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Giza, Cairo, Egypt.
Gold’s Gym Nile: Workout like a Pharaoh in Giza
Being one of the oldest gyms in Cairo, and the first Gold’s Gym in Egypt, the décor is both classical and a little shabby. The wooden pharaonic and gold embellishments of the walls and ceilings in the lobby were a surprising choice; especially compared to newer Gold’s Gym branches around the city, which tend to feature a sleek and modern design.
Different membership packages are available, prices range from 1,000LE to 5,500LE depending on length of commitment (1-12 months), full time access or just mornings (5AM-3PM). All memberships include two personal training sessions and one meeting with an on-site nutritionist to discuss your fitness goals. Free mixed/women’s only fitness classes run on a daily basis and can be a fun alternative to your normal routine. It might be worth mentioning to your boss that they also offer discounted corporate memberships!
The main workout area is located upstairs surrounded almost entirely with the unique view of the Nile. The gym is spacious and well equipped, catering for all your bodybuilding and weight loss needs. A variety of free weights and machine-based equipment is available. However, this gym seems unsure about the metric system they should be using as the weights are a mixture of kilograms and pounds, which can be confusing. There are many cardio machines such as treadmills, cross trainers, rowers and steppers to get your heart racing. Friendly personal trainers are readily available at all times to offer advice and help with your exercise. If you ever get bored of the river view, satellite channels are streamed on an array of overhead flat screen TVs.
A small but adequate women’s only workout area is situated through the women’s locker room along with a separate jacuzzi, sauna and steam room. You can workout without feeling too self-conscious and mysteriously leave looking as glamorous as when you arrived!
A range of supplements are available to buy in the lobby, alongside a fruit bar and a Mobinil service booth, just in case you need to top up! There is also a supervised children’s room where your kids can play safely whilst you sweat away your stress. After you’ve worked up an appetite, there are a number of restaurants conveniently situated underneath the gym, where you may be tempted to grab some (healthy) food on your way out.
Despite initial impressions, Gold’s Gym Nile is a great place to work out and stocks all the equipment you’ll ever need to reach your ideal physique. We wouldn’t limit this place to just working out either, it’s a great place to socialise and meet new training buddies.
Gyms in Cairo tend to be either mixed, or ladies-only; very rarely do we come across men’s only fitness establishments in the city. Under the same ownership as popular women’s only chain, Hers, Balance Gym caters for men, and only men.
Right next door to Hers’ New Cairo branch, Balance is also on the upper level of restaurant complex, Emerald Empire. With full-length windows stretching across the front, the gym benefits from a great people-watching view, as well as being visible from afar.
The roomy reception area is filled with energetic, welcoming staff, as well as an incredibly well-stocked display of protein, vitamins, energy boosters and fat burners for both men and women. Just inside, a snack bar is notably hosted by the cafe franchise, Chez Edy.
The long, open-plan workout space is lined with full length mirrors on one side to add a spacious feel. Furthermore, the industrial, exposed pipes on the ceiling and the contemporary grey hues, coupled with orange-red accents throughout make for a surprisingly masculine aesthetic.
Top-of-the-range equipment is neatly organised into cardio and strength sections, with a well stocked and kept free-weights section for some serious iron-pumping. Due to the gym’s popularity, peak times may feel a little cramped and the distinct smell of 'man' becomes increasingly noticeable. There is also a glass-walled room dedicated to spinning classes, as well as a separate studio for a range of fitness classes.
At the far end of the gym, the locker rooms are spacious and well kept, with a relaxing spa area complete with a Jacuzzi, steam room and sauna.
For such decent fitness and relaxation facilities, we were surprised to find the membership prices so reasonable. At the time of our visit, a running promotion discounted a year membership to 2200LE from 3000LE. Included in this price are a whopping 24 personal training sessions, 12 guest invitations, two months, optional, freezing and six follow-up sessions. A six month membership is 1800LE, including 12 personal training sessions, six invitations, one month freezing and three follow-up sessions. The shortest membership, 3 months, includes six personal training sessions, three invitations, seven days freezing and two follow-up sessions. Special discounts are also offered to married couples, where the woman is joining Hers.
With such attractive prices, Balance Gym is likely to increase in popularity – and rightly so – but may quickly become over populated. As it stands, this men’s only fitness man-cave provides body-conscious men with well-stocked work-out areas, complete with top-of-the range equipment at affordable prices.