No matter what brought you to the gym in the first place — whether to lose fat, gain muscle, build cardiovascular health, whatever — at some point you realized that it’s really all about becoming better. Better than you were last week. Better than you were the day before. Better than you were earlier that day, even.
That’s why your workout has evolved to meet your changing needs — or should have, anyway. You don’t waste time between sets like you used to, or do too-few reps with too-little weight like you used to, either. You know what you want now, and you know what it takes to get there. That’s why we put together this workout with help from fitness expert Alana Harris, an NSCA-certified strength and conditioning specialist through the NSCA and a clinical exercise physiologist through the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology, and performed by none other than our cover girl, IFBB Bikini Pro Anya Ells. It’ll bring you the challenge you deserve and help you take it to the next level, mentally and physically. “These exercises are great for an athletic population, man or woman, because they are compound (meaning multiple joints and major muscle groups are recruited),” says Harris. “They improve functional strength, which is just what an athlete needs.”
And athletes come in all shapes, sizes, and abilities, as proven by Anya. This Ottawa-born phenom had an active country childhood and briefly dabbled in physical pursuits such as swimming and cross-country running, but found her home in fitness competitions later on in life. These days you’ll find her killing it in the gym and on stage, and though her goals have shifted from making a certain distance to bringing up her glutes, no one in their right mind could deny the fact that Anya is, above all else, truly a jock amongst jocks. (Just check out those arms!) Now you, too, can be a game-changer like Anya — with the help of this program. “In terms of technique and form,” Harris reminds us, “participants should focus on keeping their chest proud, shoulder blades retracted and depressed (down and back), core engaged, a slight bend in all joints, and head and neck in line with their spine.” By tackling these exercises as a metabolic workout, resting 10 seconds between each with a two-minute rest after each round, you’ll build endurance, boost strength, and save time. Start with two circuits, adding a third when you’re ready to progress. When done two to three times per week, this workout will deliver results within a month — not too shabby, all things considered.