Run goals
Fitness & Training

Guide to Reach your Health and Wellness Goals

posted by FitnessFirst Team April 10, 2017 0 comments
How many times did you say it to yourself..

“this is it, this time I’m really gonna do it!”?

For many times we keep saying to ourselves and to our friends and family that this is the time that we are actually going to achieve or start doing something for our health and fitness, start working out, gain this amount of muscle, drop this amount of fat, run every day in the morning, etc, etc, etc..

but in reality we only do it for a couple of weeks, if we actually even start it, and then it starts fading out.


I’m pretty sure that most of us have heard about goals and the importance to set them, but do we actually do it? We can easily say we want to run a marathon in 6 months, but what is the breakdown and the actions that will take us there? Where do I have to be in 3 months in order to achieve that? What about in a month? What about next week? What do I have to start doing tomorrow? There’re many ways to set your goals but the one that has been more effective for me over the past years is the SMART structure, that each letter represents a specific word that will help you set your goal. Let’s see below how it works:

On the acronym A some people use the Attainable, I preferably like to use Action plan instead, because it gives you the idea of what you need to do in order to achieve that. So now that we know what SMART goals are, let’s use the marathon example to see how it works:

It’s very common that you first select the time based and then you go to the realistic one, it can get confusing if you think that your goal is realistic but then the timeline that you put into it might not be enough, so I always recommend to get the deadline first and then realize if it is realistic or not. But this is just the beginning, this is the part where everybody can get but then the motivational side starts breaking down, “well, in reality it’s only in 6 months down the line, why do I have to start now? I can only start next week, actually I’m pretty busy with work at this point”, or even worse, “a Marathon is too much for me, what was I thinking?”

This is when you need an action plan and baby steps to get there..

fitness outdoors

You know you’ll be training 5 times a week, but where do you have to be in 1 month? Nothing better than breaking down your big goal into small goals that will help you, and for that you can always use a timeline draw, from a point “A” to “B”, starting from the future until today, let’s see below how it works.

Point A (Today) _________________________________________________Point B (Marathon)

Being “A” today and “B” the Marathon day in 6 months, you start on the Marathon point and go backwards to understand which steps you’ll need to get there. You can start by selecting where do you have to be half way there:


Point A (Today) ___________________________|_____________________Point B (Marathon)

3 Months – Run 21KM

By setting up this structure it will start giving you the idea what the steps are, so now its time to break that one into smaller ones:

Point A (Today) _1______2_______3__________4_________5______6____Point B (Marathon)

Now you have your big goal, in SMART goals, with an action plan and a breakdown of smaller goals that you can track your progress and keep you motivated throughout the process, as I mentioned before, if the goal is too big or too far away from today, it’ easy to get demotivated, but more important than that, you have to celebrate and reward yourself by the time you achieve those accomplishments, after all, they are great accomplishments that are taking you to the big picture. We apply the same in real life, we just don’t think about it, take babies as example, we know that eventually they will run, but we also know that before that they will walk, and before they will try to stand up, but never before they crawl, so we know the “baby steps” are there, and how much do they practice? Daily, we just don’t realize that but we’re always keen to celebrate, take pictures and videos and share with our families and friends. Do the same with your small baby steps for your wellness goals.


Regardless of what is your wellness goal at this point, either exercising, start eating healthier, having a more active lifestyle, always ensure you know exactly what you’re chasing, have an action plan for it and you know where you have to be in short period of time, if necessary print out a piece of paper or even write it down on a sticker, put it on your desk, on your fridge or even or your mobile phone wallpaper, but make sure you see it everyday.

Andre Fox-Martins
Fitness Manager

Fitness & Training

Relationship Goals: 5 Ways of Sharing Fitness

posted by FitnessFirst Team February 17, 2017 0 comments

We all know the fact that relationships are hard. Cohabitating, being patient and kind, and putting someone else’s needs ahead of your own aren’t always easy to do and can come with their share of stress.

Fitness has countless health benefits, but one thing you may not realize is its ability to bring you closer as a couple and make life together better.

Relationship Goals

My wife and I started our joint fitness journey after we started dating. We have fun running, training, sweating together, engaging in our mutual #fitfam community, and watching our bodies enjoy the rewards of hard work and commitment.

