Our Team

Let the race begin!

posted by FitnessFirst Team January 9, 2017 0 comments

Here it goes: nutrition – check, water bottles – check, swimming gear – check, race fuel – check, timing chip – check, bed time – check.  4am my alarm goes off and by 4:30am I’m driving to the beach…It’s dark, windy and unbelievably exciting. Any other circumstance would made me question my sanity but not on the race day! I get ready in T1, march nervously towards the swim start to stand shoulder to shoulder with hundreds of athletes from around the world that are about to battle the same distance across swim, bike and run disciplines to proudly wear the finisher T-shirt…

…before you put on the Finisher T-shirt, you’ve spent months preparing for the race, investing in your mental and physical health, made sacrifices around your work and personal lifestyle because you’ve made a choice. A choice that made you commit to yourself and your team, a choice that has victory at the end of the road and one, that only you can push through when the times get tough!

On January 27th 2017 we are going to witness 160 Fitness First staff changing into the ‘Finisher’ t-shirt & here is how: 2 years ago there were 3 Fitness First employees who signed up to race individually the half Ironman distance triathlon in Dubai…the following year we decided to invite some keen colleagues to join us which brought our numbers to a total of 60 at the Dubai International Triathlon….this year, 160 Fitness First staff, few of our members and key business partners are going to stand proudly at the IRONMAN 70.3 Dubai start line to use their strength, to face their fears and to live our brand. Over the years, we watched the passion grow within our teams which is now unstoppable with clubs supporting major sporting events, competing in international races and our presence across the field in the Middle East. That’s what counts. From the Executive Team to club teams, we live, breathe and just can’t get enough of our brand, what better place to be!

If you look at the team and individual split, not everyone is a pro but everyone is a hero! Some of us never thought a triathlon is something to get involved in, some have only learnt how to swim in the process, others never run more than 5 or 10km and some & for some, focus has always been weight training…. and yes,  there are also those that haven’t ridden a bike since they were kids! But, does it really matter and how do you involve such big numbers?  Simple, they all made a choice and they love what we do. Based on a simple shout out, in less than 2 weeks we exceeded our predicted numbers for participants and the interest kept going. With the support from Fitness First our teams are training hard and awaiting the arrival of their training kit. This amazing initiative would’ve not been possible if it wasn’t for our closest strategic partners contributing almost AED 100,000 in sponsorship, call this a team effort! We’ve created a huge buzz around the business successfully continuing to promote the sense of community through social media activations, never ending what’s app groups, high energy training sessions and have already been asked about the next event. No session is ever too late and no session is ever too early, participation strives! We support them, we help them but all the hard work, come from the individuals…all we did, is ignited the fire!

Key important component of success for any company are when staff is passionate about your product, about your brand, about your future. How powerful it is that 160 staff will be waving the Fitness First flag on the race day, a race that is recognised internationally in the age group and professional field …. The main part however comes way before the race day : it starts with commitments and a plan, then hours of training, strategy, aches and pains, learning the disciplines, early starts and late finished, nutrition changes and body transformations is what it takes to stand on that beach and wait for the whistle to blow.  It starts by not giving up. By then, you’ve earned it, you worked for it, and you are ready to face it. We are proud that our teams represent that.

For some of us, it is just another race, another t-shirt, another medal …. For others, it’s a challenge of a lifetime or a race they never dreamt of participating in. We are making it happen but our staff passion for fitness & movement made the recruitment easy! Truth to be told, you are never too old for the next medal…

Will the numbers grow year on year? Yes. Will we involve our members? Absolutely. Do we love what we do? No doubt.

See you all at the beach on January 27th 2017…. shoulder to shoulder let the race begin!

Kate Milewska
Group Central Operations and Customer Service Manager
Fitness First Middle East and North Africa


The MYZONE 25 Million Calorie Challenge Winners

Don’t wish for it. Work for it. How many calories did you burn?

posted by FitnessFirst Team December 14, 2015 2 Comments

The MYZONE 25 Million Calorie Challenge

One of our main goals at Fitness First is to keep our members motivated, eager to train, willing to exercise and burn calories to reach their fitness goals. We are always looking for innovative ways to achieve this to help our members on their fitness journey. It is a joy to us when we witness success stories happening at our clubs and see our members happy and satisfied with their fitness achievements. We are always proud to share such testimonials to the world! One of our fitness innovations that helped us achieve our goal in keeping members motivated is MYZONE.

What is MYZONE?

