pilates, it’s a core thing: interview with rashid saeed

June 6, 2014


Today we are delighted to share with you our recent interview with Rashid Saeed – a father, businessman and fitness aficionado, who joined The Hundred Wellness Center after injuring his back during his CrossFit training regime. Rashid is currently being privately trained by Walid Tebarki, one of our Pilates instructors, and is regaining his core strength through a series of specific core exercises using the Pilates ball, Reformer, Cadillac, Chair and Pole. Pilates strengthens the “powerhouse” which is the deep core muscles of the body (abdominal, gluteus and muscles surrounding and stabilizing the spine), and helps to elongate the spine, increasing the elasticity of muscles and the flexibility of joints. CrossFit training relies heavily on the initiation of core muscles in all of its exercises and by complementing it with Pilates there is a much lower risk of potential injuries.
1) Rashid , can you tell us about your fitness regime before joining our center?
First, I would like to take a step back prior to answering this question. In general, I did not have the most active lifestyle. I have always had long working hours, and my job requires a lot of commuting and traveling. So I have always had to fit in the bare minimum by doing some form of exercise depending on my schedule. Some time back, I had joined a cross training class at a gym in Dubai. I heard great feedback from friends that had joined the classes and had seen great results. This class required a one month long commitment and it oversees a person’s diet along with target fitness level that one would aim to reach. So I gave it a shot, and was amazed with the results. However, this class required a great deal of running, and after three weeks I started to develop knee problems, so I was advised by the instructors to take it slow. However, after this program I realized that this was a good program for people that were aiming mainly for weight loss, and I was looking for something that would assist in body toning, fitness and bulking. Gyms haven’t always been the most exciting of places for me, as they require a great deal of time and found after some time that routine got me bored, until I heard about Crossfit. Through friends recommendations, I located a Crossfit box and was hooked instantly.
2) So what brought you to The Hundred Wellness Center?
 It all started last Ramadan, as I was going to pre-iftar Crossfit classes. It was a large class, and the coach pushed us to carry heavy weights. I have seen a number of members developed back problems, but never thought that it would happen to me. I then attempted to carry a much heavier weight than I was used to, and felt a weird pain in my back. So I stopped the class, and said that I will get back to the classes after Eid, thinking that maybe I had over worked myself. The pain lasted for a couple of months, which then I went and consulted a doctor in Dubai. I was not convinced with the diagnosis that he gave, so I flew to London and see a doctor that I have known for a long time. To my surprise, the doctor told me “Crossfit training is mostly aimed at highly fit athletes, and it’s a program for them to push their performance to another level. However, for people that have not yet reached to very high fitness levels, you are committing suicide”.
He recommended to take regular and easy exercise, and suggested that I should be my own doctor. People should understand their own body and experiment with different programs to see which one is most suitable for their capabilities and needs. So, doing some research I read about Pilates and decided to give it a shot. I have stopped Crossfit training for over a year now.
3) How do you feel after starting Pilates?
At first, I was not expecting that high intensity of Pilates in addition to the amount of knowledge you would gain from it. It is correcting my breathing techniques and has helped me in developing a much stronger core, thanking Walid who is helping me in this. I have noticed that the back pain is not there anymore but still there is much more work to be done.
4) What are your fitness goals now?
For the time being, I am concentrating in strengthening my core and breathing techniques through Pilates. I’m aiming to purely focus for some time on Pilates, and will be eventually add it to a training program that I am to develop soon. I am taking my fitness regime as a journey, rather than a chore and a specific image that many are aiming to achieve. I have stopped crossfit training for now, but once I gain good fitness levels, I would aim to get back to the first box I find !
5) Do you feel that both Crossfit and Pilates complement each other? 
I can see how they both will be able to complement each other. Crossfit is a very high intense routine, and Pilates definitely helps you in strengthening your core and assists in being able to develop your crossfit training.
6) After your experience what advice would you give our readers?
The only advice I would say is not follow trends. Crossfit has become the latest trend in Dubai, and you see more crossfit boxes opening than what it was before. One should aim for their overall fitness and need to understand to body more, and feeling better within.
7) How do you like to relax when you aren’t training?
Spending time with my family and kids and listnening to TED talks. You will be surprised to how much you can learn from these inspirational talks.

 Visit our website to find out how you can book into a private one-on-one session with our team of experts or join our small and focused group classes at www.thehundred.ae