Core Fitness is now XAthletic

Post by Mark

Seven years ago I decided to get off the couch and join a gym. I was overweight, I was eating extremely unhealthy and I wasn’t involved in any sort of physical activity. Through my blog I ended up meeting Fahad (aka Trying to be Fahad / @thedietninja) who invited me to come by and try out his gym called Core Fitness, and ever since I haven’t stopped going.

Lots of gyms have popped in the past seven years, a lot of beautiful looking gyms but I kept going to Core mostly because I was comfortable there and because I had my routine and didn’t want to break it. It was a small personal training gym, maximum three people at once (each with their own PT) and it was an all guys gym which I’m always more comfortable in. But the place really didn’t change much over the years and although I didn’t mind it, when I recommended it to friends they always found it visually underwhelming.

But recently, things changed drastically. First thing that happened was we moved to a new location, the 10th floor of the new Crystal Tower in Kuwait City. The second change was that the gym changed its name from Core Fitness to XAthletic and with that, a complete revamp of the brand and interior look (which now resembles a traditional gentlemen’s club). They also brought in a bunch of new trainers and replaced all the previous gym equipment with beautiful new ones. And my favorite part? They installed four huge ass speakers in the gym that pump out a ton of bass. Pretty dramatic overnight changes and I’m loving it so far and there are supposedly more things coming.

The gym is currently in its soft launch phase but is officially opening on May 1st. If you’re interested in finding out more you could check out their instagram account @x.athletic


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List of Gyms Dedicated to One Sport

Post by Mark

I noticed recently more and more gyms are opening up focusing on just one sport so decided to list all the ones I am aware of. If you think a certain gym needs to be on this list then let me know in the comments below.

The next step is for someone to come up with a membership plan that gives people access to a bunch of these gyms.

Combat
Combat Athletics
Sidekick Academy
The Hook
Vikings MMA

Crossfit
Circuit+
CrossFit Euphoria
Crossfit FDT
Crossfit Flare
CrossFit Q8
Desert Fitness
Microgym
Neon Fitness

Pilates
Arc

Spinning
Lyfe Cycle
Ryde

Yoga
Alive
Daratma
P5M
The Yoga Center

Other
20 Seven EMS Training
B10 SURF Fitness


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Aerial Yoga is Back

Post by Mark

Fly High are back with their aerial yoga classes. Aerial yoga is similar to traditional mat yoga but instead of the mat you’re suspended in the air with soft fabric hammocks. They last had classes in November and now they’re back again from March 18th to March 29th. If you’re interested, check out their website flyhighkuwait.com or visit their instagram @flyhighkuwait


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B10 Fitness Studio – Coming Soon

Post by Mark

There’s a new women’s gym opening up in the basement of Mayar Complex which I originally thought was going to be a crossfit studio, but yesterday a reader noticed the door open so they went in and snooped around and found a main room filled with sand and surf boards. So he sent me the photos which got my interest.

A post shared by B10 (@b10.kwt) on

I checked the gym’s instagram account out and based on just the teaser videos and photography style alone, it looks like its going to be a pretty cool place. I also did a quick google search for surfboard fitness and ended up finding out about SURFSET which was featured on Shark Tank. The creator of SURFSET used to surf a lot and really liked his way his body looked during the summer months. But during the winter months when he stopped surfing, he lost his conditioning, so he came up with the idea to create the SURFSET board which simulates surfing and allowed him to stay conditioned throughout the year.

The gym isn’t open yet and it’s only going to be for women, but you could check out their instagram account @b10.kwt

Thanks @mac_leb


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Yoga at P5M

Post by Mark

Last week I found out there was a new yoga studio at Hamra Tower called Project 5 Miles (P5M). P5M is a social health initiative aiming to make healthy lifestyle everyone’s commodity. I had heard of them before because they used to hold fitness sessions at Al Shaheed Park, and the new P5M studio in Hamra Tower is a new addition to their activities.

