The aim was to break his 2017 world record of 3,804 participants and to support the ongoing Dubai Fitness Challenge.
Fitness star Joe Wicks was unable to break his own world record of the largest high-intensity interval training (HIIT) class in Dubai, however, it was still the largest event of its kind in the Middle East.
Wicks, popularly known as The Body Coach, made the attempt at the SkyDive Dubai on Saturday, with thousands of UAE residents who turned up and saw him skydive into the venue. The aim was to break his 2017 world record of 3,804 participants and to support the ongoing Dubai Fitness Challenge.
The exact number of participants is unknown, though, thousands of people had registered for the event. Another requirement was to ensure 90 per cent of the participants completed the entire 30-minute class.
Even though the record remains unbroken, the event was a hit. UAE residents of all ages, nationalities and fitness levels participated with full energy. Wicks took them through five different rounds, including sets of push-ups, pull-ups, squats, burpees, star jumps and running on the spot.
Speaking to Khaleej Times after the world record attempt, Wicks said: “I just like to say to a massive thanks to everyone here in Dubai who came to my event and has taken part in the Dubai Fitness Challenge. It’s very good for you – for your mental health and your physical fitness. So, keep smashing it all year around and when the challenge is over, you have to keep fit. The energy here is electric, people kept me warmed up. I skydived in, adrenaline was pumping and went straight to the stage. It was a really high-intensity workout. It was really hot as well and people kept pushing themselves – I was very inspired.”
A British teacher in Dubai, Riya Bell-Kitson, said that she has been “really inspired” by how engaged the participants were throughout the class.
“I think the event was really good and the people really engaged with the Dubai Fitness Challenge. Even if you haven’t done anything like this before, they were really into it. People were motivating each other and they were in high spirits. Even if we don’t break the world record, it was a great initiative and everyone was really inspired by the movement,” she said.
Another British teacher in Dubai, Rebecca Sharkie, said: “I really enjoyed the event today and it has inspired to be healthier and to keep going. I looked around and was so inspired by how motivated everyone was, how they were motivating each other and how well-organised everything was.”
An Irish expat, Carla Coffy, said that the event “was organised really well and seeing everyone come together was fantastic”. “We had everything – the great views of the skyscrapers, people skydiving, the great weather and seeing how motivated everyone here is about fitness,” she said.
Meanwhile, an Irish project manager in Dubai Sean Corbett, said: “It really shocked everyone, in a good way, when Joe Wicks skydived in. That was a very pleasant surprise and kicked off the class in high spirits. It was great adrenaline and there was good energy overall.”
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