Here are a few rules and ways that sharing fitness with your partner can improve your relationship:

1. Join a Fitness First Club – you’ll surely spend more quality time together

You really need a place to train, the key is to join a gym that is convenient to where you live or work (so lucky that I work in Fitness First Platinum Club in Golden Mile and it’s near to my wife’s work too) so that you never have an excuse to miss any of your sessions and it has the all the amenities you need. For my wife and I, our favorite moments together are spent in sneakers, whether sweating it out at the gym or running on the road. Good thing that downstairs from Fitness First Platinum in Golden Mile there’s an awesome running track!

2. Get a training partner – you’ll be a happier partner

This is when you’re expecting that I will recommend you getting a personal trainer, for my wife she’s lucky she has me! If you’re not as lucky as my wife, then I would recommend that you partner up with a personal trainer, especially here in Fitness First we have highly qualified trainers, it would really be ideal if you have one alongside on achieving your fitness goals. Learn from the experts and do your due diligence.When you’re working out, the body triggers cells to release endorphins or happy hormones, the magic little hormones that block the transmission of pain signals and produce a euphoric feeling. That gives you that post-workout glow? You’re not imagining it. Right? Plus, people who stick to a fitness plan feel the pride that comes with accomplishing goals. This confidence can boost your relationship by contributing to of course a greater sense of mutual well-being, not just keeping you stronger but also keeping the relationship on fire.
train together

3. Join group classes – you’ll make like-minded friends and share a sense of community

Lots of couples, especially those who work in different careers, have two sets of friends that don’t have a ton in common. Yet couples who build fitness into their lives often find that they build a shared friend base, which can be really fun and rewarding. Try joining some group classes at Fitness First, hitting the same after-work boot camp, circuit classes, Body Pump, 6D or FIT 4:15 class a few days per week as a duo. For sure you’ll have fun!

4. Follow a clean diet- you’ll appreciate each other’s bodies more

A fit body is awesome, but there’s actually nothing more attractive than knowing your partner has dedicated themselves diligently to a fitness routine all week. It makes you feel proud of each other and reminds you of all the great attributes that made you fall in love in the first place. To ensure that you’ll benefit from all of your couple training, your diet needs to be on point, clean and balanced. You should also ensure that you consume enough water so that your body is hydrated especially during your workouts.

5. Get some rest – you’re chemistry will improve 

Be sure to get enough rest so that your body could recuperate from all the awesome training that you did during the week. Because if you don’t, it may result to not-so-enjoyable consequences, like diminished strength, irritability or what not. But you know what? There will be no doubt that the fruits of your labor will be evident. Not only will you both feel better about yourselves (which is half the battle) but your chemistry will surely be turned up a notch as your bodies continue to change. Plus, your shared increase in happy hormones or endorphins will help in keeping you happier as a couple!

Couples that SWEAT and TRAIN together, stay SWEET and FIT forever!

Red Bantilo, RN, CPT
Platinum Personal Trainer

For more health and fitness tips download our FREE fitness e-book with tips on how to reach your goals, nutrition and wellness advice, fitness and training information, tips on tracking progress and a weight-loss and lean muscle building FREE fitness program!

Goal Setting tips
Fitness & Training

حقق أهدافك باتباع خمس خطوات بسيطة

posted by FitnessFirst Team February 6, 2017 0 comments

حدد أهداف قابلة للتحقيق

أهداف شخصية تخصك وتتعلق بوضعك الحالي. فالكثير من الأشخاص يحاولون الركض قبل أن يتسنى لهم المشي، الأمر الذي يوهن من عزيمتهم اجعل لك رؤية وجدولاً زمنياً لتقسيم هدفك إلى أهداف يمكنك تحقيقها

ركز على أهدافك واسعى وراءها

على الرغم من أي مصاعب قد تواجهها، مثل الصفوف التي قد تفوتك أو الإصابة التي تتعرض إليها أو أوقات العمل المتأخرة، إلا أن انضباطك ورغبتك في تحقيق أهدافك سيحددان النتائج التي ستحققها، ولذلك فإن الإيمان بأهدافك مهم للغاية

راقب مستوى تطورك

لتتأكد من أنك تسير في الاتجاه الصحيح. أحصل على جهاز قياس معدل ضربات القلب ماي زون لمتابعة سعراتك الحرارية والاحتفاظ بمفكرة للتدريب لتسجيل التمارين التي تمارسها وقارن بين ما تسجله من نتائج حتى يتسنى لك الاطلاع على إنجازاتك. فإذا كنت تحصل على النقاط باتجاه تحقيق هدفك، فاعلم أنك تبلي بلاء حسناً، وإذا لم تحقق هذه النقاط، فعليك أن تعيد تقييم خطة تمرينك والتأكد من دقتها وصحتها

