I am Subhankar and I #empowerme

posted by FitnessFirst Team October 24, 2017 0 comments

I am Subhankar Ghosh, I am 52 years old and a VVIP member of Fitness First, Dalma Mall since 2014. I came to Abu Dhabi in 2010. I came from a quite stressful work-life background at Chennai, India. After coming to Abu Dhabi life was better, with less anxiety and comparatively tranquil. I could spend more time with my family. After 2 years of this, I gained 2 Kg in weight (66 to 69 Kg). Prior to this I had a stable weight of 66 Kg since at least 12 years. I was doing free-hand exercise and a few Yogasanas daily. Also in 2013 my Doctor asked me to be ready to start life-long pills to reduce my blood pressure.

It was then I understood that it was time to hit the gym. I did a few months at nearby gym but it was always over-crowded. As I was a frequent visitor to Dalma Mall, I observed this Fitness First gym come up new there. In June 2014, I joined the gym. The advantage was that this gym was on my way back home from the office. I took the fabulous trainers’ help there to chalk out my personal exercise regime. Two of the trainers really turned me into a new man.

I am Subhankar and I #empowerme – Fitness First Testimonials

The initial going was very tough as I had weak muscles due to continuous sitting in front of the computer. The trainer Gilbert was calibrating my strength & endurance and checking my limits. Every day of the week, I was sore all over and every part of me ached. Added to this were my personal problems with my knee joints and ankles. So, my trainer equally had a tough time. But luckily one thing I had inbuilt is determination. The exercise plan was made up for cardio, back, calfs & abs, chest, legs, cardio, cardio again, stretch, plyometric and full body circuit in that order. This is the same regimen pattern that I still follow which gives me good returns.

My food intake also had to be changed a lot. I started noting and measuring each and everything I put in my mouth. We found that I was eating about 3000 KCal daily. Initially we reduced the target to 2700, then 2500, then 2200, then 1800, then 1500, then finally 1150. My requirement was being cross-checked by the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). Then a carb cycle started but that was too tough for me. Nowadays I try to stay within 1500 KCal daily. I have made a chart of all that I eat and pasted the calculated protein/carb/fat & KCals on the refrigerator.

The result of all this was that I reduced to 60.8 Kg and then am staying at 61 Kg ever since 2014. I feel fitter than I was at 22 years of age. I can now jump higher than I ever imagined. Incidentally 62 Kg was my dream weight since last 15 years and only here I could achieve it. So, this is the best gift for me on coming to Abu Dhabi. I have my heartiest well wishes for Fitness First Dalma Mall (it feels like home, once I am inside), to my trainers Gilbert & Liam. Liam also helped me with specialist advice when I had frozen shoulder one year back. With the prescribed rubber band, I came out of it in 5 months.

One thing which I can say is that it is never late to start. I started at 49 years.

I am Subhankar and I #empowerme



I am Martin and I #EmpowerME

posted by FitnessFirst Team September 9, 2017 1 Comment

I used to be in generally fit shape when I was younger in my school days when I used to play for our rugby team and regularly visit the gym. I wasn’t much disciplined in the gym but I put the hours in. In university, I tore my inner-meniscus tendon in my right knee and things spiraled from there. Due to a slow recovery in an unhealthy environment (student life in Manchester is a big party), I quickly piled on 10 kilos over the next 6 months. Most of my friends and family were shocked and couldn’t believe I had gotten so big so fast. For me I didn’t really feel like I was putting on too much weight it was a gradual realization and when I had it was depressing and I mostly gave up on getting back into shape.

I am Martin and I #EmpowerME – Fitness First Testimonial

Before diet and working out

Over the next few years of jogging on and off and yo-yo diets, I had steadily peaked at about 110 kg. It was early in 2015 when I was suffering from chest pain when I knew something was very wrong. The doctor confirmed I had been suffering from hyper tension and high blood pressure and I either changed my lifestyle immediately or started heart medication.

Old picture from our wedding day

I had married at this point and my wife really encouraged me and supported me in sorting out a proper diet and I started going to the gym every morning before work. Progress at first was slow but when I joined Fitness First and started training, I started losing weight pretty quickly after that and my body really started changing. I started sleeping better and breathing more easily and I monitored my body fat and muscle content. The fat was going down and muscle up. I had lost about 10 kg in the first year and the morning gym routines had changed from being health motivated to a full blown habit which I still abide by.

After diet and working out

I still have a long way to go another 8 kg to be at my goal weight but my blood pressure is back to normal and I have a baby girl now who I have plenty of energy to run around and play with. I sleep like a baby and I need to start my day at my local gym- Fitness First Mirdif City Centre. I recommend visiting the gym in the morning since you start the day with a positive note so no matter what happens you have done something positive for yourself and that sense of well being translates into every aspect of your life. I hope others don’t wait for a medical reason to take that positive step to a healthier lifestyle, once you catch the fitness bug there’s no going back!

