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Hayemaker Bootcamp: A fitness regime with real punch in Dubai

Sport360's resident fitness expert Kara Martin tests out the new bootcamp at the Hayemaker Gym n Downtown Dubai.

Kara Martin
by Kara Martin
12th June 2014

article:12th June 2014

Fighting fit: The Hayemaker Bootcamp is sure to be a hit with boxing and fitness fans.
Fighting fit: The Hayemaker Bootcamp is sure to be a hit with boxing and fitness fans.

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)


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