I have an Alive Yoga membership but a friend of mine wanted to do yoga with me this weekend so we decided to try out P5M since the cost per session is just KD5. The P5M studio is located on the 55th floor lobby of Hamra Tower in Kuwait City. It’s not easy to find since it’s kinda hidden but when you come out of the elevator, the entrance to the studio is located behind the large pillar on the right side.

The studio is a beautiful space with a really high ceiling and a beautiful view. They have a bunch of classes with different trainers. We went to the 11AM class yesterday that was being taught by Nawaf Al Ali whom I’ve taken classes with before. It was a very chill and small class and I really enjoyed it. The class I went to was mixed but they also have ladies only classes as well.

The P5M studio is a pop-up studio meaning its not there permanently but only on a temporary basis. Like I mentioned above, their classes are just KD5, so if you’re interested in taking a yoga class there, make sure you check out their instagram page @project5miles and also their website project5miles.com

Tip: Bring your own water bottle and towel, they provide mats, blocks and straps.


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RYDE Spinning Studio

Post by Mark

I used to love cycling on the Gulf Road all year round but for some reason, last year I just rode my bicycle twice and then just lost interest. Maybe I got bored, maybe I got lazy but whatever the reason was, I just haven’t been motivated to get back onto my bicycle since. This year I decided I would get lean come summertime but I wasn’t sure what kind of cardio I would do until I found out about RYDE.

RYDE is a new spinning studio located in Mayar Complex in Shuwaikh, the same complex that houses the new Vol.1 and my obsession du jour, Super/Foods. I found out about RYDE when I was getting information on the complex and after looking at their instagram account I realized this could be a fun way to do cardio and burn calories. Although my gym has cardio machines, I hate doing stationary cardio since I just get so bored. RYDE on the other hand looked exciting because the setup was in a dark room with flashing neon lights, it had a nightclub vibe.

Last week they finally put their schedule online along with an offer where your first class would be free. So I signed up and headed there on Saturday for my first free class. I had never done spinning before and so wasn’t really sure if I’d like it or not. I liked it. After trying it out on Saturday, I ended up signing up for another class on Sunday.

A post shared by RYDE (@ryde.kw) on

Like in the photos and videos on their instagram account, spinning takes place in a dark room, barely lit with pink and blue neon lights and a spotlight shinning on the instructor. The instructors perform a lot of multitasking during the 45 minute workout, they pump out jams, control the light show and also yell out instructions all while pedaling along with you. The experience was pretty fun and because there’s so much going on, time just flies by. The lighting of the studio is pretty cool, the room stays dim most of the time but whenever we have to do a fast sprint, the neon lights start flashing with the fast paced beats and it just creates this excitement that entices you to pedal faster and harder (the video above doesn’t really do it justice). The class is intense but if you get tired you can just pedal at your own pace until you catch your breath. Personally, I don’t recall the last time I sweat as much, but if I was able to keep up then you should as well since my cardio isn’t that great.

RYDE offers classes for men and women but they aren’t mixed. Women also have a female trainer while men have a male one. One class costs KD10 which is not bad but if you sign up to multiple classes, the price does get cheaper. Right now they have a deal where the first class is free so you don’t have anything to lose trying it out.

For more information you can checkout their instagram account @ryde.kw or visit their website rydekw.com


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Shuwaikh to Salmiya on Foot

Post by Mark

map

Yesterday afternoon I dropped my Datsun to Omid’s Garage in Shuwaikh to have a few things worked on, mostly installing an AC system as well as replacing all the car’s bushings among other things. After dropping the car off I walked to the main road to find a cab and then not sure what got into my head but I tweeted that maybe I should just walk home since I was already in gym gear. I wasn’t planning to go to the gym, but since my car didn’t have AC and I was expecting the weather to be warm, I figured I would wear my gym gear since I wouldn’t mind sweating in it. I opened up google maps just to get an idea if it was actually doable and it gave an estimated time of around 2 hours and 44 minutes. It was around 6PM then and I was invited to an Audemars Piguet event at 7PM, but other than that didn’t really have any plans for the evening. So I was like fuck it, I’ll ditch the event and walk home. A friend on twitter replied to me saying it would take me three hours, I replied back that I would make it in 2 and a half and so the challenge was on.

