Sunday, 26 June 2011

Winning the UAE Fitness Challenge 2011

Ecstatic is not a word I use often, but it’s the only one that comes close to summing up how I feel today. Yesterday I competed against the UAEs fittest and won. The contest was the UAE Fitness Challenge hosted by Men’s Fitness and Shape Middle East. These magazines organised the event pitting professional fitness instructors against amateurs like myself. The feats were a classic beep test (starting at level 8), running timed 20m lengths, followed by rounds of press-ups, squats and burpees, in which contestants were challenged to do as many repetitions of each exercise as they could in two minutes. Technique was closely monitored with each contestant being assigned a judge, and if you want to try bettering my scores yourselves at home, my results were as follows:

Beep test: level 13 round 10
Press-ups: 77
Squats: 122
Burpees: 38

Here's the video, brilliantly shot by my Beautiful wife. Huge thanks to her for putting up with me. To everyone who cheered me on and those involved in organising and running the event, thank you!

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Fitness in Dubai – Time for a name change

I’ve decided to rebrand this blog as “Fitness in Dubai”. Recently while giving this site a little redesign, I started asking myself what this blog is really all about, and does it benefit anyone other than me? Here are some questions I was asked for an upcoming feature in Shape Magazine:

Q: Why did you start your blog?
A: Every runner suffers from injuries. I thought I'd stumbled across a way to reduce the chances of getting injured, and I wanted to share this information. When I talked about barefoot running and my Vibram five fingers (VFFs) everyone asked the same questions, so it seemed logical to log my answers and experiences in blog format.

Q: What made you choose to write about barefoot running?
A: It seemed like a revelation to me. I desperately wanted barefoot running to change me into the runner I've always wanted to be. In the end I'm delighted I started the blog so that it can act as a cautionary tale for anyone who wants to try running barefoot and they can (hopefully!) learn from the stupid mistake I made of doing too much too soon.