From the Head Coach at CrossFit Quwwa – Qatar’s first CrossFit gym

This is my first article written for the Blog, please be gentle, my forte is lifting heavy things not writing

hope you enjoy
Boltz – Headcoach CrossFit Quwwa

What Does @ 42×2 Mean?

Slow down . . . it might be your key to avoiding injury and getting stronger.

Tempo training is not just for bodybuilders. Olympic caliber athletes from all over the world use tempo training to become stronger, faster and more powerful. The benefits of tempo training have been touted for years by the likes of Bulgarian Olympians and their coaches to internationally renowned strength coaches Ian King and Charles Poliquin.

I was first introduced to tempo training several years ago when trying to increase my leg strength and size. It gave me new found respect for the barbell, tempo training is hard but its meant to be, it’s designed for you to be in control. I say it all the time – don’t just fall into the squat, pull yourself down and push yourself up! We need to be in control and the same applies for every movement. Take the deadlift for example, we want to lower the bar to floor in a controlled manner not just fall and bounce the bar off the floor, this does nothing but compromise position and cause injury.

As we begin a new phase of training we will see lots of tempo in our strength work, below are points to note about how tempo works and the benefits for everybody.

What Does 42×2 Mean?

Tempo prescriptions come in a series of four numbers representing the times in which it should take to complete four stages of the lift. In a workout, the tempo prescription will follow the assigned number of reps, such as:

Back Squat x 4 reps @ 42×2

The First Number – The first number refers to the lowering (eccentric) phase of the lift. Using our back squat example, the 4 will represent the amount of time (in seconds) that it should take you to descend to the bottom of the squat. (The first number always refers to the lowering/eccentric phase, even if the movement begins with the ascending/concentric phase, such as in a pull-up.)

The Second Number – The second number refers to the amount of time spent in the bottom position of the lift – the point in which the lift transitions from lowering to ascending. In our back squat example, the prescribed 2 means that the athlete should reach the bottom position and pause for 2 seconds. If, however, the prescription was 40×0, the athlete would be expected to reach the bottom and immediately begin their accent.

The Third Number – The third number refers to ascending (concentric) phase of the lift – the amount of time it takes you to get to the top of the lift. Yes, I am aware that X is not a number. The X signifies that the athlete should EXPLODE the weight up as quickly as possible. In many cases, this will not be very fast, but it is the intent that counts – try to accelerate the weight as fast as you can. If the third number is a 2, it should take the athlete 2 seconds to get the lift to the top regardless of whether they are capable of moving it faster.

The Fourth Number – The fourth number refers to how long you should pause at the top of the lift. Take, for example, a weighted pull-up prescription of 20X2, the athlete would be expected to hold his or her chin over the bar for two seconds before beginning to come down.

Counting – It seems silly to even mention how to count seconds, but I have heard many clients audibly count to 4 in less than one second while under a heavy load. So, to ensure that your 4 second count and mine are the same, use “one thousands,” as in: 1-one thousand, 2-one thousand, 3-one thousand, 4-one thousand.

Got it? If you need more practice, think about how you would perform the following:

Push-Up x 15 reps @ 2111

strict press x 6-8 reps @ 41X1

deadlift x 81X2

For many of you, just understanding how to read the prescription will suffice. Others will wonder why they have to follow the tempo prescription.

Why I Like Tempo Training . . . and Think You Should Too.

Tempo training is important at all stages of an athlete’s development – from beginners who simply want to learn to lift weights and shed a few pounds to Olympic caliber athletes of all disciplines. Here are my top 3 reasons for including tempo prescriptions with lifts:

Improved Quality of Movement

Quality of movement should be your first priority. Intensity comes only after one can consistently demonstrate the proper mechanics of a movement. Proper tempo prescriptions can help athletes develop awareness and body control by giving them an opportunity to “feel” which muscle groups are activating to keep them in proper positions.

In more experienced athletes tempo can be used to emphasize problem areas and shore up weak links in technique. For example, if you struggle in the bottom position of an overhead squat, a prescription forcing you to spend some time in that position will help solidify your technique, create more comfort in that weak position, and permit greater improvements down the line.

Reduced Risk of Injury

Improving the quality of the movement obviously helps to reduce the risk of injury for athletes. But in addition, slowing down the tempo of lifts can ease the stress placed on joints and shift that additional stress to the muscles powering the lift. More stress on the muscles and less on the joints is a good thing. Muscles are far better at adapting to increased loads. Connective tissue typically takes longer to strengthen and adapt to the increasing loads, so by slowing down the tempo you can give your connective tissue some rest while still strengthening the surrounding musculature.

