Anna's Weekly Fitness Routine
This is Anna's current fitness routine, with nutritional and supplement guide
There are three keys to my success so far that I’ll break down in this letter.
Fitness: Strength training, HIIT and some steady cardio.
Nutrition: While “cutting” - I carb cycle, eating at a calorie deficit of 1350 calories, consume mostly whole foods and make sure I’m eating at least 120 grams of protein everyday to aid the growth and recovery of my muscles.
Supplements: I did not start off using supplements, but once I began using them my gains took off at the gym. They are not necessary, per se, but I find them to be a key element to my continued success.
Important points before you get started:
1 - DON’T BE PRECIOUS. If I can stand in front of a machine at a busy gym, pull out my phone, Google an exercise, watch it carefully for an awkwardly long amount of time, and then emulate the exercise, you can too. Trust me when I say, no one cares. And if they do, who cares.
2 - Don’t bother going to the gym if you don’t have a plan. You’re just wasting your time, and you’ll know that you are, which is why most people stop going after a couple weeks. Go each day with a plan, do the plan, then get back to your busy, joyful life. Don’t bounce around aimlessly on machines-- be intentional, or this will just be another train you hop on just to hop right off.
3 - Good form is EVERYTHING. If you find yourself using your body for momentum, the weight is too heavy. Start with weights heavy enough to challenge you, but light enough to properly complete your sets with disciplined, proper form. This will take some tweaking. Towards the end of your sets on a particular exercise, you may only be able to do 6 reps instead of 8. That’s okay. You will improve and increase your weight over time and it will amaze you.
4 – The first two months are the hardest, don’t give up! It took nearly two months before I noticed any progress. TWO MONTHS AMERICA. Rapid weight loss is for crash diets. We aren’t crash dieting, we’re caring for our body to live long, happy lives. And if you’re like many women who’d rather not look at themselves in a large fun house mirror with bad lighting, well saddle up sister, these mirrors are intentionally tilted up to make us look bigger (yes, it’s true – gym mirrors are tilted to make men’s muscles look “more swole.” I GUESS NO ONE CARES THEY ALSO MAKES MY THIGHS LOOK BIGGER THO. Reject negative thoughts about your precious body that works so hard to care for you, wash yourself in compassion and encouragement, be proud you made it to the gym, and focus on form. We’re not doing this to look hot, we’re doing this to be healthy and active for ourselves and our loved ones.
REMEMBER: A discipline done daily and consistently, without quitting or giving up, will create results faster than we could ever imagine possible.
Whip out your plan. Get it done. Then get back to your happy life.
The following workout is in the Notes app of my iPhone. At the start of every workout, I pull this up in the app, do my workout, get it done then get out. It’s a good idea to keep track of the weight you lifted after each set, as it can be hard to remember the following week.
4x10, 3x12, etc. = 4 sets of 10 reps, 3 sets of 12 reps, etc.
SS = superset. The concept of a superset is to perform 2 exercises back to back, followed by a short rest
HIIT = High Intensity Interval Training. On HIIT days I do 15 minutes of various HIIT exercises. Google them to get ideas on various HIIT exercises and decide what’s best for you. Don’t pick ones you hate or aggravate an old injury—pick ones you hate the least 🤣. You can jump rope, run up and down stairs, do circuits, bike, treadmill, sprints, rowing machine—tons of options are there for you. But my favorite and the one I do most often is sprints (outside or treadmill— 20-30 seconds sprinting at your own personal max, 30-40 seconds walking or standing still). Shoot for heart rate of 170-180 during the intense intervals.
Burn Out = Burn out means you keep doing the movement until your muscle can no longer complete the exercise.
Here it is for you to copy/paste:
ARMS / HIIT
[Rest 1 – 2 minutes between sets.]
Seated Incline curl 4x10 < SS > straight bar reverse grip tricep pull down
Hammer curl 3x12 < SS > straight bar tricep push down (then immediately go into) overhead tricep extension
Wide grip barbel curl 4x8-10 < SS > 4x12 cable tricep push down
Twist curl 3x burn out
Skull crusher 4x8-10 <immediate SS into > close grip bench burn out
HIIT – 15 min.
[Rest 1 – 3 minutes between sets.]
