OxyTrainer of the Week: Sofie
Sofie is known as the workout fanatic of Oxygen Studio. She teaches 20 classes a week all over San Diego, and her knowledge shines through in each of her OxyRide and OxyCore classes. Her strength and enthusiastic energy lights up the studio. She is strong and lives by the motto “be strong” — both physically and mentally.
Tell me about yourself.
I’m very passionate about physical activity. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in psychomotor therapy and relaxation. While I was studying, I started teaching fitness classes and got super into it and started personal training. I have been teaching for over 10 years, and I teach body toning, weight classes, dance fitness, boot camp, cycling and yoga.
I moved to the U.S. about four years ago from Denmark and started graduate school. I have a Master’s Degree in exercise physiology and nutritional science. Now I teach, and I recently started working as an exercise physiologist. In my free time I love dancing. I’m very much into salsa and bachata.
What is your favorite class to teach?
It varies depending on where I find more inspiration. Right now it is definitely yoga and cycling. That’s just where I find more inspiration the music and new moves. And then all of a sudden I’ll be super inspired to do weight moves or something else. So it varies.
How many classes do you teach a week?
Right now I’m up on 20. I teach at Oxygen and other fitness centers in San Diego
Why did you study psychomotor therapy?
I wanted to be a psychologist. That was my goal. I wanted to help people, and I think the mind is pretty interesting in how it works. I went on a self-development retreat to India with a psychomotor therapist. When I went to the retreat, I said ‘this is what I want to do.’ I want to be able to work with the mind, but through the body. I want to be able to link those two together so it’s not either head or body. Because no matter what – when you take a cycling class, you feel a certain way when you do it. It can make you feel frustrated, or it can make you feel good and powerful. Or maybe you’re a little bit frustrated throughout the class, but you feel great afterward. So I definitely use it especially in classes.
If you’re working out, your whole well-being is better. You feel better; you feel stronger; you feel more confident. So it applies to so many things — you can’t separate those two.
What quote do you live by?
Be strong. I actually have the word “strong” in Danish on my wrist. It can have many applications.
For the most part, it’s kind of like a mental thing. When you go through rough times in your life or get pushed out of your comfort zone it can be difficult to navigate through that. And really the only thing you can do is stay strong and convinced that you can make your way through what you were going through. And then of course the physical aspect. I’m a trainer. You have to stay strong – both for your health if you want to live long, and to work functionally throughout your life. You’ve got to keep exercising to stay strong and fit.
My tattoo is in Danish so it kind of connects me to my background.
What do you like about Oxygen Studio?
I like the people. I like that they have faith in all the backgrounds of the people that are meeting together in this place. We are a lot of people who are international, and we bring that all together.
I definitely like the design of the actual studio inside the cycling room. I think it’s super fun that you can play around with the lights. I like the philosophy of it being your own workout and your own experience – that it doesn’t have to be like keep going or sprint for 30 seconds.
You don’t have to look at all those numbers and stuff and can still like get a really good workout. It’s kind of like going to a dance class. You still get a really good workout, but you don’t realize that because you’re having fun. You are stimulating your mind too because you’re following the moves. It’s a fun workout instead of ‘reach or sculpt or burn this many calories.’
This is more like going to a dance class, but it’s on a bike. It’s a party on a bike.
How do you stay fit and healthy?
I don’t have to exercise much because I teach so much. So I’m pretty fortunate that way. When I don’t teach so much I definitely think a good combination of cardio, resistance training and yoga is the key to build a generally good body physique that will keep you healthy for life.
I eat a ton of food — everything in moderation. I don’t want to never have cake or lasagna. I want to eat everything, but I don’t do it every day. I won’t eat five cookies, but I’ll eat one cookie. I’ve gone to graduate school and was taught about nutrition. Skip all those fad diets that are out there. Do whatever feels good in your body and eat what you like with moderation. Get your fruit and vegetables and you are pretty healthy. That’s my best advice and that’s what I do.
I think I say “strong” like 10 times throughout my class because that’s what I like to do. I like to put a good amount of resistance on and actually feel my muscles working.
I like to go fast until my heart rate is beating out of my throat because that makes me feel strong and it makes me feel confident and it makes me leave the room feeling energized and confident so I think that’s one thing I say a lot and that’s one thing I would like people to have with them when they leave. And then of course to leave with a smile because they had a fun time. But totally the confidence and strength, and then the happiness.
What is your favorite music?
The funny thing is, the music I play for cycling classes I would never play at home. I’m way more chill when I’m at home – I’ll listen to soul or light hip hop and stuff like that. I would definitely not put on an EDM song just for my own fun. But that’s what drives me when I work out. If I go to a spin class I want that energy.
Listen to Sofie’s workout playlist: