Maximize your strength training routine by cutting out these time wasters.Read article
WWE Superstar Amanda Saccomanno—better known by her ring name, Mandy Rose—travels around the country to wrestle in a different city four nights each week. She also crams in five to six workouts while trying to eat healthy and, somehow, rest as much as possible. That schedule isn’t for the faint of heart. Fortunately, Rose has plenty of heart to go around.
The bombshell athlete never set out to be a wrestler. After graduating from Iona College with a degree in speech pathology, she parlayed fitness competition wins into a spot on WWE’s reality show Tough Enough. Eventually, that led to her in-ring debut in 2017. It’s taken a lot of work for Rose to get to where she is, and that includes living up to the physical expectations that come with being nicknamed “God’s Greatest Creation.”
“I usually work out five or six days per week, depending on my schedule, with each workout lasting about one and a half hours,” Rose says. She often combines heavy lifting and cardio out of necessity, but limits cardio sessions to 25 minutes. “Right now, I do a little more cardio because I tend to eat more with the crazy schedule—I can’t diet as much as I used to,” she explains. “Cardio is a good way for me to warm up and acts almost as therapy for me.”
For strength training, Rose typically tries to hit two muscle groups during workouts. On Mondays, she’ll train her legs and glutes. Tuesday is shoulders and triceps, then she’ll focus on back and biceps Wednesday. Thursday is occasionally a lighter day if she’s feeling sore—in that case, she’ll skip strength and do cardio and core. Then on Friday or Saturday, she likes to add in another lower-body day to hit her glutes and either the fronts or backs of her legs.
“My favorite body part to train is my lower body,” Rose says. “I get a great feeling after a good squat day or leg session. That rush of serotonin is part of why I continue to work out and live a healthy lifestyle.”
Rather than having a trainer who travels the country with her, Rose and other WWE athletes are mostly left to their own devices. Rose says that when she was coming up through the ranks of NXT—similar to a farm system for the WWE—she worked with strength and conditioning coach Sean Hayes. She took what she learned from Hayes, plus her own background as a fitness competitor, to create her own training regimen. On the road, that means knocking out sets in a different gym each day, usually alongside her friend and fellow wrestler Sonya Deville.
Training during the day and wrestling at night takes a toll on the body, especially in a sport with no real off-season. So Rose tries to incorporate rest and smart recovery protocols into her schedule as much as possible. “Recovery is very important with how much we train,” she says. “Rest for me is No. 1, because I need my seven to eight hours of sleep every night. And whenever I can get body work done, like a massage or chiropractor session, I do it.”
Part of that recovery includes balancing her nutritional needs with her busy schedule and ensuring that she gets enough calories throughout the day to counter what she burns. “I try to stay consistent with my diet, eat the right foods, and consume enough protein,” Rose says. “But I’m not big on stressing over it. If I want to eat some cheese or a doughnut, I don’t worry about it. I’ve developed a lot of muscle mass over the years, so I make sure to consume enough protein. But I also love carbs.”
With such little time to spare, Rose still manages to pursue other interests, including her new fitness app, Fit with Mandy. The 12-week at-home program is designed for all age groups and fitness levels, and it requires minimal equipment, so workouts can be performed anywhere, from living rooms to parks. “I’ve been wanting to do this for a while now,” Rose says. “Being able to provide a platform like this for fans is important to me. I love the fitness industry and want to be involved as much as I can.”
Part of Rose’s motivation for launching the app was the opportunity to interact with fans outside of the ring. She knows that wrestling in the WWE gives her a massive platform, and with that visibility comes a chance to be a role model for young girls and boys. “Not everyone is aware just how important health and fitness are, so I want to share that knowledge,” she says. “The app is a start, and I hope to get even more involved with the fans and community.”
Want to get fit like Rose? She shares three of her favorite bodyweight workouts that will get you into wrestling shape.
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