Heel elevated goblet squat, holding dumbbell 3x10-12 <SS> drop the dumbbell then continue squats until burn out (you might cuss after this, it’s fine)
Pelvic Thrusts 4x8-10 [this is a highly effective, yet intimidating exercise. Maddy had to really push me into even trying these, but after persevering, I’m now quite good and do it regularly. If it’s too much for you, do simple lunges instead)
Back extension 4x8 (keep your shoulders rounded, holding a 25 lb plate to your chest if you can. If you can’t, lose the weight for now until you improve)
Leg extension machine 4x8-10. Right leg 8-10, then left leg 8-10, then up the weight and do burnout with both legs.
Hamstring curl machine 3x12
30 min steady cardio
Any cardio of your choice.
My favorite because it’s so crazy effective: Treadmill, 13 incline, 2.8-3.4 speed
BACK / HIIT
[Rest 1 – 2 minutes between sets.]
Seated close grip row (last set lower up the stack) 4x8 SS straight arm pull downs 3x12 [tip: make sure your shoulders are rounded forward to protect your lower back)
Incline dumbbell row 3x12
Close grip lat pull down 3x12
Lat pull down 3x10
Wide grip row 4x8-10
HIIT - 15 min
SHOULDERS / HIIT
[Rest 1 – 2 minutes between sets.]
Heavy shoulder press 4x8-10
Lighter weight alternating shoulder press < SS > face pulls 3x12
Lateral raises 3x12 < SS > with light weight burn out
Heavy overhead press 4x8
HIIT - 15 min
30 min steady cardio
A note on abs and chest:
You may notice abs and chest are missing. For many women, defined chest muscles are unnecessary and unwanted. I am strengthening these muscles naturally with these other exercises (and when I flex, they pop), without having a noticeably defined chest, which is my own personal preference.
For abs, when I began strength training, I chose not to include them because A) all of these exercises also work your core and B) to get visible ab lines, you have to have very, very low fat on your body— not a goal of mine.
With that said, now that the weight I’ve been able to lift has increased significantly, I’m finding my core must be even more stable and strong to prevent back injury. As of this week, I have begun doing 3 sets of 3 ab exercises before I do my cardio on Wednesday and Saturday. I’m still tweaking and I will share it with you once I land on an ab routine I like.
TL;DR: I carb cycle at a calorie deficit of 1350 cals per day, ensuring I hit 120 g of protein per day. I stop eating by 6 PM and don’t eat until I feel hungry in the morning.
To find a simple formula for the calories to aim for, multiply your goal weight by 10 or 12. I recommend starting at 12 and then moving down to 10. My goal weight is 135 and I eat between 1250 - 1450 during the week, averaging 1350.
There are many apps and calculators to help you find good target calorie goals, help count calories and your protein grams. My Fitness Pal is the most popular one. You can also pay for meal plans, if you can afford it, and I highly recommend doing so if you find calorie counting so tedious you refuse to do it properly. It will require some research on your end, whether it be an online or local resource, to find the best fit for you.
I threw a massive fit about calorie counting before I finally got over myself and accepted this is an important element to my success. I’d been dysfunctional with food for nearly 30 years and I needed to learn proper portions and ensure I was eating enough protein for my workout regimen. If I wanted extraordinary health I needed to implement extraordinary effort! And is calorie counting really that extraordinary? I mean it’s annoying, but, meh.
Over time, we’ll begin to instinctively know proper portions and once we’re in maintenance, should be able to eat healthfully in proper portions without effort.
Tip: Keep meals simple and tasty. Calculating a protein, starch, veggie and piece of fruit is way easier than trying to figure how many calories is in a scoop of your homemade tuna casserole.
I’ve heard the saying “scales don’t lie, people do” and I used to bristle at the notion. You don’t know me, I have a broken metabolism you monster! Being overweight most of your life and never being able to get to your body’s healthiest size will do that to a person. But now, I have to say— I believe this is true more often than not.
Most of us simply eat far more than we realize, and that’s why we’re overweight. Not because we ate a banana on our keto diet.
With that said, if you have been meticulous with your diet while doing my routine and have not seen noticeable results within 4 months, I would highly recommend getting a blood panel done with your doctor. Check your hormones, thyroid, etc. and check your Vitamin D. If your Vitamin D is far below normal, it could inhibit your body’s ability to lose excess fat. Years ago my results came back disastrously low and it wrecked havoc on body and immunity until I got it straightened out.
