Stay on top of your game with MYZONE

posted by FitnessFirst Team September 22, 2016 0 comments

The prospect of traveling, sounds like a blessing for some but might be actually a curse for others! Some people travel way too often, sometimes every week and it can get quite overwhelming. It’s hard to maintain your life balance and hobbies and if you are a regular gym-goer and you pay attention to what you eat, this can get very challenging and health concerning.

Unsurprisingly, if you travel a lot you generally don’t have the chance to eat fresh, healthy meals or to workout in your favorite gym. Also, time zone changes, busy schedules and different environments just don’t motivate you to push yourself to workout more often.

Like eating on the road; the key is to start strong.

My advice is to workout on your first day because you are much more likely to maintain that habit, book a hotel with a gym if you can and take advantage of it. If you are staying in a runner-friendly place; running outside can be a great way to see some of the city you’re visiting while burning calories. And to step it much further and benefit the most out of it, you can use your heart rate monitor device. In our case, fellow Fitness Firster’s, it’s the MYZONE belt we are using!


MYZONE is a very clever fitness device which measures the frequency of your heartbeat to ensure you are exercising at a safe and effective level.

A transmitter strapped around the chest sends information to your smartphone or your smart watch and gives you constant updates. It lets you know if you are not exercising hard enough or if you’re pushing yourself too hard, and you can use this information to adjust your routines. While traveling, it’s a precise, accurate and great way to monitor your effort and progress and to stay motivated.


MYZONE weights only 58g and is relatively inexpensive for wearable fitness devices in the market, so there is actually no excuse not to own one and to bring it with you when on the road. Also, don’t worry about running out of batteries; it lasts for a long time and then you just simply recharge it via USB.

There are many ways how to use your MYZONE effectively. One simple way would be to estimate the calories burned during exercise. This can be especially handy if your workouts are part of a weight-loss program. For ladies, easily achievable would be 500 kcal and for gents could be 750 kcal.

To get more creative, or, let’s say more ‘advanced’; you can use MYZONE to target a specific zone for a specific goal. The target zone is a percentage range based on your maximum heart rate. The simplest way to calculate your maximum heart rate is about 220 minus your age. Say if you are 40 years old, your max heart rate would be around 180 beats per minute.


Know your MYZONE zones and your goals:

Blue Zone
Blue Zone is Endurance (60%–70% of your max heart rate): Considered ideal for endurance and weight-loss programs. Develops cardiovascular and muscular efficiency. The body learns to use stored fat as fuel.
Green Zone
Green Zone is Aerobic (70%–80%): Ideal for overall cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength and weight management. The body burns mostly fat and carbohydrates in this zone.
Yellow Zone
Yellow Zone is Anaerobic (80%–90%): Used for interval workouts or consistent speed. At this zone, your breathing will be heavy and your muscles tired. Enhances lung capacity and increases lactate tolerance.
Red Zone
Red Zone is VO2 Max (90%–100%): Helps enhance speed in athletes (who exercise at this level only for short periods as muscles quickly go into oxygen debt).

So, whether you travel for business, pleasure, vacation, world domination, or epic questing, at some point in our lives we all depart from our homes to visit another location. It might be a quick trip to the next town over for a business conference or a massive adventure halfway around the world for months at a time. No matter what kind of trip it is, one thing is certain: you need to stay on top of your game and pay attention to your health and well-being. Your heart rate monitor will be your best friend or your worst enemy but one thing is for sure, it will take you much further!

Pavel Olsar
Assistant Fitness Manager
Dubai International Financial Gate

Outdoor Group Training feature image
Fitness & Training

Boost your training with a breath of fresh air and sunshine

posted by FitnessFirst Team May 10, 2016 0 comments

‘Gym’s’ in the traditional sense are an excellent place to get in shape and improve your general fitness, however if like me, you enjoy the chance of being able to train outdoors in the fresh air whilst catching a few rays of sunshine then Fitness First has the training environment for you.

As of the 1st of May, Fitness First Middle East have launched our first Outdoor Training concept at Fitness First Dubai Media City.

Outdoor Group Training main image

This innovative concept incorporates the latest in outdoor group training equipment utilizing a bespoke outdoor training rig from Beaverfit alongside cutting edge freestyle training equipment from Vivo Group.  As you can see from the images below, you can enjoy a multitude of training modalities including boxing, calisthenics, Olympic lifting, sprint training, XFit and Freestyle training.

Not only have we created a beautiful environment for you to train in, we have also produced two bespoke training programmes for you to enjoy; Outdoor Group Training ‘HIIT’ & ‘TEAM’ classes (OGT for short).

OGT: HIIT is a 30 minute high-intensity-interval-training group class which will incorporate all of the elements of the outdoor training rig and equipment through a structured format that will improve your general fitness and body composition.

