We talked with Anne Navarro in January, 2020.
Anne Navarros Stats When We Talked with Her 💪
👋 Hi! Tell us about yourself and your training
My name is Anne Navarro, I am 40 years old and I live in Washington State, originally from Australia.
I’m an independent distributor for Enagic International, they are the Japan-based leader in manufacturing water-ionization systems that transform regular tap water into pure, healthy, electrolytically-reduced and hydrogen-rich drinking water.
I study a great many things and an avid reader. I am a big believer in continuous self-improvement and development. I study many topics ranging from Astronomy, Human Analytics and Behavior and Vegan Nutrition and Fitness of course!
I am married with 3 kids, ages ranging from 6-11.
I have been training on and off for about 10 years with a couple of kids in between. I have been training seriously (seriously meaning workouts and nutrition on point) for a couple of years.
I started training because I wanted to honestly just be strong! My upper body strength was terrible, I could not do a push-up and I wanted to dominate myself and push myself.
My ultimate goal was to be like Sarah Conner (Linda Hamilton) in Terminator 2, so I aimed for that goal.
I really was not athletic when I was younger, I trained at the gym with my dad when I was 15 but had no idea what I was doing and took my dog out for runs, that’s as athletic as I got lol. In hindsight, I wish I knew how much benefit lifting would have given me back then.
Outside of fitness I have many hobbies, I train my eldest who is an avid soccer player in strength, agility and power drills to aid his performance, my smaller 2 love to sprint so we sprint together when my eldest trains, I play an online MMORPG game, World of Warcraft to relax and destress & I love experimenting with healthy Vegan recipes and snacks for my family.
My sponsors come from being a nano influencer through Instagram. There’s a tight knit vegan community that is super supportive. I am powered by Plant Life Meals, a vegan/plant based meal prep company local to the Seattle Area.
I also work with True Nutrition, a vegan supplement company and The Blok Life, a plant based apparel company.
What I enjoy about bodybuilding and fitness the most is the momentum of moving ahead, the discipline to hit my goals and I love how it can completely transform not only your body but your mindset and outlook on life, it’s much deeper than working your body.
It’s about encompassing your heart, body and spirit and soul. I see it as something much deeper than a training session.
It’s amazing how you can connect with like-minded people through bodybuilding or build upon those relationships you find at the gym, we are all there to improve ourselves, we work hard, we dedicate ourselves; that’s something that a lot of people cannot connect with or do not understand so it’s definitely nice to have that support and encouragement.
⏱ Describe a typical day of training
I’m one of those people that love an old school bodybuilding gym with old equipment and ideally a weight room, that way only the lifters that really want to be there will be training. Unfortunately, I don’t have that lol.
I can go into the gym with my husband however we don’t work out together. I have my own program but if I can, I’ll work out next to him. The gym is my one on one time with myself so I can better look after my family.
I’m working on building and imbalances right now. I have a typical 5-day split and I work on progressive overload. I don’t tend to complicate things, but I do switch it up perhaps every 12-16 weeks depending.
That being said, I’ll almost always fall back to my 5-day split which looks like this:
- Back & Biceps
- Chest & Triceps
- Shoulders & Abs
- Rest day
If I know I’m not going to be able to make it to the gym as often I’ll incorporate full-body workouts.
I always have alternative workouts as well in case equipment is taken and sometimes you just have to improvise.
I also don’t go all out, beast mode. I know what my limits are and push, but I don’t do it to the point of exhaustion. My idea is to do it sustainably.
When I use to push really really hard, I found myself burning out. I would go and have a great session of killing myself, but I couldn’t keep it up and found myself needing to take complete or partial deload weeks from aching joints and borderline injury.
I had to realize that if I was going to do this for life then I would have to make it sustainable!
I usually train alone, I like not relying on others for motivation because I think it’s important to push yourself and to know how to do that, of course, if someone wanted to train with me they are more than welcome but it’s not something to be feared for sure!
