Page 1

e at s m a r t t o t u r b o c h a r g e yo u r m e ta b o l i s m

Sport &Fitness Issue 18

Official magazine of

training tips H.I.F.T – train quick and hard BUILD PERFECT BICEPS get a britney spears body

DAVID HAYE EXCLUSIVE From the top of the world to the jungle and back

ALICIA KEYS The super-toned soul sensation has us hitting the high notes

Dubai tennis championships can novak stop the fed express?

N 0 . 1 H ea lt h , S p o r t & L i f e st y l e M ag az i n e i n t h e r e g i o n


WE’VE ALWAYS GOT A SPORTING CHANCE THE recent revelation that Lance Armstrong cheated his way to his seven Tour de France victories has shocked cycling and the wider sporting world to its core. Armstrong was up there with the biggest sporting icons in history, adored by millions and a role model for aspiring athletes and children around the world. He’s gone from hero to zero and rightly so. The clean riders who were denied the chance to make their mark in history during Armstrong’s seven-year stranglehold on cycling’s most prestigious race between 1999-2005 will never get that time back. The sponsors who paid millions to be associated with the American, who have realised they were backing a fraud, and now feel tarnished by that very association, may never see their money again. And most damagingly of all, the children who looked up to his phenomenal achievements as an example of what can be accomplished with hard work and dedication are now being given the message that to do what Lance did, you need to take performance enhancing drugs. The road to redemption will be a long one for someone who was as high on the pedestal and who acted as dishonestly as Armstrong, but there is a way back. That’s the great thing about sport – there’s always another day, another race, another fight, another match. A chance to atone for previous sins, turn the page and begin a new chapter. Armstrong has been given a lifetime ban from professional competitive sport but there are plenty of un-sanctioned, charitable events that he can compete in to give something back and to set a new example to both his own kids and those around the world: that true character is facing up to your wrongdoings and trying to make up for them. The sporting landscape is littered with examples of athletes who have come back from dark periods in their careers, proven themselves again, and won back their place in the hearts of their fans. In our exclusive interview with David Haye he talks about the journey that took him from the high of being heavyweight champion of the world to the shameful low of brawling with fellow British boxer Dereck Chisora in a press conference, only to rise again via a stint on a reality television show to where is now – eyeing up another shot at the world title and the chance to hang up his gloves at the top of his sport. In a metaphorical sense the same chance for redemption is there for us all every day in terms of the way we treat our bodies. Even when we’ve let ourselves go, eaten badly and neglected our training for long periods of time, there’s always a way back. Tomorrow is a new day in which we can start making the changes that will eventually lead to a huge improvement in our health and fitness. In this issue we look at foods that can dramatically boost your metabolism; we also bust the most common fitness myths; show you how to build perfect biceps and bulging thighs and we reveal how yoga can help body builders! Richard Bevan Editor


CONTENTS REgulars P8 P15

SCENE Health bulletin

P17 FITNESS FIRST NEWS P47-69 HEALTH AND FITNESS Get bigger biceps (P50); Benefits of H.I.F.T (P53); Boost your metabolism (P56); Yoga for

Or log onto fitnessfirstme

P70 P72

bodybuilders (P58); Bigger squats (P62); Healthy eating (P67); Ask Hisem – Myth Busters (P68)


Long jump champion Greg Rutherford talks nutrition


Get a Britney Spears body


Features P21






A look ahead to the Dubai Tennis Championships

The multi grammy award-winning singer-songwriter unveils her new footwear collection and talks about life at the top of her game


Engines are starting to rev ahead of one of the world’s most prestigious and dangerous rallies


The English boxer talks about a crazy 18 months which has seen him go from heavyweight champion of the world to persona non grata and back



Staying on the boxing theme trainer Vince Cleverly talks about how he went from singing in working men’s clubs in Wales to turning son Nathan into the light heavyweight world champion



air Inaki Mazza gets some good air at Campo de Piedra Pomes in Catamarca, Argentina.





Photo: Luis Vidales




earth The Qatar Red Bull Rally Team tests in Apple Valley, USA ahead of the 2013 Dakar Rally.





Photo: Tony Harmer




ice Wojtek Pawlusiak grinds it in the snowboard slopestyle in Swieradow Zdroj, Poland.





Photo: Lukasz Nazdraczew




WEIGH IN ON YOUR RIGHT BALANCE. Healthy Weight Management Plan for AED

249 only.

• CONSULTATION • EVALUATION: BMI/WHR • INVESTIGATION: GRBS, LIPID PROFILE, TSH • TREATMENT: a) DIET b) EXERCISE c) MEDICATION In today’s day and age, people of every age group tend to fall into the ‘obese’ category. The best thing to do is to find the right balance as early as possible – to know food consumptions, healthy eating habits and maintain the ideal weight for your height and find time to exercise after work. At iCare Clinic, we’re determined to help you help yourself. Contact us today and we’ll tell you how you could ensure a healthy tomorrow.

For information, email us at

Terms and conditions

Valid till 31st March 2013

Please present your HWMP card to avail the special offer.






Health Bulletin POSSIBLE GENETIC LINK BETWEEN EPILEPSY AND MIGRANES SCIENTISTS from the Columbia University in New York believe they have found a strong genetic link between migraines and epilepsy. The researchers analysed 500 families and found that people with two or more close relatives (parents, siblings or children) were more than twice as like to experience migraines. Dr Melodie Winawer, who led the study, said: “Our study demonstrates a strong genetic basis for migraine and epilepsy, because the rate of migraine is increased only in people who have close (rather than distant) relatives with epilepsy.” While the study doesn’t categorically prove a definite genetic link, Simon Wigglesworth, deputy chief executive at Epilepsy Action, said the research was positive and could lead to more targeted treatments for epilepsy. “Having a better understanding of the genetic link between epilepsy and other medical conditions can only be a good thing.”It means that steps can be taken to improve diagnosis and treatment for people living epilepsy and co-existing conditions. By understanding how genes work, more targeted treatments could be developed in the future.”

NEW TECHNIQUE COULD PREVENT CERTAIN INHERITED DISEASES PARENTS who carry genetic diseases often live in fear of passing them on to their children but scientists have developed a new technique which could alleviate some of those concerns. Mitochondrial disorders affect about 1 in 10,000 people and can cause a range of medical problems from stunted growth, vision loss, neurological disorders to kidney disease. Currently, there are no cures for mitochondrial disorders. Most are passed from the mother to the child because of the mitochondrial DNA in the egg. Symptoms of these conditions typically appear in childhood, and women who carry such mutations often have to choose between not having children or undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) with donor eggs in order to avoid passing on a genetic condition. But for certain diseases it could now be avoidable as scientists at The New York Stem Cell Foundation Laboratory and Columbia University Medical Center have found a way to transfer the cell’s nucleus, and not it’s mitochondrial DNA, into a different human egg. The egg cell still has a mother’s genes but not her mitochondrial DNA, which is located outside the nucleus in the egg’s cytoplasm. “This gives us

the opportunity to prevent the inheritance of these devastating diseases,” says the study’s c0-author Dieter Egli. ” “Because these mutations are inherited in the cytoplasm, it can be unpredictable. But for the first

time, we can prevent the mutations and really cut off the inheritance of these diseases.” Further studies and development are required before the process, which is similar to that used in cloning, can be made available clinically. n

Could immune system booster kill cancer? RESEARCHERS in Japan have used stem cells to clone large numbers of specialized white blood cells which attack cancer and could potentially be used in the fight against the disease. The cells, known as cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs), are produced by the immune system and are able to recognise specific markers on the surface of various tumour cells, causing them to launch an attack to kill the tumour cells. But the human body only produces small numbers of CTLs and they have a short lifespan meaning that they’re not effective in curing cancer completely. But the study attempted to get round this problem by mass producing the cells in a lab. While the group were successful in growing the cells, it’s not yet known whether they could be safely put back into patients without being rejected and whether they would attack the disease without attacking other ‘good’ cells. Dr Hiroshi Kawamoto, who worked on the study said: “The next step will be to test whether these T-cells can selectively kill tumour cells, but not other cells in the body. “If they do, these cells might be directly injected into patients for therapy. This could be realised in the not-so-distant future.” “Different rhythms in the brain are associated with different cognitive operations like perception, attention and memory,” says Gazzaley, director of the Neuroscience Imaging Center at the University of California San Francisco. “More data is accumulating to show that [these rhythms] are causally related to how we think. “With Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s or [even] ADHD, there are different rhythmic patterns,” continues Gazzaley. Or, as Hart puts it, “When it’s in rhythm, it’s functional. When it’s an arrhythmia or some chaos or something, then you fall into disease, you fall into ill health. Good rhythm, good health. Bad rhythm, bad health. I mean that’s the dumbed down version of what we’re after.”






Fitness First to Invest US$150 Million on Regional Expansion NEW plans have been announced to inject $150 million into growing Fitness First in the region over a three-year period. Since its acquisition by the Landmark Group, Fitness First has added 22 new clubs to its regional network and in 2012 there was a 33% increase in membership across its clubs and a 30% growth in sales as compared to the same period in 2011. Plans are in place to roll out more clubs in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and Turkey during 2013 and the brand is also exploring a strong subfranchising model that will further consolidate its footprint in the region. The announcements were made at a media gathering that was headlined by Praveen Bhatnagar, CEO, Landmark Hotels and Wellness, George Flooks, COO, Fitness First, and Mark Botha, Group Operations and Marketing Manager, Fitness First MENA. “We are really pleased with the performance of Fitness First in the Middle East,” said Bhatnagar. “We are committed to bridging the gap in fitness services in the region and meeting the lifestyle aspirations of the community. “We currently have a network of 50 clubs over 38 locations and are on track to take this count to over 70 clubs by the end of 2015. Building on our capacity, our plans for 2013 focus on expanding our network of branches in the region.” During 2012, Fitness First acquired five clubs, of

Left to right: Praveen Bhatnagar, CEO, Landmark Hotels and Wellness, George Flooks, COO, Fitness First, and Mark Botha, Group Operations and Marketing Manager, Fitness First MENA.

which four are community clubs while the fifth based in Dubai Knowledge Village. Fitness First’s pipeline for the region includes branches at Sama Sulaibikhat Kuwait, Sahara Centre Sharjah, Malga gate and Khurais Road, Riyadh, KSA and Wahat Hili, Al Ain. Crossing 60,000 members in the Middle East, Fitness First also recorded a growth in the demand for personal trainers, which accounts for 20 per cent of the total revenue. The growth comes on the back of rapid development of the personal training segment

in the Middle East with members increasingly seeking personal trainers to help achieve their fitness targets. Additionally, Fitness First has marked the highest utilisation rate for group exercise in the region, with over 40 per cent of its member-base availing the facilities of its group exercise studios. The company is currently spearheading campaigns including ‘Obesity Kills’, as well raising awareness about heart disease to educate the community on the importance of staying fit.


