The View Park-Windsor Hills health center promotes physical activity, mental health, and spiritual awareness.
By Tracey Edwards
Kiola Raines and LaNiecia Vicknair, co-founders of Kinetic Studio, have created a high-energy environment that people of all fitness levels can thrive in. Whether a person is a beginner to exercising, or a workout warrior, this View Park-Windsor Hills health center can greatly improve a person’s fitness level.
Raines has a pretty simple answer to why people should focus on their health and fitness.
“It’s important because you live longer,” she said.
Raines and Vicknair became partners in 2014, when Vicknair was a student in Raines’ personal training certification course. Raines played sports as a child, and majored in kinesiology at Cal State Fullerton. Vicknair majored in Interior Design at Howard University, but she made the switch over to fitness to help her family members live a healthier lifestyle.
“I lost my father (to health issues), and I initially wanted to become a trainer just to help my dad and my family, just to figure out why I’m small, but they’re not,” Vicknair said. “I had to understand what their mindset was.”
Raines and Vicknair started training local residents at Monteith Park, also known as Triangle Park. They started with Saturday classes. It was not long before they had enough clients to have classes three times a week, and then they found a home on 54th Street in View Park-Windsor Hills for Kinetic Studio.
The studio space allows the pair to take their expertise in health and fitness to a much higher level, because they now have state of the art equipment to work with. One of their most popular classes uses TRX equipment, which is suspension training that allows users to work against their own body weight. This type of equipment is made for people of all fitness levels to use.
Kinetic Studio also has dance, yoga, calisthenics, and cardio classes. One of the major draws of this fitness studio is that it is not like the commercial gyms, which can be intimidating to beginners.
“We’re the total opposite of that,” Raines said. “This isn’t a gym. Technically we’re a studio. We have studio format classes. The goal is for people not to be intimidated when they come in.”
The class sizes typically have 8-10 people. A decent amount of the clients are women in their 40s to 50s.
“We keep the groups small because it’s like a personal training vibe in a group setting, and it’s 100 times more affordable than one-on-one training,” Raines said. “But we use the same concepts and get the same results.”
The smaller groups allow the staff at Kinetic Studio to get to know their clients to a much greater degree, and they are able to create a family environment where people encourage each other.
“If you come at 5 a.m., most of the time it’s the same 5 a.m. people,” Vicknair said. “They become their own accountability and family. That’s what we wanted to create. It’s not just us bugging them. They’ll bug each other.”
While physical improvement is the reason why many people join a gym, Raines and Vicknair are helping people making deeper changes.
“Some of the improvements that are the most important to us are not even physical,” Vicknair said. “It’s the one who changed their mindset. We have somebody that was kind of like a hermit crab, and now she’s like a blooming butterfly.”
“If your body changes, awesome, that’s fantastic,” Raines said. “But if your body changes but your mind doesn’t change, then I really didn’t do my job. If you lose 50 pounds but you still have depression, we need try to get your mind where it needs to be. Mental fitness is huge for us.”
Kinetic Studio has clients of all ages, from high school students to senior citizens. Raines and Vicknair train View Park Prep High School athletes, and encourage them to work hard to make it to college.
“I have pep talks with them,” Vicknair said. “Like, ‘you’re trying to go to college, but you’re not applying yourself. You came unprepared for this workout.’”
Kinetic Studio also accommodates parents with young children. There is a children’s area that has coloring books and learning materials so that the children will be occupied while their parents workout.
Kinetic Studio puts an emphasis on community outreach.
“We’re not only trying to grow our space but also grow this South L.A. community in terms of knowledge of health and nutrition,” said Marguerite Ferrera, community outreach manager for Kinetic Studio.
Ferrera, who started out as a client of Kinetic Studio, has formed partnerships with local community service organizations. She promotes the studio’s workshop series that focuses on teaching multiple aspects of health, fitness, wellness and nutrition.