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Nasr City, Cairo, Egypt.
Pro Center: Sleek, Well-Equipped Gym in Nasr City
As one of the better known establishments in Cairo, Pro Center specialises in health, fitness, rehabilitation and physiotherapy. Pro Center has established itself across several areas in Cairo as well as across four sporting clubs.
As we bumped into several people talking about Pro Center with its luxurious spaces, facilities, and even celebrities who train there from football players to famous singers and actors, we faced up to our laziness and head to the Nasr city branch - although we knew it would weigh heavily on our pockets.
The centre offers several membership plans: single, partner, corporate, student, senior, youth, odd & even and morning to name some. Prices change regularly and new offers are always available. The annual odd & even membership at the Nasr city branch set us back 3000LE.
Packages allow members to use all the centre’s facilities including cardio-vascular machines, an outdoor swimming pool with scheduled ladies-only hours, as well as full spa services such as the sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi. There are also group fitness and dance classes with aerobics, yoga, martial arts, kick boxing, aqua aerobics and belly dance as options. Non-members have the opportunity to attend by paying per class.
As a member you are given invitations for friends who wish to use the gym for one day or for seven days according to the invitation pass.
To begin our fitness program, a trainer took our measurements to track our progress. We were also given three free sessions with personal trainer in order to help us set our regiment and nutrition plan.
The gym is filled with a range of professional equipment, from two-kilo dumbbells to more sophisticated machinery. Most of the equipment have screens so you can watch a film or listen to music while you workout. Floor trainers are present at all times for assistance and guidance if faced with any difficulties.
An area with kids’ equipment is also available, as well as a ladies-only floor which is well stocked machinery-wise but a bit dull and quite depressing. When we asked, we were told the ladies floor will go through a total renovation soon.
After the workout is over, members are given several choices other than running to the showers and heading home. Pro Center offers the choice to relax by the swimming pool on the roof and watch something on their available big screen, enjoy a healthy snack from the cafeteria, or even go all out with a massage session.
In a city like Cairo where gyms come with a hefty price tag, it’s nice to find a gym that offers great service and quality machines at affordable rates.
Its location inside of Gezira Sporting Club is Pro Center gym’s first disadvantage: you have to become a member of this pricey sports club to access the gym.
Once you’ve got your membership to Gezira Club, Pro Center offers decent prices in comparison to those at most top gyms in Cairo. A three-month membership will set you back 700LE, while a full-year membership will set you back around 2200LE, which includes full access to the gym’s spinning, toning and dance classes. The gym also has large changing rooms with a Jacuzzi, steam room and sauna as well as a locker space. Private trainer sessions are also available, and new members are eligible for one free session.
Located underneath the Gezira Club lido
pool, the gym itself is an oblong room with a line of treadmills and elliptical
machines facing the large windows on one side, and weight machines and free
weight areas on the other.
If you like your treadmill, you may be impressed with the several Precor GFX and Progym treadmills that come with built-in TV screens, while the three Technogym elliptical machines have built-in touch screens that you can plug your iPod into during your workout.
The most popular machine of the lot is the Precor Cardio Theater, a machine that works as a stepper as well as an elliptical with movable hand levers for an all-round workout. Since it’s the only one in the whole gym, though; be prepared to wait a while for your turn.
On the other side of the room, at least a dozen Pure Strength machines are lined up in two rows, offering everything from wide and incline chest presses to shoulder presses. A small corner of the room holds a mirror and a free weights area, which is sadly small and gets very cramped; not a pretty visual when you’re jostling with other sweaty men for a chance at a dumbbell.
At the far end of the room, a few Progym bikes and upper body bikes are lined up facing the mirror, while a few benches are sporadically distributed throughout the room for your abs, upper and lower back workouts.
The major disadvantage to Pro Center is its small, cramped space and the way the machines are arranged. It’s difficult to navigate between your chest and shoulder press machines on a crowded day, and the sole space for mat work and stretching is the separate room, which is also intended for group classes. So, if a class is going on when you need to stretch your hamstrings or work on your plank, you’ll have to make do with a tiny corner of the gym.
Nonetheless, Pro Center definitely offers the best value for money among all Zamalek gyms, though you do have to be a club member to enjoy its benefits.