Say hello to Nouf Alyousef, Saudi Arabia’s rising star taking the fitness world by storm. Nouf is professionally and globally trained boxing coach, motivational coach and personal trainer. Full of drive and passion to empower women to find and embrace their own strength, Nouf is shining her light across the country with her holistic approach to health and fitness. We had the wonderful opportunity to interview Nouf to honour Saudi National Day and recognise the amazing development of skilled entrepreneurial women in the country.  

Q: Nouf, it's such a pleasure to chat with you. Please tell our readers about your journey to being one of the leading female figures in fitness for Saudi Arabia.  
A: The pleasure is mine. And thank you for choosing me to be part of this lovely interview. First of all, thank you for the compliment and I hope that my humble journey in the last five years till today has inspired women to work on themselves mentally and physically. 

Q: Could you share with us your struggles as a teenager and young adult that led you onto the path of fitness? 
A: As a teenager I was not active nor fit at that time, I did not have the awareness of what healthy food is and from where should I start. I struggled from obesity as a young adult until I reached 21yrs old here where the ‘Ahaaa’ moment happened. I promised myself that ‘Once I find the answer of how to be a healthy Individual, I want to pass my knowledge to other people” and the Coaching journey started there. 

Q: Your style of coaching involves training your clients physically but also mentally and emotionally. Could you share more on this approach and why it's important to look at all components of a person's health? 
A: Our mind is the controller of our behaviour as humans and if we can’t take care of our mental health, the physical would be hard to achieve. In my opinion, if you aim on targeting your mental first the physical will follow. For many years we neglected our mental health and we did not even look at it, blaming ourselves of being lazy, not organised, lacking motivation, not committed … etc without digging deeper internally. The pandemic back in 2020 revealed all the under table of people’s mental health and made them aware of that side. It takes a crisis sometimes to figure things out.  

Q: What drives your passion and keeps you motivated? 
A: Watching the development of my clients mentally and physical health throughout their journey makes me want to give more and inspires me to be a better coach each time. Their commitment to be better and strong regardless of their background is refreshing. 

Q: It's amazing to see the development of Saudi Arabia in all industries from fashion, technology and agriculture, what changes are happening in the Saudi fitness world? 
A: The Saudi Vision of 2030 is aiming to increase the number of individuals who are playing sport, promoting the physical and the social wellbeing along with raising awareness of the importance of having a healthy lifestyle. It opened the door for women to participate in all kinds of sport, being part of local and international competitions and creating their own sport clubs. I’m so proud of what my country achieved till today and all the historical hosted international Sport events that took place in my beloved country as Formula 1, Clash on the Dunes, DAKAR and Rage of the Red Sea … etc Saudi Arabia raised the bar.  

Q: On top of all the amazing stuff you already do, you've set up a new initiative called 'Project I', tell us all about it! 
A: Project I, it is a pop-up workshop that focuses on the mind & body. The goal behind creating this initiative is taking women out of the intimidated gym environment by building a mentally safer space for them, letting them be active at the same time and having the twist of art in it to release what is in the mind. The creative part is there which is what I’m personally always trying to have in my projects. 

Q: Could you share some advice for anyone who is looking to make a change in their overall fitness? 
A:  Take it ‘One step at a time’ It’s a long journey with ups & downs. 

Q: Lastly, what's your motto currently in your life that you live by? 
A: Nothing is impossible as long as you are putting in the work. 

Nadja Iman