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Kelly Robbertze’s unorthodox training approach delivers knock-out results

Kelly Christine Robbertze is anything but ordinary. She prides herself on pushing her limits, trying new training methods and techniques, and being a complete and utter badass.

As someone who thrived in strength-based competitive environments from a young age, it was clear that Kelly’s path would lead to a fitness-oriented lifestyle.

Quick stats:

  • Age: 30
  • Occupation: Personal trainer & boxing coach
  • Lives: Cape Town
  • Sponsors: Fitgymwear, Biogen
  • Achievements: Provincial colours in soccer and gymnastics & Biogen EDGE 2019 winner

Guided by her fitness passion

While working the 9-5 grind, Kelly couldn’t shake her passion for fitness and decided to take on boxing as a hobby, as well as personal training.

“I’ve been incredibly blessed with the opportunities that have come my way, from work spaces to amazing clients who have helped me realise my burning desire to convert my passion into a living,” says Kelly.

How else has fitness impacted your life?

Fitness has taught me the importance of self-discipline; given me the patience to reap the rewards from my efforts; and the ability to appreciate the results from the hard work I put in.

Fitness has given my life purpose – it has taken me 30 years to finally feel that I’m where I was destined to be.

Above all, fitness has taught me that if you’re truly passionate about something, grab it by the horns and run with it!

Take us through a day in the life of kick-ass Kelly.

Every day starts with a whirlwind of prep for the day ahead, from feeding my dogs to packing my training gear. I squeeze in a coffee before I’m out the door and ready to roll by 5 a.m.

From there, it’s off to the gym to train clients, and instruct boxing classes and HIIT workouts. I fit in my training session at midday, followed by admin and client catch-ups.

The second stream of clients pour in from the afternoon. I then take my evening class and, finally, I’m back home after 7 p.m. As they say, “love what you do and you will never work a day in your life”. I couldn’t agree more.

What’s your take on current diet trends?

I’ve never been on a ‘diet’, per se. I’ve always been mindful of what I eat and how it impacts on my goals. I generally stay away from processed foods, refined sugar and alcohol. I believe that you can easily live a balanced lifestyle if you implement the basics, which include:

  • Portion control
  • Calorie restriction according to your goals, and
  • Maintain adequate activity levels.

When the time comes for a good, hearty cheat meal, I don’t shy away. However, it’s not an everyday occurrence.

What’s your training philosophy?

I don’t follow any training plans. I take a more self-disciplined approach by listening to my body and doing what I feel is necessary; which differs vastly from doing what is easy. I train between 4-5 times a week, mixing up HIIT, weight training, hiking, and trial running.

Who is your biggest fitspiration?

There are so many ladies to chose from, but I’d have to say among international fitness icons, Hattie Boydle, Valentina Lequeux and Whitney Johns are my greatest sources of motivation. I also believe in surrounding myself with like-minded individuals and I’m fortunate to have friends who are driven fitness fanatics, as well as clients who give me their best at every session.


Why did you enter the Biogen EDGE competition, where you won an ambassadorship and your spot on #TeamRED?

The peer pressure was real. Luckily for me, it was positive pressure. My friends and family flooded my inbox with the entry link, practically begging me to enter.

I decided to take the chance, and I’m glad I did! Making it through to the final round and winning the public vote was a real eye-opener.

That really showed me how much support I actually have and how many people wanted me to succeed.

Kelly’s Biogen supplement stack includes:


Based on your experience as a personal trainer, what are the most common challenges that your clients face?

I’ve witnessed how poor lifestyle choices and unhealthy habits impact my clients’ lives. A lack of self-confidence and patience causes frustration, especially when it comes to their fitness approach.

Getting themselves to training becomes an achievement in itself, but I use that as a base to show them that their daily efforts will yield rewards.

Changing their mindset, and helping them to appreciate their body and how it can adapt to lifestyle choices is the greatest challenge.

Kelly’s favourite things:

  • Your favourite health food dish? Anything involving broccoli or spinach – watch out Popeye!
  • Your favourite cheat meal? A burger loaded with fries and a milkshake.
  • Your favourite training move? Any explosive movement like box jumps or hill sprints and, of course, boxing!
  • Your top diet tip? No diets, ever! Instead of imposing the pressure that comes with dieting on yourself and your body, try making small healthier changes and improve from there. Reduce portion sizes and your alcohol intake, and cut down on calories during the week to accommodate for the extra calories consumed over the weekend.
  • Favourite music to listen to while training? Hip-hop!
  • Favourite motivational quote? Life’s too short not to be a bad ass (ideally with a good ass).

Yay or nay?

  • You can out-train a bad diet? Nay!
  • Burpees are life? Nay!
  • High-intensity cardio over steady-state? Yay!
  • Training partners who help push you further? Yay!
  • Gym selfies? Whatever makes you happy!
  • Look good, feel good with matching training outfits? Yay!


  • Hiking
  • Running
  • Football,
  • Anything outdoors
  • Travelling
  • Drawing

Author: Pedro van Gaalen

When he’s not writing about sport or health and fitness, Pedro is probably out training for his next marathon or ultra-marathon. He’s worked as a fitness professional and as a marketing and comms expert. He now combines his passions in his role as managing editor at Fitness magazine.

When he's not writing about sport or health and fitness, Pedro is probably out training for his next marathon or ultra-marathon. He's worked as a fitness professional and as a marketing and comms expert. He now combines his passions in his role as managing editor at Fitness magazine.

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