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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 25 April 2015
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 25 APRIL 2015 23 BUSINESS Social media fitness empire Kayla Itsines, the global internet fitness sensation with millions of followers, says 28 minutes of workout a day is enough Greek Australian Kayla Itsines began her journey towards internet fame back in 2008. After finishing a personal training course at the Australian Institute of Fitness, she started working at a 'women's only' personal training centre in Adelaide, only to realise that the methods she was instructing her clients to follow weren't suitable for every woman and took up a lot of time. The 23-year-old Greek Australian beauty started changing her own fitness routine and slowly changed the lives of her clients. When she created her Instagram account, she could not have possibly imagined that from being a social media rookie, she would build a fitness empire. She began to upload be- fore and after photos of the women she was training and her profile blew up, reaching more than 2.6 million followers, including Victoria's Secret models and Hollywood stars. Kayla decided to publish a 12-week bikini body e-book plan for women sharing her fitness and eating secrets, which has since helped thousands of women from all walks of life across the globe get the body of their dreams. "I feel extremely lucky to have such amazing online followers, who I am able to chat to on a daily basis! It's definitely one of the best parts of my job," Kayla Itsines says. "My training concept in the Bikini Body Guide is about getting the most out of a limited amount of time. In today's society most people are time poor so I wanted to help them burn as much fat as fast as possible in as little time as possible without sacrificing quality of training." She overcame that difficulty by applying science-based concepts to her particular style of training, getting the outcomes that girls wanted, such as flat stomachs, toned thighs, and strong, slim arms. "The only thing I changed was the fact that you didn't have to kill yourself at the gym every single day," Kayla Itsines says. "While the workouts are only 28 minutes, they are high-intensity and repetitive. "A lot of women lose motivation because they think 'I have to workout for an hour and a half every single day, five days a week’, and when they start not doing that, they think 'Well, stuff it, I've stuffed it now, I'm not going to do it anymore'.” Kayla strongly believes hard work pays off and can soon become a habit, as working out daily improves not only physical health but makes you feel happier. Her non-pretentious approach made her even more popular online, gaining her a vast worldwide audience. "I think that's what people love about my program - I've taught them you don't need to kill yourself at the gym. It's 28 minutes, it's high intensity and then you're done." "You repeat the exercises for seven minutes straight, and it's up to you to push your body as hard as you want to. If you have the right mindset you will be absolutely stuffed. Results don’t happen overnight: Kayla and her followers have turned the fitness and eating routine into their regular lifestyle. "It makes you think 'I can just push on a little bit more' and then you do it again, and again and again." Kayla has many times made it clear that getting into perfect shape isn't a walk in the park. Apart from working out, it takes a very balanced, low-fat but nutritional diet and a good sleep pattern to get a healthy physique. Preserving such a large following isn't a piece of cake either. Kayla started to interact with her fans and offer advice. She was soon getting requests to host boot-camps and train people all over the world. The personal trainer had advertising companies approaching her, magazines and even fitness tycoons offer her deals to put her signature to their product lines. "I was trying to be nice and helpful so I was like 'Let me make an eBook', then everything was crashing and everyone was freaking out,” she says. "It was just me, answering thousands of emails, crying and thinking ‘it's too hard’." Which is where her boyfriend came along. Tobi started up Pearce and Co., a digital marketing agency behind the thriving Itsines empire. 'Less = more' is Kayla's motto, which advises people not to try and go too hard, too fast. "The biggest causes are too much training, restricting calories too far or even not resting enough. This typically results in an overload of stress that can heavily prevent weight loss. "If your body is comfortable and not stressed it will act the way you want," she insists. "Basically, if you overwork your body and treat it poorly it won't do what you want." Kayla also follows the Mediterranean diet, and not a day goes by without a bowl of Greek yoghurt. "Mornings are the busiest time for me. I get up at around 5.30 am and go for a walk," she says. “Girls of all ages all over the world have been enjoying my programs,” says Kayla Itsines. “Between getting myself ready to train my clients and looking after my puppy (Ace) I always make sure I have enough time to make a good breakfast. "My favourite is toast with poached eggs, avocado, and tomato. Plus a cup of herbal tea. I love berry tea in the mornings," she adds. According to Kayla, having a good serve of protein, carbs and fats in the morning is a balanced way to start your day. It will give you lots of energy and strength to get you through work for the day. "Dinner is my favourite meal of the day. I get to relax at home with my boyfriend and puppy. "My favourite winter dish is a fluffy lemon and rice soup with chicken, relatively easy to make - avgolemono," she explains. "I'm Greek also, so it's tradition for me." *For more information and inspiration, visit www.kaylaitsines.com.au The trainer insists that if you set your mind to it, you can accomplish anything.
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