اعمل بجد

لا يمكنك تحقيق أي أمر ذي قيمة بسهولة، لذا اعمل بجد وابذل قصارى جهدك، وستحقق النتائج التي تتمناها. فحضورك للصفوف الصباحية قبل بدء يوم عملك أو الصفوف المسائية بعد انتهاء العمل سيصب في اتجاه تحقيق هدفك

كافئ نفسك وابدأ من جديد

كافئ نفسك عند إحراز أي تقدم، فهذه المكافآت ستكون بمثابة حافز لك وبوسعك عندئذٍ أن تحدد لنفسك أهدافاً أكبر، وبهذه الطريقة سيكون لديك دائماً هدفاً تسعى لتحقيقه وستحصل على التقدير الذي تستحقه عند تحقيق الهدف الذي تسعى إليه

نيكي هولاند
مدير لياقة

لمزيد من النصائح حول تحديد الأهداف قم بتحميل كتابنا الإلكتروني القابل للتنزيل مجاناً مع نصائح حول كيفية الوصول إلى أهدافك، والتغذية، وتقديم المشورة للعناية بالصحة واللياقة البدنية ومعلومات عن التدريب، ونصائح حول تتبع التقدم المحرز و برنامج تدريب مجانا حول فقدان الوزن و بناء العضلات

Reach your goals in 5 easy steps
Fitness & Training

Reach Your Goals in 5 Easy Steps

posted by FitnessFirst Team January 30, 2017 0 comments

1) Set Achievable targets

Set targets that are personal to you and your current situation. Many people try to run before they can walk, which causes de-motivation. Have a vision and a timeline to break down what you want to achieve.

2) Be focused and stay on track

Despite any barriers you face, such as missing a session, picking up an injury, work finishing late. Your discipline and desire will determine your results, so mindset and belief is important.

3) Monitor progress

You need to make sure you are heading in the right direction. Get a MYZONE heart rate monitor to track your calories and keep a training diary with your workout and weigh ins to give you feedback. If you are making steps towards your goal, then great. If not then re-evaluate your training and make sure it is specific.

4) Work Hard

Nothing worth having comes easy so put the hard work and effort in. The results will come. Early morning sessions before you start the day or late evening sessions after work…they all count!

5) Reward and re-set

Be sure to give yourself credit and reward yourself when you make progress. This will motivate you and you can set greater goals. That way you always have something to aim for and you know you will get recognition when you achieve what you set out to do.

Nicky Holland
Fitness Manager

For more goal setting tips download our FREE fitness e-book with tips on how to reach your goals, nutrition and wellness advice, fitness and training information, tips on tracking progress and a weight-loss and lean muscle building FREE fitness program!

Fitness & Training

نصائح للحفاظ على اللياقة البدنية خلال العُطلات

posted by FitnessFirst Team December 20, 2016 0 comments

 يُمارس الأشخاص الذين يُخططون لقضاء عُطلاتهم محلياً أو في وطنهم التمارين الرياضية بجِدّ لمظهر وصحّة جيدين من ثلاثة أو أربعة أو خمسة أو ستة أشهر أو حتى قبل عام كامل. ولكن خلال العُطلات، كيف يُمكننا الحفاظ على اللياقة خلال الموسم؟

:هنا بعض النصائح للحفاظ على اللياقة خلال العُطلات

تحديد الأهداف

من المُهمّ أن نُحدد أهدافنا قبل الذهاب في العُطلات. مثل كمية السُعرات الحرارية التي نتناولها، وما نستهلكه من طاقة، وخطة التمارين الرياضية التي سنُمارسها، أي اليوم والوقت، وصالة الألعاب الرياضية، والنزهات الخارجية، والمُعدات، وحدنا ،مع أفراد الأسرة، وما إلى ذلك. أعدّ قائمة بالأنشطة وضعها في مكان ظاهر تماماً، مثل على الثلاجة أو على المرآة التي تستخدمها دائماً. يُطلِق الكثيرون على هذه العملية أو يُسمّونها عكس الأهداف

كمية السُعرات الحرارية التي نحصُل عليها

دائماً ما تكون كمية السُعرات التي نتناولها خلال العطلات هي المُتّهم الأول في اكتساب الأشخاص الوزن خلال الموسم. اضبط كمية السعرات الحرارية التي تتناولها وفقاً للكمية المسموح بها يومياً. وأعد تنظيم كمية السُعرات الحرارية التي تتناولها إذا احتجت لذلك، لا سيما إذا كان هناك حفل ستذهب إليه في نهاية اليوم. قلل من السُعرات الحرارية التي تتناولها في الصباح وفي وجبة الغداء وفي الوجبات الخفيفة في مُنتصف اليوم إذا كنت تنوي أن تُطلِق لنفسك العنان في الحفل

