Happy New Year !! It’s been a while since I last posted, and since this is the time for making resolutions and starting afresh for the year, it’s only fitting that my first post for 2014 is a fitness related one.
So before you don your trainers and gym kit and get moving, grab a coffee, maybe a cake, sit back and relax and enjoy this post – in which I get to sample some shiny new exercise equipment as well as to enjoy a relaxing massage !
When Exercise & Technology Meet – or the girl becomes a gadget geek !!
After a quick glance around the Fitness Centre at ShuiQi this morning, I started my warmup routine on the Cross Trainer as Marta, my personal trainer for the morning, logged me onto the system so that my workout could be tracked and monitored. This is where this gym gets really interesting and the geeky girl in me came out to play, clad in lycra and hot and sweaty I was intrigued by this new android based software and apps which give users the the ability to create a personalised training programmes, training data records, and links to social networks etc.
The journey around the gym starts at a console where you type in your goals etc, and then the console works out a training programme for you which syncs onto your phone. Using the app you then log onto each machine with your phone and the system automatically sets the machine to all the settings you need for your workout – clever indeed and makes setting up the machine for your workout so easy.
As well as tracking all of your normal workout things, like duration of exercise, calories, heart-rate etc, the console is also fitted with a web cam, allowing users to make video calls with their trainer or their favourite contacts during their workout, though to be honest I’m not sure any of my contacts want to have a video call with me when I’m barely able to breath to exercise let alone to talk ! Choosing not to embarrass myself with a Skype call, I chose a scenic route to virtually jog through during my exercise, a park in the US which was somewhat surreal as in reality I was on a cross trainer in the gym on the Palm, but it made the workout time interesting and I can see how this would be useful for regular gym attendees.
At first glance, the gym looks a bit ‘light’ in terms of the numbers of machines available to do non cardio workouts, but I was pleasantly surprised at the range of exercises it was possibility to do using the machines in the ‘KINESIS’ zone, which incorporates functional equipment that activates the complete kinetic chains, rather than individual muscles. This is an area where you get a lot of workout on a few machines, easy to set up and use it seems that you are only limited by yours or the software/trainers imagination in terms of range of exercise and muscles to be targetted.
For Cardio workouts there are a whole range of ARTIS exercise equipment including Treadmill, Elliptical, Vario, Bike and Recline all with the facility to link to the android software.
Functional and circuit type training takes place in the ‘OMNIA’, a training space, a brand new concept to Dubai, which is a really unusual space where the trainer can run circuit type training for a small group of people or the space can be used for individual training using some unusual equipment including items such as TRX and suspension cables etc. Here I did a quick circuit around the OMNIA space working on 45 seconds of training with 10 seconds of rest etc I can see how this would be an exhilarating yet challenging space.
At the end of my workout, we returned to two stretching machines, this is the first time I’ve used a machine to stretch and I’m somewhat in love with it. I’m a bit of a challenge to stretch as I don’t feel the stretches that much – but these machines really do allow you to stretch and to stretch safely. Both machines gave me great deep stretches and since there is a gauge on the machine you can track your progression too. Marta tells me that I’m more flexible than I think and apparently I’m not too many training sessions away from being able to do the splits !
Sadly this was now the end of my session, though on leaving the gym we also passed a top of the range PowerPlate as well as an area for focussing on your core and abs which also look fun.
Following my workout session I was treated to a mini sports massage in the spa which is located next to the gym. Starting off with a hot towel on my back to warm the muscles, the masseuse explained that she was using an Eucalyptus and Peppermint oil which was good for muscle fatigue. Concentrating on the knots in my shoulders and neck I was lulled into a relaxed state of post exercise pummelling and manipulation as the masseuse tried to ease away the knots and she was skilled in the art of giving a good deep tissue massage with just the right amount of pressure. Some 30 minutes later (the massage is usually 90 minutes duration) I the masseuse applied a sports muscle gel to my back and given a final stretch before emerging for a cup of ginger tea and a hot neck wrap which I enjoyed before sadly leaving this little cocoon of pampering and returning to the hustle and bustle of my Dubai day.
Overall I was hugely impressed with both the Fitness Centre and the Spa. As a lover of gadgets and technology I love what is on offer at the Fitness Centre, and guests at The Atlantis are in for a treat when they use the facilities. The Spa is on my list of places to return to, as the treatment was great and it’s difficult not to relax when you are such a beautiful setting. Thanks to Marta at ShuiQi who was my personal trainer for the morning who’s energy and passion for all things fitness shine through and made my workout so enjoyable and a big shout out to her wishing her and her client good luck as they run the Dubai Marathon 10k this weekend.
The ShuiQui Fitness Centre is available for guests of the Atlantis so remember to take along your trainers and gym kit if you stay there for a Dubai Staycation, and for members of Life & Style which is a membership programme operated by The Atlantis.
Disclaimer : I was invited to use the facilities at ShuiQi by Atlantis. All views and opinions are my own.
More about ARTIS : Created by experts in the field, including a collaboration with Loughborough University, The ARTIS range is light years ahead of contemporary products, both in design, biomechanical engineering and interactive technology, offering cutting edge sports technology in connectivity, sustainability, design and movement feeling, including a fully integrated platform of interconnected products, services, content and programmes that allow ShuiQi Spa and Fitness staff to manage guests Wellness lifestyles wherever they are, both in and out of the Fitness Centre. The open platform clubs also offer guests “Wellness on the Go” by connecting with them anywhere in world via the mywellness key, mobile phones, tablets, smart TV, or PCs.
Sustainability: ARTIS is the world’s leading collection of environmentally friendly equipment. Its unique patent pending technology enables the machines to reduce energy consumption – a new brushless motor reduces the treadmill’s energy consumption by 30% – and recycle energy generated by movement to power the displays. Human energy produced during exercise can also be fed back in to the building’s energy grid to help power the gym.
Design: As the first fully integrated collection of 30 cardio, strength and functional products, the unprecedented ARTIS range boasts seamless design and frameless geometry that captures the senses and offers end-users an attractive and welcoming atmosphere.
Moving feeling: Developed by the Technogym Village Scientific Research Department and independently reviewed and certified by the Loughborough University Sport Technology Institute, ARTIS respects the highest ergonomic and biomechanical standards. The treadmill surface has been developed to enhance a natural gait at any speed, while the interactive screen has been carefully positioned for maximum ergonomic effect, allowing ease of use without compromising exercise.