KT For Good: This camp lets people enjoy free Fitness Fridays


camp, fitness fridays, kt for good

The 35-year old Lebanese expat runs a free Boxcamp every Friday that has been drawing beginners and fitness enthusiasts from all walks of life.


Anjana Sankar

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Published: Mon 21 Oct 2019, 11:05 PM

Telecom professional on weekdays and fitness coach on weekends, Ali Jomaa has been inspiring people to step out and sweat it out.
The 35-year old Lebanese expat runs a free Boxcamp every Friday that has been drawing beginners and fitness enthusiasts from all walks of life.
"It is a very fulfilling feeling that you get to bring people together and motivate them to work out, without expecting anything in return," said Jomaa.
"A lot of people ask me why I do not charge a fee. I am a fitness enthusiast and I will do it anyway. So why charge others? And I know more people will join in when they know it is free."
Jomaa, who came to the UAE eight years ago, said he got hooked with sports and fitness at a young age, playing basketball in school teams and later at a professional level.
"I picked up kickboxing in the UAE and joined a friend who was running a weekend camp to do circuit training. Soon, I found myself starting my own group with friend Huda Jaghilt. That is how Boxcamp was born."
Boxcamp is now a group of 30-40 people coming together at JabCross gym in Al Quoz to do an hour and a half of circuit and intense training, topped with a good dose of kickboxing.
Jomaa and his friend Jaghilt head the training sessions.
When the weather gets better in November, the group will move outdoors and hit the skydive park in Dubai.
"People are more likely to stick to a fitness routine when they are part of a group activity. Everyone motivates everyone and so the going is easy," Jomaa said.
The month-long Dubai Fitness Challenge, Jomaa said, doubles or triples the effect as the city-wide initiative inspires everyone to rally behind fitness.
A friendly environment
The mix of nationalities at Boxcamp is a true reflection of Dubai's diverse community.
Ahmad Samra, a cybersecurity consultant from Palestine, said the best part of his Friday training is spending time with the people in the fitness community he is part of.
"Even if you are new and this is your first time, you feel a sense of belonging, which keeps you coming every week," said Samra.
Indian expat Jay Ashar, a client service executive, is another member who has been attending Boxcamp for almost two years now. "I work six days a week but I look forward to every Friday so I can attend Boxcamp not only to have an amazing time with them but also clear my mind from the work routines."
Vladimir Karmelic is an advertising professional from Croatia who joined Boxcamp "because of the great energy that coaches Ali and Huda bring to the trainings".

'Reminder: Exercise is not something you do only when you have free time'
Alia Soufan has always believed in fitness as a lifestyle. The Lebanese expat, who works as an interior designer in Dubai, believes fitness is a conscious choice one makes.
"Every day, I find time to exercise. Exercise is not something that you do when you have free time."
Soufan said she works out in the evenings on weekdays and on weekends, she hits the gym or attend a group session early in the morning or early evening.
"I look forward to my workout sessions after a long, exhausting day at work. If you ask me to attend a party, I feel tired. But workout sessions actually make you more energetic."
Soufan said the Dubai Fitness Challenge is a great movement to encourage people to have a healthy, active life.
"The main problem with many people is that they want someone to motivate them, someone to drag them outdoors or to the gym. A group workout is always the best," she said.
According to her, companies have to take the lead and organise fitness sessions for employees. "Many people have long working hours and they find it difficult to attend a fitness event outside. It is much easier for many to exercise at their workplace.
"So I am glad many companies have pledged to join the Dubai Fitness Challenge and do group sessions for their staff."

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