Fitness First Middle East Rolls-Out ‘Running Club’ FITNESS First has continued its mission to ‘make the world a fitter place’ by rolling out a ‘Running Club’ powered by Adidas in the UAE. The initiative was originally launched as part of Fitness First’s role as sponsors of the Dubai Marathon to help members train for the race, but it has proved such a success that the ‘Running Club’ is now here to stay. Since mid-December the weekly runs have been hosted from a variety of venues led by expert trainers while in the lead up to the marathon runner’s information packs were provided for those taking part which offered great advice on ways train. Those members of the ‘Running Club’ representing Fitness First in the marathon also received T-shirts and other goodies. The club is free to join for Fitness First

members, who can also bring a friend along for no extra cost. Mark Botha, Group Operations and Marketing Manager, Fitness First Middle East, said: “Running in a group broke the monotony and helped maintain the participants’ motivation while expert advice and coaching was a great aid to their training. Our support to the Dubai Marathon and the Running Club come as part of our commitment to adapt our offerings to ensure that members and the community at large look forward to fitness activities as events to enjoy.” To find out more about the ‘Running Club’ call 800 FITNESS or visit

FITNESS First continues to strengthen its position as the No.1 fitness club in the Middle East and around the world with an eye-watering rate of expansion that now covers nearly all the GCC countries. Since December alone there have been no less than six new clubs added to the growing portfolio – three in the UAE, one in Qatar, two in Saudi Arabia and one in Kuwait – and through a network of branches that offer ease of accessibility, highly trained staff, and holistic fitness services that extend beyond a traditional gym concept, Fitness First is proving the favourite choice of fitness enthusiasts across the region. With 50 clubs in 38 locations across the UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Kuwait Fitness First is renowned for its world-class facilities including state-ofthe-art equipment, dedicated free weights areas, personal training by world-class fitness professionals, intensive weight-loss programmes, free group exercise classes and a host of membership privileges. “Our focus is bringing innovation to the fitness industry in the Middle East,” said Praveen Bhatnagar, CEO, Landmark – Hotels and Wellness, owner’s of Fitness First Middle East. “We realise that our members are constantly looking for new ways to keep fit, to push their fitness goals and to halt the monotony of their long-term routines.” The latest additions to the Fitness First family are: Al Fardan Centre, Sharjah – UAE Century mall, Fujairah – UAE Julphar towers, RAK – UAE Al Khor – Qatar Gallery mall – Riyadh, KSA King Abdulla Road – Riyadh, KSA 360 mall – Kuwait


Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships Women’s Event: February 18–23 Men’s Event: 25 Feb–2 March



HE Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships is set for its 21st staging this year and since the inaugural tournament in 1993 it has become an iconic event in Dubai with the world’s top players turning out in force every year to the delight of the sell-out crowds. Last year was the 20th anniversary of the prestigious event and it drew a record crowd of more than 100,000

people along with a television audience of roughly 40 million viewers worldwide. At the end of two weeks of sensational tennis, Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska took her first Dubai women’s crown by defeating Julia Goerges of Germany while Swiss legend Roger Federer claimed his fifth Dubai title after defeating Andy Murray. With many of the world’s finest players in town the stage is set for two thrilling weeks of action.

The Venue: Officially opened in February 1996, the Dubai Tennis Stadium has had the honour of “Best Venue” bestowed upon it by players on the ATP World Tour. Located in the grounds of the Aviation Club Tennis Centre, the stadium is completely self-contained. It has a 5,000 capacity centre court and is one of the city’s key entertainment complexes.

When not being used for the Dubai Tennis Championships the stadium is also a leading concert venue, having played to acts such as Sting, Gerri Haliwell, Bryan Adams, Enrique Iglesias, Coolio and Shaggy while former world boxing champion Chris Eubank staged his first Middle East bout on centre court in 1997.

Location: Dubai Tennis Stadium 31 A Street, Dubai

Women’s Event: February 18–23 Men’s Event: 25 Feb–2 March


Novak Djokovic

Roger Federer:

After a sublime year in 2011 World No.1 Novak Djokovic continued his phenomenal run in 2012 with an astonishing victory at the Australian Open where he beat Lleyton Hewitt, David Ferrer and Andy Murray on his way to the final against Rafa Nadal. The head-to-head with the Spaniard was a true epic with Djokovic triumphing in 5 hours and 53 minutes in five sets to make it the longest final in Open Era Grand Slam history. Despite it being his only Grand Slam win last year (he dominated in 2011 with three of the four) he still won a further five times including the ATP World Tour Finals in London and ended the year as the top player in the world. Djokovic’s triumph at the Australian Open in January, where he beat Andy Murray in four sets, took his total number of Grand Slam wins to eight. The Serbia hot shot won the Dubai crown three times on the bounce from 2009-2011 and only defending champion Roger Federer has a better record in the tournament.

Defending champion Roger Federer took the Wimbledon title last year for his first Grand Slam triumph since the 2010 Australian Open. The Swiss star broke the resolve of home favourite Andy Murray to win his 17th Grand Slam title. In addition to his wins in Wimbledon and Dubai (where he also beat Murray to the title) he won four times in 2012 and was runner-up to Djokovic at the ATP World Tour Finals in London. With 17 Grand Slams to his name, Federer will go down in history as one of the finest players to play the game. The Fed-Express loves Dubai and no wonder – he’s won the event a record four times.

Off court attractions: There will be action aplenty this year – off court as well as on – with a multitude of exciting attractions to entertain and engage spectators of all ages on every day of the tournament. The hugely popular Kids’ Days, Ladies’ Day and Fantastic Fan Day are sure to be popula as always, as will the ‘Catch and Win’ game which got every match off to an exciting start last year with 10 lucky spectators winning great prizes after catching balls served into the crowd. It really is fun for all the family at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.


Jo-Wilfried Tsonga: Since turning professional in 2004 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has gone on to become one of the most consistent players in the game. He has nine ATP titles to his name and all of them have come on hard court which gives him a great chance in Dubai. He broke through with two wins in 2008, three in 2009 and two in his last two seasons including a win in the Middle East, in Doha last year. The 2008 Australian Open finalist has improved year-onyear and with a strong serve he’s a dangerous opponent for the game’s best.

How the Women’s championship shapes up Since the first event in 2001 the winner’s roster of the Women’s Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship reads like a Who’s Who of tennis. Swiss superstar Martina Hingis won the inaugural title while fellow Grand Slam winners Amelie Mauresmo (2002) Lindsay Davenport (2005), Justine Henin (2003, 2004, 2006 and 2007) and Venus Williams (2009, 2010) are also winners in Dubai. Former World No.1 Caroline Wozniaki triumphed in 2011 while defending champion this year is Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska. Nine of the world’s top 10 will be in Dubai with Victoria Azarenka the favourite to win following her triumph at last month’s Australian Open. World No.3 Maria Sharapova is the only absentee from the field meaning competition will be fierce to see who gets their hands on the gleaming coffee pot trophy.

Juan Martin Del Potro:

Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro burst into the limelight in 2009 when he downed Roger Federer in remarkable fashion at the US Open. Federer was the five-time defending champion and ‘Delpo’ came from a set and a break down to win a five-set thriller. Last year he had a solid campaign with four wins – in Marseille, Estoril, Vienna and Basel and he defeated Novak Djokovic in the bronze medal match at the London Olympics. Del Potro made it to the quarter final stage in Dubai last year only to be beaten by eventual champion Roger Federer.

Tomas Berdych: While Tomas Berdych won his first ATP Tour title in 2004, it is only in recent years that he has truly come to the fore on the world stage. With one of the hardest-hitting games in tennis, Berdych was a surprise Wimbledon finalist in 2010 after he defeated Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in the quarter and semi-finals before succumbing to Rafa Nadal in straight sets. Twice a hard-court winner last year – in Winston-Salem and Stockholm – Berdych is a player who on his day can beat anybody. He was a quarter finalist in Dubai in 2011.



SHE’S famous for penning and performing a string of No.1 albums filled with smash hit classics such as ‘No One’, ‘My Boo’ and ‘Fallin’’ as well as for acting in Hollywood blockbusters such as 2008’s ‘The Secret Life of Bees’. Fourteen-time Grammy award winning, piano playing, soul sensation Alicia Keys has even turned her hand to directing with the short film ‘Five’ in 2011. Her collaboration with rapper Jay Z brought about one of the most memorable songs of the past three years ‘Empire State of Mind’ which is all about their beloved home town New York, and now the svelte singer-songwriter has added yet another string to her bow by bringing some of her urban style to a new partnership, this time with Reebok, as she indulges her passion for sneakers with a new collection.


SF: Why did you choose to collaborate with Reebok? AK: Working with Reebok felt like a natural fit for me, I’ve been a fan of the brand ever since I can remember. My 5411s – that was what we called the Freestyle because they were US$54.11 including tax in NYC – were practically glued to my feet in my pre-teens and teens. I loved rocking a hi-top! It’s one of those brands that have endured the test of time and it feels like a really natural fit. I’m excited to bring Reebok to the future! SF: What is your role in the partnership? AK: I collaborated on my very own limited collection! I started with the design team looking back through the archive and eventually landed on my favourite Classics’ silhouettes: the Freestyle Hi and Classic Nylon AND I fell in love with the Double Bubble! It was like having blank canvasses! I then had a lot of fun with colours and fabrics, and creating sneakers that I love to wear and I’m super excited to share! SF: Where did you get your design inspiration for the collection? AK: My style is eclectic and I wanted to make sure I put my own twist on the sneakers. For me, inspiration comes from everywhere; the streets of New York, the music I listen to, fashion, my friends, the world around me. It’s about creating something that’s not only wearable but is cool and makes you feel confident and at your best! I definitely went for street, style and stage—three important things to me. SF: Did you enjoy the creative process? AK: Being creative is something that I think everyone has in them. Over the years I’ve expressed myself through my music and my style and it was a lot of fun to be able to take that creativity and apply it to something completely new. Seeing the process first hand and understanding how much work it takes to just get one shoe right was so exciting. I have to say though, when I was going behind the scenes with the team at Reebok and going through more materials than you can imagine, choosing options became a hard task, I felt like a kid in a candy store! SF: Why Freestyles and Classic Nylon? AK: I started wearing Freestyles when I was a

“Working with Reebok felt like a natural fit for me, I’ve been a fan of the brand ever since I can remember. My 5411s – that was what we called the Freestyle because they were US$54.11 including tax in NYC – were practically glued to my feet in my pre-teensand teens. I loved rocking a hi-top! It’s one of those brands that have endured the test of time and it feels like a really natural fit. I’m excited to bring Reebok to the future!” – Alicia Keys

kid. The 5411s were my first pair and they take me back to a totally carefree time. The silhouette was so respected on the streets and I love the fact it still is today. The Classic Nylon Slim has such a good shape, definitely my favourite low-silhouette. The 5411s defined my look back in the day and have endured to be just as fresh now as they were then. But my new favourite is the Double Bubble! I am in love with those!

