photographer: @ricardopicasso (IG)
photographer: @ricardopicasso (IG)
IG: @lachina_b
photographer: @ricardopicasso (IG)

Meet La’China Barnes: January 2018’s Photo Contest Winner

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Our 2018 photo contest series has officially kicked off and this year we’ll be highlighting 12 more incredible women who embody our core values of making fitness fun and sweating with a purpose. PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT’s January photo contest winner is La’China Barnes. The 25-year-old currently resides in the booming city of Brooklyn, NY and is without a doubt a sweat sister that does it all as her Instagram bio notes that she’s an entrepreneur, dancer, fitness enthusiast, blogger, and financial advisor. The one overarching principle that Barnes applies to every part of her life is to just “be.” We recently had the chance to learn more about the active New Yorker and she dished on everything from her fitness journey to her nutrition habits. Keep reading to get to know La’China Barnes!

1. Tell us how your winning photo came about?

This awesome photo captured by the talented “Ricky Ricardo” was actually an initial step to a wellness project (Wellness Wednesdays) Ricky himself had introduced to me. He was aware of my fitness journey due to a prior project we’ve worked on in the past for a fitness clothing line (Fit Don’t Quit) and wanted me to be apart of his new wellness venture, which featured a variety of individuals who were expressing the same interest. It was truly an honor to be apart of an inspiring project and such an awesome shot captured right in my hometown- Brooklyn, New York (Prospect Park). Thank you for choosing this photo!

2. Please briefly share your fitness journey with us.

Well, I’ve grown up in a home with fit and athletic parents. My first dumbbell was created with some stone and tape when I was just a toddler (haha). I’ve always witnessed the importance of looking good and feeling good in my household, and I can pretty much say it started from there. Over the years I’ve played basketball in junior high school and some high-school and danced hip-hop and reggae since 9 years old to stay active. However, my journey was not always sweet. Growing up I was often teased for how “toned” I was as a female. I literally would wear cardigans in the summertime to hide my built. Funny how my “toned” arms are a goal today! Now, I embrace my body and use fitness to set a tone with my mind. As an entrepreneur, your life is often hectic and having full control and drive is something that keeps you grounded. Thanks to fitness I am learning to master that. Thanks to finally embracing and accepting who I am, I have the pleasure of coaching many others to love themselves just the same!

3. We believe fitness + friendship = FUN! What is your favorite group fitness workout?

My favorite group workout is cardio! Love it and it’s super fun! There are so many ways to tackle it and it keeps everyone engaged.

4. While working out is important, so is eating the right foods. What is your go-to pre-workout meal? How do you refuel after a workout?

My go-to pre-workout meal is definitely a shake. I think that you should start off with something energizing but light. However, after a workout, I am mostly looking into my greens, my oats and so forth. My usual workout routine is done at 6 am, 4-5 days out of the week, therefore my refuel meal is usually a healthy breakfast dish (egg whites, avocado, oatmeal, fruit, etc.)

5. What is one item that is always in your gym bag?

I always have my portable mini Bluetooth speaker! What’s a workout without music?

6. What are your top 3 fitness Instagram accounts to follow?

This is a hard one! I love @kathy_drayton, @brittnebabe and because I love supporting new journeys, I can not wait to see what @whoisshani_ brings to the table. I swear I can go on!

7. What is one thing people would be surprised to learn about you?

That I am 4’11. I’m kidding! (I think that is easy to notice if you ever see me in person. No really, I’m 4’11). But I do think that people would be surprised to know that I am actually pretty goofy and humorous most of the time. As an entrepreneur, you are often portrayed as “professional” and rarely someone fun.

8. What are your top three goals you hope to accomplish in life? My top 3 goals in life are to:

1. Live for me. Life gets so much easier when you do what you love because YOU love it!
2. Inspire and aspire. I believe you should always live with a purpose in whatever it is that you do. I feel that our stories are different but meant to be shared for those who are “writing a similar story”. Everyone needs to know that great endings can actually happen. You just have to write it.
3. To be successful in my business endeavors. I wear several hats and I do believe it’s possible to master all of them in due time. I just want to be able to share my visions with the world.

9. What does PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT mean to you?

Well, as a modern feminist, the brand/term PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT, shares a perspective that many people do not expect from “pretty girls." I personally think it’s badass and means that I can be attractive and dainty but, I can also be just as tough as a male who works hard and “sweats”. Your brand is truly a home and platform for women who are strong and not afraid to get their “hands dirty." I sincerely appreciate PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT.

10. How can readers stay in touch with you on social media?

Well definitely follow me on Instagram and Snapchat at @lachina_b to see what’s new with me and my business ventures. I always have a project to share with my followers. Whether it is a fitness workshop/ personal session, a heel dance workshop or a new shade of lipstick from by lip brand La’China B. Cosmetics, I am sure you do not want to miss it! You can also follow my sub lippie brand @thecollegegirl to see some new things I will be working on this year! I'm currently working on a revamp to die for!

Do you want to enter our next photo contest, get featured on our homepage for a month, win prizes, and score an exclusive interview? Follow us on Instagram at @prettygirlssweat. On the 1st day of each month, we post our latest photo contest. Enter early by tagging us with your favorite active photo of yourself!

SWEATLEBRITY REPORTER | Olivia Hancock is is currently a sophomore at Georgia State University. The 18-year-old has loved writing ever since she can remember and her passion for it has allowed her to hold the title of PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT Teen Reporter for five consecutive terms. In addition, Olivia has had the opportunity to work with Her Campus, Aeropostale and Nordstrom as an ambassador. Her writing has been published on xoNecole, 21 Ninety, Her Campus, One MusicFest, and The Life Currency. In the future, Olivia plans to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and pursue a professional career as a writer at a lifestyle publication.