Among the participants at Jebel Ali racecourse was Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, whose office was behind the successful organisation of the event.
The course created was not for the faint hearted, with Spartans racing to the finish line through mud, fire jumps, barbed wire trenches and an 8ft climbing wall.
For those who were not able to complete a station, a penalty of 30 burpees was handed out on the course throughout the day.
Jordi Hernandez, of the USA, got the better of Dubai’s Maria Jankowska in the female Elite Sprint Race, while the Super Race saw Amina Mhih, from Abu Dhabi, and Carolina Gutierrez, from Dubai, taking the top two spots.
Sergey Perelygin, of Russia, was the winner in male Elite Sprint Race, followed by Brakken Kraker, of the USA. Perelygin also won the Super Race ahead of Abu Dhabi’s Marco Becerra.
Whether you get on a bike to stay fit or cycle as a profession, nutrition on the road is essential. However, not just any food will do – you need the right food. We examine which high energy foods and supplements to take on the road.
Many cyclists are unclear on what food or supplement is the best to take on the road and some pay a high price for this. The short answer is there is no right or wrong food stuff, but rather the foods should be thought of as fuel. Cycling for long periods is demanding on the body. Without proper nutrition, you will run out of energy (glycogen) and hit the dreaded wall (bonk).
The duration of your ride will determine whether or not food is necessary. You can think of the length of your rides as such:
Assuming you follow a balanced diet, you shouldn’t need to take food on short rides. Your diet should be adequate enough to support you and your energy requirements for up to a maximum of 1 and 1/2 hours.
However, with medium and long rides, taking something to eat is absolutely essential.
Nutrition Souq Essential Tip: You should always take water no matter what length the ride is!
WHAT FOODS TO TAKE
During the ride, you need food that will enhance your performance. That means focussing on food that will get into your system and start showing results in no time. And as far as these foods are concerned, you have a number of options which can include:
Real food stuffs: Sandwiches, cake etc. (these are high in sugar and carbs, but can be a little on the heavy side)
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but a good starting point.
NUTRITION SOUQ RECOMMENDATIONS (these are easy to carry and consume):
Limitless 100% Natural Electrolyte Recover Plus
Check any fitness blog, the popular phrase lately is ‘strong is the new skinny’; but why not benefit from both worlds? If you could lean and tighten, strengthen and empower your entire body on one machine, in one class, wouldn’t you?
Abu Dhabi Country Club’s new Cardio Reformer sessions step up to that challenge.
Cardio Reformer adds more of a high intensity training element to your standard Pilates Reformerbased workout, challenging and improving your power, agility and anaerobic fitness, while you continue to improve on core and deeper muscle strength, and flexibility.
The usual machinery – what looks like a busy athlete’s bed – has simply been adapted to incorporate the Cardio-Tramp Rebounder, a mini trampoline that transforms the Reformer into a unique Pilates cardiovascular machine. It provides a soft landing surface and allows for plyometric activity for extended periods of time, and since rebound fitness is much easier on the joints, it means everyone can take this class – from post-rehab to elite athletes, and the elderly.
Instructor Eva Pour Esmailiyeh says: “If you love Pilates and yoga, this is the next step to improve your fitness as it adds that missing cardiovascular element, but everyone can benefit hugely from it.
“What’s beautiful about Pilates and Pilates-based classes like this is that you can really modify everything and take the workout from super light and easy to really challenging, depending on the needs of the client at the time (eg. Physiotherapy or athletic performance training),” she adds.
After a nice stretch, we lay on our backs on the sliding padded panel and got acquainted with the Cardio-Tramp.
From this angle, jumping and floating horizontally instead of vertically, it was quite strange at first, but ultimately fun.
Since gravity is no longer really on our side here, in order to control our movements, as well as to add a bit of resistance so we could work harder, there are a range of light and heavy springs below that can be adjusted to the individual’s personal limit.
The red springs are double the resistance of the blue, and we played around with both throughout the session.
Eva put us through our paces with some interval training. We were instructed to do a number of sets of repeated exercises for 30 seconds each with no breaks in between; from standard trampoline jumps with feet together and with feet apart (always keeping the knees soft), to ski jumps, moguls ( jumps where you twist from side to side), as well as scissors (alternating jumping with one foot back and the other forward)… all of which challenge and tone the leg and gluteal muscles in different ways.
Our heart rate well and truly up after about seven sets with just one break (and legs burning), we moved on to arm and core work using more of the machine’s parts. Grabbing hold of resistance straps, we were able to add intensity to classic Pilates ab-move The Hundred, as well as do seated bicep curls, and more. We had a lot of fun floating around on our backs again too with one-legged jumps – Eva’s tip: “jump like a kangaroo but land like a cat, toes first”.
But of course we had to finish strong, and so a Tabata-style segment came next.
Tabata, a Japanese-invented training method, is painful but short in length and super effective. It consists of a few rounds of repeated movement for 20 seconds followed by 10 seconds rest.
Eva let us choose the moves based on what was done in the leg segment earlier, and then we were put to work for a total of four minutes before a much-needed cool-down stretch.
Distracted by all the moves paired with all the pulleys, loops, springs and other clever add-ons the bed comes packed with, the class honestly flew by, but we can tell we worked hard, and in ways you can’t typically do on regular gym equipment.
For one, we’ve become big fans of the leg circles routine – where you put your feet in the straps and rotate the legs outward (clockwise and counter-clockwise) while sliding on the springed frame.
Not only does this move force you to keep a tight trunk as you work to keep the legs from wobbling out of control, it’s an exercise that also makes use of our legs’ full range of motion (rather than just subjecting them to forward-back, side-to-side static movements old gym equipment are limited to).
And that’s what makes the class worth the price and your time; it’s the perfect addition to a complete and balanced training regime.
What: Cardio Reformer
Where: Abu Dhabi Country Club, Al Mushrif
When: Currently available on Mondays at 6:35pm (mixed class) and Tuesdays at 8:35am (ladies only), but this may be subject to change
Cost: Dh100 for non-members, Dh50 for members Contact & Info: www.adcountryclub.com; 02 657 7777.