SF: Your husband (hip hop artist) Swizz Beatz also works closely with Reebok, did this influence your decision to partner with the brand? AK: Swizz started working with Reebok a few years back and really saw something in the brand. He’s such a visionary and puts so much into what he believes in. Of course, since then he’s been bringing some hot Reeboks home which I love, I mean what girl wouldn’t


‘KEY’ FACTS l Alicia’s real name is Alicia Augello Cook. l Alicia ran a full marathon in Athens, Greece in 2006. want a free pair of hot sneaks! On top of that, we both grew up with Reebok so it plays a big role in our style heritage. He’s always telling me about more gems he’s managed to dig out from the archives. Swizz genuinely loves the brand and I guess it’s that passion which is hard to ignore (especially when you live in the same house), so when the chance came up for me to get involved, I felt like there was a real opportunity to

represent women through the brand so of course I said yes! SF: How many pairs of sneakers do you own? AK: Let’s just say a girl can never have too many pairs of sneakers! SF: When do you wear sneakers? AK: Every day! Don’t get me wrong, I’m like any4

l All of Alicia’s albums, with the exception of 2009’s ‘The Element of Freedom’’, have debuted at No.1 on the US Billboard 100. l Before she got her big break, Alicia appeared on a 1985 episode of ‘The Cosby Show.’ l Alicia was raised in the Hell’s Kitchen neighbourhood of Manhattan, New York.


SF: If you weren’t a musician, what would you do? AK: I’ve always wanted to be a teacher. I always felt like there is something incredibly influential about being in a person’s life at the right time.

girl. I love my heels, but during rehearsals, when I’m at the gym and when I’m out and about in the city, sneakers are my go-to choice of footwear. Being a mother brings a whole new level to my life an there’s no way I could run around after Egypt in my Louboutins! SF: Has style always been important to you? AK: When I was a kid, I’d be pulling things out of my mom’s closet and dressing up. I’d have like 20 bracelets on one arm and shoes on that were about five sizes too big for me! I’d always be trying to mix it up, although I think I mix it up a bit better now than when I was 7. What 7-year-old knows that sometimes less is more? Style isn’t just about looking good though. It’s about self-expression and is part of who I am. That’s really what I’ve tried to bring to my Reebok collection. SF: What has been your biggest accomplishment? AK: I’ve been blessed in my lifetime and while I’ve achieved amazing recognition for my

music, I’d have to say my son Egypt has been my biggest accomplishment. SF: What single thing has helped you the most in your career? AK: I would say the single thing that has helped me the most in my career is my drive to succeed. From a very early age the words “I can’t” were not part of my vocabulary. By the age of seven, I was already rehearsing several hours a day and started writing songs in my early teens. My mom was so committed to me and helped keep me focused. She took me to piano lessons and exposed me to creative outlets. She really believed in me. I always credit her for who I am. I also knew that with hard work and dedication, I could achieve anything and I’m lucky enough to be able to say that my dream came true. SF: If you weren’t a musician, what would you do? AK: I’ve always wanted to be a teacher. I always

felt like there is something incredibly influential about being in a person’s life at the right time. SF: Where do you get your style inspiration? AK: I really love attending the shows during Fashion Week and get especially inspired by Paris Fashion Week – the collections are just so chic. French women really do have a certain air of elegance. I also love looking back at the 1940s and 50s, the hairstyles were so amazing and women were just so glamorous! SF: What are your top three style tips? AK: 1: Less is more! One statement piece can transform an outfit, two can destroy it! 2: Never travel without some cool sneakers, any daytime outfit can be styled up with good sneaks. 3: The most important thing to remember is that you can wear all the greatest clothes in the world, but you’ve got to have a good spirit on the inside. That’s what’s really going to 4

make you look like you’re ready to rock the world. SF: What do you love to do – what makes you smile? AK: I love spending time with my family, every time I see my son’s face, my heart smiles. SF: Who is your all time classic music idol? AK: Too many to mention….Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Aretha Franklin, Prince…OK, I’ll stop there! SF: What makes something a classic for you? AK: For me it’s about having soul. All the great classic artists, songs, musicians, they all have soul and you can feel it in their work. SF: How did you get into music as a career? AK: I was one of those kids who liked school – but I loved singing. At the end of high school, I was really lucky in that I had two great choices – I could go to college or I could pursue music. I probably could have done both at the same time, but I don’t think I would have been able to be truly great at either one of them. I really wanted to focus, and music was my passion, so I chose that path. Now that I’m older, I find that having additional passions and projects in my life helps me to be a better musician and performer. SF: Do you find it easy to juggle life as a working mom, and to keep a work-life balance? AK: I’ve never really been someone who’s wanted to be hugely in the public eye, and that’s not easy in my industry. I tend to shy away from the cameras. I mean yes, I go to events and yes, I’m on the red carpet, but I’ve never been a person to be driven by fame. I’m driven by my passion for creativity. I think it’s important to keep some sense of normalcy, especially now I that have a son. I want him to grow up and make his own way in life, to decide which path he wants to take and not be intimidated or directed by who his parents are. SF: You’re one of the world’s top music stars with a very busy schedule, how do you find time to keep fit? AK: Working out actually helps me – I have a heavy schedule and a lot to accomplish in

the day and exercising gives me more energy and resilience to get everything done. For me, it’s all about the motivation – I love variety and do yoga, Pilates, weight training, running and swimming. SF: What is your favourite city – and your favourite city to go shopping? AK: New York City of course! Where would I

be without it! When I travel, I do love shopping in Paris and London, cities which have great style. SF: How do you unwind? AK: With my family around me. We’re pretty regular behind closed doors and I’m happy that way! n


Tribal Classic Nylon Slim AED275

stud Classic Nylon Slim AED275

tribal freestyle hi AED395 stud freestyle hi AED395

Alicia Keys Reebok Collection THE Alicia Keys collection sees the American star give a new take on the Reebok Classics, Freestyle Hi, Classic Nylon Slim and Princess models. The signature collections take inspiration from the stage and the streets of New York to create women’s models designed with luxe fabrics that make a bold statement. A retro runner that’s trim and feminine, the Classic Nylon Slim is available in a variety of colourways and styles including ‘Tribal’ with rip-stop nylon in aubergine and citron and leather accents to create a fresh look, and ‘Stud’ designed with tight weave nylon, matt leather and metallic studs and brass eyelets for added style. Both feature Alicia Keys’ signature logo in purple on the foot bed. The Freestyle Hi is a one-of-a-kind leather shoe with raised 3D gloss print inspired by African, Middle East and music motifs chosen by Alicia. The shoes feature all-over leather for strong, stunning style and the signature two-strap Velcro® closure. Lined in black satin once again the foot bed features Alicia Keys’ signature logo in purple – her favourite colour. The Freestyle Hi is available in ‘Tribal’ with pops of aubergine and citron and stylish ‘stud’. The Alicia Keys Reebok Classic collection is available exclusively from select Reebok stores across the Middle East region. For more information log-on to

Dates: April 4 – 11 Venues: Moreeb Dunes, Liwa Desert, Abu Dhabi

2013 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge


HE Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge is one of the toughest motorsport events on the planet and definitely not for the faint-hearted. Cars, bikes, quads and trucks are set to challenge one of the world’s most prestigious cross-country motor rallies and they face five days of up to 500km sprints across Moreeb Dunes and the Liwa Desert. Drivers from around the world have entered the 1,500 kilometre race across challenging desert terrain known as the Empty Quarter. As well as 40° temperatures, entrants will face deep, unforgiving sand, dehydration, mental and physical fatigue and the constant threat of breakdowns or potentially deadly accidents. Originally the last round of both the FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup and the FIM Cross Country Rallies World Championship, the Desert Challenge is now the season-opening round and it further strengthens Abu Dhabi’s credentials as a tourism destination of distinction and major sporting events hub.

A look back at 2012


our-time Cross-Country Rallies World Champion Marc Coma lifted the trophy at last year’s Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge for the sixth time in his career in the Motorbikes section. “I am very happy with how things went, right from the first day,” said the Spaniard after sealing victory 9 minutes 33 seconds ahead of fellow countryman Joan Barreda-Bort. “Despite today’s stage being the last, it was a special stage of 280km and it was difficult maintaining concentration. You have to focus on getting to the end without any problems. I tried to keep my pace up but without taking any unnecessary risks. Thankfully it was a rally in which everything went our way. We were able to avoid any issues and things went exactly as we had planned. “When things follow your strategy you are grateful when in the end it goes your way, because it was certainly a tough rally for everyone. The heat and the difficulty of the dunes made it a challenge, as did the high level of our rivals. In as short a rally as this one, small errors are

magnified – that’s why I am so happy that everything went perfectly.” Meanwhile in the Cars section veteran rally driver Jean-Louis Schlesser also wrapped up his sixth win in the ADDC. Schlesser’s win means he now holds more Desert Challenge titles than any other driver. Nevertheless, after more than 20 hours of gruelling competition across the demanding terrain of the Western Region of Al Gharbia, the Frenchman was only able to sew up victory when Al-Mutaiwei’s MINI All4 car experienced problems with its fan on the final day. Partnered by co-driver Konstantin Zhilstov from Russia in his Sonangol Buggy, Schlesser proved that there is no substitute for experience in the world’s ultimate desert rally as he recorded a winning margin of 1h 37m 19s. “This is such a good win as there are so many big teams and strong competitors taking part this year,” said Schlesser, who completed the rally in 21h 39m 16s. “The important thing is not how you start, but how you finish, and today was good. It’s always great to get onto the podium.”

“When things follow your strategy you are grateful when in the end it goes your way.”

33 Mohammed Ben Sulayem, founder of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge and President of rally organisers, the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE (ATCUAE), said: “Last year the Desert Challenge attracted a higher standard of international competitors than ever before. “At the same time it is extremely positive to see such strong, competitive performances by the many UAE entrants. “Jean-Louis Schlesser is one of the toughest competitors in the rally world, so it is fitting that he should make history in what is acknowledged to be one of the most demanding rallies in the world.” Mohammed Ben Sulayem, founder of the Desert Challenge and President of organisers, the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE, is pictured waving the UAE flag before last year’s competition.



Hayemaker Fighting Fit TO SAY that the past year and half has been something of a rollercoaster ride for David Haye would be the understatement of the century. Flying high as the undefeated WBA heavyweight champion of the world and the new poster boy for the division, the ‘Hayemaker’ was brought back down to earth with a bang when Ukrainian IBF, IBO, WBO and The Ring champion Wladimir Klitschko outclassed him with a unanimous points victory in Munich in the summer of 2011.

