Categories
Fitness

The 6 Best Malls to Get Your Steps

Walking around malls is a great way to hit your steps goal, especially if it’s too hot outside or if you don’t live near any walking tracks. But how many steps is each lap of a mall, and how many calories do you burn? To find out, I visited various malls around Kuwait and completed one lap of each while tracking my steps and calorie burn using my Apple Watch.

While my data isn’t scientific, I established some rules to ensure consistency. I did one lap only and I started and ended my walk in the same spot. I did not travel up or down escalators, but I did travel to the different phases and extensions if I could do so without changing floors. I also tried to walk at the same brisk pace. Your data might differ from mine, but it should be good enough to give you a rough idea of what to expect.

I’ve ranked my top six favorite malls based on a number of factors, including steps per lap, parking availability, overall convenience, the width of the mall floor, and visual stimulation during the walk. Here are my top 6:

#1 The Avenues
3,211 steps
33min 5sec
2.52km
174cal

#2 360 Mall
1464 steps
16min 14sec
1.19km
85cal

#3 Assima
569 steps
5min 51sec
0.43km
30cal

#4 Souq Sharq
706 steps
6min 25sec
0.48km
35cal

#5 Al Kout Mall
549 steps
5min 29sec
0.40km
27cal

#6 Marina Mall
664 steps
7min 58sec
0.56km
38cal

Categories
Fitness Shopping

AssaultBike Prices in Kuwait

I’ve been meaning to get back to doing cardio exercises but have just been so lazy the past few months. Then a couple of weeks ago I decided to get an Assault Airbike. I previously had the Concept2 Rower but sold it when I stopped using it (got bored) so I didn’t want to get another one again. You’ve probably come across an Assault Airbike at your gym, they’re a cross between a traditional exercise bike and an elliptical so you can work out the top and lower half of your body at the same time. It doesn’t take up too much space and isn’t as expensive as the Concept2 rower so figured it was worth getting one and trying it out.

I specifically wanted the Assault Fitness brand and I wasn’t sure I’d find it in Kuwait so I started my search on Amazon and calculate how much it would cost to ship to Kuwait. But, I quickly found out that the AssaultBike was actually readily available in Kuwait, the only odd thing was how varied the prices were from one supplier to another:

Assault AirBike Classic
ProSports: KD333
Sports World: KD297
GetFit: KD290
BeFit: KD282
12st Gym: KD275
Wellness First: KD245

Those are the prices I found for the exact same bike! As you can guess, I ended up buying mine from Wellness First since they were the cheapest and by a good margin. If they weren’t official distributors for the Assault Fitness brand I would have assumed the bikes were counterfeit or something but they’re legit. The ordering process with them was pretty smooth, I ordered the bike via Whatsapp, they came two days later and installed it, and after they were done sent me a payment link. Easy.

So if you’re looking for an Assault airbike, you’ve got plenty of options to choose from.

Categories
Apple Fitness Sports

I Love Apple Fitness+

Since the gyms are closed I figured I’d post about Apple Fitness+ and how much I like it. Last month I decided I’d get back into yoga, I used to do it frequently a few years ago and then just stopped and never got back into it. Last year I tried doing yoga while watching a YouTube video and didn’t like the experience, but in September Apple released Fitness+ so I decided to try it out and see if it was any better. To use it you need to have an Apple Watch set up on your phone, I didn’t have an Apple Watch but I had borrowed one from a friend last year to try it out and I guess my phone still thought I had it. I couldn’t get Fitness+ working on Apple TV or my iPad but it was fine on my phone which was ok for now since I could stream from it to my TV. I decided to try a yoga exercise and to my surprise, my experience was great!

I started doing yoga with an instructor called Dustin and I just clicked with his style right away. I liked his pace, I liked his soothing voice and very chill demeanor and I’ve now started doing yoga with him practically on a daily basis. Apple Fitness+ is basically the same thing as watching an exercise video on YouTube except for the fact that it’s organized really well in the app and if you have an Apple Watch, the app connects your heart rate monitor to Fitness+ and you get a data exchange between the two (you can see your data on the TV as well). I really didn’t care for the Apple Watch, not really a fan of it nor do I like collecting data while working out since I tend to become data-obsessed and it ruins things for me (it why I stopped rowing for cardio and why I had stopped riding my bike for a long time). But I really am enjoying Fitness+ a lot. It’s become my go-to now after finishing up my weight lifting at home.

