#360fit: A thorough workout with DEFINE Dubai

DEFINE is the latest American import to join Dubai’s ever-growing bespoke fitness scene.

Kara Martin
by Kara Martin
19th October 2016

article:19th October 2016

Caring and sharing: DEFINE founder Henry Richardson with clients.
Caring and sharing: DEFINE founder Henry Richardson with clients.

Conveniently located in Al Marsa, the chic, new studio is small but efficient, and even though up and running just a few months – and offering just three signature classes on the entire menu – somehow sessions are already always packed and booking ahead is a must. We had to find out why. So what’s their signature?

“We preach balance,” says General Manager Laura Olivier. “I know I’m biased because these are the only three classes I do [as a general workout] but the DEFINE method is perfect for that as it’s designed to provide a full, balanced fitness regimen.

Your intense cardio is covered with Revolution, you get to lengthen and restore everything in Mind, and Body focuses on toning and strengthening all the muscles.”

We hear more hybrid signatures are on their way – including DEFINE Baby for post-natal women, from November – but we convinced Kara Martin to go all in and try the existing lot which, conveniently, ran back to back one crazy Friday morning… Here’s her review.


Maybe you’ve tried Barre, but you haven’t tried it like this. It’s sixty sticky minutes painstakingly curated to whittle and work every major and minor muscle group – including some you didn’t even know were there.

The word ‘Body’ in DEFINE Body is key – this is that class that, with consistent turn-up, will get you strengthened and lengthened, see you burn fat and lose inches.

There’s been talk that ‘strong is the new skinny’, well this class goes beyond that to give you both, which, let’s agree, we kind of prefer. The warm-up choreography alone got me flustered – DEFINE Body’s myriad segments are short and snappy, which is also good because they are painful.

Mirrors all around you will also remind you of that scorching agony and how much more you’re sweating than the obvious regulars. Try not to panic – breath-work goes a long way in a class like this. As does posture and proper alignment (so that’s actually what all the mirrors are about).

I’m scaring you but, trust me, you’re not going to be the only person, rookie or regular, taking huffy breaks to towel off and glance around wide-eyed because all levels are taken care of and challenged to their max at their individual ability thanks to a wide variety of props used.

The squishy balls, resistance bands, hand weights, straps and more actually can be optional too because as it turns out, a lot of the exercises are bodyweight-related. If you choose to ditch the equipment, you’re still going to get your burn. Then, soon enough you’ll be Gwyneth Paltrow-ing the room like the rest of them.

DEFINE Revolution 

Quaking post-Barre, I was pretty scared to hit those spin bikes next, especially because I noticed that some of the props from the previous room – squishy ball and hand weights – had been placed on top of the bikes, too!

Obviously, on this particular day, the idea of also working upper body in a leg-specific class did not excite me, but ultimately, it makes perfect sense. If you’re a Spin addict or cyclist, this is the perfect opportunity to receive full-body benefits on your favourite piece of equipment.

While rolling deep to some epic, bass-heavy tracks, we were also rocking back and forth up top doing mini push-ups on our handlebars with the aid of some bouncy resistance from the squishy ball, as well as other bicep and tricep burners with the dumbbells.

Intense bursts of sitting, standing and leaning from side to side as we rode like the wind is why this class will literally take the wind out of you, too. It’s pretty choreography-based so prepare to dance on a bike, basically.

One thing I will say that saved me through this – and that made it my favourite of the three classes – is the absolutely spot-on music and matching mood-lit visuals. Then the shades went up and it was time for class three…


This is the perfect counter-activity for all the previous crazy. If you ever attempt “the trifecta” (maybe don’t), then book this last.

It’s yoga, but with the assistance of suspended hammocks and handles which make it perfect for anyone looking to increase range of motion, enhance stretches and/or relieve chronic pain, while trying something creative and cool.

We had a lot of fibres and feelings to stretch out that day so there was much more groaning and sweating than you will probably usually hear in DEFINE Mind.

But there was also laughter as we were given some fun and explorative time to do things like hang bat-like upside down in extended inversions, as well as swing in the hammock while doing asana in the least traditional way possible.

Needless to say, bored yogis should also sign up. Meditation and breathing are also accounted for, and where this Aerial class goes the extra mile is by introducing a firm ball to sore muscles. We spent a solid quarter portion of the class rolling out knots and other tight, worrying feels from feet all the way up to neck, and it was glorious.

“The Mind ball, which is also for sale here, is great. Not only does it lengthen the muscles but it also breaks down lactic acid (meaning you’ll be less sore from any previous classes),” commented Olivier, who did the class with me.


My “triple threat” experience actually finished just in time for the cheeky idea of possibly settling into brunch a short walk away at one of the fabulous Pier 7 venues, but it also left me feeling so accomplished and healthy that I just opted for a huge helping of some clean bottled creation they stock in the fridge instead (courtesy lovely local brand Kold Press Juice Kompany), followed by an easy Friday… and a well-deserved raucous Saturday.

Needless to say, if you want to work hard and play hard, DEFINE’s got you covered.

What: DEFINE Dubai

Where: Unit #17, Silverene Tower, Dubai Marina (Al Marsa)

Cost per one-off class: Dh110 (first class free)

Contact & info: www.dubai.definebody.com | +9714 421 6377



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