Dubai Fitness Challenge is just around the corner, and it's time to prepare your workout plan at Gyms in Dubai... but where do you actually start? There is a wealth of exercise information available online- some good, some bad- and it can all get a bit confusing.
In an effort to clarify things slightly, we’ve put together a list of five top things to focus on when you’re starting out!
1. Crunch the numbers
During Dubai Fitness Challenge, gyms are regularly filled with people winging it. Don’t be one of them: work out the maths so you actually know what you will need to be doing.
If your goal is weight loss, work out your caloric needs. Use a BMR calculator to figure out roughly how much you need to be eating, in line with your exercise levels, to maintain your current weight. Then cut around 500 calories out of your daily intake. This will lead to a 0.5kg loss in fat every week.
If you want to put weight on, do the same, but add 500 calories to your maintenance. This will have you put on around 0.5kg per week.
If you want to build strength, work out your current 1 rep max on the squat, bench and deadlift. From here, work out how much you want to add to each, in how much time. Add a little each session or so to make sure you get there.
2. Sort your nutrition
This is slightly different to working out your caloric needs, though obviously each impacts the other. Here, we are talking about 1) meeting your protein needs, and 2) getting good quality foods in.
For protein needs, if you are taking part in regular, hard exercise, your nutrition needs to keep up. Try from 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight. You may need to adjust up or down, depending on how quickly (or not) your strength gains are coming, and how quickly (or not) you are recovering from exercise.
With regards quality, you want to take as few calories as possible from pre-prepared or processed foods. Take as many as possible from fresh fruit and veg, lean protein and healthy fats. If in doubt, make the bulk of your food from scratch so that you control what’s going into it.
Nutrition will make or break your regime, so pay attention to it.
3. Choose exercises you like
This is a no-brainer. If you hate lifting weights, don’t lift weights; if you hate steady-state cardio, don’t do it. Try a few different fitness classes and exercise forms until you find one that suits your goals, that you enjoy, and that is relevant to your life and fitness levels.
The most efficient training regime in the world is the one you will stick to, no matter what anyone else says,
4. Find a personal trainer
It is easy to find a personal trainer in Dubai. If possible, find one who comes either recommended by a trusted contact, or who can give you some solid testimonials from previous clients.
Any personal trainer in Dubai worth their salt will be able to show you the ropes, write you a decent fitness plan, help you organise your nutrition, and keep you inspired to keep coming back. Even if you just stick with them for a month or two, they will get you off to a running start.
5. Balance your life
If you try to go from junk-food addict, couch potato to lean machine overnight, you may not make it. If you try to deprive yourself of everything you love, you will either end up miserable or you will fail and break your diet (and be miserable.)
Instead, find balance. Allow yourself some of the things you like, in moderation. Dinner out and drinks on a Friday night, treats at the weekend, the odd snack, and rest days where you sit about chilling… all are fine. Just make sure that they form the minority of your plan, and that you stay within your caloric and training targets.