Tag

Workout

Fitness & Training

How and when to exercise in Ramadan

posted by FitnessFirst Team May 15, 2017 0 comments

Exercising should be continued during the holy month of Ramadan, as it is one of the healthy habits that are recommended to be followed for its many benefits that positively affect the human health.

However, the right time and kind of exercise should be chosen.

 

Why should you work out in Ramadan ?

If exercising is important to the body’s well being and health throughout the year, it is even more important in Ramadan than in any other month, due to many reasons including:

1. It helps people who follow an exercise program to easily resume it after Ramadan and does not give a chance to idleness to seep into their bodies.

2. During fast time, the muscular system gets energy by using the glucose in liver. If the physical exertion and required energy increase; and the amount of glucose in liver is inadequate to provide muscles with energy, the muscular system will use another source, which is the adipose tissue dissolution and fatty acid oxidation. If the fatty acids decrease, the muscular system will oxidize the fats in liver. Thus, fast and exercising are a good chance to burn the stored fats.

3. It improves the digestive system efficiency and protects from indigestion problems.

4. The weight lost during fast will definitely be gained after Iftar, especially if the fasting person overeats throughout Ramadan without exercising.

5. If the body suffers from deprivation and lacks energy resources, weight will be lost, but from the non-fatty tissues, which adversely affects health. However, in Ramadan, exercising and deprivation of food lead to weight loss from the adipose tissues, affecting health positively.

6. Not eating or drinking for long hours up to 15 hours, as well as staying up for long hours at night, cause body fatigue and stress. Therefore, exercising is a key factor in fasting to increase the body’s efficiency, fitness and health; add vitality to it; protect it from diseases; and eliminate idleness and laziness.

What time of the day should I exercise?

Preferable Times for Exercising in Ramadan and the benefits of each:

1. Two or three hours before Iftar to compensate the body for the missing fluids and minerals as soon as possible to avoid the health symptoms that may be caused for it as a result of exercising

2. Approximately two and half to three hours after Iftar, as during this period, food is efficiently digested to recover energy and recharge it to the vital organs of the body

The period of time allocated to an exercising class during fast does not exceed 60 minutes for a maximum of 5 days a week.

The physical activities that are preferred to be practiced in Ramadan are of low or medium intensity kind and do not require considerable exertion and high resistance that may exhaust the body.

Fitness First Team

Run goals
Fitness & Training

Guide to Reach your Health and Wellness Goals

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

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

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

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

fitness-stretch-run-male

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

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

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

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

fitness outdoors

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

Point A (Today) _________________________________________________Point B (Marathon)

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

 

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

3 Months – Run 21KM

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

Point A (Today) _1______2_______3__________4_________5______6____Point B (Marathon)

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

cardio-machines

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

Andre Fox-Martins
Fitness Manager

Fitness & Training

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.

 

Fitness & Training

4 Best Times to Train during Ramadan

posted by FitnessFirst Team June 6, 2016 0 comments

Over the thirty days of Ramadan, you need to do some exercise in order to maintain your fitness, but you don’t need to do what you are used to. The aim is to maintain and not gain. In order to do this, you need to have a strategy and work out a schedule according to your timetable.

There are 4 schools of thought when it comes to training during Ramadan.

All of them agree that you must cut back on the amount of exercise you usually do, particularly if you are a long distance runner or someone who does a lot of cardio work. During the fast, with high temperatures and no liquid from sunrise to sunset, you will compromise your health by pushing yourself too much. It is not recommended to do intensive cardio workouts and heavy weight-training exercises while fasting.

The recommendation is that you cut back to 2 cardio workouts a week. For weight training, the best times would be after Taraweeh prayers at night or about 1 hour after Iftar. Make a schedule for yourself and plan on exercising two times a week. If you really are feeling strong, you may want to add an extra day to that regime if you feel up to it.

When to exercise on those days is where the differing opinions come in.

1.   Exercise 90 minutes before sunset

This will make it towards the cooler part of the day. You will exercise on an empty stomach. The routine will be low key with more resistance training, stretching, less repetitions with slightly lighter weights and slow short jogs or brisk walks. Don’t exercise for more than an hour. The benefit of this is that when you have completed your workout, you are very close to sunset and you can drink water to rehydrate yourself. The disadvantage is that you are exercising at a time when you may be very hungry and thirsty. You do not want to compromise your health by vigorous exercise when you are dehydrated.

