Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Men’s Fitness & Shape Magazine Middle East Fitness Challenge 2011

I’ve signed up to take part in the Men’s Fitness & Shape Magazine Middle East Fitness Challenge which is being held at 3pm Saturday 25th June in the Westin, Dubai. There are four events:
  • bleep test starting at level 8 (12kph)
  • max push ups in 2 mins
  • max bodyweight squats in 2 mins
  • max burpees in 2 mins
Participants can enter as a team of four, each person doing only one activity, or go for the lot on your own, which is what I’m doing. Fingers crossed there’s be a breather or else I’ll be screwed.

Friday, 20 May 2011

24 Fitness Al Quoz & The Circuit Factory, Dubai

I love gyms. When I walk into a gym for the first time I feel the same as when I was ten years old and I walked into a toy store, all I see is things to play with. (I’m the same when I see football goalposts, I always visualise curling a shot into the top corner.) Once inside, I then start to notice what’s missing, and start thinking about the session I’m about to do and how I can adapt the toys available to achieve my goals.

24 Fitness in Al Quoz, Dubai is different. Nothing is missing; actually there are more toys in there than I would have dreamed of in my perfect gym, such as punchbags, speed balls, climbing ropes and a 20m two-lane sprinting track. Plus, it has a great mix of new machines and good old fashioned big heavy shit. I could go on, but basically there’s everything that anyone who is serious about their fitness could possibly wish for. It’s an incredible space. Gym heaven. If Rocky were to visit Dubai, he’d train at 24 Fitness.

Here's a link with photos and a location map:

Other advantages include:
  • The price, at only AED 40 per session, or AED 450 a month it’s an absolute bargain.
  • Being able to purchase a protein shake for AED 10 for one scoop or AED 15 for two. (Some experts, such as Paul Chek, believe that you should consume a post workout meal before the sweat from your workout has dried to maximise the peak of your metabolic rate.)
  • Group sessions, professionals such as InnerFight and The Circuit Factory (more below) utilise the space for tremendous sessions.
  • It’s size; though there were lots of people training before work it didn’t feel crowded like other gyms can.
Only disadvantage:
  • It’s not within a two minute walk of my flat.

The Circuit Factory (http://www.facebook.com/#!/circuitfactory)

Dubai is full of companies running circuits (bootcamp) classes, and to be fair, they’re very similar in their structure. For me, what makes one stand out from another is the ability and enthusiasm of the instructors to include everyone, create a great atmosphere, and push people to achieve more that they thought possible. It’s in this regard that the lads running The Circuit Factory scored with aplomb.

They run three morning sessions daily, which start at 6.15am, 7.15am and 8.15am. The circuit consisted of 10 stations, with 1 minute hard work at each station and no rest between stations. After the first lap, there was breather while all of the exercises were changed, and then off we went again round the 10 stations for 10 minutes. (Though I didn’t have a watch on, some 60 second stations felt like a lot longer than others!) Again the stations were changed, and there was a third and final lap before I crumpled to the floor like a wet rag. I was knackered but happy in the knowledge that I’d been tested, pushed, and given 100%. What more can you ask for?

Watch this!


Fitness in Dubai features reviews of all the latest fitness programmes and local gyms, such as The Circuit Factory, 24 Fitness and CrossFit LifeSpark, as well as reviews of fitness fads, fitness tests and fitness equipment, from Vibram Five Fingers barefoot running shoes to VO2 Max testing. Ultimately, this fitness blog - as featured in Good Taste, Men's Fitness, Time Out and Shape magazines - contains everything you need to know about fitness in Dubai, UAE, in the Middle East. Bookmark it now.

Monday, 16 May 2011

How to lose weight and gain muscle - what a stag do in Amsterdam taught me

Last month I headed to Amsterdam for a stag do and met up with my best friends, lads I’ve known for over 20 years. I hadn’t seen most of them for over a year, but like always when we meet up, it was like I’d seen them only last week and nothing had changed. Well, I say nothing but actually appearance wise we all had. Lots more grey hairs kicking about, a couple of receding hairlines, a bit extra all paid for in the beer belly department. But far and away the biggest surprise was the groom-to-be. He’d transformed into a muscle bound beast, as this picture shows.
Obviously I had to find out what kind of training schedule he’d followed for this amazing transformation, so here is it for you all.
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