Fire. If you asked us to describe Kirsty Godso in just one word, it would have to be: Fire. Founder of the fittingly named PYROGIRLS workouts and based in New York City as one of Nike’s top master trainers, Kiwi-born Kirsty is ‘goals’ in the truest sense of the word. From her superhuman ability to launch into a set of her ‘hot sauce burpees’ at any given moment (you NEED to see these) to her positive, no-BS attitude towards fitness and life, suffice to say, this girl knows her sh*t! Having teamed up with Stylerunner to bring her famous PYROGIRLS workout (and hot sauce burpees, of course!) down under for the first time ever, we caught up with Kirsty to talk all things fitness, staying motivated and the biggest lesson she’s learnt on the road to success:
What does a day in the life of Kirsty Godso currently look like?
Every day is uniquely different but some constants are: 5am alarm clocks, a lot of burpees, serious amounts of hydration, avocado and facetiming my family and cat back in New Zealand. I start early and end late and the minutes in between are spent training private clients or Nike clients, teaching classes at Project by Equinox and Sky Ting Yoga, more conference calls and emails than expected, working on PYROGIRLS and my whey protein, ‘Made Of’, then finally, training myself.
You went from growing up on a farm in New Zealand to becoming a Nike Master Trainer in New York City! How did your fitness journey start and what led you to joining one of the biggest names in sport in the city that never sleeps?
I started in Auckland NZ where I was teaching HIIT workouts whilst working as a brand manager and that’s where Nike first found me. After years of looking after the Pacific region as a Nike Master Trainer and traveling internationally from NZ, in 2016 it was time to officially make the move to the US and join the North America Nike team. NYC is the epicentre of the fitness industry and the biggest city for Nike so it made total sense to be there. I’m addicted to the energy of the city and the possibilities that are in every waking (and sleeping) moment.
Tell us a little bit about your own workout program, ‘PYROGIRLS’.
PYROGIRLS started as a workout and has turned into a movement! My friend and fellow trainer Lauren Williams and I met on a Nike photoshoot years ago and used to talk about teaching together and how it would be “too much sauce” (you can see where the hot sauce burpee name comes from). In 2017 we started teaching PYROGIRLS in the NYC based boutique gym that I helped Equinox open and it blew up from there. We noticed people from around the world were responding to and tagging us in their efforts at the hot sauce burpees.
The passion behind PYROGIRLS was always far more than just a workout. It’s a workout that invites you to encourage this pyro spirit into the other areas of your life. To go after what you want, to be the fire that burns inside out, to respond to challenges with an unbreakable spirit. The workouts are the perfect blend of HIIT and strength and conditioning moves with the special sauce of the hot sauce burpees to leave your heart rate, legs and lungs burning.
What was it like to bring PYROGIRLS down under for the very first time?
To say it was HIGHY FLAMMABLE would be an understatement! The energy in the room was so electric and contagious. All of the girls that came and worked out with us absolutely crushed it and dominated the hot sauce burpees! From the moment you walked into Commune you could feel the vibe – the raw finishes in the building and the amazing PYRO decals that the Stylerunner team had placed all over the space were awesome. Then add 150 girls (plus one PYROBOY) with badass braids and a fearless mindset and some Migos pumping in the background, you knew it was going to get seriously heated in that room.
When it comes to HIIT, you definitely don’t mess around! Your ‘hot sauce burpee’ is famous in fitness circles. What was the inspo behind this move and name?
We actually have an army of hot sauce burpees but the OG hot sauce burpee is the most well known and a favourite of ours for sure! Lauren and I always love playing around with different drills that challenge things such as speed, plyo, agility, stability. Each hot sauce burpee has a different flare and a special fire! Regular burpees can be boring so we wanted to mix it up and make it a fun and engaging way for people to add them into their training and it’s definitely working. We love seeing people tag us in their burpees and best believe there’s some PYROBOYS out there too [laughs]!
What does your personal training regime look like at the moment? Does it get hard to keep up your workouts when so much of your time goes into training others?
