Anna Kaiser is known for transforming the bodies of some of Hollywood and the music industry’s biggest stars. She’s trained bold-faced names like Kelly Ripa, Karlie Kloss, Sarah Jessica Parker and Shakira. Her signature workout is a mix of dance, interval training, strength and stretching that leads to visible results—and is super fun. Along the way, she’s built an empire, with fitness studios in NYC, the Hamptons, CT and CA. We spoke to Anna, who is mom to Brooks, 3, with a second baby on the way, about her move to the ‘burbs, her tips for staying healthy as a busy mom, her options for in-person and virtual classes, and more!
You pivoted your career from dance/choreography to training. How did you make this change?
I had always been involved in fitness starting from 1996 on as a compliment to my work as a dancer. When I was on stage with Shakira after 12 hours of rehearsal, I realized I wanted to build something on my own instead of running from gig to gig as a dancer.
Why is knowing when to pivot so important for working moms?
I don’t think you ever truly know that there has to be a pivoting moment but you have to keep yourself open to opportunities that present themselves and figure out if that is the right answer for your life before jumping in head first.
You’ve trained celebrities from Shakira to Sarah Jessica Parker. Was there ever an “aha” moment where you thought “yep, I’ve made it”?
I don’t know if I’ve “made it” but I truly love the work and the people and that is what keeps me coming back every day, doing what I love.
Why do you think Anna Kaiser Studios caught on so quickly?
Anna Kaiser Studios did not actually catch on that quickly! I’ve been working on developing this program for 20 years! In NYC it is a very tight community and people want to seek out the best of the best, word spread and I opened the first studio in 2013 and have expanded from there. It is perfect for busy moms because you get everything you need in 1 hour. Cardio, strength and dynamic flexibility while having fun! I take the guess work out of fitness so you don’t have to decide how much strength you should be doing and how much cardio you should do on top of that. You just have to show up! I take care of the entire program and am creating new content every 2 weeks to switch it up!
Love that—fun is so key. Besides choosing something you enjoy, what advice would you give to the many moms out there you say, I just don’t have time/motivation to work out?
I totally understand! There are days you will feel that way but creating a set schedule is key! Some days you will show up and some days you won’t. But if you create a habit of working out say Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 9AM, you know you probably will make it work more often than not. Don’t pressure yourself if you miss a day, if you can only do 30 minutes that is better than nothing! There are options for everyone, just get started and do something!
Great advice! What are your go-to, on-the-run, healthy breakfast, snack and/or lunch?
Breakfast: Power Berry smoothie, you can find the recipe on my Instagram!
Snack: Tiger nuts and dried jackfruit
Lunch: A big healthy salad full of fresh, colorful veggies and I alternate adding protein or meat to that 3 days a week.
How has becoming a mom changed how you approach your career?
It really hasn’t changed my approach. I take Brooks with me everywhere I can. I integrate him into my life instead of adjusting my career around him. Of course there are sacrifices when it comes to times of the day when I am working so I end up working early mornings or late evenings but the career path remains the same.
What celebrity has been your favorite to train? And anyone you’d love to train?
Definitely Kelly Ripa! We have been training for 11 years, 4 days a week. We joke about knowing each other better than we know our husbands!! She works really, really hard. One of my pet peeves is when a client micromanages the workout I’ve created for them. She just comes in each day ready to tackle whatever I throw at her and I love that!
I’d love to train Halle Berry! I think she would work her a** off!! I’d love to get her in a studio and really push her to her limits. She has such an intensity and commitment, I think it would be great!
Do you have any great advice you follow as a working mom?
You’re never going to get enough of everything. You’ll miss your kids or you can’t give as much as you want to at work or spend as much time as you want with your husband and friends. Don’t allow yourself to feel guilty about anything, you are doing the best you can and most importantly give each of those moments 100% of your focus when you are in them.
If people reading want to try Anna Kaiser Studios, what is the best way?
I want to create a multitude of ways for people to continue their workouts and feel comfortable during and after this pandemic. There are many options! Outdoor classes at Weed Beach in Darien, CT, indoor classes with reduced class capacity at Halo in New Canaan, CT, private training in home or in studio and we also have a full schedule of virtual classes 7 days a week so you can workout with us wherever you may be!
How have you kept your son busy during quarantine?
Brooks went to camp here in Dairen this summer which was a huge reason why we moved to CT from NYC! He had the opportunity to meet wonderful friends and get outside and swim in our new home every single day!
What is the biggest mistake you see women making in terms of working out while pregnant/post-pregnancy?
Every pregnancy is different. I am in my third trimester of my 2nd pregnancy and I needed to stop working out once I hit week 30 but in my first pregnancy I worked out until the day I gave birth! It is so important to find a fitness professional that specializes in pre/post-natal. And equally important to listen to your body! For postnatal workouts you have to think of the workouts as physical therapy to strengthen your body from the inside out. It is even more important to workout smarter after you give birth because you have a small 6 month period where your body is able to make quick positive changes.
Anything else you’d like to share?
For more information on my workouts and class schedules, visit my website annakasiersudios.com
Follow me @theannakaiser and @annakaiserstudios
We can’t wait to see you in class or online!