What You Need To Know Before Seeing Aquaman
What You Need to Know Before You Try Instagram Star Anna Victoria’s Crazy-Popular Workouts
With more than 1 million followers and counting, has quickly amassed a loyal tribe of #fbggirls devoted to following her fitness program—and sharing their progress online. Anna’s (.99) include 12 weeks of advice and workouts designed to produce results in just 30 to 45 minutes a day. But are her workouts the real deal? Here’s what to expect, plus how to make it work for you. (For more calorie-torching routines, check out Women's Health's Ignite workout by Next Fitness Star Nikki Metzger.)
How the Plan Works
Once you download your PDF guide, which is close to 200 pages long (!!), you’ll have access to detailed daily workouts, complete with illustrations and how-tos. Anna suggests three strength days and three cardio/abs days, plus a rest day on Sunday. Here’s how it’s broken down:
Warmup:Anna calls for a five-minute cardio warmup (think: low-key running, biking, jumping rope, or stair-stepping), followed by a “light stretch.” Jessica Matthews, senior advisor for health and fitness education at the American Council on Exercise, says that while warming up is crucial, it’s important to focus on joint mobility and stability, too. “We want to set the foundation for our house before we build the walls and put the roof on,” she says. (Try adding these five muscle-prepping moves to your routine.)
High-Intensity Strength Training:The plan cycles back and forth between two weeks of what Anna calls “high-intensity strength training,” which includes bodyweight exercises, such as lunges, completed in a circuit format, and “increasedhigh-intensity strength training,” which are those same moves with the addition of dumbbells. “I would call it a circuit-based strength workout,” says Matthews.
Regardless of what you call it, Matthews says the progression of moves is logical and physiologically sound. The first couple of weeks focus on movement-based training, using only bodyweight exercises, which she says will help your body get used to certain patterns before adding an external load. For example, learning how to do squats with proper form before doing weighted squats will help you avoid injury and, ultimately, create more strength, she says.
RELATED: The 18-Minute Fitness Routine That Will Totally Change Your Body
LISS Cardio, LIMIT Cardio, And HIIT Cardio:For the first month of the plan, you’ll be doing three days of low-intensity, steady-state (LISS) cardio workouts. Matthews says this programming is a smart way to ease people into exercise while they start to build up a stronger cardio base. The next phase includes what Anna has coined as low-intensity, medium-intensity training (LIMIT), which alternates between a couple minutes of low-intensity exercise, like a light jog, and a couple minutes of medium-intensity exercise, like a moderately-paced run. It’s designed to transition people from LISS cardio to high-intensity interval training (HIIT), and Matthews says it’s a solid progression.
She also appreciates that the three cardio days are spaced out, so when it comes time to progress to the HIIT phase of the plan, you’re able to really go all-out, while still giving your body time to recover. “That’s something I appreciate from a scientific standpoint: applying something that’s great like HIIT, but applying it thoughtfully,” says Matthews.
Stretching:Anna calls for 15 minutes of stretching every day, even on your rest day. She suggests a full body stretch after every workout, even if you haven’t focused on a specific muscle group that day, since your muscles will still be bouncing back from the previous day’s workout. The guide provides some basic stretches, and suggests foam rolling, too.
RELATED: Here's Exactly How to Work Out if You Want to Lose Weight
Making It Work for You
The program progresses quickly, starting with six workouts a week right out of the gate. It also introduces high-impact exercises like jump squats, jump turns, and burpees during the first week and weights as early as week three, which Matthews warns could be too soon for beginners. No workout plan designed for the masses could possibly address every individual’s unique body and needs, so don’t be afraid to give yourself more than just a week or so before progressing to the next level of strength training or cardio, she says.
“I’d rather someone choose an option that’s maybe accessible and less complex, so they’ll learn to move their body more efficiently first,” says Matthews. “If you’re moving more efficiently, you’re setting your body up for greater success throughout life.”
RELATED: 52 Fat-Torching Cardio Exercises That Are Better Than the Treadmill
If you’re a runner, you might notice that Anna warns against long-distance cardio, claiming it can lead to catabolism, where your body begins to break down muscle for energy, instead of fat. But Matthews says there’s no reason to heed the advice of limiting your runs to under 45 minutes as long as you’re fueling properly on your longer runs. (Here’s how to make long-distance running easier.)
Fitness programming aside, one of the things that Matthews likes most about Anna’s approach is her focus on the mind-body connection. The guide comes with pages for journaling after your workout, with boxes to check about how you were feeling that day, and lines to write in kudos for a job well done.
Once you’ve committed to start the workout plan, don’t forget to create an accountability Instagram account and take a “before” picture so you can share your progress with Anna and the Fit Body community.
Video: 5 things you need to know before tonight's SmackDown LIVE: Dec. 11, 2018
23Surreal Places That Show How Weird Our Planet Can Be
PICS Teri Hatcher’s botox-free snaps
This Boots-stocked suncream has just been voted the best in the world
5 Delicious Dessert Recipes from Maria Menounos
10 Grooming Staples to Borrow (Or Steal) From YourBoyfriend
How to Make Chocolate Hearts for Valentines Day
Rats Can Lend a Helping Paw to Others
Are You Too Self-Conscious to Exercise
How to Dress to Make Yourself Look Skinnier
Mom Gives an Exciting Update on Her Baby With Hearing Loss Who Went Viral Last Year