Kayla Itsines: ‘I still pinch myself when I read I’m the number one personal trainer in the world’

Maz Compton

When I found out I was chatting to Kayla Itsines, I was scared. Not because of Kayla – she’s absolutely lovely – but because of what she might make me do! Wall squats during our interview? Entirely possible.

RELATED: Extreme athlete Bec Wilcock on running the hardest race in the world
RELATED: Lisa Messenger: ‘My idea was so crazy, but I just buckled in for the ride'

I first met Kayla about a year ago when she kicked my arse in a training session, so after swapping my heels for runners, I sat down with the 25-year-old fitness star from Adelaide to find out what makes her tick.

If you haven’t heard of Kayla, you’ve been living under a rock. This incredible girl has a whopping 5.5 million followers on Instagram, 7.7 million likes on Facebook and has women all around the world singing her praises when it comes to transforming their shape thanks to her Bikini Body Guide workout and diet plans.

But in her typically humble way, the down to earth personal trainer admits it all began organically – and she had no idea what she was starting when she posted the first before and after transformation pic on Instagram that she's become famous for.

Kayla's training program has been a hit with millions of women. Photo: Instagram/kayla_itsines

“My sister’s friends were the first ones that came to me and said, 'Can you train us when we’re not doing netball?' I said 'Ok, of course I’ll train you,'" she tells me. “We made the before and after photo, and then my little cousin said to me, 'Why don’t you put it on Instagram?' I said, 'What’s Instagram?'"

From there, it took a little encouragement from her boyfriend – and business partner – Tobi Pearce, and the Kayla Itsines phenomenon was born.

Kayla and her boyfriend Tobi are business partners as well. Photo: Instagram/kayla_itsines

For Kayla, who grew up in a big Greek family and loves helping people, it’s turned into her dream job.

She reads every comment from her fans and followers and is the only one that posts on her accounts, admitting it’s all about helping women look and feel amazing.

RELATED: 11 thoughts you will (probably) have in the first week of the Kayla Itstines Bikini Body Challenge
RELATED: The secret to Kayla Itstines' Instagram success

Kayla tries to meet as many of her followers as she possibly can. Photo: Instagram/kayla_itsines

“Women don’t need someone standing over them 24/7 saying ‘Do this, do that’, she says. “They feel even more empowered and strong when they do something themselves.”

I came prepared with my runners in case Kayla made me exercise!

Want more celebrity, entertainment and lifestyle news? Follow Be on Facebook,Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram