Interview with Kai Karttunen
Interview with Kai Karttunen
By: Team Transformation

Meet Kai Karttunen, an Australian-based fitness coach with an amazing journey that's sure to inspire. Read on to uncover the captivating chapters of Kai's transformation journey and gain insights that can light up your own path.

For an immersive experience and daily inspiration, explore Kai's vibrant content on her Instagram account, where she shares her wisdom and passion @sisu_training.


Can you tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Kai, originally from Finland, living in Australia. I'm a PT and an online coach. My business is called Sisu Training - sisu is a word in Finnish the closest translation is 'grit.' It's the second engine we don't realize we have until we think we have come to the end of our mental/physical strength.

How did your fitness journey start and evolve over the years?
I danced as a teenager and learned to love movement. However, after turning 18 and moving countries, I completely fell off training. I started going to the gym at around 21, only because I felt like "I should." After a couple of years, I fell in love with it and ended up studying to become a personal trainer. It's been four years now since I've been a PT, and I couldn't be more passionate about helping others find their athlete within them.

Is there a body transformation story you’d like to share?
From forcing myself to like the gym to making it a full-time career, I built some muscle and improved my mental strength. In 2021 I decided to compete in bodybuilding and ended up doing two back-to-back seasons. The first season was for fun, and in the second season, I won the Australian National ICN (sports model category).

Since then, I've taken a step back from restricted training and dieting and learned to love movement as it feels good.

What workout routine has worked best for you?
Since competing in bodybuilding, I've moved onto the "movement is medicine" era. I introduced calisthenics to my training which I absolutely love. It's a perfect balance of fun and challenge. I still do weights about three times a week and a HIIT session roughly once a week.

What is your diet like?
I'm all about the 80/20 rule! No restrictions! After tracking macros for years, I learned to eat intuitively and only sometimes check my macros to ensure I'm eating enough protein. I eat when I'm hungry and never restrict myself, nor feel guilty when I have a treat or two!

What’s your favorite food you couldn’t live without, and how do you handle food cravings?
I LOVE ALL FOOD, from salads to cookies. If I have a craving, I allow myself to have what I want. I'm a big believer that restricting only leads to binge eating (or other eating disorders).

How do you stay motivated?
Strength. On days I'm not motivated to train, I think about how beneficial it is for my future, especially when I get older. I also know that every time you train while not feeling like it, it improves mental strength - which helps motivate me to go and move my body!

Is there a specific fitness goal still on your bucket list?
Currently, my main focus is to learn handstands! For some reason, I find them extremely hard, lol. But with consistency, I know I will get there. Love the challenge

Where can we follow you to get inspired by your content?
Instagram: sisu_training