Words by: Richard Bevan

During a short-lived retirement from the sport he was then involved in an ugly press-conference brawl with fellow Brit Dereck Chisora following the latter’s defeat to Wladimir’s brother Vitali in February last year. The former champion’s stock had never been lower but the feuding pair found redemption by settling their differences in the ring as Haye won a thrilling grudge match by knockout in front of a sell-out 35,000-strong crowd at West Ham’s Upton Park stadium before the 31-year-old ‘bared all’ and won over a new audience of fans when he came third in British reality television show, ‘I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here’. He’s endured some of the darkest moments of his career and come out of the other side. And as the sharp witted and savvy boxer revealed when I caught up with him as he promoted his new fitness DVD, ‘David Haye’s Box and Tone’ – he doesn’t do regrets. “It’s been a crazy journey the last year or so,” he says. “The fight with Dereck Chisora was a huge event, worldwide. We had 35,000 people there, the tickets pretty much sold out in a few hours. To have an event that big in London was amazing. “The controversy that led to that fight was not a normal situation, particularly in a boxing sense. But you know, we turned a negative situation into a positive one. We both went out there and had a competitive boxing match, of which I came out the victor. I then went into the jungle and did ‘I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here’, which was fun. It gave the British public the opportunity to see me outside of the boxing ‘Hayemaker’ mode. I was just out there being myself and the public seemed to take to it which was nice. When I’m boxing we need to hype the fight up and scream and shout but out there I was just enjoying myself and being me, and everyone else seemed to enjoy it which was a bonus.” The ‘controversy’ in question began after Chisora had been soundly beaten by the older Klitschko brother and was attempting to goad Haye into agreeing a fight in the post-bout press conference. Haye – stood among the members of the press – instead had his sights set on a match against the man who had just beaten Chisora. After a series of heated verbal exchanges, Chisora left his seat on the stage to confront Haye and all hell broke loose as the pair exchanged blows and grappled on the floor. “If that incident hadn’t happened, the fight wouldn’t have happened, plain and simple,” says Haye of the all-British showdown that was sanctioned by the Luxembourg Boxing Federation due to neither boxer holding a British fight license at the time. “Even if the fight hadn’t happened I wouldn’t regret anything about it – I don’t regret anything in life. You make the best decisions you can at the time. “In that moment my first thought was to defend myself, you know – I’ve seen Dereck Chisora, slap, spit, bite people. I’ve seen him grab a man and kiss him on his mouth – I’ve seen him do these things when he gets up close and in someone’s face. When he said he was going to give me two slaps, gets up and walks down to me and gets in my face, who am I to not believe him? Who am I to think all of sudden he’s going to just say it and not do

it? I’m not going to take that risk – I’m going to defend myself. Obviously what happened after that is well documented but that fact is we had a boxing match and got the British public back on side – even Dereck Chisora took away quite a lot of credibility. He gave me a good fight – he shook my hand, congratulated me and wished me well. That was a bold move by him.” Haye has always been a smart cookie, acutely aware that professional sport is also an entertainment business. A master of the ‘hype’ game, he started life as a cruiserweight

movement and hand-speed, explosive punching and astute tactical brain. Having mopped up the WBA, WBC and The Ring world titles, he put the PR machine into overdrive to get mouths watering about an all-British bust up with WBO champion Enzo Maccarinelli. In the event, Haye proved beyond doubt that he had outgrown the division as he swept the Welshman aside in two embarrassingly easy rounds. “I knew it was only a matter of turning up on time and sober against Maccarinelli and I would end up with my arm held aloft,” he later revealed. “I was saying that


The Fight with Dereck Chisora was a huge event, worldwide. We had 35,000 people there, the tickets pretty

and single-handedly brought the division to life with some much-needed stardust as he introduced the world to his ‘Hayemaker’ persona – drumming up huge interest in his fights with bold proclamations of greatness in the media and scathing assessments of the relative merits of his opponents. But talking the talk without walking the walk is never going to get you far and boy did Haye strut his stuff. One of the fittest, best-toned athletes boxing has witnessed, he saw off all comers (bar one early defeat to Carl Thompson) with his lightening quick

much sold out in a few hours. To have an event that big in London was amazing.

David haye

beforehand and a lot of people thought I was joking – just giving them a funny line to use. They failed to realise that I was deadly serious.” Following in the footsteps of Evander Holyfield, Haye made the step up to heavyweight intent on shaking up the declining division, unifying the world titles, and retiring with his looks and faculties intact before his 31st birthday. Again his outspoken showman-like antics grabbed the world’s attention and after seeing off American Monte Barret in the fifth round of his first heavyweight bout he set his sights on the dominant Klitschko brothers and began calling the Ukrainians out. A bout was initially agreed with Vitali who subsequently pulled out and was set to be replaced by Wladimir. Tempers flared in the build up as Haye enraged the pair by wearing a T-shirt depicting himself holding their severed heads! But it looked like a Haye-Klitschko clash was destined never to happen when this time the Englishman pulled out with a back injury. When Wladimir’s camp refused to postpone the fight until the injury healed Haye instead fought 7-foot tall Russian Nikolay Valuev for the WBA World title. Prior to the title fight Haye described the Russian as: “The ugliest thing I’ve ever seen,” adding, “I’ve watched Lord of the Rings and films with strange looking people, but for a human being to like he does is pretty shocking.” Again the shock tactics worked wonders as thousands of fans watched Haye produce a master-class of tactical counter-punching in the sold-out Nuremberg Arena, with millions more

“ “People said I couldn’t take a punch from a cruiserweight, let alone a heavyweight. It was nice to prove them wrong. I’d promised my mum when I was three that I’d be the heavyweight champion of the world. And I was! – David HAYE

tuning in on television around the world. The points victory made Haye the first boxer in history to win a world title fight despite being over seven stone lighter than his opponent and proved his credentials as a serious force in the heavyweight division. “People said I couldn’t take a punch from a cruiserweight, let alone a heavyweight,” says Haye. “It was nice to prove them wrong. I’d promised my mum when I was three that I’d be the heavyweight champion of the world. And I was.” Successful defences inside the distance against American John Ruiz and Englishman Audley Harrison led Haye back to the thing he’d wanted

all along – a shot at one of the Klitschko brothers. He took on Wladimir in the Imtech Arena in Hamburg in July 2011 with the pair putting their combined five world titles on the line but the fight didn’t live up to the enormous hype, with a broken toe hampering Haye’s traditional pouncing attacks and the Ukrainian securing a unanimous points victory with his relentless grinding use of the jab. It was the low point of Haye’s career but on reflection he’s philosophical about the defeat. “In every loss there’s a road back to victory,” he says. “I hate losing; I don’t like anything about it – I was distraught. But that led to me getting a fight with Dereck. And winning

that catapulted my career back on track.” While Haye accepts that – as was proved in the aftermath of the Klitschko loss – his trash talking build up to fights leaves him open to a slating in the press when things don’t go to plan, he insists he wouldn’t change his approach as it has allowed him to stand out from the crowd in a sport with 17 different weight divisions each with five different world titles. “You can go out there before a press conference and say, ‘I wish my opponent luck, he’s a lovely guy, I’m happy to be here, thanks for coming’,” he says. “But you’ll get six people turn up at your fight. Or you can go out there screaming

39 and shouting, turning over tables, saying crazy stuff in the press and you get 30,000 and sell-out the arena in a couple of hours. “It makes business sense to hype a fight up and get people interested because if people aren’t interested, if they’re not buying tickets, paying for pay-per-view and merchandise then what’s it all about? Boxing is a business. It’s like WWE wrestling – how many people would go and watch WWE wrestling if those wrestlers weren’t screaming and shouting and putting on all the theatre? They wouldn’t, it’d be empty – just a bunch of guys in spandex rolling around in a ring on their own – and nobody would want to see that!” Haye regained his place in his home nation’s hearts after following up his impressive defeat of Chisora with a successful appearance on ‘I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here’ where, as well as showing his intelligence and likeable personality, he thrilled female viewers his finely chiseled physique and a cheeky glimpse of his ‘rear assets’ during a visit to the shower. Enjoyable though the experience was, Haye, who is keen to pursue a career as an actor in the future, still feels he has unfinished business in boxing with a fight against WBC world champion Vitali Klitschko still very much on the agenda. The Ukrainian, now heavily involved in politics and a member of parliament in his country, may be set to retire from the sport but Haye believes it’s a fight the world wants to see and one that would allow Vitali to bow out with his head held high. “He’s never had that flagship fight, that one mega-fight that people will always remember him for. The only one people remember is the fight with Lennox Lewis, in which he came off second best,” says Haye, who has now regained his British Boxing Board of Control License after relinquishing it upon his retirement after the Wladimir fight. “He’s a proud man, and I’m sure he wants that big victory that he’s never had. He’s fought a lot of people, but for 10 years he’s been a huge favourite. I guarantee the smart money would be on someone like myself with power and speed and youth beating him, and he is going to have to pull off the upset. Whether he wants to put himself in that position remains to be seen. “I achieved my goals, which were to become world champion. I’ve got enough money in the bank to be comfortable and I’ve still got my faculties intact. But there is that obsessive thing still there, about facing Vitali in the ring.” And where better to get that mega-fight on than right here in the Middle East? “I’d love to get the Vitali fight on there, that would be amazing,” he says. “I’d have to get the Ukrainian on board though – I’m not sure if he’s used to that sort of heat. It’s pretty cold where he comes from at the moment so I’m not sure he could handle it!” n

David Haye’s Box and Tone The Ultimate Fighting Fit Workout SF: Tell us about the DVD – what made you want to do a workout DVD? DH: I’m continuously asked by everybody that I meet, women, men, everybody wants to know what exercises they should be doing to get in shape. It turns into a twohour conversation so I thought the easiest way to solve this conundrum is to hand them a DVD! So that’s what I’ve done. I watched all the other DVDs that are out there on the market and very few of them cover all the bases – they’re usually either for beginners, intermediates or experts. So my mission was to create a DVD that covered someone who’s never trained before, right through to someone who is used to going to the gym regularly. I think I managed to pull it off, it’s done in a class format with me stood at the front of the class, and we travelled the country and put people in the class who had never done any exercise before. It took a few months for me to get the exercises, and the timings and punch selections exactly right but I think I cracked it. Novices and people who consider themselves fit all love it, and cant wait to do it again the next day. You can structure your training – you can do your abs and core, you can do conditioning, there’s circuit training, there’s shadow boxing – loads of different parts to the course and you can switch it up using the menu functions. You can customise your session to do different things on different days. It really works and I’m very proud of it. I didn’t want to be involved in it if it wasn’t going to be the best. Like anything else I do, if you’re not going to be the best, I say don’t bother, and I looked at what else is out there on the market and I truly believe this is the best out there. Everybody who’s done it so far has given it nothing but rave reviews and I’m very happy with it. SF: Do you use these exercises to prepare for a fight? DH: A lot of the exercises are exercises that I’ve done throughout my career – or modifications of exercises I’ve done. There are several different ways of doing certain exercises and we’ve tried to show those. I’ll show one exercise and then show two, three or even four different ways of doing the same exercise. You’re doing it to music so you’ve got to hold the exercise on the beat, and keep in time with the music. It’s tough but if you really want to make a change you’ll dig in and get a great workout. David Haye’s Box and Tone – The Ultimate Fighting Fit Workout is available online at:


SF: You’ve always been in great shape in the ring – what’s your schedule like when you’re preparing for a fight? DH: It’s very structured. I normally do six days a week of gym work with a day of complete rest. I train twice a day with a morning plus a late afternoon or evening session. Each session lasts around three hours if you include the warm up but around two and a half hours of hard graft. We do weight training, sprint work (which doesn’t last as long), plyometric training – we try to mix it up. I’ve been working for many years doing this and each training camp we do we try to look back at the last one and try to improve it. We see if there were certain aspects that were lacking, if I had an injury maybe, we’ll try and do things that prevent those injuries. It’s all about doing what you can, when you can do it because boxing is a high-impact sport where you do get injured – you do take punches, you do take knocks. So a lot of the time during training you’re injured and you’ve got to try and work around that. You might injure an arm so there are certain exercises you can’t do with both arms and you’ve got to modify it to do one-armed exercises, or you might injure your leg or your back, your neck. You always find yourself getting knocks in training so it’s all about variation – there have never been two training camps I’ve done that have been the same, they’ve all been different, depending on how I was feeling and what injuries I had.

