At 37 years old and having had two children (and raising three), Kim Kardashian West is in the best shape of her life. We nearly have to do a double take when she posts a new scantily clad Instagram post, her enviable hourglass figure etched with muscular definition like a Michelangelo sculpture. KKW’s clearly proud of her gains, although recently a series of Instagram Stories praising her own figure fell flat when the beauty mogul encouraged her sisters to tell her how skinny she was, lamenting over being 119 pounds, which, let’s be real, is a very healthy weight for her 5′3″ frame. Sister Khloé also uses the word “anorexic” to describe Kim’s physique, a term that should never be used in any other context other than for what it is—an eating disorder.
The backlash that’s hit since the posts has been massive, and rightfully so. Kim’s clearly put a lot of hard work into her current body, an accomplishment that’s obvious without ill-worded and vapid social media posts. So let’s focus on the science behind her new bod: A healthy (and strict) diet plays a huge role, but her sinewy abs and limbs are thanks to rigorous training with Melissa Alcantara (better known as @fitgurlmel). After becoming obsessed with fitness following a difficult period of depression, drinking, and smoking, Alcantara became “obsessed with results” and not only gained impressive muscle mass but a huge following on Instagram and YouTube. This audience helped her become noticed by KKW and her producers who reached out to the Bronx, New York–based fitness guru to see if she could train Kim in California. She immediately relocated and has been training Kardashian West five to six days a week.
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While we’d all love to have FitGurlMel in our back pockets to help us get into incredible shape every day, the reality isn’t so. But the trainer, who also once had to start from scratch after being out of shape, knows the key is taking that first step to get started. So to help you make the leap, KKW shared Alcantara’s best beginner tips on her app.
1. Pick a Date
It’s easy to say, “I’ll start tomorrow,” but tomorrow turns into the next day and then the next until you’ve lost all motivation. That’s why Alcantara says it’s imperative to choose a day and stick with it. To hold yourself accountable, she recommends writing the date down on your calendar rather than making a mental note.
2. Make a Plan
Alcantara suggests that if you map out your plan of attack ahead of time, you’ll be more likely to follow it, as opposed to winging it. “Whether it’s planning which days of the week you’ll work out or deciding what workouts you’d like to try, planning ahead will help you reach your goals.” She also suggests using the myriad of resources available to us like books, YouTube workouts, or enlisting a family member or friend as your workout buddy.
3. Work Out in the Morning
We get that morning workouts are hard, but according to Alcantara, by scheduling your workout as your first commitment of the day, you can ensure that that’s going to be “you” time unbridled by other schedule conflicts. Plus, you won’t get roped into happy hour or fall victim to post-work fatigue that inhibits you from making it to the gym.
4. Work out for no one but yourself
Something important to remember: “At one point, everyone was a beginner,” says Alcantara. She urges you not to focus on what other people may think of your workouts, your form, or how hard you push yourself—the important thing is to focus on bettering yourself, and that’s it.
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