From free workouts to expert trainers, fight the flab today
Signing up to your nearest gym at the start of the year is almost as much of a cliché as promising on December 31 to devote the next 12 months to losing half your bodyweight. But getting fit doesn’t need to be boring or samey – a new year means dozens upon dozens of new, interesting and genuinely fun ways to get fit. Of course, regular exercise can do more than just help you finally do up the buttons on your favourite jeans – it helps combat heart disease and bad cholesterol, depression and diabetes, helps you sleep better and can help you have more energy in day-to-day life. Read on and get inspired – all you’ve got to lose is a couple of kilos.
Free Ride Club rides This cycling group heads out twice a week. On Saturday, it’s a 7am start at Al Qudra car park (near Arabian Ranches), with a fast group cycling 85km at approximately 33kph, and a steady group cycling 28km at an average 32kph. On Wednesdays from 6.30pm, beginner riders are invited to learn the etiquette of cycling in a group, and to up their fitness at Nad Al Sheba cycle park. You will need to own your own bicycle and helmets are essential. Free. Sat 7am, Al Qudra; Wed 6.30pm. Ongoing. Nad Al Sheba, www.facebook.com/groups/rideclubme (052 904 0031).
Power 45 and Fly60 sessions New York import Flywheel, a fast-paced indoor cycling class that pushes your quads to their very limits, is launching new, even tougher variations on its Flywheel and FlyBarre sessions. The Flywheel Fly60 torq challenge and endurance rides are designed to test your stamina through a fast-paced combination of climbs, descents and sprints on the bike. Meanwile, the FlyBarre Power 45 sessions, set to launch in February, promise to offer a challenging workout in 45 minutes instead of the usual 60. First class free, Dhs110 per class, packages available. Ongoing. Flywheel, Burj Views Residences, Downtown Dubai, www.flywheelsports.com (04 423 2544).
Dhs100 and under Playground fitness Head over to JLT to work out in the OP Lifestyle Centre, Dubai’s first playground gym for adults. With help from climbing frames, hula hoops, juggling and even space hoppers, the idea is to help clients get physically fit and mentally energised in an entirely new way. This month, the gym launched its Pulse classes – high intensity, full-body workout circuit sessions, with each participant wearing a MYZone heart monitor to measure every single calorie burned. Dhs70 per class. Ongoing. OP Integrated Lifestyle Centre, Silver Tower, Cluster I, Jumeirah Lakes Towers, www.oplifestyle.com (04 365 3399).
Yoga rhythmix A new weekly workout at DanceFit studio, expect a more up-tempo version of your favourite yoga session with this Wednesday class. If you find conventional yoga a little too quiet or slow for your liking, this could be the way to get into the discipline in 2014. Dhs65 per class. Ongoing. DanceFit, Al Sayah Building, Sheikh Zayed Road, www.dancefitme.com (050 552 8330).
Morning dance James & Alex Dance Studios has now launched morning classes for adults, perfect for those with some time to kill before noon. Tone up while learning a new skill, with classes including Zumba, contemporary dance, ballet and musical theatre all available. Dhs50 per class, packages available. Daily 8.30am-noon. Ongoing. James & Alex Dance Studios, Concord Tower, Dubai Media City, www.jamesandalex.com (04 447 0773).
‘Abstruction’ sessions The idea of this group exercise class is to destroy fat and build lean muscle. It’s a fun, energetic and extremely sweaty hour, with a focus on strengthening, slimming and toning the abdominal ad core muscle. You don’t need to have abs of steel to take part – but the instructors hope to help you get some. The class takes place on Saturdays and is open to both men and women over the age of 16. Dhs70 for non-members. Ongoing. Fit Lab, Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, www.dubaigolf.com (04 295 6000).
Boxing classes Try a boxing class at new gym Round 10 Boxing, which offers kids’ training as well as ladies-only and mixed classes. There are also heavyweight boxing classes designed specifically for overweight gym-goers. The first class is free, and Dhs100 thereafter for non-members (though ladies-only classes with a female instructor cost slightly more). Gloves are available, but you must buy your own hand wraps. From Dhs100 per class for non-members, packages available. Ongoing.. Round 10 Boxing, Warehouse 42, 364/19 Street, Al Quoz, www.round10boxing.com (04 338 0101).
Cardio tennis Check out new fitness company ABSolute Fitness Dubai’s range of workouts, which include its latest offering, cardio tennis – circuits designed to get you in top shape for the racket sport. It also offers bootcamps, circuit training, ladies- only classes, beach and park workouts and personal training. From Dhs75. Daily 6am-10pm. Ongoing. ABSolute Fitness Dubai, various locations including Palm Jumeirah, Garhoud, Oud Metha, Al Barsha, www.facebook.com/absolute-fitness-dubai (052 948 2669).
Spin circuits Feel the muscle-building burn with this hardcore workout – a combination of spinning and circuit training designed to torch calories and blast fat in a fun, energetic way. Expect to use both bodyweight and resistance workouts to work up a sweat. Dhs50 members, Dhs60 non-members. Sun and Thu 5pm-6pm. Ongoing. Fit Lab, Emirates Golf Club, www.dubaigolf.com (04 417 9850).
