Kayla Itsines Opens Up About a Male Encounter That Sparked Her Female-Only Business Venture


Kayla Itsines, renowned personal trainer and creator of the popular Bikini Body Guide program, has faced criticism in the past for focusing her multimillion-dollar training program primarily on women. However, Itsines recently revealed a “scary” incident from her past that influenced her decision to cater to women.

Itsines and her former fiancé and business partner, Tobi Pearce, gained widespread recognition and success with their fitness programs. They co-created the Bikini Body Guide program, which later underwent a name change, and launched the Sweat app. In 2021, they sold the app to US fitness tech company iFIT for a staggering reported sum of $400 million.

The couple’s wealth skyrocketed, and they made their debut on the Australian Financial Review’s Young Rich List in 2016, with a combined fortune of $46 million at the ages of 24 and 25. By 2019, they had climbed to the 10th spot on the list, boasting a net worth of $486 million.

Itsines has always expressed her dedication to empowering and supporting women in their health and fitness journeys, helping them gain strength and confidence. However, in a recent extensive interview with the AFR, she revealed another significant reason behind her focus on women as her target audience.

During her first job after high school, at the age of 18, Itsines had a negative experience while training people in their homes. This experience played a crucial role in shaping her decision to specifically target women with her programs.

Recalling the incident, the 32-year-old fitness entrepreneur shared that upon arriving at this gentleman’s house, he answered the door in casual attire, rather than workout gear. The situation immediately raised red flags for Itsines. She vividly remembers feeling uneasy as she discussed the consent form with him, while he stared at her intently. The encounter left her feeling frightened.

Reacting swiftly, Itsines made up an excuse to retrieve an item from her car and made the decision not to reenter the house. From that moment forward, she made a conscious choice to exclusively train female clients, prioritising their safety and well-being.

Kayla Itsines, a mother-of-two and prominent fitness trainer, has been vocal about the sexism she has encountered in her profession. She has observed both herself and her clients facing discrimination based on their gender.

In an article for Harper’s Bazaar, Itsines highlighted the male-dominated nature of the fitness industry when she first started as a trainer. She noticed a lack of women in the weights room and discovered that most workout programs available were designed for men, with minor adjustments for women. This realisation fueled her frustration with an industry that neglected women’s specific fitness needs, motivating her to prioritise female fitness.

Itsines expressed her determination to challenge the barriers and misconceptions surrounding women’s exercise. She aimed to create an inclusive environment that addressed women’s unique requirements. Through her Sweat community, she has prioritised the establishment of a safe space where women can connect with one another and receive support on their individual fitness journeys.