I mentioned at the start how Fitness+ was somehow working for me on my phone because at one point I had an Apple Watch set up on it? Well, that didn’t last long and it started giving me errors and not letting me stream onto my TV. I didn’t want to stop using Fitness+ so I decided to buy an Apple Watch so I could set up Fitness+ properly. Fitness+ requires an Apple Watch Series 3 or above to work so I looked around for a cheap second hand Apple Watch or a cheap brand new one since all I needed it for was Fitness+. In the end, I found out that Xcite in Jleeb had a Series 3 Apple Watch in stock, size 38mm, and selling for KD64.5 with a free additional strap. This was the cheapest new Apple Watch I could find so I ended up picking that up and setting it up with my phone. Now Fitness+ works on all my devices including Apple TV and my iPad. I also picked up a couple of Manduka yoga blocks from Ananda since I’m currently as flexible as a concrete brick.

Fitness+ has a bunch of workouts you can pick from other than yoga including Hiit, core, strength, treadmill, cycling, rowing, dance, and mindful cooldown. You need an Apple Watch to be able to set up Fitness+ the first time but after that, you don’t really need to wear the watch unless you want to know how many calories or monitor other data. In addition to an Apple Watch, Fitness+ costs $9.99 a month but it came included for me with my Apple One premier plan. Yes, you can use YouTube but I tend to like services focused on one thing and Fitness+ makes finding a workout, bookmarking and following a specific trainer all very easy. Plus if you want to track your heart rate and calorie count then the combination of the Apple Watch and Fitness+ works great and you can also get various notifications on your watch like when you’re past the halfway point of the workout or when you’ve achieved a new record.

Since gyms are closed, Fitness+ could be a great alternative especially if you already have an iOS device and an Apple Watch. They have a free trial period so you don’t need to commit to a membership unless you think you’d use the service.

Categories
Fitness Sports

Mobile Crossfit Box – Gym to Go

This has to be the coolest gym-related idea ever and the timing of it is perfect with gyms having been forced to close down now. Mobile Crossfit Box is a portable gym that you can rent out for you and your friends! It’s a fully decked out gym with everything you need from different kinds of cardio machines to barbells, kettlebells, dumbells, boxes, squat racks, and pull up bars.

The price is 40KD per hour and it can handle up to 4 people at once so it’s 10KD per friend. They also have a drop-in fee of 10KD which I’m guessing means if the truck isn’t fully rented out you could drop in where it’s parked and use it. For more info or too book the gym check out their instagram account @mobilebox_kw

via @notnorrah

Categories
Fitness Information

Home Gym Build: Part 3 – The Squat Rack

For my last post on the home gym build, I’ll be writing about training racks. I needed a compact and versatile set up since I was using only half of one of my rooms for a gym and still wanted to be able to perform a variety of exercises. I decided to get a squat rack because I’d be able to perform chest, shoulder, legs, triceps and back workouts, basically, the whole body using this one set up which made it very versatile.

I found a bunch of local companies that sold racks but I narrowed it down to three options:

Sports World – They had a Torque brand squat rack
Nomad Strength – A very cool local brand that custom-build racks
AFE Fitness – Another local brand that custom-build racks

Sports World sells the Arsenal 7 squat rack by Torque Fitness but it was priced at KD480 and ready-made so you couldn’t customize it if you needed to. Nomad Strength sell their squat rack for KD350 without any attachments. AFE Fitness on the other hand sell their squat rack for KD155. So I decided to go with AFE. Their work looked really solid and they’ve built rigs for commercial gyms so I knew I’d be getting a rack that could take abuse. But, what I also liked about AFE is they had a pretty cool website that allowed you to build and spec the rack as you wanted. This is such a smart idea because I went from a KD155 rack to a fully specced out one for KD242 with just a few clicks.

The way the AFE website works is you pick which piece of equipment you want, you then get to pick if you want it in their signature red color or fully matt black. You then have addons you could get so I got the dips bar attachment (KD30), the safety bar attachment (KD20), Ground Rotational Landmine (KD20), installation (KD10), and delivery (KD2). I also asked for the height of the setup to be reduced by 10cm. It was a super easy process, got everything I wanted, and more for a good price plus I was even was able to customize it for my room.

