We’ve seen her on TikTok doing hanging sit-ups on the side of a Yacht, but there’s much more to this powerhouse woman! Read our interview and find out more about the Women’s Best athlete!
Name: Senada Greca
Location: Washington, D.C. USA
Can you share more about yourself and what you are doing?
Where do I begin?! Besides working diligently and daily to inspire my Instagram Community to stay fit, healthy and motivated, I am the founder and trainer of my Crush It by Senada Greca App, so I am constantly working on new programs, challenges and ways to improve the App so that it goes beyond just physical fitness. With the inclusion of Yoga and Meditation on the App, I want my Crush It Crew, the members of my Crush It App, to reach for their best, not just physically, but mentally as well. And on that note, one of my favorite parts of the day is connecting with and providing support to my Crew via our private group. This is the most amazing group of people, that inspire and help each other unconditionally, through anything they might be going through. They sincerely motivate me and I am proud to call myself their trainer.
Additionally, I am also in the process of launching 2 other businesses. But more to come on that!
When did your journey start? Was there a certain event or situation after which you decided to change your path?
After graduating from University, I started working long hours in the finance world in New York City while also completing a master’s degree. After a few years, I started searching for something more fulfilling and shifted to the medical industry. Unfortunately, I still felt trapped in a corporate world where work truly felt like work. What didn’t feel like a chore was movement – no matter how that manifested.
I had known for a long time that my calling was to help others, to be of service. Knowing what movement had done for me, physically and mentally, I connected the dots. I realized that I could help others on a large scale do the same. While my MBA would eventually help with the business aspect of things, my drive, my passion, my innate ability to connect with movement and help others do the same, were my springboard. I acquired the necessary accreditation for fitness, movement and yoga, but what was the most helpful and distinguishing factor, was my hunger for information and experience in not just moving properly but also moving mindfully. As stated in yogic teachings, and what is applicable in most scenarios, it is 99% practice and 1% theory. I am constantly learning from gurus, working to put teaching into practice and listening closely to my body. Equipped with all of this knowledge and experience, I decided to start sharing my full, daily workouts on Instagram in the hope of helping anyone and everyone that would come across my page. This brought about tremendous growth as people saw the value in what I was providing, absolutely free of charge.
While my Instagram workouts provided a good starting point for the experienced user, I realized that I could provide a lot more direction and a more personal experience. This gave life to my online fitness business, then my Crush It by Senada Greca App, which I started while still working full-time in Corporate America. I then transitioned to running my businesses full time.
What inspires you to be so consistent?
Movement has always been my therapy, even as a child growing up in communist Albania. After moving to the U.S. as a teenager, sports were how I found friends. As an adult, I came to understand the powerful connection between physical fitness and mental health. I am consistent in taking care of my body as I know, I will need this one true home to carry me through this one life we have. I am inspired by the desire to keep myself, my body and mind, functioning as well as possible for as long as I am around.
As a trainer what are your goals or what are you aiming to achieve within your community?
My goal for my community is to help them first, LOVE themselves as they are, then initiate the sustainable changes they would like to see in their life from a place of love. I always say, you will not do your best for someone you don’t like, but you will for someone you love. My mission is to help people move past short-term challenge trends like “Get Abs in 2 Weeks” or “4-Weeks to a Bikini Body.” While these taglines might be captivating, they will not result in real change. I have seen time and again why so many well-meaning people struggle to get fit. It’s because they haven’t found their “WHY”—that compelling reason that drives them to be physically active every day.
When people focus on the “what” such as dropping x pounds or fitting into certain clothes again, it is just too nebulous, making it easier to negotiate out of working out. But when you have a “why,” it is both personal and specific. Its role is to be an orienteering point, one that is personally meaningful enough to compel you to get out of bed an hour earlier to workout instead of rolling over for more Z’s. It should resonant enough to cut through the noise and lift you above the daily and hourly distractions that are so good at sapping your motivation to exercise.
Your approach to fitness is unique, dynamic and very functional. Tell us more about how you integrate the Mind-Muscle Connection into your training, and tell us more about your general philosophy on fitness:
I do my best to make fitness fun, creative, functional and accessible to as many people as possible, whether via my IG or my Crush It App. And the one component that carries through all of the modalities I provide to others and use myself, is Mind Muscle Connection (MMC). Be in the moment — the exercise you’re performing in the moment. Concentrate only on the mechanics of moving. Slow down the movements, focusing on, touching, squeezing, feeling the working muscle, and performing every exercise with intention and precision. The more present we are with the muscle(s) being worked, the better the results. I don’t attribute my physical appearance to lifting very heavy weights, but rather focusing on MMC.
