Peloton instructor Tunde Oyeneyin keeps it real on and off the bike. And the fitness star and best-selling author was more than happy to share some of her motivational wisdom — and glam secrets — during a recent interview with PEOPLE.
To the Peloton community, Oyeneyin is known for her strong, larger-than life presence that reaches through the screen and reminds her classes daily that "your mind is your strongest muscle." The Nigerian American trainer and motivational speaker has built a platform of inclusivity through her role at Peloton and her social media presence. She's also an ambassador for Nike and Revlon, the latter which holds a special place in her heart as she used to be a professional makeup artist and beauty brand educator.
Earlier this summer, she brought her brand of empowerment on the road, touring her book, SPEAK: Find Your Voice, Trust Your Gut, and Get From Where You Are to Where You Want To Be, and meeting her fans in person. "I'm an energy puller," she told PEOPLE. "I pull from people's energy. It was really good to be out and connect with people."
Fresh off the road, Tunde opens up about how she keeps her head straight and stays motivated, plus her famous on-bike makeup.
How do you take time to prioritize your mental health in the age of social media?
"I used to sit there, and respond to every comment, and go in my DMs and feel guilty about not responding to the 300 DMS for that day. And then now, as much as I appreciate the love, I also have to love myself, and take time away from my phone. So I delete the Instagram app often. Or I get on, I post something, and then I get off."
You are known for bringing the glam to the bike! Do you have a big getting ready routine?
"I mean, here's the thing. Do I get up and put makeup on to work out in the privacy of my home? No, never. But, when I go to work, I think when most people go to work, you want to bring your best self forward. My going to work just happens to be naked in front of millions of people. So it's just a matter of me wanting to bring my best to work. More on Instagram, you'll see me totally glammed up. If you bump into me on the street, I'll likely look like a 12 year-old-old, because I have short hair and no makeup on and probably a Nike sweatsuit of some type. But that's also me. And being 36 years old, I am finally in a space where all of those versions of Tunde are beautiful. But like, when you can see my blemishes, and I have no eyebrows on, and my backwards cap, that's also hot."
What's your go-to red lip for a boost of confidence?
What's the best part of working alongside your squad of Peloton instructors?
"It's so freeing when you show up as you are, and then people move with you. And not just move towards you, but are also aligned with you in your values and mission. Because you're being yourself — like we are not going on camera and acting as anyone but ourselves. We're not playing the role of anyone. So to have people stand with you for being yourself, it's so incredible. I don't take that for granted at all. I'm super fortunate and blessed to be able to say that."
What would your advice be to someone who is just starting their fitness journey?
"Take bite size chews. When you start a new fitness thing, you revert to your high school self. Or this is how I did it on a college level. Or you revert to six years ago, before you had two kids, and you might tell yourself, 'I'm going to do 60 minutes of cycling... and then I'm going two-a-day workouts.' But every variation of your own body is different. Don't compare yourself to where you were five years ago or where you hope to be in five months, just be here today. When I say bite size chews like start with today, I'm going to stretch for five minutes. Yeah. If you stretch for five minutes and you feel good, great. Now I'm going to get on the bike and ride for five minutes. Okay, a five minute warmup felt great. You know what? I think I can give myself 10 more minutes. I'm going to do 10 minute pop ride. Then now you've just worked out for 20 minutes. You have to win. If you feel like you're winning, you'll show up tomorrow. If you feel like you were broken, defeated and lost today's battle, why the hell would anybody want to set themselves up to lose tomorrow. So give yourself these bite-size attainable chews. And most importantly, practice grace."
How about some advice for your teenage self?
"I'd tell 16-year-old Tunde to remember to play. I would tell her that every single thing that she asks for is coming, take moments to enjoy it. Find ways to enjoy the journey because the goal is so short. The goal is only a second. Enjoy the journey and remember to play. Oh, she would be so proud of me. She'd be an awe of me. She would say, 'Wow, you actually did it!'"