It appears I am not the only person in town not yet bored of the word ‘bootcamp’, as Dubai residents were out in force this week despite the heat to take advantage of yet another in town.
This one though, one of two free and flourishing fitness classes on offer from the raring-to-open Hayemaker Gym, the latest VIP venture by heavyweight boxing champion David Haye.
Not that anyone needs reminding, set to open in the heart of Downtown Dubai this summer, the swanky, cavernous New York loft-style facility promises to be a world-class one-stop-shop for fitness, performance coaching and nutrition that promises to whip you into You, Version 2.0.
This week we got to have a taste of just how the Hayemaker Gym team plan to do that with our first Hayemaker Bootcamp class.
But is it any different than the rest? Meeting at Burj Plaza two nights a week through June, these sessions will see Haye’s biggest fans throw on gloves and pads, but they’re not just for keen pugilists and all levels of fitness enthusiasts are welcome and guaranteed to meet their match.
Hayemaker Gym’s fitness manager Jezz Wilcox explains the class concept and set-up, saying: “The idea came about that we wanted to really showcase some of the options that were available to our members at the gym.
"So, the way that we broke the bootcamps down was into four sections, the idea being then that you split into teams of about three or four people, and spend ten minutes in each section.
“There’s a different skill involved in each section. The first section is boxing – so you learn how to hold pads properly, throw a punch, throw combinations…which we’ve been building up over the weeks.
“Then you move to the strength section, which could be a 60-second strength training challenge where you have to perform as many repetitions as possible in that time. Sometimes it could be more of a technical session where we teach people how to perform exercises correctly.
“The next section is called Energy Systems. Rather than just saying generically ‘cardio’, we actually will tax different energy systems within that segment – this could be high intensity training, short bursts followed by recoveries, endurance training. We change this up on a weekly basis also.
“Lastly, there’s a game – we just wanted something that would be fun, team building, motivational. Each week it’s different, touch rugby, Frisbee, basketball…”
In strength this week our mission was to complete a descending pyramid of squats, push-ups, lunges and sit-ups – basically you perform 10, then nine, then eight and so forth, until you’ve hit one in each exercise.
Not much rest in between each countdown meant the swearing started pretty early in for some…not to mention the sweating. Thankfully, it wasn’t long before the whistle blew and our group was shuffled off to a fun but competitive netball-esque face-off.
The Energy Systems segment was probably the most brutal, testing speed, endurance and agility through a series of short, quick obstacles such as weaving through cones, scuttling sideways across floor ladders, and sprinting short distances forwards and back, to name a few, all leaving the heart near bursting out of the chest and raring to go for some time punching the pads with a partner.
The sessions are a positively overflowing mixed bag of challenges bound to pinpoint and hone your strengths and weaknesses – I was pleasantly achy two days later, squats and lunges being definitely my biggest enemies.
However, Hayemaker Bootcamp is not so hard that the newer fitness enthusiast can’t enjoy it, especially with their thorough warm-ups to start and the highly entertaining games segment.
It’s hard to see anyone feeling, or leaving, bored after this very wellrounded bootcamp – yep, even me – and we’re definitely looking forward to spending some time at the Hayemaker Gym.
On what future clients can expect on the seventh floor of Tower 2, Boulevard Plaza, Wilcox adds: “Well, we’ve got a few unique things. First, we’re going to have the largest commercial hypoxic training environment.
"Basically that means all our studios, including the group exercise studio and others, can be adjusted for reduced oxygen for altitude training.
“Secondly, we’re going to have an Olympic-sized boxing ring. It’s not a boxing gym but obviously it’s going to feature a boxing element because of David.
“Alongside everything we’re having our restaurant Bench which will offer custom-made nutritional programs for all our members as well. Hayemaker is not just exercise, it’s education on how to eat correctly for recovery, for health, for weight loss…for whatever your goal is.
Wilcox concludes: “It’s not just a gym, it’s a complete holistic environment, and the whole team are there to look after you.”
Free Hayemaker class tasters continue at Burj Plaza on Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard through June until Ramadan, Mondays at 19:30 hosting the Bootcamp, while Wednesdays are reserved for those more eager to throw some punches via Boxing Circuit, also from 19:30.
All you need to bring is some water, a towel, and your A-game.
What: Hayemaker Bootcamp
When: Mondays at 19:30
Where: Burj Plaza, Dubai
Contact & information: 800- HAYE (4293)
I taught a client her first yoga class yesterday and she was blown away.
She felt like she had had a really tough workout, but instead of feeling exhausted, she felt energised and relaxed at the same time.
Her muscles felt stronger, but stretched and she had more freedom of movement due to her joints feeling more mobile.
Such is the power of yoga: just one posture can strengthen, tone, stretch, mobilise, work on the inner body as well as the outer and create peace and tranquility – all at the same time.
Not convinced yet?
Here are my top 10 reasons for practicing yoga:
1. All in one: I can do everything, all in one workout. Even the cardiovascular system gets a workout simply by breathing fully, evenly and efficiently.
2. Healthy spine: Your back will feel amazing after a yoga session. Most of the postures are either in neutral spine and extension (back bends) which is the perfect antidote for those who sit a lot – and most of us do far too much of that.
3. Stress relief: Simply keeping your mind focused on correct breathing and holding the postures, you won’t have the opportunity to dwell on your worries and if nothing else, you will get some time out. Over the years, this form of meditation makes you a calmer person.
4. Happy joints: Years of running has left me feeling pretty stiff, especially first thing in the morning, but a yoga session in the evening allows me to move freely without any discomfort the next day.
