Three years ago, Bruna Luccas (@bruluccass), 23, moved from Sao Paulo, Brazil, to San Diego, California, where she worked intermittently as a handywoman, in a McDonald’s kitchen, as a busser at On The Border, and as a cashier at Wahoo's Fish Tacos. After a May 2017 Instagram featuring her in and out of her McDonald's uniform was widely regrammed, and a photo of her grilling in a bikini bottom went viral in June 2017, Luccas's Instagram account grew from about 3,000 followers to more than 100,000 in a matter of weeks.
A year later, she has more than 580,000 followers and relationships with companies like Fashion Nova that pay her for sponsored posts.
Now, Luccasis is able to rely on her newfound source of income: She quit her most recent hourly job several weeks ago to launch a bikini company with her sisters. “I’ve worked very hard to get where I am right now,” says Luccas, referring to her work ethic, although the same can be said about her figure.
HOW TO GET THAT BUTT
“I’ve always had good genetics, but sports and the gym definitely helped me get in shape,” says the jiu-jitsu green belt, who began working out at age 15, when she'd model her mom’s full-body fitness routine. “It made me feel so good about myself."
Enthusiasm for exercise could explain why Luccas has taken to an unconventional fitness routine: Her former fast-food shifts began at 4 a.m. or lasted until 11 p.m., so she got used to sweating it out before or after work. Now, she continues to schedule gym sessions super early in the morning or late at night.
Although she goes to the gym daily, she alternates between upper and lower body workouts each day, and often switches up her routine - but before strength training, she always clocks at least 30 minutes on the stair-stepper.
On lower-body days, she sometimes practices a butt and leg routine she’s relied on since her teens: It’s a four-squat series done holding a barbell she loads with at least two 20-pound plates. In no particular order, she’ll do three sets of 15 reps of a narrow squat, with her feet together; a wide squat, with her feet about hips-distance apart; a sumo squat, with her feet extra wide and toes pointed outward; and a narrow squat pulse.
For the first three moves, Luccas moves super slowly and squeezes her butt throughout the movement. “It’s the secret!” she says, adding that using this technique can make squats extra effective using less weight than she uses - or even no weight at all. She picks up the pace for squat pulses.
After about 40 minutes of doing the moves above and using other lower-body machines or free weights, Luccas changes into a swimsuit to do laps for about 30 minutes.
In addition to daily workouts, she trains with a private dance instructor twice a week, takes at least one dance class, and does jiu jitsu twice a week. "I've never trained to have an amazing body," she says. "I train because it's my passion."
EATING FOR AN INSTA-FAMOUS ASS
Luccas's diet is much less rigid than you - and many of her followers - might expect based on other Instagram fitfluencers. "People don't believe that I can eat eight slices of pizza," she says.
Because she doesn’t cook and prefers real food to protein shakes and supplements, she eats out for every meal besides breakfast, which usually consists of Great Grains cereal and milk and a banana. After workouts, she eats tilapia, typically in taco form, which sometimes she'll pair with chips and salsa. About four times a week, she’ll eat pizza, a burger and fries, or fish tacos with chips and salsa. Otherwise, rice and beans, and meats like beef are a staple. “I don’t do diets - I eat like any other person,” she says. "I love ice cream!"
Although alcohol doesn’t appeal to her, and she sometimes poses with Coronas, “I eat everything I post on my Instagram,” Luccas says, referring to the burgers, pizza, French fries, frozen yogurt, and milkshakes that frequently appear in her feed.
However, because Luccas has never worked with a nutritionist – or a personal trainer, for that matter - she doesn't encourage other women to mimic her diet. "I only know what’s good for my body," she says of the habits that work for her. "Girls should focus on their own bodies. You should do whatever makes you happy."
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