Yasmin’s Workouts Will Make You SWEAT
I always get nervous to interview. No matter how much you research or practice the questions, you can never be fully prepared. I’ve been relatively lucky in speaking to warming and passionate people, but there was an energy about Yasmin that was indescribable. We could have chatted for hours before getting into the interview, but I think it was this exact enthusiasm and sense of friendship, that has made her so successful in what she does.
“I actually started in dance, until about my early twenty’s where I decided to switch over to fitness,” says Yasmin. “I was spending loads of time in the gym and figured I should just make a career out of it.” If you haven’t worked it out, Yasmin is a Personal Trainer. When she was training for her Level 2 and 3 qualifications, she was managing a swimwear boutique in Notting Hill and doing her personal training as a side hustle. It wasn’t until she started to get the interest of more clients that she made the move and left the boutique. It took Yasmin almost a year to start @trainwithmynx, but now with over 2,000 followers on her IG she has created a fitness community and has been training her clients in the gym ever since. Until Lockdown.
“When the gyms closed, I remember thinking ‘what am I going to do’.” Up until this point everything Yasmin had done was face-to-face by going to the gym. With little to no online presence, money was on her mind. “[Lockdown] was going to be such a nightmare. No one knew how long this was going to last, I had no money coming in as its my clients who pay me and not the gym.” At first, it was difficult for Yasmin to come to grips with it but quickly decided she wasn’t going to mope around. What have you done to overcome the hurdles that the government have put in your way? “I’m a problem solver and quick to find a solution. So, I started to jump on lives on Instagram and do 8am workouts for my clients who follow me.” But as much as she loved it, its wasn’t giving her an income. After creating a GoFundMe as a way of donating, @trainwithmynx started to kick off financially as she founded her own 8-week fitness challenge. “I wanted people to feel like they had a community. To feel supported and motivated to put themselves first.”
With the gyms closing, the fitness industry was one of the few to shut overnight; ignoring the petitions and calls for it to be considered ‘essential’. Do you think the government has done enough to support small businesses? “No- is the short answer.” Luckily, I’ve found another source of income, but if I didn’t transfer my business online my money would’ve been gone. The self-employment grant that the government would’ve given me would have been based on my income from 3 years ago.” With the lifestyle Yasmin now leads, she simply wouldn’t have financially survived. But despite the hurdles, Yasmin’s undoubtedly positive mindset saw her through. How have you kept yourself motivated? “Building up an online community, I’ve made so many virtual friends which has given me something to keep me going! I’m also a typical Taurus so staying inside on a Friday night hasn’t been too bad! I don’t think my social life has really changed much at all to be honest!”
Despite the battles that 2020 surfaced, Yasmin’s love and passion to spread her message and purpose has been the fire that has sparked @trainwithmynx. “I connect with women so well from all different backgrounds and have an ability to help them progress with their fitness and ultimately other areas in their life.” Yasmin describes herself as the ‘driving force’ that empowers the women she works with to feel confident in their physical, work and fitness life. One look at her platform, you cannot deny it.
Yasmin has used her account to build a support network in helping women to feel motivated and confident during the lockdown. In a recent study by the Mental Health Foundation 1 in 5 women have felt shame in the way their body looks, while eating disorder charity BEAT has seen a 35% increase in calls since the pandemic. As the gyms closed, and we had to adapt to an indoor existence, it’s easy for many of us to become our own worst enemy. To find the motivation to start your day was taxing enough, let alone finding it to exercise. What do you think about women opting for surgery as a way to compensate for building the body they want naturally? “It’s a choice and there is nothing wrong if people decide to, but people need to understand that our society is rigged against our insecurities. Unfortunately, there are a lot of businesses that profit off of women’s (in particular) insecurities.” Because of editing technologies such as airbrush and photoshop we are taught that we should look a certain way. “We are taught that cellulite is completely abnormal- but in fact it’s the most normal thing on a women. Its quite literally how women’s cells are built.” Yasmin describes.
What is your best advice? “Don’t overwhelm yourself. It’s a case of finding the kind of exercise that you enjoy. Whether that’s boxing, Zumba, dance, weights you have to stay consistent.” It’s no shock to say that through the covid pandemic, the devastating rise in poor mental health has been heart-breaking, but for many exercise has been a way out. “I get a lot of women coming to me saying how much exercise has helped their mental health. People start to notice that they feel different when they start working out They get a buzz, they feel more productive which is way more important than any aesthetic gains,” says Yasmin.
One look at Yasmin’s Instagram it’s refreshing to see that it’s not all about fitness but expressing the importance of good nutrition and body positivity. In a society that is consumed by fad diets and toxic weight loss techniques, Yasmin has built a positive and uplifting social media space saying: “You do not need a detox tea/ waist trainer/ meal replacement shake/ skinny coffee/ fat burning tablets or whatever they’re coming out with in 2021! Whatever it is… you don’t need it!”, as she puts her middle finger up to these products.
What’s your advice on maintaining a healthy relationship with food? “You’ve got to get yourself into the habit of getting the goodness in your body. Don’t deprive it. Remember food is there to nourish, not punish and you cant live without it. Especially carbs”
I don’t know how she does it but it only takes one conversation with Yasmin to feel inspired. Whether its to hustle in what you’re doing now, or to work on your own fitness goals, her tenacity, vigor and all-around excitement in life is like taking a breath of fresh air. What may have initially begun as a source of making money in a pandemic, @trainwithmynx blossomed into a platform that has built a community of motivated, supportive and hardworking women. And for the future? Yasmin’s ‘living in the now’ mantra is inspiring her to carry on with her message: to help every woman feel empowered by exercise and make a positive difference to the way they think about fitness.
Yasmin isn’t the only person to find success during the pandemic. Ell Cox built her dream business in lockdown – and you can too.