[#STRONGWOMAN] Fit, strong Meganne Young taking Hollywood by storm

SA-born film and TV actress Meganne Young is a globe-trotting rising star following her breakout role in the pop-culture phenomenon Netflix trilogy “The Kissing Booth”.

Meganne plays the kind, warm but strong ‘Rachel;’ part of the best friend trio starring alongside Joey King and Joel Courtney.

She previously appeared in hit TV shows such as CW’s “Supernatural,” CW’s “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow,” Starz’ “Black Sails,” and the award-winning National Geographic “Saints and Strangers.” She has also appeared in films such as “The Challenger Disaster” with William Hurt.

Well travelled

Born in Johannesburg, South Africa to an Australian mom and South African dad, she spent her childhood in Nigeria, Sri Lanka, and Switzerland before making her way back to Cape Town for film school. She currently lives in Vancouver, Canada.

She received a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from The Guildford School of Acting. Performing has always been a natural fit for Meganne her entire life.

Her goal is to continue to create work that’s dynamic and challenging, with the ability to balance independent projects with mainstream.

Fit and strong

In her spare time, Meganne enjoys working out and staying active with physical activity such as CrossFit and boxing to promote mental and physical well-being. She is passionate about speaking up about body image and mental health, along with her own struggles and how she finds balance in life.

We caught up with Meganne to get the inside scoop on her health and fitness-focused lifestyle and how this way of living supports her rising career as a sought-after actress.

Tell us about your current fitness lifestyle.

Right now I’m focused on functional training, strength and conditioning.

What does ‘balance’ mean to you in the context of your lifestyle?

I feel like the answer to this is supposed to be simple – something along the lines of offsetting work with time to decompress, or having cheat days while on a more restrictive diet. Balance for me is making sure I feel fulfilled in all areas of my life and that one isn’t taking precedence over another.

That includes physical activity, work, and the food I eat, but also time I spend with friends and loved ones, time I spend on my own, what podcasts I listen to and movies I watch.

What other types of exercise or activity do you enjoy?

In the past I’ve enjoyed yoga, boxing and bouldering.

What role does health and fitness play in your acting career?

Working out actually offers me so much in terms of my career. I think it’s important to be somewhat physically fit as an actor so that you feel comfortable doing certain things.

For example, there were a few scenes in The Kissing Booth 3 that were quite physical and because I was already very comfortable being active it was easier to slip into it.

But then when you’re not working, working out has given me a lot in terms of emotional and mental strength. It offers me discipline and structure which, I’m sure a lot of freelancers will agree, creating for yourself can be challenging.

What’s your weekly training split?

I used to train five times a week pretty religiously but I’ve dialled it back to about three. I typically walk a lot, so I feel like I have those active rest days in between heavy lifting. It’s taken me a few years to figure out what’s best for my body and what works well for me.

What’s your toughest workout?

Conditioning and any exercise with a higher rep count. I am not a fan of cardio and I lose attention really quickly. Conditioning always tests my mental strength.

How do you train when you’re on location or travelling?

Ideally I’d want to have access to a proper gym with all the equipment but if that’s not an option, I love using my TRX, sliders and bands.

How would you define a healthful diet?

One that isn’t riddled with guilt. I don’t like the idea of diets or fads. If you need to adjust your eating habits for your personal health or for a specific goal, then fair enough. I just think that restriction, especially if it’s really regimented, can often go hand-in-hand with feeling guilty if you eat a cookie or something.

I even find the idea of cheat days restricting and problematic but I say this from my own experience. It doesn’t work for me.

What does your average diet consist of?

Lots of carbs! Good amount of protein and I’ve recently discovered a green smoothie that I love making.

How do you prefer to cook when preparing healthy meals?

I try to steer clear from labelling foods healthy or not healthy. I try to vary my diet and enjoy the food I eat. I’m a big breakfast person, I feel it’s really important to start the day with a good source of protein, so it’s usually some scrambled eggs with veggies or a protein shake.

What does your daily supplement plan include?

Probiotics in the morning is my go-to supplement! Otherwise, I tend to take omega-3s and some vitamin C if I feel the flu coming.

Honestly, I’m pretty bad at taking any kind of tablets; it’s a limited plan implemented rathe loosely!

What approach to training did you follow at first that may not have worked?

Training five to six times a week on a more restrictive diet.

What was it that finally made you decide to make a change to your approach?

It just wasn’t working. I was exhausted by the end of the week and I wasn’t putting any muscle on because I wasn’t giving my body the necessary rest or eating enough. I plateaued and hit a wall.

What did you learn from the experience?

What works for someone else doesn’t necessarily work for me.

What are some of the key health and fitness trends in Canada that South African ladies should look out for?

You know what, I feel like the fitness lifestyle in Vancouver, where I live now, is actually really similar to Cape Town, where I lived for 10 years.

Vancouver is a super active city, people are often hiking, running, riding their bikes and also hitting the gym. So, nothing to look out for. Just do what feels good!

What is the best piece of health and fitness-related advice anyone has ever given you?

“You need to rest.”

When you hear the word “successful” , who comes to mind and why do you say so?

My best friend, Caitlyn. I think of her as successful, not because of what she’s achieved necessarily, which is honestly inspiring in and of itself, but because she has consistently followed her gut, chosen more risky paths to travel, and is now in a place where she is both fulfilled and still challenged. She’s constantly evolving.

When she starts to feel too comfortable she knows it’s time to change things up.

What has been the best investment you’ve made into improving your health or physique?

Working with PTs or joining gyms that are supportive and promote a community feeling. Gyms can often feel intimidating and judgmental so I’m very selective of where I spend my time and money.

I absolutely love my gym, Westside Training in Vancouver. I feel I get very knowledgeable training and support of a community that only wants to see me succeed.

Who or what was your inspiration?

Essentially, working out is a solo sport, but I feel inspired watching other people achieve their goals.

Quick facts

  • Favourite music to train to? 2000s alternative rock or ’80s dance hits.
  • Favourite exercise? Deadlifts.
  • Favourite cheat meal? Pasta.
  • What do you do to relax? I love sitting near water, somewhere in the shade.
  • What’s in your gym bag? Chalk, SPF, water, bands and my phone.

The Kissing Booth 3” premieres August 11, 2021 with the best friends spending their last summer together on an adventure before they head off to different colleges.


  • Photographer: Tom Belding (IG: @thetombelding)
  • Wardrobe was supplied by Daub + Design (IG: @daubanddesign)
  • Location: Westside Gym (@westsidetraining)

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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