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Returning to tribal roots.

When it comes to working out, don't bother looking for a treadmill. Fitness trainer Craig Heslop is offering the kingdom an innovative way to stay healthy, encouraging people to step outdoors and take a walk on the wild side.

At Tribal Fitness it is evident that you can take the man out of the cave, but you can't take the cave out of Craig.

Swapping exercise machines for some good old tree-climbing, the tribal coach and founder of the programme, explained how the routine will take the body's natural abilities a step further by returning to natural movement, food and lifestyle.

South African-born Craig, 26, from Saar, said: "We work to return people to their natural environment. We want to get people out of the conventional gym and encourage them to move as the animal species would. You wouldn't put a tiger on a treadmill or a monkey on the elliptical.

"We want to move away from the elaborate science and technology we have today. Taking a natural approach to the food we eat is essential too. We try to eat food that man did not mess with. We're not mad dogs, we obviously enjoy the occasional chocolate bar but we still try to stick to a majority of natural foods."

"In terms of lifestyle we are 'living by the light'. To get enough sun exposure and to respect the sun and get the necessary vitamin D is very important. Lots of people live like vampires and spend too much time indoors. We encourage people to spend a good percentage of their time with the lights on!"

Instead of the routine gym-style equipment Craig prefers using natural activities such as tree climbing, throwing and animal movements alongside walking and running outside.

Tribal Fitness was founded in 2009 and provides a fun way to shed the pounds and keep healthy. Most of the exercises are done in groups, known as 'tribes', but the lone wolf need not fear as personal training sessions are also available.

"We do offer private training to individuals but a lot of the work we do is in groups," said Craig during a session at St Christopher's School in Saar. "The name Tribal Fitness focuses on being healthy but it's also because people achieve more working with people in groups."

Craig graduated from the New Zealand College of Fitness as a personal trainer and strength coach and has taken part in different fitness courses including the TRX suspension trainer, MovNat (moving your body as nature intended), Catalyst Athletics (weightlifting) and Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI).

He said: "I took part in several different personal training programmes, but something just didn't seem right in the industry and that's when I came up with the idea of Tribal Fitness.

"It's kind of a calling card in the fitness industry. I love nature. There are negative aspects of modern day life that need to be changed and I want to bring people back to the way we naturally live."

All new members (16 years and older) must attend the Tribal Take-off Programme before they join a group to ensure they understand the philosophies, get to know the three coaches, Craig, Danielle Love and Gareth Asthon, and practice the natural movements.

Other services include Tribal Rebels, which 'moulds young people', Tribal Kidz, Kidz Camp and stand-up paddle boarding.

The programme is slowly starting to become recognised throughout the Middle East and a base will open in Abu Dhabi in the near future.

For more information about Tribal Fitness, visit or call 39473710.

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Publication:Gulf Weekly
Date:Sep 12, 2012
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