As if a round of early morning burpees and squats wasn’t hard enough, a new type of high-intense training is taking advantage of Dubai’s swimming pools with water-based training.
Aquaphysical has launched a new floating yoga mat, which enables fitness fanatics to workout on water, causing the muscles to work harder by balancing on a float, maximising the core workout. The coordination and balance required during the high intense, cardiovascular, fitness workout increases mental wellbeing as well as muscular strength.
We went along to Dubai’s first ever FloatFit class at The Westin lap pool, and as the sun came up over the Le Meridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort, the exercise began with getting used to balancing on the AquaBase before a burst of ‘rockers’ the board (akin to running on the spot) from side-to-side, creating waves, which engages the core muscles in the legs and abs. The benefits of the movement created by the water require both physical and mental concentration to work together. The muscles work overtime to keep your balance and also work muscle fibres, which are frequently unused in other workouts, adding strength to the joints.
Between rocking the float the instructor, who leads the class from the edge of the pool, shouts for a quick burst of burpees. For those of us in the water, the challenge now is as much about staying on the board as it is doing the actual exercises. The concentration required is intense as you’re not only worried about going in the pool, but also the person next to you falling in, which causes a ripple of waves knocking everyone off balance. After surviving the round of burpees, we’re required to do squats with a jump. By now the floating mat is so slippery the concentration levels required just to stay upright are as high as those needed for the routine. After twenty minutes of non-stop exercise and concentration, a set of mountain climbers are the last thing I want to hear from the instructor, but at least the threat of falling in the water is reduced.
The FloatFit class lasts for 30 minutes and includes a challenge of half the participants trying to knock the others into the water by creating waves using their AquaBase. The actual exercises are a mix of high intensity training and yoga, suitable for all abilities – it helps if you can swim too. What’s more the impact on the joints is low and works the full body. Another benefit of being on the water is there’s no need to worry about competing for floor space in the gym, no one is going to come along and steal your spot in the pool, that’s for sure.
Aquaphysical, a new concept to the UAE, has been rolled out in a whopping 54 countries around the world and is making waves in Dubai by making use of the plethora of hotel pools.
Having completed the workout it’s easy to see why it’s taking off, while it’s an absolutely exhausting experience, which leaves your heart racing long after leaving the pool by the way, it’s a fun twist on the usual HIIT work out which can quickly get boring. The other benefit of course is when the workout is over you can relax at, well, the pool.
WHAT: FloatFit Classes
WHERE: The Westin Hotel lap pool
WHEN: Sundays, Tuesdays and Saturdays. 8am.
CONTACT: aquaphysical.com or 04-3181420
If cyclists are looking for a fresh challenge for the rest of the year, then they need to look no further than The Arabian Epic Series.
A Cross Country Marathon Racing Series, participants will tackle a course that will see them ride on mountainous terrains in Fujairah, near Jebel Yibir this Friday.
There are two categories – the full marathon covers at least 80km while the half-marathon distance is between 40 to 50km.
This series there have already been three races held and due to public demand, organisers have decided to extend the season.
“This will be our fourth race this week and our intention was to host three events this season and learn how to do this right, but the riders wanted us to extend 2018 for another 3 races,” said Jason Bryan, race organiser.
“We have had around 150 cyclists take part every time and we are learning from each event. Hopefully we can continue to improve the race day experience for all those riders that place their trust in us to provide them with a great challenge and fun day out.”
Open to professional and amateur mountain bike riders, entrants must be 19 and over and have the necessary fitness level to compete in their chosen category.
With a few days to go until the fourth race, Bryan insists there will be plenty of positives for those who sign up.
“Cyclists and their families will get to experience beautiful countryside and unique landscapes that cannot be accessed easily from the roads,” he added.
“They will be able to set themselves a new challenge and test their fitness in a different way. It is well known that cross country marathons are one of the most difficult challenges on a bike whether you’re pushing for a podium spot, or just aiming to finish. There is a true sense of achievement when you cross that finish line. Seasoned triathletes even find it hard to get to the end.”
He added: “People will need to have a mountain bike, and if they do not possess one, there are many places to rent bikes for the day; they will need to be relatively fit or in shape.”
What: The Arabian Epic Series
Where: Fujairah, near Jebel Yibir
When: Friday, March 2
Contact: For more information or to register, email [email protected]
If you’re in Dubai and looking for the best in motor sports action there is no need to trek all the way to Abu Dhabi.
The Dubai Autodrome, located conveniently at the buzzing mini metropolis that is Motor City, has a busy programme over the next month including FIA F4UAE Championship (March 2-3), Emirates Schools Karting Championship (March 11-12) and the National Race Days Power Weekend (March 30-31). (See more events below.)
And the perfect place to catch all the Autodrome action is from the brand new Park Inn by Radisson Dubai Motor City.
With stunning views of the Race Track, and the Dubai Marina skyline as a backdrop, the Park Inn has been impressively designed with a motor racing theme.
The minute you enter the tastefully decorated modern foyer a panorama of the race track opens up in front of you through the huge floor to ceiling windows.
Then look up – and above you suspended from the ceiling – a bright red antique Ferrari, which took hundreds of hour to assemble and fix in place.
Take a stroll around and you will soon discover Dubai’s sense of adventure and fun is perfectly mirrored in the design and philosophy of the Park Inn, which also aims for excellence in service and comfort.
The 146 rooms and suites, all with upscale amenities including free high-speed wifi, are bright and roomy with a vibrant contemporary feel.
With the curtains open revealing the wall to wall windows it’s almost like you are sitting in the grandstand of the race track – the final bend before the finish line right in front of you.
There’s no need to even leave your room, though you definitely will want to check out the buoyant and up tempo Live Inn on the first floor which features an all-day dining restaurant with an array of mouth-watering dishes, designed by the innovative executive chef at the Park Inn, Khaldoun Nasr.
Savor everything from South-East Asian to Middle Eastern food, for example ginger soy salmon or pearl barley tabbouleh, while meat enthusiasts will be keen to try the juicy rack of lamb with green pea and mint mash.
Those with a sweet tooth will enjoy the dessert specialty, berry cheesecake with chocolate icing.
The food is excellent, stylishly presented and the service first class.
The Live-Inn is the perfect place to grab a delicious and healthy breakfast before heading to the race track or pausing during the day to take a break in a relaxing ambiance.
The Park Inn also features a heated pool and juicebar on the roof, with great views of the track and the city skyline plus a state-of-the-art-fitness centre and soon a new spa.
Also opening soon is the Bar Le Petit Belge, unwind and mingle at this beautiful bar with Belgian beverages and snacks. Gather around a football match on TV or sink into our couches and take in the superb racetrack view.
Park Inn also offers a “Happiness Guarantee” – if you’re not 100% happy with something, let one of their enthusiastic staff know during your stay and they’ll make it right or you won’t pay.
So for a weekend racing stay-cation or the perfect beginning, middle or end to your autodrome visit make sure to check out the Park Inn by Radisson.
DUBAI AUTODROME UPCOMING EVENTS
March 1 & 29 Roll Racing DXB
March 2-3 FIA F4UAE Championship
March 5 & 19 SWS Sprint Series
March 11-12 Emirates Schools Karting Championship
March 30-31 National Race Days Power Weekend (March 30-31).
Every Wednesday TrainDubai by Activelife (18:00 to 21:00)