Crossfit impressions after one year!


A year and few months ago, after around 20 years of doing body building and normal weight lifting exercise, and hearing much about Crossfit, I decided to give it a try. Especially that a new box opened close to my house in business bay, and I wasn’t very excited about my usual training at the gym I was going to.

In my mind, I thought it will help me lose weight, although it wasn’t a key point the trainer highlighted when I first went to check the box. I think he said something about the overall fitness improvement across all metrics, which is something I understand now.

At the beginning I didn’t really get it, and was worried about losing the muscle bulk I developed over the years. But I was motivated, as I wanted to “shape up” and tone. And for few months, I was wondering if I should quit or not. On one hand, the daily training sessions “WODs” (work out of the day in Crossfit terms) were pretty challenging for me and on the other hand I didn’t know how often I should train or what I should eat. I first approached it with a long time weight lifter mentality, only to realize that I don’t have the capacity of lifting heavy weights and maintain the speed and repetitions required in those exercises. I learnt my own body limitations from the lack of mobility in my shoulders and I understood that I need time to learn the skills required to compete in this sport. It needs practice. It needs patience. And it needs one to develop the capacity to tolerate painful high intensity prolonged workouts.

Few months along the line, I came to realize that my muscle bulk and heavy weight act against me as they require much blood pump that my heart needs to adjust to and match. I find myself dropping weights and do the bare minimum required for the WOD, in favor of completing it with a good shape and performance. The bodybuilding mentality of adding weights and doing 3 sets of 10 repetitions don’t work here. And I needed to learn what works.

Struggling to keep up in the box with my fellow crossfitters, naturally I looked into supplements to help me cope with these tough training. I wasn’t sure if the regular approach I used to do for bodybuilding applies here, and I don’t think it does. There is no easy increase of your protein intake to bulk up or cut on your carbs to shred. And now after more than a year, I don’t know if I have figured it out. I still feed protein shakes help, but not in the same level of what I used to feel. Sometimes I feel they are useless or irrelevant, I don’t really know. I stopped taking creatine when I started doing crossfit, but started again last week, and I think it helps. One thing that I came to realize its importance, is a supplement that helps one sleep at night. I mean with the pain and tiresome of the WOD, I find myself struggling at night moving from side to side, unable to have a good rest. Recently I have been countering this with two pills of Panadol, but I think a better approach would be supplementing with Magnesium. Maybe ZMA would be great for this, and might prove to be the best supplement to help in crossfit.

I know this post feels like bitching about this sport till now, but I have to admit that I came to enjoy it a lot. It is a great sport because you learn and improve with time. I am not big on competing or in challenging myself to perform as I am still struggling with the standard levels, but I was so happy to learn to do handstands (at the wall for now), and happier to do my first handstand pushup (which still needs improvement too). I remember the excitement of raising learning to jump higher on the box with added plates. And I am excited about the potential of doing a muscle-up! I feel that it is coming soon as my chest to bars are becoming easier, and I am raising myself higher.

Of-course, all of my improvements won’t have happened without the support of the professional trainers at the box. I just love their reactions when someone does a skill right! It makes you feel that they actually care and that your learning makes them happy. And here I would like to thank them all, especially Fill and Palo, but also Rachel, Laura and Bron. They really make all the difference. And I would like to stress how highly I recommend Goldbox Crossfit at Bay Square in Business Bay. If you happen to live in the area, then give it a try. You will thank me a year later!

PS: Photo Credit for the cover image and first image for Rami Al Nabulsi, a fellow crossfitter!

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WOMEN CROSSING BORDERS: SHEREEN ABOUELNAGA, HUZAMA HABAYEB & FADI ZAGHMOUT


Saturday 2 March, 6pm-7pm

Al Ras 1, InterContinental, DFC

Authors: Fadi ZaghmoutHuzama HabayebShereen Abouelnaga

Don’t miss this session at Emirates Literature Festival. I look forward to seeing you all there and look forward to a wonderful discussion with these amazing and inspiring ladies.

What is the nature of boundaries that women in novels have to contend with? How do these boundaries reflect the real world? Who sets boundaries? And is there a big difference between boundaries facing men and women? What is the difference between boundaries imposed on men and those imposed on women in the contemporary narrative experiment?

Dr Shereen Abouelnaga is an Egyptian author, literary critic and professor at Cairo University – Egypt.

Huzama Habayeb is a Palestinian novelist and winner of the Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature 2017 for her novel “Velvet”. 

Fadi Zaghmout is a Jordanian author who started writing in 2006, motivated by desire to achieve social justice and challenge narrow gender roles.

Language: Arabic with English translation

Book your ticket now!

Dubai is the 21th Century Vienna!


I don’t think there is anywhere in the world as exciting to live in as in Dubai today. The city transformed itself in the past two decades and emerged as one of the top global hubs. It is competing in all matrices and rapidly progressing to either close the gap in certain fields with leading cities or strengthening its lead others. It left near zero room for doubts with the steady outstanding performance and growth which is unmatched in recent history. And that’s only the beginning of the story.

Don’t be mistaken, Dubai is not the spoiled child of modern days, but more of a crown prince who knows his privileges, respects his legacy and all set for greatness. It has it all. With a leadership that doesn’t accept less than number 1, a strong heritage of culture that ruled the world in the past, big financial means, and a time where technological advances opened the door wide for real disruptions in all walks of life. And while the world might stand still in awe of these changes, in awe of the exponential growth these technologies promise, people of Dubai are well prepared and ready to lead.

And it has goals, a clear set ones. My personal favorite is the 10x initiative that aims to always keep Dubai 10 years ahead of other world cities. An ambitious goal, don’t you think? It might be, but most probably and with the exponential growth current scientific breakthroughs promise, it might be a reserved one. I would say, if it keeps on doing what it is currently doing, Dubai is set to be 100 years ahead of other world cities. Watch it!

Vienna might have been the pride of the world in the early days of the past century, it was set for greatness back then with its location at the center of the heights of the European’s civilization. With its openness and cultural mix, Vienna gave us legends in music, arts, philosophy and science. It gave us Freud, Mozart, Beethoven, Klimt and Mendel (to name few). It gave us psychoanalysis and the markers of today’s economy. Today, Dubai hosts a mix of more than 200 nationalities, its cultural mix is well equipped to innovate, produce, and set the blue print of our future. It will not only build the next world tallest tower, but will also reimagine communities, redefine happiness, and set new standards on how life should be.

With Dubai’s “Museum of The Future” near completion, the city is set to embrace talents which will both imagine our future life and make it come true. How exciting is that?

* Photo Credit to Visit Dubai