The Adelaide born international fitness superstar wasn’t always as confident as she is now.
She might be Australia’s most successful personal trainer but Kayla Itsines has revealed to myBody+Soul there was a time when the gym overwhelmed her.
As an 18-year-old studying to be a personal trainer, the basketball buff recalled her first ever visit to a gym, which left her in tears.
“The first time I ever walked into a gym, I was completely overwhelmed,” the now 26-year-old admitted.
“I had a personal trainer come up to me and was like ‘are you OK?’ – I was just so overwhelmed with the whole situation.
“I just had had a bad day and she was like ‘you know what, just start’ and I thought that was really nice ‘just start…just start somewhere’. It was a really blunt sort of ‘just go for it’. And I just did and I found that no-one was judging me, no-one was looking at me and I think once you get into that zone, you really focus on yourself and that’s what I want women to do – to just realise, you just walk in and focus on you, just you.”
This was partially the reason for Kayla’s involvement in the new fitness app SWEAT, alongside fellow trainers Sjana Elise and Kelsey Wells, whom she calls ‘inspiring’.
Kayla specifically designed the BBG Stronger program as a way to help women overcome the anxiety that can come from navigating around a gym and all the weights machines, which ones to use and how to use them.
“I know a lot of women would have walked into a gym once or twice and felt a little bit overwhelmed, especially when there is a lot of equipment around…So, I think this is a program where you’re able to have everything set in front of you.
“You’re able to see what equipment you need, you’re able to have all the music you need, it’s sort of all there. So you just walk in and you already know what you’re doing and that’s something that’s really comforting for women to have,” Kayla said.
The SWEAT app, which Kayla calls the ‘everything app’ also features music playlists as well as timers and prompts for when to hydrate and when to have your towel at the ready.
But the brunette beauty also hopes her program helps women to, like her, “just start”.
“The BBG Stronger program will start you off slowly and I’ve made sure of that, that you’re slowly introduced to the machines. It’s not like “BAM!” As the weeks go on, more and more machines get introduced,” she noted.
“It’s called stronger because yes, you’re stronger on the outside but you’re also stronger on the inside as a person, that you get more confident walking in and you have this sense of empowerment when you finish using the machines and you don’t feel that sense of intimidation as well that is associated with the gym.”
Speaking about how her confidence has changed in the eight-years since that first tearful visit to the gym, Kayla told myBody+Soul: “I was never someone who was super intimidated all the time when I walked into the gym – it was just that day.
“I was just not having a good day and I just wasn’t in the right mindset and something that the gym has done (and BBG Stronger will do for other women) is to get them out of that mindset, out of that confusion, frustration and intimidation.
“It will bring that sense of confidence for them and that’s what it did for me. It made me stronger and more confident – it was from the inside…and then out,” she added.
Kayla Itsines shares her top fitness tip for 2016.