What’s in My Gym Bag: Neighborhood Barre Instructor Erica Buerger

Photograph courtesy of Erica Buerger.

If you’re a member of the Washington fitness world and want to share what’s in your bag, email Mimi Montgomery at 

Who: Erica Buerger
Does: Neighborhood Barre instructor, full-time consultant at IT Concepts, Inc., and part-time Georgetown MBA student
Approach to fitness: “Fitness is a very personal journey, but the mental and emotional stamina it takes to accomplish our fitness goals can be fostered by a supportive community. I remember being in tears after my first barre class because I felt so out of place. Therefore, I make it a special focus in each class to build a welcoming environment that encourages all skill levels to find their own unique challenge.”

The Bag

This bag is light, but comes with enough pockets to store Buerger’s keys, laptop, change of clothes, and sweaty workout gear as she jets between studying to barre classes to happy hours. She loves that the bag doesn’t dig into her shoulder, and she can fold it up and pack it in her suitcase when she travels. On My Level Tote, $128, Lululemon


“I have a naturally oily face, so a friend who previously competed in Miss America pageants recommended this,” says Buerger. “If there’s anyone I trust with makeup recommendations, it’s someone who wore makeup for 12 hours a day and still looked fabulous. This stuff controls my oiliness and keeps me looking matte throughout my workouts and beyond.” Liquid Powder Primer, $30, The Perfect Face

Lip Ointment


When Buerger teaches back-to-back classes, she’s talking non-stop and her lips start to dry out and crack. The best solution has been this drugstore favorite. “It’s not sexy, but it’s extremely effective when it comes to locking in moisture, so I have a tube on me everywhere I go,” she says. Aquaphor Healing Skin Ointment, $14, Amazon


“Any health or fitness professional will tell you that hydration is key to achieving your fitness goals,” says Buerger. “[You need] water to keep joints lubricated, balance electrolytes, and preserve focus. It also helps that I get to represent my Neighborhood Barre community as I bounce around the city during the week.” Neighborhood Barre Tervis Tumbler, $31, Neighborhood Barre

Lacrosse Ball

While Buerger likes foam rollers, rolling out with a lacrosse ball lets her target hard-to-get spots like hamstrings, feet, glutes, and shoulders. “It might be tortuous at first, but it enables me to continue workouts through the week without extremely sore muscles.” Champion Sports Official Lacrosse Balls, $8, Amazon

Mimi Montgomery Washingtonian
Home & Features Editor

Mimi Montgomery joined Washingtonian in 2018. She’s written for The Washington Post, Garden & Gun, Outside Magazine, Washington City Paper, DCist, and PoPVille. Originally from North Carolina, she now lives in Del Ray.