At a recent friend’s wedding

Martin Yarsley
Fitness First Member

I am Isabel and I #empowerme

I am Isabel and I #EmpowerME

posted by FitnessFirst Team September 9, 2017 0 comments

Choose your future, work hard on yourself – with passion and consistent action everything is possible!

I am Isabel and I#EmpowerME

My profession: I’m a Personal Trainer.  In 2015 I decided to change my life and become a Personal Trainer.

I have always been into fitness since I was a child. My background is in Shaolin Kung Fu and long distance running.

Here is where I come from. I love to challenge myself and others. It’s important to break boundaries and to go out of your comfort zone!

I am Isabel and I #EmpowerME

Last year I started with Triathlon training to get ready for the Ironman 70.3 in Dubai. It was a life changing experience and you should also join the movement!

I am Isabel and I #EmpowerME – Fitness First Testimonial

One of my long term goals is to qualify for the Ironman in Kailua-Kona in Hawaii, which is the hardest triathlons in the world.

What empowers me is to see my clients and members changing and achieving their fitness goals.

I always believe in hard work. It’s never easy and there is no short cut! Be true, passionate and consistent.

Then everything is possible!

Isabel Schuessler
Personal Trainer
Fitness First Middle East


Farid #EmpowerME

I am Farid and I #EmpowerME

posted by FitnessFirst Team August 16, 2017 2 Comments

Son inspired the father who now inspires the son! – Fitness First Testimonial

By profession, I am a Property Manager and a DJ at the Spartan Race. But the most pivotal role I play is that of a father. As a father to a young son, I hate being the one to tell him that I am ‘Too Tired’ to play with him. Then Fitness First approached me to join and represent the Couch-to-Sprint movement. After training for one month for the Spartan race, I have already lost 16 Kgs. Now I am never too tired to play with my son.  I am an example of how the Son inspired the father who now inspires the son!

With that in mind, the Spartan Race team approached Fitness First Middle East with the idea. As a catalyst and an integral part of healthy living within the community, Fitness First took it on board.

Couch to Sprint became a reality.

They chose a candidate. And with the support of Spartan Race Arabia and Fitness First Middle East, it was time to put it to the test.

The aim is to move from the living room couch to the Spartan Race Arabia

The Candidate (and the blog author)

Weight: 130 kg

Height: 176 cm

Classified: Obese

My name is Farid, I have been the DJ for Spartan Race Middle East from the outset.

As you can see from my stats, I am unhealthy. I always found it funny that the only person not exerting any sort of physical activity at the races is the big fat DJ. But the truth is, it was depressing. Don’t get me wrong, I loved every moment of being able to DJ and in some way contribute to the success of the event. But many times I’d feel left out. I was not part of the “game”.

I’d watch these amazing people head towards the start line. They all had the exact same expression on their faces. They all looked like they were about to enter into a battle convinced they are going to overcome. They were all challenging one person, themselves. It was personal and it was about to go down!!

And they all looked happy, I never sensed an ounce of fear or hesitation.

But that wasn’t even the best part, you should see their faces crossing the finish line! They have conquered something deep within themselves, it is hard to touch upon. It’s like they have crushed all the self doubt they were carrying.

Mud faced, sweat and blood. Soaked, bruised and dehydrated. They had been through a long, demanding and vigorous test. Yet no one seemed like they were walking, everyone was floating.

They started happy and finished defiant, ecstatic and overjoyedContent with who they are.

That is what I am looking for by taking on this challenge. Of course that mental state comes with the physical and that is what this blog is about. My physical journey to reach that mental state.

I’d love for you to join me on that ride.

Today I was tired and did not want to go. I just wanted the couch and youtube. I convinced myself to go and take it easy. Walking into @fitnessfirstme Uptown Mirdif I got a wave of energy but was still thinking i'll tell @dinis_fitness_crossfit_coach if we can slow it down a notch today. Boy was I wrong. It was the most grueling session I had with him. He kept pushing my buttons. I froze at one point. My legs stopped functioning and I could hear Dinis in my ear – "TWO MORE!!" At that moment it felt like this is my limit, I can't push no more. But it felt soooo good afterwards. I don't want that to be my limit. It is not my limit, I will push harder!! @spartanarabia – but did you die though? 😂 . . . . . . . #spartanrace #spartanarabia #spartanracehatta #spartanraceproteam #fitnessfirstme #fitnessfirstdubai #fitnessfirstuptownmirdif #legendswillrise #couchtosprint #tunnelvision #pushpushpush #ihatesquats #buckfurpees #mirdif #uptownmirdif

A post shared by Couch To Sprint – You Decide (@couchtosprint) on

The Blog

There will be a lot of health and fitness inspired posts. There will also be a lot hellos and goodbyes. Hello to apples, goodbye to pizza. Nice to meet you grilled salmon to ciao big juicy cheese dripping burger.

