Celebrity fitness trainer and author Yasmin Karachiwala, who has trained Bollywood A-listers including Katrina Kaif, Alia Bhatt, and Deepika Padukone, has this burning desire to make “fitness accessible to everyone”.
The result? Her new book, 'The Perfect Ten', which chronicles over 55 ten-minute exercises that will push anyone of any fitness level to move their body and incorporate some physical exercise into their daily lives. The trainer to some of the biggest Bollywood stars feels that her rapid set of exercises chronicled in the book can be done for all those on the go or while in office.
"All you need is a mat and the will to set aside ten minutes from your day and get moving," said Karachiwala in an interview with Gulf News ahead of her appearance at the ongoing Sharjah International Book Fair.
"But remember my book is not aimed to get people to lose weight and it's not a guide to lose weight. It's just a guide for people to move around," she added.
Karachiwala, who has aced Pilates, discussed her thoughts on her new book, misconceptions around fitness and the importance of balance between cardio and strength training. And if you are wondering if rock-hard abs are made in kitchen and not the gym, then Karachiwala puts things in perspective.
"It's the 70-30 rule. 70 per cent is all about what you put into your body and 30 percent is what you burn. Even if a person works out rigorously for an hour or swims for an hour, the next 23 hours are very important. Working out and then gorging on a pizza after the work-out doesn't work. If your goal is being fit, then you need to work out and eat healthy. If your goal is to lose weight, then you need to work out and have a calorie deficit in your meal," she explained. Excerpts from our chat on fitness, crash diets, intermittent fasting, and more ...
What can readers expect from The Perfect 10?
The concept of this book emerged during and after lockdown … I’m also excited about launching it at the Sharjah International Book Fair during the Dubai 30x30 Fitness Challenge. The timing is just perfect. I genuinely believe that working out every day, or at least six times a week, even if it’s not for an hour, is absolutely essential. Post-lockdown, I noticed a concerning trend. Many people who were once active stopped working out and often cited lack of time as their excuse. This led me to the idea of the book. I thought, even if you can spare just 10 minutes a day for some movement, it’s better than no movement at all.
In our modern world, we’ve become so reliant on our phones and laptops, doing everything with our fingers that we used to do with our bodies. The first chapter of the book is titled Fingers vs. Bodies, highlighting the shift in our lifestyle. We used to burn 200 to 400 calories just going out to pay bills or run errands, but now, with a simple tap on our phones, we’ve reduced it to virtually zero. That’s where professionals like me come in. I want to make fitness accessible and show that being fit isn’t difficult or a chore; it’s easy. That’s why I created The Perfect 10, which includes 55 ten-minute workouts that require just a mat, shoes, and a bottle of water. What’s unique about the book is that it features a QR code.
So if you scan it, it takes you to the workouts?
Yes, when you scan it, you’ll find 25 pre-recorded 10-minute workouts on my website. With that, you can work out along with me without the need for text and explanations. The book also discusses the importance of daily workouts, along with easy and healthy recipes … I also share my life goals, which are simple and easy to follow. Additionally, there are anecdotes from real people about their fitness journeys and testimonials from those whose lives have been positively changed by working out. The Perfect 10 is a comprehensive guide to leading a healthier and more active life. It encourages everyone to dedicate just 10 minutes a day to movement.
There's always a debate on what's better: cardio or strength training. What's your take?
It’s important to strike a balance between cardio and strength training because everyone’s body is different. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to fitness. The right balance depends on an individual’s goals and preferences. Cardiovascular exercises are essential for heart health, while strength training helps build muscle. It’s about finding what works for you and what keeps you active and nourished.
What is the biggest misconception people have about exercise and staying fit?
The biggest misconception is thinking there’s a universal approach to fitness that fits everyone. Each person’s body is unique, and it’s about finding a routine that suits your rhythm. Whether it’s intermittent fasting or regular meals, the key is listening to your body and making choices that make you feel good and active.
You’ve worked with both celebrities and regular clients. Are there notable differences in how you approach their fitness routines?
The main difference is the structure of training times due to celebrities’ hectic schedules. However, the core approach remains consistent: understanding each client’s unique needs, providing care, and helping them achieve their fitness goals. Whether celebrity or civilian, everyone deserves a personalised fitness plan.
Your fitness mantra emphasises 10-minute workouts. How do you motivate yourself on days when you don’t feel like exercising?
I rarely have days when I don’t want to exercise because I genuinely love what I do. It’s about finding the right routine that aligns with your lifestyle. However, on rare off days, I try to remember my own journey and the importance of staying active. Additionally, Sundays are my designated rest days when I indulge in a special treat, like biryani.