Inside Scoop With Dosti Zahra

Trying to reach your fitness goals seems like a cake but once you actually start making efforts you find yourself in a position where you feel like giving up, settling for a day on your couch and binge watching your favorite TV show. However, few motivational people can drive you to that certain place where you don’t feel like you’re dragging yourself to the gym everyday and dreading it, but you actually enjoy and look forward for a workout session.

We at Women’s Own got in touch with a young and inspiring fitness guru who has become someone that a lot of women look up to. Dosti Zahra has been training women for quite some time to reach their desired weight and helped them out. Dosti also gives sessions At The Strength Project where she offers group classes in Zumba, strength training, HIIT, and pregnancy yoga. Plus, head trainer  and nutrition guidance.

Have a look at Dosti’s responses to our questions.

What motivated you to opt for Zumba classes and how did it all start?

I was studying in America during my undergrad and fell in love with staying fit! I tried out many different classes e.g. spinning, boot camps, yoga, etc. But I absolutely loved Zumba. When it was time to return, I knew I had to bring it back with me. I decided to get a basic Zumba training while I was still there and started classes once I was back in Pakistan.

Tell us about your qualifications as a fitness trainer and gym instructor?

I am licensed in Zumba (Basic, Toning, STRONG, and Step) along with Bootcamp instruction, Advanced Body weight Training and Barre. I have studied and received my fitness certifications from the US, Thailand, and UAE. I have been teaching group classes in Karachi for more than four years.

What was the biggest challenge in starting your own business?

Getting my family on board. It took me six years of consistent effort to make that happen.

Doing an introduction post for all NEW FOLLOWERS. Thanks for joining us! . The Strength Project is a fitness brand run by Dosti Zahra (that's me!) Although, my brand name has only existed for a year, I've been a leading fitness instructor in Karachi since 2012. After coming back from the US with my Zumba Basic 1 license, I started off by teaching Zumba classes. Over time, I added other varieties such as Zumba Step and STRONG by Zumba by doing further trainings in Dubai, UAE. In 2014, I did my Bootcamp and Bodyweight Trainings in Bangkok, Thailand which revolutionized my training methods! I discovered my love for strength training and weightlifting and proceeded to introduce the same to my clients. Followed by my Barre training (Real Pilates), and Kettlebell Training (Fit Singapore), I am now heavily focused on teaching functional lifts, which not only work towards weight loss but also towards building STRENGTH. . With a lot of my young clientele getting married and pregnant, I also decided to venture into Prenatal Yoga and got my Yoga Alliance certification in 2016. At The Strength Project, I run a once-a-week class for expecting mamas. Currently, I also do personal training since a lot of clients want one-on-one attention, especially if they are working towards a specific goal, or have injuries. This past year, since introducing the brand and going into fitness full-time, I run three bootcamp sessions (8AM, 9AM, 630PM), Prenatal Yoga classes, Personal Training sessions, and also Corporate sessions. . I also recently single-handedly hosted Pakistan’s first-ever international KETTLEBELL INSTRUCTOR TRAINING in Karachi! . With an ever-increasing clientele (mA), I humbly accept that I do not know everything and I’ve happily brought several other specialised instructors onboard to contribute their knowledge and lead classes. I’m grateful to have a team of FIVE! . We do not have our own studio. We work as a freelance fitness brand with all our classes in DHA Phase 5&6, Karachi. . With strength, @dostizj

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Where do you get your fitness/lifestyle inspiration?

I discovered exercise purely by chance. At that time I was underweight so naturally weight loss was never a goal for me. This left me the opportunity to experience so many incredible benefits on my body. That’s what keeps me going. Exercise solves most of my problems.

What’s your favorite workout?

Depending on my mood and goals, my favorite can either be Zumba, Yoga, Cycling, or Weight Training.

#1 most important nutritional advice?

Eat more protein.

What are the biggest mistakes people make at the gym?

Most people who go to the gym stay obsessed with weight loss only. Exercise has incredible benefits ranging from increased strength and stamina, fat loss, better metabolism, reduced stress levels, and improved daily functions of the body such as sleep, bowel movements, and hormone regulation. Apart from reducing weight, people do also need to realize all of these incredible changes their bodies are experiencing.

What’s your go to comfort food?

Spaghetti and Meatballs.

What kind of beauty products should be in every woman’s gym bag?


What’s your favorite workout song these days?

I don’t care for workout songs.

What do you think is the biggest problem that today’s personal trainers face?

Although we have a budding fitness industry, clients seriously lack knowledge about the human body. They don’t always understand the methodology behind workouts and nutrition their PT (persona trainer) may provide, and try to take short cuts for their goals. They also don’t do any research on their own. This definitely needs to improve for our industry to grow and a better trust needs to be developed between clients and PTs.

What’s the best compliment you ever received?

Since I gained approximately 10 kgs of muscle mass, people have consistently told me that I look and appear better, stronger, and healthier.


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