There is more than one way to skin a cat

Post by Amy Freeman


Post by Amy Freeman

As the saying goes, ’There is more than one way to skin a cat’, the same goes for fat loss and improving body composition. Just recently social media seems to be more swamped than usual with opinions on what works and what doesn’t and the funny thing about the fitness industry is that many of the people and trainers that have an opinion, believe that their way is the right way and the only way to get results.

I try to remain open minded, as fat loss and improving body composition isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ protocol, just like nutritional requirements will vary person to person. But, in my experience I have found that the German Body Composition Training is a good place to start. Now, like I said at the start, there are many people that have achieved massive results in a variety of ways but for the purpose of this blog, I’m going to talk about what I find works and if you are needing to change up your routine, or looking for some direction in the gym, then this may help.

German Body Composition (GBC for short) isn’t for the faint hearted. With that being said, everyone has to start somewhere so you can adjust exercises and rest times until you increase your lactate threshold and are able to handle more. Usually during a session of GBC I experience a high heart rate, I might feel a little queasy and am left dripping with sweat, but that’s the beauty of this little gem. You can achieve a lot in a short period of time you just have to tackle it head on and full heartedly.

GBC is good at increasing fat loss, increasing muscle mass (when you decrease fat and increase muscle, it results in that common term ‘toning’) and its also good for increasing muscular endurance. I also found it also took my anaerobic fitness to the next level.

Typically for GBC you will use compound movements to maximize muscle recruitment. When you train in this style it creates a lot of latic acid in the muscles which as a result releases more growth hormone. That is the ideal situation to be in for both woman and men when trying to lean out.

There are a few ways it can be programmed but for the purposes of this post I’m going to give an example super-setting an upper and lower body exercise for a full body workout. At first glance a lot of people will have a “That’s it?” look on their face but trust me, if you keep to the tempo, the rest time and use the correct weight and reps, you should have the same response as myself and my clients feel after a session, which is: ‘OOOOOOOOMMMMGGGGGGGGG’

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My favorite protein smoothie

Post by Mark


I’ve been making an amazing smoothie recently and figured I would share my simple recipe here. It’s very easy to make and really tastes delicious, here is what you need:

– 2 scoops Whey Protein
– 1 large ripe banana
– 5 pieces of frozen strawberries
– 4 pieces of frozen blackberries
– 8 pieces of frozen blueberries
– a spoonful of honey
– 4 large ice cubes
– 150ml water

Put them all in a blender and blend. The smoothie comes out pretty thick and the quantity is enough for two people although I drink the whole thing myself. For the Whey Protein I use the strawberry flavored VPX SRO Zero Carb Protein which you can find locally at Health Planet. For the frozen fruits you can find them at Sultan Center and they’re pretty economically priced. Finally, you could replace the 150ml water with almond or soy milk but you really don’t need to.

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Vacation Training and Fat loss

Post by Amy Freeman


This week I am traveling to the USA for a vacation so I have had to think of some really smart ways to train while I’m away, as a gym won’t always be available. On top of this a lot of my clients are about to travel and have been asking for the best ways to train while they have limited resources. So here you go.

The first thing I usually do is pick exercises that give you the biggest bang for your buck. Meaning, they work the most amount of muscles at once to get the biggest muscular and metabolic response. I also put emphasis on volume training, as it is one of the best ways to train for fat loss and if you have limited time, it will leave you in a pool of sweat.

In terms of most bang for your buck, a bodyweight circuit including squats, push-ups, lunges, mountain climbers, burpees, sit-ups or any other core variation. These could be done with body weight only or moderate additional weight if it’s available.

Here is an example of something I would do for a bodyweight circuit:

A1: squats

A2: alternating lunges

A3: push-ups

A4: burpees (chest to floor or regular)

A5: mountain climbers

A6: core variation

This could be done as a timed circuit e.g. 30-60 seconds per station (depending on ability) with a 60-90 second rest before repeating the cycle 3-5 times.

Another option is to do 15-20 reps per exercise moving through as fast as you can, with a 60-90 second rest before repeating 3-5 times.

In terms of conditioning, this could include running sprints, stair runs or even intervals on any piece of traditional cardio equipment. Short intervals of maximal work are the key and you want to aim for roughly 25-30 minutes.

Here is an example of something I would do for conditioning type work:

Running on a Treadmill, in the park, jump rope, stairs or using any cardio equipment that is available (or Burpees if your brave)

20-30 sec max work with 30 sec rest

Repeat 4 times. Rest 2 min

Do this sequence 6-8 times

So there is one example of what you can do with limited resources and limited time.

