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.


What I love about this format is its accessibility. The movements are all standard, and based on bodyweight. Since March, all over the globe the 2011 CrossFit Games (http://games.crossfit.com/) has been taking place. It’s awesome seeing the workouts that are devised, and some of the performances are phenomenal. Hat’s off to all those who are taking part, especially the guys here in Dubai who have been visiting CrossFit LifeSpark Dubai Affiliate (http://crossfitlifesparkdubai.com/) to record their scores. (Good luck to those heading to the Asia Regionals in Japan!) My only gripe with the competition is that there’s no weight class, and most of the workouts include some heavy weights, such as workout 4 which included 30 reps of overhead squats with 55kg. I doubt I could do one rep, never mind 30!

Of the four exercises the one I dread the most is the bleep test. I first suffered the torture of the bleep test in school, maybe 20 years ago. I might have been sick and I tried for years to forget all about it. Then, more than six months ago I after I bought an iPhone I was browsing the apps available and stumbled upon a ‘Bleep Test’ app. I downloaded it thinking I should give it another bash, but it’s sat there unused and mocking me for months until two weeks ago after my second visit to 24 Fitness gym (see below for more). As I mentioned in my review there’s a 20m running track, ideal for the bleep test. I’d been pushed harder than I thought possible by the Circuit Factory guys (http://www.facebook.com/#!/circuitfactory), but after 30 minutes I thought I’d give it a go.

It was a disaster! The incessant pace increases every minute, and since you know it’s just going to get harder and harder the mental challenge is torture. The other issue is its stop start nature. The pace isn’t that fast, it’s the fact that since you turn every 20m, it’s impossible to build any rhythm.

As for the other three, there’s only so many reps I can do before total muscle failure, and for me that’ll be well before the 2 minute mark in all but the squats. I love a challenge and I’m looking forward to it, I hope some of you guys reading this come along too!


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.

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