Looking to slim your belly, or build your pecs? Personal trainer Tim Garrett advises Time Out on the best moves
1 Arms: When it comes to building those guns, ‘nothing beats working against natural resistance,’ says Dubai-based personal trainer Tim Garrett. Press-ups, pull-ups and punches are all great ways to build toned, well-defined arms.
Class pick: ‘Martial arts are a great way to build the upper body,’ says Garrett. ‘Karate and taekwondo combine cardio and flexibility training and offer a lot of natural resistance.’ Karate and taekwondo are taught at at the Dubai Karate Centre (04 344 7797/www.dubaikarate.com). Dhs330 per month.
2 Pecs: ‘This area’s tricky,’ says Garrett. ‘To really bring out muscle definition in your chest area, it’s good to combine aerobic and weight training.’
Class pick: ‘A good body pump class is the perfect complimentary edition to a well-rounded weights workout,’ says Garrett. ‘Doing very high reps twice a month helps to develop the slow twitch muscle fibres. These are muscle fibres that contract slowly and are important in endurance training. They are also overlooked in most weightlifting workout routines. But to build a better body, especially a better upper body, it’s important to work both types of muscle groups.’ Body Pump at Aviation Club, Garhoud (04 283 3071). Dhs50 per class.
3 Abs: According to Garrett, sit-ups aren’t necessarily the secret to a winning six-pack. ‘It’s not always a question of exercise. Sometimes, what causes a large stomach is stress, lack of sleep, poor digestion, diet or some combination of the four. It’s best to address those issues before killing yourself with crunches,’ he says.
Class pick: Nothing balances a stressful lifestyle quite as successfully as tai chi. Plus, it’s a great way to achieve balance, which is bound to tighten up those core muscles. To compliment the tai chi sessions, Garrett advises against doing ab classes, because he finds they don’t necessarily address the greater lifestyle issues that might be causing excess weight around the belly. ‘Save yourself 30 minutes and do three sets of crunches on an exercise ball. Add a weight to your forehead when you can do over 20 reps of any set.’ Tai chi at Dubai Herbal & Treatment Centre, off Oud Metha Road (04 335 1200). Dhs150 per class.
4 Joints: There are times when your body wants a workout but your joints don’t. Hope is not lost for those suffering from ankle and knee injuries, however. All that’s required is an exercise that incorporates fluid motions and doesn’t have a lot of jerky or high-impact movements.
Class pick: Garrett recommends water-based aerobics for those looking to exercise without stressing the joints. ‘Aqua aerobic is extremely useful for people with injuries or ongoing health complaints like arthritis,’ he says. Aqua aerobics at Rochester Wellness Centre, Jumeirah (04 394 2257). Dhs50 for day pass.
5 Legs: ‘If you don’t have squats in your program, then you don’t know squat about training,’ says Garrett. ‘To work the legs, any class you do should have a good range of squats, lunges and step ups.’
Class pick: Garrett recommends a good circuit class, like boot camp, to focus on the legs. Boot camp at Fitness First, various locations (www.fitnessfirst.ae/uae/home.asp). Dhs100 for day pass.