For all you Heliopolis people that are a little jealous of your lucky friends who have Gold’s Gym in their neighborhood, World Gym in Maryland is the Heliopolis equivalent, where you too can go to break a sweat and work your gluteus.

This privately owned franchise is the only one in Cairo, with 200 branches scattered all over the world and allegedly beloved by celebrity body builders. The Cairo branch has its share of bulky Arnold Schwarzenegger-type men pumping iron, but that doesn’t mean you won’t find ordinary people just trying to stay fit and healthy.

Occupying three stories of a large building, the gym is located on the third floor overlooking the Maryland Gardens. The gym’s cardio area has several decent Precor and Life Fitness treadmills, elliptical machines, bikes and step-masters.

The treadmills have built-in TVs, and the Precor elliptical cross-trainer is highly recommended for cardiovascular training. The gym is well equipped for strength training and has an area for free weights (ranging from 10 lb-100lb), mostly from the popular Techno Gym brand. The weight area may be a little crowded and tight, so rush hour is not the best time to schedule your gym session.

If you are looking for good fitness classes to attend, note that World Gym does not offer the range you will find at some other gyms, although they do offer some classes such as Tae Bo, Kick Boxing, Pilates and women-only classes.

There is also a women-only gym room, for those who prefer more privacy. If you’re searching for a personal trainer, Richard Nel is highly recommended. With many years in the field, Richard has good knowledge of what he does, and he does it well.

There is a bar that offers fresh juices, sodas, fruit smoothies and whey protein shakes. Both women’s and men’s changing rooms feature spas, so you can sweat out your toxins in a steam-room or traditional sauna; enjoy the Jacuzzi, or have a massage by one of the resident masseuses. World Gym also offers treatments for women, where you can get a Moroccan scrub and a good wax.

Staying fit comes at a price: a month’s membership is around 800LE, three months cost 1900LE, and one year’s membership is almost 4000LE. If you are serious about your fitness, then it is worth the investment. And if you are not, perhaps paying the fee will help you get serious about it.