Karina Elle Lisenbee is an American Instagram fitness model, gym instructor and former cross-country runner. She was a cheerleader and cross-country runner during her high school years. At the age of 16, she was spotted by a photographer in a mall, after which she started modeling. She then began to participate in bikini competitions, often winning them. Soon after that, she launched her Instagram account where she started posting her intense gym workouts, which are enough to put the fittest among us to shame. Known for her plyometrics, hack squats and deadlifts, Karina went on to win the ‘World Fitness Federation Pro Bikini Championship’. The famous fitness model has also graced the pages of magazines like ‘Racked’, ‘Hers’, ‘Self’ and ‘Shape’. Additionally, not only does she have brand endorsement deals with major brands like ‘Gymshark’ and ‘Nike’, but she also has her own line of merchandise called ‘Gym Bae’. Needless to say, she is one of the most followed fitness models and instructors on the popular photo-sharing app, Instagram.
Rise to Stardom
Karina Elle’s fitness journey started at 14 in school where she was a successful cheerleader and cross-country runner. She initially got into athletics to keep up with her elder brother who was into fitness. During her high school years, she was considered one of the best cross-country runners and cheerleaders in Florida. At the age of 16, she was discovered by professional photographer and ‘IFBB’ bikini pro Ana Delia, who advised her to start modelling. After that, Karina went on to win the ‘Miss Lake Mary Scholarship’ competition.
After graduating from high school, she started working as a fitness instructor, which was a turning point in her life. The job inspired her so much that she decided to pursue fitness as a full-time career. She sacrificed her spare time in order to improve her physique, following which she started participating in bikini competitions. Her first fitness milestone came in 2014 when she participated in the ‘World Fitness Federation Pro Bikini Championship’. She won the first place in the bikini round and then claimed the overall title. Since then, there has been no looking back for the celebrity fitness model. Around this time, she also started increasing her social media presence, especially on Instagram. Her pro-workout videos, insane squats, sexy body and exotic looks started attracting the attention of scores of social media users. As her popularity grew, brand endorsements started pouring in. All her hard work finally paid off when she was named the most in-demand fitness model by ‘Racked’ magazine in 2014. Since then, she has modelled for magazines like ‘Shape’, ‘Muscle and Fitness’, ‘Vivienne Westwood’, ‘Etro Runway’, ‘Custo Barcelona’ and ‘Glamour’. She also appeared in several TV commercials.
While she may have millions of followers on her social media pages, Karina’s journey from a cross-country runner to a top model and fitness icon has not been an easy one. The 5’11” fitness freak was told by her modeling agency to stop working out so much. They said that they preferred her in a tall and skinny frame instead of an athletic and toned one. She found herself swinging like a pendulum to maintain both her jobs as an athlete and a model. However, she decided to stick to her fitness-focused lifestyle and eventually departed from the mainstream modeling industry. She has since carved her identity as one of the most sought-after Instagram fitness instructors and models.
With over 1.5 million followers on her Instagram page, there is no doubt that Karina took the right decision. She also enjoys a massive following on Twitter and Facebook. Her posts, showcasing both in-gym and outdoor workouts, fitness programs, weightlifting, yoga and bikini shots, have garnered millions of likes and views. She also participated in ‘WWE Total Divas’ at one point. She recently debuted her own range of merchandise called ‘Gym Bae’ on her website ‘karinaelle.com’. Her website also serves as a one-shop-stop workout guide to fitness enthusiasts.
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Family & Personal Life
Karina Elle Lisenbee was born in Lake Mary, Florida, USA on November 2, 1991 to parents of Vietnamese and French descent. She has an older brother and a sister named Courtney. Karina went to a high school in Florida and later graduated from the ‘University of Florida’. She has not revealed much about her parents on social media, except the fact that both of them are very supportive of her choices. Karina was dating celebrity bodybuilder Calum Von Moger in 2018. They used to constantly post images and fun workout videos together. However, her last Insta photo featuring Calum was posted on June 18, 2018. Similarly, Calum’s last Instagram post with Karina was published on August 28, 2018. Since then, neither of them has made any public statements regarding the status of their relationship. It is also unknown whether Karina is dating anyone else or not.