I was the queen of keto and intermittent fasting because I thought to be my ideal weight I had to hate life and eat balls of butter with sugar free chocolate chips in them. Strange though, how I was never able to get to my ideal weight on these diets. Those days are far behind me now. With that said, if you love keto and feel great on it— there’s no reason why you can’t be low carb and successful strength training. Many people do!
I personally prefer carb cycling, eating whole, organic foods of all varieties, including rice and whole grains in moderation. Carb cycling involves going back and forth between high-carb days and low-carb days. I don’t get weird about this, I just make sure every day isn’t a toast, rice, banana, sweet potato, chocolate kinda day.
I aim for 120 g of protein each day. Essential when weight training.
I don’t eat perfectly every single day, and you don’t have to either. But I do eat on target most days, which is why I’m seeing good results. Since starting about 5 months ago, I’ve had celebratory days and veered from my plan. I’ve gone on road trips and eaten half a CostCo sized bag of gummy bears, went on dates with my husband indulging in decadent dinners, accepted large pieces of birthday cake at birthday parties, and got tipsy on wine and chomped on a basket of loaded fries with reckless abandon. The next day, I’d see a rise, sometimes quite large, in added water weight. When it takes three months to lose 10 pounds and then you gain 10 pounds on a three day road trip, one is tempted to despair and quit. But I refused. I’d simply get back in the saddle with my regular routine and the water weight would fall off within 3-7 days. I have zero regrets, life is meant to be lived.
Just know— if you veer often, weight loss and visible results will be slow. That’s super boring, I don’t recommend it.
I did not start off using supplements and I was just fine. But once I started using them, my gains and weight loss took off.
My all time favorite supplement brand is Kaged. They use the best ingredients on the market and I love them so much, in fact, I reached out to them a month ago and asked to become an ambassador. They gave me a discount code for you all to use! If you choose to get your supps from Kaged, use my coupon code ALT15 for 15% off every order. Schwing!
This is what I use religiously:
Pre-Workout: Before every strength training session, I use Pre-Kaged Sport. Once I take this, I feel excited to workout like a weirdo! Their caffeine source is green tea, so there’s no crash and it has everything you need to support and sustain your workouts. I use one scoop with water in a 24 oz. blender bottle. If you are highly sensitive to caffeine or stimulants, this is not for you! Kaged does have a stimulant free option. I haven’t tried it, but I’m sure it’s fantastic.
Post-Workout: Re-Kaged is the post workout protein shake I take after every strength training session. It’s more than protein powder, it has all the essentials you need for gains and recovery. Once I started using this, I recovered so quickly it was almost weird— and I began to notice gains and definition at a rapid rate. All three flavors are bomb. I use one scoop with water in a 24 oz. blender bottle.
Hydra-Charge: I aim for 1 gallon of water per day. With plain water, this is hard to do. Hydra-Charge is filled with all the electrolytes I need from the best sources, like coconut water. And it’s so delicious it’s dumb. My favorite flavor is Apple Limeaid. I don’t use their serving recommendations, I dilute mine quite a bit - 2 small scoops in my large half-gallon water jug.
Thermogenic & Appetite Suppressant: Clean Burn is awesome, but now that it’s cold outside, I’m drinking more coffee, so I’ve cut this out of my routine quite a bit to not overdo my caffeine consumption. It’s a metabolism burner, but I haven’t noticed anything dramatic while taking it and only a marginal dip in appetite. It does, however, taste great and puts an extra pep in my step. I like to have it on hand, but it’s not part of my daily routine.
Outlive 100: Kage’s Outlive 100 is one of the best green powders I’ve tried. The apple cinnamon mixed with ice cold water actually tastes pretty descent! Some other brands have made me gag, they were so gross. Sometimes I don’t get nearly enough vegetables in and so this is my way of getting crazy good nutrition each day. This is purely anecdotal, but despite my family having many colds, I haven’t caught anything since taking this product. KNOCK ON ALL THE WOOD.
Okay, wow. We covered a lot, I’m gonna need a nap.
Now you know my daily routine and and how I’ve achieved my results so far.
What else can I do to help you? Motivate you? Cheer you on?
What questions do you have? Would you like me to make a beginner’s guide you can purchase, or videos to watch for form?
I’m making myself available to serve if there’s a need, just let me know by leaving a comment.
I’m here for you! Thank you all for cheering me on and being there for me.
I love hanging out with you on this journey. <3
All my love,
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