Looking at Zanna van Dijk’s Instagram feed, you’d think that she’s lived and breathed fitness her whole life.
But what makes the health and fitness blogger, Instagrammer and all-round ‘influencer’ so relatable is that she really is just like the rest of us. ‘I actually hated exercise at school and would find any excuse to avoid PE,’ she reveals to WF in an exclusive interview. ‘I only started getting into it at university. I heard about the benefits of eating well and training and decided to give it a shot.’ And if you thought she took to it like a duck to water, think again. Like the rest of us, Zanna made mistakes along the way. Now? She’s a full-time fitness professional working as a personal trainer – not to mention one of the most popular health and fitness bloggers and Instagrammers out there, with 115,000 followers and counting. She puts her success down to passion, consistency and realness: ‘I have a no-nonsense approach to social media, fitness and life,’ she says. ‘There’s no smoke and mirrors and I’m very honest about my lifestyle.’
For anyone who’s kept their ear to the ground with fitness trends for a while now, it’s impossible not to have noticed the fast pace at which the industry has changed since the rise of social media. Trends come and go – but it seems that bloggers and influencers are definitely having their time. Zanna is riding the wave better than any of them, proven by the launch of #GirlGains – an online community she co-founded with fellow social media influencers Tally Rye and Victoria Spence. ‘It’s for women who are interested in bettering themselves in all areas of their lives, not just fitness,’ explains Zanna. ‘We educate, empower and inspire women to be healthy, happy and confident, to look after themselves and to love themselves.’ And judging by the turnout at their events, the number of followers they have on Instagram and the use of their hashtag #GirlGains, they’re doing just that. For someone as driven as Zanna, though, that’s still not enough. ‘We’d like to see #GirlGains spread across the world, to reach as many women as possible and to be able to have a positive impact on their self-worth, ambition and happiness.’
Having just launched an activewear collection in collaboration with Sports Philosophy as well as preparing to launch her book Strong (set to hit
the shelves in December), it looks as if Zanna is right on track.Inspired? Try Zanna’s workout, which focuses on combining weights to strengthen and tone your legs and with HIIT to make you sweat. Just what the doctor ordered.
Goblet squat with pulse
Areas trained: glutes, quads, hamstrings, core
Holding a weight at your chest, step your feet a little wider than hip-width apart and point your toes ever so slightly outwards.
Sit back and down into a squat and do a small pulse at the bottom of the movement.
Push up through your heels and squeeze your glutes. Repeat.
How to do it
Perform the allotted reps, back to back. Rest for 60 seconds then repeat for the next set. Do three sets in total. Once all sets are complete, Increase weights in accordance with experience level.