Oman Observer

High altitude fitness training in Jabal Akdhar

My old rugby coach would probably be turning in his grave if he heard about what’s going on up on Jabal Akdhar. For him, a three-mile run every day, and 20 press-ups was all it took to get fit. He’ld be apoplectic if anyone mentioned yoga, or even stretching, in the changing sheds, and warming down was done under a hot shower. But, things have changed, and word has reached us of a revolution in health and fitness taking place in the not so spartan environment of the amazing Alila Jebel Akdhar Resort and Spa.
K-Line Adventures is an outdoor experience curator that builds unique experiences in off-the-grid locations across the globe. Already known for their glacial fly-fishing and back-country skiing trips in the Himalayas (yes, you read that correctly), they are now bringing their signature high-altitude, individually tailored, health and fitness experience to the Alila Jabal Akdhar in the Sultanate.
I spoke with K-Line’s Paul Lalley founder, who is a former triathlete, athlete, back-country snowboarder, fly-fisherman and highly qualified mountain guide with American Avalanche Association credentials. Master trainer and colleague Jon Hippensteel, on the other hand, is an ironman competitor, endurance athlete and trainer, running coach, and self-confessed fitness fanatic. Something of a man in perpetual motion, he is also a devotee of nutrition, fasting protocols and healthy lifestyles, and is in the throes of completing a Holistic Nutrition qualification.
Hell bent on providing adventure sports experiences in unique destinations around the world, Lalley agrees that “To say we are obsessed with what we do is probably an understatement,” as they spoke of their new (in Oman) operation. Citing high-altitude fitness training, and ‘racecations,’ as two burgeoning niche offerings, Lalley said, “Don’t worry if you’ve never heard of the latter, as it won’t be long before it’s synonymous with fitness itself. It’s the next big thing! Some incredibly positive feedback, and highly tangible results make it a fitness trend that will sweep the world, and it’ll just skyrocket in popularity.”
The K-Line duo are adamant life-changing, and quality of life, experiences for those from all walks of life for whom training, living and sleeping at altitude is well documented to dramatically enhance training, performance and recovery, in keeping with what has been common practice among elite and high-performance athletes for decades. Now, that same level of physical, nutritional, and wellness support is available to athletes who want to develop their physical performance, executives who want to enhance their boardroom effectiveness, and for anyone who just wants to feel better about themselves.
Lalley explained, “The benefits of training at altitude are so significant that performance results such as 5% reductions in body fat, reduced heart rates and enhanced fitness have proven to be the norm rather than the exception.” He went on to explain that, “living and training at altitude basically reprograms your body permanently, so that the health and fitness benefits are both magnified and sustained upon returning to sea level.” Their intention, one feels, is basically to maximize what we are each capable of doing, in all walks of life.
Their High Altitude Performance Training Program appears to be a complex mix of high intensity, cardio, strength, dynamic stretching, yoga and meditation at face value, but Lalley was quick to offer reassurances that such are only templates, and each program is meticulously tailored to the individual’s requirements, with the aim of delivering optimal physical conditioning, mental strength and well-being, and a sense of ‘wellness.’
They are keen too, to see that the label applied to their program doesn’t intimidate, or scare people away, as K-Line caters for all ages, shapes and sizes, and capabilities, from beginners to professionals. Hippensteel emphasizes that, “customized nutrition strategies, and innovative holistic lifestyle programs, ensure that there is no, ‘one-size-fits-all scenario in play, and set in the serenity and luxury of the Alila Resort and Spa, it’s a perfect opportunity to become better acquainted with your own body, to relax completely, and be at one with nature.
Picture, if you will, fitness training, sunset yoga sessions, luxury spa treatments, swimming in freshwater oasis, cave exploration, and irresistible healthy gourmet dining at Alila’s award-winning restaurants, where the focus is on locally-grown produce. Add in a wide range of cultural experiences to tease the senses, alter your performance and perceptions, as Lalley puts it, “setting yourself on a new trajectory, remapping your body, mind, and spirit, literally and figuratively.”
Our world has changed a great deal from the days of my grizzled old rugby coach, as I’m finding out just trying to shed a few pounds, so would I try the K-Line program if I were just a tad younger than my 65 years? Without a doubt! We are all looking for an edge, so maybe you’ll check out their web page at klineadventures.com because, whether it’s in athletic performance, management, study, or lifestyle improvement, this Alila Resort and Spa based experience sticks its hand up and says, “Pick me!”