Shanna Ferrigno, born in Los Angeles in June 1981, is a very cheerful and communicative fitness fanatic, businesswoman, daughter and friend. Already in her early years she worked as a producer in a subsidiary of the world-famous film studios Warner Bros. As a teenager she had weight problems – unlike her father Lou. It took some time to understand what her body and especially her mind needs.
This time I achieved something really great!
I preach with almost every interview or contribution that I always try to publish interesting articles and texts. I keep my eyes and ears open at all times.
Amazon suggested a book called ‚The Reset Plan’* when I bought a fitness item. I do not normally follow these proposals. In this case I clicked on the link. The author was and still is Shanna Ferrigno. As a fan of weight training, the last name seemed familiar to me – who doesn’t know this bodybuilding legend? I then did some research and indeed: it’s her. However, in my opinion, this does not mean much to nothing at all. Everyone is his or her own person, titles, names and fame are usually not particularly meaningful.
With the idea of writing something about sports, I decided to contact Shanna Ferrigno by e-mail. Honestly, I did not expect that a member of the Ferrigno family would reply me. I was all the more pleased when Shanna’s answer came in. Through countless messages by e-mail and via Facebook-Messenger a rather extensive interview has been created, which I don’t want to withhold from you any further.
I just want to mention that Shanna Ferrigno published her book not long ago „The Reset Plan“*.
First of all, could you maybe introduce yourself shortly?
My name is Shanna Ferrigno and I am a daughter, good friend, author, CEO of Ferrigno FIT and a lifestyle FITamentalist. Nice to meet you!
How often do you lift weights respectively how does your training routine look like? Do you prefer jogging, boxing, cycling, lifting heavy weights or doing any other sports?
I have bad knees and have had countless surgeries on them. Though I love boxing, lately I have been forced to do low impact activities. I swim, bike and do low impact HIIT exercises, with weights, at my home gym. I have taken yoga for years but it has the opposite effect on me than it has on most people. I am in my head the whole time! I think about laundry and errands that I have to run. With boxing I am present and in the moment counting and concentrating on my form. It’s fast paced like me and I LOVE IT. Can’t wait to get back to it.
Well, that’s not nice to hear. What did happen to your knees, if you allow me to ask you this question?
I busted my knee in a volleyball tournament and I found out that I had torn my ACL. I was 14. It was an 8 week recovery process and the beginning of all my knee issues. I had to learn to give up volleyball for a while and do more low impact activities to get me back on track. Things like swimming and biking. There is no excuse to not stay active after injury. You do have to learn to adapt but so is life…
Most people don’t rehab enough or soon enough after injury and I think it’s VERY IMPORTANT to rehab right away. Maintain those habits throughout the injury.
What fitness equipment do you have at your home gym?
I have the TRX band, weights, smith machine, bosu ball… Because of my bad knee I enjoy the leg press and the leg ext machine since I can’t squat. My favorite of the equipment is the cable machine, because I can do so many different exercises on it.
How does a normal day look like in your life?
Since my book ‘The Reset Plan’ has come out I have been scheduling my days around book signing and seminars. When my days are busier my workouts are earlier. I do this because if I don’t they can be easy to skip. I always tell myself, and the people around me, that making appointments with yourself is just as important as with anyone else. Getting my endorphins going with my workouts start my day off right and puts me in a great mood. Everyone around me is thankful for it! HA!
Has there never been a period of time where you were like “I don’t care anymore about fitness and healthy food” after the time you struggled with your bodyweight, like you described it in your book? By the way do you still feel a kind of fight against gaining weight?
I think it’s important to read the beginning of my book, and my book in general, because I talk about rebelling a lot and having a lot of days not caring and yo-yo-ing with my weight because of it. I was able to reset myself that is why I know my plan works so well.
Why did you decide to write ‘The Reset Plan’?
I was tired of all the excuses that my clients were giving me and themselves about what they self sabotage. I have never been a person that is good at being fake or surface – and it’s good because the truth sets you free and gives back to you with results. I always say you’re only as FIT as your secrets. You’re not overweight because you like to eat and you’re not an alcoholic because you like to drink. You have underlining issues that are important to walk through to be who you were intended to be. I have noticed that when I used this approach on my clients the success rate was HUGE so I wanted to share it with the world with my book.
According to “The Reset Plan”, body scales are forbidden. Why do you think so many people only look at the numbers and lose their eyes for the obvious: the body? Do you think that body scales should be banned from every household?
Food can be an addiction and the industry takes advantage of it. That’s what it’s a 6+ billion dollar business. I don’t believe in giving power to numbers or diet fads. They become addicting in themselves. You have to focus on how you feel, what you enjoy that is healthy and your end goal. Scales give you as much as the slot machines do. A sense of worth in the moment. I think having a goal size is a good thing and you can do that with a pair of pants you want to fit back into!
In the past answers you highlighted the letters “FIT” and told me you are a FITamentalist. What do these letters mean to you personally?
F.I.T. means Focus. Invest. Take Action. – With anything that you want in your life. I break it down a lot in the book.
Why do you think it is so hard for so many people to live healthy, eat vegetables and self-cooked food? Is it the laziness, is it the (good?) taste of unhealthy food and sodas?
