The HOP® Team success at SENI 2014!

Fitness4x4® had a weekend full of challenges & demonstrations at the Seni Combat & Strength Show in London’s Soccerdome. Supported by an enthusiastic and talented team of HOP® instructors who took every opportunity to not only demonstrate the full intensity of the HOP® Workout but also to talk to interested members of the martial arts and ‘fight’ community who were intrigued by the workout and its potential for their own training.


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As a familiar part of this promotional process, and as Fitness4x4® has done right from the beginning, Challenges were hosted with real prize money offered, all in the name of proving the effectiveness of this approach to training. First up was the all-new HOP® 1000 Challenge, offering £1000 to anyone who could survive just 15minutes of the standard HOP® workout…but obviously using the same dumbbell weights as the Instructor – in this case, 7.5kgs, and Rajko Radovic, National Director for Fitness4x4. Two challengers duly stepped up to try to claim the £1000 prize and gave their very best. But as was the intended conclusion, both ultimately failed to survive even a third of the 15minute challenge. Such is the level of upper body muscular & cardio conditioning demanded by a full intensity HOP® workout with heavy dumbbells.IMG_6203

Day 1’s Challenge finished with a power-packed Instructor DEMO, set to the breakbeats and guitar riffs of the all-new RockHOP™ Soundtrack. A team of instructors in matching uniform, perfect synchronisation & using the mandatory instructor dumbbell weights of 3kgs (female instructor minimum) and 5kgs (male instructor minimum), took the audience through a dynamic, condensed representation of the workout, leaving an indelible impression on the audience of actually how enjoyable & empowering it is to utilise this training approach, which can sometimes appear after a Challenge as out-of-reach for anyone but father or son. The Demo, featuring male and female instructors of a range of ages but with equal capability, showed what this workout is truly about, and what passion it inspires in its instructors and participants.IMG_6210

Next up, on day two, came the Dragan Challenge, where Fitness4x4® Founder Dragan stepped up and took on all-comers in a new variation of the DC featuring lighter dumbbells and a combination of movements rather than the familiar Curl & Press. Add to those a simple behind-the-head Tricep Curl, and there you have the 3 movements of Dragan’s current challenge. A slightly more complex challenge to operate, with more variables and more happening on stage, but in the end, the familiar (and yet ever increasingly impressive) conclusion was that nobody could get even close to the now 65yr old Dragan. Circling the stage as he performed his combination curl-press-curl, Dragan literally ran rings around his challengers, showing yet again not only the determination to remain unbeaten but more to the point, a level of fitness and conditioning that most men half his age would be proud of.IMG_6305A big thank you from Fitness4x4® to everyone from the HOP® Instructor Community who contributed to the weekend’s promotions and challenges.  All in all, around 12 HOP® Certified Instructors + some willing friends and volunteers contributed their time & efforts during the course of the weekend and all performed brilliantly! Ian, Julie, Michelle, Julie, Lisa, Nora, Silva, Zynab, Jude, Luka, Ben, Nicola and friends…thank you!

New Active Brunel promo video features Hour of Power®

New promotional video for Active Brunel features our HOP® instructors Michelle Williams and Nicola Feustel talking about Hour of Power classes.

MichelleWilliams

NicolaFeustel

Active Brunel offers you the chance to access a range of informal, relaxed sport and physical activity sessions at Brunel at different times throughout the week.

View the calendar of activities and discover more at www.brunel.ac.uk/life/sport

facebook.com/activebrunel

Remembering Xavier… A Letter from Dragan

Xavier and Dragan

Some years ago, on one of the Fitness4x4/Hour of Power instructor’s courses, a young guy turned up with a very friendly attitude and a pleasant smile. The group of attendees consisted of mostly individuals from the London area or nearby towns.  We all gathered in the part of the local restaurant reserved for the weekend-long course. Before any other activity, we always ask attendees to introduce themselves to the rest of the group informing us about the reasons they decided to attend, their exercise background, where they are coming from etc. At some point, through the introduction, it was Xavier’s turn. He stood up and told us his name and that he came from Paris … then continued with the rest of his story. I was pleasantly surprised to see that someone found it worthwhile to come for a two-day course from a different country and invest his extra time and money. He told us that he had read somewhere about Dragan Challenges in America, was very impressed by the story and wanted to know what was behind it. We all applauded loudly when he finished his introduction with a smile which you never forget once you have seen it. Already he stood out from the group.

