Spend a mere 60 seconds on fitness guru Kayla Itsines’s Instagram feed and you’ll get sucked into a social media hole just looking at all the transformations of people who have stuck to her wildly popular Bikini Body Guide and Sweat With Kayla app. The social media and wellness star has gained a mass following all thanks to her £43 PDF guides that promise (and deliver) incredible body-changing results.
Followers of her progamme also report feeling stronger and more confident thanks to the workouts. Not only does her Instagram boast 6.4 million fans, thousands of women have also signed up to her workout routines, whether by downloading the app or PDF guides. And now she's releasing a new book, The Bikini Body 28-Day Healthy Eating & Lifestyle Guide, which is full of over 200 recipes on how to eat well.
So when we were offered the opportunity to interview the exercise and business mogul, we jumped at the chance. Not only did she give us valuable information about how to exercise properly, she also gave us an insight into how she managed to make her love of fitness into an empire. Keep scrolling to read our interview with Kayla Itsines.
BYRDIE UK: Tell us about your new book. Why will our readers love it?
KAYLA ITSINES: The Bikini Body 28-Day Healthy Eating & Lifestyle Guide has everything you need to contribute to a healthy lifestyle. There are more than 200 recipes, which are simple to make and taste amazing, plus there’s 28 days’ worth of meal plans and a workout poster. My book also has a section where I talk about the importance of body confidence and having a positive mind-set, which is a message that I really want women to feel empowered by.
BYRDIE UK: What do you think is the secret to your success?
KI: I definitely believe the support and motivation that the BBG community offers really resonates with people. The women in the community are all different ages and come from different backgrounds, but we share a common goal, which is the desire to feel confident. I absolutely love being a part of a community where women encourage and support each other every single day.
I love being a part of a community where women support each other every day.
BYRDIE UK: If you were going to do one exercise move for 15 minutes every day, what would you do?
KI: I don’t think I could pick just one [laughs]. I’m a big believer in adding variety to your workouts to keep them interesting. I think using different exercise combinations to work your arms, legs and abs is a good place to start, though. I do love burpees for working multiple muscles in one move though.
BYRDIE UK: What exercises don’t work or are a waste of time? (For example, some people say sit-ups.)
KI: Everyone is unique, so exercises may work differently for different people. I don’t think it’s a matter of a particular exercise being a waste of time—it just might not be a good fit for you or your goals.
BYRDIE UK: For any of our readers who want to get motivated to work out or eat better but just can’t seem to make it a reality—what would your advice be?
KI: Find a workout buddy. Having a friend to work out with can be such great motivation, and it can make getting to each workout just a little bit easier. At the moment, the BBG community and I are doing the 12-week challenge, which means we are following the program at the same time. We’re all encouraging each other, as well as girls who have just started out on the BBG program, to keep going.
BYRDIE UK: What is your favourite move for toned legs, and then which move for toned arms?
KI: As I mentioned earlier, I don’t think there is one exercise that may work specifically for everyone—it’s all about finding what works for you! For example, I think commandos [when you move from high plank to low plank] or X- hops are great because they work multiple muscle groups. I love to change it up, so adding any type of jump-squat variation is great too.
BYRDIE UK: What are your go-to healthy snacks?
KI: I love Greek yoghurt, so I often have it with some fresh berries as a snack. After a workout, you might find this funny, but I might refuel with a tuna sandwich.
BYRDIE UK: Breakfast seems to be a real trouble spot or point of interest for our readers. What breakfast would you recommend to eat before a workout, and what should you eat on a rest day?
KI: I personally think eggs on toast with avocado, tomatoes and baby spinach can be a great breakfast because it can fill you up and give you a burst of energy.
BYRDIE UK: In the UK, there is a real focus on women in business—what pieces of advice would you give to any women who want to start their own business?
KI: I love hearing this! I would say if it’s something you feel passionate about, go for it. Surround yourself with positive people and work hard to achieve your dream. There may be people who tell you that you can’t do something, but try not to let that stop you from following what you have a passion for.
Surround yourself with positive people and work hard to achieve your dream.
BYRDIE UK: Our readers sometimes talk about rest days and feeling guilty for not doing anything. Are there workouts you think are okay to do on rest days? Or what would you say to someone who does get those guilty feelings on rest days?
KI: Rest and rehabilitation is really important for your body, so I personally believe you shouldn’t feel guilty for having a rest day. Your body needs time to recover, especially if you’ve been doing intense workouts. If you feel as though you have to do something, gentle stretching or a foam-rolling session on your rest day can be a good compromise.
BYRDIE UK: Your program is great and has helped loads of women. What advice would you give to anyone who finds it hard to push themselves without a personal trainer or a teacher at the front of a class?
KI: That’s the great thing about my app, Sweat With Kayla. It’s like having a personal trainer with you wherever you go. It gives you a variety of workouts, for example resistance, LISS and HIIT, so you can experience a range of training styles throughout your health and fitness journey. We recently added videos of each exercise to the app, so you can workout alongside them.
BYRDIE UK: What beauty products are in your gym bag?
KI: I actually keep it really simple when it comes to my beauty products. My gym bag usually just has a detangling brush, my sweat towel and my water bottle in it.
Next up! How to lose belly fat in nine simple steps.