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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.
At the start of every summer, Cairenes all over the city invariably descend on Cairo’s gyms and fitness centres in search of that perfect beach-body; it can be difficult to find a quality workout space without having to wait in queue to use your favourite machine. But as we come to the end of summer, gym attendances decrease, giving space for those casual exercisers room to breathe.
Located near Giza Square, World Gym sits on Hemdan Street as one of the older and more established gyms in the Giza area. Having opened in 2001, the gym has undergone several facelifts to keep up with the newer, flashier gyms popping up all across the city.
One such facelift has seen a large red sign mark the location of the gym – it’s impossible to miss. Taking the steps up to the gym, you’ll first find a reception area that houses a receptionist’s desk and three metal couches. Every part of the gym is accessible from here; the main workout area as well as both the male and female changing rooms.
The changing rooms are also home to the gym’s saunas and Jacuzzis. The main area workout area takes the form of a large, almost circular space with separate sections marked out. The ‘Fitness’ section brings together treadmills and exercise bikes, among other things. The other half of the space is dedicated to body-building, and houses a whole host of weights. It also emanates grunting and shouting.
Most of the machinery is pretty modern, but you’ll have to be open to the possibility of cleaning a machine yourself after someone else has used it, and you’re required to bring your own towels.
Membership costs are as follows: 400LE for one month with one free one-day pass for family or friends; 1000LE for three months with three day-passes; 1700LE for six months with five day-passes; and finally, a one year membership will set you back 2800LE, with eight day-passes included. All the membership plans afford gym-goers access to the sauna and Jacuzzi, as well as sessions with the gym staff.
Speaking of which, said staff are, to say the least, effective. At the time of our visit, one particular trainer channelled his inner army general for a group abs session. But on the whole, the trainers are very welcoming and will tailor a personal workout plan based on your goals.
When all is said and done, the biggest attraction of World Gym are its reasonable prices, especially compared to other gym chains found across Cairo.