What do Shakira, SJP, and Kelly Ripa have in common? Some seriously cut physiques (one word: abs), sculpted to perfection by NYC-based fitness superstar, Anna Kaiser, whose high intensity brand of interval training epitomizes a comprehensive, full-body workout. Her AKT studio opened on the Upper East Side in 2013 and has grown to include three more East Coast locations, streaming workouts, and DVD routines, all encouraging customizable variations on the AKT philosophy.
We love a good sesh with a celeb trainer, and starting today through Saturday, February 27th, get a taste of Anna's style during her 5-Day LA Fitness Intensive, just in time for the Academy Awards (even if you aren't attending, you can still be the buffest one at the viewing party). Feel free to drop in on any class, but the full package is the most effective, offering daily master classes, meal delivery from Paleta, a semi-private nutrition session, oxygen facials, and gift bags loaded with some of Anna's favorite products. Sign up here and pick the pop-up that works best for you, with classes in Brentwood from 7:30-8:30am at MNR Dance Factory and in WeHo at Soma Studio from 11:30am-12:30pm on Tuesday-Friday and 12:30-1:30pm on Saturday.
So what exactly goes on in one of Anna's classes? The AKT approach promises a pain and boredom-free experience that draws on a variety of proven methods to strengthen and sculpt your body while improving flexibility and balance, never overlooking that often lacking variable: fun. As you progress through the program, classes will constantly change and evolve based on your body's needs so that you never plateau, and all AKT trainers are not only professional dancers, but have backgrounds in anatomy and kinesiology. Classes run either 60 or 75 minutes, broken up into 10-minute segments, and incorporate elements from dance, yoga, strength-training, and plyometrics (think jump training), and we asked Anna for the full scoop.
How do you design your workouts?
This workout changes every two weeks to bring you the best of what is offered in fitness today while keeping your mind and body guessing to eliminate plateaus. I have the benefit and pleasure of being able to combine my expertise in anatomy and exercise science with my experience and talent as a choreographer and dancer. The result is a creative new take on efficient and effective exercises that give you the results you've always wanted with a refreshing new spin. The workout is constantly evolving to meet the demands of our ever-changing lives in the most fun and inspiring way possible. That is and will always be my goal.
What inspired you to help women achieve a healthy, fit lifestyle?
As a dancer, I constantly struggled to find ways to keep myself in shape. I would go through phases—too much pilates, not enough cardio, I bulked up from overtraining, and got tired of vinyasas and pulsing for hours. I wanted to make working out fun again, and, most of all EFFICIENT. Who has two hours a day to workout? Who has the ability to travel to 3 different boutique studios to get everything they need in a comprehensive workout? I wanted to answer those questions and streamline an effective program that inspired women in the most positive and efficient way, all supported by an incredible community of people that care deeply about what they do. That was something I had never experienced, and what so many of my clients were looking to find.
How important is diet when setting a fitness goal?
A sound nutrition plan and healthy relationship to delicious whole food is extremely important. I avoid the word "diet." That implies a short-term plan. I believe in making small changes over an extended period of time to find a long-term solution. Fitness is a lifestyle, and eating well is the foundation of that lifestyle. You can workout until you are blue in the face, but if you are not nourishing your body and eating beautiful, healthy food, your body will not be able to sustain the workouts, you won't see the physical results you are hoping for, and you will end up working twice as hard as necessary (i.e., burnout).
Are there any foods that you absolutely won’t eat?
Yes. Okra, sweat breads, rocky mountain oysters, and organs. Mostly because I cannot stomach the taste. But, pretty much everything else is fair game. I don't believe in depriving myself. Finding balance in my day to day nutrition, eating 80% clean and 20% "other" is a human and wonderful way to enjoy all the delicious food the world offers. And then I make sure to fit in an incredible workout.