Cosmopolitan (UK)

“I couldn’t even do a jumping jack when I started”



She’s the powerhouse personal trainer behind Kim Kardashian, but Melissa Alcantara wasn’t always so fit

Known as @fitgurlmel to her Instagram followers, the 35-year-old New Yorker started working with Kardashian in 2017 when the star reached out to her on Instagram. At the time, Melissa was working as a waitress in New York, but was on her way to LA to tap into the fitness industry there. “I bought a ticket before Kim found me. It just happened at the same time.”

But she wasn’t always so fit. “I spent my whole life starving myself or taking diet pills and gaining weight right back.” After having her daughter, she felt lost. “My body was unrecognis­able. I felt so shitty.” Then she found cult fitness regime Insanity and built her confidence. “I couldn’t even do a jumping jack when I started. But I was consistent and ate well.” But is it unrealisti­c for women to try to achieve a body like someone in the spotlight? “Kim and I train four or five days a week. I think five days is perfect, for one hour and 20 minutes.” While Melissa has spent years sculpting the muscular physique she has now, she says a healthy body also means “a healthy mind”. “I started this whole fitness thing because I thought abs were what was important. But I realised it wasn’t the actual working out, it was the decision to do something good for myself.”

Fit Gurl: The Total-Body Turnaround Program by Melissa Alcantara (£14.29, is out now

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