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A chat with Karina

A chat with Karina

Happy Anniversary to us!
Only just late last year, Bikini Body Burn had its first birthday! 
BBB was started by two Gold Coast locals; Karina Irby and her trainer Simon McDermott. Karina & Simon founded BBB with the sole purpose of outlining the benefits of healthy eating and strength training. Bikini Body Burn is a forum to empower girls all around the world with information!
Today Karina gives an insight into the private motivation of the girl known publicly for her booty and her label Moana Bikini...


Describe yourself in 3 words…

Busy ;-)



You very rarely miss a gym session at Starke Fitness. How have you stayed motivated over the past two years?

Honestly, I really love the feeling I get after a really tough workout. It’s so rewarding. 

There aren't many feelings that are better in the world than the endorphin rush you get after a super tough workout, with the knowledge that you’re doing great things for your body and your health!

I also love to regularly reflect back on my ‘before’ photos. I find that reflecting on where you’ve come from and where you are now is such a positive and motivating activity, in all aspects of life, really.

It’s a combination of those two things that keep me coming back and keep me motivated.

I’ll be the first to admit that there are some days that I really feel like I can’t be bothered! But, if you just stick to your routine and push on through, you ALWAYS feel better for it.

Your favourite exercises?

Dead lifts; they’re such an amazing full body workout!

Banded squats; taking something great and booty-building (squats) and making them even more effective!

Least favourite?

Burpees and Chin-ups; there’s just something about those two that, when I see them on the board to be completed, I cringe a little!

But, it’s those least favourite that usually give you the best results! So you’ve got to stick at them. No one ever got anywhere by taking shortcuts! ;-)

Describe your workout diary for a week?

I will try to train a minimum of four times per week.

A pretty standard breakdown of my workout week might look something like this:

Monday: A morning, 45 minute semi-private group training session at Starke Fitness - Strength & Conditioning

Tuesday: A morning, 45 minute semi-private group training session at Starke Fitness - Dirty Cardio

Wednesday: An afternoon, 45 minute Bikini Body Burn Bandbook workout

Thursday: An afternoon, 45 minute Reformer Pilates session at KX Pilates

Friday: A morning, 45 minute semi-private group training session at Starke Fitness - Strength & Conditioning

Saturday // Sunday: Depending how energetic I am feeling, I may do another Bandbook session, or just go for one or two beach walks with my partner and puppy.

I try to scale back on the weekends as my weekday life can get so hectic,. I like to ensure that I make time for a break, not just for my body, but also my brain!

Being a public person, you attract attention from trolls… and you always handle it like an absolute boss! How did you manage to reach a point where criticism didn’t affect you?

I definitely do! 

That’s the blessing and the curse of Social Media; it’s such an amazing and positive tool for so many reasons - business, social change, female empowerment etc, but it’s also a perfect platform for people with a huge array of insecurities and other issues to take their problems out on somebody else. 

That, in itself, is a large part of how I deal with and handle the daily criticism; by acknowledging that the negativity, trolling and abuse is usually coming from a place that is unfounded/unjustified. It’s coming from people who have issues within themselves and they project these issues onto other people, taking out their anger and problems on what they see as an easy target, with very little to no accountability or responsibility for their hurtful actions.

I definitely acknowledge that Social Media can be used in the wrong way; there are many people / accounts / businesses out there that use it as a shallow or vapid platform or in a shallow manner.

However I know, truly and honestly, that my personal and business accounts are spreading a positive message and helping to empower girls around the world to be themselves, be confident and be beautiful in their own skin.

My belief and knowledge of that ensures that any negativity is very easily shrugged off. Sometimes, you’ve just gotta take the high-road and ignore the haters… because, well, no matter what you do, they’re going to hate!

What would you say to 16 year old Karina?

Be yourself!

I think that’s such an important lesson to remember when you’re younger.

During high-school there’s so much pressure to conform to what’s considered ‘cool’ or ‘in’.