With the support and guidance of Spartan Race and Fitness First. I will offer all the useful information and tools handed out to me.

There will be a lot of blood, sweat and tears along the way which I would also like to share with you. But it will all be fun and entertaining.

I want you to join in, this is a call to action. I want you to share whatever success story you feel needs telling. Whether in the comments section or even if you have your own blog, share this with us. Or send in a write up of something you recently achieved and we can include it in a section of the blog,

Being the DJ and training for Spartan Race Arabia, I have decided to put together 30 minute mix. I'll do this on a regular basis, once a week or so. The inspiration for it will come from within the gym. Whether group classes at @fitnessfirstme or a specific workout I tried. Or by watching someone grinding at the gym. Each mix will have different tempos and energy levels based on whatever inspiration I picked up during the week. They will range from high intensity for cardio to reggaeton based for Zumba to deep house for your warm up. I'll throw in a couple of down tempo sounds for yoga and recovery. So here is the first one. Inspired by the dreaded BURPEE!!! @spartanarabia https://www.mixcloud.com/SpartanMusic/ . . . . . . . . #spartanrace #spartanhatta #spartantraining #spartanarabia #spartanbahrain #couchtosprint #fitnessfirstme #fitnessfirstdubai #fitnessfirstuptownmirdif #legendswillrise #workoutmix #spartandj #burpees #buckfurpees #workoutplaylist #couchtosprint #spartanproteam #dubaifitness #dubaifitnesstrainer

A post shared by Couch To Sprint – You Decide (@couchtosprint) on

I’ll see you all at the finish line! 

Farid Abou Rjeily
Property Manager
Source: Couch To Sprint Blog
Follow Farid’s Journey on his blog and @couchtosprint

1 Month! It's time for a before after post. Timeframe: Day 1 ➖Month 1 Weight: 129.4 kg➖117.6 kg Fat Mass: 54.6 kg ➖44.2 kg BMI: 40.8 ➖37.2 So down 12 kg. Everything seems to be going as planned. Numbers look good. I'm very happy about that. Extremely happy!! Still over though, but who's counting anyway? I AM! Lol. Big up to @spartanarabia @fitnessfirstme for all the support. Can't forget the man with the master plan @dinis_fitness_crossfit_coach. Thanks buddy! Still a long way to go but we'll get there. Everyone around me has been extremely supportive. Love and kisses to my backbone @pixi2000 who has given me all the time and space to go ahead with this. I'm talking like i've just crossed the Spartan Race finish line!! 🏁 Enough. Back to work. Oh, if you swipe left, I tried to flex on you 💪🏻. Just practicing. AROO! . . . . . . . . #spartanrace #spartanarabia #spartanhatta #spartantraining #fitnessfirstme #fitnessfirstdubai #fitnessfirstuptownmirdif #empowerme #couchtosprint #legendswillrise #dontquitstayfit #mirdif #dubai #beforeandafter #progress #noquittingnow #longroadahead

A post shared by Couch To Sprint – You Decide (@couchtosprint) on



Preventative Measures for Osteoporosis
Health & Nutrition

3 Preventative Measures for Osteoporosis

posted by FitnessFirst Team October 31, 2016 0 comments

Bone health is important to overall health and quality of life. It provides a frame that permits mobility and protects the internal organs from injury, while being a storage for minerals vital to the self-sustaining functions of daily life. However, Osteoporosis is the most common bone disease that is characterized by low bone mass and deterioration of the structure of bone tissue (trabecular tissue) which leads to risk of fracture and increased bone fragility. It is most common to women (postmenopausal osteoporosis) that can often be prevented. However, if undetected, it can progress for many years without symptoms until a fracture occurs.

Here are ways that we can prevent it:

Diet and Supplements

Calcium intake is the mainstay of Osteoporosis prevention and treatment. Vitamin D supplementation and Sun exposure may contribute as well. Daily intake of Vitamin D facilitates absorption and mineralization of the bone. It is also found in liver, fatty fish, egg yolks, milk and orange juice.

The recommended amounts of calcium and vitamin D for adults are as follows:

1. For pre-menopausal women 25-50 years old and post-menopausal women on estrogen replacement therapy, 1,000 milligrams of calcium per day with 400 i.u. of Vitamin D. 1,500 milligrams of calcium per day is recommended for pregnant or lactating women.