I usually alternate between resistance training one day and cardio conditioning the other day this is quick for when you are time poor and gives the metabolism a push in the right direction. With that in mind…

To finish I want to include some nutrition tips for Fat loss when on vacation. Here are some simple things you can implement:

– Drink water 2-3L per day. I have to admit I am a bad water drinker, so to help me get my daily intake I add slices of lime or lemon and it really helps.

– Up the intensity of your workouts. One way is by reducing the weight slightly, increasing the reps and reducing rest. I’ve found this makes a big difference.

– Eat your veges, these are a great detoxifier with all the antioxidants they contain.

– Lastly, when you indulge try not to overeat till you almost burst. Its vacation so of course you want to be able to enjoy yourself, just try to avoid overeating.

Lastly remember you are on vacation so do what you can with the time you have available. Happy Training Kuwait.

Post by Amy Freeman, a Strength and Conditioning Coach from New Zealand and currently a Personal Trainer at Inspire Pure Fitness in Kuwait.

Trapp, E., Chisholm, D., et al. The Effects of High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise Training and Fat Loss and Fasting Insulin Levels of Young Women. International Journal of Obesity. 2008. 32(4), 684-691.

Kosola, J., Ahotupa, M., et al. Good Aerobic or Muscular Fitness Prevents Overweight Men from Elevated Oxidized LDL. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. September 2011. Published Ahead of Print.

Dunham, C., Harms, C. Effects of High-Intensity Interval Training on Pulmonary Function. European Journal of Applied Physiology. 2011. Published Ahead of Print

Boutcher, Stephen. High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise and Fat Loss. Journal of Obesity. 2011. Published Ahead of Print.

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Toxicity and Results: Why dieting and exercising in Kuwait just isn’t cutting it

Post by Amy Freeman


This is something that myself, my clients and I’m sure most people reading this will relate to. You eat well, you exercise at least 3 times per week, sometimes you may even use a trainer, but no matter how hard you train and how clean your diet is, getting those desired results you are working so hard for is so damn hard.

Well for the last 2.5 years I have been in Kuwait, I have noticed something that, at first, baffled me. The first 6 months I was in Kuwait I gained 6kg. I was exercising more than I ever did back in New Zealand and very cautious with my eating habits but no matter what I did I couldn’t shift this weight (and I’m a midget at 5ft3.5 so 6kg is very noticeable)

Then something strange happened. I went on vacation and came back lighter and leaner. Now, I can assure you right now; I wasn’t on vacation eating celery sticks and lettuce leaves that’s for sure. So what happened?

After becoming Bio Signature Practitioner almost 2 years ago, all these questions started to get answered.

After asking my coach on Bio Signature (who has trained Olympic Athletes and has over 20 years experience). He said to me ‘Where do you live?’ I said ‘Kuwait’. He said ‘KUWAIT! Hmmm, I’ve been asked to go do courses in the Middle East and turned them down because of how toxic it is, that’s your culprit right there’.

He then went on to explain to me that with so much toxicity entering the body, the pathways for nutrients and hormones get blocked by toxicity bonds that attach to fat cells which causes stubborn fat, like cellulite, that is hard to break down.

This also result’s in low Testosterone levels and a healthy amount of Testosterone is important for reducing body fat in both female and male and is absolutely imperative for male health and wellbeing.

After hearing this I started to notice things in Kuwait that backed up his claims:

1- I started to notice how many males in Kuwait have female body types. Such as, bigger hips and legs and smaller upper-bodies. Low Testosterone right there.

2- Low Testosterone in men causes a lower sperm count. Men with a lower sperm count are more likely to father girls. There are a significantly larger proportion of Females in Kuwait than Males. Last I was told the ratio of females to males here is 4:1.

3- Most people drink out of plastic bottles, which have Pseudo Estrogens, which act as female hormones when they enter our body.

4- Almost every Bio Signature I have done on men and woman in Kuwait has shown their first priority (highest reading) as their Hamstring (at the top of the back of the leg). The Estrogen Sight of the body.


So how can you rectify this?

1- Include weight training in your gym routine, everyone and anyone needs a healthy amount of Testosterone, even the ladies. Low Testosterone=High Body Fat.

2- Drink your water from glass bottles and drink at least 2L per day. Say ‘NO’ to plastic.

3- Eat your greens. Veges have antioxidant’s that help break the bonds of the toxins so you can break down the fat.

4- Take supplements that help your body detoxify. Below is what I suggest and I’ve also included the link from where you can purchase them if you choose.

The Poliquin Supplements in my opinion are the best in the world hands down, I love them, my clients love them and for me that’s a home run. (No I’m not affiliated with them I just love their products)

1- Zinc PX: Zinc is an essential mineral that helps with all functions of the body. It has been said if you are deficient in Zinc you are deficient in everything. Fatloss, healthy immune system, healthy Testosterone levels and detoxification are all assisted by Zinc.