path

I left the garage at 6:06PM with just a small bottle of water, my wallet, my keys and my phone. The garage is located in the Shuwaikh Industrial area which is the area across from Al Rai and on the other side of highway 60. I started walking towards Canada Dry street cuz I decided I’d take the 3rd Ring Road down towards the Gulf Road and then take the 35 towards Salmiya. Although Canada Dry Street takes just a few seconds to get from the start to the end by car, it took me 20 minutes to walk. I thought that was just too slow of a pace so when I was done from Canada Dry and crossed into Khaldia where I spotted a walking/running track, I decided I would try to run back home. Although I was in my gym gear I didn’t have running shoes on, I had my crossfit ones (Nike Metcon 1) which barely have any padding and are terrible for running. But I’d figure I’d give it a shot since walking was just going to be too slow for me.

40

I hadn’t really gone running in over two years and I’ve barely been doing any cardio but I just wanted to get home in under 2 and a half hours. I had already run out of water but luckily kept finding public water fountains to keep refilling my bottle (I didn’t get sick!). By the time I got to road 35 in Hawally, I realized there was a big chance I could make it home in under 2 hours so I pressed on. Mentally I was strong but physically I was just starting to break down. Half way down the stretch of the 35 my right foot and right knee were in pain. I wasn’t out of breath even though I was tired but my legs were just not prepared for this. By the time I got to the end of the 35 and crossed into Maidan Hawalli I could barely run and I knew I wouldn’t be able to get home in under 2 hours. It was demoralizing but then I just went back to my original plan of trying to get there in under 2 and a half hours. I tried to run but by the time I got to Salmiya I was limping, my right leg was in so much pain. But once I saw my building I somehow managed to sprint the last 20 meters or so. I ended up making it home in 2 hours and 14 minutes. A total distance of 14KM. Kinda disappointing since I ran a 10K once in 57 minutes, but I did train for that. On the other hand I did get a better time compared to when I walked home from my work in Kuwait City.

map2

I still don’t know why I decided to do that yesterday, this morning I can barely walk up and down stairs due to how sore my legs are. The weather was great yesterday which might have been what pushed me but in any case I did it and I’ve got a few observations I want to highlight.

deadend

Kuwait isn’t really a pedestrian friendly place but I was pretty surprised at how the route I took was fairly pedestrian friendly. From the start of the 3rd Ring Road till highway 40 there are proper walking/running paths all along the main road. The only issue is the fact these paths aren’t connected to other paths in adjacent areas. Meaning to cross from Khaldiya to Adailiya wasn’t easy. Not only aren’t the walking/running paths connected, but the normal sidewalks aren’t even connected. In some areas I had to walk over greenery or climb over barriers, and then when there were paths like the one pictured above, they led to the middle of the road instead of the other sidewalk. Each area is isolated from the adjacent ones which is pretty annoying. Then once you pass the 40th into Hawalli, the paths start disappearing. By the time I got to Salmiya I was basically running in the streets trying to avoid cars. Such a contrast to how my run started, even the public water fountains disappeared after the 40.

Still, I was expecting it to be a lot more difficult to make it back to Salmiya on foot so I was actually impressed by the experience. I just wish Kuwait was more pedestrian or bike friendly, I’m sure there are a lot of people who wouldn’t mind walking to places if the weather was good.


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Art “One Glove” Jimmerson is Coaching in Kuwait

Post by Mark

artvsroyce

Back in 1993 when the first ever UFC fight was held (UFC 1), the main idea was that they wanted to match up the different martial arts against each other to see which one of the combat practices would dominate. So they got 8 different fighters from different fighting backgrounds, like one was a sumo wrestler, another was a kick boxer, another a jujitsu master etc.. and made them fight each other in a tournament. In the end Royce Gracie the jujitsu master won the tournament but all the fighters became pretty much recognized because of the fact they took part in what became the first mixed martial arts event.