2. For postmenopausal women less than age 65 not on estrogen replacement therapy, 1,500 milligrams of calcium per day is recommended along with 400-800 i.u. of Vitamin D.

3. For men ages 25-65, 1,000 milligrams of calcium per day is recommended.

4. For all people (women and men) over age 65, 1,500 milligrams of calcium per day.

Preventative Measures for Osteoporosis

Healthy Lifestyle

Live a healthy lifestyle with moderate Alcohol Consumption and no smoking. Cigarette smoke generates large amounts of free radicals – molecules that attack and overwhelm the body’s natural defenses. The result is a chain-reaction of damage throughout the body — including cells (osteoblast), organs (i.e liver), and hormones (calcitonin) involved in keeping bones healthy. Moderate alcohol intake (usually defined as up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men) is beneficial. However, taken excessively disrupts with the balance of calcium absorption, an essential nutrient for healthy bones. It also increases parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels, which in turn reduce the body’s calcium reserves.

Preventative Measures for Osteoporosis


Studies of postmenopausal women report that aerobic, weight-bearing, and strength training exercise can increase bone mineral density in the spine and hip. When you exercise, you don’t just build muscle and endurance, you also build and maintain the amount and thickness of your bones (bone mass and density), increase joint flexibility, and balance, and prevents falls. Examples of weight bearing exercises are walking in the park or using treadmill, jogging, playing tennis, football, Tai Chi, climbing stairs and weight lifting. However, bicycling and swimming can be a great exercise but they are not weight bearing therefore not as effective in bone health benefits. Duration of 30 to 45 minutes a day and 3 or 4 times a week would be beneficial.

Preventative Measures for Osteoporosis

Prevention is better than cure. Why would we wait for our bones to weaken?

Let’s start treating our bones the right exercise and diet that they deserve!

Charles Esperas
Senior Fitness Manager
Fitness First Platinum – Dubai Media City

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!

Our Experts

Age Versus Output: A Life Lesson Everyone Can Master

posted by Steven Gillespie September 15, 2016 0 comments

Close your eyes.

No, seriously you need to close your eyes to read this part of my blog.

You can’t continue reading without closing your eyes can you?

Ok, so let’s multi-task for now and think whilst we read.

I want you to think for a few minutes and have a look at yourself in the 3rd person.  What I want you to do is to zoom out of your body and look at yourself from up high in your mind, probably 3 feet up and slightly to the right or left looking back down at yourself. Now from there I want you to rewind through your life backwards in time past your ups and your downs, your teens and your adolescent years and have a think to yourself: what if I could start again?

I am sure you have asked yourself this question many times over and perhaps more often at points in your life when you have felt down, when things haven’t went exactly to plan or perhaps when you simply weren’t happy with your current state of affairs.  It’s an exciting prospect to think what we could do if we had a DeLorean and could go back to November 12th, 1985; or any other significant turning point in our lives for that matter.  Ultimately these thoughts are usually flights of fancy and we continue on with our current trend…

…This time however is the time that I want it to really mean something.

Now, hear me out people as I may start to sound too philosophical, unrealistic or naive; however let’s imagine the earliest point of your minds recollection and think to yourself, since as far back as I can remember, what if…

I ate the perfect balance of macro nutrients and quality of foods daily without eating anything harmful or detrimental to my optimal body composition.
I physically trained my body religiously as hard as possible within safe realms, I warmed up and cooled down and generally looked after myself, always aiming to be stronger, fitter and better than my previous state.
I didn’t go out on those pointless nights out and wasted all of my money on sugary drinks and bad food in favor of preserving my physical and mental health.

Now, what I would like you to do is to close your eyes again (or write and think again) and take a look at a different you who maintained the three lifestyle choices mentioned above since the beginning of your minds recollection.

How do you look?

I am sure you are pleased with the results.

What are you doing?

I’m sure you are smiling and seem confident.

How much can you bench press?

My goodness I can bench 200 kg for reps! It all sounds great you might say, however if you are like me and are somewhat pessimistic at times you might become upset at some of these obvious contrasts in this visualization technique.  OK, you have been in better shape before, you used to lift more weight and you used to have a six pack. You might say “I don’t now and it will take me ages to get back to that level.” If you do think like that initially this is fine and natural, however have a think again and what I recommend you do is to use this mindset as your fuel to make a positive change for yourself moving forward.

My other self would have been squatting 300 kg by this age if I had kept up my regime, perhaps I should start that up again as it made me feel great 
By 40 years old I would have been way more successful in life had I not wasted all my time lazing around, rather I could have invented something or wrote a book that would have made me residual income like Harry Potter?

