Yes, she may be one of (if not the) biggest fitness stars in the world, made famous by her do-anywhere 28-minute workout routines, but amongst all the burpees and box jumps, Kayla Itsines is just the girl next door who you want to be friends with.
Her real and honest approach to exercise (and life) have gained the interest of over 6.8 million Instagram followers who look forward to their daily dose of Kayla – no details spared.
We caught up with the fitness queen herself to chat about how she almost didn’t become a personal trainer and more!
First thing’s first, what’s one fitness myths you want women to stop believing?
That you need to cut out whole food groups or deprive yourself of the foods you love to lose weight. You should listen to your body when it comes to the foods you eat – and eat to feel good. I’m a big advocate for fuelling your body with a healthy balanced diet from all food groups. I also believe you can still eat the foods you love, just enjoy them in moderation!
Kayla wears Nike Pro Indy Cool Bra and Jaggad Symmetry Full Length Leggings from Stylerunner
How would you describe your overall health philosophy?
I believe it’s important to focus on how you FEEL, not on how you look. I want to help women achieve the ideal body confidence they deserve. For me, I feel my best when I keep active and eat a healthy, balanced diet that provides my body with plenty of energy. A healthy relationship with both food and exercise is not just for people who want to lose weight — it helps you to feel good inside and out. I want women to have the energy to take on anything and everything they want to achieve!
“I have always been very open and honest on my social media accounts – I don’t think there is anything people don’t know about me.”
Describe a typical day in the life of Kayla (meals and all!)
My days vary depending on whether I am travelling or not. If I’m home, my day starts off with breakfast, which is usually toast with chilli kale (from my favourite cafe!), two scrambled eggs and some sumac spice plus a green tea or espresso shot. I usually head to my studio to train clients in the morning, then I might have a mid-morning snack (something like Greek yoghurt and berries). Then I am either in the studio or in the office creating content, going to meetings and checking in with the community. For lunch I might have a Yiros using turkey or chicken and some fresh salad. My afternoon snack usually depends on what time of day I’m doing my workout; I like tuna on crispbreads for a post-workout snack. Dinner is usually a lean protein, like grilled chicken or salmon with some brown rice and vegetables. Throughout the day, I make sure I’m drinking lots of water too.
Kayla wears Varley Terry Crop, Union Tights and Nike Air Max Thea Ultra Flyknit from Stylerunner
What does your own training regimen look like?
I use the same workouts as my BBG girls! I will usually do 3-4 resistance training sessions a week, along with my High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and Low Intensity Steady State (LISS) cardio, when I take my dogs for walks on other days. I make sure to have one rest day a week, and I stretch and foam roll to help prevent injury.
What are some of your all-time favourite exercise moves and why?
Honestly, everyone laughs when I say this, but I love burpees! They work multiple muscle groups, so I’m working my whole body. I can also vary them to increase the intensity, like adding a push-up! That being said, just remember that there isn’t necessarily one exercise that works specifically for everyone; it’s all about finding what works for you.
Kayla wears Nike Pro Indy Cool Bra, Jaggad Symmetry Full Length Leggings and Nike Metcon 3 Trainer from Stylerunner
What is your view on the whole cardio vs weight debate for women? Do you recommend one over the other?
Every woman’s body is different, so it’s important to remember that what works for one woman may not necessarily work for another. I use both cardio and resistance training in my programs, because they both have their advantages! It’s also important to remember we all have different fitness goals.
“During my first ever boot camp in Melbourne, I fell over on the stage in front of 3000 women! It was pretty awkward.”
If we were to look in your gym bag right now, what items would we find?
I keep it pretty simple! Usually I just have my headphones, a sweat towel, a water bottle and a hairbrush. I always try and pack my SWEAT foam roller too, it’s hollow so it’s light to pack!
What’s been your most awkward moment to date and what did you to do to come out of it?
During my first ever boot camp in Melbourne, I fell over on the stage in front of 3000 women! It was pretty awkward, but thankfully everything ran smoothly after that! It was one of those moments where you just have to laugh and move on.
Kayla wears Nike Pro Classic Bra, P.E Nation Run & Gun Tank, PUMA Leggings and Nike Metcon 3 trainer from Stylerunner
What are some of your business aspirations?
I want to motivate and help as many women as possible to become healthier, stronger and more confident! Connectivity for women is so important to me and I want to help bring women together through technology and fitness. I’m so lucky to be able to do something that I love, and being able to help women all over the world is amazing. I want to continue to educate this global community, so we can uplift and support each other to achieve our goals.
“I feel so blessed to be able to train women from all over the world.”
What do you look for in your activewear and what are some of your favourite pieces in your wardrobe?
I choose activewear that is high-quality and feels supportive, without restricting my movement. You might have noticed on my social media that I wear clothes from lots of different brands, and that I LOVE white shoes!
What is one thing you can’t live a day without?
My family! I come from quite a big family and spending time together is just something we’ve always done. I miss them when I’m travelling, so it is always nice to come home and have a big family dinner together.
“I LOVE my dogs like they’re my own kids!”
What’s been your biggest challenge to date and how did you overcome it?
Initially, my Pappou and Yiayia (grandfather and grandmother in Greek) were a bit unsure of my decision to be a personal trainer. They are very traditional, which made me consider whether I should continue with it because I didn’t want to do something they didn’t approve of. My dad encouraged me to follow my dreams. He said, “You can’t change who you are to please other people. You have to do what YOU want to do and what makes you happy” – and that’s what I did.
Shot exclusively for Triple White. Kayla dressed by Stylerunner. Shop her look here!
Photography: Adam Flipp
Hair & Makeup: Stefanie Pratico
Interview: Julia Giampietro
Download the Sweat App with Kayla’s BBG Workouts here.