Anna Kaiser Studios Makes Fitness Fun & Functional

PHOTOGRAPHY BY KATHARINE CALDERWOOD
TYPOGRAPHY BY VENERA ALEXANDROVA
ON LOCATION AT THE GLASS HOUSE, DA MONSTA

Global fitness expert and entrepreneur Anna Kaiser has helped shape bodies for more than two decades. She has worked with musical superstars from Alicia Keys and Shakira to actors such as Sarah Jessica Parker and morning television queen Kelly Ripa. Luckily for those of us non-celebs looking to up our fitness game, Kaiser has a fitness studio right here in New Canaan. Anna Kaiser Studios (AKS) opened its doors just over 12 years ago and has a devoted following of women whose strength and commitment have helped build an incredible community. She is also introducing a new online platform called AKS Virtual Studio, which allows you to access her carefully curated program from the convenience of your own home.

Kaiser is the longtime personal trainer for singer/songwriter Shakira (left) and morning talk-show host Kelly Ripa (right).

WHAT MAKES AKS CLASSES DIFFERENT FROM OTHER WORKOUTS?

Regular HIIT [high-intensity interval training] classes are designed to repeat the same exercise numerous times and target the same muscle groups, which can be very hard on the body. My workouts use movement as the element of power, but the classes consist of so much more. Most of my clients have never danced before. If you can run and do a jumping jack and do it on beat, you can do these classes. AKS uses a variety of exercises and we never overuse the same muscles with excessive repetition, resulting in much less pressure on the joints. My workouts engage the entire body instead of focusing on just a few muscle groups. They are not only functional exercises, but also fun exercises, and they incorporate a combination of strength intervals, step, dance, athletic conditioning and alternate between using heavy weight, light weight and body weight.

WHAT KIND OF CLASSES ARE OFFERED IN THE NEW CANAAN STUDIO?

DANCE
This class focuses on choreographed movements and mixes in strength intervals. It’s perfect for anyone looking to build stamina and muscle while burning fat.

MASHUP
Thirty minutes of STEP and thirty minutes of dance, this class challenges both the mind and body.

SCULPT + DANCE
Think barre meets Pilates meets strength training and dance; every muscle is hit from every angle during this workout.

ADVANCED DANCE
This members-only class builds upon routines from previous classes and is combined with strength and dynamic stretching intervals.

Anna with clients from her New Canaan studio: (left to right) Sarah Funk, Sarah Easley, Karlie Reitano, Annette Terry

AK’S TIPS FOR STAYING FIT AT EVERY AGE

30s

This is the decade to focus on creating a solid fitness base. What people do during these years creates the foundation for their bone density and muscle mass that will either increase or decrease as time goes on. A strong heart and lungs in your 30s is important. “I think of fitness as a pyramid approach,” says Kaiser. “What you build in your 30s creates a base for every decade to follow.” “It’s an incredibly important time to work out intensely with a focus on building as much lean muscle as you can while also pushing your cardio and strength.

40s

It becomes more difficult to build muscle once you’ve reached your 40s, which is all the more reason to work hard in your 30s. The goal for this decade is working to maintain the muscle mass that you’ve already built. Without the proper exercise and nutrition, muscle starts to deteriorate at a rate of one- to two-percent a year after 40. Focusing on protein intake is key for muscle maintenance. A general rule of thumb is to aim to consume 1.0-1.2 grams a day per pound of body weight. “Recovery becomes harder during these years as many of us are experiencing the busiest times of our lives,” says Kaiser. “You need the proper amount of protein and sleep to reap the benefits of your hard work.”

50s

Fluctuating hormones during these years can cause a lot of physical changes, and the goal should be to focus on continuing to move throughout the day. Workouts don’t have to take hours; even finding time for 30 minutes of meaningful movement will help to sustain your body’s strength. Weight training should be the focus of your routine during this timeframe. Balance is another factor to work on in your 50s, not only for injury prevention but for future assurance that you’re able to continue being active as you age.

 

60s

All of the same things that you paid attention to in your earlier years should remain a priority in your 60s. Adding an element of fun to your routine becomes more important than ever during this part of your life. “Many people are thinking about retirement during this time and creating a life that continues to be active, even without work, is so important,” says Kaiser. “Bringing friends into our wellness solutions makes things more fun and when something is enjoyable we’re all the more likely to continue to stay involved.”

Protein is just as crucial at this age as is getting adequate sleep and focusing on hydration. Kaiser advises drinking less alcohol and replacing that with something equally social, like playing pickleball or going to a trainer with a few friends, as a great way to stay healthy and feel connected. “Many of the women that workout at my New Canaan studio are in this age group and they love being a part of the group,” says Kaiser. “It’s so nice to see them sharing the same path, pushing each other forward and encouraging one another to stay active.”

Anna Kaiser’s’ 60-Minute “Pump-up” Playlist

  • “Training Season,” Dua Lipa
  • “Dancing on my Own,” Robyn (Buzz Junkies remix)
  • “Numb,” Usher (Project 46 remix)
  • “Jolene,” Emilio, MITCH DB, DREW RC
  • “Party Go Boom,” Wizardz of Oz, Robyn Johnson
  • “Pink Friday Girls,” Nicki Minaj
  • “Bassline,” ALLISTER X, CKAY
  • “DJ Play That Beat,” Joachim Garraud
  • “Nostalgia,” NOTD, Georgia Ku
  • “Wow,” Outasight
  • “Lil Boo Thang,” Paul Russel (Galantis Remix)
  • “TEXAS HOLD ‘EM,” Beyoncé
  • “Everybody,” Nicki Minaj (featuring Lil Uzi Vert)
  • “Swing” Remix, Savage (featuring Pitbull)
  • “Money Come (Clean),” Iggy Azalea
  • “Higher,” Michael Bublé
  • “Shawty Got Moves,” Get Cool
  • “Na Na Na,” Lay Bankz
  • “Feels Right (I Love It),” Flo Rida, Brian Kelley
  • “Powerful Women,” Dolly Parton, Pitbull
  • “Wait,” Flo Rida
  • “Keep Dat” (Radio Edit), iCandy
  • “Freak 54 (FreakOut),” Pitbull, Nile Rodgers
  • “Dreaming,” Royston Noell

Anna Kaiser’s Workout Wishlist

  • Oura ring to track sleep
  • AK HR monitor chat strap to track heart rate and performance during workout
  • Kith sports jacket and sports bra – super cute and great performance activewear
  • Definite articles socks (sweat wicking, foot hugging, and biodegradable!)
  • FaceGym sweat-activated mask to wear during workouts
  • Theragun mini to take with you to class for pre/post workout Adidas Ultraboost sneakers

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