2.   Exercise after your evening meal

It’s never easy exercising on a full stomach but during the fast, after food seems the most logical time to get a routine in. As you are only exercising two or three times a week, on those days, you may want to eat a little to refuel your body, being sure to drink enough water to rehydrate yourself and then break your meal to do the exercise. That way, you will have more energy for the workout, but still have the opportunity to return to the meal.

ff-fitness-2

3.   Exercise between 11pm and 2am

There is a train of thought that suggests exercising a couple of hours after the evening meal. If you are a night owl, you may discover that the best time for exercise is between 11pm and 2am. Once your night meal has settled, you will have energy and will be hydrated. You can try and sleep after work, so that you will not be overtired by midnight. Exercising at that time is cooler than day time, which is also helpful. If you exercise at between 11pm and midnight, you are still able to get a few hours more sleep until you get up to start the day.

4.   Exercise between 3am & 4am.

Early birds may want to go to sleep early and wake up early to exercise on an empty stomach prior to your early morning meal. This way you will have energy from the previous night’s meal, yet still have an empty stomach. You can hydrate while you exercise and on your return have your early morning meal. This method you get energized for the day ahead.

Conclusion

Whichever time you choose, remember not to overdo it. Force yourself to go at a slower pace than usual, continually reminding yourself that you are exercising to maintain and not to gain. Stop if you feel dizzy or lack energy. Rest frequently and do a low impact workout.

 

Fitness First Team

workout-ramadan
Fitness & Training

How to Make your Workout more Effective in Ramadan

posted by FitnessFirst Team May 30, 2016 0 comments

Ramadan is coming soon, and time of fasting is approaching. It is a totally different state for our mine and body. The best thing we can do is to adapt to new conditions which our body will go through. For some that means it is time to have a break from the gym. Not at all.

New conditions require new training methods as well. I will give you some advice on how to make your workout during Ramadan more effective.

First, what time is the best for workout?

Most of the food and water intake will happen during the night, and working out during the day can be hard, but we can use the new environment and take the most of it for productive workout.

My suggestion is to follow the work of hormone of stress (cortisol). Cortisol is a hormone who keeps us awake and who is speeding our fat burning process. Cortisol is having his strongest peak from 5am till 11am. And that is the perfect time to have your workout. If you are not morning person last peak of cortisol is at 5pm, and that should be ideal time to work out, just before breaking the fast.

Second, what is the best type of workout?

You should use more static and isolation moves, such as machines, weights and body-weight exercises instead of cardio exercises. The body will retain water, so I rather chose exercise that doesn’t require that much of a sweating, but at the same time to be productive. This type of exercise using proteins and carbohydrates (ATP, creatinine phosphates, glucose) the primary energy source, but while you are resting, your body is using fat as primary fuel.

With this type of workout your body will get energy from all resources and it will carry you out through rest of the day. You will feel more energetic and effects on your body and mind will be visible. That is one more reason to continue your training during fasting.

Outdoor Group Training main image

Hope these tips will change your perspective of working out during Ramadan time and will help you out to reach your goals.

Training never stops 🙂

Best of Luck,

Ivan Dimitric
Assistant fitness manager
Al Fardan Sharjah, Fitness First ME

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

5 CORE exercises to build your engine - A Beginner's Guide!
Our Experts

5 CORE exercises to build your engine

posted by FitnessFirst Team March 14, 2016 0 comments

As athletes attend their training sessions they often neglect the core and stretch sessions…here’s why the core sessions are equally if not MORE important than a regular training session.  Core muscles are vital and they don’t always get worked enough with just regular training sessions.

Think of your core muscles – the chest, back, abs, and obliques – as the link in a chain connecting your upper and lower body. No matter what your movement, the motions either start from your core, or is transferred through it.

Weak core muscles contribute to slouching. Good posture trims your silhouette and projects confidence. More importantly, it lessens wear and tear on the spine and allows you to breathe deeply.

No matter what movements you do or where the movement starts, your arms and legs all stem from the core, the strength in your limbs are intimately tied to the strength in your torso. Having a strong core sets a solid foundation for strength in the rest of the body the power is transferred upward and downward to adjoining parts of the body. For example when running, core strength allows the pelvis, hips, and lower back to work together more smoothly, with less rocking & thus, less excess energy expended.  A strongly built-up core will considerably increase the power, posture & speed.

Core strength for endurance athletes is especially important! Towards the end of long training sessions or races, when you are extremely fatigued, your form begins to suffer if the core has not been trained – it is a fantastic feeling when running to know the core engages and is enabling you to stay strong. Poor form not only slows you down, it also opens you up to potential injuries.

While it’s important to build a strong core, the program must be structured to involve all muscles, over training only abdominal muscles and neglecting muscles of the back and hip can set you up for injuries.

5 CORE exercises to build your engine:

You can use your body weight or the Bosu for a harder option.

