I have a confession. Week two of my training session with Jon Ashwood at Smart Fitness, for my eight-week fitness challenge on the 360 Synergy programme, was not as predictable as I had hoped. And I cheated, real bad…


While I entered the week feeling slightly more prepared for the 360 Synergy programme I wasn’t prepared for the intensity to be upped and our physical strength tested. Jon is certainly a believer in making us work hard to get results. No surprise then that he boasts a 100 per cent success rate.

Although I don’t feel that I have lost weight, I have noticed, compared to week one, that my skinny jeans are less tight – a step in the right direction.


After feeling guilty of not following Jon’s week one diet plan properly I decided to continue the juicing and smoothie-based meal plan for the second week, which was not easy. Closing three magazines while on a low calorie diet was extremely challenging. Though I felt hydrated I suffered with strong headaches and felt slightly weak on training days.

I managed to follow the plan for four days, yet by Thursday I caved and treated myself to my favourite Vapiano salad – insalata mist large with chicken and balsamic dressing. I also drank in the evening – celebrating a friend’s birthday, it had to be done.

A long weekend to the Seychelles made sticking to my diet extremely difficult to follow – copious fish, meat and rice washed down with the local beer and wine meant I fell off the diet wagon with gusto.


Mon: “You haven’t done TRX suspension training session until you’ve done Ashwood’s suspension training.” A confident boast from our personal trainer but he couldn’t have been more spot on.

A series of circuits that focused on the legs, arms and core saw the whole group gritting our teeth and swearing under our breath (well, at least I was). After the session my legs were so wobbly I nearly fell down the stairs, almost face planking on the JLT pavement.

The next morning I decided to go to my weekly RPM class, which turned out to be a huge mistake. With my legs still stiff and painful from the TRX session I struggled to turn the bike pedals – my thighs felt like bags of cement. I had a serious case of the DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness).

Thurs: With my legs still stiff from Monday I couldn’t have been more grateful for Jon swapping Wednesday’s class to Thursday – Jon was at the Middle East Sports Industry Awards 2014 on Wednesday night, where Smart Fitness was awarded the Best Health And Fitness Facility.

A rigorous set of circuits followed by ViPR routines saw us working on our arms and legs.

Fri: As I was in the Seychelles I missed by training, but with my legs feeling tighter than ever – I struggled to even kneel – I treated myself to a full body massage to ease the aches and pains.

Extra: As well as the two days of training, I did 30 minutes of kayaking and a RPM class.



Feeling inspired? Try this workout from Jon:

– TRX Squat

– TRX Row

– TRX Chest Press

– TRX Sprinters Start

– TRX Plank

– TRX Oblique Crunch (each side)

15 reps on each exercise. Rest for one minute and repeat three times

360 Synergy programme costs Dhs3,000 and includes a two-month membership at Smart Fitness gym, including classes. For more information visit Smart Fitness, Cluster M, HDS Business Centre, JLT, (04) 4385055

Personal training one-on-one sessions at Smart Fitness cost Dhs3,000 for one person, Dhs5,000 for two, Dhs7,000 for three people. The price includes 10 sessions, unlimited use of the Smart Fitness gym and classes.