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During the Fitness Challenge to attempt a world Guiness Record with Joe Wicks at The SkyDive Dubai. Dubai. Photo: Antonin Kélian Kallouche/Gulf News Image Credit:

Dubai: The energy at SkyDive Dubai was contagious on Saturday morning as thousands of participants arrived at the early hours to participate in an attempt to break the world record for the largest ever high-intensity interval training (HIIT) class.

The one time event was led by ‘The Body Coach’ Joe Wicks.

The UK born, LA-based fitness instructor arrived at SkyDive Dubai in style from a parachute in the Sky, as participants were finishing up a warm up on the grass.

“I started out my career in fitness hosting a boot camp training, where only two people showed up and today I’m standing here in front of thousands of people in Dubai hosting the largest HIIT workout in the region,” said Wicks to the crowd.

The 30-minute HIIT session, featured a series of short and intense periods of anaerobic exercises, including squats, pushups, star jumps and rope climbers with 30 second recovery breaks in between each workout.

The session was moderate in intensity, with a basic level of fitness required to participate.

All participants were encouraged to commit themselves to completing the 30-minute workout without stopping. Speaking in between sets Wicks said: “I’m ecstatic about leading the city of Dubai in the largest ever HIIT session in the region! I couldn’t have asked for a better and more dedicated crowd to join me in such a high-energy event. Dubai Fitness Challenge is a fantastic initiative to energise the entire city to get active, and it has been an honour to be part of this year’s edition.”

The workout ended with the entire crowd cheering and high-fiving each other. They then took a selfie with Wicks. Backstage after the event, Gulf News spoke to Wicks, who was still on a high after the work out.

“I feel amazing. I’ve had such a great morning. Skydiving down into the event was such a great experience on its own. Just seeing the view and coming down to that crowd with all that energy. Honestly there was nothing like it. He landed from Los Angeles on Thursday and had to get over his jet lag quickly.

“Jet lag just creeps up on you when you least expect it.

“So I tried to fix my sleep, eat well and exercise. Last night I slept well, so that I can be rested for this morning’s event,” he told Gulf News. Wicks will be in Dubai for another week. “I plan to go to the water park, spend time with my wife and daughter and of course go all around the city to try the amazing food here,” Wicks said to Gulf News. Dubai Fitness Challenge 2019 will continue ‪until November 16‬ with more than 5,000 fitness classes and sessions across the city, it challenges people to do at least 30 minutes of exercise every day for a month.

What is HIIT?

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a form of short intense and varied exercises with limited recovery periods

What is the Dubai Fitness Challenge?

A public health initiative in its third year led by His Highness Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council, that challenges people to undertake 30 minutes of fitness for 30 days running from October 18 to November 16.