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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The Burrow Life

Post by Mark

burrow1

Not sure how to begin this post, I’ve already written and deleted a few intros already because I didn’t think anything I was writing was good enough to explain what I saw a few hours ago. I don’t even think my pictures do the place any justice. Last week a friend of mine told me about a new gym that was opening up in Murooj called The Burrow Life. I checked their instagram account out of curiosity and right away realized there was something special about them. From their branding to the style of photography they were using I knew they were aiming for something different. I got in touch with them and asked if I could pass by and check the place out, they agreed so I passed by earlier today.

burrow2

The first thing they wanted to make clear to me was that The Burrow Life wasn’t just a gym, it was a lifestyle brand and I knew exactly what they meant. Although they’re starting off as a gym the brand could grow and develop later on into other things like a clothing line or a restaurant or a whatever and I liked that approach. Their name and concept for the place is based off of Alice in Wonderland, when Alice went down the rabbit hole she entered a completely different world and they’re applying the same idea here. When I walked into The Burrow Life I was transported into a completely different world and it was beautiful on the other side.

The Burrow Life is focused around 5 different fitness activities, cross fit, bootcamp, boxing/Muay Thai, spinning and yoga. They’re all class based activities so as a member you’ll have to download their app and see what classes are available during the day and sign up for them. It’s a mixed gym but the classes are segregated, so guys could be doing cross fit while girls could be boxing at the same time, but you wouldn’t have guys and girls doing the same cross fit class together.

burrow3

The space is HUGE, when you first walk into the gym you walk into a living room like area since they didn’t want you to walk into a reception like all gyms do. From there you have a yoga room and then a really long corridor with a guys locker room on the left and a girls one on the right. There are showers and changing rooms of course but a cool feature is the lockers that all have USB ports inside so you could charge your phone while you train. At the end of the long corridor there are two glass rooms, on the left a spinning room and on the right a training room with kettle bells and TRX. Once you leave the corridor you enter a really large open space with a boxing ring in the middle, cross fit stations on the left, punching bags all along the right and some weight stations on the opposite end behind the ring. Finally there are stairs that take you up to the top floor where the bootcamp training section is along with a lounge for members to sit and chill while they wait for their classes or just to socialize. The place looks amazing and as I mentioned earlier, my pictures really don’t do it any justice.

burrow4

The Burrow Life is set to open this coming Saturday. They’re only going to offer semi annual and annual memberships. I can’t say how much the cost is since that’s the only thing they didn’t want me to mention in my post but I can say it’s very similar to Inspire. Personally I think this is by far, and I mean BY FAR the best looking gym in Kuwait and the best looking gym I’ve personally ever seen be it in person or in photos anywhere. Sometimes pictures make a place look better than it actually is but I’m telling you in this case my photos really don’t do the place any justice. It looks much better in person. I’ve literally been sending these pictures to every gym goer I know telling them how great the place looks. Anyway, I’ve got all the photos I took below but also make sure you check out their instagram account for more details [Here]


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Al Hamra Thermae Gym

Post by Mark

hamragym

Figured I’d post about this gym (Al Hamra Thermae) since I just passed by to check it out awhile ago. It’s not the nicest looking mens gym, but they’re located on the 74th floor of Al Hamra Tower and they’ve got a pretty good offer at the moment. They’ve brought down their price to KD700 year plus will give you a month free which brings the price down to around KD50 a month.

The nicest thing about the gym though is twice a week they swap with the womens gym on the 3rd floor and you get access to use the outdoor running track. If you’re interested you could call them up on 97997797.

Not sure if the womens gym have a similar offer, I tried calling them up but no one picked up (60660060).


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Best Gym in Kuwait 2015

Post by Mark

circuitplus

circuitplus

nima

I have a cousin I see once every few years. Every time I see him, he mentions cross-fit (Ali, I know you’re reading this, please stop). When I first heard about it, it sounded good. Then you meet the people. Not necessary the people themselves, but their social media character. Jumping onto boxes, or over, or whatever it is. And I thought, “this…isn’t for me.”

I suppose the point is to inspire you, or themselves or someone. And I hope sincerely, that the mundane video of your friend jumping onto or over a box, inspires someone. Because if it does, that person was probably in a very dark place. Occasionally people will tell me “they” (the facist a person pays to yell inspirational instagram messages at them while the person repeatedly picks up and puts down otherwise useless pieces of metal) will work them until they puke. Isn’t that great? The smell of sweat and vomit! Just what you want around you while you’re breathing heavy.

For these reasons and many more, I cannot condone gyms. They’re far too moist and inherently narcissistic and I can’t for the life of me understand what anyone else to be narcissistic about.

I don’t believe in gyms. I believe in genetics. I, for one, am a delightfully svelte size 30 waist. Forever more and always. I love you, me.

TIP: Google “box jump fails” for more inspiration.

mark

Winner: Circuit+
The amount of gyms we have in Kuwait and the amount that are popping up is going to soon start exceeding the amount of burger joints we have, and thats a good thing. Every other person in Kuwait is now doing CrossFit and the gym that probably started this craze in Kuwait is Circuit+. CrossFit was already available in Kuwait but Circuit+ took it mainstream and made it much more accessible to everyone. Right now they’ve got a couple of locations in Kuwait but their Shuwaikh one is just massive, it’s crazy huge. But, their gym aside, what I love about Circuit+ the most is their annual Battle of The East CrossFit competition. It’s a world class event bringing in competitors from around the world and creating a fantastic show for everyone in Kuwait to take part in and to watch. They’ve created a huge community and are giving back to Kuwait and for that reason I’ve chosen them as this years best gym in Kuwait.

