Dubai’s first dedicated cardio pilates studio is about to open in Media City, and What’s On has had a sneak peek at the new venue. We even had a one-to-one session with Matt Field – the UK-based trainer to the stars who is bringing his signature approach to pilates to Mojo Body Fitness.

If – like us – you’re new to reformer pilates, the rows of machines at the new Mojo Body Fitness Studio may appear a little daunting. Think weight benches crossed with instruments of torture and you’ll have some idea. But while trainer Matt won’t reveal exactly who is on his client list (spoilsport), he does confirm he works with Victoria’s Secret models, and we’re willing to try anything that might get us closer to a body like Miranda Kerr’s.

As he shows us the ropes – literally, there are cords attached for the arm and leg stretches – he explains the beauty of using the machines is that even beginners can’t get the moves wrong. Once in position on the main carriage, you can only extend your body by using the very muscles you want the workout to target.

Matt is quick to point out that his version of pilates is neither gentle, nor relaxing, and it soon becomes apparent why they added the word ‘cardio’ to the title. This class is fast-paced, set to pumping music, and incorporates killer squats, ab crunches and arm curls. All of this, says Matt, combined with lots of stretching and squeezing, is what leads to the kind of long, lean and sculpted physique he helps Hollywood starlets to achieve. We’re not sure whether it was Matt’s enthusiasm, the hints about his glamorous clients, or the fact our legs were still shaking 15 minutes after the class that did it, but we’re convinced. We’ll be back for more Mojo.

Matt Field, cardio pilates instructorMATT’S TOP TIPS FOR GETTING IN SHAPE
1: Pick a realistic goal
2: Find a physical activity that you enjoy and stick to it
3: Partner up with somebody else – you’re far more likely to keep going
4: Change things up every now and again to keep exercising interesting
5: Don’t get disheartened. Many women will be good for four days, then they’ll eat two biscuits, feel guilty, and decide they might as well give up altogether. Just forget about it and keep going!

Mojo Body Fitness Studio is due to open on January 27. Suite 703-4, Concord Tower, Media City, Dubai. Tel: (800) 656696.