NZ Glen : BodyCombat fanatic


So as you may or may not realise a couple of weeks ago my wife and I made the big move to Dubai. I wrote a post about it the day I arrived (you can check that out here) – cut a long story short it was a massive change for me as I’ve never lived anywhere in my over 30 years on this planet than in little ol’ NZ!

Been here almost 3 weeks now and the dust is starting to settle so thought I’d give you a bit of an update. I had hoped when making this move that I could move back into the fitness industry full time. It’s historically where I’ve always been basically for my entire adult life. I had visited Dubai before and knew the fitness industry was in a bit of a boom there, after all if it’s 40-50 degreeĀ Celsius heat outside and you want to exercise you pretty much have no choice but to go to a gym!

What I didn’t realise is how freaken AMAZING the clubs are here! I mean I have visited gyms all over the world, UK, Australia, USA, France, Singapore and of course NZ and I have never seen facilities like these! I call them superclubs, because that’s really what they are! Below I’m going to show you some examples of some of the gyms I’m currently teaching, though I have to admit these pics really don’t do them justice you have to see these to believe them!


TribeFit isn’t actually open yet, it’s scheduled to open right on the Dubai Marina in a few short weeks. But I have been lucky enough to tour the facility and it’s absolutely amazing. Four group fitness studios (yes you read that right FOUR!) plus at least four more workout zones, over 22,000 sq ft of workout space. What makes TribeFit even more unique is the concept behind it. It’s motto is “Socially Active” – it’s not just a gym it’s a club packed with a full social calendar and member events designed to be a cool, urban, funky place you actually want to go to. So you’re not just walking into a gym, you’re walking into a family of people that you can train with, relax with and hang out with!

For me this concept is so close to my heart because that’s the exact environment we had back in NZ at my home gym Fitco. In fact, at our wedding around half the guests were Fitco members because we had all become so close! So I was immediately drawn to this concept. I mean let’s face it, as a potential new member a lot of the time the facilities might get you through the door the first time, but it’s the community feel of a place you belong that keeps you coming back. And because TribeFit is all about being social, group fitness plays a massive role (hence the four studios!). You’ll most likely find me here everyday. Launches March 2013. Check out the pics below – and check out the view from the studios!:


Me in front of the new TribeFit site – check out the view members have!

TribeFit main group fitness studio (artist's impression)

TribeFit main group fitness studio (artist’s impression)

TribeFit mind body studio - so serene! (artist's impression)

TribeFit mind body studio – so serene! (artist’s impression)

TribeFit RPM studio - funky! (artist's impression)

TribeFit RPM studio – funky! (artist’s impression)

TribeFit TRX crossfit studio (artist's impression)

TribeFit TRX crossfit studio (artist’s impression)


I’ve now been to Engine 3 times and every single time this place takes my breath away. It’s like something out of a movie! Brand spanking new having opened only a few months ago this place is absolutely stunning. It’s the size of a small city and no expense has been spared in creating the best fitness facility money can buy. I mean you imagine it it’s here. Bose systems throughout, escalators taking you from floor to floor (yes ironic I know!), the latest equipment and training gear, it’s so shiny you almost have to wear sunglasses to walk through it!

When you picture Dubai you imagine these incredible man made islands, the world’s largest building, the world’s only seven star hotel etc. This city is full of amazing decadence and in that regard Engine fits right in! Four levels of workout space the place is totally surreal! You’ll find me here teaching BODYPUMP on a Sunday night. Check out the pics below:

Engine - is this an amazing building or what?!

Engine – is this an amazing building or what?!

Engine main entrance - escalators!

Engine main entrance – escalators!

Engine members lounge - surreal right?

Engine members lounge – surreal right?

Engine group fitness studio

Engine group fitness studio

Engine RPM studio

Engine RPM studio


The Aviation Club was actually the first ever club I visited in Dubai back in 2010. In fact we got off the plane, checked into the hotel and went straight there! It’s the home club of Les Mills’ icon and my very good friend Amir Behforooz (aka King Kong!) so it’s a place very close to my heart. The club has actually been closed some time for refurbishment and as luck would have it reopened this week!

And boy have they done a fantastic job. The new Aviation Club is truly something special. The entire facility is first class, with amazing pools, squash courts and even the latest Les Mills SmartBars! Pictures say 1000 words so just check the images out below (stolen from Amir’s facebook page I hope that’s okay buddy!) You’ll currently find me here teaching BODYPUMP and BODYCOMBAT Saturday night, and BODYATTACK Monday nights.

Aviation Club - check out the pool area

Aviation Club – check out the pool area

Aviation Club - plunge pools in the changing areas

Aviation Club – plunge pools in the changing areas

Aviation Club - group fitness room all ready for King Kong's GRIT class!