MYZONE helps keep you motivated by offering accurate tracking of your effort levels through heart-rate monitoring. Through goal setting, social accountability, fun challenges like this MYZONE 25 Million Calorie Challenge with the opportunity to earn badges and climb status rankings. It makes working out fun and engaging and helps to keep you on track of your progress.  MYZONE helps you reach your fitness goals and get results!

The Challenge

All Fitness First Middle East clubs participated, in the MYZONE 25 Million Calorie Challenge with the objective to burn as many calories as possible in 30 days (average effort 60% of max heart rate or over) during the month of November. All they had to do was strap on their MYZONE belt and exercise!  All forms of exercise were acceptable, inside and outside of our clubs and there were no time limits to the workouts.

How many calories did we burn?

An incredible 85 million total calories burnt, 86,618 hours of workouts throughout all clubs by our members and staff which is the equivalent to one of each of the following:

  • 150,976 burgers
  • 166,666 km swimming
  • 354,166 bars of chocolate
  • 129,969 hours of cycling
  • 410,628 scoops of ice cream
  • 188,888 hours of boxing


The Results are in

Our proud Male and Female winners who won one year free membership at Fitness First!

The MYZONE 25 Million Calorie Challenge - Winners

Our proud Male and Female winners conquered the challenge!

 Male Winner: Radhoune Gasmi   213,633 calories burnt and lost 20 KG

The MYZONE 25 Million Calorie Challenge - Male Winner

“This challenge matched my fitness capacities very well. It also allowed me to achieve my goal…”

The incredible Radhouane, ran 2 half marathons and he also ran a full marathon on 30th November at Fitness First Dubai Festival City to mark the end of the MYZONE challenge.

What motivated you to do the MYZONE 25 Million Calorie Challenge?

This challenge matched my fitness capacities very well. It also allowed me to achieve my goal which was to inspire people to lead a good and healthy lifestyle as I have.

What do you like about MYZONE?

It is a very good software! It’s convenient when it comes to managing my workout and know exactly what I am doing and where I am going with my workouts.

What made you choose Fitness First?

I was working out in my residence gym, it was quite and not motivating at all in terms of helping me to go further with my fitness. So I decided to join Fitness First!

Female Winner:  Shadi Fazl  107,198 calories burnt and lost 8 KG

The MYZONE 25 Million Calorie Challenge - Female Winner

“I love to be fit and healthy.  I want to show the people that they can do it”

What motivated you to do the MYZONE 25 Million Calorie Challenge?

I love to be fit and healthy.  I want to show the people that they can do it, that they can even lose 6 or even 7kg in one month. It’s possible; you just have to manage your time. I wanted to show my friends that I can do it, that it’s possible! The first week was difficult, but now it’s done, it’s finished!

What do you like about MYZONE?

It allows me to manage my workouts. It’s just a simple thing which you can monitor yourself, as if you have a trainer! And it really is a simple tool to help you lose weight.

What made you choose Fitness First?

They are really professional. And what I feel is really special here, they will help you and take care of you, they are like a family. I really appreciate the people, the trainers and the staff, they encourage me. I really feel like this gym is my second home.

The MYZONE 25 Million Calorie Challenge - Contestants

Winners supporting each other training side to side while competing! Amazing team spirit!

The MYZONE 25 Million Calorie Challenge - Club Support

Club staff, trainers and family provided support for the contestants throughout the whole day!

Top 10 Winners – MYZONE Fitness Challenge 2015

We are also happy to announce the top 10 winners male and female winning goody bags from Fitness First!


  1. Radhouane Gasmi
  2. Paul Fox
  3. Rany Al Esseh
  4. Alaa Eldin Ayoub
  5. BoBo Kyaw Oo
  6. Chadi El Rafaei
  7. Haitham Taha
  8. Jamal Mohammed
  9. Hadji Reyes
  10. Rab Nawaz Malik


  1. Shadi Fazl
  2. Sonia White
  3. Ambreen Khan
  4. Sahar Noroozian
  5. Minoosha Reji
  6. Preeti gandhi
  7. Sharmila Subramaniam
  8. Shafaq B Ahmad
  9. Dileesha Dharmakeerthi
  10. Fatma Alzaabi

Winning club was Dubai Festival City with 1,606,009 calories

This is equivalent to an average of 19,585 calories per person which is the equivalent of 39 workouts per person in 30 days.

The MYZONE 25 Million Calorie Challenge - Fitness First DFC Team

Club staff celebrating the winning club…Congratulations Fitness First Dubai Festival City!

