Kyly Clarke, shot by Steven Chee, in her first magazine cover
Kyly Clarke, shot by Steven Chee, in her first magazine cover

Kyly Clarke is no fitness wallflower. When you see the wife of Australian cricket captain, Michael Clarke, watching from the bleachers during this summer’s cricket season, she’ll have you know she’s already logged an intensive hour of fitness herself.

The 32-year-old’s workout is no walk in the park either. The former ballet, tap, jazz and contemporary dancer owned her own beauty salon, Classic Claws, before her modelling career took off, and today she fronts brands like Rebel Sport. She’s presented on the Weather Channel, and is “by trade” an interior designer, but after hanging out for the day shooting our cover, it’s clear that health and fitness is her passion.

Her dream: to roll her passions together and be a successful businesswoman. That’s the thing – behind her big glasses and designer outfits is a woman whose fitness and nutrition knowledge would rival her husband’s.

This year, Clarke wants to dial that up. Her 2014 goals: confront her fear of sharks and learn to surf, and study nutrition. That’s right – behind every great man is a greater woman, and Clarke is just that.

So, what’s your daily fitness regime?

“I do half an hour of cardio, like running, sprinting, jogging and walking with intervals. My weights session varies – I’ll do at least 25 minutes of weights. Sometimes I take it outside, too. I train every single morning for at least an hour and it’s really, really hard for me to have a day off; it’s just the way I am.”

Do you have a trainer?

“No, I’ve trained myself for a very long time. I’m huge on self-motivation; if I can’t motivate myself it makes it harder when I travel.”

What’s your secret to staying seriously motivated?

“Give yourself a goal. It’s really hard to get out of bed and go to the gym if it’s a chore, so make sure you’re enjoying what you’re doing.”

How do you plan your workout sessions?

“I monitor the five major groups. So, if I go to the gym two days in a row, I might use weights to box and do an arm session and free weights, then the next day I use the machines. Then, I might do leg weights that day. Using the machines the whole day, I might do quads and hamstrings and then some arm weights... or sumo squats – what else feels like it needs a little bit more attention?

On Wednesdays I do barre attack classes – every single exercise uses your core. If you have an issue with your buttocks or your quads or the inside or the outside of your thigh – which I call the pocket that likes to just appear now and again – it’s fantastic for that.”

Photography Steven Chee

That’s impressive – what do you do for recovery?

“I whack the telly on and walk for the hour. And it’s great to get outdoors whether it’s kayaking or taking my two dogs for a walk.”

You’re knowledgeable about fitness; where have you learnt all this?

“I’m a big observer. I’ve done research here and there, but there is no harm in asking questions of other people in the gym.”

Surely being married to a pro rubs off on you?

“We’re a very fit household. It’s inspiring to see someone who is a professional athlete at the top of their game, but I think it’s a great combination of two people who really value health and fitness.”

Do you eat carbs to counteract your training?

“If you’re eating foods that are nutrient dense, you don’t have to live off foods that are high in kilojoules. I believe that health equals your nutrients divided by your kilojoules. So, you can have a high-kilojoule bowl of pasta that fills you up, but it doesn’t have a lot of nutrients. I’d rather eat two bowls of fruit, vegetables and quinoa, which is high in protein, because plant foods have phytochemicals and that’s what’s good for you.”

So what’s your top nutrition advice?

“I aim to stop eating after 8pm; sure, you burn kilojoules when you’re moving about but not nearly as much while you’re sleeping. I’m big on portion size and monitor what I eat compared to what I’m doing that day. Obviously if you’re burning more kilojoules, you need to replace more energy and vice versa.”

As a so-called WAG, do you feel pressure to look a certain way?

“I say whatever pressure you feel in life only becomes as strong as you want. For me, the only pressures I feel are the ones I put on myself. It’s my life and I choose to live it how I want to live it, otherwise I’d be living someone else’s dreams and goals.”

What are your career ambitions?

“I want to be a successful entrepreneur, collaborating with brands in fashion, beauty and health, and coming out with my own lines in design elements. I studied interior design, specialising in decorating at Sydney Design School.”

So, when I plugged Kyly Clarke into Google, the most searched term was “Kyly Clarke pregnant”. Please explain…

“When I get asked that, I think damn it, I need to run faster! I was talking about it with Jen Hawkins the other night – once you get married it’s the next question people ask. I think they’ll keep asking until they get the answer.”

Surely opening the Sunday papers and seeing Lara Bingle take another swipe at your husband gets you irate?

“Water off a duck’s back. I don’t see the media as a form to talk about yourself, it’s an association with the company I’m working with. Maybe that’s why I don’t read newspapers the way other people do, because it doesn’t resonate with me in the same tone. It’s a working tool.”

For the full interview, including Kyly's breakfast smoothie recipe AND a workout plan, grab the February 2014 issue on sale Thursday!