It’s happened to all of us: We’re sitting on the couch, watching Live with Kelly and Ryan and eating oatmeal (fine, doughnuts), when—bam!—Kelly Ripa lifts her dress a few inches to cross her legs and we’re faced with the most toned calves we’ve ever seen in our damn lives. Wait a second, we think, pulling out our phone. Isn’t Kelly Ripa, like, 40? Actually, she’s 49. And doesn’t she have kids? She has three. How is this possible? Lucky for us, Ripa’s longtime trainer, Anna Kaiser, gave us all the details.
There’s really no secret: “Work really hard and come to an AKT Studio five days a week,” Kaiser told us during an interview about her metastatic breast cancer Thriver Challenge. But while her classes and training sessions attract the likes of Shakira, Sarah Jessica Parker, Hilary Duff and Karlie Kloss, newbies shouldn’t expect immediate results. (Darn.)
“Kelly and I have been working together for seven years, four or five days every single week,” Kaiser said. “It is a commitment. She is committed to health and fitness, and she shows up every single day. That’s what you have to do. It’s not going to happen in three moves or in three days. It’s going to happen over two years, three years…even ten years.”
But don’t let the time commitment deter you—Ripa’s workouts are also surprisingly fun. Kaiser’s method focuses on high-intensity interval training, dance cardio and muscle-building techniques like using resistance bands and doing lunges, jump squats, high knees and curtsey lunges.
The fitness expert also notes that there’s more to Ripa’s workout routine than meets the eye. “It’s about developing those muscles and then maintaining that muscle as you get older,” she said. “It gets much more difficult to maintain muscle mass over the age of 40. So the more you can fit yourself up and build that lean muscle prior to reaching 40, the easier it’s going to be after that.”
Dance cardio and curtsey squats, here we come.