Wake up.  Please guys I urge you to wake up.  Some of us are way behind the curve and must realize that if you put the effort in now you can change your life and you can become a better version of what you are currently, and in any way that you deem better than before.  It doesn’t have to be a societal norm that you have to conform to or a pressure from someone else to make a change, it has to come from within you. You don’t have to instantly follow in the footsteps of a fitness cover model either.  Things can happen slowly or quickly it’s up to you, however if you do progressively improve your lifestyle behaviors and build upon them incrementally then you will see traction in your health, fitness and overall well being.

– Add a healthy breakfast into your routine for 10 days and see the pounds come off with that alone.

– Drink 8 small glasses of water a day for 10 days and observe how clear your skin can become.

– Progress to one exercise session a week if you can’t add more into your schedule.

– Think about not going out as much per week for food and drinks; instead maybe one night out a month will suffice.

Don’t leave it another 5 or 10 years before something happens to your health, fitness or general success that makes you regret it or forces you to start when it might be too late.

Simply put, if you could look at a trend graph of your life’s progression from birth to now that measured your outputs in flexibility, strength, endurance, body confidence, bank balance, charitable expenditure, innovations and happiness: would you be happy with your graph for your current age?

If not, then it’s time to get cracking!

Health & Nutrition

Secrets for a Heart Healthy lifestyle

posted by FitnessFirst Team September 15, 2016 0 comments

Heart Disease (which includes strokes and other cardiovascular diseases) still remains the number one cause of death – and when you think about that statistic, it is pretty chilling as there are more deaths to heart disease than all forms of cancer combined!

In 2008, heart disease caused almost 25% of deaths—almost one in every four—in the United States. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. More than half of the deaths due to heart disease in 2008 were in men. Coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease. – Source (cardiosmart.org)

Heart disease is also known as the “Silent Killer, as without medical checkups, often the first sign of this is a heart attack and in most cases this is too late. Yes we can go about regular checkups and doctor visits, but quite often they aren’t regular enough or good enough for that matter. I mean let’s face it we’re all guilty of it – How often do you go to the doctor unless you have cold or flu? A bad fall? Or even suffering from cardiac arrhythmia? (Irregular heart beat). Exactly – hardly ever!

My point is, it’s not just about scheduling regular checkups just as you would book your car in for service. It’s about embracing a healthy “active” lifestyle – incorporating nutrition and physical activity together (a recipe that combats most of life’s diseases and stresses).

Super foods for Heart Health

Heart Disease (which includes strokes and other cardiovascular diseases) still remains the number one cause of death – and when you think about that statistic, it is pretty chilling as there are more deaths to heart disease than all forms of cancer combined!

Fatty Fish: Salmon, mackerel and sardines top the list for containing copious amounts of Omega-3, known for lowering the risks of cardiac arrhythmia and atherosclerosis (plaque build-up in the arteries).

Oats: Are very high in soluble fiber, which can lower cholesterol. They act like a sponge in the digestive tract and absorb cholesterol so it is eliminated from the body and not absorbed into the blood stream.

Berries: Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and most other berries contain compounds called flavonoids  (which are antioxidants essentially) and they have a direct effect upon lowering blood pressure. A study was done on a group of people who incorporated 3 portions of blueberries into their weekly diets and in turn were 32% less likely to experience a heart attack, compared to those who ate less.

Nuts: Almonds, walnuts, pistachios, peanuts and macadamias all contain a fiber that is good for your heart. They also are very high in vitamin E, which helps to lower the “bad cholesterol”. A previous thought was that nuts were avoided as they contained higher amounts of fat, but recent studies have shown that people who eat nuts on a daily basis are leaner than those who don’t.

Broccoli, Spinach and Kale:  When it comes to any form of health you really can’t go wrong with vegetable and in particular your “greens”.  Green vegetables are especially high in carotenoids, which are high in antioxidants, cleansing your body from potentially harmful compounds. They also contain high amounts of fiber and tons of vitamins and minerals (“micronutrients”). Kale has one further benefit containing Omega-3 fatty acids.

Supplements for Heart Health

Heart Disease (which includes strokes and other cardiovascular diseases) still remains the number one cause of death – and when you think about that statistic, it is pretty chilling as there are more deaths to heart disease than all forms of cancer combined!

The top 5 recommended supplements for heart health:

1.  Omega-3 (dosage 1,000mg per day)

2. Vitamin D (1,000 IU per day)

3. Turmeric – Recent studies have shown huge benefits for its “anti-inflammatory” benefits, which have been linked to reducing the effects of heart disease.

