Beaching & Exercising in Gouna!
By Hilary Diack
Escaping the city for a well-deserved break in one of Egypt’s prime get-away locations needn’t mean losing the things you enjoy about your daily routine, including staying at your peak of fitness. Cairo East Magazine was inspired by this helpful advice from Nirvana Zaher, General Manager of LAX Gym in El Gouna.
CEM: Should people take some ‘down time’ from their normal workout routine when they are on holiday?
NZ: Downtime is an important component to any exercise routine, but it must be scheduled in way that does not compromise the overall effectiveness of the training program. If your training has been practiced at high intensity for a few consecutive weeks, it would be beneficial to schedule a 5-7 day time out period in order to give your body and your mind an opportunity to recover. Having said that, a holiday should not always be an excuse to skip your workout; there are plenty of practical training techniques you can implement while on vacation that will maintain your fitness while giving you space for a well earned snooze on the beach.
Ifso, what changes should you make to your normal routine?
Keep your training as varied as you can. Take advantage of the accessible outdoors such as the mountains, the sea, and the beautiful roads that run throughout El Gouna. LAX has an outdoor playground with a multi-purpose rack that you can use for exercises such as pull ups, squats, leg lifts, and suspension training. For a really exciting workout, ask one of our trainers if you can bring some toys outside such as dumbbell, kettlebells and medicine balls and all of a sudden you have limitless possibilities for a fitness fiesta!
How can sport and recreational activities be used as a substitute for gym work, and give the same benefits?
The training that is practiced in a gym setting is a complement to any sports and other leisure activities that take place in parallel outside of the gym. Although most research demonstrates that exercising outdoors promotes fitness, improves mental wellbeing, and boosts overall morale, such activities should not be used as a permanent substitute for the gym, but rather should be incorporated into a larger frame of work. In the gym, we focus on building a strength and endurance base, then we progress to building functional strength and anaerobic fitness, and once this foundation is created, we begin to introduce more advanced training techniques. This style of training is not generally followed in a recreational sports setting. It is also important to note that in dedicating time to your gym routine, you will experience significant improvements in your game whether it is on the court, field, or any other sporting grounds. Therefore, try to find a healthy balance between both training styles.
What program would you recommend for someone to keep in shape if they are in Gouna for a one week break?
LAX offers a variety of classes throughout the week that target different fitness components in an effort to keep your training balanced. For metabolic conditioning, which promotes weight loss and athletic performance, we recommend our CrossHIIT (High-Intensity-Interval-Cross-Training) program that is offered three times per week. Each session focuses on building strength and muscles mass through weight training, developing muscle endurance and stamina through calisthenics or what is known as bodyweight exercises, and finally an outdoor boot camp style course that takes you through a scenic route in town.
As a complement to CrossHIIT, we also suggest that our clients attend a yoga class in order to lengthen muscles that have been strengthened. Yoga is also a great way to relax the mind, and bring harmony back into the body. Similar to yoga is our Core Control class, one of two signature classes developed by our consultants at The Fitness Playground. Finally, for those who really enjoy indoor cycling, not only do we offer daily Spinning classes, but also Spintonic. This is a second class brought to us by our friends at The Fitness Playground that will leave you energetically buzzing from the high you get as a result of the combination between Spinning and Toning.
How about jogging/running outdoors in Gouna? Is there a special route one can take?
At LAX, we have a 6km loop that we use as a practice run with our clients. The run starts at LAX, takes you along the New Marina, over the bridge that drops you off at the beach where all the kite surf stations are, veering left at La Maison Bleue, through desert roads next to Ancient Sands Resort, to the horse stables, and finally through the popular Abu Tig Marina and back to the gym. We have seen lots of progress with our clients on this 6km loop as it follows a flat course, and takes you through a beautiful scenic route to accompany you on your run.
Do you work with clients on a one to one basis? If yes, how long is the workout for, and how intense is it?
In addition to indoor and outdoor group fitness classes, as well as customized group fitness programs, we also offer tailor-made personal training for clients looking to work closely with a fitness practitioner. Most of our programs at LAX take place in an intimate setting; we have developed more or less as a boutique gym offering exclusive services to people who prefer small group fitness solutions. Most one-on-one training sessions are between 45 and 60 minutes long, and cover a functional warm up that energizes the body and prepares tendons and ligaments and connective tissue for exercise. Next we prescribe a circuit of exercises that focuses on a particular fitness component or body part – this depends on the day and on the client’s training goal – and finally we always finish with a cool down and stretch portion in order to relax the body following a rigorous workout. The intensity of the training sessions will fluctuate depending on where our clients are in their training program, and how they are feeling on the day of their training. We work closely with all our clients in order to ensure that they see progress, get results, and feel good while doing so.
What type of workout routine would you advice an intermediate gym goer, such as a 45 min workout routine at the gym?
Below are two 45 minute workouts you can alternate between for a training duration of two weeks. We suggest you schedule a day of cardio, core, and stretching in between the two sessions. Make sure to warm up prior to starting the circuits. For more training ideas, and for exercise instruction you may visit www.facebook.com/tfpredsea.
(rest 1 min between sets)
Super Set #1
3 sets of:
* 10 reps bench press into 10 reps bend over row
* 12 reps sumo squat into 12 reps stability ball hamstring curl
* 30 reps MB weighted sit up and toss into 30 reps superman
*Run a 1km time trial on the treadmill.
Super Set #2
3 sets of:
* 10 reps single arm cable chest press into 10 reps single arm cable row
* 8 reps DB overhead alternating lunges
* 40 reps crunches into 40 reps reverse crunches
* Run a 1km time trial on the treadmill.
* Try to beat time trial from Super Set Circuit #1.
(rest 1 min between sets)
1km fast pace (75% effort) run
Tri Set #1
3 sets of:
* Walking lunges 10 reps
* DB alternating chest press 10 reps
* V ups 20 reps
* 20 burpees
Tri Set #2
3 sets of:
* Weighted squats 12 reps
* Renegade row 8 reps
* Russian twist 30 reps
* 10 m bear crawl forward and backward
Tri Set #3
3 sets of:
* Rear leg elevated squat 10 reps
* 1 burpee into 1 pull up 10 reps
* Spiderman pushup 12 reps
* 1 minute 10 m Side shuffle right and left
Tri Set #4
3 sets of:
* Weighted squat and shoulder press 10 reps
* Mountain climber into spiderman 15 reps of each
* 20 Box jumps