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New Cairo, Cairo, Egypt.
Balance Gym: Well-Equipped Men's Only Gym in New Cairo
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.
Usually geared towards testosterone-fuelled men, gyms in Cairo often neglect the needs of the body-conscious females amongst us. After successfully opening their first branch in Heliopolis, women’s only chain, Hers, has recently opened a second, larger establishment at multi-venue complex, Emerald Empire, in New Cairo.
Visible from afar, to the far left of the plaza, Hers’ first floor entrance is easily accessible from a set of escalators and conveniently placed next to Glee Zone; a fitness and entertainment centre for kids. Greeted by friendly and well-informed bilingual staff, members are immediately put at ease before heading through to the changing area.
Immaculately kept, the locker area is small but adequate, whilst private cubicles are available for changing. Rain head showers are hidden behind frosted glass doors, whilst the spa area is truly impressive. With calming grey hues and natural wood accents, the Jacuzzi, sauna and steam room are incredibly inviting and perfect for pampering. Although not yet operating, there are plans to incorporate an on-site beauty parlour and massage room.
The gym itself is brightly lit and clean, lined with large mirrors to give a feeling of extra space. Much larger and less cramped than its other branch, rows of top-of-the-range machines are spread out, easy to use, and aim to cater for every muscle in the body. Although the range of free-weights is almost non-existent, most find the machines more-than-sufficient as an alternative. There is also a well-stocked, tidy refreshment bar for convenience.
At the far end of the gym, a glass-fronted spinning room caters for large groups of bikers, whilst the aerobics room is even bigger, with a small stage at one end. The Hers franchise boasts the famous Australian, choreographed fitness classes from Les Mills, offered at different times throughout the week. A second group fitness room is shared between Hers and the neighbouring men’s gym, Balance Gym.
As with most gyms, various membership options are available, and membership at one branch allows you free use of the other. At the time of our visit, a one year membership was discounted to 3150LE from 4200LE, and included three months freezing, three personal training sessions and one nutritional assessment. Short term memberships, meanwhile, are offered at six months (2700LE), three months (1650LE) and one month (800LE). Personal training sessions are sold in blocks of ten or twenty, starting at a little less than 1000LE.
Hers gym offers women a sanctuary for fitness and relaxation, where they can work-out and unwind in private, at surprisingly reasonable prices. Already a hit among Cairenes, don't be surprised if we see another branch open this year.