4. Garlic – Reduces cholesterol

5. Cocoa powders/Dark chocolate – high in flavonoids, (antioxidants) which lower blood pressure

Activity for Heart Health

Heart Disease (which includes strokes and other cardiovascular diseases) still remains the number one cause of death – and when you think about that statistic, it is pretty chilling as there are more deaths to heart disease than all forms of cancer combined!

Unfortunately there is no shortcut to get your “cardio’ in whilst remaining strapped to your desk, you simply have to go out there and earn it!

Whilst’ some find physical activity a chore others live for it and can’t sleep until they have had a “right sweat”. For those who are part of the fitness industry and exercise and play sport regularly understand this concept, however it still seems to baffle the 95% of “desk jockeys” who will put it off and find any Hollywood diet or shortcut to sweating those excess calories out.

Recommended Activity levels by the AHA (American Heart Association):

For Overall Cardiovascular Health:

At least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity at least 5 days per week for a total of 150


At least 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity at least 3 days per week for a total of 75 minutes; or a combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity


Moderate- to high-intensity muscle-strengthening activity at least 2 days per week for additional health benefits.

For Lowering Blood Pressure and Cholesterol

An average 40 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity aerobic activity 3 or 4 times per week.


Joel Neale
Fitness Manager
Fitness First – Motor City Dubai

Tips to make Mums Happy and Healthy
Health & Nutrition

Tips to make Mums Happy and Healthy

posted by FitnessFirst Team March 21, 2016 0 comments

MOTHERS are the most valuable members of a family because they are responsible for setting the tone and caring for everyone else. One thing mums have to remember, though, is that they are worthy of care and respite, and no, they don’t have to escape their family to get it. Taking care of yourself is the key to looking after your family. If you eat correctly you will look and feel your best.

Healthy Woman

  • Maintain a healthy body weight, and remember to start with eating clean, and moving your body.
  • Variation and moderation is key: include your favorite food in small amounts, to help you control your cravings.
  • Eat breakfast. Even ifyou are busy, you can’t just skip meals. You need to get your metabolism going in the morning by eating breakfast. This early meal helps control your weight and gives you energy for the rest of the day.
  • Boost energy for quality protein, which is an essential part of ahealthy diet, and it is important to vary with different sources like: fish, chicken, turkey, dairy, and plant based protein sources.
  • Healthy fats are good because they supportyour mood and brain function whilst helping you maintain a healthy weight. Healthy fats include: nuts (almonds, walnuts, pumpkin,sesame seeds) and fatty fish (salmon, sardines, mackerel).


Healthy Bones

  • It’s very important to have healthy bones because women have a higher risk of osteoporosis, mainly due to pregnancy and breastfeeding.
  • The key is to get enough of the nutrients that support bone health.
  • Calcium: the recommended daily allowance varies from 400 to 1200 mg/day. Good sources include dairy, leafy green vegetables, oatmeal, tofu and almonds.
  • Magnesium: the recommended daily allowance for magnesium is 500 to 800 mg/day. Calcium is activated in our body once it is finished with magnesium. Sources include: leafy green vegetables, broccoli, cucumber, green beans, celery, pumpkin and flax seeds.
  • Vitamin D: aim for 400 to 1000 IU daily. You can get vitamin D from about half an hour of direct exposure to sunlight, and from foods and supplements. Dietary sources include: salmon, egg yolk, shrimps, and fortified milk.


Healthy Hair, Skin, and Nails

  • Remember the condition of your hair, skin and nails are a sign of your health
  • Protein is essential for healthy hair and skin. All of our endings in our body (hair and nails), are protein based. Protein is crucial for healthy hair and nails.
  • Iron is essential for your hair health, as the hair follicle and roots are fed by a nutrient rich blood supply.
  • Vitamin C is a great antioxidant that help protects the body from the free radicals.
  • Omega 3 is an essential fat in our body that we can’t make. It provides the oils that keep your scalp, hair and skin hydrated.
  • Zinc, Selenium and Biotin are very important minerals for hair and skin health.


Healthy Tips to make mums happy

  • Write down your food intake. 
  • Exercise with your kids.
  • Plan your meals ahead of time.
  • Drink more water.
  • Avoid eating your kids’ meals if they don’t finish.

Banin Shahine
Nutrition Manager
Fitness First Middle East

Fitness & Training

So, What are our Members training for ?

posted by FitnessFirst Team February 8, 2016 4 Comments

We all need to ask ourselves this question…what am I training for? If you are just training for the sake of it then there is nothing to look forward to, nothing to achieve and no motivation to train. The first steps to reaching your goals is setting these goals so you can train for a reason. There are many reasons to train whether it’s related to health, fitness, participation in a race or simply looking and feeling good.