(استهلاك الطاقة (السُعرات الحرارية

راقب استهلاكك من الطاقة. لدينا في فيتنس فيرست “جهاز ماي زون” ليُساعدك في حساب ما تحرقه من سُعرات حرارية في الوقت الحقيقي، إلى جانب نقاط المجهود التي يحسبها جهاز “ماي زون”، وقياس مُعدَّل ضربات القلب والوقت الإجمالي المُستغرَق في التمارين الرياضية. وسواء كنت تُمارس تمارينك الرياضية المُفضَّلة داخل النادي أو تُمارس أي أنشطة خارجية، يُمكن لجهاز “ماي زون” أن يُساعدك في رصد تلك الإحصاءات

خطط لليوم و وقت ممارسة التمارين الرياضية

مع وجود حفلات ستُقام، نحتاج لتخطيط الأنشطة التي سنُمارسها على مدار الموسم والالتزام بها. وعليك بإدارة أيام وتوقيتات ممارستك للأنشطة البدنية. وإذا كان الصباح هو الخيار الوحيد المُتاح أمامك لممارسة التمارين الرياضية لانشغال يومك، إذا عليك بممارستها في الصباح. ويجب أن نتأكد من أننا سنُمارس التمارين الرياضية التي خططنا لها مهما كلَّف الأمر ومهما كانت الظروف

المكان والمُعدّات

نعلم أين سنقضي عُطلاتنا. وإذا كُنت لا تنوي الذهاب خارج البلاد فأبواب نوادينا مفتوحة دائماً لنُحافِظ على نشاطنا. ولكن إذا قررنا أن نُسافر، يُهمنا كثيراً أن نعلم نوع الأنشطة التي يُمكننا مُمارستها في المكان المُعيَّن الذي سنُسافر إليه. هل هناك نادي لياقة محلّي في المنطقة، وإن لم يكن، فأي نوع من الأنشطة الخارجية يُمكننا مُمارستها وما المُعدات التي نحتاجها. نحن نحتاج لارتجال المُعدّات ونوع النشاط أو التمرين. لا تنس إحضار جهاز “ماي زون” معك. في الإمارات يكون الجو بارداً بالخارج وكذلك معظم البُلدان في نصف الكُرة الشمالي. انتهز هذه الفرصة لتحسين حالة قلبك الصحية واذهب للركض خارجاً. سيمنحك الطقس البارد بعضاً من السُعرات الحرارية الإضافية لتحرقها بينما تستمتع بالمشهد الجميل

 “HIIT” – التدريبات المتقطعة عالية الكثَّافة

استهلاك مزيد من الطاقة في وقت أقل

  يُحسِّن من “HIIT” هو نشاط إضافي يُمكننا إضافته لتماريننا الروتينية مرة أسبوعياً في جدولنا المُزدحم. وتُشير الدراسات إلى أن تدريب
من لياقتنا الهوائية واللاهوائية، ويُقلل من الدهون والوزن في منطقة البطن مع المحافظة على الكُتلة العضلية وصحة القلب والأوعية الدموية وفقاً للُكليّة الأمريكية للطب الرياضي. وقد تستغرق الجلسة الواحدة 16 دقيقة من ممارسة التمارين مع وقت إجمالي يبلغ 25 إلى 30 دقيقة شاملة فترات الإحماء، والتمارين، والراحة، والهدنة، والإطالة

التسوق والحفلات

دائماً ما يكون التسوق في العُطلات جزءاً من الموسم. ونوصي بصف السيارة في مكان بعيد عن مراكز التسوق لحرق مزيد من السُعرات الحرارية إلى جانب التنقُّل في أرجاء مركز التسوق. وفي الحفلات ادع مزيداً من أقاربك أو أصدقاءك بدلاً من فقط الانزواء في ركن واحد مع القليل منهم

المأكولات في الحفلات

لن يأكل الكثير من الأشخاص طوال اليوم ليأكلوا في الحفل. وجميعُنا نعلم أنه إذا وصلنا بأنفُسنا إلى مرحلة الجوع الشديد فعلى الأرجح سنأكُل بنهم أكبر، ما سينتهي بنا إلى تناول مزيد من السُعرات الحرارية. ويُستحسن أن نأكُل قبل الذهاب إلى الحفل لكبح شهيتنا. وإذا كنت تنوي أن تشرَب الكحوليات فعليك بتناول بعضاً من الطعام الغني بالبروتين، حيث تقول الأبحاث أن هذا من شأنه أن يُساعد في ضبط مستويات الكحول في الدم.