Tempo prescriptions also naturally control intensity (and perhaps, rein in egos). Let’s use the bench press as an example. If you excessively load the barbell you might be tempted to speed up the lowering phase and bounce the barbell off your chest – don’t lie, you do this, you know who you are!!! But if you know that the prescription calls for a 3 second descent and a 2 second pause at the bottom, you’re not going to be tempted to load anywhere close to the same amount. Don’t believe me? Give it a shot, most of you did yesterday and I saw it catch most of you off guard as to how hard it was.

Improved Strength Gains

This alone should have been sufficient, but I threw in the first two for all of the coaches out there.

Proper tempo prescriptions can lead to vastly improved strength gains. First, different tempo prescriptions permit for greater training variety and stimulus. This means fewer plateaus and more adaptation.

Second, they allow us to shore up weak links by overloading certain areas of movements. For example, how many of you feel more comfortable with your second and third deadlift reps than your first? I am guessing a lot, and it’s because you are using the benefit of either or both the elastic “bounce” of your stretch-shortening cycle or your rubber plates hitting the hard floor. But if your tempo prescription called for a slow descent and a longer pause at the bottom, you might actually have to get stronger through your weak points.

Third, slowing down movements with tempo prescriptions can allow for greater amount of time under tension with less overall stress on an athlete’s central nervous system. This can be particularly important for crossfiters, who are often pushing themselves to the limits with maximal effort lifts and workouts, by creating a way to continue training and making an athlete stronger without overtaxing his or her system. – less stress = less injury, more gainz

Fourth, isometric pauses at the top and/or bottom of lifts force you to recruit more muscle fiber, and more muscle fiber recruitment (particularly more fast-twitch fibers) equals greater strength gains. I know that sounds like geek-speak, but here’s how you will know you’re recruiting more muscle fiber – it will be really hard. :)

I hope this gives a little insight and help to understand the training principles that you’ll see over the next few months

For me the biggest thing of all this with the tempo is practice! we get to slow the movement down and practice each movement in a controlled and safe manner, the more practice we get the better we become on that note ill leave you with one of my favourite quotes

” I fear not the man that has practiced 10 thousand kicks but the man that has practiced 1 kick 10 thousand times” – Bruce Lee

Who are Fitness Qatar?

Fitness Qatar is a Qatar Registered Company that specialises in a range of fitness and active events. Fitness Qatar have a number of brands in fitness and event management in Doha as follows:

StrongBox – A class based functional fitness gym with a range of fun classes including Qatar’s original and leading CrossFit gym CrossFit Quwwa. Three locations across Doha

CrossFit Quwwa – Qatar’s first CrossFit gym founded in 2013 and growing rapidly. The first gym to send a team to the CrossFit

Bootcamp Qatar – The original and largest Bootcamp in Qatar. Founded in 2009. Indoor and outdoor venues across Doha.

Paddle Qatar – Qatar’s leading kayaking and human powered watersports company. Kayak tours and expeditions across Qatar including Doha, Al Khor and The Pearl.

FQ Events – The team building and event management arm of fitness Qatar. We design and project manage indoor and outdoor team building and active events from 50-500 people

Fitness Qatar – Fitness Qatar itself specialises in high level personal training and weight loss. We have a team of incredibly highly qualified fitness professionals with expertise and specialisms in a range of areas from rehabilitation to athletics 

Case Study – Safliyah Island event for Arabic Debating championships

Client Event Case Study – Safliyah Island activities for International Student Competition

Date:  Wednesday 24 April 2013

Time: 0800 to 1300

Overview and brief:

Fitness Qatar was asked to design and operate a range of fun and competitive active events for 300 students on Safliyah Island.  This was the finale to a week long debating championship with students from 27 countries around the world.

The event was to be run offshore on Safliyah island so all equipment had to be transported to the island in advance and broken down after the event.

FQ designed a team event day which would comprise 8 events over only 90 minutes.  Huge time pressure when dealing with such a large number of people. Events staff had to be able to work in Arabic to ensure all instructions were understood by the participants.