We asked some of our valued members, “What are you training for?” And the response was amazing! Many members responded with positive feedback and showed us how dedicated they are to their training and in their determination in achieving their goals. We are very proud of our members and their desire to lead healthy lifestyles and train for a reason and we are always there to help with our team of expert personal trainers, nutritionists and fitness team.

Here are a few life changing members testimonials for #IAMTRAININGFOR which are worth sharing to inspire others embrace a healthy lifestyle and go further in life and fitness.

Dr. Leila Soudah

#IAMTRAININGFOR to beat my cancer

I decided to start going to the gym as I decided to survive my breast cancer, I knew that operation, medication, diet alone is not enough to stay healthy as long as possible.

After I started the gym, I fell in love with it, I saw how much it start changing my life.

I saw how strong I became physically as well as mentally, I felt I am in control of my life.

I reached my weight that I was desiring since 13 years. I look much better at 57 years than I was in my thirties  My next goal is building 6 pack and I will do what ever it takes to reach that goal.

I am Training For Testimonial

Some serious training by Dr. Leilah


Dr. Leilah Soudah with our expert personal trainer Trevor Flowers who helped her in training and motivated her to reach her desired goals.

I am Training For Testimonial

Sheila Broderick

#IAMTRAININGFOR my further life

After my husband died last year I realized that my future life was in my hands and the first thing I decided was to get fitter. To relieve my sciatica , my pain consultant advised me to do some regular exercise. With the encouragement of my daughter and her family I decided to get some help from their Best Gym in Dubai : “Fitness First”.

Fortunately for me, you, Kamal, agreed to be my Personal Trainer. You have certainly worked me hard, but always with understanding and enthusiasm. Always conscious of my limitations at age 74, you have actively encouraged me to push myself a little more each session, and praised my efforts. It has been a memorable experience and after 6 sessions I cannot believe how well and active I feel. I will be for ever grateful to you for giving me the start to a more positive and active life. I would not hesitate to recommend you as a skilled, sensitive, encouraging, and charming Personal Trainer.

I am Training For Testimonial

Kris Barber

#IAMTRAININGFOR a new start in my 50’s

My name is Kris, I have had the pleasure of training with Kamal for the past 6 months and have to say am delighted with the results. Through his guidance and encouragement I have managed to lose 16kgs of fat and reduced my BMI from 30.8 to 26.8.

Previously I was always feeling tired and exhausted and I avoided exercise as much as possible. I hated going to the gym and on previous training sessions use to ache so much the next day I would not go back for weeks. Having Kamal training me has improved my fitness beyond belief, without the pain experienced before. Kamal understands not to push too hard in his training method and focus on core areas that need work rather than overall general workouts.

We started doing cardio and hi energy workouts to burn fat in the first few weeks and then Kamal decided to introduce weights into the sessions, concentrating on arms one day, legs the next and abs the next, building muscle, losing fat and making me feel 10 years younger!

I am Training For Testimonial

The results speak for themselves:

June 2014 Jan 2015
Weight 90.7 KG 80.1 KG
BMI 30.8 26.8
Body Fat mass 31.4 19.1
% Body Fat 34.7 26.8

Now he has me doing ‘clap push ups’,  2 minute planks and deadlifting 120kgs.

I honestly don’t believe my results would have been so impressive had it not been for Kamal’s dedication and perseverance.

So, What are YOU training for?

We would love to get your feedback in the comments below and help you on your fitness journey as well!

Eating healthy when on the road
Health & Nutrition

Eating healthy, when on the road!

posted by FitnessFirst Team December 28, 2015 0 comments

Remember the last time you raised a toast, ‘One for the road’! Well, if habits make a man then groom yourself into travel-experience enhancing hacks that will not toss your toned body and hard-earned fitness through the window.

Staying healthy and keeping diet on the track while on the go can be difficult but, read on as Fitness First brings you tips to stay fit while traveling.

Plan ahead in time

A little bit of homework goes a long way to help you plan your schedule and food. You do come across fast food joints a plenty when discovering a new country but they offer limited choices. Opt for a grocery store instead that offers whole and healthy foods like fruits, nuts and salads. A supermarket with a salad bar may not offer you a brownie but will sure earn you brownie points. Home-made snacks like nutty bars, energy bites etc; let you have access to food at all times. So, there’s no skipping meals there!Binge on tasty and heart healthy foods:

Binge on tasty and heart healthy foods

Avoid giving in to temptations. Maximize clean eating like meat, vegetables, nuts and fruits and consciously junk empty calories like processed grains, carbs and aerated, sugary drinks.