One of the fighters that probably stood out the most though was Art Jimmerson, a boxer who went into the fight wearing just one boxing glove. The image on top became pretty memorable so it was a pretty cool surprise to find out that Art is in Kuwait coaching at a new boxing gym. How random is that? The new gym is called The Hook and I just called them up and they told me they’re opening up tomorrow (Monday, May 9th). You can check out their instagram account @thehook.kw or check out Art Jimmerson’s account @artjimmerson


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Measuring Your Body Fat

Post by Mark

bodpod

Since summer is coming and a lot of people will be trying to lose weight for beach season, I figured it would be the perfect time to post about this subject. I recently started a Ketogenic diet and wanted to measure my body fat so I could compare it again a few months down the line and the most accurate way to get your body fat measured is with a Bod Pod.

A couple of years back I posted briefly about the Bod Pod when I passed by the then recently opened SPARK Athletic Center. The Bod Pod is much more accurate than biolectric anaylysis (the paddles you hold while standing on a scale) and much more accurate than skinfold calipers which a lot of people seem to think is very accurate. Recently I was made aware by a reader of a small nutrition center in Shaab that also has a Bod Pod and the best part is, it’s available for both men and women.

The picture on top is of the Bod Pod, you basically sit in it for a few seconds while the machine uses air pressure to calculate everything. Some of the information the Bod Pod will be able to provide you with is your body fat percentage, your fat mass, your lung capacity and your resting metabolic rate.

The whole process takes a few minutes and you could be in and out of there in less than 30 minutes. The cost of getting your measurements taken is KD20. If you’re interested the place is called Your Choice and they’re located next to where Edo used to in Shaab (Same building as Ryoog). You need to call for an appointment on 22621117 and here is the location on [Google Maps]


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Fork Fed: It’s NOT All About the Numbers

Post by Fork Fed

scale

Recently, I decided to measure my body fat percent on a body composition machine and boy oh boy was I nowhere near happy by the numbers. I’ve been going to my workouts religiously and watching what I eat, for the most part. My pant size has gone down 2 sizes, I’m much more toned and definitely stronger than I’ve ever been before. Why haven’t my numbers changed?? Here are some reasons as to why numbers do not really reflect that change that is DEFINITELY going on within you.

Equipment used to measure body fat percent is not always accurate!
The most common of all equipment to measure body fat percent is the bioelectrical impedance, and despite the fact that this machine is commonly available and easy to use, it is probably the least accurate way to measure body fat percentages. Bioelectrical impedance works by sending electrical impulses through the body and measuring how long they take to return; the quicker the return of the impulses are equates to a leaner body (fat hinders the movement of the impulses). This technique is not always accurate because hydration levels can also affect how fast the electrical impulses move through the body. The more hydrated you are the faster the impulses move; therefore if your body was somewhat dehydrated, you will be getting a false reading in regards to your body fat percent. The calipers are probably the most accurate, BUT you need to have a skilled person taking measurements and the measurements need to be taken in the same place at different times to ensure accuracy. It can be hard to remember the exact skin-fold that was measured previously.

The scale and BMI are the worst measures of weight loss.
Both the scale and body mass index (BMI) do not take your muscle mass into account. Therefore if you are someone that is working out and doing a lot of resistance training – you are building muscle. Muscle weighs more than fat. So, your weight might increase or stay the same regardless of the fact that you are actually losing fat and dropping in size. If you are not exercising and only restricting your food then using a scale to monitor your weight loss could actually be beneficial. Although to be completely honest with you, I do not like the term weight loss and prefer to focus on fat loss. Taking a look at BMI, it is a calculation of your weight and height. It does not take into account how much of your weight actually comes from muscle or fat, therefore it is the worst indication of whether or not you are at a healthy weight range.

The numbers may frustrate you, but don’t let them bring you down! Numbers do not always reflect everything. As long as you feel good about yourself, then that is all that matters. Make sure you are exercising, eating and sleeping well. Remember, any change you make should be a lifestyle one and not a temporary one. I hope this helps you if you’ve been let down by your weight.

Post by Hyatt Al Sayegh, a Clinical Dietitian and Dr. Sears Health Coach.
Founder of Fork Fed.

Image Source


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