The rack was built and delivered to me in around a week and I’m loving it so far. As expected it’s really well built but it also has great details like cut out numbers next to the holes so you can keep track of where you’re putting the attachments. In my case, I’ve started sticking labels on the side to help me set up my rack quicker for the various exercises I’ll be performing. The only negative I could think of is that the J-hooks that hold the bar aren’t rubber/plastic protected so they’re already starting to get scratched up. It’s fine for my J-hooks to get scratched (pictured below), but my expensive bar has a black zinc coating and that’s gonna end up getting scratched and not sure I’m going to be too happy about that. If it got scratched over a long period of time that’s fine, makes me feel like I’ve been working out. But, I don’t want the thing to get totally scratched up from the first week, that’s not rewarding.I might find a DIY solution but haven’t really given it much thought yet.

Other than that quibble it’s a great rack. I liked it so much I just placed an order this morning for their dumbbells storage unit (also customized the length for my needs). They have a whole variety of racks and rigs so if you’re looking for anything else from a simple pull up bar to a full-on 2x1m outdoor training rig, check out their website arabakw.com

If you missed my previous build parts here are the links:
Home Gym Build: Part 1 – The Floor
Home Gym Build: Part 2 – The Equipment

Categories
Fitness Information

Home Gym Build: Part 2 – The Equipment

If you missed my Part 1 post on my home gym build, you can check that post here. For the second part, I wanted to talk about some of the equipment I got, where I got it from, and what options you have for getting the same as well. The pandemic started this home gym craze which has left the market bare of decent gym equipment, and when you do find any available, they tend to be overpriced. The quality of some of the equipment being sold is also questionable with lots of clones and overpriced poor quality hardware being imported by people who are looking to make a quick buck.

For my gym needs all I really needed was weight plates, an Olympic bar, a curl bar, and dumbbells. I managed to get everything except for dumbbells. Not sure what pre-corona prices were for dumbbells, but right now they seem incredibly expensive, at least to me. I can’t just get one set of dumbbells either, I’d have to get a whole range since depending on the exercise I might need anything from 10KG up to 36KG. So for now, I’ve put the thought of getting dumbbells aside unless I want to spend over 700KD which I’m not gonna do.

Weight plates aren’t that difficult to find, but finding a whole set of weights is. I was originally planning to get my plates from ProSports, but they had certain weights out of stock when I first checked which meant for example I could get 20KG plates but couldn’t find maybe 5KG or 10KG. I then decided to get bumper plates from Nomad, but they were out of stock. Gym Doctor? Also out of stock. Nobody had a full set of weight plates and I didn’t want to mix and match different brands or looks since my OCD wouldn’t be able to deal with it. I also needed them to be in KG not Lbs since I’ve only ever used KGs at my gym and didn’t want to change that. At one point I found all the weights I needed on the ProSports website but they were out of stock on the 7ft Olympic bar. I decided to wait until they got the bar in stock, but by then some of the weights were out of stock. Waiting until everything you want is available to order isn’t gonna work.

Eventually, while going through my Instagram explore page I noticed Sports World were selling a Torque brand package that included a full set of colored bumper plates (5KG, 10KG, 15KG, 20KG), a 7ft black Olympic bar and 2 collars all for 392KD. They also had a Torque adjustable bench for 220KD. I also bought extra 2.5KG plates from them. It was around 10PM at night, maybe later and the owner quick responded to my questions on Instagram and I managed to place the order and pay for my items all through Instagram DM. It was an impulse buy but it had to be if I wanted to make sure I got what I wanted before they sold out. The prices might sound expensive, but they’re actually acceptable for what you’re getting. For example, the bumper plate package retail cost is around KD340 in the US (pre-corona) so we’re only paying a slight premium here. What I’ve actually noticed is that the no-brand Chinese stuff is being sold for a pretty high price while the premium brands which have proper dealers in Kuwait kept their prices fairly stable.

So the difference in price between the no-brand clones and premium brand items has narrowed to the point you might as well pay a bit more and just get the premium brands. This price discrepancy is more obvious with things like the adjustable bench. At 220KD I think the bench I got is a steal compared to other benches in the market that cost 150-200KD. The Torque bench is commercial grade and pretty much bombproof and so is gonna withstand all the abuse I give it. But I’ve seen no-brand benches sold for just slightly less that look like they’re gonna start wobbling a week into use. The only thing left that I needed to get was a curl bar and Sports World didn’t have any in stock. I saw one on the Wawan website but they were selling it for 50KD which sounded overpriced. I eventually found one for sale on an Instagram account called @gym__home123 (can it get any more generic?) for 30KD and the guy delivered it the same day so not bad.

