Black Women Bodybuilding Presents: Shonda Caines

Tell us about yourself

  • Name Shonda Caines
  • Age 36
  • Height 5’5
  • Weight 145 
  • Occupation: Certified Fitness Professional (Trainer/Wellness Coach/Run Coach/Fitness Nutrition Specialist/Weight-loss Specialist), Speaker, Vegan Personal Chef

Give us a brief backstory on how you got started on your fitness journey/lifestyle.

(Shonda) After struggling with my weight from middle school and struggling through college, I decided to give it 100% once I finished graduate school. This was the only area of my life that I failed at and wanted to feel good about myself. With no medical health issues at 229 pounds, I wanted my outside to match my inside. I started to eat healthier while in grad school, and added exercise the last day of classes; I never looked back. It has been 9 years.


What struggle did you run into getting started or staying motivated to continue towards your goals?

(Shonda) Knowing my [why] for wanting to lose weight, staying committed and the courage to continue.


What advice do you have for those struggling with motivation to reach their goals or continue with a healthy lifestyle?

(Shonda) It is crucial that you know your [why] for pursuing a healthy lifestyle. Expose what is hindering you? Identify what are some habits you need to address? Find accountability partners to support, but also hold you accountable. Write do the pros and cons of a healthy lifestyle. Purchase a wellness journal, take pictures, get measure, give yourself the space to grow, focus on your own wellness goals and be patient with yourself. Biggest advice: it’s impossible to out work a bad diet. Eat from home more than dining out. Track all solid and liquids consumed. Get girth measurement done every 6-8 weeks. The scale doesn’t tell the whole story. Incorporate weight bearing exercises at least 3-4 times per week. Add interval cardio to your workout plan 5-6 times per week for 45-60 minutes.

What is your approach to Diet/Nutrition and the role it plays in reaching your goals?

(Shonda) Reduce/or eliminate alcoholic and sugary beverages. Increase water and unsweetened herbal/green tea. Increase green leafy veggies, clean proteins, pseudo grains, root veggies, beans, legumes and peas. Decrease packaged foods of all sort (sweet, salty, pre-cooked, etc) Eat from the outside of the grocery store more. Choose whole fruits over those pre-packed. Increase one’s herbs, spices and no salt seasonings. Eat more veggies and proteins at night and less fruit and carbs at night.


What is a typical day of eating like for you?

(Shonda) High fiber oatmeal.  Piece of fruit. Organic Quinoa/veggies/tempeh. Raw walnuts. Oven roasted butternut squash/Brussels sprouts/organic tofu. Green salad with seeds and plant protein. 10oz of water. Herbal tea.


What is your training schedule like and how do you split your workouts?

(Shonda) As a Group Exercise Instructor it varies, I exercise with my students in intermediate –advance Athletic Conditioning class (lots of squats, lunges, running, curtsy lunge, walking lunges, squat jumps, jumping jacks, etc).

  • Example workout:

        Legs: Machine free-weighted circuit 24-30 lbs

       3 sets; 12 reps; 30 sets after each rotation

        Curtsy lunge; reverse lunge; squat jumps; 30 sec break (repeat 3x)

        Lateral lunge; sagittal lunge; high knees 30 sec break (repeat 3x)

        Gobblet Squat; split lunge; jumping jacks 30 sec break (repeat 3x)

        Travel lunge; Stiff leg deadlift; squat jumps 30 sec break (repeat 3x)

        Wall throws; sumo squats; jumping jacks 30 sec break (repeat 3x)

Favorite body part to train?

(Shonda) Legs.

Can we get a sample of your workout playlist?

(Shonda) Yes! Any soca or reggae music (Island Girl)


Do you take any supplements? If so what do you take?

(Shonda) Currently, glutamine, BCAA (not daily).


What are your staple fitness products for you?

(Shonda) My Fitbit.


Favorite food/Cheat meal?

(Shonda) Vegan wraps with tons of veggies; organic tortilla chips; no cheat meals (either I want it or earned it).


One interesting fact about you?

(Shonda) I ran an ultra-marathon 50 miler to celebrate my 9th 90lb weight-anniversary Nov. 15.


Anything else you would like to share with us?

(Shonda) Weight-lifting makes me feel strong & sexy! I’m an endurance vegan athlete.


To keep up with Shonda and learn more about her vegan personal chef business EBN’s Vegan Cuisine check out her Facebook page here and her IG page @Shonda_Caines