Following a short client meeting the 8 events were agreed upon from ideas presented by Fitness Qatar.  These events would be as follows:

1.      Build a car – Build a car from equipment provided and race it as a team around a track
2.      Human railway – Use balance and teamwork to move basketballs along a human railway
3.      Sack Race – a traditional school sports event remade
4.      Egg and Spoon race – In this case limes not eggs but it was just as fun
5.      Farmer’s Walk – A test of fitness and strength.  Carrying heavy water cans along a race track
6.      Team ski – The ultimate in teamwork and communication is required to win this team race
7.      Stretcher race – team work and fitness required to run a race with a stretcher and a heavy “patient” on board
8.      Tallest tower – Using materials provided build the tallest tower against the clock


FQ completed the planning and organisation of the event schedule, location booking, staffing and transport shortly after the confirmed request was received.   Prior to the event the site was visited and equipment set up to ensure that everything was set for the day


On the event day the set up was complete early morning.  However, some delays at the client meant attendees were up to an hour late.  FQ quickly reshuffled the teams and got the event started and by the first break the event was back on schedule.  All 8 events plus the debrief and prizegiving were completed by departure time of the return boats.


The following is an extract from feedback received from the client:

“I would like to take a moment to thank you for your unwavering support and dedication in organizing team building activities for 44 teams from 27 different countries  on the 24th of April 2013, during the 2nd International Universities Arabic Debating Championship.

I would like to extend my gratitude for helping us make the event a huge success.  This success could not have been achieved if not for dedication and professional service rendered from you.  We would also like to thank you for being so accommodating when we need to make last minute changes!  On behalf of the QMDI team, I would like to extend my greatest gratitude to you and your team.

It has been a pleasure to work with you and we look forward to working with you again in the near future.”







Case Study: Maersk Oil Sports Day

Fitness Qatar was asked to design a fun and active team building day with an element of competition by the Maersk Oil Qatar SAP Department.

The department has approximately 90 eligible members and the event was required to be held over 4 hours, outdoors, initially in the morning on a weekday in November.

FQ designed a team event day which would comprise 9 events over the course of the day with 18 teams of 5 people participating.  Some events would be individual efforts and others for the full team.

Following a short client meeting the 9 events were agreed upon from a number of ideas presented by Fitness Qatar.  These events would be as follows:

  1. Obstacle course (pictured) – a 6 obstacle race against time
  2. Basketball challenge – a team event to score as quickly as possible
  3. Farmers walk – an individual test of strength and determination
  4. Throw and catch – an innovative human catapult throw and catch game
  5. Biathlon fitness challenge – a team test of endurance
  6. Balance Beam – a team event testing balance
  7. Football challenge – a team penalty shoot-out with a twist
  8. Stretcher race – a team event to test team work and endurance
  9. Sack Race – a team race using the traditional school sports day theme


FQ completed the planning and organisation of the event schedule, location booking, staffing and catering shortly after the confirmed request was received.  With one week’s notice the timing was required to be changed to an evening event.  FQ quickly sourced lighting and altered the location booking to allow the event to continue once the sun had set.


On the event day the set up was complete early morning.  However, some delays at the client meant attendees were up to 40 minutes late and there were a number of late cancellations.  FQ quickly reshuffled the teams and got the event started and by the first break the event was back on schedule.  All 9 events plus the debrief and prizegiving were completed by the 1900 close.


A testimonial letter can be viewed here  Testimonial letter

The following are quotes from feedback received from Maersk Oil Qatar:

“An excellent event, thoroughly enjoyed participating in all the games – the obstacle course was fantastic”

“A very well organized teambuilding event, can’t wait for the next”

“Fantastic effort from all at Fitness Qatar – very professional, great fun”

FQ News – October 2012

FQ News…TV appearances, magazine articles, more trainers, more fitness opportunities. The Fitness Qatar Empire continues to grow!

It’s been a while since we last updated our FQ blog and we would like to apologise for this. The last 8 weeks has been nothing short of busy and we are incredibly excited to share with you our recent actions and experiences. We are also thrilled to reveal some future fitness opportunities specifically for you good people.

FQ on MBC4s Stars of Science

Four of the Fitness Qatar team were asked to run a series of challenges for the popular TV show. The contestants were pushed to their absolute limits under the strict expertise and guidance of the FQ trainers. From daring swimming tests to pushing their body to the point of being sick, the contestants battled a series of physical and mental challenges and can be very proud of their efforts. Check out the videos below to see more.


