Pronounced ‘viper’, this new workout regime stands for Vitality, Performance (meaning it’s a sports-specific training) and Reconditioning (focusing on those coming back from injury). It uses a metre-long rubber log, which can be carried, lifted, swung, rolled, flipped and more, enabling users to perform a variety of ‘functional’ training moves. The ‘log’ ranges in weight from 4kg to 20kg and there are 9,000 registered exercises to try with it.
A single movement with the ViPR integrates many joints (to avoid injury) and muscles (for a more efficient calorie-torching workout). Unlike isolation training – such as a bicep curl, which uses just one joint and muscle in a somewhat unnatural movement – the ViPR workout mimics the way the body logically moves. Try to think of one action you do in your day-to-day life that’s similar to a bicep curl – it’s just not natural. If you do the exercises properly, it’s said you can burn 1,200 calories in an hour! Dhs50 a session. Core Studio, The Waves Tower by Damac, Dubai Marina, www.coredirection.com, (04 422 5338).
Designed to tone without adding bulk, while also improving strength and flexibility, Xtend Barre is the latest exercise fad from the US. It all started when creator Andrea Rogers, a Pilates instructor and ex-dancer, was looking for a way to give her pilates clients something new. She started to layer in some elements of dance and ballet, bringing people off the floor, up to a functional, vertical position, and with that she fused the best bits of pilates and rolled it into a fun cardio package.
It’s a great way to enhance an existing workout. It adds variety and more flowing movement, and it makes people feel the grace of a dancer. It’s a total body workout and is designed to either be done on its own, or to enhance any existing programme. if people do it three times a week, they’ll start to see results within the first few weeks. Xtend Barre classes run at Real Pilates, Palm Strip Mall, Jumeirah Beach Road. For information on schedules and packages, call (04 345 3228).
CrossFit is back-to-basics training that combines traditional Olympian values of sprinting, gymnastics and weightlifting to improve 10 facets of fitness. The training promises to develop your stamina, strength, flexibility, cardiovascular endurance, power, speed, agility, balance, coordination, and physical accuracy.
CrossFit is raw and real, but the beauty of it is that it incorporates functional, everyday movements that we’re all familiar with. The intensity of a session can be adjusted on the basis of age, gender and physical ability, with a typical workout involving squats, shoulder presses and chin-ups. Exercises change with every session though, because CrossFit is all about functional, compound movements and shorter, higher intensity cardio sessions. You’ll definitely leave feeling the burn, but it’ll be worth it in a few weeks. Trust us. Drop-in sessions are Dhs100, twice-weekly sessions are Dhs700 per month and unlimited classes are Dhs1,000 a month. Star International School, Umm Suqeim. For a schedule, see www.crossfitlifesparkdubai.com.
High-altitude training suite
The new high-altitude suite at Madinat Jumeirah’s Quay Club (the first of its kind in the region) offers health enthusiasts maximum fitness benefits within a shorter exercise time frame using a much lower-impact form of exercise. Also referred to as hypoxic training, altitude training has a number of health benefits, including better utilisation of nutrients within muscles and tissues, faster weight loss, higher endurance (as a result of increased red blood cells), and even better concentration levels.
High-altitude training operates on the principle that as altitude increases, air pressure decreases and less oxygen is available for the human body. This leads to a greater productivity of red blood cells and therefore improved heart health. To better reap the benefits of high-altitude training, staff at the Quay Club have developed a programme that incorporates a wellness assessment followed by a daily 90-minute training session over 12 consecutive days, and two training sessions per week for a month thereafter. Dhs500 for private one-on-one lesson); Dhs200 for group training with six people and one instructor. Quay Club, Madinat Jumeirah (04 406 8534).
Cheap gyms in Dubai
If you’re after no-fuss, short-term, affordable gym memberships, try these…
Colosseum Gym, Karama Colosseum (questionable spelling aside) is a great spot for those who love Muay Thai – the gym has two Thai instructors on hand and offers no less than 20 classes a week. It’s also a good option for swimmers, with a 15 metre outdoor pool. The mid-sized space is reasonably priced considering it has all the trimmings – and with a 60/40 split of men and women, it’s not as intimidating as other spots in town.
Equipment: The gym offers resistance machines by Paramount and cardio machines from Lite Fitness, as well as a boxing ring, swimming pool, hot tub and sauna.
Price: There are three tiers of membership. Gold, which includes use of the facilities as well as a fitness assessment, costs Dhs900 for three months and Dhs2,400 for a year (this is the only membership with an admin fee, which is Dhs100). A platinum membership, which adds unlimited martial arts classes, towels and mineral water, is Dhs1,800 for three months, while a VIP membership, including 12 personal training sessions, costs Dhs3,000 for three months. You can also opt to pay Dhs410 per month just for classes. Open Sat-Thu 6am-midnight; Fri 1pm-9pm. Za’abeel Road, Karama (04 337 2755).
Pullman Hotel, Mall of the Emirates This new gym is a little more expensive than the other options, but it’s also that much swankier. Featuring high-tech equipment (you can plug in your iPod or iPhone and play movies and music from them on your personal TV), this spot also boasts beautiful panoramic views of Dubai. The sauna, Jacuzzi and steam room are of five-star spa quality – great for winding down after a high-impact workout.
Equipment: Most of the equipment is Technogym, although there are also Vibra-Plate machines as well as the Kinesis, a full-body machine featuring a stretchable band, allowing fluid movements.
Price: A one month membership costs Dhs600, three months is Dhs1,400 and six months Dhs2,200 (that’s only the same price as four blowout brunches, remember). While it’s more expensive than others you might be familiar with, the Pullman is of note for its central location – everyone from both sides of Sheikh Zayed Road can get to it with ease – and the fact that members get 30 per cent discount on all spa treatments, as well as 20 per cent off at the hotel’s restaurants. Open 24 hours. Pullman Hotel, Mall of the Emirates (04 377 2380).