With over 10 million social media followers (and counting) and a staggeringly popular workout method, Kayla Itsines reigns supreme among the sea of nutrition stars, fitness trainers and flexible yogis, leaving a sweaty mark on women worldwide. But despite being part of the powerful new brand of social media influencers, according to Itsines, it’s not all about numbers; “I don’t like to think of myself as ‘famous’ or any different to any other individual. I don’t believe that the number of followers you have defines you as a person or makes you a celebrity. It’s what you can do to make a positive impact on the lives of your followers you do have that makes a difference. I’m just a normal girl that has been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to help women all over the world.”
“Everyone deserves to feel confident and have their unique beauty highlighted.”
Humble, with eye contact that never wavers, she has an incredibly likeable, accessible appeal. It gives everyone the illusion that yes; you too could be like Itsines and turn your passion into a career (or at least look like it, if you use her workout guides). She is quick to deflect praise and credits her team, “I feel so lucky to be working with the team that we have today. I always say that they work WITH me, not for me. They are motivated, driven, and have our best interests at heart.”
But, according to Itsines, it hasn’t always been smooth sailing. Her journey started years ago when she deferred her studies to focus on becoming a personal trainer at the Australian Institute of Fitness.
Tobi, my family (including my dogs) and white training shoes!
Meeting BBG girls on World Tour in 2015.
“When I first started personal training, I told my Yiayia and Pappou (grandparents). They are Greek and very traditional and my Pappou was not so supportive of this decision, which really upset me,” she admits. “I was almost ready to quit when my dad gave me some of the best advice I have ever received. He said, ‘so you’re going to stop every time someone doesn’t like something about you? Every time someone doesn’t like what you’re doing, you’re going to change to please them? Is that what you’re going to do for the rest of your life? Do what makes you happy. Do what you want to do with your life. You only get to live once, and if this is what you want to do then follow your dreams and just do it. Get up and do something about it.’”
Then, when she started uploading the progress from her clients to Instagram, however, a larger opportunity revealed itself, “I started to receive a lot of emails asking how my clients and I were training to achieve such incredible results.
My clients were doing 28‐minute high‐intensity plyometric resistance training, with little to no equipment,” Itsines explains.
So with the help of her boyfriend and business partner, Tobias Pearce, who’s also a personal trainer, the pair spent almost a year creating what’s now one of the most buzzed about training regimens on the internet: Kayla Itsines’ Bikini Body Guide.
The inspiring brunette has now turned her hand towards an app, launching Sweat With Kayla. “Meeting the amazing girls of the BBG community [on her World in June 2015] made me realise that I wanted to create a platform and ‘home’ for the BBG,” smiles Itsines, “This platform could also help the community to connect and have access to all of the tools for their health and fitness journey in the palm of their hand.”
And as for what’s next, “I hope to continually innovate and update my App to be able to provide my BBG Community with the best tools and education to feel the confidence they deserve. I’ll also be releasing brand new products, which I’m SO excited to share with everyone!