SF: Of course you also have to fit your roadwork and sparring in as well? DH: The sparring for me is the most important thing, once sparring time comes you’ve got to fit everything else around that. There’s no point in doing a hard run directly before you spar because your legs will be tired, which means you wont move as fast, which means you’ll take a lot more punches that you would want to. So you need to be as fresh for sparring as possible because you want to practice good technique. There’s another theory that you should get completely knackered before sparring so that you get conditioned to fight tired but I’ve never really been one for that because it leads to you taking more punches than you’d usually do, which leads to brain damage, which isn’t good for anyone.

SF: How long do your training camps last? DH: I normally try and do a month to six weeks of pre-camp training just to get myself ready for the 12-week training camp that I normally do. So I’d say about 16 weeks in total of five hours a day, six days a week. It’s pretty tough, but then boxing is a tough sport so you’ve got to put the work in. SF: Ricky Hatton always struggled with the nutritional aspect and went a bit crazy when he wasn’t in training. Do you find it difficult to stay disciplined? DH: I don’t really struggle. It’s nice to be able to not have to watch what you’re eating – it’s nice to have a bar of chocolate here and ice cream there – to take your foot off the gas and sit back and enjoy the luxuries that life has. But when it does come time to start training you’ve got to put that to one side, put the taste buds to one side and focus on the quality of the food you’re eating rather than the taste!

SF: What about diet, are you strict on the nutrition side of things? DH: I’m very tight on my nutrition, I make sure I’m getting all my minerals in, my lean meats, organic vegetables. I spend a lot of money on fresh produce but I definitely feel the difference. I see myself as a performance engine, so you’ve got to put the right fuel inside if you want to get the best out of yourself. They say your are what you eat and I eat really well. Good lean, healthy stuff and I definitely get the workload done when I’m eating that sort of stuff.


Behind the stars Vince Cleverly is the father and trainer of WBO Light Heavyweight World Champion, Nathan Cleverly. He only took up top level training just over four years ago but he’s resided over 19 victories for Nathan without defeat since then as he’s guided his son to the very pinnacle of boxing.

Behind the stars I

FOUND my way into boxing, and then eventually training, purely because of my son Nathan. He always had that fighting mentality from a very early age and we had to focus that into some constructive area because he was a pretty wayward young boy. We lived in a place known locally as Monkey’s Island in Phillipstown, New Tredegar in South Wales. It was pretty rough, cheap housing and not much going on to be honest. Nathan was always fighting and was quite troublesome so I thought boxing was the ideal sport for him as it gave him a channel for all that energy. I always thought there was something special about Nathan, something genetically that set him apart, and when we watched Joe Calzaghe beat Chris Eubank in 1997, and his mother and I mentioned that we knew Enzo Calzahge (Joe’s father and trainer) Nathan asked me if he could go down the gym. I told him that it was OK by me but his mam would never allow it. Anyway, we got around her and I started taking him down to Enzo’s gym every weekend, where Joe was training as well, and he got the buzz for it – that’s how it all started. He dragged me along, saying ‘Dad, you don’t take me anywhere, you don’t take me to football, you don’t take me to any sports’ so he forced me into it!

Club Singer

I didn’t have any background in boxing or any sport for that matter – I was in the entertainment business, a club singer on the working men’s club circuit in Wales! When Nathan first started at Enzo’s gym I just used to sit and watch for the first couple of months. Then I took him to another couple of gyms and again, just sat and watched and learned a bit from other trainers. Gradually I started to train him a little bit with the pads etc – in our garage, in the front room, in the bedroom, you name it! I starting picking up more knowledge and got more and more into it. I know it sounds silly but I genuinely thought that Nathan had what it takes to make it as a pro and eventually become a World Champion from his very first fight. I saw something in his first fight and I always remember going to see my mother afterwards and saying, ‘Mam, this boy’s going to be World Champion.’

She said, ‘Don’t be so silly Vince, it’s his first fight!’ I said, ‘Mam, I’m telling you this boy has got something special,’ and I was proved right. First and foremost it’s about genetics – as I said earlier, Nathan is blessed with a great physical make up. He always excelled at other sports when he was a kid – football, cross country running, anything he turned his hand to he was pretty good at. But he also had the desire, he just wanted to box, to fight. He had the winning mentality and he was prepared to train and to go through the pain barrier to get what he wanted. That was from a very young age, which was unusual. After a lot of good years training at Enzo’s gym we made the decision to leave in September 2008. Joe and Enzo fell out with (promoter) Frank Warren over some financial issue. There was a split going on and Frank Warren would no longer work with Enzo Calzaghe boxers so Nathan had to make a choice. Either he had to stay with Frank or he had to go with Enzo, who was starting Calzaghe Promotions. Nathan came and spoke with me and I advised him to stay

with Frank Warren, he’s one of the best promoters in the world and he respects loyalty and I think he does his best for his fighters and is a very knowledgeable man as far as boxing is concerned.


So we left Enzo’s gym but of course that meant Nathan no longer had a trainer. I had a word with Dean Powell, Frank Warren’s match maker, and we agreed that Nathan should move up from the weight he was fighting at – Super Middleweight – to Light Heavyweight as I believed that was his natural fighting weight. The next job was to look for a trainer, and Nathan said, ‘Could you train me Dad?’ I had my own little amateur gym going at the time – Church Place Amateur Boxing Club, it had only been open about 18 months, and I’d never trained anyone at Nathan’s level before but we decided to give it a go and that was it. My first ever experience of being in the corner was for Nathan’s Commonwealth title victory over Tony

45 Oakey just a month after we left Enzo’s gym. Since then I’ve been in the corner 19 times, undefeated. The foundations for me training Nathan were already there from his days doing athletics so it was just a natural progression and we work very well together. I suppose there could be a time when Nathan decides he wants to work with a different trainer if he feels it’s right for his career and if he did I would be behind him all the way, it wouldn’t cause the slightest issue between us. Allowing him to become the best boxer he can be is, and always has been, the most important thing for both of us. But for now everything is going perfectly, he’s one of the fittest boxers you’ll see step into the ring. He’s undefeated World Champion and he’s about to make his fourth defense against Robin Krasniqi. The training is going very well. Nathan and I don’t have a set training schedule as such – we do things as and when he feels right. He can let me know at any time and we get out there. We break it up between pad work, sparring, hill runs, sprinting, strength and conditioning and circuit training. We vary it a lot and generally do around three 45 minute stints each day at the very most. He’s got a dedicated nutritionist who makes sure he’s eating and drinking the right things and he never has any trouble making the weight for his fights. I’m a great believer in training strong – we don’t want him to train too light or his energy levels will drop so we train at a good weight and then a couple of weeks before the fight

Nathan and I don’t have a set training schedule as such, we do things as and when he feels right, he can let me know at any time and we get out there. We break it up between pad work, sparring, hill runs, sprinting, strength and conditioning, circuit training – we vary it a lot and generally do around three 45 minute stints each day at the very most. we start bringing it down. We do the main sparring from about three weeks before the fight up to the last week and then we stop sparring and concentrate on his weight training as we’re bringing the weight down.

Train as the challenger

We’re not taking the Krasniqi fight in March for granted. Whenever someone fights for the World title you know they’re going to be in peak condition, they’re going to improve their level of performance. Every fight Nathan has had since I’ve been with him has been the most important fight of his life and this one’s no different. He’s training as if he’s the challenger, not the champion. That’s our mentality, we always train like that. I don’t want to give away too much about how we’ll approach the fight but I think Krasniqi’s a very

underrated fighter. He’s very strong, he does things correctly, he’s fast and elusive. He’s going to be a very strong opponent but I don’t think he’s in Nathan’s class to be honest. He’ll probably produce the best performance of his life to try and get that belt from Nathan but we won’t allow it. Nathan will be too strong. The ultimate goal is for Nathan to unify the Light Heavyweight Division, and then step up to Cruiserweight, possibly in about 18 months time. As boxers get older they tend to move up in weight as their metabolism slows down and their body thickens up so he’ll probably step up eventually. There’s a big weight difference but if we do it properly, I don’t see any reason why he can’t win a World title at Cruiserweight too. He’s got a good team around him and we’ll make sure he does it correctly to give him the best chance of continuing to win. n

NATHAN CLEVERLY Training with my dad has been great – an adventure – and it’s given me a new sense of urgency with my boxing. I’ve been able to have one-to-one training, and it’s allowed me to be flexible, because I don’t train at specific set times – I train whenever my body and mind feels right. Training with my dad allows me to do that, I can text him at any time, and he’s there, ready – so it’s worked out nicely. I’m happy with the training methods and most importantly, with the results. I remain unbeaten and I’ve become a better fighter and picked up all the belts that I’ve set out to get so far. It’s been a great transition from Enzo to Dad and one that I’ve really enjoyed – and if you’re enjoying your boxing it’s a big bonus. I’ve been around quite a lot of gyms as an amateur boxer and then as a pro when I started out under Enzo and we’ve picked up methods from all of the different trainers and mixed them together – keeping the things we like, and getting rid of things we don’t think work very well. Dad also works with one or two amateur boxers which is great for him as it means if I’m not in the gym or I’m having a break after a fight it keeps him ticking over and he can pass on some advice to the up and coming lads. I like to train very intensely. I don’t really train for super-long hours but I push hard in short sessions. Some

fighters do it the other way – spend hours in the gym and stretch their training out but I get bored very easily so it works for me if I get in the gym, get the work done, and get out as soon as I can. It works for my type of style – it might not work for other fighters, but it keeps me fresh. I try and train at different times, in a variety of different places, doing different things, to stay as fresh as possible. My training for the Krasniqi fight is on track and I feel great. I’m not taking him for granted as he’s won his last 38 fights – he’s a good fighter, so I’m going to make sure I’m ready to get the business done.

“I think Wales is the best place in the world to train a boxer. People used to say to Joe Calzaghe, ‘Joe, why don’t you go to America to train?’ and he said, ‘My training ground is in Wales, why would I want to go to America.’ We’ve got lots of hills, a challenging environment, good facilities, it’s perfect and Joe was right. Joe’s always been there for Nathan right since the start of his career, we can’t fault him – and how can you fault a team that went 46 fights without defeat?” – Vince Cleverly














Senior Fitness Manager, Fitness First Community

Nikesh Naik

SF: Tell us about your specialist role within Fitness First and what it entails? NN: My role is Senior or Area Fitness Manager. My job is to develop the Fitness Product across the three Community Clubs in the Lakes, Emirates Hills area. Our vision here is to offer fitness as a way of life and a lifestyle that is fun, exciting and motivating. We will achieve this by offering new and exciting ways of delivering fitness in the near future such as outdoor training, functional fitness, group training, youth fitness, kettlebell clubs, performance training, X-Fit training etc. SF: What is your favourite way to train? NN: I enjoy competition therefore sport is a big part of the way I train. That can range from squash, to golf and even cricket. X-Fit is also a big part of my training regime. My favourite though, is early in the year during my strength building phase, I like to lift heavy things up and put them down! My style of training is performance-based and extremely functional. I enjoy trying new things and pushing the norms. SF: What are your proudest achievements in your career? NN: It is difficult to point out one achievement however, having the opportunity to fulfill this position certainly makes me proud – being able to influence members and staff drives me and seeing the development in the people I have managed fills me with immense pride. My work in developing the Dubai Fitness Competition has also been a highlight – seeing it start with five of us around a small table to where it is now. One thing that definitely makes me proud in my career is having met my fiancé! Lastly, something that makes me proud to work for this company is the work we do for charity. I come from a country where we see poverty in everyday life and contributing even just a little to improving the cause is a proud feeling!