1. V-Sit
5 CORE exercises to build your engine

2. Plank
5 CORE exercises to build your engine

3. Bicycle Abs
5 CORE exercises to build your engine

4. Mountain Climbers
5 CORE exercises to build your engine

5. Roll Outs
5 CORE exercises to build your engine

Your arms and legs are the wheels of your body (vehicle), without a strong core (engine) you will never go faster, hit your top speed and achieve your best performance!

Lisa Hancox
National Swimming and Programming Manager
Fitness First MENA

buddy-training-gym
Fitness & Training

Couples Who Sweat Together, Stay Together !

posted by FitnessFirst Team February 29, 2016 0 comments

If you feel being in love is the best thing that happened to you then, nurture it with physical congruence to cherish it forever. Oh yes, turning your better half into your gym and workout partner can reap you more benefits than you could have ever imagined.

It is known that motivation plays an integral part of every lifestyle and there are so many times when it becomes just impossible to push yourself to that much needed workout. Well, working out together has it’s rewards;

  • It creates a shared goal,

  • It develops perseverance and keeps a check on lapses in behavior.

  • As a couple you increase your chances of sticking to your exercise regime and make sure you do not slip into fatigue easily.

  • It really helps strengthen the bond as you work towards a common objective and face challenges together with positive reinforcement.

Couples Who Sweat Together, Stay Together

A study, from the Department of Kinesiology at Indiana University, surveyed married couples who joined health clubs together and found that couples who worked out separately had a 43 percent gym dropout rate over the course of a year whereas the couples who went to the gym together, had only a 6.3 percent dropout rate.

Right from stretching the mat together, pulling out those bikes or lacing up together for a marathon run; matching paces grows on to competitive spirit, lift-to-success ecstasy and healthy resolutions. Not only does your relationship lead the way with a spark of confidence but you also tend to push each other in different ways. Words of encouragement from your partner do help you in pulling off that extra set of squats that would otherwise seem impossible to sail through. It doesn’t matter if your workout companion is your spouse, partner, friend, sibling or even offspring; what primarily is important is that workout partners can help you stay committed to fitness and have fun.

Couples Who Sweat Together, Stay Together

Appreciating and understanding fitness routines is yet another perk you enjoy for having your spouse as your workout buddy. The fact that you are able to commit to ‘guilt-free’ workouts speaks volumes about your relationship and tends to get carried forward to many other areas of your life. Plus the energy transcends to many other aspects as you are more energetic and feel the need to do more activities together.

A faith built through a workout buddy lasts forever. You always have a trustworthy partner right beside you who is forever raring to go. You always have someone to watch you over, to point out faults and save you in times of injury.  In short, you both grow strong together.

Couples Who Sweat Together, Stay Together

Exercise definitely is an excuse to stay together. It may not eliminate the need for buying gifts for each other but it definitely weighs your relationship in lustre than glistens more than gold!

8 Tips to make a fresh start for the New Year
Health & Nutrition

IF NOT NOW WHEN? 8 Tips to make a fresh start for the New Year

posted by FitnessFirst Team December 21, 2015 2 Comments

With the New Year approaching, comes the opportunity for a fresh start. Make sure your main goal is switching to a healthier lifestyle and maintain/achieving a healthy weight.

1. Find your motivation

What’s your motivation? Losing weight? Looking better in clothes? Feeling more energetic? Or simply improving your health? Get clear about what you really want and why you want to change, and use it to inspire you.

2. Set a S.M.A.R.T. Goal

S: Specific. Make your goal is specific. It should be exactly what you want
M: Measurable. You can measure your progress, so you can track yourself
A: Attainable. Set small goals you can achieve in a short time
R: Realistic. Do not set impossible goals
T: Timely. Set a time to achieve your goal

3. Start changing gradually

Your first small step toward wellness can be a giant leap for your self-confidence. Don’t make the mistake of turning your life into an existence you no longer recognize as your own. Any unwise habits you have probably took years to form. Your best chance to change them is to take it slowly. Drastic changes make you lose your self-control on food. Make sure your changes are gradual so you can get used to them and you can preserve in the long term.

4. Fill up on vegetables

Vegetables are not only high in vitamins, minerals, and fibers but also fill you up with fewer calories. Make sure you are adding veggies to your daily meals. Fill half of your plate with vegetables, or start your meal with salad, this helps you not to overeat from the main dish.