OGT: TEAM is a 30 minute class that combines high-intensity-interval-training alongside team based exercise where you will work together through fun yet challenging drills and movements.

All in all outdoor training is fresh, fun and full of new challenges which we hope you will enjoy, however please take into consideration when training outside that you hydrate yourself sufficiently, wear sun protection and also be conscious of temperature, humidity and sufficient rests throughout your exercise.

Here is a video of one of our challenging night sessions!


Outdoor Group Training Team_1

We hope you enjoy our new outdoor training concept!

Yours in training

Steven Gillespie

Steven Gillespie
Regional Fitness Manager UAE Mixed
Fitness First Middle East

Freestyle training

After 10 amazing years…. What’s next?

posted by FitnessFirst Team January 12, 2016 0 comments

2006 saw the birth of Fitness First’s First Club in Middle East, Ibn Battuta Mall. This flagship club was the start of the Fitness First journey. The second club followed shortly after with Uptown Mirdiff. Fitness First took on its first Ladies Only club, opened the doors to Uptown Mirdiff Ladies Club, Safeer Mall Sharjah and Oasis Centre. Our exclusive ladies clubs took the Middle East to new heights, offering a facility where ladies can feel free to exercise with confidence and privacy, as well as the best classes, equipment and service.

Ladies Only Club

Zumba danced its way into our clubs in 2011, the Latin inspired, calorie burning dance party arrived and still parties hard today. Zumba encourages our members to “Ditch the Workout and Join the Party” in its contagious class full of energy… Check out our group exercise timetables to get your Zumba fix.

Zumba Launch

Ibn Batutta Mall hosted our Fitness First Ultimate X Training Challenge. The race against the clock to complete 12 exercises in sequence as fast as possible took the Middle East by storm.

X Fitness Challenge

In 2011, Fitness First introduced an exclusive class – TUFF – aka “The Ultimate Fitness Firster”… This was one of its’ kind. This group class has given our members the ultimate challenge which will change body shape fast. The best part is that TUFF lives on today and is ever changing and ever challenging… It’s impossible to get bored of this high intense interval training class, Have you tried it? Are you TUFF enough?


2012 saw Fitness First acquire and refurbish the Sports Hall in Meadows Community. All the hard work behind the scenes led to the official opening and operation of SPORTZONE in January 2013. Thus we are fast approaching our 3rd Anniversary! It’s led by our amazing Sports & Events Manager, Gary Melhuish & his team.


Innovation swung into our studios with Swing Yoga which allowed our members to take their yoga skills to another level. Swing Yoga enables us to do normally difficult yoga poses with ease and comfort. It helps us fine tune our bodies and optimize our health.

Swing Yoga

In 2013 our way of tracking fitness was revolutionized. Fitness First was the first health & fitness chain to introduce MYZONE into the Middle East. This unique fitness tool is still alive in our clubs today. MYZONE has helped our members to engage with their fitness journey in ways like no other. It helps them track progress & transform their results with live feedback features to optimize performance.

XFit landed in our Knowledge Village Club. Fitness first opened the doors to a new world of training for our everyday members. XFit was designed to integrate the very familiar “HITT” style of training with our members goals, without the intimidation of super elite athletes preparing for the Cross Fit Games. Our XFit Box is a welcoming environment for every type of member, and they are guaranteed to be challenged by the XFit Fundamentals, Group Sessions and open workouts. XFit is still growing within Fitness First with our evolving WODs, amazing coaches, a second XFit Studio open now in Uptown Mirdiff and a new box on the horizon.


Fitness First participated in the Dubai Fitness Championships under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Majid bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, at Dubai Mall ice rink in both 2013 & 2014. The championships helped to raise awareness on the importance of health, exercise and promote fitness to citizens across the UAE all in line with the vision to “Make the world a fitter place”.

If you thought balancing nutrition with fitness was a challenge, think again. In 2014, we launched Nutrition by Fitness First, a 360 degree lifestyle solution that blends nutrition consultation with gourmet meal plans. It’s all about achieving optimum health through exercise and sound nutritional principles.

In 2015, Freestyle Group Training aka “FGT” hit our gym floor classes and activated our members to move “Freestyle”. This class brought our Fitness Philosophy to life by encouraging our members to move with purpose, reach their personal bests and achieve more than ever thought possible. If you haven’t tried it yet, what are you waiting for, check in your club for the latest time table. We have the choice of FGT Basic, Core, HIIT, Strength & Power.

Freestyle group training

2015 was the year of transformation. With Our Fitness Philosophy in mind– “We help you to go further in fitness and in life with the right balance of training, healthy eating and inspiration.” We launched The Change Project”, The 8 week weight loss transformation program. This program gives members the nutritional support to reach their health and fitness goals. What more do you need?!

Another burst of energy to our gym floor classes sees Fit 4:15. This is a fun, energetic HIIT Class which is guaranteed to give you maximum results working between a treadmill and dumbbell series workout.

