New Year, New Body?


Here’s How To Train Like An Athlete In Just 12 Minutes A Day

As the new year approaches and fitness resolutions loom, many of us question how exactly to conquer our post-holiday-indulgences transformation bodies. Ready for a “new year, new you?” Not to worry – Bella has you covered, so don’t dull that holiday season glow you’ve got going on! Meet Krista Stryker: fitness expert, personal trainer and newly published author of The 12 Minute Athlete: Get in the Best Shape of Your Life in 12 Minutes a Day.

NSCA certified personal trainer and founder of 12 Minute Athlete, Stryker is leading the masses to fitness fulfillment in just minutes, with her dedicated website, mobile app and new book. Her fusion of short, effective workouts and functional strength training affords every level of athlete the ability to get in the best shape of their lives. Named one of Athleta’s 100 Women to Watch in Wellness, Krista has perfected an enjoyable approach to working out, making it fun and simple, so anyone can integrate good health into their daily routines. 

Don’t miss a beat! Click HERE to become a BELLA Insider!

Bella Magazine sat down with Stryker to find out more about her fitness journey and to get our Bellas the inside scoop on achieving their best bodies: 

Start by telling everyone how you got started in the fitness/personal training industry.

I had zero interest in fitness growing up, and I actually didn’t start working out until I was in college. I didn’t start loving fitness until I discovered HIIT in my twenties. 

I grew up in a very athletic family, but I thought the athlete gene had skipped me. My brother used to call me ‘spaghetti arms’. I was a shy, nerdy, bookworm kid with zero interest in fitness or sports.

During my college years, I was a little lost and low in confidence. I started going to the gym to look and feel better, but I had no idea what I was doing.

One day my brother challenged me to do a push up—I thought I was a person who could never do a push up, but then I did three! In that moment my whole mindset changed. I realized that if I worked at it consistently, I could maybe actually become a ‘fit person’.

I started running and working out more regularly, but I hated every second of it. Even after I became a personal trainer, I didn’t develop a great relationship with fitness until I discovered high intensity interval training and bodyweight workouts, which is the basis of the 12 Minute Athlete approach.

Tell our readers about your journey to “12 Minute Athlete.” 

After first developing an interest in fitness and getting my personal training certification, I worked for a few years at a popular gym in New York city. On top of working with my clients, I was working out for hours every day. I wasn’t seeing the results I wanted, and I was incredibly exhausted.

I was working long hours as a personal trainer and working out on top of that, without seeing the results I wanted. I experimented and came up with a program of short, powerful high intensity workouts that were unbelievably effective for me and my clients, so I created 12 Minute Athlete to share them with the world! 

HIIT changed everything for me personally. As someone who used to not be able to do a single push up, all of a sudden I was busting out push ups, pull ups and burpees and still had energy left over to enjoy my life. My strength and confidence skyrocketed.

 These short, powerful workouts got great results for my clients too. I started 12 Minute Athlete to share my workouts with more people at all stages of their fitness journey, to help them unlock their full athletic potential.

Could you describe what exactly it means to be a “12 minute athlete” and what the regimen consists of.

12 Minute Athlete is a program of high intensity interval workouts that you can do with limited space, little or no equipment and a very short amount of time. It’s a super-efficient, super effective approach to fitness.

The workouts in the book, app, and on the website use mainly your own bodyweight and combine plyometrics with strength exercises for a short, powerful, full body workout. 

One of our core beliefs is that ‘everybody is an athlete’. You can adapt the workouts to start at any level and keep adjusting them as you progress. You can see incredible results from these workouts in a short amount of time, even if you don’t think of yourself as athletic. 

How did you transition from trainer to author? What was the journey like creating this book and has your popularity/recognition changed since beginning this writing journey?

I actually started out my career as a writer—I always thought I’d end up as a journalist, and actually worked as an intern for local Portland papers (where I’m from) as well as the local NPR station. After getting out of college, I worked as a freelance writer for a couple of years before getting interested in fitness, and eventually getting my personal training certification while I was living in Amsterdam, Holland. 

After that I mainly focused on personal training for a couple of years before deciding to combine my interests of writing and fitness and starting my blog, 12 Minute Athlete. From there, it was only a matter of time before I decided to write a book.  

Describe what your current fitness journey looks like.

I’m always looking for new ways to challenge myself and to keep pushing my fitness level. I feel like this keeps me more connected to my readers at different levels in their own fitness journeys as well as helps to keep me always learning and growing, not only as an athlete, but as a person as well.   

Currently I’m working on learning cool new handstand skills (I started working on handstands a few years ago and fell in love) as well as learning to box. I plan to have my first amateur boxing fight early next year. I continue to do the 12 Minute Athlete HIIT workouts five or six days a week.  

With heavy-hitting, athletic brand collaborators like ASICS and Champion under her (weight) belt, we’re definitely going to be following Krista’s journey to training domination. If you want to lock down that “new year, new body,” head to Amazon to snag a copy of her new book, visit or follow along on social @12minuteathlete.


More from Jennifer DeCillis

Spring Is In Full Bloom With East Olivia’s Floral Works Of Art

A visual storyteller with a passion for genuine connection, Kelsea Olivia, is a...
Read More