This article was inspired by a cover caption that we saw on the January 9, 2012, issue of Us Weekly that said: “Get J. Lo’s legs, Rihanna’s abs, Pippa’s butt.” When we read that, we immediately thought: Are they for real? Then Doug Schneider posted that comment on Facebook and said that Us Weekly should check out SAF for Vanda Hadarean’s legs, Kim Chartrand’s abs, and Michelle MacDonald’s butt if they want to showcase women who have had spectacular results. After all, as good as J. Lo, Rihanna, and Pippa look, our SAF women look better.
A number of people liked that post, including Vanda, Kim and Michelle, whom we then asked to help with this article that outlines their favorite leg, abdominal, and glute routines. Here is what they said:
Vanda Hadarean on Legs
2010 SAF Elite Pro Champion, 2011 SAF Elite Pro Masters Champion
Vanda says: Leg muscles are powerful. I am powerful!
Leg muscles comprise the largest muscle group in the body. But because they are such big muscles, they of course demand a lot of energy. Right now, I am training my legs in a circuit fashion, and at the same time, I work on my cardio and muscle endurance, since I am getting ready for my fitness routine and preparing to be stage ready.
This is the way I train my legs right now:
- Front squats: 15 reps with 50 pounds
- Seated hamstring curls: 15 reps with at least 75 pounds
- Seated leg extensions: 10 reps with straight feet, 7 reps with feet turned in, 7 reps with feet turned out
- Jump squats: 15 reps with bodyweight
- Seated adductor machine: 15 reps with 115 pounds
- Lying hamstring curls: 15 reps with 50 pounds
- High box jump: 15 reps with bodyweight
I don’t stop between exercises, and I do anywhere from four to six circuits.
Tips: Because I am training to be ready for the stage, I am also starting to work on definition and muscle separation. As we all know, eating clean plays a very important role in showing strong, beautiful, powerful legs onstage, so at the same time you work on your legs, work on your diet. I also never leave the gym without stretching at the end of my training.
Kim Chartrand on Abs
2011 SAF Elite Pro Championship 1st runner-up, 2011 SAF Fall Elite Pro Challenge 1st runner-up
Kim says: We all want flat, sexy abs and anyone willing to put in the work can achieve them!
For women, working on getting those six-pack abs, or even just a flat stomach, can be difficult because we tend to hold more body fat in our midsection. But if you are determined you want abs, it is, without a doubt, achievable. Sexy abs are not attained simply by doing abdominal exercises, though; a clean, healthy diet is extremely important if you really want to see results.
A typical abdominal workout for me would look like this:
- The myotatic crunch (with medicine ball in hands): 15 reps
- Incline reverse crunch (with a dumbbell between my feet): 15 reps
- Medicine-ball V-up: 20 reps
- Elbow-to-knee crunch: 20 reps each side
I complete all exercises, one after the other, with no more than a 10-second break in-between. I complete the circuit four times and then move on to the second circuit.
- Hanging leg raise: 10 reps with straight legs, 10 reps with bent knees to one side, 10 reps with bent knees to the other side
- Side bends on the 45-degree slant board (with dumbbell in hand): 15 reps each side
- Decline sit-up with a twist starting at mid-position and continuing toward top: 20 reps
- Planks (with weight on upper back): for 1 minute
I complete all exercises, one after the other, with no more than a 10-seconds break in-between. I complete the circuit four times.
Tips: Always make sure you concentrate on your core when doing any exercises. If it seems easy, either you’re not doing the exercise properly or you’re not challenging yourself enough (increase the weight or do more reps). Take your time with each repetition and focus on the movement. It shouldn’t be easy and fun. Push yourself and feel the burn that will be worth it in the end!
Michelle MacDonald on Glutes
2011 SAF Summer Elite Pro Challenge winner, 2011 SAF Elite Pro Masters Championship 1st runner-up
Michelle says: The “ass” is the new “abs.”
Anyone can have a six-pack, but for a woman to build up her rear shelf takes a lot of intelligent, hard work – months of hard work. Like most fitness models, I rely heavily on old standards such as squats and deadlifts, and their many variations. I also mix in a lot of explosive exercises and plyometrics, so that I am not just building size but also working on cutting out the right shape. For most girls, we tend to hold a lot of body fat in the glute and upper-thigh area, so keeping these areas conditioned will be a crucial part of any serious glute-building program.
A typical glute training session for me consists of supersets and tri-sets and will look like this:
- Barbell rear-foot-elevated split squat (12 reps) supersetted with kneeling good mornings (12 reps): 10 seconds between each exercise, 1 minute between each superset, repeated 4 times
- Barbell single-leg Romanian deadlift (12 reps) tri-setted with 45-degree pull-throughs (12 reps) and dumbbell high jumping step-ups (12 reps): 10 seconds between each exercise, 1 minute between each tri-set, repeated 4 times
- Shoulder-elevated bridge-ups with plate (50 reps) supersetted with rocket jumps (20 reps): 10 seconds between each exericse, 1 minute between each superset, repeated 4 times
Tips: When you are working the glutes, you really have to concentrate on firing those muscles so that the quads don’t dominate the movement. Most of the exercises will require a slight lordosis to the lower spine. Focus on one spot for balance, and don’t rush the exercises. Slow and focused sets and repetitions are always best, with acceleration through the lifting part of the movements.