Health

How This Fitness Influencer Balances Filming Instagram Workouts for a Million Followers With Running a Business and Practicing Mindfulness

Image via Senada Greca.

Welcome to Busy Bodies, where we ask busy Washingtonians how they balance health and fitness while working crazy hours, raising a family, and meeting the demands of the daily hustle. Know someone who’s killing the fitness game while getting it done (maybe it’s you)? Email [email protected]washingtonian.com

Senada Greca is a fitness influencer with over 1.7 million Instagram followers who also runs her own business providing workout programs. Greca was born in Albania, moved to New York as a teenager, and now lives in Navy Yard.

The business school grad originally began her career in finance and sales while filming workouts for Instagram and building her fitness business on the side. She’s recently dedicated herself full-time to her fitness group—aka the “Crush It” programs and meal plans she creates with a team of nutritionists.

Greca fell in love with health and exercise as a child in Albania, climbing trees and playing outside, and then transitioned to sports and marathons as she got older. These days, she’s all about strength-training, with some yoga thrown in for active recovery.

Health and fitness have played a huge role in Greca’s life and helped her find her path: “I used to be a shy girl, always afraid of others’ opinions and impressions,” she says. I have come to consciously appreciate what eating healthy and exercising can do for my body and my mind, my self-esteem, and my confidence.”

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Abs / Core Sunday 🔥🔥🔥 – SAVE + LIKE + SHARE + CRUSH IT 👊🏼 w My Crush It Crew 🔗 in my BIO 💚 – Does anyone else out there love climbing trees or am I the only one? 👀 😬 – There’s a special connection I have with nature and movement. As a child, I spent as much time as I could outside, and to this day, I do the same. It’s so important, especially during times like these, to make sure we (safely) maintain that connection with nature. 💚 – Workout deets 8-16reps for 3-4 sets. (Please use common sense and caution ⚠️) 1. Alt knee raise to leg extension 2. Hanging hello dollies 3. Hanging hollow bodies 4. Knee tucks 5. Hanging body knee tucks – ***Have you checked out my programs (link in my bio) and joined the Crush It Crew??? Programs: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced & Expert. Meal plans INCLUDED. 🙌🏼 Do them anywhere with ONLY BANDS and DUMBBELLS. 😊 Also check out CrusHIIT, unlimited access to my bodyweight HIIT style, The Senada Way 😎, workouts 💦 – Remember, mind-muscle connection 🧠 +💪🏼. It’s not how much you lift, but HOW you lift 😉 – Tag me on your posts of my workouts and you might end up on my story 🤗 – Last, but not least, Have Fun ☺️ – – – #abworkout #coreworkout #quadsworkout #legworkout #gluteworkout #workoutvideos #gymmotivation #bodybuilding #fitnessmotivation #homeworkout #fullbodyworkout #bodyweightworkout

A post shared by Senada Greca, MBA (@senada.greca) on

Here’s how the full-time fitness professional gets it done:

“I wake up at 5:45 AM, drink a large glass of water with half of a lemon, and start my workout at 6 AM. Currently I strength-train six-to-seven days a week, with one of the days being an active rest day. I sincerely believe that a body in motion stays in motion. By 7:30 AM, I am ready for coffee [and] a bit of nature time while walking my dog, Bud. Weather permitting, I’ll sit outside in gratitude and gear up for the day. The rest of the day involves checking in on my Crush It Crew over our private Facebook group, filming the daily workout, responding to emails and DMs, and working on my two additional businesses that will soon launch. Creative workouts have always been my signature, so once the pandemic hit, it was fairly easy to reconfigure and create home workouts with limited or no equipment. The work day at times doesn’t end until 9 or 10 PM, as I also work with companies that are Australia-based, so the time difference makes for a bit of an added challenge.

“Of course, proper nourishment is a critical part of staying healthy. My breakfast consists of either eggs or protein-loaded oatmeal. Lunch is a protein, such as eggs, turkey, or fish, [as well as] greens. I prepare [the protein] ahead of time so as not to interrupt the flow of the day. For dinner, my partner and I enjoy cooking together on most nights. Occasionally, we do enjoy walking downstairs and hitting some of our favorite restaurants [in Navy Yard to support] local businesses, especially during these challenging times.

