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Over 40 Amateur Of The Week: Ripped Russian At 40!

Anna was afraid of muscles until she saw their true power. Now she has shape, volume, and definition at age 40! See how you can too!

Name: Anna Bryukhanova
E-Mail: info@anouchka.ru
BodySpace: anouchka
Location: Moscow, Russia
Age: 41  Height: 5'4" (161 cm)
Weight: 119 lbs (54 kg)
Years Bodybuilding: 5

Q
How Did Your Fitness Journey Begin?

I was skinny fat during my youth and ate and drank everything no matter the time of day. I was never on a diet or gained weight that bothered me. My weight was between 110-115 pounds (50-52 kg).

At age 33, I started to gain weight, but not enough to change my lifestyle. Two years later, I gained more weight and couldn't ignore it anymore. I tried fad diets, but still gained weight and retained water. I went to a doctor who said I have a thyroid problem and was told to take medication. A year later, nothing changed. I felt horrible: sick, tired, unhappy, and depressed. I avoided meeting friends who knew me as thin. In January 2008, I weighed my heaviest ever at 165 pounds (75 kg). People said that patients with hypothyroidism hardly lose weight and I was terrified.

I couldn't look in the mirror. I went to my favorite store and discovered my favorite brand didn't produce bigger jean sizes than my current size. My ex-coworker didn't recognize me on the street, which was devastating.

Following my doctor's advice, I found a gym to try something new (I was never a fan of exercise). So my first words to my future coach in the gym were, "I don't want muscles, I want just lose weight." I didn't believe I could lose weight, even at the gym. I started exercising in 2008. The first six months was mostly cardio and swimming. Then I got a coach and lifted weights to enhance my metabolism. I started a six-day training plan (three days weight training with my coach and three days doing cardio and swimming). I followed a diet plan that I got from my gym designed for my needs. I also read online articles about exercising and nutrition.

I lost 33 pounds (15 kg) in two years, but couldn't get back to my previous state. 132 pounds (60 kg) was still too much for me and I wasn't satisfied with my shape. I got much stronger, lifted heavier, and my mood got better when I finally saw results. I followed a clean and healthy eating regimen, but realized I was overeating. I also drank alcohol on weekends. It was a stagnation period and I didn't understand where to go.

In January 2012, I revised my diet, reduced my calorie intake, excluded all alcohol, stopped eating red meat, calculated everything I ate, and reduced carbs. It worked great. I saw muscle definition in a couple months and lifted heavier.

From 2007-2013, my jeans size went from 36 to 25. My 40-year-old body looks better than it did in my 20s. I'm stronger and have more balance. I weigh 117-121 pounds (53-55 kg). There's room for self-improvement. Now I want more muscles; only shape, volume, and definition matters.

What Workout Regimen Delivered the Best Results?

I do 20-30 minutes of moderate cardio before weight training and 10 minutes after. I change exercises and program splits every 2-3 months. Abs are done after cardio workouts on Tuesday and Thursday.

Day 1: Lower Body


Day 2: Cardio
Day 3: Upper Body


Day 4: Cardio
Day 5: Full Body


Day 6 & 7: Rest

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What Nutrition Plan Fueled Your Body?

My nutrition plan varies. I reduce carbs during off days and cardio days. I add more carbs on training days. Possible snacks during the day include almonds, green apples, carrots, and celery.

Meal 1
Meal 2: Pre-Workout
Meal 3: Post-Workout
Meal 4
Meal 5

What Supplement Schedule Gave You the Greatest Gains?

How Did Your Passion for Fitness Emerge?

I'm much stronger than I was before physically and mentally because I accomplished something I used to think was impossible. The feeling of accomplishment is great, but you need to set new goals to maintain it. To see how much a simple change can alter your body and mind is fascinating.

What/Who Motivated You?

I get motivation from progress, friends' reactions, my post-workout mood, and my new look. I admire some fitness models and bodybuilders and started to follow a few blogs and social networks. It's an incredible source of everyday inspiration.

