Jenn Aguirre is an NASM certified personal trainer with a passion for continued studies in pre and postnatal nutrition. She’s been a highly ranked coach wherever she has worked, and as if that were not impressive enough, this female bodybuilder from Long Island, NY, also won the first figure competition that she ever entered back in 2016.
As the proud owner of Aguirre Fitness in Henderson, NV, this 45-year-old coach and mother of two kids is committed to teaching her clients about sustainable fitness rather than unrealistic seasonal physiques. She believes that achieving defined muscles and eye-catching abs is as much about being mentally ready for the challenge as it is about hitting those reps and macros targets.
So, here are five ways to keep those abs popping past summer, and don’t forget to try Aguirre’s results driven workout.
Be the ‘architect of your own destiny’
All physical transformations start with a desire to work towards your goals and Jenn Aguirre is truly a warrior and a survivor of life. She says that her formative years were subjected to mental and physical abuse form her father, and in later life, health complications such as Crohn’s disease and colitis threatened to derail the progress that she has made with her physique, but through sheer grit and determination, this buff brunette has proven that people can strive to be the best version of themselves no matter the challenges. “I think it’s imperative to have a support system but at the end of the day, ‘you’ are all you need,” says Aguirre. “Be the architect of your own destiny.”
It’s OK to mess up or miss a gym session
Maintaining photo-worthy abs is a serious commitment, but life often has a way of putting obstacles in front of our progress. As such, we all miss a gym session from time to time due to work demands and family obligations. The key however, is to make sure that one skipped workout or blow out meal doesn’t lead to two or three, because that’s when negative routines are formed. As a coach, Jenn Aguirre believes that for many people, daily or weekly check-ins are a great way to stay accountable on the journey to making sustained changes.
“There is a motivational component from knowing that you have to check-in with your PT, and knowing that no matter what happened, you will get a positive response,” says the fitness pro, who can boast that she is followed by one of her heroes, Jay Cutler on Instagram. “I explain to my clients, when they first join, that this is a judgment-free zone. Even if they mess up, they have to share all the details, so that we can work through it together. Those accountability check-ins are more important than the ones where someone has perfectly followed the plan.”
Find your ‘Why’
Deciding to gain great abs for a temporary beach break can be a misguided approach to getting in shape says Aguirre, who understands that the underlying cause of wanting to make physical changes is often driven by insecurities regarding the way that we look, or perceive ourselves to look. Instead of focusing on a short-lived goal like looking great for a wedding, Aguirre says that people need to understand ‘why’ they seek to change themselves in the first place. By understanding that exercise is great for your confidence, it should follow that any positive changes should be sought with a desire to keep them permanent. A temporary approach to getting in shape won’t teach you much about your unhealthy eating habits for example, because you will return to the same negative behavior once the party is over.
“If they don’t truly enjoy the process and think of this as a lifestyle, I won’t work with those people,” says the certified personal trainer. “I want them to dig deeper. I’m more inspired by people that want to change their life and have sustained and aggressive goals. The best tip that I can give you is to enjoy the process. Know why you’re doing it. Set long-term goals and short-term goals to find motivation every day.” Excitingly, Aguirre is still chasing her own goals feverishly, and plans to compete at the NPC High Roller Royale on Sept. 10.
Abdominal workouts don’t need to last forever
Once you get your head in the game, workouts can be short and sweet. “I don’t think that you need to do long ab routines,” says Jenn Aguirre. “I think some basic exercises are crunches, working the spine in the full range of motion, doing it on a stability ball. I like reverse crunches. Also, training the (TVA) transverse abdominal muscles: Learning how to bear down by practicing planks and the vacuum. It’s also very important to train your lower back. I’m a huge fan of reverse hyper extensions, for example.”
Keep the tension going for great ab workouts
Practice contracting your abdominal muscles by controlling your breathing. Once you inhale, you create tension and this is released when you exhale. Learning how to contract and relax your abs is a great way to keep them toned. “I try to keep constant tension on my abs at all times during a workout,” shares Aguirre. “Sometimes I do my core exercises before a cardio workout and I’ll do vacuum every single day now.” Try engaging your TVA (transverse abdominis) muscle. This is what produces the coveted vacuum effect.
Jenn Aguirre Abdominal Workout (4 sets for each)
Standing Stomach Vacuums: 6 – 10 reps. Hold the pose for as long as you can.
Lying Stomach Vacuum: As above, 6 – 10 reps. Holding the pose for as long as you can.
Reverse Crunch: 15 reps.
Reverse Hyperextension: 12-15 reps
Plank: 4 reps. “Hold for as long as you can,” says Aguirre. “If you wanna make it more challenging you could do an alternating opposite arm, opposite leg, reach and hold each one for five seconds.
“For obliques, you could do an alternating side plank with a side crunch superset with Russian twists,” says Aguirre. “Four sets of 10 on each side for the plank and 20 reps on each side of the Russian twists.”
Kneeling rope crunch: 15 reps.
Stability Ball Crunch: 15 reps