The Cairo suburb of Mokattam is moving up. More and more retail and service venues are moving into the neighbourhood, and Extreme Gym is one of the latest. Do not confuse this gym with the Extreme Gym on Street 9. Although owned by the same group, this one was opened in May 2011 and is on a whole other level; three actually.

This three-storey building has a full-length window on one side to allow you to look out over the landscape while you rigorously burn your calories on the eight treadmills and elliptical bikes. Each machine is propped up under separate 19-inch colour TV screens and decoders. The gym’s decor is modern and minimalistic with dark wood, steel and rustic grey marble. A lot of effort has been made to create space while offering a plethora of exercise and relaxation options.

In addition to the cardio machines, there is a nice selection of relaxation rooms including a massage room with a professional massage chair, a dedicated steam room for up to five people, a modern sauna and a full-sized, jet-powered Jacuzzi, all of which are accessible via the changing rooms on the top floor.

However, if free weights and serious body building are more your thing, then you will appreciate the large space on the second floor dedicated to a full range of bar and dumb bells. It’s not called extreme for nothing; bar bells reach up to 70kg! As well as the usual squats rack, straight and inverse benches and lateral pull-down machines, there is a high-quality Smith machine and plenty of leg-press machines.

Once you’re done working out, you can take a power shower in one of the three shower rooms and you will have the use of a dedicated locker and key; so your valuables will be safe. On the way out of the changing rooms you will find a modern juice bar to your right, selling freshly squeezed orange, mango, guava, banana and pomegranate juice, as well as various health snacks, tea and coffee and some not-so-healthy chocolate, which the management swears is ‘diet’.

Although this is probably the best equipped gym in Mokattam so far, it is also by the far the most expensive. Use of all machines, the cardio and the relaxation rooms is part of the membership package: a three-month membership costs 1250LE or 2500LE with a personal trainer. You can also opt for six-month and yearly options at 2200LE and 3200LE respectively. Although there is a dedicated spinning and aerobics workout room, classes had yet to start at the time of this reviewer's visit. Young people can take a monthly membership at 550LE a month, which includes a personal trainer.