Tag

Training

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

 

Testimonials

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

Testimonials

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

21

: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

:النجاح

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-dumbbells
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!

Weight-Training

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”.

fitness-weights

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.

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!

fiona-fitness-first_1

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!

unleash-yourself

Fitness & Training

6 High Intensity Interval Training Exercises for Heart Health

posted by FitnessFirst Team September 29, 2016 0 comments

Cardio exercises are necessary for any effective training program, not only for fat burning, but also for overall good health. Your heart is a muscle, and we all know that to keep our muscles in shape we need move them.

The best thing about cardio workout is that we can do them anywhere and anytime. What we need is a little imagination and functionality of our own body so that we can run an infinite number of different movements, different intensity and contribute to our cardiovascular health. It is important to keep our body moving and choose a lifestyle that will help us avoid injuries.

Benefits of the Cardio workout:

♦ Faster metabolic system

♦ Decrease in cholesterol levels

♦ Increased secretion of growth

♦ Hormone increase blood flow to the brain,

♦ Improving concentration

♦ Improve digestion

♦ Stress reduction

♦ Strengthening the immune system

♦ Relief from depression and anxiety.

♦ Better sleep

♦ More confidence about how you feel and look

A side of the all advantages, there are people who love cardio exercise as much as “tooth extraction” and sometimes they find it boring to run, ride a bike, row or walk.

Today I choose a different type of cardio, High Intensity Interval Training that will help you to lose body fat, shape and feel great:

1. Lunge single Leg ( 15 second each leg )

2. Jumping Jacks X 30 second

3. Squat MB ball hold X 30 second

4. Shuttle run side 5mX30

5. Row machine Pike X 30 second

6. Burpee X 1 min

Repeat 3X/Max Repetitions/Monitor your progress

1. Lunge Single Leg:

  • Stand with feet shoulder width apart
  • Step forward with one foot and lower yourself by bending your knees
  • Your back should be straight throughout the whole movement
  • Stop when your front thigh is parallel with the ground

lunge-single-leg

2. Jumping Jack

  • Stand tall with your back straight
  • Jump outward with feet wider
  • At the same time raise your arms overhead

jumping-jack

3. Squat MB ball hold

  • Stand straight with feet shoulder width apart.
  • Adjust feet to face slightly outward
  • Lower yourself by bending knees and pushing your hips back
  • Keep back straight
  • Stop when your thighs are parallel with the ground
  • When you return press the ball and keep back straight

ball-hold

4. Shuttle run

  • Place 2 cons on a distance of 5m
  • Start from right or left side
  • Explode laterally
  • Run either to the right or left and touch the line with your hand

shuttle-run

5. Row machine – pike

  • Your body should be in a straight line from head to toe
  • Pressing down through your palms, lift your hips up towards the ceiling by drawing your legs towards your chest until you look like an upside-down V, or as high as you can go
  • Slowly lower your legs and return to the starting position 

row-machine-pike

6. Burpee

  • Start with standing position
  • Lower yourself by bending knees to squat position with hands on the floor
  • Drop your feet back into plank position and keep your shoulders extended
  • Return back to the squat position by jumping forward

burpee

Your Hearth Rate Zone should be between 75-90%.

myzone-zonesDon’t forget to monitor your workout. Set and write down the goal and track your achievement. Be proud of every movement you do, this is a gift you are giving to your hearth and your health.

Don’t forget that “The Body achieves what the mind believes”.

Ivana Sargic
Assistant Fitness Manager
Fitness First Ladies Only, Marina Mall Abu Dhabi

Innovations

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-belt

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-mobile-stream

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.

myzone-body-image-7

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

cardio-machines
Fitness & Training

7 reasons Fitness First is more than a gym

posted by FitnessFirst Team August 22, 2016 0 comments

For many people, a visit to the gym means following the same routine: warm up, 40 minutes on the treadmill, some weights and then cool down, home. This routine will maintain your fitness, sure! But you may find yourself stuck in your own routine with less motivation in your workout, and perhaps most importantly, you may begin to lose the enjoyment that can be gained from working out.

What a lot of people don’t know is that your gym membership can be your best friend on the journey to a healthier life. With your Fitness First membership, you can experience the advantages of working alongside people who care about your success. A gym does not need to just be a gym, and here’s how we achieve that:

Freestyle Classes

We hold Freestyle Group Training sessions that challenge your body to move, increase everyday mobility. Each session is different which keeps things interesting, and focuses on different parts of the body and planes of motion. Everyone can get involved, and groups of 4-8 club members will enjoy the interactive 30 minute workout on the gym floor, which provides lots of time to get to know your fellow fitness fans.

Personal Training

If you feel like you need a bit more information about how to get fitter, increase your strength or lose some weight, we have accredited personal trainers who can help. They can design a custom program just for you, to assist you in reaching your goals.

Core Juice Bar

Once you’ve finished your workout, you don’t need to rush off – a protein smoothie is the perfect way to end a training session. There is so much variety to choose from, or you can even just make up your own! After a workout is one of the best times to get protein into the body so that the protein can be delivered to your muscles and repair any micro-tears, and of course it helps that the smoothies are delicious! 

MYZONE

Sometimes it feels like there is no obvious change to your body even though you’ve been working out hard. Using a tracking system allows you to keep note of your progress online, with a system that monitors your heart rate, burned calories, and time spent exercising. MYZONE then converts your workout into MYZONE Effort Points that can be exchanged for rewards.

Swim Academy

Did you know that we have a swim program? We operate all over Dubai, from Uptown Mirdif, to Burjuman to Emirates Living. Kids of all ages and abilities can learn how to swim confidently, develop their strokes or even join a competitive team. Adults & teens can also enjoy the water, with swimming based fitness classes.

Discounts and Privileges

What if your gym card didn’t just work in the gym? Well, your membership card provides you with discounts in multiple restaurants across the city, as well as leisurewear outlets such as Adidias, spas and salons, and loads more. Not only that, but you can collect Shukran points when you sign up, and when you purchase any additional services or products from Fitness First. Work hard and shop harder.

International Passport

Fitness First is an international brand, with gyms and facilities all over the world. We know how important a fitness regime is, and travelling can sometimes throw you off-track. But whether you are travelling for business or pleasure, you can rest in the knowledge that you will have access to a Fitness First club wherever you go. Just speak to a member of staff before you travel!

Never again does the gym need to be a monotonous exercise.  Everything you need to keep yourself on a focused and fun fitness journey is available with one card, so make the most of it! Join a new class and try something different, relax in the sauna, socialize in the members lounge, travel and maintain your fitness across the globe, while tracking your amazing progress online.

Our gyms offer more than just a gym. They offer a lifestyle. So start living it!

mtag

Fitness & Training

This Ramadan Aim to Maintain with MYZONE

posted by FitnessFirst Team June 13, 2016 0 comments

The aim of Ramadan is to maintain your fitness and MYZONE can help you do just that. Nicky Holland, Fitness Manager shows how to utilise your MYZONE belt to get the most from your workout during the Holy Month.

For more information on MYZONE please visit our website.

Fitness & Training

Get XFit this Ramadan

posted by FitnessFirst Team June 7, 2016 0 comments

Dinis Timoteo, Assistant Fitness Manager at Fitness First Motor City explains how XFit workouts can really help you improve your technique during this time.