Few new independent gyms can claim to have more than 2,300 followers on Facebook before they’ve even opened for business. The WareHouse Gym in Al Quoz is one such establishment, and though it hasn’t yet opened its doors, with an official launch date anticipated for the first week of May, the hype is already heating up.
Owned by two Emirati businessmen, the gym – their first venture into the fitness industry – is managed by seasoned British personal trainer Kevin Teixeira, who explains that the trio are aiming to open a ‘raw, atmospheric, urban-feel’ workout space – positioned, as the name reveals, in a warehouse. Its location affords an area of more than 1,400 sq m, allowing the gym to offer a range of facilities, including free weights, specialised strength and conditioning equipment, Hammer Strength equipment and cardio equipment such as Versa-Climber, Aerodyne and Concept 2, an MMA cage, CrossFit (it’s an affiliated gym) and a variety of other classes, such as Les Mills RPM. It will also be one of the only gyms in Dubai (apart from Fitness First) to use the MyZone system, allowing members to log data from their workouts.
‘It’s very hard for some people to go to the gym, and if they’re not stimulated when they’re there, it’s difficult for them to push themselves,’ Kevin explains. ‘We want to create an atmosphere that has a lot of energy, that gets people’s heart rate up when they walk into the gym, before they even start working out.’
To create this atmosphere, the owners have invested in a lot of visual stimulation – the most eye-catching of which is the graffiti art that dominates the walls. The handiwork of British graffiti artists Tom Deams and Shaun Sepr, it’s designed to reflect the ‘gritty’ urban feel of gyms of the ’80s, contrasting with what Kevin describes as the often characterless gyms that have come to dominate today’s fitness scene. It will also, he hopes, give gym users something interesting to look at while they’re pumping iron. The MMA cage is also more about creating an atmosphere than anything else – though guests will be invited to train in the cage, there will be no fights.
Kevin stresses that the gym is open to absolutely anyone, and as long as they are willing to work hard and have a goal, it doesn’t matter what level they are currently at. ‘I hate using the word “serious”, because it makes it sound like it’s not fun, but we’re catering to people who have the drive and are determined to reach their targets. At the end of the day, most people come to the gym either to put on weight, or to lose weight, and to feel stronger and look good,’ he explains, ‘But we can still have a laugh.’ If you’re looking for a place to natter on the phone while you’re strolling on the treadmill, however, this isn’t it.
Membership rates will be announced shortly, with monthly payment options and longer commitments with a discount incentive, but Kevin is keen to stress potential sign-ups won’t be given the hard sell, or subjected to a smoke-and-mirrors act on the best rates. ‘We won’t lecture you for an hour if you want to sign up. Our prices will be our prices, and they will be competitive.’
For more info, visit the gym’s Facebook page. The WareHouse Gym, Umm Suqeim Road, www.facebook.com/whgymdubai (050 100 8529).
Three more to try: unique gyms
This hotly-anticipated ‘socially active’ gym has finally opened, with a full launch to come soon. As well as offering classes and fitness equipment for members, there are also coffee mornings, business breakfasts, healthy brunches and sports leagues.
Silverene Tower, Dubai Marina, www.tribefit.com (800 87423).
TK Fitness Lounge
If you’re so VIP that you would rather hire an entire gym, this is the place to do it. A 24-hour, six-days-a-week, appointment-only gym, TK provides a range of workout styles to suit clients’ needs, plus DVDs and music to help with motivation. The platinum package enables you to hire the entire gym for a private workout.
Barsha, www.tkfitnesslounge.com (04 452 1456).
Engine Health & Fitness
A glass-clad building in the heart of Jumeirah, Engine boasts lots of energising natural light, ladies-only hours, a Queenax ‘training frame’ platform, Wi-fi and touch screens for browsing the internet from the equipment. You can also try the innovative Woodway Curve manual treadmill here.
Jumeirah Beach Road, near Century Plaza (04 381 9990).