x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Physique 57: a bit of ballet pumps a workout

Physique 57, an exclusive fitness class offered only in New York and Los Angeles, has landed in Dubai.

Maryam Fattahi Salaam, the owner of Physique 57 in Dubai, became a fan in New York. Lee Hoagland / The National
Maryam Fattahi Salaam, the owner of Physique 57 in Dubai, became a fan in New York. Lee Hoagland / The National

Physique 57 does not even have a permanent location in Dubai yet – the first location outside the US is due to open in the coming months in Jumeirah – but already the celebrity-endorsed workout is selling out classes.

The buzz has been building since the studio began offering the signature full-body, barre-based class at Ductac at Mall of the Emirates. Many of the classes have sold out and there is now a waiting list.

With four studios in New York and one in Beverly Hills, the brand’s celebrity fans include Demi Moore and Petra Nemcova.

So what is it about this workout that makes it so addictive and effective? The 57-minute group class combines intervals of cardio, strength training, stretching and recovery to sculpt arms, thighs and abs, building long, lean muscle. It incorporates isometric movements, a ballet barre and light weights to sculpt and tone.

“It is so effective because it is designed to make every second count and give you maximum results in the least amount of time,” says the Dubai owner, Maryam Fattahi Salaam. “In that time, our strategic sequence of moves works every muscle group in the body, and even zeroes in on different fibres within the same muscle.”

Salaam adds that because of the isometric exercises, most of the moves target not just one muscle group but several. “We use the core muscles during 80 per cent of the workout. As a result, clients are guaranteed to see visible results in as few as eight workouts.”

Salaam discovered the workout in New York shortly after the birth of her first child and was immediately hooked. She says physical changes were visible by her fourth class and she managed to regain her pre-baby body within one month.

“It was the way Physique 57 made me feel that made the method so special,” she explains. “Getting through each class feels like a victory and the sense of empowerment is just incredible. At Physique 57, we help women and men transform into the best version of themselves.”

Salaam decided she had to bring the method to Dubai and approached the co-founders Jennifer Maanavi and Tanya Becker with the idea. Although Dubai seemed an “obvious choice” for expansion, the pair first wanted to make sure it was the right market.

“Maryam organised a masterclass series to test the local appeal – a week of sold-out classes taught by Tanya,” says Maanavi. “Throughout the week, we were inundated with women beseeching us to hurry up and come to Dubai.”

When the Dubai studio opens, Salaam says its instructors will provide everyone with personal attention. “We pride ourselves in giving a personal training experience in a group fitness setting,” explains Salaam. “Our instructors constantly circulate the studio to give clients hands-on adjustments to correct form and challenge each individual so that they maximise the efficiency of their workouts.”

All the instructors are professional dancers, so they’re innately attuned to proper alignment, movement execution and anatomy.

According to Becker, Physique 57 is suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels, with beginner, intermediate and advanced levels.

“The more times per week you take a class, the sooner you’ll see the benefits,” explains Becker. “It really comes down to each client’s unique situation and individual workout-life balance. For best results over the short and long term, we recommend four classes per week. Since the workout is non-jarring for the joints, there’s a very low risk of injury.”

To sign up for a class, visit www.physique57dubai.com or call 052 877 5757. One class costs Dh115, but packages are available, starting from Dh550 for five


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