Do you ever wonder what it takes to build a gorgeous butt? To find out, I interviewed fitness model Anna Churakova. Pick up any fitness magazine, and you’ve probably seen a photo of her.
Anna Churakova — Background
Anna Churakova grew up in Russia, but now lives in London. When I meet her, she’s wearing her navy blue Sci-MX Nutrition sports bra and tights, as she is one of their sponsored athletes.
Anna’s eyes seem to change in the lighting — sometimes appearing green, grey or blue…she jokingly calls herself “a chameleon.” 🙂 She has beautifully straight, long brown hair, which almost reaches her waistline.
She seemed to tower over me, but it was only later after looking back at photos, that I realised she was wearing some kick-ass heels in those trainers! It turns out we’re both 5 foot 4 inches.
When she’s not posing on stage, Anna seems a little shy in-person, and is modest about her achievements, and body. On to the interview…
Anna Churakova — Interview
Q. Hi Anna. You have truly a fantastic body that most women could only dream to achieve.
Somehow you manage to fit in your diet and exercise routine around your full-time job as an airline manager — what top tips do you have for other time-poor women, who find it difficult to fit in healthy eating and exercise?
“Firstly I’d like to thank you very much for those flattering comments on my physique.
Finding time for training and meal preparation is crucial if you want to look your best. However, “not having time” is commonly used as an excuse.
The key word here would be a routine. Once you fit an hour of training and meal prep into your daily activities, you’ll see how little percentage of your day it actually occupies.
My main tip would be to find the gym as close to your house as possible, even if it’s not “the best one”. Think of what meals you need to prepare, and shop accordingly. Keep it basic on the days you work (or are busy), and treat yourself with more advanced recipes at the weekend.
Everyone has the same 24 hours in a day — it’s all about priorities”.
Q. I think that most women would agree that you’ve got a round, shapely butt. They typically turn to jogging to tone up — is that the best way to achieve a bottom like yours?
“The simple rule to improve your butt is to use resistance training. Lift weights! Train wisely. Mix things up. Ensure correct form and LIFT AWAY!! Due to main female hormone estrogen, we will not get bulky — unless of course the diet is not on track.
LIFTING WEIGHTS WON’T MAKE YOU BULKY…CUPCAKES WILL!
Staying in a reasonable calorie deficit will ensure your slender physique. Concentrate on the targeted muscle (i.e. glutes), to prevent other muscles such as quads and lower back from taking over. MIND TO MUSCLE!
Weight and reps are very individual. I personally start all of my workouts (lower/upper body) with a compound exercise such as 70kg squats for 3 sets of 6-8 reps, before I switch to isolation exercises with lighter weights and higher reps”.
Q. Many women are short on time to exercise. So, if you could only chose one, which do you feel gives the most “bang for your buck” when it comes to building a shapely bottom?
“Whether you are looking to build your glutes or just tone it up, the main principles remain the same. I guess I’m about to disappoint you if you are hoping to have the “butt of your dreams” by doing one “golden” exercise.
To obtain the best butt possible, we need to hit the glutes from a variety of angles, with a plethora of exercises. They cannot be sculptured optimally by just hitting it from the same angle, with one or two basic exercises such as squats and deadlifts.
At the beginning of my fitness journey, I have always tried to find movements to isolate glutes and avoid acting on the quads and hamstrings. Keeping in mind that every lower body exercise we perform will give plenty of stimulation to the quads and hams, but by focusing on the glutes, they will grow in proportion.
I believe that we should utilise lower, medium and high reps. Consider the exercises themselves. Some exercises lend themselves better to heavy weight for lower reps, such as squats and deadlifts.
Medium reps for such exercises as hip thrusts, pull-throughs, and walking lunges. Kickbacks (donkey kickbacks) or side lying abductions are best to perform with higher repetitions and lower weight.
There needs to be ample tension on the Glutes, BUT the form can never be compromised!”
Q. In the off-season, when you’re not cutting down for a competition, what type of diet do you typically follow?
“We are all very different and my personal diet might not work for someone else. Instead let me share with you this simple formula to find your ideal amount of calories and the best ratios of protein, to carbohydrates and healthy fats.
For example, assuming a woman weighing 55 kg:
- 55 (your weight) x 23 (constant digit ) = 1,265 kcal.
This is the amount of calories to maintain your organs, while at rest. NEVER GO LOWER!
- 55 (your weight) x 30 (constant digit) = 1,650 kcal.
This is the amount of calories to maintain your current weight, including daily activities.
Start at your maintenance level (1,650 kcal in the above example), with a macronutrient breakdown of approximately 45% protein, 35% carbohydrates, 20% fat.
Every week reduce your carb intake by 50g (this isn’t a food weight, but the actual grams of carbs). You must experiment to find your ideal ratio.
Once you feel you running low on energy stop there and increase back to 50g more and keep that until you are happy with your look.
REMEMBER TO RECALCULATE ONCE YOU BECOME LIGHTER.
Stock up on lean proteins such as chicken and fish, ditch the sugars for slower digesting carbs and more fibrous greens, and get your healthy fats from sources like almonds, chia, avocado and coconut oil.
Avoid any refined sugar and reduce to a minimum any processed foods. Start cooking yourself to be sure of all of the used ingredients. Eat regularly. I never skip meals and eat 5-6 meals spread out over the course of the day. Drink H2O!”
Follow Anna Churakova
WBFF Diva Bikini Model
- Instagram: @anna_churakova_wbff_pro
- facebook: @Anna-Churakova-WBFF PRO
- Twitter: @AnnaChurakova
- Snap Chat: @annachurakova
Thanks to Anna Churakova, for graciously providing her valuable insights for this interview. I wish her all the best for her next bikini competition..
George D. Choy
Personal Trainer & Calisthenics Instructor
Gymnacity in Oxted, Surrey, United Kingdom