Where Did You Go for Inspiration?

I think about where I came from and don't want to go back to those unhappy days. If I look at an overweight picture of my past, I jump in my car quickly and get to the gym. I travel far away a few times per year and take breaks from training during this time. The time off allows me to rest, but I still maintain my progress and motivation. I come back with enormous drive.

What Are Your Future Fitness Plans?

I compete with myself every day. I'm not sure if my future plans include competitions or bodybuilding/fitness-related job, but you never know. I'm in my best shape ever, but still see many areas to improve on and realize it requires lots of efforts and time. I consider myself a beginner and don't think about competing.

What Is the Most Important Fitness Tip?

Don't wait too long to start. Have patience and be stubborn to reach your goals. Don't wait for change or give up if you're not satisfied. Give your body and mind time to adapt to the changes.

Some people will discourage your progress and say you look tired, small, soft, or muscular. You will hear lots of strange things. Ignore them and keep moving. It's your body and nobody but you should decide how it looks.

Who Is Your Favorite Bodybuilder/Fitness Athlete?

I enjoy watching wonderful women like Pauline Nordin, Sophie Guidolin, Erin Stern, Julie Bonnett, and Nicole Wilkins. They are different and wonderful in their passion and dedication. I read about their workouts, food, and supplements. I follow their blogs and stay motivated constantly.

How Did Bodybuilding.com Help You Reach Your Goals?

I love Bodybuilding.com. The articles, transformations, photos, and videos are amazing, as are the before and after photos of ordinary people doing amazing things because they want to change their life.

Anna's Top 5 Gym Tracks
  1. "Eye Of The Tiger" by Survivor
  2. "I Want To Break Free" by Queen
  3. "We Will Rock You" by Queen
  4. "Just Give Me A Reason" by Pink
  5. "Catch My Breath" by Kelly Clarkson

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About The Author

Our Amateur Bodybuilder of the Week has the extraordinary qualities to endure the pain and discipline of bodybuilding. Enter here and win!

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cdmagee

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cdmagee

Great Job !

Aug 15, 2013 7:35pm | report
Charbuilds

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Charbuilds

Well done

Article Rated:
Aug 15, 2013 8:54pm | report
Simmo74

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Simmo74

You look awesome. Well done

Aug 16, 2013 12:28am | report
glsoule

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glsoule

Great to see a woman in her 40's so fit. You look amazing! Keep up the good work :-)

Aug 16, 2013 12:05pm | report
Barbie4567

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Barbie4567

Thanks for sharing, very motivational for me and inspiring!

Article Rated:
Aug 16, 2013 7:49pm | report
  • Body Stats
  • ht: 20'11"
  • wt: 251.4 lbs
  • bf: 42.4%
anouchka

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anouchka

thank you all, pics before you can find on my profile, for some reason, they didn't make it to the article

Article Rated:
Aug 16, 2013 11:11pm | report
  • Body Stats
  • ht: 10'2"
  • wt: 122.36 lbs
  • bf: 15.0%
Cinnepin

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Cinnepin

Thanks for sharing! Very inspiring as I turn 40 myself in a couple of months :)

Aug 17, 2013 5:39am | report
sexyrevolution

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sexyrevolution

anna all i wanted to say is that i am glad you did,nt listen to doctors friends but to yourself. only you can decide what you are capable of achieving.,long live bodyculture~!!

Aug 18, 2013 5:40am | report
SledDemon

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SledDemon

Excellent article, thank you!

Aug 21, 2013 3:12am | report
laidbak2

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laidbak2

Great article

Aug 22, 2013 8:41am | report
cgross56

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cgross56

Great motivation, thanks for sharing ;-)

Aug 23, 2013 7:28am | report
shocketi

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shocketi

Great article, keep up the awesome work!

Sep 6, 2013 10:16pm | report
Showing 1 - 12 of 12 Comments

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