5. Breathe: Yoga is about many things, but above all, breathing (pranayama) is at the centre. Most people take an average of 13 breaths a minute. At that rate, you will never completely fill or empty your lungs and breathing is one way the body detoxifies. Good breathing will strengthen your entire cardiovascular and respiratory system which will improve your health in many ways – heart/lungs, arteries, circulation, reduce blood pressure, reduce stress, increase energy and improve metabolism, for example. Six or seven long slow breaths are where we should be aiming for our health.
6. Digestion: All the twisting, bending and prone positions during a class really work on the internal organs and digestive system. If you have a sluggish metabolism or digestive problems, yoga can be extremely beneficial.
7. Soul food: Over the years, your world changes. Self-doubt, low self-esteem, lack of confidence, negative thoughts and bad habits are replaced by positive thoughts and emotions. The quiet contemplative nature of yoga, the inward looking and the quest for self-improvement and betterment transform you and are life-changing. You may start practicing yoga as a way to get fit, but it soon becomes a whole mind/body/soul journey.
8. Mind bender: Meditation is used with great success to treat depression. Whether you practice meditation alone or practice yoga as a whole, you will definitely notice an improvement in your mood generally. You will be happier, no question!
9. Body image: You start to view your body in a totally different way as you practice yoga regularly. Your body shape will undoubtedly change for the better, but you will learn to appreciate how amazing it really is rather than focusing on how it looks; what it can do as you move deeper into postures you never thought possible. As you appreciate your body more, both inside and out, you will treat it with more respect.
10. Lovely bones: Yoga is weight bearing and will help keep every bone in your body strong and healthy. So, set an intention today. Try lots of teachers, lots of different styles until you find what suits you and I guarantee, you will transform your life.
Stay out of the heat and combine your loves for swimming and cycling with our new favourite summer fitness trend, aquabiking.
Dubai’s only aquabiking centre is L’atelier Aquafitness, a place which proves biking can be done in the water.
Speaking to Sport360°, founder Karima Rahali-Sebti was happy to explain how she discovered the concept.
She said: “I’m very sporty and do everything from pilates to yoga to swimming classes, but I wanted to discover something else and it was my sister who recommended aquabiking. I discovered it in Paris about five years ago, and when I arrived to Dubai I didn’t find it.
“At that time I got pregnant and thought maybe I can take a break from my career as a financial analyst and do something for myself, and so I decided to bring this concept here and share it with all the other women in the UAE.”
The French may be fond of it but apparently aquabiking was invented by a physical therapist in Italy and geared towards the rehabilitation of injured athletes and ballerinas. Today, it’s all the rage as a fitness trend with proven quick results.
“It’s a full body workout, it’s high intensity but still low impact, making it suitable for everyone,” Rahali-Sebti said.
“If you’re a really fit person, you’ll still get a workout because there are different levels of intensity and the coaches have different choreography all the time. If you’re a little bit older and don’t want to go to spinning classes, this is great.
“Or if you are injured, it’s suitable for you as well as there’s no impact on your articulation, your joints, your back because in the water your body weight is divided by two. I am pregnant right now and still doing it. It’s helping me a lot, as it takes the weight off.”
“That said, with the natural resistance of the water, you’re working a lot harder when compared to land exercises.”
Twelve times harder, actually, with 500-700 calories burned per 45-minute session. Naturally, we had to give it a whirl and headed over to L’atelier Aquafitness.
As the name suggests, L’Atelier Aquafitness is a very stylish, private facility made somewhat in mind of ladies who lunch.
Ladies simply wear swimwear (no baggy clothing) and are given complimentary water shoes for their first class (you must bring your own from then onwards).
Classes cater to no more than ten people, so everyone gets the attention of the coach.
An aquabike is stationary in the water offering three different levels of resistance, managed by a wheel of propellers between the seat and handlebars.
It’s already different from your typical spin class in that you remain cool submerged in water, but what’s even quirkier are the different cycling positions.
Position 1 is seated, 2 is standing while cycling, 3 is a thigh-quaking standing with bent legs and cycling, and position 4 sees you hanging off the back of the bike, gripping the seat and pedaling – a killer on the gluteal muscles.
You can also pedal backwards on an aquabike, which our coach put to good use too, enabling us to work muscles we wouldn’t usually work by cycling normally.
This is a full body workout as the upper body is also accounted for in the routine with light weights and resistance bands, placed off to the sides of the pool for everyone to grab while on their bikes.
You can even do a searing tricep/bicep dip series, pulling yourself up out of the pool from its ledge and back down into the water repeatedly.
As with any proper fitness class, you do a warm down stretch to finish, but the end of my experience had the added perk of laying back in the pool for a couple of well-earned lazy minutes before the next batch of clients came through.
It’s easy to see how one can trim down fast aquabiking.
“If you continue coming twice or three times a week you begin to see the results very quickly, and they’re amazing,” insisted Rahali-Sebti. “In about a month, with generally healthy eating, you’ll see great changes in your body.
“Also, one great thing about aquabiking is that it reduces cellulite because you’re benefitting from a massage in the water while you work, sort of like lymphatic drainage.”
As a ladies-only class, it really doesn’t get better than that, does it?
Where: L’atelier Aquafitness, Villa 667A, Al Wasl Road, Safa 1
When: Classes run hourly from 08:00 everyday
Cost: A Discovery Class costs Dh125, and following this, single classes are Dh155, with packages available that work out cheaper.
Contact: 04 338 8323, or visit www.latelieraquafitness.com