If you’ve ever paid a visit to Tala Samman’s Instagram page, you’ll know that she’s a woman who loves to work out. Amongst all the nail-art pics and snaps of her travels are shots of her getting her sweat on – and always looking good doing so. “I love working out for lots of reasons… to feel good about my body, to look good, and to relieve stress,” Samman explains. “I was never into sports growing up, but since my university days, I’ve loved exercising and going to boutique fitness studios. I’ve dabbled with different workouts over the years, but that’s been great because I’ve really learnt more about my body – what bulks it up and what gives me long, lean muscles.”
Savoir Flair sat down with Samman to uncover her workout routine and discover her favorite fitness spots in Dubai. Read on to find out more.
I have a trainer at Machka Beauty & Body Design who I’ve been going to for over two years now. I do TRX training, which is a combination of both strength and resistance training. I love it! I’ve always been scared about doing strength training because I didn’t want to bulk up and, with TRX, I like the fact that I use my own body weight. As soon as I started, I noticed a huge difference in my body. For a while, I was just doing barre and spinning classes, which wasn’t working for me. That’s the important thing – finding what works for your own body and mixing things up so it doesn’t get used to doing the same, specific workouts.
In addition to strength training, I attend barre classes – I aim for two a week. My favorites are Physique 57 (Jalila and Ariel are my go-to instructors), and I love Define in Dubai Marina – Leanna’s classes are great. I love barre; I always have. When I moved back to Dubai, I was hunting everywhere for good barre classes and there was only one studio that taught them at the time. I like the fact that you work the tiny muscles, not just the obvious ones you use in other workouts, and that helps you create that lean look. It’s a really good sculpting workout, so I always try to get it in!
I also try to get some targeted, core workouts done during the week. I’m not a big fan of mat Pilates, but I love reformer Pilates and the Megaformer (which is a more intense version of the reformer). I like Mojo Pilates for cardio reformer classes, and I like Core Fitness Evolution in DIFC for the Megaformer classes. I also do some pole dancing, which is an amazing ab workout.
A new thing that I’ve started adding to my weekly workouts is the HIIT “Shred and Stretch” class at Inspire, which I do every Wednesday morning. In mid-December, I decided to go on the Lively meal plan, and I have honestly been so happy with it! I feel that my workouts have become more effective because I’m now eating better, I have better portion control, and I’m not consuming as much sugar as I did when I was eating horribly. The Lively nutritionist suggested I do at least one HIIT session per week, so I tried the “Shred and Stretch” class and I loved it – especially because it’s only 30 minutes of working out! You really sweat in just half an hour, and then you have 15 minutes to stretch it out.
Because I do a lot of strength training during the week, I also need to incorporate stretching. I had to find something that I actually enjoyed as I’m not a fan of yoga at all. Half of my pole classes at Cafe de la Danse involve stretching, which is another reason I love them so much. I also do aerial yoga at Yoga La Vie on The Palm, which is a really beautiful studio.
Friday is my day off from working out, so I treat myself to a slimming massage at Machka. It’s painful, but I love it for smoothing my skin as well as soothing my stiff muscles from a week of working out – especially my calves!
My workout routine goes down the drain when I travel. I’m one of those people who need to have a routine and stability in their life. That being said, when I go to places like London, Los Angeles, or New York, I have no excuse not to work out regularly because you’re so spoilt for choice there. In New York, I love SLT, Chaise Fitness, and Bari. In LA, I head to Body by Simone, AIR, and Y7 Studio, while it’s all about Barry’s Bootcamp and Barrecore in London.