Image Credit: Instagram.com/KaylaItsines

Gone are the days when you needed to exercise with your trainer in person. Although nothing beats a good one-on-one session, a growing number of people, and millennials, are now learning from their favourite trainers over Instagram.


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The queen of social media trainers herself, 26-year old Australian Kayla Itsines, is heading to Dubai this week to host an exclusive workout inspired by her world-renowned Bikini Body Guide (BBG) at the Golden Mile Galleria’s Fit Festival on November 3 on The Palm, Jumeirah. Itsines, who has more than 7 million followers on Instagram, will be leading a specially created 30-minute workout as part of Dubai Fitness Challenge. She spoke to Gulf News tabloid! about how BBG began, where she wants to take it and, of course, how she stays so fit. 


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What inspired you to pursue a healthy lifestyle? Were you always eating well and exercising as a young girl?

When I was young our parents would always take us out to play. Whether it was basketball, or football in the garden. My sister and I were always into sports. My parents always made sure that we had a good time, so no matter what, movements we did, they made sure it was always fun. That made me love and enjoy sports.


It all started with the Bikini Body Guide (BBG). How did you feel when the growth was so organic and successful?

I was around 18 when I first ever started personal training. So I have been doing that for years. The growth of my Instagram platform really happened over the last 3 years. It was crazy. I felt so happy when I saw the success. I manage my own account, so everything I post was just me being myself. So a couple of years in, I unintentionally started the biggest female fitness community online. I love that I can help other women get healthy and feel better about themselves.


You have paved the way for ‘digital training’, specifically with your app and on Instagram. What advice would you give trainers who want to grow their audience and inspire more people with a healthy lifestyle?

Our platform grew very organically. We didn’t do anything that was too marketing-y or anything. I literally just posted what I wanted to post. The advice I would give other trainers starting out is to be authentic. Post things that really represent who you are and how you live your life. Because the worst thing is when you meet someone and they are completely different to the person they portray on social medial media to be someone different on Instagram. You just need to be you!


How does it make you feel when you see so many women get healthy because of you?

It feels amazing! I love love seeing all those women who put their before and after pictures on Instagram and tag #BBG. I actually look through all of their photos and re-share them onto my page. I also love reading their stories. So powerful.


You’re famous for your BBG workout and we hear that you’ve developed an exclusive BBG inspired workout for your Dubai fitness class this Friday at Golden Mile Galleria. What should people expect to experience?


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It will be quite similar to my BBG workout. Almost the same exercises, but because I am condensing it to just 30 minutes, it will be high intensity, really cool and fun. I will be there myself working out with everyone.


Now you hold the record for training more than 30,000 women in person and you’ll be doing a similar public style workout at Golden Mile Galleria. How do you get yourself ready both mentally and physically to train such a big audience?

Honestly, no matter how many times I do this, I get super nervous. I am as nervous as some of the audience members who are working out. I take a peek at everyone out there and I’m like, ‘oh my god!’. But as soon as the work out starts, and I hear my music, that’s when it all goes away. That’s when I remember that I am a trainer and this is what I do! Once it’s over, the nerves come back again.


How do you stay on this track and not fall off the wagon? In other words, what keeps you motivated?

There is no denying that at times it is difficult to eat clean all the time. And sometimes you feel like you just can’t exercise. It’s okay to rest and it’s okay to have a naughty meal. I try and balance my life out as much as possible. Actually I’ve just finished writing a book called Motivations and Habits, about how to maintain this healthy lifestyle.


How many cheat meals do you have in a week?


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Honestly, I don’t really limit myself to one very naughty meal a week. Like I said, I try and live a very balanced life. So, I will have a little Greek pastry with some coffee when I visit my grandma, or I will have something delicious at dinner. I don’t consider it a cheat meal, because I generally live a very healthy life. If you exercise and you eat well, you can actually enjoy your food and give yourself treats here and there. I never feel bad.


What is your skin routine, because your skin looks fantastic!


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Oh my god, I could talk about skin all day. I love talking about routines. In short, I eat really well and I always double cleanse morning and night. I use some hydration serum and of course sun screen. That is usually what I do on a daily basis.


Don’t miss it

Kayla Itsines’s workout will take place at the Golden Mile Galleria, The Palm, on November 3 at 5pm. The workout is open to the public through free registration on Golden Mile Galleria’s Facebook Page, facebook.com/GoldenMGalleria, or by calling 04-3629999.