What’s in My Gym Bag: David Magida, Founder of Elevate Interval Fitness

Photo courtesy of Spartan Race.

Who: David Magida, 32
Does: Founder, Elevate Interval Fitness, author, The Essentials of Obstacle Race Training, and host, Spartan Live on NBC Sports and Facebook Watch
Approach to fitness: At Elevate, we approach fitness with an athlete’s mentality. We aim to push you beyond your limits and out of your comfort zone. It’s only when you test your limits that you find your real strength and truly see results.

“Before opening Elevate, I was a founding member of the Reebok Spartan Race Pro Team. It was an experience that I’ve missed since I launched our first studio on 14th Street in 2014. This year, in addition to Elevate, I decided to rededicate myself to obstacle and trail racing. That means working out at Elevate four to five days per week and training outdoors about four days per week. I have to be prepared for indoor and outdoor workouts daily, which means carrying a lot of gear!”

Here’s what’s in his bag:


If you take your training seriously, you need a way to track it.” This Garmin tracks pace and heart rate and produces post-run analyses for cadence, routes, and interval splits. This model also tracks sleep and can download apps. “The sapphire glass is basically indestructible, which is helpful when I throw it on during an obstacle race.” Garmin Fenix 5 Plus Sapphire 47mm in black, $750,

Trail Running Shoes

Magida wears different shoes for trail running than in the Elevate studio. When he hits the trails, he looks for shoes with lugs for traction, a reinforced toe box, and cushion to protect his arches. “Whether it’s dirt, gravel, mud, or leaves, I’m confident in my footing when I have these on, so I can focus on running aggressively.” Scott Men’s Supertrac RC in black/yellow, $150,

“Training is important, but so is recovery. I’ve always got a tight muscle somewhere on my body and the Hypervolt percussion massager is perfect to work out some soreness.” This cordless massager is lightweight (2.5 pounds) and has three speeds to target stiff muscles and help circulation. Plus, it has two hours of battery life. “I can toss it in my bag and go days without needing to charge it.” Hypervolt by Hyperice, $350,


“As a runner, I’ve dabbled with countless wireless headphones. These are, hands down, the best running headphones I’ve found. They’re low profile, stable, and easy to use. The sound quality is great, too.” Apple Airpods, $159,


“Winter running is tricky because you don’t want to be cold, but it’s also easy to overheat. This jacket provides me the perfect balance between the two, shielding me from the wind and providing a surprising amount of warmth for a light jacket. It’s low profile and comfortable enough to wear to or from work.” Arc’teryx Trino Jacket in black, $225,

Compression Tights

“Warm legs are fresh legs.” These tights feature pockets of compression in the knees, hips, and abs for extra support. Plus they have a UPF of 50+ for UVA/UVB protection. Magida says he feels “healthier and more efficient with them on.” Stabilyx Joint Support Compression Tight in blue-black, $110,


“Running is always more fun with a friend, so if I’m going for a lunchtime run, my Bernedoodle Oscar is, too.” This leash from Tuff Mutts allows for hands-free running with Oscar, and also features a gliding belt clip so the pup can run from side to side with ease. “The dog can even pull me uphill when I need a boost.” Tuff Mutts Hands Free Dog Leash in gray/teal, $23,

Protein Powder

Magida considers Ascent the cleanest protein product he’s found. “It mixes without any clumps in a shaker bottle and tastes great. I like the vanilla because you can drink it plain, or it can adopt the flavors of whatever you mix it with. Sometimes I add coffee, chocolate syrup or orange juice to mix it up.” Ascent Native Fuel Whey Protein Powder in chocolate peanut butter, $40,

Electrolyte Tablets

“I sweat A LOT. And that means I’m depleting myself of fluids and electrolytes. The more you sweat those out, the faster you sweat, and it’s a snowballing effect that leads to dehydration.” Nuun tablets contain electrolytes and minerals (including sodium, potassium, and magnesium) and are 15 calories and 2 carbs each, making them an ideal alternative to traditional sugary electrolyte drinks. Magida tosses one in his water bottle every few hours. Nuun Sport Tablets in strawberry lemonade, $7,


Elevate offers new workouts daily to ensure members don’t plateau. “People are surprised to find out that I spend most of my day behind a computer, just like everyone else. Between customer service inquiries, marketing projects, music playlist creation, and business development opportunities, I have a pretty full plate. Having a fast and reliable computer makes things a bit easier. And it’s small enough to run to and from work with.” Macbook 12-inch in Space Gray, $1,600,

Free Class Cards

“Your first class at Elevate is always free, so I am constantly passing these things out to people I meet on the street, at events, or to my athletes who want to bring a friend in. I always have about 30 of them in my bag just in case. Come take a class with me!”

Kim Olsen

Kim Olsen ([email protected]) is a freelance writer in Alexandria.