YES! Sometimes from an outside view people think I just train myself all day (I wish!) but finding and making the time for my own workouts can be challenging but I know how important it is to my energy. I’ve had to learn to be much more honest with myself about what my daily workout will be depending on the workload of that day because it’s easy to burn out in a city as non-stop as NYC. At the moment I’m particularly into Pilates and see a private trainer Dani regularly. She is badass and keeps me in check [laughs]! I’m using the Pilates to help me strengthen in different ways and to learn new things and I’ve seen such an incredible crossover into my other training.
“I’m using the Pilates to help me strengthen in different ways and to learn new things and I’ve seen such an incredible crossover into my other training.”
I also have got way more serious about regeneration and make foam rolling and activation drills a daily must and you’ll often find me at Sky Ting Yoga. Two of my incredible friends are the owners and together we started PYRO TINGS – a 75 minute fusion workout of yoga and barefoot bodyweight interval training. It’s been wildly popular in NYC and we can’t take it on the road to other cities and countries.
It’s almost winter in Australia (sigh). Do you have any tips or tricks for staying motivated to work out as the weather cools down?
Don’t train for a season. One of my favourite boxing coaches, Lolo from Prevail Boxing in LA, always says “I stay ready so I don’t have to get ready”. I love that. Don’t we owe it to ourselves to always put in the work? We have to learn to be more resilient in our commitment to exercise. I walked to the gym in NYC in a bomb cyclone (-17 degrees and full ice shards to the face), it wasn’t pretty but it was worth it! Stay committed to your training and it will stay committed to you.
“Stay committed to your training and it will stay committed to you.”
When it comes to activewear, what do you typically look for in your workout clothes?
I was always a Nike Pro Short girl when I lived down in these warmer climates but US living has seen me constantly seeking out the perfect tights. Never underestimate the power of a good training shoe (and please STOP training in lifestyle shoes) and I love a long crop – Nike have been putting out some fire ones recently! Fit is super important. Don’t wear workout clothes that make you feel uncomfortable. You need to wear things that make you walk into your workouts feeling good so you walk out of them feeling even better!
We always welcome life hacks from successful women – especially when it comes to going from ‘workout’ to ‘work’! What’s your go-to beauty product for those jam-packed training days?
Brow brush always! I use this one from Sania’s Brow Bar in NYC – one end has a pencil on it and the other has a brush and it’s amazing! I also love the Dewy Skin Mist from Tatcha and the CliniqueFIT Mascara. Remember less is more… less time doing your makeup so you can spend more time in your workout!
What would you say is the best piece of advice you have received along the road to success?
Don’t argue your worth, state it and be prepared to walk away from things where you aren’t valued. We have to be protective of our energy and we have to be accountable for where we use it so make decisions that are in line with what you truly believe. If it costs your peace it’s too expensive.
“Don’t argue your worth, state it and be prepared to walk away from things where you aren’t valued.”
What can we expect to see next from Kirsty Godso?
My protein powder Made Of which launches in the US this Summer, many more hot sauce burpees and global PYROGIRLS workouts, and something very exciting with Nike later this month [winks].
Rapid fire time! Please answer or finish the following sentences:
Air Max or Air Force? BOTH! Specifically Air Max 270 and 180 and Air Force 1’s
Coffee or tea? COFFEE
It’s slightly embarrassing, but I’m currently obsessed with… Vacuuming
I love to work out in my… Nike Free TR Flyknit 3
My “guilty” pleasure treat is… Spicy corn chips with guacamole
My most used emoji is the… Laughing crying face
Love Kirsty’s look? Shop it now at Stylerunner.com!
Kirsty Godso shot exclusively for Triple White. Shop her entire look now at www.stylerunner.com.
Photography: Cameron Oates
Videographer: Sebastian Garcia
Hair: Toni & Guy
Makeup: Rani Shortland
Stylist: Jayson Evans
Interview: Sukriti Wahi
Location: COMMUNE Waterloo
Connect with Kirsty