شُرب الماء لا يُساعد فقط على هضم الطعام بصورة سليمة، بل إنه يُساعد الجسم في أداء وظائفه بشكل صحيح. وشُرب الماء قبل الذهاب إلى الحفل هو أيضاً حيلة جيدة من شأنها أن تكبح شهيتك وتُساعدك في الالتزام بخُطة السُعرات الحرارية خاصّتك

بون بيكونسيلو
مُدير أوَّل اللياقة البدنية
فيتنس فيرست مُجمَّع السهول السكني، دُبيّ

tips to stay fit for the holidays
Fitness & Training

9 Tips to Stay Fit during the Holidays

posted by FitnessFirst Team December 15, 2016 0 comments

As early as three, four five, six months or even almost the whole year people who are planning to spend their Holidays whether locally or in their homeland are working out hard to look good besides being healthy. But during the holiday how can we stay fit during the season?

Here are some tips to stay fit during the holiday:

1. Goal Setting

It is important to set our goal before going on holiday.  Like the caloric intake, energy expenditure, workout plan i.e. day, time, gym, outdoor, equipment, alone, with members of the family etc.  List down the activities and post it to highly visible place like refrigerator or on the mirror that you always use. Many says or call it “mirroring your goal”.


2. Carloric intake

During the holidays it is the caloric intake that is always big culprit why people gain during the season.  Manage the caloric intake as per recommended daily allowance. Reorganize your caloric intake if you need to, especially if there is a party that is going to happen at the end of the day. Take less if possible in the morning, lunch and the mid snacks if you are planning to indulge in the party.



3. Energy (Caloric) expenditure

Monitor the energy expenditure. In Fitness First we have the MyZone to help you track calories you are burning in real in real time, besides the myzone effort points (MEPS), average heart rate and the total time of the workout. Whether you are doing your favorite workout inside the club or any outdoor activities MZ can help you monitor.



4. Plan day and time of the workout

With parties that is happening, we need to plan our activities throughout the season and stick to it.  Manage the day and time of your physical activities.  If morning time is the only option for you to workout as you have a busy day ahead then do.  We have to see to it that the planed workout has to happen whatever condition it will take.


5. Place and equipment

We know on where we are spend our holidays. If you are not going out of UAE, our health clubs are always here to keep us active. But if we are going to travel, it is vital for us to know what kind of activities we can do in the particular place we are going.  Is there a local fitness club in the area, if not what kind of outdoor activities we can do and the equipment needed.  We need to improvise the equipment and kind of activity or workout. Don’t forget to bring your MyZone with you.  In UAE its cold outside and most of the countries in the northern hemisphere.  Take this chance to enhance more of your cardio and go for a run outside.  Cold temperature will give you some extra calorie burn while enjoying the scenery.


High Intensity Interval Training – More energy expenditures in less time

HIIT is and additional activity that we can add on in our routine once a week in our busy schedule.  Studies shows that HIIT improves our aerobic and anaerobic fitness, reduce abdominal fat and weight while maintaining muscle mass, cardiovascular health to new a few (ACSM).  A session may only involve 16 minutes of total work time with a total time of 25 to 30 mins including warm up, workout and rest period, cool-down and stretching.


Shopping and parties

Holiday shopping is always a part of the season.  Would recommend to park in a farther area of the shopping centers for an additional caloric burn besides moving around inside the shopping mall.  In parties engage more to as many relatives or friends you have instead of just sitting in one corner with a few


Food in parties

A lot of people will not eat the whole day saving for the food in the party.  We all know that if we starve ourselves the more likely that we will binge more, ending up having more calories intake. It is being encourage that to eat before going to the party to curb your appetite. If you plan to drink have some protein-rich food, as research says it will help control blood alcohol levels.




Drinking water not just help out proper digestion but will help out the body function properly. Also drinking plenty of water before going to the party, is a good a trick not to binge out and help sticking in your caloric intake plan. To those who plan to drink alcohol, drinking water will help to prevent people to get a hangover.

Bon Peconcillo
Senior Fitness Manager
Fitness First – The Meadows Dubai



Salman’s Inspiring Story

posted by FitnessFirst Team December 12, 2016 0 comments

A huge congratulations to Salman, he’s shed an incredible 25 KG in four months since becoming a Fitness First member and never felt better!


