Jood Shiqem is a contributing writer. Email her at 

Gym Expands to Accommodate Larger Student Body

In an effort to keep improving and to keep up with the now much larger student body, the NYU Abu Dhabi Fitness Center has introduced new staff, new ...

Sep 21, 2013

In an effort to keep improving and to keep up with the now much larger student body, the NYU Abu Dhabi Fitness Center has introduced new staff, new equipment and more classes. The Fitness Center, on the 4th floor of Sama Tower “includes studios for Yoga, Pilates, Spinning, and Body Conditioning and houses facilities focused on cardiovascular exercise, resistance, and free weight training,” according to the NYUAD website.
Five new trainers have been hired for the academic year of 2013-2014.
“I love it,” said Melissa Lowry, a new trainer. “I’m glad I switched gears.”
Lowry came to Abu Dhabi to teach 10th and 11th grade English. Lowry met Director of Fitness and Wellness Stan Long when she pursued a career in personal training.
“I am gaining a lot more certifications teaching TRX, Kettlebells, and Boxing,” said Lowry. “In the States, I was heavily involved in boxing and have always been passionate about running, fitness and nutrition. There are a lot of benefits working for a university. I get to work with students, faculty and staff; I am exposed to all different shapes, sizes and ethnicities! It makes the job more interesting.”
Long was especially excited about the newly offered class H.U.A. Fitness, a military-style class created by Eve Clarke that derives its name from the military term Heard, Understood, Acknowledged. Long recommended it to all students, faculty and staff. New instructor Eve Clarke — a qualified military fitness instructor who won Miss Fitness Dubai last year and has broken the Guinness Book of Records for pushups — leads H.U.A. Fitness on Fridays, Sundays, Mondays and Wednesdays. To sign up for either class, students and faculty need to make a visit to the gym. Registration papers are available at the reception desk.
“[Eve]’s interesting, maybe a little intimidating, but you’re going to feel great about yourself in the end,” said Lowry.
Long maintains that the gym’s services cater to all student and faculty interests. The women’s gym, which opened last year, is up and running in full force. Additions include new equipment, agility and speed training, Spartan and tai chi for beginners, advanced tai chi, and more.
Xtend Barre Training, a premier ballet barre workout, is another new addition. The Xtend Barre website says, “it serves to strengthen, lengthen and stretch the body from top to bottom, inside out. The result is a long and lean physique without added bulk.”
"[Belly dancing classes are a] fun way to start your weekend," said freshman Hana Mezildžić. For the more adventurous students, capoeira and martial arts classes are open to all on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Long aims to develop the gym further once the university moves to Saadiyat Island.
“The gym will be able to hold a larger number of students,” said Long. “Also, we can make use of the beach there for more outdoor sports and challenges, maybe yoga. We will utilize the fields somewhat and have more functional training.”
New additions that will accompany the transition to the Saadiyat Island campus include a better e-based registration system; the fitness center is working on a new plan to take forms online. The fitness center is also planning to launch a Facebook page soon to reach out to more students and publicize all the new classes.
Students, when questioned, had a lot of positive remarks about the gym.
“[Capoeira] is inspiring,” said freshman Even Hamel Smith. “It’s been awhile since I’ve had a chance to work out and it’s a great stress-reliever.”
NYU New York senior Haumin Lum compared the fitness center with facilities available to NYU students in New York.
“It’s really great because it’s not as many people as the New York gym,” said Lum. “It’s really good service [with] personal trainers.”
Jood Shiqem is a contributing writer. Email her at 
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