If you’ve had a tough time getting yourself into a fitness routine (been there!), it’s time to walk, sashay, grapevine or even crawl to Anna Kaiser Studios, a full-service fitness studio in New Canaan, CT. That’s where Kaiser, a former professional dancer and now one of the top trainers in the fitness world can be found leading her joyful and heart-pumping fitness classes—when she’s not training celebs like Shakira, Kelly Ripa, Sarah Jessica Parker, Ashley Graham and Alicia Keys, of course.
Kaiser is an effervescent powerhouse whose energy is infectious, and her movement-based cardio fitness brand offers a little something for everyone. Her method is a mix of dance, athletic conditioning, strength work and sculpting to engage the entire body, with a new workout introduced bi-weekly. “The hardest part of working out is showing up,” she says. “So show up for a program that is effective, smart and fun—and not just the same thing over and over again.”
Kaiser, who also has studios in New York City and the Hamptons, has seen her in-person classes explode as of late, with clients wanting to focus on their health during the pandemic. “Being at home caused people to focus on themselves, their health, their nutrition, and their emotions and now they are making health a priority and attaching greater value to the workout experience than they used to,” she says. “It’s not just about weight loss anymore it’s about strength and health, and fitness is a huge part of that. I think we forget how motivating it is to work out around other people.”
Serendipity sat down with Kaiser to discuss her method, the non-negotiable part of her day, and what she’s learned from her celebrity clients.
WHAT DO YOU SAY TO SOMEONE INTIMIDATED TO START A WORKOUT ROUTINE?
The hardest part about working out is stepping out of your home and walking into the studio. All you have to do is go. Don’t even think about it; just show up and we will get you through it.
Kaiser’s roster of high-profile clients is a long one—here’s what she has to say about some of her favorites:
SHAKIRA “[She] likes to work out to classic rock! One of her favorite songs is Seven Nation Army by White Stripes. We send each other pics/vids of our boys between workout sessions to stay grounded and celebrate the small things.”
SARAH JESSICA PARKER “[Her] favorite body part to work out is her arms. She would gladly just work her arms for 45 minutes without pause!”
KELLY RIPA “I trained Kelly to race up the Empire State Building and she placed in the top 10 among athletes who trained solely for that event! How did we do it? HIIT training followed by running up stairs (with proper technique!) I hate stairs. My least favorite workout ever. Gut wrenching. I will do anything to avoid them.”
Some of the best advice Kaiser has ever received and shared:
- Find something you are good at and become GREAT at it.
- Fill a void. Do something no one else has done yet. And master it.
- Surround yourself with people that celebrate your power and strengthen/support your shortcomings/weaknesses.
WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED FROM YOUR CELEBRITY CLIENTS?
They always make the time to show up for themselves, no matter how busy they are. That especially inspired me when I had kids because it’s really difficult when you have so many things going on. Shakira is so focused. It was a big deal to headline the Super Bowl [in 2020] and it was a lot, a lot of work. She sometimes worked out at 1 a.m. after rehearsal—but as busy as she was, she never missed a workout. Push yourself! It’s more of a mental game than a physical one.
YOU ARE ONE OF THE MOST ENTHUSIASTIC, UP-BEAT PEOPLE. HOW DO YOU MAINTAIN THAT?
I am a true extrovert and I get energy by giving energy and being around other people. When I’m in a room with people sweating, with loud music, laughing and cheering each other on, I can’t help but love what I do and that energy carries throughout the whole day.
HOW DOES ANNA KAISER STUDIOS MAKE WORKOUTS FUN?
I like to think of us as physical DJs. Every beat has a movement attached to it—and when I say movement I don’t necessarily mean dance. It could be burpees, jumping jacks or knee repeaters but it is still driven by the music. I have disco balls in all my studios for the last moments of class when you don’t think you can go on. It adds that extra level of motivation and energy in the room so you can push past your threshold and that’s really where goals are met.
A FEW OF KAISER’S AREA FAVORITES
PAMPERING SPOT: Studio 3 Spa, New Canaan, studio3spanails.com. “Silvia gives the best massage and best manicure!”
LOCAL RESTAURANT: Tavern at Gray Barns, Norwalk, tavernatgraybarns.com.
LOCAL BAR: South End, New Canaan, thesouthendgroup.com.
APPS: Spotify (she has over 600 playlists!), Slack to communicate with her team and iTranslate. “Because….Shakira,” she says.
SNEAKERS: Adidas Ultraboost. “I wear these religiously with a sports insert for extra support,” she says.
FITNESS GADGETS: The AK Studios heart rate monitor, which she explains connects to any device and shows length and intensity of workout, as well as fat, caloric burn and heart rate stats. The InBody Machine, which measures muscle-to-fat ratio, skeletal muscle mass and daily caloric burn. Available at her NYC studio, she recommends using it once a month.
TO HAVE IN HER BAG: Kaiser Water, a mineral/ electrolyte drink to replenish pre- and post-workout and a Hypervolt or Theragun Mini. “I use it before every class for 15 minutes,” she says.