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EPIC Core & Upper Body 🔥🔥🔥 exercises Straight OUTTA my CRUSH IT EXPERT program 🔗 in My BIO – SAVE + LIKE + SHARE + CRUSH IT 💪🏼 – Today’s workout I’m really, REALLY excited to see what you all think 😬 In my book, this one was EPIC. What do you think? Which exercise are you like: “Dang I gotta try that one?” – Workout deets – 8-16 reps for 3-4 sets: 1. Static V up DB press forward 2. Swimmers w pseudo planche push up 3. DB rows arms out 4. Rear delt raise w reverse fly combo 5. Alt side rows (elbows at 45 degrees) 6. Alt side DB presses w opposite side 90 degree hold 7. Sit Charles delt raises 8. Underhand DB front raises to around the world 9. DB press up to tricep extensions – – ***Check our my site 🔗 in Bio. Programs: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced & Expert. Meal plans INCLUDED. 🙌🏼 Do them anywhere with ONLY BANDS and DUMBBELLS. 😊 Also check out CrusHIIT, unlimited access to my bodyweight HIIT style, The Senada Way 😎, workouts 💦 – – Wearing @ryderwear 💜 Geo Seamless leggings and basic top, both in XS. Use code SG10 for discount 😌 – – – #abworkout #quadsworkout #legworkout #gluteworkout #workoutvideos #gymmotivation #fitnessmotivation #hiitworkout #workoutathome #homeworkout #fullbodyworkout #bodyweightworkout

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Being a business owner doesn’t allow for a set schedule. The concept of a 9-to-5 and a weekend is foreign, with the work day [often] lasting for 12-plus hours. Having said that, I am mindful of incorporating pause and rest during the week and enjoying time with friends and family. I am a big believer in also including mindfulness practices such as yoga and meditation. Yoga is where my body and mind connect. 

“It is during these times that one’s own ability to overcome disease comes into question. My father battled COVID for five weeks in the ICU, and is slowly recovering. So controlling the controllable [and] prioritizing our health while our physical and mental health are in jeopardy have been [goals] for myself and my online and offline community.

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Daily Yoga Mindfulness Saturday 🧘🏽‍♀️ this shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes 💚 – SAVE + LIKE + SHARE + CRUSH IT 😌 – Who joined the LIVE CrusHIIT session this AM??? 😬 I loved so much training with you all and we’ll do it more often. 💚 It came straight out of CrusHIIT 🔗 link in my BIO 🙌🏼 – After today’s HIIT session live with you, I needed a bit of yoga and these poses were just right. – 1. Tripod – DO this second to last, and only if you have the experience and this is in your practice 2. Standing side bend 3. Cow 4. Cat 5. Upward facing dog 6. Downward facing dog 7. High lunge 8. Twisted lunge 9. Deep squat 10. Reclined spinal twist – 👉🏼 Get stronger, mentally and physically. Check out my programs (link in my bio) and join the Crush It Crew! 💚 Workouts you can do anywhere with just SHORT bands and dumbbells. Meal plans included. 🙌🏼 Or check out CrusHIIT, unlimited access to my bodyweight HIIT style, the Senada Way 😎, workouts 💦 – Dropping on Monday, this NEW 😻 @ryderwear Seamless Collection 🙌🏼. Use code SG10 for a discount 😌 – Remember, mind-muscle connection 🧠 +💪🏼. It’s not how much you lift, but HOW you lift 😉 – Tag me on your posts of my workouts and you might end up on my story 🤗 – Last, but not least, Have Fun ☺️ – – – #abworkout #coreworkout #quadsworkout #legworkout #gluteworkout #workoutvideos #gymmotivation #bodybuilding #fitnessmotivation #homeworkout #fullbodyworkout #bodyweightworkout #weekendvibes

A post shared by Senada Greca, MBA (@senada.greca) on

“I have learned over the years to not rely on a fleeting feeling such as motivation, which a lot of the time can be dictated by someone’s mood. I have created a daily habit of working out, which ensures I stick to an exercise regimen. I know that working out is my daily therapy. It keeps my body healthy and my mind sharp and clear. Working out has helped me overcome things like anxiety and depression, so I make sure that I [do it] whether I feel like it or not. Because—let’s face it—we all have those days [where] we just don’t feel like lifting a finger.

“I can unwaveringly state that exercise and eating healthily has changed my life. On a very personal note, as a teenager, I suffered from eating disorders, followed by depression and anxiety. Food was my enemy, and cardio was the weapon to combat that enemy. Once I understood that food and exercise can live happily together and support a healthy life, body, and mind, not only did I free myself from these burdens, but [I also] gained a newfound strength, determination, and love for life.”

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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Mimi Montgomery Washingtonian
Associate Editor

Mimi Montgomery joined Washingtonian in 2018. She previously was the editorial assistant at Walter Magazine in Raleigh, North Carolina, and her work has appeared in Outside Magazine, Washington City Paper, DCist, and PoPVille. Originally from North Carolina, she now lives in Adams Morgan.

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