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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.
Gym’s in Cairo tend to cater for basic fitness needs, and little else. However, with the rapidly expanding health and fitness scene, the competition is steadily growing. Known for its consistently high standards, Gold’s Gym have an abundance of branches all over the city. Arguably one of their nicest, their Heliopolis branch is situated on the quiet Salah El Deen Street.
With a landscaped front garden, entirely glass front and impressive Grecian pillars, the entrance is a neat mixture between classic and contemporary, giving off a welcoming vibe.
Customers are greeted by professional, uniformed receptionists at the front desk whilst a team of burly personal trainers can be easily spotted; using their bodies as business cards, they meander around the gym floor, offering advice and technique correction when needed.
Spread over three floors, the gym is bright, spacious and airy, with air conditioning allowing for a more comfortable workout. The open plan ground floor carries an array of weight machines for the entire body; with specialised machines for arms, legs and the torso.
The large basement boasts floor to ceiling mirrors and rubber flooring, a vast number of high-quality free weights and workout benches, as well as a frosted glass aerobics room for their group fitness programmes.
The top floor is reserved for cardio workouts, sporting a decent number of overhead TV screens for the treadmills, cross trainers and exercise bikes which overlook the floor below. Here, there’s also a separate spinning room for spinning classes, a small crèche for child-care convenience and a well-stocked supplement counter.
Both the men’s and women’s locker rooms are well-kept, and clean towels are readily available. The women’s changing area has just one private changing cubicle but a large number of rain head showers, complete with pump-able shampoo and shower gel. There’s also a Jacuzzi, sauna and steam, along with a small but adequate women’s only work out area.
As with most gyms, memberships are short or long term and are combined with various free sessions. One month memberships are no longer available, but range from 3 months (2400LE), six months (2400LE) and one year (5300LE). The annual membership affords the customer a nutrition assessment, three free personal training sessions, two months freezing, 10 days worth of guest passes, and access to all Gold’s branches in Cairo, excluding the Elite branch in Katameya.
After the complimentary training sessions expire, a set of 28 personal training sessions is priced at 2700LE. Discounts are also available when joining with a spouse.
Once again, Gold’s Gym Heliopolis stays true to Gold’s impressive – but expensive – reputation. The roomy gym space is well equipped with top of the range facilities, and friendly, professional staff to help you reach those seemingly impossible fitness goals.