The course was very dynamic and enjoyable maybe because the individuals in the group were on the same ‘wavelengths’ which made the presentation run smooth. The first day’s presentation lasted longer and when we finished Xavier asked us if we could recommend a local hotel since he did not have the time to book it from Paris. We phoned a couple of small hotels and guest houses in the neighbourhood but with no luck. Before we continued to check other places, one of my sons suggested that we invite Xavier to be our guest for the night since it was already late and the seminar was starting quite early the next day. We agreed and moments later Xavier was in our car going to our place. That was the day that we all felt strongly  Xavier would be with us for a very, very long time.

Quite a few years have gone past since then. Xavier’s dedication to fitness4x4, his enthusiasm about Hour of Power and his friendship was second to none. He inspired me with his ideas, with his healthy living, with his unprecedented support to our efforts to keep the Hour of Power alive and available in different parts of the world. At fitness shows there was nobody more excited about our stage presentation than him, there was nobody with such energy talking to the visitors promoting our courses and our method of training. His contribution to the success of every show was very valuable and appreciated by all.

Xavier and Dragan
Xavier and Dragan

This year he was not there in person and we all missed him a lot. But, with his face and name printed on my vest, he walked around with me for two days silently observing the visitors of the show. People who knew Xavier were very sad to hear of his death. The word ‘death’ seemed inappropriate when I just used it because, to me, Xavier cannot die. I feel his presence, his uncompromising belief in the victory of his ideas and our tasks. Wherever he might be now I guaranty he is converting his surroundings into Fitness4x4 enthusiast just the way I will be doing when I move on from this earth.

Some of you might find this last comment little funny but those who are aware of the last several weeks of Xavier’s his life will think differently about it. During the last 10 days of his life, I visited Xavier several times. He was in a lot of pain and losing his battle with the illness. The hospital where he was staying, realizing his serious situation, brought a doctor- specialist to help save Xavier. And even in such times, barely holding on to his own life, enduring terrible pains in his body going through the agony only he knows,  he managed to convert that doctor to fitness 4×4! When he was telling me about it there was a special glow on his face and pride in his voice. I could not believe what I was hearing – a man whose life was about to end ‘rescues’ the man who came to rescue him. I was speechless looking at my good friend’s face with the familiar smile that surfaced through the shadows of his continuing pain and suffering.

It was a year ago but it seems as if it was yesterday when in the quiet  evening in our fitness camp  on the mountain in Montenegro, as I was about to go to bed, my mobile telephone received the message: ‘’Xavier has died’’.

The mountain was silent; I was alone looking at the depths of the night sky saying my farewell to this unique human being, my genuine friend and supporter. Then I wrote on a piece of paper: ‘For my good friend and the Fitness4x4 General- Xavier’ placed that piece of paper on the floor in front of me, switched off the light, picked up a pair of my 20kg dumbbells and began to send my message to Xavier: “My friend you will never die for me!”

Xavier wanted to come and work with me on the camp development but it was not meant to happen.

Dear friends – all those who found in Hour of Power even a small portion of what I have found, Rajko and the rest of our family, Xavier and all other loyal supporters –  I ask you to remember Xavier when you pick up a pair of dumbbells to do your class or do vertical your lifts this week. This is how we are saying ‘hello’ to him now.

