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She Does It

4 the Love of Muscle

Article by Emily Liebert

Photography by Private Portraits by Jen Goldberg

Originally published in Westport Lifestyle

Name: Anne Epstein

Passion Jobs: Personal Trainer, Equinox Darien + Mother of 3 boys

Goal: To provide a curated fitness experience for each of my clients

Focus: Postural muscle strength, low back pain prevention, and total body building for life longevity

New Year’s Resolution: To surpass my personal fitness records

When did you first develop a passion for fitness?

I’ve been an athlete my entire life—from starting ballet and gymnastics at three years old through my teens to basketball, volleyball, softball, and skiing in middle school and high school. I also played lacrosse and snowboarded while in college. As an adult, I love running, tennis, weight training, CrossFit and, currently, body building. I find freedom in exercise; I feel at peace with myself and my thoughts. For me, working out is a judgment free zone, where I derive power from the fact that are no rules or boundaries.

How has your commitment to working out evolved over time?

During the past five years, I’ve shifted my focus from being the skinniest version of myself to sculpting my muscles at the elite level of a true athlete. Instead of concentrating on cardio as my main exercise, I lift heavy weights and eat enough protein to repair and build lean muscle mass. As a rule, I consume one gram of protein per pound of body weight. Due to a major back injury, which resulted in surgery in 2014, I’ve figured out how my body moves through space in everyday life. This motivated me to start body building and, ultimately, to earn my Personal Training Certification through an organization called National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). With this accreditation under my belt, my mission is to help other people meet their fitness goals in the safest and smartest way possible, while enjoying the journey.

You spent many years ensconced in the fashion industry. What made you decide to change your career path and turn a dedicated hobby into a profession as a personal trainer?

Fashion has always been and will always be a passion of mine, which means it will continue be part of my brand. However, physical fitness is my first true love. When the opportunity to center my career around this industry became a reality, I never looked back. I’m one hundred percent invested in devoting myself to my clients full time.

You’re known for wearing the most stylish activewear. What are some of your favorite brands? And what’s your “uniform” when you hit the gym?

I’m a huge fan of a “playsuit,” also known asa onesie/unitard/bodysuit/catsuit, which I consider to be part of my “uniform.” I love subtle color connectors within outfits, and I’m all about doing things in threes, as it’s my favorite number. For example, I like the color of the glitter on the back of my Golden Goose sneakers to tie in with an accent color in my workout outfit, which also happens to be a color of a charm on my necklace. A few brands I’m obsessed with are: THE UPSIDE, Ultracor, P.E. Nation, and Off-White. I’m also a fan of Spiritual Gangster and FREECITY for less intense workout days with a full-fashion vibe. Two newbies on the scene that are piquing my interest are Live The Process and Le Ore. I’m a firm believer that the clothing we wear impacts the way we feel and even our behavior. When you feel good, your mindset shifts to a place where self-care becomes more important to you. There’s actually a term for how clothing influences an individual’s psychological processes, which is “Enclothed Cognition.”

Your approach to health and wellness is very thorough. Can you share your vision for training people who are looking to improve in these areas?

One of my mottos is: Everything matters! When working with clients, I take into consideration their goals or problems they want to solve, their past injuries, their diet, and what kinds of movements are most natural for them.

What motivates you to work out?

Music takes me to another level when I’m training. I relive memories and celebrate or mourn them while sweating out the toxins. It’s therapy. Music gives me hope—for a new day, for a future opportunity, or for an exciting business venture that’s waiting to bloom. I’ve poured my heart and soul into playlists and crafted them on Spotify.

What’s your best advice for people who want to stay in shape but don’t have hours to devote to working out?

Healthy habits are your building blocks. Even if you don’t feel like hitting the gym on any given day, try to push yourself to show up and start with 20 minutes of walking or stretching.

Any tips on what not to do at the gym? And how to avoid injuries?

Form is key. For example, people often make the mistake of using heavier weights to “get a good workout” when they haven’t been trained properly. This will inevitably lead to injury. Certainly, in the beginning stages of weight training, consult a professional who can guide you in your pursuits.

Do you follow a specific diet? What are some superfoods you love? Are there specific foods people should avoid at all costs?

I do follow a very specific diet. First and foremost, I shun fast foods, processed foods, and even certain protein bars which are marketed as healthy, but actually contain ingredients that are not good for you. I believe food is fuel, and I’m currently laser focused on protein consumption to build lean muscle mass. Your body can utilize 30-50 grams of protein per meal. Anything beyond that goes to waste.I also view nuts as vitamins, and I take nine per day—three walnuts, three Brazil nuts, and three raw almonds.

My typical diet looks like this:

Breakfast

  • 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder in my coffee = 20g protein
  • 2 full eggs and 4 egg whites with spinach and tomatoes = 24g protein

Lunch

  • Salad with 6 ounces of grilled chicken = 24g protein

Snack

  • Blueberries and 6 grilled shrimp = 24g protein

Dinner

  • 1 small sweet potato or rice, broccoli, and 4 ounces salmon = 16g protein

Dessert

  • Fairlife chocolate milk = 42g protein

Can you share a sample fitness regimen with our readers?

My expertise is in body building, and my knowledge lends itself to helping clients incorporate strength training into their current routine. As I mentioned, every person is different, so a customized regimen is essential. With this said, cardio is important for heart health. If you’re looking to lose a lot of weight, say 30+ pounds, your cardio should be in a Zone 2 range, which will work out your heart and burn fat, but won’t eat away at your muscle. My suggestion is using the treadmill five days a week for 30 minutes at an incline of 12 and a 3.0 pace.

How do you envision the future of your brand? Would you ever consider creating a product line?

I’m a serial entrepreneur and a creator at heart, so the answer is YES! There’s a lot in store for the future of my brand in regards to clean, healthy living coupled with my fashion forward sensibility, which is ingrained in sustainability. Stay tuned…

Follow Anne @4theloveofmuscle on:MyFitnessPal, Spotify, TikTok + Instagram

ANNE’S QUICK STATS [sidebar]

Weight: 115

Height: 5’5”

Body Fat: 13.9%

Longest Plank: 33 minutes

Deadlift: 165lbs for 8 reps

Calories/Day: 2200

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