Fitness First Middle East (FFME) has brought to town a whole new look and feel to High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) this month with the launch of a fun and vibrant XFit studio in Dubai Media City.
Even though in the UAE we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to the cool and new in fitness, from niche private training facilities and boutique anti-gyms, to scenic outdoor workout spaces – and okay, even free at-home exercise assistance in the form of apps – we can’t ignore the fact that regular affordable group fitness, and the atmosphere of an old reliable community gym, still go a long way in getting us to our wellness goals. They just make us feel comfortable, no flashiness needed.
Backed by more than 17 years’ experience in the fitness industry, Fitness First has been that old friend – even if today the global mega-brand, which originated in the UK, has grown into a network of over 380 clubs and one million members in more than 15 countries worldwide.
Boasting 49+ locations in the Gulf alone, it’s likely to be one of the first that comes to mind when considering an all-inclusive gym package. In the face of such popularity, it’s nice to see that they’ve not grown complacent, though. “Cool and new” doesn’t have to mean bad. Still as social and supportive a community as ever, they’re now just scaling new heights by working smarter.
HIIT, is the smart way to train harder and faster in a shorter space of time, and for more explosive, exciting results. And that’s what FFME’s XFit, Media City’s new 3-in-1 concept studio is dedicated to. The expansive and eye-catchingly designed, custom-built facility covers three zones: LIFT, BOX and HIIT, all of which feature their own unique equipment and space to partake in fun, alternative high intensity and dynamic exercises during a range of no-nonsense classes.
“When you put the three toget-her it offers a variety of strength, conditioning and cardio training under one roof. These classes are for the individuals who want a 30-45 minutes blowout, in and out, they don’t have to think about their workout as it’s instructor led”, says George Flooks, Fitness First’s Chief Operating Officer, referring to it as a sort of ‘ready, steady, go’ sort of place.
But what excites us most is that everything is electricity-free (self-powered). XFit is fitted with functional based equipment to help you learn to maximise the use of your full body along with variations in workouts. You will hardly ever do the same thing twice.
Yes, those are treadmills in one corner, but they’re not just any treadmills; they’re Woodway’s non-motorised variety, which, unlike the traditionally hard-decked treadmills, are curved and built with an efficient no-friction foundation that offers huge relief on the joints. They hit top speeds when you want them to (just run faster), and allow users to burn more calories while engaging more muscle groups than when on conventional treadmills.
Less is more too when it comes to XFit’s other kit such as plate and free weights, kettlebells, boxes for jumping activities, Assault AirBikes (which uses natural resistance from air), and a dynamic boxing ring. They’ve got a rig, some rowing machines, a few massive tyres for functional lifting, and have paired it all with coaches who live and breathe the HIIT method.
We sampled a XFit DEEP class and saw that a huge portion of the CrossFit-type class went towards dynamic warming up and detailed instruction on technique when lifting an assortment of weights in more efficient ways (again with the less is more approach). After skill sets, 12 minutes was literally all we needed to experience a long-lasting burn during a powerful WOD (nicknamed here DEEP – Daily Extreme Exercise Program). Every day in this all-sorts class is meant to be different, dynamic, and will certainly get you digging DEEPer into HIIT trends and training.
What we can say is that if you’re a HIIT and CrossFit fan, you’ll be in your element at XFit; and if you’re not, it’s an exciting place to learn and experience a fresh perspective on training differently, efficiently.
Location: XFit, Ground Floor, Business Central Towers, Media City, Dubai
Contact & Information: 04 424 3999 | www.fitnessfirstme.com