We try out the intense total body workout at the Budaiya gym
As nightly runs, outdoor football matches and touch rugby sessions become a thing of the past for all but the diehard among us, we thought it sensible to move our fitness efforts inside. On this occasion, Oxygen Gym was our air-conditioned spot of choice, as this popular Barbar-based fitness facility is well known for turning weaklings into Sparta-like warriors in mere months.
The gym itself has impressive facilities and equipment, which are all well-maintained.
The studio, where classes take place, is generously proportioned with suitable flooring, lighting, sound system, mirrors and ventilation.
It was the studio I was headed to this time, to check out a new signature class – The Hour of Power – which is free for gym members. It is well-suited to early birds, with three 7am sessions per week. But it is certainly not for the faint of heart...
This intensive total body workout ticks all the boxes of fat burning, toning, building strength and boosting stamina, through a combination of cardiovascular and weight-bearing exercises. The class revolves around circuit training, with a new set of challenges every time. As it is a mixed class, and circuit training can easily be scaled to individual capabilities, this is a good option for couples who like to train together.
Your workout begins with a quick self-guided stretching and warm-up session, then the instructor takes you through each of the ten exercises to ensure you are happy with the technique and equipment. After that, it’s your mission to complete as many circuits as you can with safe technique and minimal rest breaks for at least 30 to 40 minutes. There is a set number of reps for each exercise on the circuit, rather than stations being timed, and it is up to you to keep count and keep honest. Most people achieve around four to six complete circuits, with some more experienced attendees managing ten in 30 minutes.
Following the main body of circuit training, there are more calisthenics targeting common problem areas such as the triceps, abdominals, glutes and thighs. Finally, you conclude with a well-deserved cool-down and self-guided stretching session.
If you’re new to this kind of exercise then don’t worry about motivation, as this comes in bags thanks to the pumping music and wall-to-wall mirrors. Instructor Glenn is informative and encouraging, without being overbearing, and he seems to have a genuine interest in helping you set and achieve your personal fitness goals. On top of this, class sizes for the Hour of Power tend to be rather small, particularly during the summer months when many are overseas, so there is a lot of individualised attention and scope to customise exercises.
All-in-all, due to its early timing and intense full-body approach, this is a great class for those who are serious about fitness but short on time. Fat will be burned and wobbly bits will be toned, but the main outcomes are improved energy levels and enhanced stamina to take on the daily grind.
Hour of Power is a mixed class led by Glenn on Saturdays, Mondays and Wednesdays at 7am. It’s free for members, BD5 per class for non-members or BD42 for ten sessions. Oxygen Gym, Barbar, Budaiya, www.oxygengym.com (1761 6165).