SF: What is your background in the industry and how did you become involved with Fitness First? NN: I was born in Zimbabwe and lived in South Africa. Growing up I had no clue what video games were and I didn’t even know what a PlayStation was for a long time! Therefore, being a small town kid, all I did was play sport with my friends. I was a skinny kid who played a lot of sport and one day my hockey coach told me the only way I would play elite sport was if I got bigger and stronger. At 16 years old, weighing a mere 52kg with a point to prove, I joined a tiny gym and just started doing whatever the other guys were doing. I got away with it because at that

Or log onto

age, whatever you do seems to work. After learning about training and researching over two years or so suddenly I was playing at national level for multiple sports. I went to university to study for a Bachelor of Business Administration degree but changed to Exercise Science. I could not bear the thought of being at a table for long stretches of time. Enter Fitness First! While I was in South Africa, I went for open interviews, got offered the job, came to Dubai, worked hard, and I’ve never looked back. SF: What is your No.1 motivational tip to members? NN: I have many! I could go on about keeping a log, training with a friend, training to music etc, but the one thing above all that I encourage members to do is to realise why they are training. What is your trigger? The mistake many of us make is that we do not understand why we are in the gym and then we wonder why we get de-motivated! If I had to ask

you why did you join the gym what would you say? The majority would say, “To lose weight”. But why do you want to lose weight? I bet most of you will say, “Because I want to look good!” Yes, but why do you want to look good? Now I bet you’re thinking, “I just want to look good!” But do you want to look good because it makes you feel empowered? Do you have an event coming up that you want to impress on? How would it make you feel if you achieve your goal? Is there someone who you want to catch the attention of? Feel that feeling! Visualize it, understand your trigger and you will not worry about being motivated ever again because you know what you want and why you want it.

If you ever need that push or extra motivation you can follow me on Twitter @nikesh_naik. I’ll always be posting new trends, workouts and research and you can ask me anything, I would be happy to help.

BIG GUNS Build perfect biceps Fitness First’s Senior Fitness Manager Nikesh Naik explains how to get those bulging biceps we all dream of

The first thing you need to remember is that the biceps are generally a smaller muscle group than many of those you work during a workout. The biggest mistake that people make when they’re training biceps is that they over-train them. They train biceps the same way as they would train the chest but it doesn’t make sense because they’re two completely different sized muscles. Biceps generally respond to heavier loads but also a lower set and rep rate. So my advice is – when you train biceps, keep it basic. Hit them with a good three to four exercises, with a total of 9-12 sets (three of each exercise) and anywhere between 6 and 12 reps in each set.

The Warm Up

The Compound Movement

If you want to build your biceps you have to work smart. Let’s start with the warm up. The purpose of the warm up is to ensure your biceps get primed so that not only is the risk of injury reduced, but the performance of your workout is significantly increased. Think of it as warming up your engine! For this you want to choose an exercise that takes the bicep through the full range of motion with low weight resistance. I like to start with a cable bicep curl where I can work it right through the range of motion – I do 2-3 sets of around 15-20 reps on a low weight just to flush the muscle and get the blood flowing to avoid injury. If you don’t want to use the machine or you’re working out at home, you can also use a light barbell or some light dumbbells, which work just as well.

The purpose of having a compound movement at the start of the workout is that these movements usually expand the most energy but yield the best results in terms of strength and size. The compound movement is usually a standing exercise using a heavy barbell or heavy dumbbells. I would recommend something like an Olympic Barbell Curl (pictured) or alternating dumbbell curls. The thicker grip used on an Olympic Barbell Curl tends to give a lot more forearm stimulation than on a standard barbell curl so you also build this muscle and can control the weight better.



The Strength Building Exercise The purpose of this is to further push the bicep to fatigue and really initiate the muscle ‘breakdown process’ so that the muscle then recovers and becomes stronger and larger. I like to use dumbbells in this part of the workout and I focus on hitting the bicep at a different angle. I would recommend something like a dumbbell hammer curl (pictured), a reverse grip easy bar curl or a rope cable curl. Again you want to go quite heavy here so that you start to fail between 10-12 reps.

The Shaping Exercise The purpose of the shaping or ‘flushing’ exercise is to push as much blood into the muscle as possible. When you’re eating right and having the correct post workout meal this is one way to really push your biceps development even further. The shaping exercise is a much more isolated movement and the idea here is to really flush the muscle and take it through a good range of movement so that it’s really pumped. We’ve destroyed it with some really heavy lifts, we’ve used the strength exercise to build the other muscles associated with the biceps and now we need to flush it to tone and shape the muscle. I use an isolation movement such as an easy bar preacher curl, an incline dumbbell curl (pictured), or a cable curl. Here you want to go for a weight that you can comfortably do 12 reps of but one that you start to struggle with at 15.






If you want to really build your biceps include exercises where your palms are facing up and pulling towards you – that’s what activates a lot of your bicep and it will help greatly in the building process.







For quick results… get intense! Fitness First’s Nathan Brown explains the benefits of High Intensity Functional Training If you are even remotely interested in staying fit and have been visiting your gym frequently, you would have come across the phrase High Intensity Functional Training. It sounds like a military training programme where you are expected to run across a minefield, but nothing could be further from the truth. High Intensity Functional Training is basically ‘functional’ exercises executed at the highest intensity that your current state of fitness will allow you to do. This means that it can be adapted to the needs and fitness levels of anybody from a teenager to a grandparent (more about this later)!


igh intensity maximum training is all about maximising the exercise and its effects as much as you can. High Intensity exercises can be defined as exercises that use more power, more weights and result in more metabolic training. This translates into the exerciser doing more power exercises that are gymnastic in nature, like chin-ups and pushups and working with weights over and beyond what an amateur would do at the local gym. This would include Olympic style lifting like snatch, clean and jerk etc. Last but not least it is also about more intense cardio that involves multi-joint workouts. The equipment used is basic – barbells, kettlebells and the most important of all – one’s own body weight. Needless to say, this intense approach can scare away people who just want to shed a few extra kilos. But High Intensity Functional Training is something that everyone, irrespective of age, can try. All you have to do is fine-tune the intensity of your workouts and build up to the higher levels over a period of time. High Intensity Functional Training by its very nature also implies that one of the most important things one must focus on is technique.







Functional Exercises:

“Functional” refers to exercises that lead to results. Most trainers would argue that almost all exercises are functional, but in a strict sense, Functional Exercises are routines that reflect movements that we use regularly in our day-to-day life, for instance – squatting, lifting, walking, running and weight resistance. In modern times, a sedentary person doesn’t naturally have to do many of these movements as their lifestyle no longer incorporates them nor does our survival depend on them. And this is exactly why it is all the more important to include these exercises in your routine.

Grungy Roots:

Someone once said that High Intensity workouts have a barbaric feel. And it’s true. From the sound of it, it is something that you’d expect Vin Diesel rather than George Clooney to be doing. High Intensity workouts like Crossfit and Fitness First’s X-Fit were born in garages amongst friends and most High Intensity fitness routines stay true to this grungy beginning. The focus is on ensuring that the community feeling is not lost.

Who is the fittest? High Intensity workouts will also give you the right to stake your claim at being the fittest man or woman in the world. Of course this is a controversial subject. Many experts consider the decathlon or triathlon champion to be the fittest. Many others would say that anyone who can run 100 metres under 9.6 seconds is the fittest. And yet others will think that unless you can lift nearly three times your body weight you are not strong enough. However, it’s also true that an Olympic weight lifter, while capable of lifting more weight than most other people on Earth, will not be able to run or cycle or swim competitively. Similarly a triathlete can run, cycle and swim great distances but can’t lift weights like an Olympic champion. And neither will be able to do what a gymnast can. None of these world-class athletes may consider a High Intensity Functional Training expert much competition, but this individual would be able to run, cycle, swim, do power exercises like a gymnast and lift great amounts of weight. In fact, one of the mantras of High Intensity

Functional Training programmes like X-Fit is to, ‘be prepared for the unknown’ – which means that even when each day’s schedule varies and the exerciser doesn’t know what they will have to do, they have developed the skills to do it courtesy of the training their body has undergone. The focus with High Intensity Functional Training is not to break world records but to train your body to successfully complete most fitness related tasks and activities – a bit like mixed martial arts. But this fitness trend is not just about pushing your body safely to its limits; it is also about achieving greater strength, fitness, balance and mobility. In fact, according to the latest scientific research, high-intensity functional exercise programmes (conducted under medical supervision) improve lowerlimb strength, dynamic balance and gait ability in older people. Participants in the research reported that they felt less tired and experienced greater safety and security when mobile. Not bad for something that was born out of a garage!

56 TURBOCHARGE YOUR METABOLISM What’s it all about? Metabolism is basically the process of your body converting the fuel from food into energy to maintain itself. Essentially, it’s the amount of calories you burn from food to go about your daily life. Weight watchers everywhere long for a quick (or high metabolism) to decrease the amount of calories that get stored as fat and while some are genetically blessed there are easy ways you can give yours a boost.

4 Muscle Up! This is the most important one of all. Muscle uses far more calories than fat to maintain itself – every pound uses six calories a day compared to two calories for every pound of fat. Do regular resistance training to build more muscle and convert more calories into energy. Muscles are activated for a long time after a workout so you’ll also increase your average resting metabolic rate.

4 Go heavy on the H2O You need water to process calories so even if you’re only slightly dehydrated your metabolism will slow down. It’s been shown that adults who drink eight more glasses of water a day burn more calories than those who drink four. You can also get your water fix from any other unsweetened (non-alcholic) beverage or even from fresh fruit and vegetables.

4 Grapefruit Grapefruit has unique chemical properties that reduce your body’s insulin levels which increases weight loss through a boost in your metabolic rate. It’s also full of Vitamin C which helps our bodies absorb calcium, also known to boost metabolism, more effectively.

4 Morning coffee The high levels of caffeine in coffee have a thermogenic effect which helps boost the metabolism. It’s not a good idea to drink too much coffee but a cup of black coffee in the morning can give your metabolic rate a jumpstart.







4 Green tea Green tea is full of catechins, which activate certain functions of the nervous system known to speed the metabolism up, as well as having several other health benefits.

4 Ice, ice baby The colder your drinks are the more calories you burn digesting them so have your drinks on the rocks. You can burn an extra 15 calories a day by adding ice which doesn’t sound much but it soon adds up over the course of a year.

4 Up your protein intake Your body burns more calories digesting protein than carbs or fat so upping your protein intake can increase your metabolic rate at meal times. A balanced diet is recommended but replacing some of your carbs with lean protein containing foods such as turkey, fish, tufu, lean beef and eggs will result in a higher metabolism.

4 Spice it up Chemical compounds in spicy foods give your metabolism a temporary boost, lasting about half an hour. But if you’re a chilli fiend who likes to add chilli flakes to meals regularly it can soon add up. 4 Blueberries Blueberries are known to boost your metabolic rate as well as being jam packed with antioxidants which can help your body’s immune system. Add some to your morning cereal or low fat yoghurt or eat them on their own as a snack.