Aviation Club – group fitness room all ready for King Kong’s GRIT class!

Aviation Club - did I mention the only gym in Dubai with Les Mills Smart Bars?

Aviation Club – did I mention the only gym in Dubai with Les Mills Smart Bars?

Aviation Club RPM studio

Aviation Club RPM studio


A very special mention has to go to Studio Fitness as obviously I am a group fitness junkie and Studio is all about group fit! Studio is a boutique gym that exclusively does group fitness and that’s it! So the moment you walk in you feel very at home. The owners Louise and Jessica have done an amazing job of capturing the essence of Les Mills, the classes are always jam packed and it has to be said they have the very best of the best on board when it comes to their instructors! This is where you’ll find the likes of LMI DVD presenter Grant Goes and LMUK icon Bri Cochrane teaching.

Running back to back Les Mills pretty much non-stop if you’re a group fitness person you should make Studio one of your must sees. They even hold special events like outdoor classes and events in Nightclubs! It’s right on ‘The Walk’ at Jumeriah Beach.

Studio Fitness - never seen a class here not packed!

Studio Fitness – never seen a class here not packed!

Studio Fitness - BODYPUMP class

Studio Fitness – BODYPUMP class


Finally I just want to make a quick mention of this place. I’ve never taught here, or even trained here, but I did have a brief tour of it on the weekend. It’s part of the Jumeirah Resort right next door to the Burj Al Arab. Unfortunately I don’t think this gym allows casual drop ins (members only) but the reason I thought I’d mention it is check out the view from the group fitness studio!

Talise Fitness - can you imagine training while looking out at this!

Talise Fitness – can you imagine training while looking out at this!

So as you can see the entire fitness club scene is much like the rest of Dubai – completely unreal! Hey if you are visiting definitely give me a bell and come catch a class or two, easiest way is possibly via facebook. As I said these facilities have to be seen to be believed! In the meantime I’ll continue to keep you posted as I discover more!

First things first – happy new year guys! Apologies for the late(ish) start to my blogging in 2013, you’ll understand why in a couple moments!

So if you are friends with me on facebook you may’ve seen the news that something rather significant happened in my life this week; my wife got offered an amazing job in Dubai and in a matter of about a 2 or 3 week period we bit the bullet and decided to make the move to the UAE. Yes seriously! In fact I am writing this blog post sitting in our apartment overlooking Dubai Marina. It was a very sudden decision that if I’m honest shocked a lot of our friends and family but after much soul searching we thought ‘ya know what? Let’s just do it!’ – and 2 weeks later we’re here!

As such… it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that if I arrived into Dubai yesterday I’m obviously not at the Les Mills filmings today in Auckland! Well, I love blogging, I love learning about the new releases just as much as you and I love the interaction, thoughts and comments we have right here on this site; so in an ideal world I’d love to continue this blog ‘business as usual’.

That’s where you come in… if you’re an international coming in for a filming in the future whether it be BODYCOMBAT, BODYPUMP or any other program and you’d like to “guest blog” for me (with full credit and kudos to you of course!) then contact me here or give me a shout on facebook. Don’t worry about not knowing the ‘rules’ about blogging on LM – I’ll help you there. Together we can keep The Tribe informed on the latest happs and continue to give the thousands of Les Mills junkies just like you and me their quarterly fix on the latest news. So that’s the plan!

This quarter the amazing Deb Shafran from the USA has offered to give us the latest goss on BODYCOMBAT 56 (hmm maybe offered isn’t the right word as I kinda twisted her arm haha) – which is awesome news for all of us! And hey if you’re reading this and you’re attending BC56 or BP86 etc and would like to contribute the more the merrier! I’m happy to add more than one perspective on the releases… that actually could be really interesting!

And hey, the plus side is you won’t just be getting one crazy blonde Kiwi’s opinion on everything anymore šŸ˜‰ So onwards and upwards with this blog it would seem!

Off to Dubai

Yours truly about to board plane to Dubai

In the meantime I’ll continue to update this as much as I can with the latest filming information, tracklists, sizzlers and Les Mills goss and info. I’m lucky enough to have the latest DVD kits for BODYCOMBAT 55 and BODYPUMP 85 in my wee hands now so will be able to start telling you more about those soon. And, I might even include a few posts from locally here in Dubai where the fitness industry is just BOOMING and there are massive MEGACLUBS opening seemingly every month or two.

All very exciting stuff! And hey, one final note, if you are reading this from Dubai and would like a new addition to your group fitness team or have a team teach give me a shout out! I’d LOVE to hear from you. Hit me up here or on facebook.

Cheers everyone and look out for info on BODYCOMBAT 56 coming soon!

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