If you live in Dubai, you know there are several gyms on Sheikh Zayed Road, particularly in the Umm Al Sheif district adjacent to or near the Al Quoz Industrial Areas, Al Manara, Al Barsha, and Al Sufouh and a short hop to the Dubai Internet City and Dubai Media City. These gyms are particularly convenient; their location along a major Dubai highway makes them easily accessible from anywhere in Dubai.
Aside from the gyms along Sheikh Zayed Road, there are even more in and around the neighbourhoods mentioned above. In fact, a Google maps search of gyms in Dubai will yield more than a hundred results.
Indeed, there is no shortage of gyms in Dubai. However, if you are serious about your fitness goals and want — nay, need — results, you can’t pick just any gym. Use the following criteria when deciding on a Dubai gym.
1. State-of-the-Art Equipment and Facilities
Working out in a gym with worn-out carpets, drab walls and rundown equipment is hardly inspiring. Imagine having to look and queue for a treadmill because not every treadmill works or is properly calibrated. How about almost losing your arm when a plate slips off the bench press bar?
That said, you shouldn’t settle just for any equipment. “As long as it works” is not good enough. You want a gym with equipment that feels good to hold and work with, is calibrated to professional standards and works excellently and as intended. In other words, look for a gym with state-of-the-art equipment, preferably from the best fitness equipment brands.
Using such equipment will ensure you’re getting optimum returns on your energy investment — i.e., from working out.
Likewise, you want a fitness club that can ensure your comfort and convenience. It must be air-conditioned, with enough air-conditioning units to cool even the remotest nooks and crannies. There must be lockers big enough to hold your things, none of those shoeboxes that seem to begrudge you even the tiny space you’re getting. Finally, there must be shower rooms with hold and cold water and toiletries and changing rooms with vanity desks and mirrors, preferably with hair dryers.
2. Rigorous Hygiene Measures
Fit Rated swabbed 27 pieces of equipment from three gyms and found an average of 1,333,432 colony-forming units (CFU) of bacteria on the treadmills, 1,333,418 CFU on the exercise bikes, and 1,158,381 CFU on the free weights. The study also found that more than 70% of the bacteria on the gym equipment are potentially harmful to humans.
This leads to a dilemma. Exercising at the gym means exposure to millions of bacteria on the surface of gym equipment. However, working out at home is far from ideal. For one, you probably don’t have a space large enough to fit all the equipment you can freely use at the gym. There’s also nobody at home who can push you to put in the necessary work to achieve results and keep you accountable for your progress.
However, you can circumvent this problem by looking for a gym that takes hygiene seriously and has incorporated its hygienic measures into its standard operating procedures.
To illustrate, if you ever find a gym where the personal instructor or some other gym employee religiously wipes down and thoroughly sanitises equipment after you have finished using it, stay in that gym. You’re safe there.
3. Readily Available Template Programs but Personalised Training and Application
A gym with readily available workout programmes makes it easy and convenient for its members to visualise and choose their goals. Example template programs include fat loss, body transformation and muscle building. However, you want a gym that will personalise its program according to your current level of physical fitness, availability, lifestyle, and preferences instead of using a cookie-cutter approach to achieving results.
Thus, you should look for a gym that personalises its training programmes according to every client’s needs. For instance, if your goal is body transformation, the gym should give you a custom programme with workouts and exercises based on necessity and your capacity. It should also provide a consultation with a nutritionist who may design a nutrition-packed meal plan and recommend supplements and healthy probiotic foods that you can incorporate into your diet to support your body transformation goals.
You should also get a personal trainer who will exercise with you, direct your workout, and ensure you have the correct form when you’re doing your exercises. He will push you to give your workouts your best effort, but he will ensure you do not overextend or overexert yourself to avoid injuries.
Exercising can make you feel good, but you are probably working out to accomplish a particular goal. Therefore, look for a gym that is focused on delivering results.
You want a gym that can give you a definite timeframe, say, eight to 12 weeks to lose fat or transform your body. Of course, you must not take the gym’s word for it. Evaluate the programme (especially the included exercises and nutritional plan) that it says will deliver the promised results and the personal trainer who will be working closely with you. Furthermore, look at the gym’s track record; did its past and existing clients achieve their fitness goals?
5. Low Density and Utmost Privacy
You also want a gym that will give you the utmost privacy during workouts. Therefore, check if it is large enough to accommodate multiple clients and has measures to control crowd density, such as staggered workout schedules for its clients.
A gym that limits the number of people on the floor, in the changing rooms and in the shower rooms should come on top of your list. Moreover, exclusive luxury gyms in Dubai often have female personal trainers and sectioned-off, exclusive-for-the-ladies training areas.
The Ultimate Gym Experience in Dubai
Working out at a gym is one of the ways you can achieve your personal fitness goals. However, not all gyms are equal. If you want the best experience and ensure results, go to a goal-focused, low-density fitness centre with state-of-the-art equipment, rigorous hygiene measures and personalised training programs.