I believe cardio has its place for sure. If I’m having a sedentary week, I’ll do HIIT training on a bike or jump rope, no more than 11 working minutes 3 times a week. Usually, though, I have a high step count and do a lot of walking so additional or extra cardio is incorporated only when needed.
Things I always have in my fitness bag is a jump rope, booty bands, lifting straps, leg straps for cable machines (because they always go missing at my gym) and a sweat towel.
I also always take a gallon of Kangen water (this is the water that is produced by my Enagic company) with me and I’ll drink most of it while training.
👊 How do you keep going and push harder?
Bodybuilding for me is a lifelong goal. I’ll always be building; I’ll always be lifting. At the end of the day if you want to keep it up it merely must be one of those things that you “do” and accept that. As Pauline Nordin says, you must “discipline your dedication”.
My kids and husband keep me going to push harder, to be an example of fitness and health the cruelty-free way and to know it can be done easily!
If I can be that example of a walking billboard for bodybuilding and veganism then I’m quite happy with that, for my kids to not only see first hand but to understand why it is I do what I do; I could leave this world right now a very happy woman.
I’ll always want to set the example for them and for others(including moms/vegans or anyone transitioning) to be the bar…not only to be the bar but to raise it even higher than that.
My attitude has always been to meet and exceed expectations, to know that was once a silly little dream of doing a push up can explode into something way more dynamic and phenomenal through lifting.
I make time for training, that’s completely it. I MAKE the time, I’ll prioritize it. It’s important for me and my family to have a mom that can keep up with soccer and sprinting and playground dates. I want to actively engage with my kids in the things they love to do.
At the end of the day, it’s a mental battle, motivation can only take you so far and you have to want to change more than you want to stay the same, to keep moving and evolving and getting better each and every day. It’s not only about physical muscle, but it’s also about mental muscle.
The biggest challenge I have faced is time constraints. I don’t like rushing my weightlifting but pushing those appointments back so I can have that block of time is the most ideal way to handle that.
🏆 How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
I’m doing amazingly well! I am happy with where I am at and would love to improve! There is always room for improvement and the moment you stop seeing that you stop growing.
I would love to have less busy days, I find myself not managing to make it as often as I would like due to other commitments, but I always resort to taking the time to go no matter how busy I am.
I don’t compete, I would like to one day but right now competing and building my body for a specific category does not fit my goals. I have had many offers and people nominating themselves to get me on stage, but my mind is this.
I want to work on aesthetics my way, I love my body and yes, I want to improve it but I don’t want to build up specific body parts to be successful in a category specifically to please judges.
To me, training at the gym is life season, there is no on or off, no extreme bulking or cutting. I like to stay lean enough to be able to cut in a short amount of time. My physique stays close to the same all year round.
I believe the only thing I would change if I could start over in my fitness journey would be to start sooner as opposed to later in life.
🤕 How do you recover, rest and handle injuries?
The most important thing for me is a mindset. Check that ego at the door. The form is key and knowing when to implement cheat reps.
Rest: I take my rest days with glee. I have always overlooked rest but now as I get older it is much valued and I see the core benefit. If there is anything, I am lacking it is sleep.
I’ll tend to sacrifice sleep to hang out with my husband after a busy day when we should be sleeping so I need to watch out for getting into that spiral.
Recovery: I’ll use my Hypervolt (massage gun), do yoga and foam roll. I’ll lay on my acupressure mat as well for recovery. Stretching every day is important to me.
Working out so much your body can be super tight, and range of motion can lessen if you’re not limber enough. Drinking enough water is a vital tool for recovery as well.
🍎 How is your diet and what supplements do you use?
I have been vegan for 11+ years. I do flexible dieting and follow specific macros. I use the MyFitnessPal app for this.
I aim to stay lean all year round, not shredded but lean to be happy with the way I look and feel while still hitting goals.
When I fill in my macros I aim for whole foods, and high volume(because I like to eat a lot) I am one of those people that eat for performance using food as fuel for my body. Macros are the best way I can get the best of both worlds and do it sustainably.