I really love the stuff I got, the colorful bumper plates look great and so does the black zinc coated Olympic bar. Since these items were going to be mine and used by me hopefully for a very long time, I wanted to get a proper set of gym equipment and so I’m glad I found these by Torque. I also ended up getting a squat rack to use with all the above but I’m leaving that for the final third post since there is a lot to talk about with that. For now I’ll leave you with a bunch of links below to where you could try and find stuff you need for your own home gym:

Sports World
ProSports
Nomad Strength Co.
Beyond Equipment
Gym Doctor
Perform Athletics
Sports Group
Wawan
@gym__home123

Update: Thanks to a reader ended up finding dumbbells that were priced extremely well, a set from 10KG up to 25KG in 2.5KG increments for just 225KD! Got them from @gymequipmentskwt

Categories
Fitness Information

Home Gym Build: Part 1 – The Floor

When gyms reopened a couple of weeks back I was still undecided if I’d go back to mine or I’d continue to workout at home. Well, the choice was made easy when I found out my gym was sold to another gym. At first, I considered signing up to Inspire since all my friends go there, but their Bida’a location was closed for renovation and their second location was just too far away. So I decided I might as well just workout from home.

For the past few months I had been working out at home using some basic gym equipment I had rented. I was really limited with my workouts due to the equipment I had on hand, but I was still disciplined enough to work out 3 times a week keeping with my previous gym schedule. So I decided I’d just put together a proper home gym and continue to work out from home. Due to the high demand for gym equipment because of the pandemic, finding everything I needed for a gym and at a reasonable price was going to be a difficult task. Thats why I decided I would detail my process in three parts. I’m going to mention where I got what from along with the prices I paid so that anybody else looking to set up a home gym can follow my steps if they want to. In this first part I’m going to be talking about the easiest part of this home gym, the floor.

Back in April I posted about a company called Green Rub that used recycled tires to make rubber fitness tiles. The tiles come in 1x1meter sizes and in two thicknesses, 2cm and 4cm. The 2cm thick tiles weigh 16kg while the 4cm tiles weigh 32kg. Going by the photos on their account I had difficulty deciding on the thickness of the tiles. Green Rub had recommended 4cm if I was planning on dropping weights from a height and since I never drop my weights I went with the 2cm. I’m glad I did because after having the tiles installed I realized they were more than enough.

The price of the tiles is 6KD per square meter and the minimum they sell you is 6 meters. I measured my space and ordered 8 meters which turned out to be perfect. Installation is easy, there is no sticking and it’s not permanent, they just lay the tiles on the floor for you wherever you want. In my case since I was covering a whole section of the floor in one of my rooms, I needed the pieces to be cut to fit perfectly edge to edge. They were able to do that for me at no extra cost and the whole thing cost me 48KD.

The end result turned out great and the tiles feel premium like they belong in a proper commercial gym. The gym floor isn’t a necessity but it does help me mentally to feel like I’ve got a proper gym. When I work out I’ll be in this newly defined gym zone which should put me in a gym mode whenever I’m in it with an added benefit of not having to worry about setting my weights down gently on my parquet floor. If you want to get this flooring for your place, here is a link to their website.

Update: I noticed they’ve now increased their price from 6KD per square meter to 7KD.

Categories
Coronavirus Fitness

Will you be going back to the gym?

Gyms will officially be opening up in a couple of days and I’m still deciding if I’m going to go back or not. The number of cases isn’t going down, the number of tests isn’t increasing and we’re all kinda just going about our lives trying our best not to catch it.

So far I think I’m most likely going to go back to the gym again. I’ve been renting gym equipment for the past few months but the gym is going to want them back now since they’re reopening. It’s also still pretty impossible to buy proper gym equipment so that’s not really an option.

I’ve been checking different Instagram accounts of various gyms and all the ones I’ve checked are trying to make sure their environment is as safe as possible. They’re all going about it differently but the gyms that lucked out the most are the ones that have classes where each client uses the same equipment throughout the class. Other gyms where you share equipment is going to be slightly sketchier but if you bring your own towel and disinfect the equipment before and after you use it, then it should be ok.

I guess I might just wait a couple of weeks for things to settle before deciding.

Picture on top from @inspirepurefitness

Categories
Coronavirus Fitness

Gyms Want to Reopen

Although gyms aren’t meant to reopen until the final stage of the government plan, I’ve been told that some gyms have presented a case to the government for permission to reopen sooner. A couple of days ago Alqabas newspaper visited Circuit+ to get an idea of how this could work safely and I think it could work.

Basically, Circuit+ will split up their gym into different large areas and give every member one of those areas to work out in. The area will contain all the equipment their member would need for that class so they don’t have to leave their section or share equipment with other members. Once the class is over the members are expected to wipe down the gym equipment they used and once they leave, the gyms cleaning staff come in and resterilize everything again for the next class.