Here’s his inspiring story:

Salman: I began getting big after moving to Sharjah at the age of 11. I became unhealthy and was held back by my excess weight towards the end of high school. I was unable to do certain things other kids could do such as run a mile or fit comfortably under a desk. A couple of months after graduating, I decided to try and get into shape.

I joined Fitness First and haven’t looked back since. My personal trainer Muhammed Kashif was wonderful in helping me reach my goals as I lost a total of 25 KG in four months through HIIT training, cardio, and a big alteration in my diet to help me lead a healthier lifestyle. I found that the most challenging thing to deal with is temptation when trying to lose weight.

Being in a household where people didn’t care too much about being healthy took a lot of will-power to stay on track and choose healthier options, but I began seeing results after a month which was pleasing. I feel so better about myself now and I’m able to do lots of things I couldn’t do before. I look different, sound different and walk different. I feel great every single day and feel like I can offer so much more to life.

I’d like to thank Fitness First because it’s not just a gym; it becomes a part of your life. The ambience, friendly staff, service and the motivation that my trainer Muhammad gave me are all major factors that helped me achieve my goal.

Well done Salman!

Start your incredible journey today: www.fitnessfirstme.com


قصة نجاح المفتش بدر اسماعيل

posted by FitnessFirst Team December 12, 2016 0 comments

المفتش بدر اسماعيل

 قد نجح المفتش بدر اسماعيل من المراكز الجمركية الجوية في تحدي محاربة السمنة بتفوق حيث قام بإنقاص 42 كيلو من وزنه خلال 7 أشهر من شهر أبريل لغاية شهر نوفمبر حيث كان وزنه 140 كيلو غرام ليصبح وزنه 98 كيلو وقد تم تكريمه من فتنس فيرست وجمارك دبي


:المعاناة السابقة

صعوبة التنفس

الشعور بعدم الراحة والخمول وعدم النشاط

عدم الشعور بالرضى والسعادة

عدم انتظام في النوم

عدم ملائمة الزي الرياضي وزي التفتيش

:القرار بتغير الحياة

 التحق من قبل مركز التدريب الجمركي ببرنامج لياقتي صحتي بفتنس فيرست

تم وضع برنامج غذائي ورياضي

المتابعة الدورية والتحفيز

تشجيع المدرب وزملاء العمل والاهل

الاصرار والتشجيع من قبل الزملاء 

:رحلة تحقيق الاهداف

الالتزام بالبرنامج

التوكل على الله

النظر الى المستقبل ، والاحتفال بالمكاسب الصغيرة

التحسن الكبير في الصحة ، مما ادى الى متابعة العمل الدؤوب


التحدي في تقييم اللياقة البدنية بفتنس فيرست ابتاون مردف

تغيير نمط الحياة

  الانتقال إلى مستويات أعلى في اللياقة البدنية

 !أحسنت يا بدر! إبدأ رحلتك مع فيتنس فيرست اليوم لتحقق قصة نجاح جديدة

Fitness & Training

Coach Alaa Unleashing herself with Fitness First

posted by FitnessFirst Team November 21, 2016 0 comments

While I am still recovering, both mentally and physically, from the 15 km desert hike so thought I’d share my experience.

First off all, please note that I decided to join the Caracal Challenge less than 4 weeks prior, hence was not well prepared for it.

The team did a great job organizing the event and briefing us. We had checkpoints every 2.5 km to recharge. The first half of the hike, 7.5 km, was great. All factors were in our favor; energy levels, sand depth, hills height, sunlight and wind.

The challenge kicked off right after. I was battling sand filled wind while trying to hike a sand dune. I felt that I was not making progress where I was actually putting all my effort to trek that hill. My shoes were filled with sand and did not help, I had to continue barefoot.coachalaa

My tiredness started to get to me and thought of giving up – but how could I in the middle of nowhere and after all the hard work. I thought I’ll just push myself to the next checkpoint at least.

Once I reached that checkpoint, it was a surprise to find out that it was actually the finish line 😩! Feelings of relief, gratitude, and achievement filled me. I was happy to be informed that I was amongst the first 5 to finish the challenge (Al Hamdulilah)

Bottom line and lessons learned:

Be sure to be well prepared both mentally and physically for any challenge you decide to take.

Success comes right after the point where you feel like giving up. Always give that one last push and you’ll make it.

I have to mention that training at Fitness First Midriff certainly helped me prepare as I decided to join last minute. Especially since they’re only a few minutes away from home, and helped me train given my busy schedule.