Furthermore, a great benefit of MMC, is this level of connection with and awareness of the movement and the muscle becomes a form of moving meditation. When we successfully tune out the mental noise, the distractions, we then allow ourselves to experience how movement makes us feel. This is a true opportunity to connect our body and our mind. Essentially, movement becomes therapeutic, a way to care for our inner selves. This earthly vessel is all we have, our one true home. We need to cherish it and take care of it the best we can.
How and where do you find inspiration to create your exercises?
As I think about it, coming from a country with limited resources, probably had something to do with how creative I now am in utilizing gym equipment, home objects, or no equipment in coming up with innovative exercises. This constant desire to innovate, truly leaves me up at night sometimes. But inspiration comes from a desire to take existing exercises and elevate them; make them better by utilizing limited or no equipment, or items that are readily available, so the exercises are more accessible to a larger group of people. Having a deep level of understanding of how our muscles work, the direction of their fibers, which is key to muscle development, helps me in creating effective, innovative exercises. And finally, I want to make working out fun for people, so they don’t dread it. Incorporating a level of fun and innovation in a workout routine, while keeping it effective, increases the chances of making this routine sustainable.
You have overcome a past of suffering anxiety, depression and eating disorders. What helped you and what advice can you give other women who are navigating through this?
“Mens sana in corpore sano” This phrase, coined in the first century AD by the Roman poet Juvenal, still resonates very loudly for me. “A healthy mind in a healthy body”. While I strongly encourage anyone dealing with anxiety and depression to speak to a licensed professional, I personally found great help in daily movement. For me, it started by running while listening to self-help books. I started to incorporate Yoga and Meditation. Then my daily movement evolved from running to strength training. In gaining strength, I gained self-confidence. I started to fuel my body for optimal physical and mental health. Furthermore, I started to incorporate Mind Muscle Connection, a true game changer. Simply being present in that moment, with a particular movement, enables us to tap a reservoir of inner calm that might otherwise elude us. Our workout becomes a form of moving therapy that benefits mind and body alike.
So, my advice would be just that: please do speak to a therapist, but also do incorporate mindful fitness, meditation and yoga and make these components an inseparable part of your life. They were crucial for me, and still are, and I hope they help you too.
You’re big on Yoga, Mindfulness and Meditation. Tell us about your self-care practices and why you believe a holistic approach to health and fitness is important?
I believe in a holistic approach to fitness as we are more than a mechanically moving body. Our minds and souls need as much caring as our bodies. I have found that caring for our body in a mindful way, cares for our mind and soul as well. Allowing ourselves to listen to our body’s signals, moving mindfully, not only can be a great tool in injury prevention, but also maximizing our physical and mental performance.
I incorporate Yoga in my routine not only as a means to help with my balance and mobility, which in turn help with my physical fitness, but also as a time to quiet my mind and turn my attention inward.
Meditation is that other component that we rarely think of or make time for, but even a few minutes, as little as 5 minutes of meditation a day, can have a huge positive impact on our psyche and in turn our body as well. If we’re in a great mental and spiritual space, we’re able to perform better in all aspects of life. This is why I incorporate all of these elements for myself and in my Crush It By Senada Greca App.
You have such a powerful online presence and community–3.2 million followers on Instagram! How did this grow and what do you hope people take away from your content?
I grew my online presence rather quickly, but not without its heartache and hard work. I decided one day, in 2019, to share my full, daily workouts and knowledge, without expecting anything back, for anyone and everyone that would benefit from them. I knew I was passionate about helping others get fit, physically and mentally, as I knew what fitness had done for me, but I wanted to do so at a larger scale than personally training. So consistently, daily, waking up way before working hours, I filmed and provided content, that my community found very helpful, and the rest was history. I placed and still do place great value in mindful fitness as a means to taking care of our body and mind for the long haul, and I truly think people connected with that genuine approach.
Additionally, what I would love people to take away from my content, is a focus on long term health. Short terms goals can be good, but we have this one body and mind for the rest of our lives, so they deserve to be taken care of, for life. And if we take care of ourselves through mindful fitness and proper nutrition, the physical results, the aesthetics that we would like, will come.
Fun question: Your hamstrings are insane–what’s your favorite exercise?
My go-to exercise for hamstrings come in a pair. While I love variety, I will always swear by a superset of RDLs and Hamstring Curls (Leg Curls). I know… not very creative, but simple and doable for every fitness level.
What supplements do you use? And what is your favorite Women’s Best product?
My favorite Women’s Best Products are the Vegan Protein Powders and the BCAAs.
You decided to collab with Women’s Best. Taking into consideration everything you work for, why did you choose to be part of the community?
While there are many companies out there, I chose to partner with Women’s Best as I believe in their mission to include and inspire women of all shapes, sizes, backgrounds, etc. I believe them to be a company of high integrity and that is important to me.