Eat less, eat more

That precisely means you should be eating small quantity at frequent intervals. In this way, the body never stores fat for later consumption. It is also easy to burn calories taken in by regular meals rather than loading in one single sitting. Eating too much at one go can also make you sluggish and sleepy, beating the purpose of your vacation.

Raise protein intake

When in need of energy for a long hike, a long drive, or a day at the beach, stoke your body with high-quality, lean protein found in any animal and dairy product. Eating the right amount of complete protein for your weight and activity level stabilizes blood sugar (preventing energy lags), enhances concentration, and keeps you lean and strong.

Keep sipping on water

Yes, water is essential and a life saver! Our body needs water for virtually all of its functions. Drinking plenty of water will flush the body of toxins, keeps the skin fresh, and reduces the appetite. It will also keep you hydrated and aids in avoiding travel lag, symptoms of overexposure to the heat or sun, and junk-food cravings. Believe it or not, many of the unhealthy cravings we experience on the road can be satisfied with a refreshing drink of pure water.

Get picky about choosing restaurants

Select places with a full menu. Not only does that allow you to customize a healthy meal but also take in cooking requests like trimming off visible fat from meat and poultry.

And while we are still at the restaurant, it might just help to keep the following in mind:

  • Select steamed or fresh vegetables and broiled or baked meat instead of fried foods. Roasted or poached fish and meat are also preferable to fried food.
  • Watch your salt intake and use the salt shaker on your table sparingly.
  • Choose the lunch portion, when possible. Lunch portions are usually half the size of dinner portions, but most are still enough to fill up the average diner.
  • Look for pasta dishes with tomato-based sauces, which are generally lower in fat and calories than cream-based sauces. This applies to soups, as well.
  • Drink water or unsweetened tea with your meal, and avoid soft drinks and alcoholic beverages. Most restaurants offer bottled water.
  • Skip dessert. Eating a single slice of chocolate cake after your meal can negate all the healthy choices you made when ordering your dinner. If you really need dessert, ask if the restaurant serves a fresh fruit bowl.

So while you sift through the ‘Lonely Planet’ to lay your sight on the next destination-to-be; remember these simple tips and never forget, ‘Moderation is the key’!

Happy vacationing!


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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Fitness & Training

Working Out in a Group Is More Fun

posted by FitnessFirst Team October 15, 2014 1 Comment

If you have a goal to become physically fit, you are already on a good path. Adopting a healthy life style and being fit are the best ways to keep you away from obesity and heart diseases. The truth is, a healthy body is able to fight off infections much better and more naturally than a body that isn’t physically fit. Working out is one of the best ways to be healthy and the great news is that it is a lot more fun to work out in a group exercise setting than to go it alone. Here’s how!

For one, the group will help you to have accountability.

Working out in group exercise class is easy if you join a program such as XFIT, TUFF, Zumba, BodyPump, RPM, the list is endless. With XFIT, you are surrounded by like-minded individuals who have one goal in mind, to become physically fit. XFIT uses innovative high intensity physical fitness training. They use a combination of exercises through gymnastics conditional development and Olympic weight lifting. When working within a group such as this, you can benefit from the accountability you will have with the other members. They won’t let you quit or miss a class; it’s a great way to stay committed and motivated.

TUFF stands for ‘The Ultimate Fitness Firster’. This type of class is great for working out in a group exercise environment. If a person has a goal in mind to lose weight and become physically fit, TUFF is a great way to do it. The classes are done in short bursts of several minutes of intensive physical training with short rest periods in between, know as HIIT (High Intesnity Interval Training)By doing this in a group setting, it is easier to keep up with the sets as and to work with the specified weights; the group environment keeps you working hard to your maximum effort. Get ready, as the classesare challenging but will leave you feeling energised and pumped!

Swing Yoga is also a great option for a group exercise class. This type of exercise is so different from your normal workout sessions and will leave you feeling calm, relaxed and energised. Swing Yoga is calming and relaxing but also intense enough to build muscles while increasing stamina, boosting metabolism, and helping with balance. When you roll all that into one with the use of specialised swings and expert instructors, you have an intense workout you have Swing Yoga. When you do this within a group, you have an even more enjoyable time. You will look forward to these sessions as you travel the physical activity path with like-minded people who want to have healthier bodies just like you. It’s also a great way to meet new and existing friends in a new social environment, while staying fit and active at the same time. Cancel you post-work calorie filled dinner plans and opt for a group exercise class instead.

As you can see, there are many great ways of working out in a group exercise setting. Meet new friends, join a new community, invite your friends along or spend some quality time with your partner. Commit to your healthy lifestyle in a motivating and fun group exercise environment. Take advantage of having a whole group of people to be your accountability partners as well as your friends. Make being physically fit an attainable goal and most importantly, have fun!