Bootcamp Qatar Continues To Go From Strength To Strength







FQs famous Bootcamp ( is continuing to thrive with yet another write up in Time Out Doha Magazine (click to view). With such a huge demand for this service, an additional venue has also been added at the Museum of Islamic Art’s private park by the corniche. This will start on Sunday 4th November 2012 and take place at 6pm on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday.

To register please email, Be quick as spaces will be limited. Please note that there are no changes to current bootcamps at education city and the corniche!

‘Quality’ Personal Training On Your Doorstep

With the arrival of two new trainers 6 weeks ago, we are proud of the positive impact they have made in such a short period of time. With incredibly busy schedules and nothing but positive feedback from their clients, the demand for class personal trainers is all too clear and FQPT is delighted to supply the best in the country. You will be delighted to know that plans are in place to add more ‘quality’ trainers very soon.

Remember to check out our PT dedicated site ( for more details including packages and testimonials. Get in touch today for your FREE consultation.

FQ Proud Sponsors Of The QIAFL

Here at FQ, we aim to get as many people as possible physically active by whatever means. Bearing this in mind, we are delighted to support and sponsor the Qatar International Amateur Football League (click for website).

With 20 teams in a very popular and competitive league, the group attracts huge interest. For any enquiries or if you have an interest in joining a team, please contact the league chairman Darren Mortimer –

FQ Always Looking To The Future

Wow, what a busy time it has been for the FQ team. Helping and providing the people of Qatar with Fitness opportunities is our priority and rest assured this will continue. So what’s stopping you from getting involved? Want personal training, get in touch. Want to train as a group with your friends and/or work colleagues, get in touch. Want to join bootcamp, get in touch. Have a question, ask away. Have a suggestion, let us know. We want you to be part of the Qatar fitness revolution and we welcome you in any capacity.

I’d like to end this post with a circuit based new video designed by two of our trainers, Jordan (in video) and Millie. Try it out and let us know how you get on!

With no rest between exercises/stations, perform the following as fast as possible but with good form. Rest 60-90secs then perform circuit again for a total of 4-5 rounds.

1. Backward pedal bag pulls x 60yds

2. Depth box jumps x 10reps

3. Squat into overhead/push press x 10reps

4. Tyre fast feet drill with sandbag carry x 6reps

5. Tyre flips with jump x 10reps 6. 3/4 pace sprint x half football pitch (approx).

Fitness Qatar in Time Out Doha

In August’s edition of Time Out Doha Magazine, Fitness Qatar featured in two separate articles. Don’t worry if you haven’t picked your copy up yet as both are available by simply clicking on the links below.

Follow My Progress – Jessica Blog 1

Fitness Qatar would like to introduce you to one of our clients, Jessica. She has kindly agreed to blog her fitness experiences and progress. Here is her first blog post. Enjoy.

Hello, my name is Jessica, and I have a confession.

I’m fat.

Ok maybe that’s not the shocker I thought it was. For me though, it sort of was. I know what you’re thinking, the same thing I always thought when I looked at heavily obese woman, particularly the ones using those little motorized scooters. I wondered: how did that happen? How did they not notice, somewhere between 150 pounds and 350 pounds, what was happening? But for me, it actually did sneak up. I didn’t clue in when I started buying my jeans a size bigger. I didn’t really clue in either when my wardrobe got gradually smaller, most of my tops and skirts retreating to the never-worn portion of the closet, while my stretchy cottons and floaty, loose dresses seemed to be getting a lot of wear in the rotation. Nope, I noticed on an airplane. I actually noticed getting on the airplane, when the flight attendant stopped me as I was getting on to ask if I were pregnant.

Nope, just fat.

I walked down the aisle, feeling like I’d been catapulted back to my deeply self conscious teen years. Could it be? Was I fat enough people thought I was growing a person? My fears were confirmed when I sat down and realized the little tray was uncomfortably close to my belly. And more importantly, when I realized my belly was resting in my lap like a
warm, obnoxious kitten.

Actions had to be taken, something had to be done.  But what? 26 years as a tall and, ahem, ‘solid’ individual has taught me that I cannot be trusted with my own health. That way lies frustration, self recrimination, and excuses. I’m not one for the middle road either: I’m either whole hog, obsessively monitoring everything that goes in my mouth and working out like a fiend, or I’m sprawled on my sofa convincing myself reaching for the cheetos while watching What Not to Wear is a cardio workout.

