Singapore's ultimate fitness festival, FitnessFest™ by AIA returns for its second edition on 19 May 2018, at the Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre. The festival promises a heart-pumping 12-hour fitathon with over 60 multi-level workout sessions brought to you by an A-list line-up of fitness celebrities, including global phenomenon Kayla Itsines!
We spoke to Kayla about her lifestyle, daily habits, diet, fitness routines and more.
Vanilla Luxury: Share with us your life growing up
Kayla Itsines: I grew up in a tight-knit Greek family in Australia, that I am still really close with today. When I was younger, my family and I were all really active, and I played a lot of sport at school. I’ve always loved the way that being active has made me feel, Physical Education was definitely my favourite subject at school!
Vanilla Luxury: Tell us more about what made you start your first Bikini Body Guide and then Sweat with Kayla
Kayla Itsines: Once I had become a qualified Personal Trainer, I started to train women in small groups and one-on-one, using my unique style of training. As my clients started to achieve amazing results, word started to spread, and I soon had women contacting me from all around the world asking for health and fitness advice. To cater to this demand, Tobi and I co-created the Bikini Body Guides. Now I am a Sweat trainer and my programs, BBG & BBG Stronger, are in the Sweat App.
Vanilla Luxury: What's next?
Kayla Itsines: My goal has always been to help women become healthier, stronger and more confident, and this is still my main focus today. I will continue to work on developing my programs as well as do boot camps where I get to meet the amazing BBG Community.
Vanilla Luxury: What's a typical day like for you?
Kayla Itsines: I’m an early bird, so I get up around 5.30am every day. I’ll make some brekky for my two dogs, Ace and Junior, and grab my iPhone to check out what my amazing BBG Community has been up to overnight. It always leaves me feeling so inspired and motivated to conquer the day. I’ll then head out to my visit my family for breakfast, as it’s really important that I get to see them every day.
My next stop is the gym, where I will film content for my social media channels for the week. Afterwards, I will often have one-on-one or small group training sessions with my clients. I have been working with some of my clients for over 5 years, so I really love this part of my day! In the afternoons I will complete one of my 28-minute BBG Stronger workouts, using the Sweat app on my Apple Watch or iPhone. Then its a cooldown, and back home to get dinner ready.
Every night I always have dinner with my partner and Sweat CEO, Tobi Pearce. Even if I am away travelling I will always call him at dinner time to see how his day has been. To make sure I get enough sleep, I also go to bed pretty early, at around 9pm.
Vanilla Luxury: What do you regularly have for breakfast, lunch, and dinner?
Kayla Itsines: I have five nutritionally balanced (and delicious!) meals a day. It’s important that I have enough energy to get me through my busy schedule. I’ll often change up my what I eat every day, but here is what you might find on my plate:
1. Breakfast: Two slices of toast drizzled with olive oil, with tomatoes (from my YiaYia’s garden!) and olives, and a Greek coffee
2. Snack: A Greek yoghurt with honey
3. Lunch: Homemade Yiros - wholemeal wrap, tomato, lettuce, chicken, cucumber and homemade tzatziki dressing
4. Snack: A handful of seasonal fresh fruit
5. Dinner: Salmon with rice and steamed vegetables
Vanilla Luxury: What would you advise people starting their own fitness journey?
Kayla Itsines: It's important to first understand what is motivating you. For example, do you want to start walking every day because you want more energy to play netball with your friends, or is it because you want some ‘you time’ to unwind after your day? When you know what it is, you can use it as a secret weapon to help you stay on track. It's natural for motivation to waver on your fitness journey, so when you have those moments, you can look back and remind yourself of why you started in the first place.
Vanilla Luxury: We read that "Kayla also credits healthy habits as a way to stay on track with her balanced lifestyle." Share with us some of these healthy habits you practice?
Kayla Itsines: I find that sticking to a routine really helps me to stay on track. If I’m travelling overseas, I always make time for my workouts, even if that means working out in my hotel room. I also make sure that I have had plenty of sleep each night so that I have the energy I need for the day ahead. I use the Bedtime function on my iPhone and make sure I get a full 8 hours sleep. It's a simple and easy to do, and a great habit to get into!
If you don't know where to start when it comes to setting habits, my book ‘The Bikini Body Motivation & Habits Guide’ has heaps of helpful tips to get you on the right track.
Vanilla Luxury: Both women and men are usually concerned about their tummy fat. What is an easy everyday exercise you'll recommend?
Kayla Itsines: Unfortunately there isn't any way to spot reduce fat on your tummy, or any other area on your body. You can do 500 crunches a day and it's still not going to give you the results you are looking for. You instead need to focus on decreasing your overall body fat, by reviewing your diet, training, stress and sleep patterns. All these things play a key role in shedding unwanted fat.
3 high-calorie burning exercises that can be used in conjunction with a balanced diet, proper stress and sleep management, include jump squats, burpees and mountain climbers. Set a timer for 5 minutes and complete these 3 exercises as many times as you can. Take a 30-60 second break and repeat for another 5 minutes.
Jump Squat - 15 reps
Begin with your feet shoulder apart. Bend your hips and knees until your upper legs are parallel to the floor, ensuring that your back remains upright. From here, jump upwards into the air and extend your legs below you. Land with “soft” knees and repeat.
Burpee - 10 reps
Place your hands on the floor directly in front of your feet. Keeping your weight on your hands, jump both of your feet back to land in push up position. Jump your feet back in towards your hands, ensuring that they stay shoulder width apart. From here, jump upwards into the air and extend your arms above your head and legs below you. Land with “soft” knees and repeat.
Mountain Climber (4) + Push Up (1) - 15 reps
Place your hands on the floor slightly wider than your shoulders and extend your legs behind you resting on the balls of your feet. Bring your right knee into your chest and return to push up position and then repeat with your left knee. Repeat this action again with both your right knee and left knee. Keeping your core engaged, lower your body towards the floor and then push through your chest to extend your arms. Repeat.