Men, are you up for a fit­ness chal­lenge that ‘is go­ing to hurt’?

The National - News - - ARTS & LIFESTYLE - Panna Mun­yal

On Satur­day, Bodytree Stu­dio in Abu Dhabi will open its venue for in­struc­tor Car­los Men­dez to run his Movember Men’s Fit­ness Chal­lenge. Men­dez, who worked for Madonna’s gym Hard Candy in Mex­ico before mov­ing to Abu Dhabi in 2015, de­scribes the chal­lenge as a “three-hour aer­o­bic-bust­ing, mus­cle-build­ing and sculpt­ing ex­er­cise-a-thon, de­signed for men, by men”. The ses­sion, which will be fol­lowed by food and drink from the in­house Nec­tar juice bar, costs Dh185. We speak to Men­dez about what to ex­pect.


What does the Movember move­ment mean to you, and why do you think aware­ness about it is sig­nif­i­cant?


Long story short, I have al­ways been part of groups that help: the Boy Scouts, teach­ing the hear­ing-im­paired through sign lan­guage, giv­ing clothes and toys to fos­ter kids, vis­it­ing re­tire­ment houses, vol­un­teer­ing in Op­er­a­tion Smile, etc. I had the chance to lis­ten to Anita Moor­jani, a cancer sur­vivor, and her story moved me to help more peo­ple with cancer. Here in the UAE four years ago while help­ing a friend of a friend with cancer, she made me aware of the Move­ment foun­da­tion. I then read all about Movember and I de­cided to be­come an am­bas­sador and ad­vo­cate for it, and have been for the past three years. It needs to be known that it is not taboo for men to talk about their health, whether men­tal or phys­i­cal. There are so many mis­con­cep­tions that men can only be men if they do not show their emo­tions as it is deemed as be­ing weak.

What can a bloke ex­pect from the three-hour ses­sion?

Ex­pect to be pushed to your lim­its in con­ven­tional and un­con­ven­tional ways. It is go­ing to hurt, you’re go­ing be out of breath, but you’re go­ing feel strong and you’re go­ing use mus­cles that you’ve prob­a­bly never used before. The chal­lenge is both phys­i­cal and men­tal. It’s get­ting through the ex­er­cises with­out quit­ting and over­com­ing the set­backs your mind will put before you. Bodytree has al­ways had mixed group classes, but this is the first of its kind for men only.

What are some of the bites and re­fresh­ments on of­fer?

Nec­tar will be pro­vid­ing nu­tri­tion-dense, func­tional food that will re­fuel and re-en­er­gise after the chal­lenge. Most im­por­tantly, it will be de­li­cious! We will also talk about nu­tri­tion among men, what works and what doesn’t. Our head nutri­tion­ist will be on hand to sup­port the chal­lenge and an­swer ques­tions.

What are some com­mon mis­con­cep­tions men have about ex­er­cis­ing?

That high-im­pact ex­er­cises gen­er­ate more testos­terone – they don’t. Some are for­ever wait­ing for the right mind set or mo­ment to strike – it never does. And oth­ers take short­cuts or do ex­actly what XYZ ac­tor did – it never works. I have also found a lot of men want to im­prove their fit­ness, but they don’t know where to start. Then they get in­jured be­cause they were too shy to ask for help. I hope that this fit­ness chal­lenge gives them a good base­line to start from.

Body Tree’s Movember chal­lenge will be a three-hour mus­cle­build­ing ‘ex­er­cisea-thon’

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