Thankfully, I have faith in other people. When it comes to my waistline I’m a fan of outsourcing. Enter, Fitness Qatar. My first meeting with Becca was intriguing: we met in a coffee shop, and while I order my virtuous skinny latte (in some sort of vain denial effort—‘what, me? I’m not fat. This is just some costume I’ve put on to fool you. It has absolutely nothing to do with my secret addiction to mocha frappucinos with a shot of raspberry syrup), she gets something frothy and creamy. Once we get talking, it also seems that she was neither of the fitness stereotypes television has led me to embrace: she’s neither a Napoleonic fitness dictator, nor is she the obsessively perky ‘you go gurrrl’ type. She actually seems. . . normal. More importantly, she seems to think I’m not either a lost cause or a hopeless case. Curiouser and Curiouser. As we chat about the goals and aims I’m looking for, she seems reasonable, and excited, and more importantly, enthusiastically sure that I can actually do this.

I know, right?

See, as much as I can talk the talk when needed about gradual change and the benefits of slow and steady, I am not a tortoise. In my brain I’m a hare, one raised on 80s movies.  I want this coffee shop meeting to be the intro to an epic montage, sound tracked by an Olivia Newton John song and directed by John Hughes. I want to do two lunges and a couple of curls while wearing coordinating sweatbands as guitar solos surge in the background. I want it all done in under thirty sections, possibly with a humorous interlude
involving a medicine ball, before I emerge, perfect and resplendent. And because I was all of five when the 80s ended, and thus my reference points are tragically mired in the late 90s, I want the big reveal moment. I want this:

Well, almost. I want the big staircase reveal and the pretty-ugly-girl ‘She’s all that’ moment, but maybe without Freddie Prince Jr. He’s gotten weird. Also I could do without the falling, but in this I am realistic: the height of grace I am not.

But, alas, this only happens in movies (although I’m still working on that sound tracking my life thing). Becca and I agree on a slow and steady plan that just might, with a little luck and more sweat than Olivia Newton John is willing to tolerate, get me that staircase
reveal. Six months, 60 pounds. Can I do it? Check back to find out.

Also to see if I’ve fallen on anything lately.

Programme Design Considerations

There is little doubt that the human body is amazing. Amazing by design, amazing by function. This is particularly the case when a new training stimulus is introduced. Your body is so adaptable (particularly for beginners) that it will react accordingly depending what methods or ways you decide to train.

A basic example of the body’s ability to adapt is resistance training whether it be in the form of weights, bodyweight, sandbags etc (remember, resistance is resistance). Due to this new stimulus, the body will adapt by getting stronger, bigger or more powerful. Now think about this. You could be submitting yourself to a rubbish programme, yet still yield some mediocre result. I know countless people who are in this same position. They follow ‘general’ programmes yet fail to address their weaknesses such as muscular imbalances or poor mobility etc. This can be extremely detrimental to an individual’s training goals and more importantly their wellness and health. It is somewhat inevitable that if you continue to follow general programmes your results will plateau or worse you will get injured. The most common reasons for this are due to the general programmes lack of individuality, lack of variety, lack of training the body in balance (i.e. you must train the antagonists), and simply the wrong exercise selection (smith machines anyone). Moreover, in almost all instances, people should train the body for how it moves, as opposed to what a particular muscle group is. Some movement examples include horizontal push/pull, vertical push/pull, hip dominant, posterior chain, quad dominant plus others.

The point I am trying to make at this time is that people will better capitalise and benefit from an individually prescribed programme. All it takes is a bit of research and advice from those who understand correct training principles and correct programme design…any article on elitefts for example is a fantastic and reliable resource. What’s more, everyone can benefit from an experienced and qualified Personal Trainer but for me they have to focus on many matters such as lifestyle, nutrition and be able to identify your weaknesses and strengths (i.e. flexibility, stability, movement patterns, muscle activation) and address them accordingly. What does this lead to? Optimal human functional movement as nature intended and depending on your goals stronger, leaner and more muscular physiques. Only when components such as corrective exercise are applied can real improvements be made in the areas the client wishes.

So ask yourself this…does your programme reflect what is best for you? Is your programme detrimental to your health? Does your programme cater for your weaknesses? Do you know what your weaknesses are? Do you know what your strengths are? Are you meeting your training goals? Do you have training goals?