8 Tips to make a fresh start for the New Year

 

5. Rate your plate on every meal

Make sure your plate on every meal is equivalent to my plate. Divide your plate into four quarters:

  • ¼ for fruits (choose whole fruits)
  • ¼ for vegetables (choose a variety)
  • ¼ for protein (choose animal lean protein, or plant based protein)
  • ¼ for carbohydrate (make sure most of your daily carbohydrates are whole)

6. Enjoy your food but eat less, so how you can do it?

  • Use a smaller plate, bowl or glass and choose smaller portions. Use a smaller serving spoon.
  • Take a small portion of your favorite foods that may be high in calories or salt and enjoy each bite.
  • Take your time to enjoy your food, your brain needs at least 20 minutes to realize that you are full
  • Stop eating when you are satisfied, not full

7. Not skipping your meals especially breakfast

Skipping meals, does not help you in weight loss strategy, it sets your goal back. Skipping meals put your body in starvation mode (your body thinks that you are starving and starts to store fat), and also skipping meals leads to binging on your next meal. And keep in mind your body is like a car (if you do not put fuel in it, it will not move), same if you do not put nutrition in your body it will not burn calories.

8. Physical activity

Add exercise to your daily bases make sure you are exercising at least 150 minutes per week (moderate intensity exercise). Remember healthy nutrition will not make you lose weight without physical activity, and physical activity will not make you fit without healthy nutrition.

8 Tips to make a fresh start for the New YearIf you find or you think it is difficult to start alone, you can ask for help from our experts, or simply ask for support from your family or friends. Remember that good health is a result of your overall eating pattern.

Every next meal is a new opportunity to nourish your body!

Banin Shahine
Nutrition Manager
Fitness First Middle East

The MYZONE 25 Million Calorie Challenge Winners
Innovations

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

posted by FitnessFirst Team December 14, 2015 2 Comments

The MYZONE 25 Million Calorie Challenge

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

What is MYZONE?

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

The Challenge

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

How many calories did we burn?

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

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

 

The Results are in

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

The MYZONE 25 Million Calorie Challenge - Winners

Our proud Male and Female winners conquered the challenge!

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

The MYZONE 25 Million Calorie Challenge - Male Winner

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

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

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

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

What do you like about MYZONE?

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

What made you choose Fitness First?

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

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

The MYZONE 25 Million Calorie Challenge - Female Winner

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

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

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

What do you like about MYZONE?

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

What made you choose Fitness First?

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

The MYZONE 25 Million Calorie Challenge - Contestants

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

The MYZONE 25 Million Calorie Challenge - Club Support

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

Top 10 Winners – MYZONE Fitness Challenge 2015

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

Male

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

Female

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

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

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

The MYZONE 25 Million Calorie Challenge - Fitness First DFC Team

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

The MYZONE 25 Million Calorie Challenge - CGM Support

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

 

Great effort rewarded!

Latest-Innovations-in-fitness
Innovations

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

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.

Continue Reading

TUFF-facts
Innovations

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.

Continue Reading

FUTURE-of-Fitness
Fitness & Training

7 Big Trends Changing How We Work Out

posted by FitnessFirst Team September 29, 2015 0 comments

With so many new ways to work out, from HIIT to Tough Mudder, we asked our experts across the world, how will we be getting fit in the future. Here is what they said about the trends shaping how we will be training today, tomorrow and beyond.

Staying Motivated

Staying fit is hard, right? We all know the feeling. I’m bored. I’m stuck in a rut. I’ve lost interest. We now know it’s not about willpower, but something deeper. It’s about seeing results, having a choice and having a social experience that builds confidence and creates positive habits.

Movement not Machines

The body is designed to twist, jump, roll and leap so it deserves to move as nature intended. Not in straight lines. That’s why gyms are becoming open spaces that enable free, dynamic movement. It’s more effective, better fun and most importantly, anyone can do it. Training that feels like play will continue to replace repetitive fitness routines.

Continue Reading

ARMS-WORKOUT
Fitness & Training

Arms Workout Exercises

posted by FitnessFirst Team December 7, 2014 0 comments

1.      Hammer Curls

A great variation on the traditional Bicep Curls, the Hammer Curl places increased tension on the inner forearm and outer head of the bicep. To carry out the exercise; hold the dumbbells with the palms facing in and then contract the bicep to raise the dumbbell until it reaches the shoulder. Have the elbows tucked in underneath and make sure to keep the elbows fixed with the back straight throughout.

2.      Barbell Curl

Using a barbell is a good idea for beginners, as it allows you to lift an increased load with more control and gets a real pump on those biceps because the tension is distributed across both arms simultaneously. Standing with the barbell at a shoulder-width grip; curl it towards your chest without moving your upper arms. Aim to keep the elbows fixed and tight in towards your torso so that only the forearms are moving in both the lifting and lowering phase.

Continue Reading