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Aussie influencer’s unlikely A-list fan

Kayla Itsines founder her Sweat empire in 2015. Picture: Supplied
Kayla Itsines founder her Sweat empire in 2015. Picture: Supplied

A global fitness phenomenon started by South Australian influencer Kayla Itsines has countless followers, and one mega Hollywood star has just revealed he has been among them for years.

Michael Fassbender, the German-Irish film star of Hollywood blockbusters such as X-Men: Dark Phoenix and Alien: Covenant, told Men’s Health he uses Ms Itsines’ Sweat app training program at least “five times a week” to stay in shape.

“I do this sort of workout, my wife introduced me to this thing, which was called the Bikini Body app,” he said, referring to his wife of six years Alicia Vikander, also a popular film star.

“I was like: ‘Yeah, sure I’ll try that, how hard can it be?’ And it was hard.

Hollywood heart-throb Michael Fassbender is a Sweat devotee. Picture: Joel Ryan/Invision/AP
Hollywood heart-throb Michael Fassbender is a Sweat devotee. Picture: Joel Ryan/Invision/AP

“Now it’s called the Sweat app because maybe they realised they were taking out a demographic like myself, by calling it a Bikini Body app, but now it’s the Sweat app and it’s hard.”

Mr Fassbender said he worked out at least five times a week with “cardio-based body weight stuff in general” and used the app to keep physically and mentally healthy.

“Both are good, but I find mentally, it sets me up for the day if I hit the gym first thing in the morning,” he said.

Swedish actor Alicia Vikander, the star of Testament of Youth and Ex Machina, recommended Kayla Itsines’ app to her husband Michael Fassbender.
Swedish actor Alicia Vikander, the star of Testament of Youth and Ex Machina, recommended Kayla Itsines’ app to her husband Michael Fassbender.

The A-lister praised the app while doing press for his new comedy film Next Goal Wins, directed by Taika Waititi, in which he plays soccer coach Thomas Rongen during his stint with the American Samoa national team.

Mr Fassbender has been using the popular app, which has been downloaded more than five million times on Google Play, for at least four years.

In an interview from 2019, he said he used the app to get into shape for his role as Magneto in X-Men: Dark Phoenix.

"Next Goal Wins" Charity Special Preview
Director Taika Waititi and Michael Fassbender attend the Next Goal Wins Charity Special Preview at Ham Yard Hotel on November 22 in London, England. Picture: Kate Green/Getty Images for Disney

“I’ve been using this app which is an Australian woman … Kayla Itsines,” he said at the time.

Ms Itsines and Tobi Pearce, another Adelaide entrepreneur, founded the Bikini Body Guide fitness program in 2015.

It transformed into the massively popular digital fitness business Sweat.

US company iFIT bought Sweat from Ms Itsines and Mr Pearce in 2021 for more than $200m, but the two founders took back control of the business in November this year for an undisclosed sum.

Fitness mega star Kayla Itsines founded her empire in 2015. Picture: Supplied.
Fitness mega star Kayla Itsines founded her empire in 2015. Picture: Supplied.

It is understood Ms Itsines will continue in her role as co-founder and head trainer.

In a statement on the sale, Ms Itsines said she was “thrilled” to return as the owner of Sweat.

“The decision to regain ownership is about ensuring the best future for Sweat,” she said

“We have always been a platform built for women, by women, providing a secure and encouraging space for them to share their transformation journeys. Our commitment to this community remains unwavering.”