Festive Fitness with Faisal

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How will Nike’s master trainer and Barry’s Bootcamp legend be spending Christmas this year? In the Maldives of course… and you’re invited. From from 22 December 2017 to 5 January 2018, Faisal Abdalla will be at the Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa for a two week residency.

With his classes famously selling out in minutes, the chance to experience one of his workouts in this paradisiacal backdrop – and stay on top of your fitness regime over the festive period – is not to be missed.

Whether you are seeking a total fitness overhaul with results to match or just want to keep the pesky Christmas pounds at bay, Faisal will be on hand offering a schedule of classes and fitness sessions.

Shangri-La’s Villingili is perfectly equipped for Faisal’s workouts with a state of the art gym including treadmills, dumbbells, kettlebells, sand bags and TRX equipment. Guests will also be treated to ‘Beach Bootcamp’ style workouts and a series of ‘Run Clubs’ around the 6km island.

Faisal will also host a ‘Mount Villingili Triathlon Challenge’. A relay style race of challenges from ocean diving, wading through jungle vegetation and sprinting across soft white sand.

We caught up with the fitness guru to ask how he’s feeling about spending Christmas in paradise… it’s a tough gig but somebody has to do it.

How many times do you get up to stretch during a long haul flight. Are there any exercises you do on board?

It depends how long I’m in the air for but I always get up a few times to get the blood flowing. I flew to Thailand a couple of years ago though and the flight was so long that I ended up lunging down the aisles and squatting round by the flight attendants area. I got a few funny looks!

Do you ever drink on the plane? What do you usually order food wise?

I personally don’t drink alcohol and I definitely wouldn’t recommend it to anyone that is flying because it is so dehydrating. Stick to water and your body will thank you for it. Food wise, I like to bring my own food because airplane food is quite salty, but I do treat myself to a nice bag of chocolate m and ms because it wouldn’t be a holiday otherwise, would it?

Have you ever been to the Maldives before? What are you most excited about?

I actually went to the Maldives a few years back for my honeymoon and fell in love with its stillness and beauty. I have had a crazy year and I can’t wait to disconnect from the world for a bit and slow things down. Recovery is so important and I love a December holiday for a little mental reset before the new year begins. Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort and Spa looks like the ideal place to do this!

Photo: Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa

Any tips for how to combat jetlag the other side?

I always drink a load of water when I’m off the plane to rehydrate and try to stick to the time zones and stay awake until bed time so my body clock doesn’t get out of sync. If I’m really struggling, a quick workout normally wakes me up and reboots the energy levels if I need to stay awake.

What are 5 essentials you’ll be packing in your suitcase?

Tanning oil to get that Egyptian tan going, a skipping rope and resistant band for simple room workouts, my iPhone so I can Instagram it all and make everyone at home jealous and a tactical white t-shirt to show off the tan on the journey home!

The retreat at Shangri-La Villingili Resort and Spa runs from 22nd December 2017 –5th January: will this be your healthiest Christmas and New Year ever?

I’m sure I will still be pigging out on Christmas Day as that’s the first rule of Christmas, wherever you are in the world! But with such a beautiful setting, I’m sure I will be getting in more workouts than ever and enjoying some beach runs and training every day. Training outdoors is such a luxury and you can’t beat doing it somewhere like the Maldives.

When you have downtime from training how will you be exploring the island at Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort and Spa?

I’ve heard there are bicycles to get around so I will probably be flying around on one of those. I guess that’s still exercising, but it’s so fun you don’t notice.

Will you miss your family and friends at this special time of year?

My wife is coming with me, so that’s her Christmas present sorted for the next five years! I will miss my family, of course, but with those beach views I’m sure I will cope.

What will you be asking for Christmas this year?

We never really exchange gifts as a family, we just enjoy food and time together. I just wish all my loved ones a happy and healthy 2018…and maybe a bit more time off work than 2017 so I can spend more time with family!

How long could you hack living on an island before you went stir crazy?

I don’t do sitting still very well. My wife says I’m like a Duracell bunny. That’s why I work out and explore so much, to use up all the energy! If I was on a desert island I reckon I’d have built an entire housing estate within a week just for something to do…topless of course, the tan is always a priority!

To make a reservation call +960 689 7888, email [email protected] or visit the website.

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