Olivia McCubbin and Adam McCubbin, at the Fit Inc Gym, Dubai. Image Credit: Antonin Kélian Kallouche/Gulf News

With so much going on in health and fitness in the UAE (hello Dubai Fitness Challenge), the country’s not actually short of gyms and new programmes promising all kinds of amazing results. But one Dubai personal training couple thinks they’ve got the perfect formula — and it comes with a little financial incentive.

Olivia and Adam McCubbin last month launched the first cycle of their 6-in-4 Challenge through their company Best Body Co. And the game-plan is pretty simple: Pay Dh999 upfront and if you lose 6kg in four weeks, you get all your money back. The challenge includes group work-outs five days a week, a personalised diet plan and even a home programme in case you miss the group work-outs.

“Having worked with many personal training clients, we know that most people workout because they want to look better, feel better, lose weight and tone up. Most people don’t workout because they love it. They’re doing it to make a change,” says Olivia. “So we knew there was a missing link — why aren’t people getting results? They’re working hard, they’re dedicating time out of their busy schedules, but still, nothing changes.

“So the missing links were education, nutrition, motivation, accountability and community support. It’s not the one hour in the gym that matters the most, it’s the 23 other hours in the day that will determine whether or not you’ll be successful in your health and fitness endeavours over the long term.”

Olivia and Adam, who moved to Dubai from Australia two years ago, say they started their company in September because they wanted to inspire people to change their approach to all things health and fitness.

“Sometimes people can’t afford 1-1 personal training, but we believe everyone should have access to quality information, nutrition guidance and effective training to live a healthy, balanced lifestyle, with a body to be proud of,” says Adam.

Reception for the first cycle was so positive that the McCubbins are already onto their next one, starting November 3. They’ve also added two more programmes: cycling and boxing, in addition to the original weight-training programme.

They tell Gulf News tabloid! what those signing up can expect, and how you can actually get a free workout from them.

So the 6-in-4 Challenge can actually be free? Why?

Olivia: Because we know that happy members who have a positive experience will come back and continue to work out with us, and recommend us to their family and friends.

It’s different to other group exercise classes, because it is a full-service offering, meaning you don’t just turn up to class, work up a sweat and go home. To kick off the 6-in-4 Challenge, we have an Orientation Seminar, where we educate you on nutrition and what to eat to maximise your fat loss results; body fat analysis and weigh-in (to help keep you honest and accountable); structured workout programmes; detailed nutrition guides and meal plans; quick and easy healthy recipes; at-home and travel programmes (in case you miss a class), community support (a private WhatsApp and Facebook community for members only) and unlimited access to us, your head coaches.

Is Dh999 the only expense? What about food, gym usage etc?

Adam: The challenge costs Dh999, that’s it. We ask you to pay this upfront to show your commitment to getting great results during our 6-in-4 Challenge programme, because studies have shown that people are more likely to stay focused and on track with achieving their health and fitness goals if they actually pay for it. Also, people are more likely to give up if they do something “for free” without any upfront payment, because there is no risk or feeling of loss.

We have a meal plan partner who we have worked very closely with to design a custom 6-in-4 Challenge meal plan for our members. Access to the gym, facilities, showers etc is totally free — it’s covered in the Dh999 to participate in the challenge.

What’s a typical training day like during the 6-in-4 Challenge?

Adam: There are five training days per week, Sunday to Thursday. We base the programming on three strength training days per week (heavier weights, lower rep ranges) using equipment such as barbells, kettlebells and dumbbells. And the alternating two days are metabolic conditioning focused, so more cardiovascular, lighter weights, rowers and assault bikes, plus more bodyweight exercises that get the heart rate pumping. Classes are 45 minutes each, and if you are really training at capacity, this is more than enough.

How many participants were reimbursed in the last cycle?

Adam: At the moment, we are still mid-way through the first cycle of the challenge, but we’ve already seen many amazing transformations from the members, with many reporting already having lost 4-5kg in less than three weeks.

How do you take care of participants in a group with varying fitness levels? Is an hour enough?

Olivia: The beauty of the 6-in-4 Challenge programme is that we focus a lot on free weights, good form and technique plus we offer different regressions and progressions depending on whether you’re a beginner or a serious athlete.

Before the challenge starts, we get our members to fill in a very detailed health and fitness questionnaire, so we have a better understanding of their lifestyle, exercise and medical history, to ensure we deliver an exercise programme that is safe and effective for them to get maximum results.

What happens if participants miss a few days during the cycle?

Adam: Not a problem, we know that life happens and things get in the way of training such as work or family. We have at-home and travel workouts for you in case you miss a training session with us. We actually also offer a programme for people who live outside of Dubai — we have a few members outside of UAE, all over the world who are doing the online version of the programme too.

What happens after the challenge is over?

Olivia: After the challenge is over, members are invited to participate in another cycle of the challenge — more than 70 per cent of current members have signed up to do the next cycle because they love the results they’re seeing and have really connected and formed great friendships and support networks, which is great to see.

Will the programme be the same for the next cycle or is it different?

Olivia: The structure of the training programme is the same for the next cycle. However, the exercises will be varied so that results are maximised for those doing repeat cycles and new for those doing the 6-in-4 Challenge for the first time.


The details

Registrations for the next cycle of the 6-in-4 Challenge closes on November 1. The cycling and boxing programmes start on November 10. Find out more about the challenges on Instagram @bestbodyco.