Dubai Fitness Championship Kicked Off with Iconic Burj Khalifa Challenge

Photo Credit:Burj Khalifa (@ burjkhalifa)

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The 10th anniversary of the Dubai Fitness Championship kicked off Friday morning in Downtown Dubai, UAE with a historical first event. The athletes climbed 160 stories wearing a weighted vest, grinding their way up the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world.

The Burj Khalifa Challenge was for completion, meaning there was no time cap to spare the athletes from finishing what is expected to be the longest event of the weekend.

  • All 40 athletes completed the challenge with times ranging from 30:27 to 43:30.
  • Alex Kotoulas took first place for the men, climbing the 828-meter building’s staircases in just over 30 minutes, and Jamie Simmonds continued to solidify her place in UAE fitness history with her winning time of 32:10—fourth fastest of all 40 competitors.

The DFC team has released four additional workouts, two that will be done on Saturday and the other two being saved for Sunday. 

What’s missing? Three workouts still remain a mystery, but based on what’s been released and looking at programming from the previous years, we can speculate as to what formats and movements may show up by the end of the competition. 

  • Time domains: We haven’t seen workouts programmed in the five-to-eight, eight-to-12, or 12-20 minute time ranges. Thus far, we have a long endurance event, long chipper, sprint intervals, sprint execution-style barbell complex, and the heavy strength event. Expect to see more of the mid-range time domains released in the final three workouts.  
  • Couplets: Every workout up to this point is either a single modality workout or triplet. Expect to see some classic couplets and be on the lookout for multiple couplets being performed back-to-back as one giant workout. 
  • Movements: There are movements that are unique to Dubai that haven’t been released yet. Some of these are A-Jumps, Flying Push-ups, Goblet Deck Squats and the Devil Press. Since the programming was a collaboration, expect to see some of these movements to honor the history of DFC on its 10th anniversary.
  • Movement patterns: Expect to see more upper body pulling, which may show up in the form of a rope climb variation and/or a form of muscle ups. 

The bottom line: With the long endurance event in the books, athletes still have seven opportunities to grab as many points as possible. One of the mystery workouts will be released at 2:00pm on Saturday, and the final two workouts will be announced at 2:00pm Sunday. To stay up-to-date, visit our Event Hub and Instagram throughout the weekend.

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