Kim Kardashian's Trainer Wants You To Deam Bigger

Celebrity Trainer Joël Bouraïma: Work Hard and Dream Harder


Joël Bouraïma is a sports lover before anything and finds his energy working with his clients to help them reach their goals. His clients include Kanye West, whom he helped to stay fit during his concert tour, helped Kim, Khloe, and Kourtney Kardashian after their pregnancies. He also works with professional athletes and actors who need specific training to prepare for a role. In our conversation, Coach Joe tells us more about his journey and the routines behind successful people.

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What is your favorite quote?

“Don’t try to do your best, just be the best” 

What is your song for the summer on Spotify?

I am not a Spotify user, I prefer Amazon Music. My favorite song is definitely this one ” Dreams and nightmares”, I have known this song for a while, but after watching the documentary about Meek Mill, it hit me!…also a lot of NBA and NFL players listen to it to warm up and be mentally prepared before a game. Listen to it next time you work out, you will thank me! 

Describe your perfect Sunday?

It starts with a morning run for 35 to 40 minutes. Then going to see my kid at his football game. After this, we usually go for a brunch with family or friends and just chilling the rest of the day if I don’t have coaching sessions scheduled. That is pretty much what the perfect Sunday is!

How would you describe yourself?

I am a very simple person, motivated, and hopefully motivating. I am focused on my goals. I have always known I wanted to work in sports and help people to be better versions of themselves. It took me some time to find out how and where, but I have always kept the faith.

Knowing where I come from and where I am going help me to always stay humble and grateful for what I have while chasing new goals and dreams.

Your favorite Food?

African food for sure! …I have my secret Senegalese restaurant on Fairfax! That is the great thing about Los Angeles, you can find all kinds of amazing food from all over the world.

Paris or Los Angeles?

I can’t really choose. I would say both! I am from Paris and I built myself there, then my career reached the next level here in Los Angeles, and now I like to go back to Paris and spend time with young kids and teach them everything is possible as long as you believe in yourself and work for it.  To me, this part is very important, you have to give back and share your experience to live a fulfilled life.

Soccer or Basketball?

Soccer! without hesitation. I don’t watch games as much as I used to here, but still, my favorite sport to play and to watch.

Who’s your team?

Paris Saint Germain! since Day one…I grew up near their training camp and even played against them as a kid…great memories!

If you could spend a day with anyone (dead or alive), who would that be?

Mohamed Ali! I would love to know who he really was, his personality, his thoughts, …

How would you spend the day?

I would just sit with him and ask him about his life, his conversion to Islam, his time in jail, his relationship with Malcolm X. He represents so much in Sports, History, and Black History. I would learn a lot from him!

You are always busy coaching clients, but do you play any sports?

I am a sports lover, I embrace every opportunity to play sports: soccer, basketball, tennis,…

How do you manage your time between your work, personal time, and family?

My family is very understanding, and when I am very busy with work or travels, and I know I won’t be able to spend time with them as I would want to, I try to balance it and I block days on my calendar to be with them.

Before moving to the US, I was on tour with Kanye and was traveling a lot for work, I missed important moments with my family like birthdays. It was a lot of sacrifices for me and them to get where we are now. I make it a priority to be with my family as much as I can.

What do you like the most about your job?

Every day is different! And every day is a challenge. You need to adapt to the client and bring the right energy. The fact of my clients trust me to reach their goals forces me to be my best for them.

What is your favorite movie?


Your favorite actor?

Denzel Washington! I really like Al Pacino especially for movies like Carlito’s Way, Donnie Brasco, and Scarface, because It wouldn’t be the same with someone else. I love De Niro for the same reasons.

What do you like the most in California?

The mindset and freedom! I really wanted my kids to grow up in that atmosphere and energy! You can feel here is the place where you can do what you love and follow your passion. The weather as well, obviously, really helps on a daily basis…Growing up in Paris, it was grey and raining most of the time, so being able to go to the beach, do outdoor activities with my family is priceless.

What is the best advice ever received?

“You really want it? Go get it!” is the best advice received from Steve Gutman, the person who introduced me to Kanye West. After training and traveling with Kanye on Yeezus Tour, I was ready to go back to my “normal” life, and Steve really opened my eyes, pushed me to get out of my comfort zone and reach the next level. 

You really need to clearly define your goals and what you want in life and work on it, don’t create nonexistent obstacles and never be afraid to ask!

Your favorite period of the year?

I would say summer because growing up in Paris, I was looking forward to seeing some sun and enjoy warmer days. I am not a big fan of Holidays and New Year’s eve. Now that my family and I live in LA, all year long feels like summer. I love every single day!

Besides you, who should we follow on Instagram?

My man Pascal Duvier, ex-head of security for Kim Kardashian. We spent a lot of time together on tour and he was very helpful and gave me very good advice.  His account is very inspiring and he shares good content.

Your definition of Good Manners?

Do what you want to do without hurting or bothering others.

Do you have any bad habits?

I tend to postpone things! but in my personal life only, not at work! My wife is gonna be mad when she sees that. {laughs}

You worked with a lot of celebrities and artists, who would you love to coach?

When I was in Paris, I really wanted to coach Jay-Z. Now, I have to say I would love to coach people like Lebron James and see the work ethics and the commitment it takes to be the greatest in a discipline. what makes the difference between good athletes and the best ones in their domains. I witnessed this level of commitment with Kanye but it was more in an artistic way, but being in the sports industry, I’d love to feel the same thing with an athlete.

Tell us about your morning routine?

I wake up at 4.30, get a quick bite, I am at the gym at 6 to coach clients all morning. Then, I am back in the valley to train private clients.

Who is your Hero?

I don’t really have heroes… but my mom is my Hero. I also have huge respect and admiration for people who are not in the light, doing great actions in the everyday life or people who fight their own battles and keep their heads up.

What is your favorite destination?

When I get back home in the Yvelines near Paris…nothing like home!

Any country you dream of visiting?

Brazil! …I would like to visit South America!

Do you have a hidden talent?

I don’t think I do, or it must be very hidden.

What would be your best advice to someone who wants to be fit and healthy?

Consistency! Find something you can do and do it often all year long. Don’t try to follow trends or the “new” workout of the month.

Definition of success

Be recognized by my peers in my industry for what I have done. Notoriety is fun, but to be respected in my own industry is synonymous with achievement and success to me.

Have you noticed common traits among the celebrities and successful people you train?

They have their own world and their own vibe, they believe in themselves and are fully committed to their goals. They don’t pay attention to what is happening next to them.

Who should we interview next? 

After me, you need to interview Lebron James! [laughs]

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Romain Wawrzyniak is our Editor-in-Chief. His enthusiasm and kindness make his guests feel comfortable creating intimate conversations and priceless insights.

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