GetFitChick UAE’s Instagram speaks for itself. Between snaps of girls hanging with friends or lifting weights, there are also remarkable transformation posts. These side-by-side shots show women toning up, dropping body fat and shedding inches. Their results are due to a program created by co-founders Kirsteen Thain and Salma Ismail, which has women lifting weights and learning about their diet.
Now that program is even more accessible, with the opening of the first GetFitChick gym in Al Quoz. It offers flexible group class times and a range of equipment, all in a ladies-only space.
Part of the thinking behind the ladies-only aspect is that women have different training needs, notes Thain. “It comes down to two things: performance and aesthetics. Performance-wise, women work better doing strength over a long time, whereas men are better at working close to their maximum weight – or one rep max. Women can endure more volume, so our program reflects that.”
Aesthetically men want to have larger chests, big shoulders and epic biceps. “Women generally don’t want this. They typically want muscular, toned legs, a bigger butt and a flat stomach with muscle definition, all without becoming bulky.” Of course, stresses Thain, the group thinks women should focus on being the best versions of themselves. “But in our experience this is what women request.”
Women also tend to make the same mistakes, which can hinder their training. “Women often don’t focus on nutrition properly, they don’t hit their workouts with intensity, they don’t follow a progressive training program,” says Thain.
GetFitChick offers monthly memberships, drop-ins and class packages at the new venue in Al Quoz. They are also hosting an eight-week transformation that started January 20.
“Our goal is to help women learn to accept their genetics, accept their bodies, and become the best versions of themselves while respecting what their body does for them,” adds Thain.
Three simple fitness tips from GetFitChicks
Try this move: Barbell back squats (shoulder-width stance, barbell across the back of your shoulders). “Everyone should do these,” says Thain. “They’re good for your entire body, it’s functional so it’s useful, you’ll build muscle, aka muscle tone, increase your metabolism and stay healthy overall.”
Eat this food: More protein and healthy fats. “Women would benefit from increasing their portions of these,” says Thain. “I’m not suggesting the ketogenic diet at all, but most people do not ‘earn’ the carbohydrates they consume.”
Don’t make look to Instagram. The biggest issue Thain sees these days is women just looking to Instagram for fitness advice. Don’t believe all the bodyweight workouts that promise to get rid of cellulite while building a big bum, she says. “That’s impossible without a good diet, heavy weights and proper nutrition.”
Other ladies-only facilities in Dubai
The Dubai Ladies Club offers a gym, group classes and personal training, with memberships starting from Dh630 per month.
Fitness First has an entire ladies-only gym in Uptown Mirdif, Oasis Centre, Mirdif City Centre and Al Barsha in Dubai, and Bawabat Al Sharq Mall, Marina Mall and more in Abu Dhabi.
Motion Fitness Center is entirely female only, focusing on pilates and reformer. Class packages starting from Dh950 for 10 classes in three months.
Royal Gym in Abu Dhabi offers two ladies-only facilities, one in Al Ain Ladies Club and one in Abu Dhabi Ladies Club. The venues have technogym equipment and group fitness classes.
Featured photo: GetFitChicks
Danae Mercer is a freelance health and travel journalist. In addition to working as editor-in-chief of Women's Health Middle East and Men's Health Middle East, Danae has written for The Sunday Times, CNN Travel, Dubai Tourism, The Guardian, Afar, Bloomberg and many more. She's based in Dubai and is a trainer at Crank. instagram.com/danaemercer