The MYZONE 25 Million Calorie Challenge - CGM Support

Club Manager Gavin Hasson was a great support throughout the challenge!


Great effort rewarded!

Our Team

The Race to Win the Fittest Company in the Middle East

posted by FitnessFirst Team November 24, 2015 4 Comments

An inside story on our company experience in the Dubai International Triathlon 2015


Months and months of training leading up to this event were the most exciting, challenging, stressful,   strenuous and I must say fun, where every team member gave his/her utmost best to train and get ready for this big event. Waking up at dawn most days of the week, giving up our weekend sleep-ins and Friday nights just to train, committing to a rigorous training plan and nutrition focused diet, meeting to train as a team in the early hours of the morning and saying the statement “No sorry, I have to train” was the attitude of the Fitness First athletes who decided to accept the challenge and participate in Dubai International Triathlon (DIT).

What better way to challenge our staff than to select this prestigious event with around 800 athletes joining from all over the world competing against us. The Dubai International Triathlon (DIT), with its second time round in Dubai, featured an exciting new venue and race course with a 1.9km swim, a 90km bike ride and a 21.1km run around Dubai International Endurance City.

The Race to Win the Fittest Company in the Middle East

The Start of the Story

A handpicked few of 50 employees by our COO, were challenged to participate in this triathlon coming from different departments with varying fitness levels. For some, they had already done it as pros and for others it was their first time. All accepted the challenge for different reasons, personal goals and records they wanted to achieve. For those who felt they weren’t ready for the full race yet, the team concept was a great option to choose the preferred discipline and participate as a team. This way each member experiences the same competitive atmosphere and shares the sense of achievement that this race offers.

Once the challenge and commitment was accepted there was no looking back, no giving up, it was a goal everyone one of us wanted to achieve and complete. The support and motivation from the Fitness First team was a key driver in looking forward, believing in ourselves and just approaching the day with confidence. When all training was done, all we could do was wait for the moment to act and perform we were all just impatient, at the end feeling we need to do this.

The Race to Win the Fittest Company in the Middle East

What motivated you to participate ?

A question we asked all our athletes with most answering wanting to step out of their comfort zone, challenge themselves and to do something they never did before. Others wanted to overcome an injury and prove they can still do it and that anything is possible. Some wanted to train for a reason to reach their personal goals and achieve record results.  For whatever the reason, there was the motivation to get these 50 Fitness First employees to do it.

Click here to watch the video of our COO and others about what motivated them to participate in Dubai International Triathlon as the Fittest Company in the Middle EastThe Race to Win the Fittest Company in the Middle EastPre-race moments

Every member of the team was getting ready, the swimmers warming up, the cyclists checking on their bikes racked from last night and the runners showing up to see their teams off. It was all about mixed feelings of excitement, butterflies in your stomach, waves of nausea and a dry, prickly mouth but we managed to get some great pictures through all these race-day anxieties.

The Race to Win the Fittest Company in the Middle East

The Race

The swim leg started at Jumeirah Beach Residence next to Hilton Double Tree hotel, athletes then cycled through Dubai Marina towards Motor City to the purpose built Al Qudra cycle track before finishing at the Dubai International Endurance City where the runners completed three laps of a technical course.

Despite months of training, nobody was prepared for what happened during the race.

A storm a few days prior to the event meant that athletes had to overcome tricky weather conditions which added to the challenge.  The windy weather made the race particularly difficult with high waves during the swim, a bike course with a challenging head wind for most of the. The run course wasn’t all smooth but with uphill roads, sandy pebbly tracks and windy sandy conditions toughing the run course not to mention the midday sun and heat being the final discipline.

All athletes were pushed to their physical and mental limits.

The Swim 1.9 KM

It was an amazing site to watch all the swimmers get prepared and jump in to start the swim leg.

The Race to Win the Fittest Company in the Middle East

The mental preparation at the race moment was the most important thing.The Race to Win the Fittest Company in the Middle East

The drive to succeed and push ourselves to the limit was key in achieving the results we aimed for.The Race to Win the Fittest Company in the Middle East

The Bike 90 KM

The cyclists arriving at the Dubai International Endurance City village after a strenuous 90 KM bike ride.