4 Don’t starve yourself Diets which promote eating less than 1000 calories a day are not a good idea. While you will see some weight loss, much of it come from losing muscle. Less muscle means slower metabolism which means your body’s fat burning powers become slower than before you started dieting, not to mention the essential nutrients you’ll deprive yourself of.

4 Get intense Get your cardio fix from high-intensity training which gives a bigger increase in resting metabolic rate than low intensity exercise. After warming up try 10 short sprints at full speed with 30 seconds of rest in between each or six 30 second full capacity bursts on the exercise bike, again with 30 seconds rest after each.


YOGA for bodybuilders By: Peewee Sanchez – Regional Yoga Manager


S A yoga practitioner and teacher trainer I have spent many years of my life championing the benefits of yoga to different types of people. Because yoga exercises are the oldest form of functional training ever invented there is a yoga practice out there for absolutely anyone with any body shape – even for the very specific, very non-stretchy sport of bodybuilding. We build muscle by getting them to work. There are three ways in which we do this, regardless of the type of exercise. Concentric contraction is when we allow our muscles to work by shortening themselves against resistance. Eccentric contraction is when the muscles work to lengthen slowly against resistance. Muscles can also work in an isometric way to hold their position against resistance. Throughout these three movements, the muscle as a whole actually does not grow longer or shorter because it is attached to our bones by connective tissues. A more appropriate description of “contraction” is actually an electrochemical process of generating tension in a muscle. Sometimes experts use the phrase “muscle action” to avoid confusion. When engaged in any of these types of muscle action the muscle is said to be “working” thus getting stronger and obtaining more definition. Most conventional techniques of bodybuilding, such as a bench press or a bicep curl use concentric and eccentric muscle actions and work the muscle until fatigue. This builds up a lot of lactic acid and the feeling of soreness afterwards. Also the muscle tissues are said to get torn, and when rebuilt they become bulkier and stronger. This is the reason why most bodybuilders can obtain a lot of muscle mass. So the question is – does stretching build muscles? From the anatomical point of view, when a muscle is stretched passively, meaning it doesn’t do any work and there is no muscular action, then the answer is no. But anyone who has been to any kind of physical yoga class will tell you that there is more than passive stretching going on in there! Some of the more physically challenging forms of yoga, such as Flow Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga or Power Yoga not only leave

you with the sweaty “worked out” feeling but you might also feel sore the next day. Due to the varied way in which yoga is practiced nowadays it is not uncommon to find all three types of muscular action in a yoga class. For example, we work our triceps and rotator cuff muscles concentrically when we press into a cobra from a prone position. We can do the opposite eccentric contraction with the triceps when we go from Downward Dog to Chatturangga. The most common is the isometric contraction which happens every time we hold still in any yoga pose.

So why don’t yogis look like bodybuilders? The answer lies in the way that yoga works muscles. When done correctly, a yoga class takes you through alternating concentric, eccentric and isometric contractions. Usually in a yoga class we tense the muscle, then bring the body the other way and stretch it. This, combined with neutralising movements like twists, results in the flushing out of lactic acid and other toxins which prevents fatigue. There is usually a cardiovascular element and the result is definition without bulk. So how can this type of training help bodybuilders improve their performance? This is where the stretching comes in. When you stretch you increase the range of movement of your joints. This can counter the stiffness that usually accompanies conventional training, which actually decreases ranges of motion as muscles “bulk up”. Ivan Blazquez, ACSM certified trainer and NGA Pro Bodybuilder, uses yoga as an off-season alternative to rehabilitate and maintain his body for the next competition season. He says: “For me the restricting factor was my muscles being shortened from the constant repetitive short range motion and single plane of motion lifts typical in bodybuilding training (bench press, shoulder press, squats, deadlifts, etc). As a result of yoga my body opened up and I reduced a lot of stiffness in joints from bodybuilding. “For most bodybuilders, joint alignment can be lost and this causes joints to rub against each other

leading to altered joint motion. Yoga does not forget about the other muscles that hold the body together in optimal alignment.” Examples of this can be seen in the effect yoga has in conditioning the core stabilisers and the rotator cuff muscles (supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, subscapularis). Conventional techniques usually work the major muscles in isolation but yoga works even the smaller muscles. This is why you can feel sore in strange places the day after a yoga class. Max Meitei, yoga teacher and professional bodybuilder, says: “My belief is that the most important weapon for achieving a goal is staying away from injury and staying focused. Yoga serves the best for both, which paved me to my yoga journey. “My regime is one hour of weight training followed by 30 mins of asana (physical yoga postures) five times a week, 15 mins of breathing and meditation three times a week.” Meitei must be on to something since in the last two years his career has led him to various awards including the title of Mr. Athletic in the short class of the NAC Mr. Universe at Hamburg, Germany in 2012. Blazquez testifies that when comparing winning performances with and without yoga he has gone from one win in three years to four wins out of five shows in one year. He also attributes his ability to hold a bodybuilding pose for an extended period of time to the mental discipline and breathing techniques of yoga. This is not uncommon from the increased performance that other professional athletes all around the world attribute to the practice of yoga. According to the International Sports Science Association, yoga helps with muscular endurance, improves posture, is excellent for your physical and physiological wellbeing and it improves muscle tone, flexibility and strength and stamina. In conclusion, I will once again say that yoga will be able to help you achieve your goals, whether it is the improvement in the condition of your physical body or the search for inner peace.







“For most bodybuilders, joint alignment can be lost and causes joints to rub against each other leading to altered joint motion. Yoga does not forget about the other muscles that hold the body together in optimal alignment.”







FOR EVEN BETTER RESULTS TRY THE YOGA SWING The Yoga Swing will take your practice to a new level. The unique design allows you to move into a range of yoga positions both in the horizontal and vertical planes. The muscles of the body, the skeletal structure, brain function and the internal organs all benefit from the use of the Yoga Swing.

THE YOGA SWING’S KEY ELEMENTS · · · · · · · · · · · · ·

An aid /prop to facilitate learning To assist in developing perception and direction within Asanas. Allows the practitioner to explore the intricate details and depth of Yoga Asanas with support. To assist, maintain and move more deeply into a Yoga Asana. To work towards an achieved result in practice. As a support to move in blocked areas/energy in the body. To assist in holding postures for a longer duration without strain. Can be a guide for self learning. To assist in relieving discomfort. To develop stamina, correct breathing and alertness. To assist in unraveling structural defects. To replace the usage of other props. And, most importantly, to assist in alignment in Yoga Asanas.

When using the handles it is important to find the right tension of the swing to achieve the correct amount of traction, extension and depth required. To achieve this, experimentation is required to find alignment. When working with inverted poses, how long you stay inverted depends on the ability to hold or previous experience of inversion. The affect of blood flow to the head takes time to get used to. The use of the Swing will be varied for each body type:

Variables depend upon · · · · · ·

Strength Flexibility Experience Ability Injury Intention


The benefits of inversion to the muscular-skeletal and lymphatic drainage systems are well documented. Regular practice can improve postural alignment thus benefitting the spine and weight-bearing joints which are often compressed from the effects of daily

activities and gravity. The Swing provides a flexible and versatile means of support for the practitioner allowing for partial and full (180 degree) inversions. For the majority of the time, the human body remains in an upright position whether it be standing, sitting or walking. We live in a ‘forward folding’ society hunched over desks and steering wheels with our backs taking a disproportionate amount of the weight of our bodies as opposed to the feet and lower limbs. This affects spinal alignment resulting in discomfort, poor posture and sometimes injury. In order to reverse the effect of a ‘forward folding’ society we need to get the spine moving. Inversions provide the body with a welcome break from gravity and the opportunity to realign the spine. Inverting allows us to improve lymphatic system function (responsible for hormone release and function), balancing the pituitary and thyroid glands. This results in a steadier metabolic rate, increases blood flow and oxygen to the face, which in turn helps to slow down the ageing process as the skin cells are nourished. The organs too receive a powerful massage aiding the body’s digestive function; this activates the body parasympathetic nervous system promoting a feeling of calm and deep well-being. This relaxed state generates muscle and fascia release, reducing pain and cultivating strength.

Tips for a BIGGER


The squat is far from the most popular exercise in gyms with most people finding that they opt for easier exercises like lunges, the leg press or leg extensions. Don’t get us wrong, those disciplines have value, but nothing compares to the squat for the ultimate in leg development and strength and speed in your lower body. If you want to dominate on the sports field and impress your pals with your ripped legs, you simply HAVE to squat. However, it’s no use spending your time squatting low weights. If you want big, strong legs you need a big, strong squat. The squat builds muscle from head to toe, working your upper back down to your calves. The areas that gain most from a squat are your quads, glutes, hamstrings and lower back.

Here are FOUR tips for a bigger squat and stronger legs:


It’s all in the technique

Before you start piling on the weight it’s important you develop a sound technique – otherwise you risk severe injury. Until your technique is good do not use more weight than the bar. Here are some pointers for good squat technique: l In the start position your shoulders should be pulled back and down, your abs and lats should be tight, lower back arched and feet about shoulder width apart. l Start the descent by pushing your knees out and sitting back. Keep your shins as close to vertical as possible. l Once you break parallel, drive the bar back to lockout. l Your weight should be distributed on your heels and mid-foot throughout the entire routine. Never let it drift forward onto your toes. l Hold your breath on the way down and keep it held until the sticking point on the way up.


Squat regularly

If you want to get good at something, you need practise. If you want a stronger squat you need to do it more regularly. Once a week is a good starting point and you can build from there.


Start your workout with squats

Some bodybuilders like to do their squats after pre-exhausting a muscle group. For instance, they might do 3 or 4 sets of leg extensions to pre-exhaust the quads and then they will do their squats. They do this to try and make their quads work harder during the squat. However, as the squat is a highly technical move it is not always wise to wear out one set of muscles and then attempt to squat as your technique will be affected. If you’re serious about squatting, do it first in your workout (after a good warm-up). Always perform the most technically demanding movements first.


Add some assistance exercises to the blend

Many athletes find that squatting builds their quads but others don’t while some find their hamstrings get massively strong while their lower back lags behind a bit. The role of assistance exercises is to bring up your weaker areas and help to build up your squat. After squatting, try doing the following: Leg Press: 4–6 sets of 6–12 reps Hamstring Curls: 3–4 sets of 10–15 reps Calf Raises: 3 sets of 15–25 reps You will notice that the assistance exercises are done with higher reps. Train your squats hard and heavy with 3s and 5s most of the time and then hit a few assistance exercises in higher reps.







SQUAT RIGHT n Make sure you accommodate your upper body weight by turning your toes outward in a “V� like position. n Upon standing up, imagine the line of force to generate the power to stand up is from the ankle to the hamstring, drive upwards squeezing your glutes and opening your hips, making sure you squeeze your shoulder blades together. n Studies have shown that working out the leg muscles generates the greatest amount of natural growth hormone in the body. n Attend XFit Fundamentals classes at Fitness First to learn the correct technique and form for squatting with expert XFit coaches.







