x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Race against the clock to get fit

The Life: Try a personal trainer for six months. You and your wallet will feel that much lighter.

The first thing the personal trainers do with each eager client is a body mass index test. istockphoto.com
The first thing the personal trainers do with each eager client is a body mass index test. istockphoto.com

It is not January 1, you have not just broken up with your boyfriend and you do not have to fit into that tiny dress for wedding photos.

This is just a normal week and there is no immediate incentive to get fit and look like a character from Baywatch. Even so, why not get off the sofa and give it a go?

The Address in Dubai Marina offers 10 personal training sessions in its gym for Dh1,600 (US$435.60), with two sessions thrown in for free.

"Normally the ladies come here to lose weight and the men come here to build muscle," says Ruben Meireles, the gym and spa manager at the hotel. "They're the usual reasons we get a call."

Since Mr Meireles took the helm seven months ago, the gym has increased the number of sessions it gives clients per month from 14 to 100, with its three personal trainers, Ali, Ajay and Franco.

The first thing the personal trainers do with each eager client is a body mass index test, followed by a fitness test. The whole process involves some real technical know-how, with the first test determining a person's fat levels, their standard weight , which depends on age and height, the resting rate at which their body burns calories and how much water the body needs to consume daily.

The trainers will also provide clients with a shock when they explain the standard weight for someone given an age and height. In most instances, the weight is a long way from the reality.

For the fitness test, clients must run for five minutes to see how the heart reacts, then spend a further three separate minutes trying to do as many push ups, sit ups and squats as possible. Once the analysis has taken place, each individual is given a programme based on their goals, which is reviewed every four weeks with another fitness test. The weekly programme will also include nutritional information and advice on what clients should be eating throughout the day.

"Twelve sessions is only a start," says Mr Meireles. "Normally I recommend at least six months with a personal trainer because it builds a mentality and exercise becomes like a drug."

Three sessions a week for six months equates to Dh9,600, so it is not cheap. But you'll be looking on top form for the biggest event in the calendar, the Dubai World Cup held in March.

The Quote: The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want, drink what you don’t like, and do what you’d rather not. - Mark Twain

rjones@thenational.ae