by Matt Weik
Kayla Itsines is considered to be the “world’s top fitness influencer.” While I consider that to be a longshot, she just sold her fitness empire (along with her business partner) to iFIT in a $400 million acquisition. And honestly, good for her!
If you remember, a few years ago, I wrote an article on Kayla Itsines in regard to her talking out of both sides of her mouth and being a hypocrite for what she’s promoting on social media – more specifically, her Instagram page. With over 13 million followers on IG, you could absolutely say she has a huge following. While many of her followers are diehard fans who want to improve their physique, there are just as many thirsty men who use her platform as their personal spank bank. So, it’s safe to say that the full 13 million aren’t people looking to get in shape and adhere to her fitness and nutrition advice.
But this is nothing new as women who use the platform to merely get “Instafamous” know exactly what they’re doing. The way they pose, the things they wear, and the cheeky comment they add to their photo say it all. And, hey, to each his or her own. I’m just calling it like it is. You can have a complete unknown launch a profile and show a little T&A, and next thing you know, they have over a million followers.
*This article is my opinion (let’s make that clear).
My position regarding what Kayla Itsines says and does hasn’t changed. You can’t promote “body positivity” and “love your body” and then be posting about client transformations. The two are on polar opposites. One side of the mouth is saying, “who cares what you look like, love your body,” while the other side of the mouth is saying, “check out this amazing transformation of someone who was unhappy with the way they looked and used my program to achieve these fabulous results.”
In addition, Kayla Itsines has been called out by some for Photoshopping and/or editing her images for her social media posts. Also, she was in an issue of Vogue where her fans asked her if her images were Photoshopped by the magazine as her nose and other areas of the photo didn’t match how she looks on her own Instagram account. If this is the case, wouldn’t this further be hypocritical? I mean, if you promote loving your body, why touch up areas of your body in photos or allow it to happen when shooting for a magazine? There are plenty of Instagrammers who show their cellulite and imperfections (and own it). But I digress.
Social Media Millionaires Are Everywhere These Days
Kayla Itsines and her ex-fiancé created a brand called Sweat. The Sweat app has taken off and generates around $100 million in revenue annually. That’s a considerable amount of money for an app to produce, and it is clear that Kayla’s humble beginnings where she was training clients in her parent’s backyard have flourished into something most could only dream about.
For those of you just tuning in, you’re missing out on one of the most powerful shifts in capitalism and entrepreneurship. The days of bootstrapping a company and looking under the cushions of your couch for money to invest into old-school marketing techniques like radio ads, newspaper ads, and billboards have gone to the wayside. Now, if you have a social media following, you can sell just about anything online without spending a dime.
The fact that Kayla Itsines has over 13 million followers on Instagram is monumental when it comes to the number of eyeballs she can get on her Sweat app with a single post. Sure, she probably spent some money on various ads and marketing strategies to help bring in $100 million in yearly revenue, but still, the ability to promote the Sweat app on a platform that gets great views and engagement can drastically improve the chance of the business exponentially growing – especially if people believe in Kayla Itsines and what she’s doing.
What is the Sweat App?
The Sweat app is nothing more than a workout app that allows you to complete their workout plans anywhere and without the need for expensive equipment. You can start off with a free 7-day trial which then rolls you into a $19.99 monthly plan.
Programs are shown and demonstrated by more than a dozen Sweat app personal trainers. You choose the programs and workouts you want to complete, and one of the personal trainers will take you through the workout.
When using the Sweat app, it can track your workouts, progress, daily steps, and more. The Sweat app is even able to be used directly from your Apple Watch as well, allowing you to view your workout, trainer videos, and exercise instructions without having to be physically holding your phone or tablet – making things incredibly convenient.
In addition to the workouts found on the Sweat app, Kayla Itsines and her ex-fiancé included a forum where members can chat with one another and help motivate other members while also helping to hold everyone accountable.
While there’s nothing proprietary about the Sweat app, the fact that they have so many paying members and average $100 million in revenue annually says they must be doing something right.
What is iFIT?
iFit is no stranger to the fitness game. They have been producing interactive personal training programs for years and utilizing their technology on fitness equipment such as brands like NordicTrack, Pro-Form, FreeMotion, and Matrix. The technology is very similar to what you see and hear from Peloton, where there are virtual classes you can join as well as the ability to have access to many programs to utilize on your own. Their app can be used on phones, tablets, as well as your television.
The iFIT model adds new workouts daily on their platform across all of their various equipment types (treadmill, bike, elliptical, rower, fitness mirror, cable equipment, etc.), and has over 60 different training types to choose from, such as HIIT, speed training, yoga, hiking, and much more being taught by more than 100 iFIT trainers across the globe.