I have never wanted to veer off macros because if I want chocolate or cake, I can have it provided it fits! There’s no cheat days or binging. I don’t crave them.
I have had untracked days; we went to Hawaii last year and I forgot my food scale. I just guesstimated and looked at my calorie count, so I had some way to track. That was a one-off but it’s not the end of the world when you forget your scale lol.
If I eat out, I do the same thing, I’ll pick restaurants that have food that’s easy to track. If it’s a restaurant I know we will be going to in advance, I’ll check out the menu online prior. IF I don’t find anything to my liking I will eat beforehand and have something light from the menu.
If I encounter a lack of energy, I make sure my recovery and rest are on point and look at my nutrition, usually, it’s not from what I ate but fluctuating hormones or my body is battling or fighting off sickness. I increase my water intake and take some extra vitamin D & C. I’ll also look at my meal timing.
If I’m still hungry after my macros are done for the day, I’ll have a cup of herbal tea or half a stick of gum OR brush my teeth! Having nice and clean teeth sends a signal to my brain that eating time is over.
I do not have a sweet tooth; I have a salty palate. I can macro in salt & vinegar chips, seaweed and popcorn if I wish so it’s no worries at all. When it comes to having that special time of the month, I might macro in a junk food day lol.
If I were craving something really hard, I tell myself “tomorrow, if you really want it still then have it” usually by the time tomorrow comes I don’t want it.
I love coffee but I only have 1 per day in the morning.
👍 What has inspired and motivated you?
I think a lot of times I have had to be my own inspiration. I didn’t know any other fit vegan moms when I first started so I set out a path to pave the way. Heck, I didn’t know any other vegans except for my dad who, through his own journey turned vegan months before me.
My kids and husband are a big motivation for me. I love it when they want to feel my muscles and they tell me that I am strong and when they ask me about nutrition.
My husband is the greatest support system because he gets it, he understands me, my hopes and dreams. We also met at the gym. Sometimes when I start to fail myself, he will call me out on my crap and I fully appreciate that he and I are very similar in terms of mindset so it’s always nice to push each other.
In terms of bodybuilding, Pauline Nordin has been very inspiring for me. I love her honesty and her blunt personality.
She’s not the typical chick posting cheat meals and butt shots. Her physique is in proportion and she does this for herself. Her muscle mass/body fat ratio is beautiful.
Old school Bella Falcon is another for me when I first started.
A lot of times I look to male physiques as well.
The mental strength that comes from lifting is very motivating to me, I’m always one to improve your mind and using your mind to push your body.
I mainly listen to punk/metal/industrial/alternative while I’m in the gym, I tend not to go outside those genres. Or I’ll be listening to a book on audible.
✏️ Advice for other people who want to improve themselves?
There are many ways to do this and you just must find the right fit for you. If going in a group or with a partner helps to keep you accountable, then do so. If group training and being with others is more comforting, then do it!
Be consistent and trust the process. Don’t be afraid to lift and stop looking at the scale unless you merely just want to lose weight. If you want to grow and be strong, non-scale victories are much more helpful.
Hire a trainer to show you what to do, that way you’re comfortable when you approach a bench or machine.
Go slow, step by step and set out a feasible short-term goal and long terms goals. That way you can fill in the steppingstones to get there.
Find your why and your inspiration, this can help you in times of difficulty.
Don’t be afraid to ask someone.
If you want to “tone” up, you will be building muscle and no weights won’t make you bulky. Make weights a priority and ease up on the cardio.
Focus on form, you want to build a good foundation to build upon, really learn how to activate the muscle you are using.
Drop the excuses, just do it.
🤝 Are you taking on clients right now?
It would be unfair of me to take on clients right now. I have a very full plate and cannot dedicate the time.
📝 Where can we learn more about you?
The main and most active place would be my Instagram: @annecnavarro11.
1 thought on “How Continuous Self-improvement and Development Helps Me Get Better and Stronger”
Wow! Anne, you are so inspirational! Love how you are down to Earth and so authentic! Wishing you all the best!