Fitness is booming in the Middle East, and especially in Kuwait (or K-town, as I like to call it). By the time you’ve read this sentence, another fitness center has probably materialized onto the scene.
I for one, embrace this surging boom of fitness here as after all, a little exercise benefits everyone in the long run. For us women, it’s great for our bone density, prolongs the longevity of our heart, keeps our weight in check and subsequently wards off illnesses especially at a time where the number of cases of female patients with Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer are on the rise.
Nonetheless, I’m all for quality over quantity. Like most countries, it’s hard to regulate the fitness industry. What constitutes as standard practice in some facilities, one might not get at another center. In this day and age, I still come across practicing personal trainers, who are devoid of educational accreditation and/or do not keep up with their continuous program development. This is worrying as members of the public would not know and as such, civilians are putting their lives into the hands of the unknown.
I don’t say this to scaremonger but rather to inform you. If you’re at a fitness facility, it’s completely normal to ask the trainer in question what their fitness background and qualifications are. If you’re assigned a personal trainer at a club and their goals for you aren’t in line with what you’re trying to achieve, it’s completely okay for you to pick another trainer.
If you’re ever in K-town and looking for a place to get your heart rate up and your sweat on, here are some great workouts and spaces to check out. The trainers are knowledgeable, the equipment is state of the art, and the staff go above and beyond to give you that amazing endorphin-enriched end-user experience that’s bound to rev up your heart rate up from the moment you set foot through their doors.
Orange Theory Fitness
American fitness franchise Orange Theory Fitness (or OTF for short) has made its way to our Middle Eastern shores. This female-only training facility is available in two locations: Salmiya and 89 Mall in Egaila.
OTF is all about science-led heart-rate interval training. Participants in class wear monitors throughout the session to track their heart rate and stats during the different activities. If you’re very task-oriented, love the fun of group workouts, and like to know what happens to your body during a training session, you’ll appreciate stepping into an OTF class.
Salmiya and Egaila
Tel: (+965) 9412 2294 and (+965) 9412 2295
Inspire Pure Fitness
A homegrown concept, Inspire Pure Fitness has been changing the workout landscape in Kuwait since 2012. It offers a number of different workouts, all set in a space so nice that you might decide to just forgo work and stay here for the whole day. Check in early in the morning and embrace the day with a yoga class, grab a smoothie before attacking your personal-training session, or, if you want to empty the tank, try a couple of laps around the running track before taking a dip in the sizable pool. Should you stay on till the evening, don’t forget to snap a photo (no filter needed, of course) because the sunsets here are unmissable.
If you’re curious about fitness, this is a great place to start, and you can choose from two different locations: Bida’a and Sahara.
Bida’a and Sahara
Tel: (+965) 2226 3151
If Lewis Carroll had a gym in mind for Alice in Wonderland, The Burrow would be it. Once you set foot through the darkened doors of this facility in Murouj, be prepared to go down a very interesting rabbit hole. The Burrow’s minimalist design takes inspiration from retro boxing gyms with a touch of dramatic flair. The lobby is cozy and pays homage to the eclectic Middle Eastern “salah”.
There are details of playing cards with Kings and Queens along the corridor walls to differentiate the changing rooms. Studios are enhanced with mood lighting to get you to push just a little bit harder in your sessions, while the grand boxing ring undoubtedly takes center stage.
Here, you’ll find classes and personal training in martial arts– most notably Muay Thai and boxing – CrossFit, calisthenics, bootcamp, spin, yoga, and Pilates. For a 1,000-square meter fitness facility, the customer service is always impeccable. Oh, and the amateur female fighters here aren’t ones to be messed with. #WeAreAllMadHere
Jaber Al Malik Al Sabah St
www.burrowlife.comTel: (+965) 2205 7016
Peak Fitness is another local concept that has done well on the Kuwaiti fitness scene – and deservingly so. It’s all about functional fitness with a hint of playfulness, as demonstrated during the pole dancing and aerial yoga classes. Whether you visit the location in Promenade Mall in Hawally and the other one in Shuwaikh, you’ll find that the trainers always strive to make the sessions both engaging and challenging. If you stop by the Shuwaikh facility, check out the giant swing sets while you wait for the next class to begin!
Promenade Mall in Hawalli
www.peakfitness.fitTel: (+965) 9871 8181
With the rise in popularity of cycling clubs worldwide, it’s no surprise that we’ve seen a recent surge of similar fitness facilities here in Kuwait. One club that definitely stands out is Pedals. Located at Mayar in Shuwaikh, it’s a women-only fitness facility that offers a mix of spinning and Reformer Pilates classes. If cycling’s your thing, choose from a range of different workouts that include bootcamp-style spin-circuit classes, a spinning class that also offers an upper-body workout, and, for all you die-hard enthusiasts, pure unadulterated cycling.
Pedals’ Pilates classes, on the other hand, help develop your muscle endurance, core strength, and flexibility, and are all taught by qualified instructors that have had years of training following the Joseph Pilates, Stotts, Power Pilates, Rael, or Fletcher Work Pilates programs. What’s more, they are very adept at modifying the sessions to benefit clients and their varying degrees of fitness – and that includes pre-natal and post-natal requirements.
Reshmi Revi is a certified personal trainer from the New Zealand College of Fitness and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Studies from the Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand. When she’s not training clients, you’ll find her recruiting other personal trainers for the Middle East, dabbling in writing, feeding friends, and hanging out with her three-legged cat and two dogs at home in Kuwait.