Secrets of the workout queen of middle England: 51-year-old fitness influencer CAROLINE IDIENS inspires thousands of women to transform their bodies for £35 a month from her Berkshire living room

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It’s Monday, 9am, and I’m on my laptop doing my first-ever Caroline’s Circuits online fitness class. Well, I’m meant to be but I’m distracted by the dresser, topped with chic table lamps, in the Berkshire living room where fitness influencer Caroline Idiens is on a live-stream. 

After the half hour class she’ll tell me she gets endless questions from followers about the lamps (Oka, like her sofa cushions). I’m riveted by her activewear, too: she’s a vision in pink Lycra. Are the leggings this season’s Sweaty Betty, I wonder?

‘C’mon,’ she yells. ‘Stay with this!’

Idiens is the workout queen of Middle England – if you’re a midlife woman keen on fitness (Zoe Ball and former Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman are subscribers), she’ll likely be on your radar. 

Fitness influencer Caroline Idiens has 1.3 million followers on Instagram and 3,000 subscribers to her programme, which costs £35 a month for four classes a week

Fitness influencer Caroline Idiens has 1.3 million followers on Instagram and 3,000 subscribers to her programme, which costs £35 a month for four classes a week

Four years after launching her strength-training classes online – the week the UK first went into lockdown – Idiens has 1.3m followers on Instagram and 3,000 subscribers to her programme. This will cost you £35 a month for four classes a week, live on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, or on demand via her website. I’ll let you do the maths here.

It’s an incredible business success story for Idiens, 51, a mother of two who’s ‘driven and competitive’. Rising at 5am to work, she’s known to eat lunch while walking her dogs to cram more into her day. Those 5am starts? To reply to the 150-odd daily Instagram messages from clients, many sending shots of their fitness transformations.

One 60-something client who lost her body confidence during menopause has trained diligently with Idiens for four years. At her son’s recent wedding, the woman wore a sleeveless dress, baring her arms in public for the first time in ten years. ‘She had so many compliments, they made her day,’ says Idiens. ‘Feedback means more than anything to me. It’s so powerful.’

She often hears from women in their 50s and 60s who’ve had major operations and been told by their doctors that ‘their recovery will be quicker than expected because they have such a good level of fitness’. 

Caroline Idiens, 51, is a mother of two who¿s ¿driven and competitive¿

Caroline Idiens, 51, is a mother of two who’s ‘driven and competitive’

Caroline Idiens inspires women to transform their bodies from her Berkshire living room

Caroline Idiens inspires women to transform their bodies from her Berkshire living room

She also has three generations of women who join her class together: mum in London, daughter at university in Scotland, grandma in France: ‘It’s made them all check in with each other regularly – they call each other afterwards for a chat.’

There are women who’d never exercised now doing 5km runs with their children; one who had a Dexa scan to measure bone density that showed huge strength gains (women lose bone density after menopause); and there’s Idiens’s 79-year-old mother, who has increased her mobility after hip replacements.

Idiens stands out in a crowded online fitness influencer market as she’s relatable, her hair pulled back in a quick ponytail, a stray coffee cup often on that dresser. (‘I’m 51, I’ve got two teenagers.  I’m doing the workouts at home with limited equipment.’) 

She gets a lot of messages asking if other training helps maintain that physique (she simply does the same four weekly classes as her clients). Ditto diet. ‘People think they can exercise, eat rubbish and still see great results. 

Sadly it doesn’t work like that. It’s about balance and moderation. And protein with every meal – you need it for strength training.’

Typically, she has tea, coffee and a banana before her 9am class, scrambled egg and avocado on sourdough after, chicken salad for lunch and teriyaki salmon noodle stir-fry for dinner. She’ll eat fruit and a bit of chocolate, too, to keep her going in the afternoon, and lots of water but no week-night booze.

Idiens is sent masses of activewear from brands, but she buys plenty, too: ‘I’ll try lots of brands in different price brackets. Lululemon and Sweaty Betty are always top of my list. I also love Gym Shark, and Varley do pretty, luxe athleisurewear. I love leopard print and wear lots of pink.’

She gets a huge response when she steps out in something fancier: a post about a white Me + Em summer dress chalked up huge engagement, likely due to the big audience crossover between Idiens and the chic midlifer’s favourite fashion brand; ditto photos of an Accessorize swimsuit bought at the airport before jetting off on holiday.

‘I genuinely love clothes,’ Idiens says. She hasn’t fully explored the influencer route but would ‘love to do my own merchandise at some point’. The Caroline’s Circuits x Me + Em activewear collab? I wouldn’t bet against it.

 Her children are ‘very proud’ of mum’s midlife influence career pivot

Idiens has always been fit. She ran and played hockey as a student. Working for a London advertising agency in her 20s, while colleagues were carousing in Soho bars she’d be doing a body-pump gym class. Craving being her own boss, in 2001

she retrained as a fitness coach, a job she knew would provide flexibility when she had her children – now 16 and 17, and ‘very proud’ of mum’s midlife influencer career pivot – with her finance director husband.

Top, £49.90, Leggings, £110,

Top, £49.90, Leggings, £110,

That advertising background has proved useful – Idiens knows her audience. ‘The key is to really put yourself in their shoes. These are women who may have never lifted a weight, or are going on holiday and want to keep up their exercises, or have young children and are sleep deprived.’

As a one-woman brand, she knows she needs to look after herself so as not to get injured or run down. Hence gentle walks with her dogs, the odd sports massage and a G&T at the weekend. 

But there’s more on the horizon: Idiens’s debut book will be published in spring 2025, while she’s planning a series of fitness retreats, to finally meet her clients in person. Sounds like there won’t be a lie-in past 5am any time soon.


Work it 

Get Caroline’s colourful look in this season’s brightest exercise gear, says Stephanie Sofokleous 

Top, £105,
leggings, £135,

Top, £105, and, leggings, £135,

Sports bra, £55,
shorts, £65,

Sports bra, £55, and shorts, £65,

Sports bra, £22,

Sports bra, £22,

Leggings, £39.99,

Leggings, £39.99,


Reader offer: get 20 per cent off your first month of classes when you sign up at, using the code YOU20

Hair and makeup: Charlie Duffy at Carol Hayes using Verdilab