celebrates baby's major physical milestones in the first year, like tummy time, crawling, and first steps, paired with Arzon's signature motivational mantras to encourage bonding through movement for parents and babies.

Arzon also recently took on a new role as a lifestyle and fitness contributor for Good Morning America in late 2023. In this position, she shares wellness advice and inspirational strategies with the GMA audience. For example, in one of her first segments, she discussed doing a "4-part life audit" to kick off the new year.

These developments, from her public pregnancy journey and prenatal series to the new book and TV gig, demonstrate how Arzon continues to expand her platform and impact beyond the Peloton community. By sharing relatable experiences and accessible wellness guidance, she aims to motivate and empower an even wider audience in their fitness and parenting journeys.

Looking to the future, Arzon's impact on the fitness and wellness industry is sure to continue. She remains a leading figure in the industry and an inspiration to many. Her passion, dedication, and commitment to promoting a positive and healthy lifestyle are qualities that will continue to inspire and influence others for years to come.


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