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6th of October City, Cairo, Egypt.
The BootCamp: New Outdoor Workout Classes Take Cairo by Storm
There’s no doubt that most of us have put on some weight the past couple of months. The terribly long winter that has taken over Cairo asks for warm comfort food and snuggling up in front of the TV. As every year, spring will probably take us by surprise and we give it just a few weeks before you can start digging up your flip-flops and shorts again. So now is the time to lose that winter weight and get back into summer shape. The BootCamp brings a whole new workout concept to Cairo; one that makes working out fun and effective.
The BootCamp was started by Nabil and Norshek who are both ISSA certified personal and group exercise trainers. There are six workout sessions a week; three at Gezira Club in Zamalek and three at Gardenia compound in 6th October City. Each session lasts an hour during which you improve your endurance, fitness, stamina, strength and speed. The best thing about the BootCamp is that it is outdoors so you can get some fresh air while working out. The second best thing is that you always work out in a group of up to twenty people, which is very motivating.
We participated in a session at Gezira Club, where the BootCamp uses the field inside the tracks close to the squash court. You start the session with a warm-up that’s vaguely reminiscent of an assault course. You jump over ropes, make your way sideward through pylons, run backwards and jump forward. After this part of the warm-up you continue onto the strength and coordination exercises. While standing with both feet fixed to the ground, you do various exercises to warm up your muscles. After this, the fun starts as you begin at a station where you have to perform exercises such as pull-ups, push-ups and weightlifting. When you finish that exercise, you run three shorts sprints to a new station where you do a new exercise. Finishing all the stations takes about half an hour. During the last fifteen minutes of the class you do some weight work, before the session ends with stretches to avoid muscle pain the next day.
Nabil and Norshek are great instructors who give a lot of individual attention to every participant. If you don’t know what to do at your station they come to the rescue immediately. The overall atmosphere in the group is great, too. Though we suffered tremendously during the session and the day after, we felt so much better after the work out. It gives a boost of energy and trains all your muscles very intensely. The BootCamp is not necessarily focused on weight loss but you will more than likely lose some kilos if you attend regularly. We also heard a lot of their participants gave up smoking as well. We totally understand why, because after our session the thought of a cigarette was simply sickening (in all honesty that feeling faded away within half-an-hour or so).
If you really want to put yourself to the test and work out while enjoying fresh air with a great group of like-minded individuals, you should definitely opt for the BootCamp. A session is 50LE and there are package deals available as well.
If there is one
shopping centre in Zamalek that is often neglected it’s the Degla shopping centre
on Hassan Sabry Street. Many people are completely unaware of the existence of
the centre and when you arrive there the entire place is often empty. Le Figaro
is the one hairdresser located in the shopping mall. You can find it on the
second floor tucked away in the corner close to Ghazl El Banat.
The interior of Le Figaro is so outdated it’s retro; the 70’s prevail. However, everything looks very clean and well taken care of. There are fresh flowers on the counter so you can’t say they aren’t trying to make something out of it. It’s best not to look at the pictures of brides on the wall above the cash register. The brides featured in these pictures are probably already celebrating their 25th anniversary and so are their haircuts. Most of the products on display are L’Oreal and Chi which are of course known to be very good brands for hair products.
We decided to go for a wash and blow-dry (80LE) and a manicure (35LE). The best thing is that we had both done at the same time which is a huge time saver. It did mean, however, that our manicure lady got blown away by the hair dryer every once in a while, but she seemed able to cope with that. After having our hair washed we took place on one of the seats and let the hairdresser do his thing. The only instruction he was given was: volume. The manicure started off well but the end result wasn’t too pleasing. Instead of making the nails pink or leaving them clear, they were covered with light white polish. This would have been ok had she applied just one layer instead of two and if the nail polish wasn’t expired. Unfortunately we see a lot of old nail polish being used around town, resulting in ugly, unevenly polished and messy nails.
Our blow dry fared well but just like the interior it was 70’s inspired. Though we don’t mind looking like Farrah Fawcett every once in a while, it wouldn’t hurt the stylist to keep up with trends. However, we woke up the next morning with our hair still looking good. The hairdresser advised regular hair masks; he isn’t just there to make you look good but he takes care of your hair too.
Though we were satisfied with the blow dry, 80LE is a bit on the expensive side and we hope Le Figaro will use that money to invest in new nail polish.