Now we know the perfect programme simply doesn’t exist and the likelihood is it never will. However programmes which wrongly affect your wellness and health do exist and these are inexcusable. If you feel this may be the case with you, be honest with yourself and you can correct the problem. After all, you owe it to that ‘amazing’ and adaptable body you are blessed to have.

Follow My Progress – Jamie (Week 1)

Week 1 has passed for Jamie and here are some details of what took place and his progress.


Name: Jamie McNeil







Age: 23

Training Goals: Build muscle, increase absolute and relative strength, improve anaerobic fitness, improve work capacity, improve posture, improve mobility and flexibility.

Athletic History: Jamie is very active and athletic. He plays competitive football at amateur level 2-3 times per week. He also has been regularly strength training (3-4 times per week) for the past 2 years.

Injury History: Broken hands, Dislocated thumb, numerous ankle strains (football)…Due to Jamie mistreating his hands J his grip strength has suffered. Traditional training exercises such as pull-ups/chin-ups/rowing variations/deadlift variations and grip specific drills such as plate pinching will be incorporated.

Other Details of Note: Jamie focused all his strength training sessions on his upper body. He also only trained in the sarcoplasmic hypertrophy rep range (8-12 reps) in order to increase muscle size. He has left his lower body neglected and missed out on the benefits of lifting in a different rep range (more on this later).

FQ strongly advocates lower body training and this will be a focal point of Jamie’s programme. The deadlift will be his primary lift plus we will include assistance work such as single leg quad dominant variations (reverse lunges/bulgarian split-squats aka rear foot elevated single leg squats) and hip dominant variations (glute-ham-raises/romanian deadlifts/hip thrusts).

Lifts such as the barbell back squat, front squat or box squat cannot be catered for due to no squat rack or power rack equipment.

Week 1

Last week Jamie sat a health screen, a functional movement screen, participated in numerous tests and was heavily critiqued giving his exercise form. Here are some of his initial results.

Health Screen/Stats

Weight (k): 75k

Bodyfat: 14%…good

Blood Pressure: 130/85 (good)…although still in the ‘green’ zone I was slightly surprised by this number due to how active Jamie already is. His diet will be closely monitored as a result plus we will look into his family’s history of blood pressure.

Selected Bodily Measurements (cm):

  • Chest 101.5cm
  • Stomach 83cm
  • Left bicep 34cm
  • Right bicep 33cm
  • Left upper leg 57cm
  • Right upper leg 57cm
  • Left lower leg 37cm
  • Right lower leg 37cm

To summarise, Jamie already has a very strong physique, he has a lot of muscle mass particularly in his upper body. His bodyfat is relatively low but we will be aiming to reduce this also.

Selected Fitness Tests

Please note that due to jamie’s training experience, I decided that he was conditioned enough to attempt single rep maxes (absolute strength) given two selected lifts. It is recommended you do not attempt a single rep max on a particular lift without professional supervision and somone to spot you.

  1. Bench Press (1RM) – 90k (Absolute Strength)
  2. Deadlift (1RM) – 130k (Absolute Strength)
  3. Pull-Ups in 60secs (Wide Grip -no crossfit form here, no swing, no momentum, controlled solid reps) – 10 (Relative Strength)
  4. Push-Ups in 60secs (Chest to floor, full extension of elbows, core tight) – 47 (Relative Strength)
  5. Full Bodyweight Squats in 60secs – 32 (Relative Strength)
  6. 500m Row as fast as possible – 98secs (ATP-PC System)

To summarise, Jamie’s initial test scores are very good. There are no major underlying issues that need to be addressed with the exception of his upper body mobility particularly in the scapula and shoulders (identified during his movement screen). Basically, Jamie needs to train with more intensity. This will be provided in the form of him lifting heavy weights for low reps (1-5). The hypertrophy range of 8-12 won’t be neglected altogether however as this will be incorporated giving his assistance exercises.

Additionally, we have spent and will continue to focus on Jamie’s form particularly with regards to the primary lifts. His deadlift has significantly improved with him pulling a 130k single beating his previous best of 60k. It’s amazing what improvements in technique, confidence and self-belief can accomplish.

This same outlook also concerns the bench press as he is trying to relearn a different bench technique commonly adopted by powerlifters. This involves arching (yes arching) your back with your glutes down and your upper back pressed into the bench (platform). You will also drive your feet into the ground (leg drive) while lowering the bar under control with your lats, elbows 45degrees, before exploding the bar upwards. For a detailed video, click here. Moreover, below is Jamie practising his new technique.