Dragan Radovic, Hour of Power Founder


Xavier Dolino Memorial Page
Xavier Dolino Memorial page

North Ridge Adventure article about Hour of Power

Introducing the Hour Of Power

A number of years ago I saw a man called Dragan at a martial arts Expo in London who, with his son Rajko, were taking on all-comers at endurance weight lifting using 20kg dumbells. Rajko is the current Guiness World Record holder at this event and also jointly won The Last Man Standing series on TV.

HOP North Ridge
Duncan Clark

In my line of work, I meet, and have met, a lot of impressively fit people but this was something new – something different (and more fun) than burpees, press-up and heaves!

Part of Dragan’s overall Fitness 4×4 concept, the Hour of Power work out was using the upper body with light weights, as much as the legs to generate cardiovascular effort. This new approach seemed to be the perfect workout to prepare for endurance events such as North Ridge Adventure’s Exercise Endurance which is the military style march over the Brecon Beacons carrying a 40lb bergan – an event where all-over body conditioning and core strength is absolutely crucial to success.

More than that, The Hour of Power is perfect preperation for survival situations where the ability to work can be the difference between life and death! As we have found out from repeated experiments it takes a minimum of 2 hours to make an effective debris shelter or even lean to in temperate forests (winter, deciduous) and that’s for fit experienced people. Imagine the benefits if everyone could attain much higher levels of muscle endurance with 2 or 3 hours a week of enjoyable training close to home. Think of the petrol saved and the environmental benefits as well of doing at least some of your preperations in the gym.

Aaah ‘GYM’…some people shudder at the thought but remember, everyone in the forces does most of their base fitness work in the gym – outdoor life and fitness training indoors really can go together and I encourage you to try it if you don’t already. For that reason, I approached Rajko for permission to join their instructor course and am pleased to announce that I am now a fully fledged Hour of Power Instructor! I fully endorse the training method and it has given me a renewed focus in my own training.

Will this affect North Ridge Adventure?

Whilst I recognise that many of our customers are spread far and wide, there are 3 ways you could get involved with The Hour of Power and North Ridge Adventure

1) Check out hourofpower.fitness4x4.com for a class near you. If you are ever near Coventry then do come and say hello

2) We plan to be co-hosting a fitness retreat, in conjunction with Dragan and Rajko at their base in the mountains and forests of Montenegro. Details TBC but expect a fantastic mix of endurance training, yoga and meditation sessions and of course survival seminars in those wild, wild hills! Keep an eye on the courses page for details

3) Also, for club/ group weekends, The Hour of Power can be easily integrated into your survival or camping experience if you would like a different twist. Later this year we are also going to trial a brand new self-protection seminar we’ve been working on and this will definitely form part of the fitness base training. Again watch this space..and get in touch if you just can’t wait to find out more.

Be prepared, and…‘don’t cheat the gym!’

Author: Duncan Clark

Source: North Ridge Adventure website (archived on archive.org)

HOP® Internationally – Profile on Slodes Club, Belgrade

Ana Pavlovic

It was more than 5 years ago when the Hour of Power first made its way to the famous Balkan city of Belgrade in Serbia. Since then the class has spread to three major locations around the city and is continuing to grow.

One of these locations is the dynamic Slodes Club on the outskirts of Belgrade

With classes scheduled three times per week in the well-equipped aerobics studio, sessions are led by Ana Pavlovic, one of the most experienced Hour of Power instructors worldwide and a recent contributor to the official Hour of Power Workout DVD – currently a top seller in the UK home fitness market.

Ana has been teaching Hour of Power for many years, learning initially from class founder Dragan, and later from the International director of the class, Rajko Radovic – son of Dragan. With a very high level of personal fitness, a contageous energy and a level expertise which can only come from many hours of teaching and training, Ana is a fantastic example of how the Hour of Power can and should be taught to people of all fitness levels.

As the Hour of Power continues to spread, it is good to know that our most experienced instructors are continuing to lead the way forward.

Ana Pavlovic
Ana takes part in ‘high-elevation’ training as part of her Certification at the Fitness4x4 Retreat in Montenegro