Fatima Zara Mallick

CEO and head trainer at FZM Boutique Fitness, Fatima is truly a Super Woman! With several international credentials and certifications, she is a Level 2 Crossfit Coach, a Zumba instructor and Pakistan’s first Piloxing (Pilates and Kickboxing) trainer. A choice trainer for many celebrities, Social Diary caught up with Fatima to find out more… 

How would you define your philosophy about begin fit and healthy?

At FZM Boutique Fitness, we believe in empowering our clients through elite exercise instruction and tailored nutrition. Fitness goes beyond aesthetics and is all about feeling strong in mind, body and spirit.

How did you get involved in the business of health/wellness, and personal training?

In college, I gained 10 Kilos and that’s when I became obsessed with fitness. I wanted to find out what truly works….one certification led to another and eventually I entered the field of fitness as a professional.

Tell us about FZM Boutique Fitness; its inception and what is it all about?

FZM Boutique Fitness was established as a response to the appalling lack of trained professionals in the field. Every class I attended in Karachi was substandard with little to no emphasis on form: it was all about weight loss and body shaming, never about strength, being fitter and eating well (not less).

My initial classes were small but I suppose my approach caught on and within three months I had over 50 students. That’s when the company FZM Boutique Fitness was born.

Was celebrity personal training a gradual progression for you or was this something you started out doing?

All my clients are celebrities to me and we don’t distinguish between them.

Who was your first celebrity client and how many celebrities are currently in your clientele?

Two celebrity clients who have been very vocal about their journey with me are Natasha Khalid and Hareem Farooq. Since we’re a private studio, I respect my clients’ confidentiality.

A good percentage of Pakistanis neglect their fitness and avoid enrolling in a gym. How can we overcome the procrastination and fear of working out on a regular basis?

Working out does not have to involve paying exorbitant gym fees. It can be as simple as going for a walk or a swim. Start with an activity that doesn’t intimidate you and build it up from there.

In what areas do you find most people making mistakes when hitting the gym?

Proper form is still scarce. 90% of clients who come to me after attending classes’ at the most prominent studios in the city are still doing squats and planks incorrectly. Since fitness is such a new field, people need to really focus on fundamental body weight exercises before trying more advanced routines.

Can we eat whatever we want and still stay in shape?

My approach to nutrition is very European. While living in Italy, I observed that people never deprived themselves of pasta, pizza and tiramisu and yet looked fabulous. As long as you eat intuitively, you can stay in shape! For example, two bites of chocolate cake won’t make a difference. But if you deprive yourself for too long you will eventually end up eating the whole cake. Balance is everything.

Can people suffering from weak joints due to arthritis and osteoporosis still hit the gym and enroll in training and strenuous exercises?

People with arthritis and osteoporosis have weak joints and it is absolutely crucial for them to do strength training with a qualified instructor. The only way to alleviate the symptoms of these ailments is to actually exercise and strengthen the muscles. That does not mean you need to enroll in a bootcamp. It means that you need to do personal training and focus on strength building and rehabilitation.

When people stop exercising, they start losing body muscles. Is this a myth?

It’s true. When you work out, you build and develop lean muscle mass which makes your metabolism faster. If you stop exercising you will lose muscle, weaken your bones and decelerate your metabolism.

As far as training goes, do you have a specific approach for all who wish to gain as much muscles mass as possible or do you design each program based on the individual’s personal requirements?

Since this is a boutique fitness company, everything is very customized to the client and their goals.

What is your take on people who become obsessed with the way they look and their training in general?

Body dysmorphia or any obsession with your body image is a psychological disorder that needs to be taken seriously and not talked about nonchalantly. As a health coach I do therapy for people with unhealthy relationships with food or the way they look.

What does a day in your life regularly go like?

 We start early, at around at 7 am. The entire day is packed with personal trainings, two bootcamp classes and in the evening we have our Crossfit camp at Sindh Club.

What keeps you motivated and consistent in this field?

I feel like it’s my calling in life.

Your popularity and reputation in your line of work is truly commendable. What sets you and your work apart from other trainers and workout regimens?

 We are very qualified. I have 27 fitness specializations and I have worked as a trainer at Florence Fitness, Italy. The international exposure combined with focused expertise allows me to offer a truly niche and boutique service.

For the average person, do you have any tips or tricks to living healthy, lean and fit?

My top tip would be to drink more water, stand up every time your phone rings and have your last meal before 9 pm.

So what’s next for you?

 I suppose you’ll find that out soon enough.