I love the fact that they have a big variety of equipment for different training types and levels. Both the XFit and regular gym. And always appreciate the positive and energetic staff!

Oh and let’s not forget the awesome healthy options offered at the core juice bar 😍

#UnleashYourself with your chance to WIN A TRIP FOR 2 TO AN AFRICAN SAFARI


Finally, I’d like to thank the Husaak Adventures and the Emirates Wildlife Society for all their efforts in pulling this great charitable event together.

Coach Alaa
Fitness First Brand Ambassadorcoachalaa3

Fitness & Training

The Huge Shift for Women to Lift!

posted by Adam McCubbin October 21, 2016 3 Comments

In the last 5 years, there has been a huge shift in women’s health and an embracement of resistance training for health benefits and aesthetics. A common misconception, women believed that by lifting weights, they would automatically develop huge, thick, unsightly muscles and thought that they would be better served spending their time on the treadmill to melt away fat! Finally, we have come to realise that this is simply not true and the very thing that we once feared has become the answer to unlocking true health and the body that women have always wanted!


It’s hard not to scroll through social media to see countless articles, Instagram selfies and videos of women, sharing and teaching other women to not fear weights, but to become strong and healthy. Hence the rise in popularity of the trending hashtag #strongisthenewskinny. Pop culture has started to move away from promoting waif thin and delicate body types to celebrating stronger, curvier women with toned muscles and a healthier, more attainable body image. (Billion-dollar industry (24 billion – 2014))

Like everything, there are extremes that can be unhealthy with resistance training, but with adequate education and the right mental approach, there are few women that wouldn’t benefit from a structured weight training program.

Putting to rest the misconceptions of weight training for women

If I want to lose weight, I should prioritise cardio over weights.

Switch it around and you’ll have it right! It’s true, doing cardio can help with the weight loss process, but it’s not nearly as effective as weight training. Classic steady state cardio can burn the calories just like weights can during the session. However the recovery from steady state cardio will be less demanding on the body and won’t keep your metabolic rate elevated like weights will. Running on the treadmill without direction and a planned resistance program is the fastest way to nowhere!

High reps and light weights are ideal for women to tone up.

Somewhere along the line, light weights and high repetitions were marketed to women as an effective way to target and tone certain parts of the body. Perhaps it was some sort of infomercial selling a thigh squeezer or butt clencher, either way, they were feeding you snake oil! To create a change in the body, there needs to be significant disruption to produce results. For example, if you lift 10 kg for 10 reps compared with 30 kg for 10 reps. Which weight makes you work harder? The higher weight causes a bigger disruption metabolically, thus has a cascading effect on how many calories you burn for your system to recover. If the calories you consume are the same or lower than what you exert on average, then there is little to no chance that you will put on weight and chances are you will drop unwanted body fat and replace it with firm muscle a.k.a. “toning”.


Weight training will make me bulky.

Despite what you may have heard, building significant muscle is actually hard to do for most people. Men spend countless amounts of money in the quest of building bigger muscles and they have 10x more testosterone (which is a crucial hormone for muscle grow) than women do. Muscle is a denser tissue compared with fat, meaning that it takes up less space than fat. For example, two people may be the same height and weight, however the person with the higher body fat percentage will wear the larger clothes. The fast food diet is going to be the main reason why your jeans don’t fit anymore, not the weight training.

Embrace weight training, keep educating yourself and learn from the growing epidemic of women that have successfully become fit, strong and healthy.

Fitness First has been committed to Breast Cancer Awareness for many years and now with the annual adrenaline pumping session of Zumbathon. This year’s ‘Party in Pink’ is happening on the 23rd October at Fitness First Meadows.

Come join the party and spread the message to raise awareness for Breast Cancer by registering for the event! SMS your “name” & “ZumbaMoves” to 4900.

Fitness & Training

What Women Should Do to Lower Breast Cancer Risks

posted by FitnessFirst Team October 17, 2016 0 comments

Thousands of breast cancer cases could be avoided, if we simply embrace an active lifestyle. The pain of chemotherapy, the uncertainty of its recurrence and its many psychological effects make it a dreaded disease. October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and the region’s leading fitness experts at Fitness First are sharing some insights on what you can do to reduce your risks.

Be the first line of defense when it comes to breast cancer. Make way for lifestyle changes such as going alcohol and smoke-free, eating a balanced and nutritious diet and conducting self-examination tests. But controlling your weight through a fit and active lifestyle is most important because it can reduce breast cancer risks substantially. Your optimum weight could differ vastly from someone else’s, which is why it is essential you talk to your doctor, a nutritionist or a fitness-trainer to understand how best to keep your weight in check.