Obviously this idea won’t work with every gym. Circuit+ isn’t a regular gym where you can just walk in and work out and leave, they function with classes that hold a limited number of people which works for them in this case. Also, their Shuwaikh location is HUGE as you can see in the video so they can manage to split it up and give each member a large section to workout in.

I think this could also apply to smaller and more private personal training gyms like mine (X.Athletic). Before the pandemic my gym would only allow a maximum of 4 gym-goers at any given time so it was never crowded. There was also a cleaner who was constantly wiping down the equipment and benches after they were being used, and this was on a normal day before COVID. By taking a few more extra precautions, I can easily see my gym also providing a safe space for me to work out in. Damn it, now all this gym talk is making me miss my gym and trainers.

But again, this setup wouldn’t work for every gym, just the very large class-based ones and the more premium exclusive gyms.

Categories
Fitness

I Miss Gymming

Since I joined my gym (X Athletic) 10 years ago, this is the longest I’ve gone without gymming. With the new government 5 stage plan to normality, it’s also going to be at least 3-4 more months before gyms are allowed to reopen. That’s why this weekend I caved and ended up renting some gym equipment.

A friend had shared a story on their Instagram account about her gym renting out equipment. They had two packages, one that included dumbells, kettlebell, skipping rope, a mat and a cardio machine for 175KD a month, and another which included a bar with weights and a bench for 100KD a month. Both options weren’t cheap, but I was desperate.

I tried finding equipment to buy but everything was just absurdly overpriced. For example, I found a pair of 22.5KG dumbbells for 90KD, an adjustable bench for 320KD and a barbell without any weights for 90KD. None of it made any sense financially, so I decided I’d just rent for now. I figured I’d try the home workout thing without investing too much money, and if I liked it, I could then take my time looking for gym equipment.

So if you’re looking for a place to rent equipment from, I got mine from Elite Fitness. You can DM them on Instagram @elitefitnesskw or Whatsapp Anthony directly on 60603720.

Gym 37 also have rentals but they only have heavy equipment remaining and so I didn’t ask about their prices. You could DM them @gym37kw to check. Let me know if there are any other places renting and I’ll also list them below.

Categories
Events Fitness Sports

Rafael Nadal Tennis Match in Kuwait

Rafael Nadal, the current world no. 1 in men’s singles tennis will be playing a match this coming February here in Kuwait at the soon to open International Tennis Complex next to 360 Mall. They haven’t announced who he would be playing against except for the fact it will be another tennis champion. Tickets for the match were being sold this past weekend for KD75 at the Rafa Nadal Academy exhibit inside 360 Mall, but the first batch of tickets have already been sold out. I’ve been told that they might release a second batch of tickets at a later date.

Nadal has won 19 Grand Slam singles titles, the second-most in history for a male player, as well as a record 35 ATP Tour Masters 1000 titles, 20 ATP Tour 500 titles and the 2008 Olympic gold medal in singles. The Rafa Nadal Academy that will be opening in Kuwait will be the second one to open in the world.

The tennis complex that is currently nearing the end of construction will have a combined stadium seating for over 6,500 people across two main arenas, each with the capacity to hold 5,000 and 1,500 people respectively. There will also be eight indoor courts with over 500 seats, and eight outdoor courts with 1,500 seats. The tennis complex is expected to open early next year.

To learn more about the Rafa Nadal Academy in Kuwait you can visit their large exhibit (with a tennis court) inside 360 Mall. The exhibit is there till December 7th and you can even play a fun tennis match with one of their coaches inside their exhibit. The timings for the exhibit are:

Wednesday: 4:00pm – 8:00pm
Thursday to Saturday: 12:00pm – 10:00pm

For more information, you can visit rafanadalacademykuwait.com or @rafanadalacademykuwait

Categories
Fitness Gossip & Rumors

Rumor: Equinox Gyms to Open in Kuwait

Equinox is a popular luxury gym chain in the US and according to a reader, they’re going to open in Kuwait (and most likely the region). Alshaya are bringing the brand which will most likely compete with the likes of Inspire, The Burrow and Elite Fitness.

No information on when or where they’re planning to open as of now.

Thanks Andrew

Categories
Fitness Healthier Lifestyle

Core Fitness is now XAthletic

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

Categories
Fitness Sports

List of Gyms Dedicated to One Sport

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

Categories
Fitness Sports

Aerial Yoga is Back

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