Still looking good after this long ride with a smile on our faceThe Race to Win the Fittest Company in the Middle East

Getting off the bike happy to have completed the courseThe Race to Win the Fittest Company in the Middle East

Bikes all racked up after the bike courseThe Race to Win the Fittest Company in the Middle East

The Run 21.1 KM

Setting off on the run courseThe Race to Win the Fittest Company in the Middle East

Running with no shoes just to get started…this is the Fitness First attitudeThe Race to Win the Fittest Company in the Middle East

Waving to the crowd is always a positive attitudeThe Race to Win the Fittest Company in the Middle East

Post-race moments

The mental race was harder than the physical race and this is what many confessed going through. There were thoughts and feelings of demotivation, defeat and the mind giving up before the body. The fight is to get past these thoughts and convince your brain that your body can do it.

One of the swimmers was overwhelmed with the adrenaline which gave him a slow start and taken in by the rush of all the swimmers felt drained then he told himself it’s now or never, I need to do this for the team and fought his way through the waves and managed to complete his part.

What made this all worth it was the final moment of reaching the finish line and getting that medal over your head with your hands up in the air saying…I did it!

The Race to Win the Fittest Company in the Middle East

The moment you put that medal in between your teeth and smile

The Race to Win the Fittest Company in the Middle East
It’s all about teamwork and the team enjoying the final moments winning together

The Race to Win the Fittest Company in the Middle East

The Results

All of us are winners and finishers of this great race but a few deserve some extra bit of recognition.

Lisa Hancox for First Place in her category Females 35-39 with a total time of 5:29:37 hrs

The Race to Win the Fittest Company in the Middle East

NoPro Team for second place in the Mixed Teams with a total time of 4:32:51 hrs

The Race to Win the Fittest Company in the Middle East

For the Male 35-39 category we have two exceptional performers who did the full distance

Gareth  Hall with a total time of 5:12:07 ranking 12 out of 80

The Race to Win the Fittest Company in the Middle East

Dennis  Bierman with a total time of 6:25:00 ranking 57 out of 80

The Race to Win the Fittest Company in the Middle East

The Final Shot

Now we can proudly say WE ARE the Fittest Company in the Middle East! #FittestCompanyME

The Race to Win the Fittest Company in the Middle EastHana Feidi
Digital Content Manager
Fitness First Middle East

DIT-Hana Feidi

Fitness & Training

How to Stay Motivated

posted by FitnessFirst Team October 13, 2014 0 comments

If you are currently maintaining regular exercise in Dubai, then you probably know how easy it is for people to unfortunately give up and go back to previous less active lifestyles. To reduce the risk of quitting, you need to find ways to stay motivated to keep yourself on track and committed.

A great way to gain momentum is to stick with a pre-planned and regular program. You will find it very hard to reach your physical fitness goals if you don’t make this a part of your existing routine. This means you need to eat a healthy diet and be physically active at least three times a week, but ideally be active for at least 30 minutes each day. Physical activity and exercise go hand in hand with a healthy lifestyle.

Here are some top tips to help you stay motivated:

Get an accountability Partner

If you live and exercise in Dubai, you need to find someone to be your accountability partner. An accountability partner is someone who can challenge you to push to the edge and maintain your physical fitness goals. You can find ways to keep each other motivated and keep on the program to being physically fit and healthy. If you can, have several people be your accountability partners. Work through this as a group and keep the momentum going through your exercise routines. An accountability partner won’t allow you to miss a planned workout, skip reps or quit on your 3K run, you can support each other and keep your motivation high and on target.

Keep it Fun

Exercise should never be seen as a chore! There are great ways to keep it fun when exercise in Dubai. The days are gone when there’s a group of people standing before an aerobics instructor and droning out the same old moves you’ve done before for 365 days of the year. Now you have a many opportunities to practice physical fitness and to create a mixed and varied workout schedule. Some fun activities you might not yet have tried include; Swing Yoga (Swing Yoga allows more freedom of movement and a unique way to stretch and tone the body), Swimming, or TUFF (The revolutionary freestyle routine that changes the shape of one’s body through a three dimensional plane utilising 50% bodyweight and 50% barbell or weight exercises) .These are only a few, there are many more you can try.


If you exercise in Dubai, you will see a whole host of people who are physically fit. Pick out some famous celebrities who you admire and who look good and use them as your goal. Every time you see them, you will be reminded to keep on track with your planned workout routines and sticking to a nutritious diet. Take a photo of yourself now and put it on the refrigerator to remind you of what you were and how you are restructuring as you go through your physical activities and fitness journey. If you have a photo of you when you were more physically fit, place it beside the current one to offer a reminder and motivation to keep on the path to becoming healthier through physical fitness.