I think that we are overworked in general and our habits have gotten really lazy. The food industry is designed to make us fat and make us feel that we “deserve” instant gratification. Sugar is in everything. It’s the new tobacco in my eyes. It’s addicting, makes you want more and is making us heavy. The chemicals in our food are designed to make us crave more and dictate our moods. It’s killing us and I blame the system for all the crap and sugar they put in our food and the billions of dollars they spend to advertise it.
What do you suggest as an alternative to convenience foods if you don’t have much time?
I don’t believe in “not having the time”. I believe you make the time. If there are days that are harder than others I buy a cooler and grab apples, yogurt, string cheese, and keep it cool throughout the day too snack on so I don’t see fat food and want to go for it. Though fast food has healthy options now, they still are filled with preservatives and sodium.
I found this quotation: „I cursed the ground kale grew on, wanted to punch all low fat foods in the face, and stuck both my middle fingers up at any quinoa that dared to get near my plate.“
Is this one of the reasons why you are against strict meal plans with many prohibitions?
I think people don’t want to be deprived and everyone has their own tastes. I don’t like kale but I do love other greens now. When my dad was bodybuilding he had to eat healthy and I resented that I had to eat healthy too. It wasn’t until I changed my mentality to focusing on how foods made me feel did I lose the weight. Forget what size you are. You have to live for you. Foods that have less than 3 ingredients make me feel like much more of a rockstar throughout the day than the ones that have processed junk. I think it’s important to surround yourself with natural foods and then listen to your body about how much you want to consume. You can consume a LOT more natural foods and lose weight then a small amount of junk.
I am totally with you! Do you eat “normal”, vegetarian, vegan or in another way?
Everything. When my body craves protein I eat it but I really enjoy like getting creative with my vegetables and finding ways to not have meat at every meal. It cuts down the calories and carbs when you fill up your plate up of veggies first.
What about the water intake? Could you maybe explain the advantages of drinking 3-4 liters per day? What do you think about coffee, energy drinks (without sugar) and diet cokes?
Water is so important to flush all the toxins out of our body. It is also so beneficial for the skin, having energy and not making you feel hungry when you’re not. I drink more tea than coffee because coffee dehydrates you. I will say having a cup of coffee or two a day is fine because it’s natural. Make sure you hydrate after each cup and be careful about how much sugar and creamer goes into it. Energy drinks need to go in the trash of GOOD!
Diet sodas are shit too and I would rather my clients have a soda once in a while than 10 diet sodas. Sodas are filled with chemicals that can’t break down in our body and tricks us to feel like we are getting the sugar effect but then it eventually makes you crave more. Chemicals are just awful. I say if you want soda, have club soda or sparkling water and add natural juices to it. You will thank me later!
Which supplement would you choose if you could only buy one?
Previnex is our go to protein and supplement line. It’s QUALITY. Check it out.
We are obsessed with their joint supplement. It has really helped my knees.
The ingredients look really nice! Do you ship to Europe, too?
What kind of clients do you usually supervise?
I have worked with every walk of life. Girls that are 14 and bulimic to 90 year old men that want to work on balance and technique. I have trained athletes and celebrities as well, and ‚The Reset Plan’* for them has all worked. My book’s not just about losing weight – it’s about loving yourself and finding the path that works best to have a fantastic and sustainable life.
What is the perfect body in your opinion? What do you call overweight?
The perfect body to me is when I see someone own themselves no matter what size they are. Overweight to me is when you are restricted to doing activities that are daily routines. If you’re losing your breath walking down the street there is a problem and it needs to be reset. Our heart never stops beating until the day we die so it’s important to not overwork it too hard or it will give up on us earlier in life. I personally think I am the sexiest when I walk out of the gym. I love having muscle on my body and feeling accomplished after a great workout.
I think everybody who is lifting weights or doing sports regularly knows what you mean, when you’re saying you feel the sexiest when you walk out of the gym.
Do you eat sweets and drink soft drinks, too or are you drinking water and eating salads with chicken only?
It’s all about balance! I love bread but I have to limit it if I don’t want to be heavy again. I limit what I eat to less than 5 ingredients in each item. I love cheetos but won’t have a full bag of them anymore. They have processed crap but if I crave some I will have some. If I get a burger because I am craving it, I get a salad on the side instead of fries. It’s all about give and take and not over indulging. It’s really simple but society makes it so confusing for us to listen to our own body and instincts.
Is there any book/song/movie/person which/who ispired/inspires you?
My father is 80% hard of hearing and an amazing father, husband, athlete and man. He inspires me. My mother also inspires me because no matter how heavy I was as a kid she always told me I was beautiful. She never put me down. She always encouraged me to be my best. I am so grateful for those two humans.
Do you have any secret on how to get started without your book?
Start with taking one thing out of your diet that you know isn’t healthy. Do that for 2 weeks and then take another out. Go take walks. If you don’t have time to go to the gym or want to “make time” there is no excuse to not take a walk. One day at a time. Be realistic with your goals.
Do you like watching series? If so, are you more like a binge-watcher or are you disciplined and watch the episodes day per day or week per week?
I watch everything. I do cardio to shows. I like the trick that I use with it. I can’t watch my favorite show unless I am doing cardio to it. It makes the time go by quickly and encourages me to do cardio on days that I may not be in the mood. I don’t do it with every show but I am doing it right now with ‘Stranger Things 2’
I watch every show out there – except Walking Dead. Not a zombie fan. 😉
Dear Shanna, on behalf of katawan I would like to thank you for taking the time to write about yourself, your family and your book. I wish you continued success, health and focus!