Fitness First experts recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate activity per week. This can be broken down into 30 minutes of exercise 5 times per week. To set the ball rolling, you could start off with these simple activities:

1. Brisk Walking

Walking and brisk walking can do wonders to your weekly fitness routine. Try and increase the number of times and amount of time you walk daily. For 30 minutes, try a combination of walking, brisk walking and jogging, adjusting your pace depending on energy levels.


2. Cycling

Dedicated cycling tracks and community parks allow us ample opportunities to jump on the bike. With minimal equipment and little planning, cycling is the best way to help you deal with your energy-spend and calorie-burn. Combine it with a fitness app or your very own MYZONE belt to track your progress and keep the momentum going.

3. Zumba/Aerobics

Dance to the beat and let the moves do more good to your body than just lifting your spirits. 30 minutes of Zumba or Aerobics three times a week will do wonders for your immunity, strength and overall fitness. That’s not all, a Zumba and Aerobics group class provides extra motivation and lets you enjoy the competitive feeling with like-minded people.


4. Water Aerobics/Swimming

Dive into fitness with swimming. If you need more action, then an expert led water aerobics session is where you’ve got to be. With no pressure on your joints and a full body workout, swimming and water aerobics are one of the best fitness routines to take up.

5. Body Weight Training

A variety of push-ups, squats, lunges and jumps are waiting to be explored. Speak to a Fitness First expert and discover which body weight exercises you can include in your fitness routine.


Fitness First has been committed to Breast Cancer Awareness for many years and now with the annual adrenalin pumping session of Zumbathon. This year’s ‘Party in Pink’ is happening on the 23rd October at Fitness First Meadows.

Come join the party and spread awareness!

Fittest Female Trainer Unleashes her inner Wolf
Our Experts

Fittest Female Trainer Unleashes her inner Wolf

posted by FitnessFirst Team October 16, 2016 0 comments

She is the WOLF leading the pack, she reflects positively on the group with her energy, power and strength with no compromise whereby the group benefits, moreover she gains just as much from the group as the group benefits from her: the group as a whole makes her stronger!

This is what happens with Fiona MacDonald, the she-wolf, in her group exercise classes. She leads with her energy and will, motivating the class to work harder and with them she becomes stronger and the class benefits as a whole! There is no stopping, no giving in, the whole group works together to reach their goals just like the wolf pack.

quotes-unleashFitness First Fiona MacDonald is one of our highly energetic group exercise instructors who conducts numerous high intensity group exercise classes like Cycling, Circuit Training and our well renowned signature program, TUFF which is the toughest and most challenging class of them all.

TUFF facts that most members would not know

Fiona MacDonlad was crowned the “Fittest Female Trainer in the UAE” last month, competing against 100 top fitness professionals showing immense endurance, strength and stamina and surviving till the end!

This brings up the question, where did Fiona get all her strength and will power to endure such grueling exercises and not stop or give in?

How did Fiona “Unleash” herself and win the fittest female trainer?

We believe the answer lies in group exercise and team based training which give her the strength and power to keep going till the end and not give up! The power of being part of a group makes her stronger and hence come the benefits attending group exercise classes on a regular basis and team/buddy based workouts.

Working Out in a Group Is More Fun

According to Fiona she enjoys her TUFF classes and goes on to say, “the challenge itself was not easy but it was the kind of thing I enjoy, if enjoy is the right word. I do a lot of functional training and also enjoy attending TUFF classes which involves a mixture of 3 dimensional body weight and bar bell moves.

She also gets her endurance and determination to keep going from her participation in triathlons and from her background in long distance running.

She goes on to say, “I also enjoy participating in triathlons. The training for this is quite time consuming so when I’m not participating in or teaching TUFF you can usually find me in one of the pools, out on my bike or running the roads. Even in the Dubai heat.”

“My background is in long distance running which I think came to my advantage in this challenge as the final determination round was about not stopping and not giving in.”

It is our mission at Fitness First through our fitness experts and group exercise to provide sound training and mindset advice to motivate and enable YOU to Unleash Yourself too!


UNLEASH YOURSELF encourages you to take a walk on the wild side and reveal the animal in you when you are working out! No matter what your level of fitness or what your preferred training style is, we want you to #UnleashYourself to become the best version of YOU to reach your full potential in fitness, and in life!

Click here to download a FREE Group Exercise Training Plan, join our group exercise classes or train with a buddy and Unleash the WOLF in YOU!