What’s in My Gym Bag: Vida Fitness Personal Trainer Shanika Kynard

Photograph courtesy of Vida Fitness.

Who: Shanika Kynard
Does: Vida Fitness group programs manager, pole fitness director, and trainer
Approach to fitness: “I believe every day is an opportunity to make life better. Every class or training session I teach is an opportunity for me to inspire someone to be better than they were yesterday. My participants describe my classes as a de-stressing, result-oriented, fun, high-energy, engaging, and challenging—with a bomb music playlist.

“With 10 years in the fitness industry, I have taught several thousand classes, been certified in multiple formats, and trained several hundred personal training clients. Before I fell in love with fitness, I was 60-pounds heavier and not interested in anybody’s workout tip. One day at a time, I began to change my habits and have never looked back. I sincerely believe if I can do it, then there is nothing that can stop you.”

The Bag

“The real question is ‘What is not in my gym bag?,'” says Kynard. “A typical day in my world may include teaching two-to-four fitness classes, recruiting and training instructors, attending networking and other business events, educating clients on skin care products, and building fitness programs.” Women’s Nike Brasilia 6 Medium Duffel Bag; $62; Amazon

Workout Gear

Kynard opts for a bright yellow matching sports bra and leggings set. “Highlighter yellow to brighten up your day,” she says, “[and] high-waist to cover the lower core.” Killin’ It Active Leggings and Sports Bra in Neon Yellow; $20 and $10; Fashion Nova (leggings; sports bra)

Face Wash

“I’m a Mary Kay consultant, so my gym bag is on Mary Kay overload,” says Kynard. She doesn’t always have time to shower between workout sessions, but she always cleans her face using Mary Kay face wipes. Mary Kay Facial Cleansing Cloths; $18; Mary Kay

Flat Iron

Kynard carries around this Chi hair straightener for touch-ups on-the-go. Chi Expert Classic Tourmaline Ceramic 1″ Flat Iron; $110; Amazon

Apple Headphone Jack Adaptor

This is a must for the playlists Kynard creates for her classes. Headphone Jack Adaptor; $9; Apple

Cycle Shoes

Kynard throws on these pink shoes when she’s teaching or taking a spin class. Women’s Spitfire 3; $30; Saucony


And for pole classes? These 7-inch heels are Kynard’s go-to. Unicorn Platforms; $67; Pleaser Shoes


For her own workouts, Kynard is a fan of these rose gold Beats by Dre headphones, which are wireless and noise-canceling. Beats Studio³ Wireless Noise Canceling Headphones; $350; Best Buy


When Kynard is on-the-go but wants to eat something healthy, she opts for Mighty Meals choices like this vegetarian power bowl. Mediterranean Power Bowl; $11; Mighty Meals

This interview has been edited and condensed. 

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.