If you don’t fit in to what’s deemed ‘cool’ or ‘in’ at that stage of your life, your day-to-day life can be made a bit of a nightmare by other kids and your peers.

But, at that stage of your life, it’s so important to look at the bigger picture. You’re such a small fish in a huge pond, and while it seems as though fitting in is the be-all-end-all, it really isn’t!

Being true to yourself and what you like to do, and what you believe, is so much more important than conforming to whoever is considered cool at the time.

I definitely was impacted by the endless pressure to conform, but in hindsight, developing your own, independent style and beliefs is so much more important at that stage of your life, and it will set you up for a more enjoyable and fulfilling time throughout your late teens and into your twenties. 

Two people you look to for guidance?

My trainer, Simon McDermott, from Starke Fitness.

I always thought that I ‘knew’ how to train and how to be the best version of myself, but boy, when I started training at Starke I quickly realised how I wrong I was.

It’s so valuable to have a highly-qualified and educated trainer to provide full fitness and nutrition guidance on a daily basis. 

Being fitter and healthier has impacted, not only my body, but also my mind and, in turn, my business endeavours.

The second person would be my father… but let’s allow the next question to deal with that...

Who / what inspires you? 

In 2013, my father was involved in a really tragic and unfortunate accident which saw him become a quadriplegic. He’s now bound to a wheelchair with very little movement below the neck. The way that he has tackled his predicament, both mentally and physically, has been such a motivation for me to grab life with both hands and make the most of every opportunity that is presented to me.

Dad was always such an active man before his accident - he was a great surfer, loved fishing and took great pride in his trade as a plasterer helping to build beautiful homes. A lot of people might disappear inside themselves after an accident of his magnitude, or use the situation to take a negative or pessimistic take on life, but Dad has an eternally positive outlook on his situation that is so inspiring.

I’m definitely not saying that every stage of his new life in his wheelchair has been easy, far from it, but the way in which he has tackled these tough times and situations, I think, is very heroic. I am so proud of him and constantly look up to him and he motivates and inspires me in every stage of my business and personal life.

What would you say to someone who isn’t happy with their body?

Firstly, I would say, join the club! ;-) I guarantee that everyone in the world has an aspect of their body that they might wish to change or improve. So the first thing to remember is that you’re not alone! 

Secondly, use it as motivation! Always try and turn something negative into a positive and use it to make positive changes in your life.

Thirdly, if it’s an aspect of your body that you can’t physically change, please don’t stress and let it impact your life. No one is perfect. No one. Embrace your individuality and always remember the Moana tagline; be yourself, be carefree, be beautiful. The logic here is that if you’re comfortable in your own skin, allow yourself to be confident and carefree, then you’ll be beautiful no matter your perceived ‘flaws.'

- Karina xx


Feb 19, 2017 • Posted by Josie Saunders

Hey Karina! I enjoy reading about your fitness journey and how you have developed your business. As an adolescent, I find you as a great role model and love keeping up to date with Moana Bikini and Bikini Body Burn. As I am from the country and have a big interest in rodeo, I have started my own magazine and clothing line, yet still look to you my inspiration. Thankyou for your continuous help to people, including myself and other young girls. :) You have achieved so much and should be very proud of how far you’be come. I hope one day I can stand in your shoes. :)

Thankyou ?
Josie Saunders

Jan 26, 2017 • Posted by McKenzie Scott

Hi Karina! Your passion for what you do and how you care for your customers are what keeps all of us coming back! Thanks for a small look into your life, you’re an amazing role model to many young girls including myself. You show that it’s good to be kind to others while focusing on your success and goals. Thank you for everything. Xoxo

Jan 25, 2017 • Posted by Rachel King

Hey Karina,
First off, you’re an amazing soul! Thank you for your kind words :-) my question and I’ve always wondered this, is how do you select your moana babe models? I see your guys’ photo shoots and always think, dang, I would love to model for your swim line! So much fun and enthusiasm! I am passionate about working out myself and enjoyed your bikini body burn ebook! Simply refreshing! Anyway, you have a beautiful day!

-Rachel ☀️

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