Outperforming the competition demands fitness and stamina. At Workshop Gymnasium, tailor-made programs can supercharge your physical and mental strength, says founder Lee Mullins.
Qualities associated with exemplary leadership often go something like this: vision, ambition, integrity, teamwork, communication, decision-making, empowerment, creativity.
But how about – physical stamina? A healthy BMI? Regular sleep? A sense of physical wellbeing and confidence?
When you’re at the helm of a business empire and focused on meeting constant challenges, your own health and wellness sometimes takes second, third or even last place on the list of priorities. But a huge part of being an effective leader – or effective human being for that matter – stems from drawing on the resources of your own mind and body.
So it pays not just fiscal dividends, but wellness ones too, to ensure you are running at optimal performance. And if you think you’re ‘too busy’, just think of former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, who credits making time for exercise with giving him the energy and focus to run one of the most influential digital companies in the world.
“Health is worth more than learning,” said Thomas Jefferson, while John F. Kennedy famously opined that: “Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.”
It’s a view entrenched in the vision of Workshop Gymnasium founder Lee Mullins, whose company offers high-end tailored programs designed for those with relentless diary commitments who want to make time for fitness. The gym is located at the luxurious Bulgari Hotel in Jumeirah, as well as in Bulgari properties in Shanghai, Beijing, London, Milan and Bali.
In Dubai, personal workouts are created to rebalance the body using a natural movement system. The gym is equipped to offer Reformer Pilates, Yoga, Fascial Stretch Therapy and Boxing and boasts equipment including resistance bands, Technogym equipment, and an array of weights all overseen by highly qualified staff who understand the lifestyle demands of their busy clients.
“Individuals incorporating elements of strength training into their week are always the most resilient and able to deal with stressful situations more calmly,” says Mullins.
“I think if your training isn’t aimed at getting somebody moving better, you’re missing the bigger picture. Good quality movement is the foundation that all other qualities such as strength, endurance and power sit on.”
One of the biggest challenges facing executives who want to incorporate meaningful change into their wellness is constant travel and lack of routine in day-to-day life, a familiar problem for any leader who has felt that no two days are alike.
“Due to frequent travel our clients are jet- lagged, which makes it harder to make better food choices and get into the gym, but we can help them,” says Mullins. He advocates eating in a 12-hour window as one way to overcome this particular challenge. “This is an easy way to manage calorie intake when travelling. We encourage getting a deep tissue massage, using the sauna, or spending 5-10 mins a day using their foam roller if they are travelling.”
Programs are tailored to individuals, with a series of assessments that look at genetics, movement, body composition and more. A comprehensive functional movement screen highlights any imbalances or dysfunctions, providing a complete picture of how training should be tailored and forms the foundation of a program intended as a lasting lifestyle change. And it works, not least because clients become accountable to someone other than themselves, with skilled trainers offering a blend of coaching and encouragement.
Mullins is adamant that while working out is important, the biggest changes come from outside the gym, and the approach factors in Workshop’s supportive network provided by coaches. “It really changes lives. That isn’t to say time spent in the gym isn’t important, because it creates the stimulus the body requires for change and adaptation, but it’s the other 23 hours in the day that contribute to the biggest changes. Working with a trainer not only provides accountability to the client, but guidance and support when motivation begins to fade. Our support can be in the form of a client texting a trainer asking what they should eat at a restaurant, or providing the client with tips if they are struggling to fall asleep or dealing with jet lag.”
He cites the example of the CEO of a global company who had struggled for years with weight issues.
“The client enjoyed training, but kept changing his diet to follow trends. He started coming into the gym twice a week before work and once on the weekend. We advised him to eat within a 12-hour window for five days a week, which made a huge difference especially while he was travelling, but allowed him freedom for business meals and eating out with friends.
"There are benefits to having a 12 hour break overnight from eating, including giving your digestive system a rest, but the main benefit for this particular client was that it was the least restrictive way for him to manage his calorie intake. We also recommended he take a 10-minute walk after each meal, which improves digestion, blood sugar levels, as well as being an easy way to get 30 minutes of movement into his day.”
Workshop Gymnasium’s nutritonal division has created a range of nutritional supplements meticulously designed by leading scientists. These include vegan protein powder, multivitamins, pro and prebiotics and can all be purchased at the gym or online.
“Our organic nutritional supplements really have two purposes, to support recovery from training and to support an unbalanced diet. Sadly, many of our clients’ lifestyles make it challenging to consistently get good nutrition into their bodies. We developed our supplement line to make getting good quality nutrition into their day easier.”
Along with these, visitors can expect five-star amenities such as valet parking, Technogym equipment and luxurious changing facilities. The adjoining Bulgari Spa offers a further haven of tranquillity in the form of a Jacuzzi, steam and sauna, ice machine, experiential rain shower and stunning indoor lap pool, confirmation indeed that it is the ideal environment in which to begin a bespoke wellness journey.