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

Xavier Dolino Day

On the 24th Sept 2012 the Hour of Power Fitness community worldwide remembered Xavier Dolino (Senior Hour of Power Trainer) who sadly passed away exactly one year ago to that date, after fighting a recurrence of Leukemia for the third time.

 

But the way Xavier was remembered was not through raising a glass in his name, but rather in a way he’d have wanted – by raising some dumbbells to ‘get busy getting fit’ .  In many ways it would be most fitting to describe Xavier as a fitness Crusader. He didn’t just exercise for himself – he was determined to influence everyone around him into exercising…and into recognising that ‘the body is not a garbage dump’ (as he said in his last interview). We should take at least the same care of our bodies as we do of our cars (!) where we use the best fuel, the best oil, the best accessories…  Xavier was not shy in sharing this passion for taking care of the body through exercise, and when he discovered Hour of Power workout in 2005, he felt that he’d discovered a fitness approach that he could wholeheartedly stand behind as the ‘real thing’.

On Xavier Dolino day, hundreds of people around the UK and around the globe, gathered together to either complete an Hour of Power workout or a Fitness4x4 Endurance Lifting session – some in groups, some alone…all with the same desire to properly honour our friend Xavier.

Yorkshire class for Xavier

Class founder Dragan Radovic, overwhelmed by the positive and heartfelt response to Xavier Dolino Day, has asked that we extend the memorial for the remaining week ahead – to allow everyone to be part of this global community exercise.  The Hour of Power fitness community is a relatively small community, but one thing is certain:  wherever you find the Hour of Power Class, you always find genuine, good people who recognise the value of ‘mindful fitness’ and self challenge. Xavier was one of those. Perhaps one of the best of those.

Wherever you are this week, join in as many Hour of Power classes as you can. If you only have the workout DVD, invite a friend or family member to do it with you. Make this week an extension of Xavier Day by honouring your own fitness and the fitness of those closest to you.

Rajko Radovic

Hour of Power & Fitness4x4
National Director
United Kingdom


Xavier Dolino DAY Facebook event page
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)

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.

Rajko


Visit Xavier Dolino Memorial Page

Xavier Dolino Memorial page