Fitxplore with "Steff Someda"

Hello, who are you and what sports/fitness routine do you play?

Hi! My name is Steff Someda and I am an indoor cycling instructor in Perigon. I started taking indoor cycling classes in 2018 and have been hooked ever since, to the point that I became an instructor myself!

Growing up as a dancer, I have always been drawn to fitness that involves music. I’ve joined dance competitions back in college, as well as in medical school and residency, and developed a sense of discipline when it comes to training for dance routines (because we have to give 100% the entire time even when we get tired at some point). During medical school, I also got hooked with pole dance classes as my regular workout and “me time” to get away from all the studying.

When the pandemic started in 2020, my daily workout routine consisted of YouTube videos. The strict lockdown implemented in the Philippines prevented everyone from going to gyms and fitness studios, so home workouts became very popular. It was July of 2020 when I got my own indoor cycling bike as a birthday gift from my fiancé and parents and my first Zoom class with Perigon was, of course, on my birthday. Since then, I have taken cycling classes online almost every day. And in 2021, Perigon announced their audition for new instructors and I signed up. The rest is history.

How do you get ready to train for your sport/how do you train?

I consider indoor cycling as 80% proper form and 15% endurance. It has to start with the proper form when riding on that bike, which is why we have mirrors in the studio. I ride in front of the mirror and I check my form: shoulders and neck relaxed, spine neutral, relaxed grip,  hips pulled back, and knees pointed forward. As I pedal to the beat, whether slow or really fast, I make a conscious effort to correct my form (i.e. making sure my hips don’t sway too much) and ride as one unit, meaning I move my whole body in the same direction as I shift my weight on each side of the bike. I also like facing the bike sideways in front of the mirror as I ride to check on my form further with every move I do on the bike. Taking videos also helped a lot, because I saw how I looked after taking a class. I know I was doing it right if I could post the video and not cringe.

Once I got that proper form, the next step was endurance training. And the best way to build stamina was to keep riding as much as I could. I took classes daily, even twice a day when I was free. And when I was training to be an instructor, we were encouraged to ride even more – 2, 3, or even 4 classes in a day.

Oh, and that remaining 5% is music. Indoor cycling is also about getting that rhythm on the bike. I listened to A LOT of music, even EDM that wasn’t my cup of tea before, and learned to create playlists that make me want to dance on the bike.

After a workout/game, how do you recover your body? What do you do to get your body in shape? What type of diet do you eat? 

Hydration is key! I fill up my tumbler with glorious cold water and gulp the whole thing down like a thirsty beast. I then go straight into a nice cold shower. After that, I pack cold compress on the areas I worked out most, which is my quads. With regards to what I eat, I’ve been vegan for years now and have been sticking to a whole food plant-based diet as much as possible. I like making banana-based smoothie bowls as post-workout treats and I enjoy a scrumptious salad any time of the day. I’m always hungry so I usually eat anything I can easily grab from the fridge, like an apple or a nice red tomato or even a carrot.

How do you prevent injuries when you’re training? What type of stretches do you normally do? What’s your routine look like?

Again, proper form is essential when riding, not only to get the most out of the workout, but also to prevent injuries. I also have to make sure that the bike is not neglected and regularly checked for any defect or lose pieces. Checking my cleats is also as important to make sure I won’t fall off the bike at any point. After working out, I like doing static leg stretching exercises, like splits, pigeon pose, and quadriceps stretches. Hip mobility exercises are also useful for a little stretching before and after riding.

If there is someone wanting to get to your level, what type of advice would you give them?

Just as Dory says “just keep swimming,” I’d like to say just keep riding. You don’t have to be a dancer to be good at indoor cycling, you just have to keep riding and follow the rhythm. There were many times, especially during my first few rides, when I wanted to just sit down and pedal at my own pace. That was how tiring it was for me! But I learned that if you just imagine people actually riding beside you and watching you, it makes you want to push your limits and keep up with the instructor. The music is there to hype you up, but it’s really up to you to keep going and not give up. Keep taking videos to check on that form and correct anything that needs to be corrected. The instructors are all nice and approachable if you have questions about your form and how to correct them, so just ask! Also, don’t forget to hydrate and eat your veggies! Your body will thank you.

How do you structure your day now? What projects are you busy with?

Apart from being an indoor cycling instructor, I am also a full-time physician currently finishing my Ophthalmology residency. Most of the time, I’m in the hospital seeing patients or doing surgeries. I also have to squeeze in some studying and case presentations in between hospital duties and indoor cycling. Quite a busy bee, I guess.

How has your journey on social media been? Future plans?

I’ve always considered Instagram as my personal space where I post things I love and random things aesthetically pleasing to my feed. But when I started posting my short indoor cycling videos on TikTok just for fun, it surprisingly grew quite a following. Since I use TikTok as my fitness platform, I’m hoping to grow it further. I want more people in the Philippines to know that indoor cycling is fun!

Knowing what you know now, what do you wish you could tell yourself 10 years ago?

That would be me in my medical school days, so I’d tell myself to prioritize my studies and stop slacking off! Kidding aside, I would actually tell myself to watch documentaries and consider going vegan much sooner. And I would tell myself to focus on what really matters.

How can our audience find you online? 

Instagram: @steffsomeda

Tiktok: @steffsomeda

Hit me up and try your first Perigon class for free!

Link to Steff's Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/steffsomeda/

Steff Someda is an indoor cycling instructor in Perigon. She started taking indoor cycling classes in 2018 and has been hooked ever since, to the point that she became an instructor herself.

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