BeFit Maadi: CrossFit with More Smiling, Less Grunting
So, there you are, on your couch again, scrolling through your Instagram feed while munching on chili cheese fries and vowing to start your diet tomorrow. Intuitively, Instagram starts showing you photos of ridiculously good looking men and women with tans, six packs and perfect teeth, as if to tell you it’s time to get your butt up and go lose weight.
Intrigued, you stalk their profiles and discover they’re all trainers at BeFit – Aly Mazhar’s fitness franchise that has branches all over Cairo and dominated the North Coast last summer with its Hacienda Bay outlet.
Fast forward a few days of stalking and drooling later, you show up at their Maadi branch, located inside a large tent on the Victoria College sports field, just off Victoria Square and a few minutes’ walk from Volume 1. The branch offers three different levels of workouts and you choose the beginner’s level ‘Foundations’ class; a 60-minute interval training class that feels just like CrossFit except there’s less grunting, vomiting and you start with little-to-no weights before building your strength up till you can handle actual weight bars.
Here’s your first discovery at BeFit: you’re extremely out of shape. Here’s the second one: ‘Foundations’ feels nothing like a beginner’s class. Here’s the third one: those nice, smiling, friendly trainers will kick your butt and yell at you as you lie sweating and panting on the floor, begging for mercy after the first 25 minutes.
Ultimately, it’s worth it and you will see and feel the results of this intense workout; but this reviewer has learned to fear the trainers when they’re in a good mood. Trust us on this, if Aly, Hisham or head coach Bahaa look cheerful, expect to pay for it with blood and tears. Okay, not blood, but definitely sweat.
Each 60-minute session has more or less the same breakdown: you start with a few minutes’ running inside the tent, followed by three sets of warm-up exercises like push-ups, sit-ups and squats. Then you have three or four different sets of exercises involving kettlebell weights and usually lots of squats, lunges or burpees. The exercises tend to focus on building your upper body strength through push-presses, burpees or push-ups.
When they’re feeling particularly mean, they’ll make you end your workout with a six-minute interval running session or tabata, which is 30-40 seconds of plank followed by a 10 second break. If you manage to pick yourself off the floor after all this, you’ll end the whole session with a few minutes of stretching.
If you commit to BeFit classes and show up a few times a week, chances are you’ll be able to do a few actual push-ups a few weeks in, which is a huge achievement for this lazy reviewer. And we like the fact that the classes are available in the mornings and evenings six days a week, including an 11AM class on Saturdays; meaning you have less excuses and plenty of reasons to drag yourself over for a workout.
Drop-in classes cost 100LE per session, or you can pay 850LE for a 10-class pass, while 30-class passes are also available. If you feel self-conscious and need more one-on-one training, they offer private training at around 2500LE per ten sessions.
Even better news is the fact that BeFit is located just around the corner from Gourmet Egypt, so you can reward yourself for your intense workout with some delicious gourmet ice cream and a cookie. What? That’s not the point? That’s not healthy? Look, we all need our own motivations.