What’s On reviews a new fitness bootcamp in Dubai. Find out about the four-week bootcamp at Original Fitness Co, held at Eden Beach Club.

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In Dubai – the city of excess and indulgence – a league of fitness bootcamps have quickly risen up to become the popular way to fight the flab among the expat population. Filled with post-New Year guilt What’s On decided to try one out, and to see if they’re worth the Dhs1,000+ price tag that they often come with.

Some opt for the terrifying ‘warrior’ style, while others, like Original Fitness Co opt for “no yelling from ‘Sergeant Major’, no stuffy fitness studio, no complicated routines or equipment”.

Here’s how What’s On writer Emma Hodgson got on. And you can find out more about the camp by visiting originalfitnessco.com


Day One
First up, the rules: Follow the mentor’s plan for exercise, food, sleep and hydration. Ok, ‘rule’. So far so good. Now, measurements. Each member of the group took a stand on an intimidating machine that, through its variety of prongs, patches and plates, revealed weight, body fat, mass, skeletal muscle mass and an overall fitness score. Going beyond just basic weight is a big plus, making the whole process feel more analytical and targeted. Once we’d written our goals for the 30 days ahead, having been told 6 to 8kg was a reasonable goal for that period of time, we brushed up on diet and other elements that highlighted the expertise of the team.

Day Three
Breaking a habit is one thing, creating new, better ones is something else. That’s why all participants are accountable to a a rolling spreadsheet of goals, achievements, promises and results. Provided at the start of the camp, it was a burden at first, but maintaining it became part of the daily routine within just a couple of sessions. Seems any lapses or mishaps in black and white is the ultimate motivator.

Day Four
For those showing willing, an at-home exercise plan is provided. Keeping in line with the simple. unfussy philosophy of the bootcamp, they are all exercises easily done without equipment or a gym. Fantastically simple, a key element is to complete them as quickly as possible. Completing them helped our confidence develop quicker ahead of the outdoor group fitness classes that are set for week two.

Day Seven
The first weekend was always going to be tricky, with this city’s incredible nightlife on the doorstep. The Original Fitness Co, though, have made the bootcamp Dubai-proof, arming the group with a list of restaurants which stock clean healthy nutritious food. Leeway was given over drinks, with no more than three soda-based soft drinks ‘allowed’, but when What’s On admitted to giving into processed food temptations we were told in no uncertain times that exercise effort is wasted if discipline is lost elsewhere.