In November 2015, we threw down the gauntlet to our members and set the mighty “MYZONE 25 million calories challenge”. This motivated our members to compete for those calories and win some prizes! Our members exceeded aimed higher than we ever imagined. “An incredible 85 million total calories burnt, 86618 hours of workouts throughout all clubs by our members” was achieved.

MYZONE Challenge

Fitness First finished the year of 2015 with a bang, seeing staff and members come together to compete in the Dubai International Triathlon. This proved not only that we are the Fittest Company in the Middle East, but that we are committed and enthusiastic about fitness; and lead from the front. We are in this fitness journey together with our members.


We also saw our newest clubs open, Business Bay, Golden Mile and our dedicated Male only Club in Ayla Hotel Al Ain.  The look and feel of these clubs is a snapshot of the future of ever evolving brand. Fitness first promises to inspire you to go further and keep bringing the latest innovation and best fitness experience.

BBD Vision Tower

After 10 amazing years…. What’s next? Watch this space! #FitnessFirstMETurnsTen

Charlotte Stebbing
Regional Fitness Manager
Fitness First Middle East


The Latest Innovations in the Fitness Industry

posted by FitnessFirst Team October 5, 2015 0 comments

The fitness industry is undergoing some exciting changes. Changes that help to make exercise and working out more fun, more measurable and more results orientated.

Physical activity is something every person should strive to include in their weekly regime, ideally at least 30 minutes each day. In order to gain a healthy lifestyle you must commit to both good nutrition and regular workouts. The two go hand in hand. Eating nutritious food helps to give the body energy. This increased stamina and metabolism enhances physical activities. This helps to bring about the desired results for your body which may include weight loss and maintaining proper weight levels, increasing muscle mass, sculpted muscles, and energy.


MYZONE is among the top innovations in the fitness industry and is available at all Fitness First Middle East clubs. MYZONE jumps in on the wireless technology available and uses it in a way to help monitor physical activity. This works by monitoring the heart rate during workouts and then storing the info on a cloud through wireless technology. The system monitors calories and even the time spent doing physical activities. This brings about a whole new level of measurability and helps with tracking progress, as well as accountability, which is a great help for those who stumbled with fitness prior to this innovation. It is so simple to use, just clip on the MYZONE belt that monitors heart level and all physical activities and you will receive an email after every workout with the results. This includes calories burnt; time spent in each heart rate zone, MEPS (MZONE effort points), duration of workout and a graph which cleverly shows the level of your heart rate for each minute you were active. The account is also easily accessible online through a smart phone, tablet, or computer.

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WattBike latest cycling innovation

The Wattbike…our latest cycling innovation

posted by FitnessFirst Team October 5, 2015 3 Comments

Wattbike can help everyone, from fitness enthusiasts to elite athlete, achieve their sporting goals. The Wattbike allows you to truly harness the power of data by measuring over 40 parameters about your riding and displaying the data, in real time, for you to analyse.

Unlike other indoor bikes, the Wattbike can deliver technique improvements through the Polar View – a unique pedaling technique analysis – which shows you exactly where you are losing power during the pedal stroke. This empowering data allows you to implement new techniques and practices which deliver a more efficient pedaling style, ultimately making your riding more efficient and helping you improve on your personal best.


TUFF facts that most members would not know

posted by FitnessFirst Team October 5, 2015 0 comments

The fact that we can share this with the members and encourage others to understand our exclusive Middle East signature product more means we potentially give them the awareness and knowledge as an active member or member wanting to know more about TUFF itself.

The true essence behind TUFF

At a glance it’s a physically TUFF class, excuse the pun! However the real reason why this class has become such a psychological class, a workout where you simply need to switch up another gear, dig deep and find the courage even before the class starts will tell you why members feel this is the most challenging class out of them all. The true essence behind TUFF is our bodies become the machines, we do all the physical effort which requires squatting, bending, pushing, pulling, twisting, lunging and locomotive movement patterns known as the 7 primal movements. These are movements that we use in day to day life and everyone who is able and injury free should be able to execute them. In addition the EFFORT factor is timed, short intervals and even shorter recovery periods and then a cross mix of weight training using barbells and integrated body movements that are predominately functional.

TUFF facts that most members would not know

Progression vs Regression

The name FUNCTIONAL training and HIIT (High intensity training) have been the big buzz words on the market for some time now and TUFF has been creating that same good feel factor for the past 4 years. Due to the short intervals spurts and the combination of using compound weight training movements, TUFF needed to accommodate more regression vs progression options if the product was going to accommodate all members. As a TUFF coach you are taught to engage and interact with members when it comes to workload and technique safety, we do this by setting the movement on stage first, before we assist on the floor and rove the studio helping coach technique safety. At this stage there is only 1 other class that offers the following formula of progression and regression, which is Yoga.

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