Twenty-six-year-old Yasir Khan from Bhopal has become the first Indian to feature on the cover of a fitness magazine from the United Arab Emirates.
Khan says he trained hard for more than a year to feature on the cover of the “REPs UAE”, a quarterly magazine dedicated to fitness professionals in the region.
The magazine was launched last year by REPs UAE, an organisation which recognises and testifies the qualifications and expertise of fitness instructors in the United Arab Emirates.
“It is a major achievement for me in my career as fitness trainer and I am proud to share the cover page with Rhian Adams, a fitness model from the United Kingdom,” Khan tells Hindustan Times over phone from Dubai.
Defeating more than 32 fitness trainers from around the world, Khan made it to the competition to feature on the magazine’s cover. He says he started training for the competition six months back.
This is not the only milestone that the Bhopal youngster has achieved in his life so far. In 2014 he was a participant in the popular MTV series “Splitsvilla” and is the brand ambassador for a protein supplement from New Zealand.
Road to success wasn’t easy: Khan
Khan says the road to success has not been easy for him.
At the age of 13, Khan started training at a gym in his neighbourhood that did not have proper infrastructure and without any protein supplements. He recalls how people make fun of him, calling him a teenager with no aim in life. “I was born in a middle class Muslim family. My parents sent me to a Madarsa instead of an English medium school,” he says.
“It was partly because of their religious beliefs and also because of the financial crunch we were facing. As a teenager I could not go up to them and ask them to buy me expensive protein supplements or money for the membership fee of a fancy gym.”
He says he learned English on his own through online courses. “I was determined to make it big.”
‘Life was never the same after that’
“More than half my clients did not speak Hindi so I had to learn English...I worked as a gym trainer in Bhopal for sometimes and then moved out to Delhi in 2007. In 2011, auditioning for a model, I made it to the cover of men’s health magazine,” he says adding life was never the same after that
With more than 80,000 followers on Facebook, Instagram and other social networking platforms, Khan is well known in the online fitness training circuit. “I did not have the money to set up a gym of my own. As I had a number of followers from abroad, I decided to go online and my following increased,” he says. “Now I have brands like ‘Limitless Supplements’ to support me which is a big thing for anybody who is into fitness.”