2- Multi Intense (with Iron for woman): essential for us here in Kuwait as our fresh produce is rarely local so lacks nutrients making it impossible for us to get our daily-required vitamins and minerals. More Antioxidants= less Toxins
Multi Intense (without Iron for men)- Same as the above minus the Iron as men usually cover this in their diet and can cause liver damage with too much.

3- Uber Mag Px: Magnesium is similar to Zinc, as it assists with many functions of the human body including detoxification, better quality sleep, stable mood, muscle recovery and growth, healthy Testosterone levels, cardiovascular health and brain function.

4- Fish Oil EPA-DHA 720: Assists in detoxification, the increase in healthy fats helps with counteracting bad fats from fast food (they cause toxicity), helps with brain function and fat loss.

This is a topic that I’m really passionate about because whether or not you have fitness goals, this will impact you in some way and even if you don’t implement all the changes I have mentioned, even implementing 1 or 2 things means you are one step closer to a more healthy, less toxic body.

Post by Amy Freeman, a Strength and Conditioning Coach from New Zealand and currently a Personal Trainer at Inspire Pure Fitness in Kuwait.

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Finding Quinoa

Post by Mark

Since Sultan Center keeps running out of quinoa, here is a tip. You can buy quinoa locally online from They’re never out of stock. [Link]

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My new years resolution

Post by Mark


I’m going to take part in a Spartan Race. [Link]

Update: Just found out about the Tough Guy competition (video below) which is based in the UK. Here is a exceprt from Wikipedia:

It has been widely described as “the toughest race in the world”, with up to one-third of the starters failing to finish in a typical year.

After 25 stagings of the winter event, Wilson still claimed nobody had ever finished the course according to his extremely demanding rules. The race, and its summer equivalent, has suffered two fatalities during its history.

Tough Guy™ from Mr Mouse on Vimeo.

Sounds like a lot of fun and the UK version of anything is usually more hardcore than the US one (Dirty Sanchez vs Jackass).

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The Running Workshop

Post by Mark

I just took the running workshop at The 3 Club today and I thought it was very informative. The workshop was three hours long and combined theory and physical activity. If you’re a runner or interested in running then this is a workshop I highly recommend taking. There is only one more session left which is for this Friday so if you want to sign up visit this [Link]

Below is the workshop agenda to give you an idea of what it involves.

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How healthy is Pufak?

Post by Mark

According to Eat Like Mira it’s actually not bad at all. It’s baked not fried and the whole bag is just 100 calories. [Link]

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Kuwait Heart Foundation breaking Guinness World Record today

Post by Mark

If you’re at the Avenues pass by the Kuwait Heart Foundation area setup since along with the Faculty of Medcine Students they’re attempting a Guinness World Record today and need your help. Invite your friends and family along as well since they’re trying to break the record for the highest number of BMI testings in 8 hours.

They’re starting from 12pm and ending at 8pm so pass by when you can.

Thanks BuYousef

Update: Just heard the record was broken.

Update2: Not only was the record broken but it was shattered with 9,023 measurements which is more than double the previous record. I’m curious to know if they’re going to end up sharing the total average BMI. My guess it’s going to be pretty high based on the fact we’re one of the fattest nations in the world.

Picture by The Avenues

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Triathlon Training

Post by Mark

Last month I posted about the Flying Start Triathlon that is going to take place this coming October here in Kuwait and it got me thinking if it would be possible for me to compete. I think I’m in great shape since I’ve been working my ass off at Core Fitness for the past two years and I’ve been eating really healthy so I think I’m ready.

There are two distances in the Flying Start Triathlon and I’m hoping to complete The Sprint which is the shorter of the two. The running and biking seem very doable it’s the swimming I’m more concerned about. Currently I can swim across an Olympic sized pool horizontally once before collapsing in exhaustion and that’s only like 25 meters or something which is not even close to the 750m distance required in the race. That’s why I passed by The 3 Club who are the organizers of the event and asked them if they did any training. Turns out they did and starting next week I’ll be training with them twice a day every day.

There will be two sessions daily which rotate between biking, running and swimming exercises. I’m pretty nervous about this since I have no idea how I’m going to perform. Once I actually start the classes I’ll post my impressions here. So far my schedule for Ramadan looks like this:

5PM – Training with The 3 Club
7PM – Training at Core Fitness
10PM – Training with The 3 Club

Best part about this though is I’ll be eating WHATEVER I want since I’ll be burning so much calories. Fat Mark is going to make a comeback.. at least in a mental state.

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