Xavier Dolino

As I sit and write this blog, halfway home from this weekend’s Hour of Power Certification Course…late at night in a quiet Service Station café, somewhere on the M1… it is strange to think that just two days ago one of our most inspirational and dedicated Instructors died unfairly of Leukemia. Xavier Dolino, aged 37…one of the most passionate health and fitness crusaders I will probably ever meet.

Xavier and Rajko

There are some people who stumble their way casually through life, taking for granted their health, their blessings and their chances in life. Xavier was not one of these. He worked tirelessly in everything he did. He was passionate about the things he did. Sometimes perhaps too passionate – sometimes he cared too much. He didn’t just want to teach fitness…he wanted to let everyone experience what it meant to feel vital and feel alive.

Why leukemia strikes a person down I have no idea. Is it stress? Is it genetic? Is it bad luck? Is it due to the environment we live in?  Honestly I have no idea – perhaps it is all of these things. But what I know is that Xavier tried his damned best to do things the right way. To honour his body…to challenge his body…to do it to his best…and then to encourage everyone around him to do the same thing. And in this process twice he was hit with Leukemia. Twice he was told he was dying. Twice he recovered!  But the third time he did not .

Xavier and RajkoSometimes around Xavier I didn’t know what to say – it was like he wanted so much from life that even I couldn’t suggest any more! Sometimes I had to tell him to stop and breath…and take it a bit more laid back. But you can’t really control a person’s passion …the whole point is that passion is often ever so slightly out of control. That’s why it’s called passion. IF it was completely calm and laid back it would be called wisdom or simply ‘purpose’…but passion is that something more.

When I wrote the song ‘Time’ I was thinking of my Grandfather wanting a little more time with his family… a little more time on this earth. I was thinking of my father always wanting a little more from his goals and his ideas. I was not thinking of Xavier…but now as I think about the words of the song – I realize that it was about someone like Xavier too. He just wanted a little more from everything he believed in. Mediocre was not enough.  When he first recovered from Leukemia and extreme Chemotherapy his goal was not just to start exercising again…it was to be back on stage at the national endurance lifting finals in Birmingham. And he did it.

Today is Xavier’s funeral. And although life doesn’t stop for any man. Wheels keep turning, appointments still have to be kept. Clocks keep ticking & schedules stay busy… although all this is true and perhaps not many people will physically be at his small funeral in Verona, Italy. Something else is also true. Xavier’s life impacted a lot of people and when his life stopped a few days ago, it did not go unnoticed. And though his life stopped, his spirit and his goals will never stop. He dreamed of running a fitness retreat using the principles of Fitness4x4 training – that will happen, and when it does, his name will be attached to it firmly..as a visionary, as a loyal friend, as a fighter and as someone who truly lived this short life.


Visit Xavier Dolino Memorial Page

Xavier Dolino Memorial page

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

Hour of Power in the record books

This month the Hour of Power has been taking UK school kids by storm, hosting mass-participation classes at sites around the country and involving more than 2000 students.

Using water bottles purchased from the One Water Company (which donates 100% of it’s considerable profits to charity) as hand-weights  students have been participating in full Hour of Power fitness sessions, led by Rajko Radovic (HOP® Director for the UK) and aimed at encouraging more young people into fitness.

“I want to show kids of all background that with the right type of exercise class, it is possible to enjoy all the benefits of elite exercise, without having to be a fitness fanatic and without having to be passionate about a particular sport!  In this fast-paced lifestyle where even kids have limited windows of time (and concentration) they need an approach to fitness and health which is efficient, and relevant to the lives they lead now and will lead when they leave school. Hour of Power is just that class. ” (Rajko)

On Tuesday 12th July, Rajko was joined by players from the Huddersfield Giants rugby squad to lead a 1000 participant Hour of Power workout at Honley High School in Huddersfield. The event was organised by art teacher Mr Graham Wheatcroft, who worked with Rajko to set up the ultimate school fitness event, and hopefully enter the record books as the largest ever fitness class with weights.

“On this occasion the half-kilo weights used happened to be water-bottles, which of course not only gave the kids a tough Hour of Power workout, but also encouraged them to quench their thirst with healthy water instead of soft drinks and sodas. So the event was a double success”

Rajko will continue his drive towards encouraging UK school kids in fitness when he visits Robert Clack school in East London to host another Mass-Participation Hour of Power class. Robert Clack were the first UK school to offer a full-school Hour of Power workoutin 2010, and are showing other London schools what can be done to improve the healthy living habits of their students, hosting their ‘HEALTHY SCHOOLS CAMPAIGN’ for the third straight year.

HOP® in National Media

In the next 10days the Hour of Power finds itself featured in two major fitness magazine… a 6 page article at the start of April’s Muscle & Fitness Magazine (in shops now!) and on the 29th March a full review of the Hour of Power workout in Ultrafit Magazine.

Both articles are really great and shed a very positive light on the Hour of Power – which is, of course, a relief 🙂   Because no matter how effective and how great many of us know Hour of Power to be, it is still a fitness class that is very different to the norm; it still can be highly demanding and almost awkward to the first-time participant – all those upper body muscles not used to being used to that extent! – and it still is one class amongst many fitness classes trying to find their way in a busy industry.  But, as I said quite honestly to Susan from Ultrafit, the Hour of Power was here 25 years ago…and believe it will still be here in 25years – It’s just that kind of class. It has staying power…

And with any luck, as more and more people start to experience the class (or the DVD version of the class!) and see for themselves the energy and value it brings, then I think we’re going to see Hour of Power popping up on studio timetables, at local halls, in schools…and maybe even on people’s tv screens – all across the country.



It’s a busy but exciting period for Hour of Power. In the 25 year history of the class, we have never had so many active classes, and so many busy classes! Last week I personally taught and enjoyed classes at two of the UK’s leading universities, where there is almost no more space to take attendees. And the London classes are popping up thick and fast – with two more starting at Gymbox clubs tomorrow, and Club Kensington, NuYuu and Flex clubs always at capacity.

So as we approach this next HOP® Certification Course at the end of March, it’s fantastic to see that this revolutionary approach to cardiovascular training is really starting to make it’s mark…mostly because of a whole new wave of great instructors. My father started things off…I’ve done my best to take it forward another small step…and now it’s the turn of the new instructors to take it a giant leap forward. (and I’ll maybe take myself a little rest 🙂

Rajko Radovic – National Director Fitness4x4 Ltd