'Be fit because you deserve it' — celebrity fitness trainer Yasmin Karachiwala talks about fitness and more

Yasmin Karachiwala's new book was launched by Katrina Kaif in Mumbai
In frame: Yasmin Karachiwala
In frame: Yasmin Karachiwala

Many of us have dreamed of having a perfectly fit body like Alia Bhatt or Hrithik Roshan. However, we often forget about the person who made those fit bodies and six-pack abs possible. Just like the saying ‘Behind every successful man, there is a woman’, similarly, behind many fit and fine bodies, there is a trainer. Meet Yasmin Karachiwala — the woman who has trained Bollywood celebrities to achieve dream-like perfection. We talk to her about her latest book 'Perfect 10', which was launched by Katrina Kaif in Mumbai, her fitness programs, the power of social media, and more.

Tell us more about your new book, ‘The Perfect 10.
Modern lifestyles are often sedentary, and people may find the idea of long workouts daunting.  I wanted to write a book that makes fitness accessible and shows people that being fit isn’t difficult or a chore, it’s easy. In ‘The Perfect 10: 10-Minute Workouts You Can Do Anywhere’, I’ve broken down workouts into 10-minute stacks, that can be done at home, while travelling or just anywhere. Each exercise in the book comes with video instructions that you can access by scanning a QR code, choosing the relevant exercise stack and working out with me. Nothing should deter you from a world that is immensely joyful and rewarding. And it starts with just 10 minutes. The Perfect 10 is a comprehensive guide to leading a healthier and more active life.

<em>Yasmin Karachiwala and Katrina Kaif at the launch of The Perfect 10</em>
Yasmin Karachiwala and Katrina Kaif at the launch of The Perfect 10

What inspired you to pursue a career in fitness instruction and how did you transition into working with celebrities?
I started out almost 30 years ago, with group aerobics. Initially, it was just a hobby, something fun to help me make some extra pocket money. But my instructor told me that I had a flair for it and encouraged me to do a ‘group instructor training’ on my visit to the US. In those days, people were not really certified. They used to watch Jane Fonda and teach. So she was like, “Since you are going all the way why don’t you go get certified,” and that’s how it started. As my classes got popular and more people came in, I realized how much I was enjoying it. So I started a studio in my house. When I started personal training, celebrity clients started to trickle in — Kareena Kapoor, Urmila Matondkar, Hritik Roshan...and now Alia Bhatt, Katrina Kaif, and Deepika Padukone. I didn’t start with the idea of becoming a celebrity fitness instructor — that’s something that happened along the way.

What advice do you have for individuals looking to start their fitness journey?
You know, fitness is not a one-size-fits-all kind of thing. Each person’s body is unique, and it’s about discovering what works for you. It’s important to listen to your body and make choices that make you feel good and active.

In the case of high-profile clients and celebrities, how do you tailor your fitness programs?
With celebrities, the main difference is the structure of training because of hectic schedules. However, the core approach remains the same: understanding each client’s unique needs, providing care, and helping them achieve their fitness goals. For instance, I often write workouts for Katrina when she is travelling. And Katrina would sometimes call and ask me to explain an exercise I had written out for her and I’d show it to her over a video call.

How do you leverage it to inspire and connect with a broader audience using social media?
Content creation was never my plan. Years ago, I was introduced to online platforms by one of my friends. I started with a Facebook page and a few videos on Instagram. Along the way, I realized that people really connect with the videos. Whether it's the crazy exercise routines of celebrities, showing off my favourite workout, or doing Instagram lives, the journey has been great. Understanding the audience, and being of service to people, are the key elements of good content for me. The more I help people, the happier I feel.

What are the perfect foods one should include in their diet?
I believe in eating to nourish the body. For me, it’s really important that we eat food that works for us, that nourishes us from the inside out. Your body requires good fat, fibre, carbohydrates, protein, minerals and vitamins. I don’t eat anything that’s from a packet or consume sugar, because it is poison to the body. Even if you read the nutritional value of a low-fat chips packet, you will realize how many preservatives are being used to make it low-fat. This is detrimental to your health.

What do you think about the concept of people straining themselves to achieve an on-screen celebrity-type body? 
In my experience, whatever it is that you are doing in your day, you will be able to do it better if you are fitter. So fitness is not really about being thin or looking like someone else. It is about being the best that you can be and feeling good about yourself.

What is the most important thing that people need to know about fitness?
Be fit because you deserve it. There is no shortcut to becoming fit or staying fit. Yes, the road will be filled with challenges but you owe it to yourself to lead a healthy, happy life.

Related Stories

No stories found.