Phoenix Rising AcroYoga... with a twist AcroYoga blends yoga with acrobatics and Thai yoga massage and Dubai is set to host classes at new locations across the city over the next 12 months. AcroYoga is designed to strengthen, lengthen and tone your body, as well as giving your core a lift. By donation at Safa Park, Dhs80-95 per studio session, depending on location. Fri 10am-11.30am, Safa Park; Tue 11am, Exhale JBR and 7.30pm, Zen Yoga Town Centre, www.phoenix-rising.me (055 552 0135).
More than Dhs100 PURE Core Programme PURE Fitness is emphasising core muscles this season with a new six-week programme designed to focus on your mid-section. Whether you’ve just had a baby and want to tighten up, or have always struggled to maintain a toned tummy, this is surely a place to start. A strong core leads to better balance and stability, and can also help reduce back pain by training the muscles in your pelvis, lower back, hips and abdomen to work together. Dhs420 for six weeks. Ongoing. Ductac, Mall of the Emirates, www.purefitnessuae.com (050 659 4376).
Motorsports training Get track-fit with personal trainer Phil Robson at Bodylines Gym in the Towers Rotana. Organisers of racing event Formula Gulf 1000 go to him for advice on driver fitness and mental preparation, training drivers and building bespoke programmes. If you’ve ever wanted to know what kind of workout racing drivers do on a regular basis, this is the place to find out. Dhs300 per hour for non-members. Ongoing. Bodylines Gym, Towers Rotana, Sheikh Zayed Road, www.rotana.com (04 312 2556).
SUP Sisters This class is a new initiative launched by Ignite Surf School to get the city’s ladies out on the water for some stand-up paddleboarding. The female-only class aims to develop the SUP skills of attendees, looking at balance, cardio, paddling, fitness and strength training. Dhs150 per session, Dhs1,000 for ten. Call for timings. Ignite Surf School UAE, Riva Beach Club, Shoreline Apartments, Palm Jumeirah, www.surfschooluae.com (055 601 0997).
More than Dhs500 New CrossFit box CrossFit is continuing to gain followers in Dubai, and Touareg CrossFit is the latest ‘box’ (they don’t use the word gym) to open in the city. A strength and conditioning programme that uses varied movements at a high level of intensity, boxgoers can expect to find themselves faced with Olympic weightlifting, kettle bell training, gymnastics and bodyweight exercises. Heard of the paelo diet? These guys are its biggest champions. Dhs1,000 per month for unlimited membership. Ongoing. Touareg CrossFit, Al Shoala Building, near Deira City Centre Metro Station, Itihad Road, Deira, www.touaregcrossfit.com (052 619 0857).
MMA fitness duos Pride Fitness Center has launched a partner-based MMA-inspired one-month training camp designed for the city’s fitness enthusiasts. Expect boxing, kickboxing, MMA, jiu-jitsu and general fitness exercises, with an emphasis on training in pairs (you must sign up as a two, and not individually). A unique way to show your appreciation for your loved one on Valentine’s Day. Dhs500 per person. Mon and Wed 7.30pm-8.30pm. Ongoing. Pride Fitness Center, Curve Building, Al Quoz, www.pridefitnesscenter.com (055 663 2124).
GRIT workouts Gold’s Gym has launched a brand new Les Mills class across its UAE outlets. A 30-minute high intensity interval training workout, GRIT is designed to take participants to extremes to help them reach their fitness goals. Expect to be gasping for air by the end of your first session. Introductory offer Dhs999 for ten classes. Gold’s Gym, locations across Dubai including Al Barsha Mall, www.goldsgym.ae (800 46537).
360 Synergy Group Programme This eight-week programme is the latest in a line of group fitness challenges by JLT gym Smart Fitness. Participants can expect 24 sessions of group personal training incorporating workout tools such as VIPR, TRX and RIP, plus a nutrition plan, two months of unlimited membership to the gym and online coaching throughout the period. Dhs3,000. Mon and Wed 7pm, Fri 10am. Ongoing. Smart Fitness, HDS Business Centre, Cluster M, Jumeirah Lakes Towers, www.smartfitness.ae (04 438 5055).
21-day kick starter Ignite’s 21-day programme aims to help get you in shape by starting off with a three-day juice cleanse followed by a nutritional plan, six personal training sessions and a lymphatic massage, followed by a photoshoot and final body composition assessment to recognise your progress. Dhs2,500. Ongoing. Ignite Fitness & Wellness, various locations, www.ignite-wellness.com (04 456 2482).
Expedition: Robinson Crusoe Get fit as a group with this ‘ultimate team-building activity’ from Ignite. Hosted on the beach, complete with a variety of props and a unique storyline, teams take part in activities that are both physically and mentally challenging, including raft-building, barrel rolling, treasure hunting and obstacles both in and out of the water. The event can take place over two to six hours, with lunch or snacks as part of the package. Groups of between ten and 120 can be accommodated. Price on request. Ongoing. Ignite Fitness & Wellness, various locations, www.ignite-wellness.com (04 456 2482).