Keeping Up With Kuwait’s Running Warrior

When it comes to sniffing out any sports related events in the State of Kuwait, I strive to leave no stone unturned!

Yousef Al Qanai - The Running Warrior himself

Yesterday evening I took part in a Fitness Session at the Australian College of Kuwait, open for any and all with an interest in fitness, for FREE, hosted by Yousef Al Qanai, Kuwait’s Running Warrior, Certified Fitness Expert | Health & Fitness Guru | Runner Sponsored by Nike | Promoting strength & empowerment | CEO & Founder of @Aymstrong Enterprises, rightfully named Running Warrior so for probably being the only Kuwaiti to participate in the Marathon Des Sables, one of the most intense races on the face of earth, a 6 day / 151 mile (243km) endurance race across the Sahara Desert in Morocco.

Yousef did his country proud, completing this grueling testament of fitness, determination and athletic prowess in 76hrs, 37minutes and 52 seconds. A belated Well Done Yousef!

When I first heard of the Fitness Session, my immediate first reaction was, why wednesday at 10pm? Why not a weekend, when one can rest after?

It was Yousef’s mantra entered at the end of the post that caused me to take action and venture out to parts yet unknown of Kuwait; Winners Make Time.

 

Fueled by my desire to stay fit, I joined the ranks of others with the same determination, who congregated at the ACK Campus for a 10pm sharp start.

At first, we were lured into comfort by being asked to jog around a football pitch at a light pace, focusing on breathing, proper warming up, with Yousef and his crew instructing all on how to keep proper form.

I would say we did about 3~5 laps around the football pitch (not the full length one), before the warm up session was signaled to a close.

Next, we were split into two groups, one went with the Running Warrior for what I have dubbed as Yousef’s House of Horrors, and the rest went with Eman, the Pilates / Running/ Boxing Expert for her own version of a House of Horrors, Core & Cardio style.

I joined the first group, and we were given a run-down of the fun to come; 10 exercises, 30 second sets.

10 exercises, 30 seconds, no rest. Push-ups, Lunges, Back pulls, Squats, Triceps, Ladder Run (Footwork), Biceps, Shoulders, Punching Bag, Sprint

We ran through the activities TWICE.

Afterward, a short rest period where groans of sprains and supposed pains were bellowing from the participants, unbeknownst to the second chapter of the evening.

Taking a breather, awaiting the arrival of Eman
 
Much as a German Shepherd herds sheep to grazing, Eman came and herded the 1st group to the middle of football field for her work-out, we had lost a few participants who could no longer participate, the memories of Yousef’s 10 forever etched into their minds.
 

All smiles and chatting, unaware of Eman's Plotting

 
Cardio & Core training is INTENSE! Eman was light-hearted about it, but deep down, I think she enjoyed watching us suffer. Luckily in anticipation of this session, I had a very light lunch, for if I hadn’t, I would have been flat on my back, like a beached whale in shallow water, gasping for breath.
 
Under the watchful eye of the instructors, none reached that level of fatigue.
 
By the end of the cardio & core session, I was unable to perform a simple crunch, my abs having become taut, much to my chagrin, and to Eman’s delight (catch her at Corniche Club, where she is the Pilates Instructor).
 
The 3rd event of the evening was a Komodor, or Komodo, pushup race, I am unsure of the name, but basically we were on all fours and “climbing” up the football pitch, much like Spiderman does on buildings. We were separated into 4 groups, and told to get to the other side, in relay form (at 0:48 in the video below).
 

Eman’s team won, but I suspect they were given energy drinks prior…
 
The culmination of the evenings festivities came in the form of a few Yoga stretches to get the body back into some semblance of normality.
 
All in all, it was a very delightful experience, and a definite must-do for any who wish to remain fit in these unfit times. A big thank you to Yousef, Eman, Sarah and the rest of the crew for a much needed fitness session during these lethargic days.
 
Follow Yousef on Twitter (@YousefAlQanai) for more great sessions to come. 
 
 
 

 

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