YasminA Khatib My name is Yasmina, I’m 22 years old and I’m from Palestine. Being a college student doesn’t hinder me from going to the gym on a regular basis. I joined Fitness First in the Oasis Centre because I wanted to change my lifestyle. I wanted to live a healthier life and to achieve that I needed to totally change my eating habits. My first task was to stop eating fast food or any kind of junk foods – these give you nothing but extra pounds. I had no fixed timings for my daily meals and was sometimes having heavy meals really late at night. Once I got to know about the weightloss competition at the Fitness First Oasis Centre – the Biggest Loser Challenge – I immediately registered for it. I knew it would encourage me and help me to achieve what I wanted quicker than it would if I went it alone. The secret behind my success in the challenge was the dosage of inspiration I received from Nevine, my superb instructor (pictured below). I owe her for giving me the spirit to challenge myself with joy. Also, my gym friends and my family supported me along the challenge with their encouragement and supportive words. I believe having such an atmosphere added a value and made me more insistent on winning the challenge. I was delighted to win Fitness First Oasis Centre Biggest Loser Challenge. My weight before was 81kg and it dropped to 73kg. My body fat level was 46.3% and now it is 24.7%. I can feel the change in myself. I feel more energetic and my outlook is more positive. I’m motivated to carry on the hard work and be fitter and healthier. I’m determined to reach my fitness goals soon and I encourage all those who are working on their own regimes to keep at it.

46.3% bodyfat down to 24.7% 81kg bodyweight down to 73kg







If you’re working hard it’s OK to treat yourself every now and again so why not try this delicious recipe from Balance Cafe Dubai which also carries some health benefits. DUO OF CHOCOLATE MOUSSE WHY IS DARK CHOCOLATE GOOD? Daily consumption of dark chocolate, in regulated portions, is proven to reduce cardiovascular events, such as heart attacks and strokes. For the white chocolate layer 150 gm white chocolate cut into small cubes 200ml whipping cream For the dark chocolate layer 150gm of dark chocolate cut into small cubes 200ml whipping cream 2 egg yolks PROCEDURE: Rest a mixing bowl over a bain-marie and carefully melt white chocolate. Pour cream and stir until smooth. Leave to cool. Meanwhile, grease your mould terrine and add in plastic film. Pour the mixture and spread equally. Keep it chilled in the fridge for about 1 hour or until the chocolate gets set. Then remove from the fridge and pour in the dark chocolate mixture. Transfer into chiller again for 1 hour. Remove carefully from mould and cut with a sharp knife. Arrange on plate and serve with raspberry coulis and mango sorbet (both available in selected supermarkets). For the dark chocolate sauce: Break the dark chocolate into small pieces and blender to fine powder (in a processor). Heat half of cream and pour into the blender. Blend until mixture is smooth and then add egg yolk and mix again. Whip the remaining cream and fold into dark chocolate mixture.

Nutritional value: 243 Calories; 21.2g Fat ; 6g Protein; 2g Carbohydrate; 132g 152mg Cholesterol; 90mg sodium

Buy 1 Main Course & and get 1 Main Course Absolutely FREE

@ balancecafé

Terms & Conditions l Offer valid till 31st March l Offer valid for dinner time orders only l Offer not valid in conjunction with any other promotion l Only one voucher per person

Contact Details: Balance Cafe, Level 3, Oasis Centre Mall, Sheikh Zayed Road: Tel: 04 515 4051



Exercise myth: Crunches will give you the best abs The reality: The core includes the whole midsection – front, back and sides. Crunches hit the rectus muscles in front [that make up the six pack] and the obliques on the sides, but do little for the deeper muscle groups. Instead of just doing crunches, mix it up with planks and twisting exercises that work the entire core. It’ll also help make those excruciating ab workouts more interesting.







Myth Buster… By Hisem Hagras

There is a lot of misconception and ‘hocus pocus’ surrounding the fitness industry and it’s often difficult to know which advice to follow. Here Fitness First’s Corporate Wellness Manager Hisem Hagras busts some of the most common myths.

Exercise myth:To burn the most calories, you must focus on cardio

The reality: Both weight training and cardio burn calories, but lifting weights boosts your metabolism. Depending on the intensity of your workout and your fitness level, your body will continue to consume additional oxygen, and therefore burn calories, as it returns to its pre-exercise state. For the best results do intervals – combinations of cardio and weight training – on one or two days, along with traditional cardio the rest of the week.

Exercise myth: Rest plenty between sets

The reality: Stopping to rest for a minute or so after every exercise can sabotage results. Too much rest lets lactic acid dissipate, and muscle growth (and tone and definition) requires lactic acid. Instead, keep up the intensity by moving quickly from one exercise to the next. You should be somewhat recovered but not completely. If you can do 15 reps in the first set, and one or two fewer on the next, you’re on the right track.

Exercise myth:Practice high reps and low weight to burn more fat The reality: The idea that you should use

heavy weights to build muscle and light weights to lose fat is not true. Choose whole-body exercises versus isolated moves. Whole-body exercises burn more calories because you use more muscle mass. That way, you also don’t have to do a million reps. An example: 20 lunges combined with biceps curl, which incorporates both upper and lower body muscles, is better than 50 reps on the leg extension machine, which isolates only the quadriceps (or the front of the thigh). For muscle tone and fat burning, choose weights between 10 to 25 percent of your body weight. Perform 15 or so repetitions per set (for two to three sets); the last few reps should be challenging.

Exercise myth: Always stretch before you work out

The reality: Contrary to popular belief, stretching is not a necessary part of a warm up. Research shows that preworkout stretching has no effect on reducing injuries. Moreover, there is some pretty convincing evidence that performing static (stretch and hold) stretching prior to intense exercise can actually impair performance by decreasing the ability of the muscle to produce force. Instead, try 5 to 10 minutes of jogging, walking around, jumping jacks or anything that will get the blood pumping. Generally, it’s best to stretch at the end of the workout when the muscles are

warm and more pliable and the increased flexibility won’t affect your performance.

Exercise myth:Sit on a fitness ball at work to strengthen your core The reality: Strengthening of any kind requires a gradual progression of increased challenge to the muscles. Sitting on a fitness ball provides some coordination of the muscles that stabilize the torso, but it is minimal. In addition, the ball initially forces you to use good posture, but after 10 minutes or so you become tired and will start to slump forward. Instead, limit sitting on the ball for 10-minute intervals and practice exercises such as the plank if you want some real core strengthening.

Exercise myth: Alternate between cardio and weightlifting days

The reality: The myth that you should take a day off between workouts is based on the idea that the body needs time to repair the muscle damage one can incur from high intensity resistance training. But, let’s be honest, not many people really train at that level (where they actually lift to the point when they can’t do any more). Unless you’re training at this intensity you can probably lift more frequently and don’t need to skip a day.

NAME: Greg Rutherford SPORT: Long Jump

The Olympic Long Jump Champion talks nutrition

GREG Rutherford shot to fame when he won the men’s long jump gold at last summer’s Olympic Games in his home city of London, becoming the first Team GB athlete to achieve the feat in that event since 1964. The 26-year-old comes from a sporty family with both his grandfather and greatgrandfather playing football for Arsenal – the latter also playing for Newcastle United. Rutherford himself had a trial at Aston Villa as a teenager but decided to concentrate on a career in athletics instead and, despite not making his mark at a school level, he persevered, overcoming a succession of injury problems to rise to the top of his sport. Here Greg tells SF how learning what fuel to put in his engine helped him take the final step to greatness.



SF: How important is nutrition to an athlete? GR: Very important. It’s something that I’ve only really got into the last couple of years. It was when I moved to my most recent coach, Dan Pfaff. He came over and said, ‘What products are you taking?’ I didn’t know what he was talking about so I said, ‘None’. He told me that was pretty unprofessional and gave me a list of things to take which have become a massive training aid. My understanding of taking carbs, protein and everything else at different stages of the day was non-existent before Dan got involved so I had to re-learn everything in terms of the way I fuelled for each session – before and after and at night. It’s made a huge difference – all of sudden you’re training longer, better, competing more, jumping further. Nutrition has to have something to do with that.

SF: Do you change your diet before an event? GR: Yes and no. On the week of a competition I’ll make sure I’m incredibly strict. For example, as a treat I sometimes give myself some 90% dark chocolate just to have that sweet taste but in the week of a competition I would remove that. Two or three days from the competition I try and eat as light as possible just so that I feel light but still keep a high amount of protein. To be honest my day-to-day diet is pretty much purely protein and veg rather than any form of carbs – except for maybe a little post-training to go with my protein. So it’s pretty constant all year round.

SF: Do you have any specific nutritional tips for our readers?

GR: I think if you’re going to try and compete in a speed or power based event you just need to stay away from carbs basically! You don’t need them, they’re just wasted energy. I learned that and as soon as I stopped eating carb based foods I leaned up hugely. I lost weight and I felt much better in myself. To run over a short distance and jump; or to run 100 metres or whatever you don’t need carbs so stay away from them!

SF: What’s your favourite food? GR: I adore roast dinners but you have to be clever with it and remove all the things that are carb based. The issue you then have if you go a bit heavy with all the veg and stuff is that you actually feel a bit heavy the day after so in the offseason it’s great but I need to be careful when I’m competing. I also have a massive sweet tooth so I really do enjoy chocolate and sweets but most of the time I can’t have them. I have a 6-8 week break at the end of the year and to be honest when I’m winter training, the first couple of months aren’t as strict because it’s so hard. To keep yourself going and make sure you don’t lose your mind you give yourself a treat every now and then.

SF: Chicken or steak? GR: I love both so that’s a tough one. I think probably because you’re told not to eat steak as much I have more chicken in my day-to-day diet. There’s a certain restaurant that I go to quite regularly that specializes in chicken so that’s quite a popular one for me! I probably have steak two times a week but have more chicken.

Greg won Team GB’s first long jump Olympic gold medal for 48 years with a jump of 8.31 metres.



Ab-tastic Workout Ever wondered how Britney Spears manages to keep making comebacks with a super-trim figure despite having numerous babies and being snapped on many an occasion gorging on fastfood and fizzy drinks after ‘falling off the wagon’? The answer is this insane workout routine, which is supplemented by dance rehearsals that go on for hours, giving her enough cardio to sink a battle ship! Repeat this four times a week and you’ll have a pop star figure in no time! Warm up: 10 minutes on cardiovascular machine (treadmill, stationary bike, etc) at a medium pace. Abs: 50 crunches, 50 bicycle twists, 50 hip raises. Strength Circuit: Use weights to work on arms, chest, back, and lower body. Bicep curls, tricep kickbacks, flys and military presses. 15 reps of each. - Repeat Abs Circuit - Repeat Strength Circuit - Repeat Abs Circuit - Repeat Strength Circuit - Repeat Abs Circuit

Britney Spears

Back to Cardio: 30 minutes of jogging on treadmill or elliptical machine And now for the killer ending.... Abs: 150 crunches, 150 bicycle twists, 150 hip raises.

Sport & Fitness issue 18  

The Middle East's number one sport and fitness magazine. Official magazine to Fitness First. Exclsuive features from the world's top sport s...

Sport & Fitness issue 18  

The Middle East's number one sport and fitness magazine. Official magazine to Fitness First. Exclsuive features from the world's top sport s...