Aundrea Annin Interview
MP: What sparked your interest in health and fitness?
AA: Fitness has always been a staple in my life, but my interest in health and fitness as a whole started in 2003 when I hired a personal trainer. I enjoyed learning about how the body worked and different exercises that would help me to achieve my goals. But not only this, I also loved feeling motivated as well as having someone hold me accountable for my actions in and outside of the gym.
MP: You have been personal training for over 4 years now. What is your favorite thing about personal training?
AA: Hands down my favorite thing about personal training is seeing that smile on a clients face when they look down at the scale, the tape measure, or when they finally accomplish that certain exercise they have been trying to perfect for so long. That smile tells me they have done it and achieved satisfaction! We as a TEAM are working together to make things happen.
MP: What kinds of specific training do you do with your clients? Does every client of yours do a different type of routine depending on his or her fitness level?
AA: At The Forged Athlete, we tend to do more non-traditional training. By this I mean you will not see one piece of machinery in that gym. My clients will never sit their butt down and perform an exercise. I would much rather have them up and moving around to burn them extra calories. Ropes, kettlebells, dumbbells, TRX, Prowlers, etc are just a few pieces of the equipment we like to throw around and use in the gym. It’s very functional, but definitely not traditional.
I absolutely believe in progression and regression as far as training programs go. Beginner clients will start very basic with bodyweight movements as well as core and stability. From there they will progress to more functional movements and incorporate multiple muscle groups in order to achieve maximum caloric burn. After they have mastered the basic motions, it’s GO TIME! They will then move up to the big girls and will start the same routine as the ladies who have been training for months or years.
MP: What are some of your best success stories with your clients?
AA: I have had some amazing success stories, but one that stands out in my mind is a very close client of mine who I started working with in February of 2009. She started out weighing 214lbs and by August, she was down to 135. It was absolutely amazing to watch her transform not only on the outside, but the inside as well. When she first came to me, she had low self-esteem and really didn’t know if she was going to be able to stick out the training. But month after month, I would see more and more improvements in my client. She started riding her bike to the gym instead of driving. She gave up her favorite candy which she thought she would never be able to part with. She started popping out pull-ups, and let me tell you…this is not something you usually see a 50 year old doing. But the best part was when she started wearing more form fitting clothes instead of the baggy attire she used to sport at the gym. This indicated to me that my beautiful client had found her self-esteem and was feeling great inside and out!
MP: You like to do a lot of training with kettlebells. What are some of the advantages training with kettlebells and what kinds of workouts would you do with them?
AA: I think kettlebells are absolutely the best piece of equipment you can use in order to get your body strong as well as burning a ton of calories in a minimal amount of time. One reason I incorporate a lot of kettlebell work into my programs is because it ideally forces you to use your core, heart, and lungs with every single movement performed. Most movements performed with a kettlebell are going to require some sort of force which requires you to kick your cardiovascular system up a notch and get that heart rate going.
I like to do total body workouts with kettlebells as well as tabata training. For example, if doing a total body workout, I would incorporate some type of squat, possibly a push press or a snatch, 1 arm overhead walking lunges, KB rows, and then always have to finish with a swing! Best exercise out there!!
For a tabata style workout, you could do rounds of sumo squat jumps, swings, and windmills.
MP: You also love to do a lot of cardiovascular training. What are some of your preferred cardio workouts and why do you deem them most effective for you?
AA: I have been all over the map and back when it comes to cardiovascular training, but I have found the best form to be high intensity interval training or HIIT as we like to call it. I love to hit up my old high school stomping grounds and do stadium stair intervals, sprints on the field, or sprint my butt up hills. I would have to say out of the three, the sprints are by far the hardest. I walk 20 yards and sprint 80. Then turn around and repeat 8-10 times.
MP: Have you competed in any fitness competitions? If not, do you plan on doing so?
AA: I am currently a WBFF Fitness Model and competed in the Kansas City Championships last May and just finished up Fitness Atlantic this past month (April). I placed 2nd in KC and 3rd at Fitness Atlantic.
MP: You currently live in the Omaha, Nebraska area. What is life like out in Omaha? Is there a big passion for fitness there?
AA: Omaha is where the heart is, so life wouldn’t be the same if anywhere else. The city itself is highly populated with gyms, nutrition stores, bootcamps, Crossfit boxes, etc, so fitness is a way of life to a majority of the population. We have numerous fitness shows that go on during the year, so this helps to lure more and more people towards the fitness lifestyle.
MP: Who have been your biggest role models growing up? Have these people had a profound impact on your career?
AA: My number one lady and role model growing up and still to this day is my mother. She has always been the one by my side telling me to reach for the stars and never give up until I have made my dreams a reality. To this very day, she is standing in my corner no matter what I choose to with my fitness career and pushing me to get better and better. She travels with me everywhere I go…photo shoots, fitness shows, to meet with my coach, etc. She is my #1 fan and biggest supporter!
MP: What should someone look for in a personal trainer?
AA: As far as what a client should be looking for in a personal trainer, I really believe it’s all about finding that person who can motivate and inspire you to be the best you can be. There are so many trainers out there that have the book smarts, but cannot train for the life of them. And let me tell you, book smarts are not everything. You could have the smartest trainer out there, but the minute they start talking about muscle insertion and how each muscle has to activate in order to fire this and that, you start to lose interest and no longer care. Whereas if you have a trainer who tells you the basics and has the knowledge present, but can also push you and motivate you to get through those reps and sets without losing your interest, then you have found the one! Training to me is all about building a great rapport with you client. The minute you have built that personal relationship with them and have their trust, your client will never question a word you say. They will do what you say because they know you care about them and have their best interest at heart.
MP: What do you like doing on your spare time?
AA: In my spare time I like reading, traveling, working out and more working out. I love being able to have that balance between my fitness career and my personal life. Once you have found that in between balance, life is much more rewarding.
MP: What are your future goals both personally and professionally?
AA: The world is mine! I would love to conquer anything and everything, but I am not sure if that is do able, but I am bound to try I am one of those people who has to be the best at everything! So currently I am training for my next WBFF show where I will receive my PRO cards…no questions about that! And from there I would like to tackle something else…it could be Crossfit, running a half marathon, or maybe the WBFF Worlds in Canada. Sky is the limit for this girl! As far as my personal goals, I strive to keep getting better and better at what I do, not only as a personal trainer, but as a friend, girlfriend, whatever it may be. I want to inspire and motivate as many people as I can, and if I do that, I am doing my job and reaching my goal!
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