Runner up:Inspire Pure Fitness
Inspire is the best mixed (as in guys and girls) gym you could sign up to and their new location at the Sahara Country Club is also the nicest looking gym in Kuwait. But, you’ll also have to sell your kidney to be able to afford their membership which can reach KD1,950 a year with their mandatory weekly PT sessions.


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Ordering Supplements Online to Kuwait

Post by Mark

supplements

A couple of weeks back I asked if anyone had any difficulties ordering fitness supplements online. I got a variety of answers back but generally the response was that customs wouldn’t give me a hard time unless they were in a bad mood. So I went ahead and placed an order of seven different supplements and sent them to my Aramex Shop & Ship mailbox. Earlier this morning the courier dropped them off without a hitch.

So the answer is yes you can order supplements online and save a ton of money compared to buying them locally. Two of my supplements turned out to be pretty heavy (one was basically a kilo) and that kinda screwed up my savings but, for my next order I will be leaving those two heavy supplements out. The amount of savings I can achieve range anywhere from 50% to 75% off the local cost including shipping and customs. The only thing to keep in mind is not to order from the brands I’ve listed below since according to Aramex, the customs department are instructed to hold these brands:

– Muscle Tech
– Vitol Products
– Ultimate Nutrition Inc.
– Labrada Nutrition Inc.
– Bio Engineered Supplement & Nutrition Inc. “BSN”
– Nurtex Research Inc.
– USP Labs LLC
– Pharma Freak
– ISS Research
– Diamond Nutrition Inc. “DMI “
– Nutrabolics
– Experimental and Applied Sciences “IAS”

I ordered all my supplements from Amazon since they have some of the cheapest prices I found online [Link]


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Electro Muscular Training in Kuwait

Post by Mark

miha1

A friend of mine recently started managing the social media account of a fitness studio in Kuwait called 20Seven. Unlike regular gyms they were using something called Electro Muscular Training (EMT) for their exercises which I thought sounded like total BS. I kept poking fun at her comparing it to the As Seen on TV gizmo where the commercial shows people wearing a patch on their abs that stimulates the muscles electronically while they’re tanning pool side. It just didn’t make any sense to me but the more I researched it the more legit EMT seemed, or at least the concept. My friend invited me to pass by and try it and since I knew the owner as well I figured I’d be polite and give it a shot.

So last Thursday I headed to their studio to try out EMT. Thursdays and Fridays are the only days I don’t have gym, they’re my rest days and since I didn’t think I would be getting much of a workout from EMT, I figured I’d pass by try it out and then continue with my day. Clearly I arrived there extremely skeptical about the whole thing but I kept an open mind as I always do. Once I was there I was introduced to the EMS trainer who proceeded to explain to me how everything worked and what we would be doing in the session. The sessions are only 20 minutes long and we were going to divide it into 15 minute of strength training, 5 minutes of cardio and once it’s over an extra 5 minutes of recovery. EMS basically sends impulse currents to specific parts of your body. In the 60s Soviet sport scientists applied EMS in the training of elite athletes and claimed 40% force gains. Today EMS is widely used in physiotherapy.

miha2

Before starting the workout I had to wear a special outfit, kinda like a wetsuit that had all these wires sticking out which then connects to their EMS machine. Then one by one the trainer applied electric current to various parts of my suit and told me to inform her when the level of discomfort became unbearable so she could set the level and move on to another part of my body. It felt like I was getting electrocuted by a low current, it wasn’t painful but it felt strange. Once we were ready she told me no matter how fit I was or how much of an athlete I was, everyone starts off here as a beginner. In my head I was thinking whatever just hit me with everything you’ve got. She told me to follow her moves and that the currents would come every few seconds. So I would have a few seconds rest and then the current would hit, a few seconds rest and then the current would hit again. Before the current hits I would have to be in a certain position matching hers and hold it like that throughout the electro stimulation. So for example she would go into a squat position and I would do the same and then hold that position while the current hit me.

It was a killer. I wasn’t expecting it to be difficult but damn my legs especially were starting to give up on me. When the current hits your muscles tense up and it becomes really difficult to hold whatever position you’re in. 15 minutes later I was ready to end my session but we still had 5 more minutes of cardio left and I was already exhausted. I was actually getting a real workout, I was sweating and I was also getting muscle fatigue… I was not expecting that.

miha3

Once we were done with the session I was honest and told them I came in really skeptical but I now understood what all the fuss was about. I don’t think anyone can get muscular from EMT but I don’t think thats why athletes use it. The entire Bayern Munich football club, Usain Bolt and Rafael Nadal are just some athletes who use EMT and they all use it as an addition on top of their regular workout regime. EMT helps increase muscle strength and performance but regular people also use EMT as a quick work out. Its an alternative to gyming for couch potatoes.

I ended up getting muscle soreness in my bum a couple of days later which is a sign of a good workout. But, I was surprised I got any sort of muscle soreness since I heavily workout all my body and that specific week I had done quite a bit of leg workouts. Yet the EMT training was able to reach muscles I wasn’t able to during my regular workouts and thats why I’m probably going to start doing one EMT session a week on top of my current busy gym schedule. You’re only recommended to do EMT twice a week by the way since you need rest days between each workout. Price wise it’s not that bad. 1 session of EMT is KD25 but depending on the package you take it can go down to as low as KD15. Keep in mind there is no gym membership here and it’s a 20 minute private session with a personal trainer. If you’re interested to find out more, check out 20Seven’s instagram page [Here]


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