One day she’s in Knoxville, the next it’s NYC, LA or Toronto. Lissa Bankston is a true fitness gypsy. This talented trainer spends her life on the road providing inspiration, motivation and training to a band of fitness professionals – and some celeb exercisers too.

If you could choose one person to work out with, who would it be and why?

Erin Maw, because she is a machine! She and I seem to like the same kind of workouts too.

What’s your favorite workout routine?

My favorite LES MILLS class is BODYJAM and my favorite routine is my lifting. I have been working to get better at weight training and I am loving what lifting heavy is doing to my body!

I really love to try new things so my workouts change up quite frequently. I am always up for a LES MILLS GRIT workout though – it is hands down the best workout out, and I feel like I have seen quite a bit of the market!

What does a cheat day look like for you?

Pizza or Thai food, ice cream, and Netflix.

If you had to choose your last meal, what would it be?

The homemade biscuits that my Grandmother used to make – with lots of butter and her homemade jam.

How do you relax, de-stress and chill out?

Reading and writing in my journal. It is only recently that I have tried get more into reading. I have never been one to sit down with a good book and finish it, but lately I realize the importance of detaching from things like social media and TV – so I am trying my best to get into reading. I also love to write in my journal. It feels good to write down how I am feeling and what I am thinking, and I know it helps to get things out without feedback or worry. I love to just write…

If you could change one thing about your appearance, what would it be?

I have finally learned to love my body, which, because of my own silly insecurities, was not easy. Now I don’t know that I would change anything (well I would but I won’t wander too far into that space). I do wish my feet were the same size though. One foot is a full size smaller than the other and it makes wearing certain shoes hard.

What characteristic do you most admire in other people?


Name the last book you read, the last movie you watched, and the track you currently have on high rotate.

I am in the middle of reading Own the Moment by Carl Lentz, it is life changing. The last movie I watched was a documentary called Dear Sam, it was so sad but eye opening. And the tracks I have on high rotate are Silence by Marshmello and Ask for it by Future Animals.

What social media can’t you live without? Do you have any favorite feeds?
Definitely Instagram. There are so many feeds I follow. I love fitness, fashion and interior design so I would say most of my feed contains influencers from these categories. I don’t really have a favorite, I just try to support as many like-minded people as I can! We’ve got to help each other out.

If you could have one superpower, what would you choose?

To read minds. I am always curious to know what people really think about something.

What’s the best non-physical thing about staying in shape?

Staying in shape makes me feel so good! When I am on point with my routine, I am way more productive and far more social. I have seen the effect of this my whole life, I just did not realize it was my fitness activity that makes me feel this way. I also sleep better, and I am aging better. I love that I can do handstands with my nieces and flag football with my nephews and not worry about being sore or tired the next day.

Who should play you in the movie based on your life?

Nina Dobrev or Jessica Biel.

Lissa Bankston is a Les Mills International Master Trainer, which means she often travels the world inspiring and educating other instructors. She also trains Nina Dobrev, and has worked closely with the actress and social media star to develop Nina Dobrev’s special edition LES MILLS GRIT workout. Learn more about Lissa here.

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