Contrary to popular belief, the above method of benching is actually safer than other methods due to less stress on the shoulder girdle and more muscle recruitment. In fact, previously Jamie was lowering the bar to his neck! I don’t think I have to tell you how dangerous this can be and rest assured this was corrected. The bench press is one of the most technical lifts to learn particularly if you have benched with a different technique for many years. In saying that, it’s also one of the most beneficial giving overall upper body strength, power and shoulder health (when used correctly and combined with relevant rowing and upper back exercises). Just don’t be one of these idiots when bench pressing!

Summary of Week 1

Fantastic start by a very able client. Jamie has made significant improvements in the short space with Fitness Qatar. Highlights included deadlifting a new personal best of 130k, benching a new personal best of 90k and remaining highly motivated throughout. Expect even more improvements from Jamie in the upcoming weeks. Well done.

The Scottish Trainer

FQ News – new personal trainers, our very own lab rat, new exercises, videos + more…it’s all happening at Fitness Qatar!

Busy is an understatement to say the least at Fitness Qatar at the moment. Full personal training schedules, exciting developments, countless meetings, writing programmes and fitting in our own training sessions make us realise that there really isn’t enough hours in the day! The workload is big but at FQ, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.

It’s very exciting times with so much changing week in week out. This blog post will highlight some latest and future happenings in Fitness Qatar.

New FQ Personal Trainers

With such as demand for quality fitness trainers, FQ has sought out some fantastic new additions who will be joining the team after Ramadan. All trainers are vastly skilled, experienced and are extremely motivated to help you reach your goals.

With waiting lists expected, take charge now by booking in with one of the ‘new guys’. Please contact and we will take care of the rest.

‘Like’ us on Facebook (click here)

Our facebook page is regularly updated with events, news, training and diet tips etc.

Now with over 1,000 ‘likes’ Fitness Qatar is getting more and more recognised throughout Qatar. We want this to continue as we want to help as many people as we can. To do this, we need your help! Tell your family, friends, colleagues, neighbours, local shop keeper…everyone! Everyone likes to be liked after all.

Subscribe to the FQ YouTube page here

With near 100 videos, the FQ YouTube continues to grow rapidly. Included are exercise ideas, technical advice and many inspirational routines. Free content because we like you.







Case Study – Jamie

One of FQs clients, Jamie has kindly allowed us to highlight his progress while on one of our personal training programmes. We will update weekly or every two weeks via Facebook ( and/or the FQ blog ( regarding his progress.

We will include information such as…

  • exact training modalities targeted and why (i.e. SMR, Muscle Activation, Primary Lifts etc)
  • video clips of exercises performed during actual workout sessions
  • details of his nutrition and supplemental plan
  • updates of his stats including bodyfat, bodily measurements and lifting numbers
  • how his training is managed and incorporated in relation to his lifestyle

To start with, Jamie underwent a health screen, a functional movement screen and participated in many fitness tests relevant to his goals. His exact profile, goals, stats etc will be revealed shortly. Before this however, we want to share with you a short video clip of Jamie during his movement screen performing overhead squats with a dowel. This is one of many lower body movements we have clients perform in order for us to evaluate movement pattern quality, mobility and stability. This will identify limitations and asymmetries of his movement which we will later aim to correlate with solutions.

Jamie’s squat depth is actually quite good, indicating good hip mobility and core stability/coordination amongst other traits. However, if you look closely at the dowel, it moves forward slightly. This is an indication of tightness in the thoracic spine, lats and shoulders. Corrective exercise, mobility and flexibility drills will be key components to address this issue. It is worthwhile to note that this ‘tightness’ is not a major issue but exercises such as standing or seated wall slides (see video below) will certainly be very advantageous for Jamie.

We hope all the information we provide on Jamie and his progress will give you the viewer, an insight into how our FQ trainers train their clients and also how we can help YOU whatever your circumstances.

Again, a huge thanks to Jamie for ‘putting himself out there’ and we look forward to helping you reach your goals.

Lastly, it’s all about YOU…

We really want YOU to be part of Fitness Qatar. We provide a host of services and hope to offer something for everyone. Whether it’s personal training, corporate wellness, gym design, group training, nutrition, event management, physical assessments or strength and conditioning, we aim to be the best of the best. So please don’t hesitate to get in touch and be part of the Qatar Fitness Revolution.