We head to Heliopolis' latest revolutionary fitness centre, focusing on boxing and its various off-shoots, and throw a few punches as we get to know the first underground boxing gym up close and personal.
Working for CairoScene has its perks, such as getting tours of new gyms including a sample of their classes and class. This is exactly what happened when we followed the invitation of Fitbox, the first boxing gym in Egypt, which offered to show us the innovative underground gym that inspires people from all over Cairo to be their physical best. The Heliopolis gym vowed to be different: here, members don’t come to pump their muscles, they come to learn how to be fit and toned, how to live a better life and how to fight. That’s right, the Fight Club-inspired gym is more than just your provider of fitness equipment; it’s the place where you learn how to be a fighter, both through new boxing techniques and determination.
The atmosphere of an underground street fight venue sneaked up on us as soon as we entered the basement gym. The cool design of black and yellow equipment paired with graffiti and inspirational quotes ensured we immediately felt like working out and punching some bags, as the memories of Brad Pitt and Edward Norton were present before we even spotted the larger-than-life Rocky drawing adjacent to the work out room. The amazing sound system was blasting abundant Hip Hop tunes so that we felt ready to go as the owner Muhammed Sameh handed us our very own boxing gloves and showed us to the boxing ring in the middle of the work out area. Here, surrounded by fit people punching bags, lifting weights and jumping rope, we were to receive our first ever boxing class in a gym in Egypt.
Despite thinking that boxing is for tough men with way more muscles and less angst to get punched than myself, the instructor shows me how I properly defend myself and throw an effective punch. “Boxing at Fitbox is for men and women. We offer classes and training for both,” Sameh tells us and shows us the extensive class schedule that focuses on making both sexes fit and healthy, mostly through the application of fitness regimes inspired by fight techniques. I get a sample of what the Fitbox class would look; putting together boxing and aerobic exercises. There is also DanceBox which gets people dancing while using their fists and power to get a fun and effective workout. According to Sameh, Street Box and Mixed Martial Arts classes are less about fighting each other but to find fitness through fighting. The objective is not just to fightbut to learn something: how to get toned, how to defend oneself, how to live a healthy life and how to improve one’s condition by moving, pushing and punching. Fitbox is a learning experience, not a place for dull weight lifting and running your required five miles a day.
“We focus on being a place of showing you how to live a good life, not just how to look good,” Sameh expresses the spirit of Fitbox. It is, in fact, the building’s positive energy that is supposed to encourage members to try their hardest and the inspirational surroundings and staff that will bring out the best in them. Mohamed Sameh always had the dream of offering Egypt the fitness experience which has become a front runner on the international sports scene. Sameh had always dreamed but never dared to make his Fitbox idea a reality until a year ago when plans started materialising with the help of Seven For Sports Events and Activiations. Now, Fitbox is making the people of Heliopolis and surroundings experts in fitness and boxing with keeping the number of black eyes kept to a minimum. The Egyptian Fight Club didn’t strike us as an antagonistic place but a place where boxing is utilised to make for fun and effective workouts. And fun it was as the impeccable boxing coach took our punches and taught us how to dodge one.
No other team is better equipped than the Fitbox team to show people how to acquire fitness through boxing. Owner Sameh trained with Olympic medalist Ahmed Ismail for four years, learning from the greatest Egypt has to offer. His numerous trips to the US saw him get acquainted with the international boxing elite. “Mike Tyson is actually a very kind guy,” he wows us when telling us who’s boxing glove he's shaken. In fact, the display of no less than ten signed boxing gloves by Floyd Mayweather, Evander Holyfield and even Muhammad Ali are reminding members that determination is key on the way to success. Heba Hemeda, the co-founder of Train Dirty Cross Fit with over 20 years of experience in the fitness business, is also on a member’s side when preparing them to be their physical best. Leading classes such as strength and conditioning, she has the perfect knowledge to employ both cardio and strength workouts for the best results. And at Fitbox, both Cardio and Strength have found a home to tone up bodies and shapes…
The soft opening will happen on this coming Thursday 5th March, giving people the chance to sneak a peek at the full schedule and programmes the gym will offer. At the Grand Opening later this month, the whole Fitbox team will come together to present Egypt’s first, revolutionary boxing gym in the best light, inviting the public to check out the team, the venue and the incredible boxing ring surrounded by the best fitness equipment the world has to offer. “We equipped the whole place with Life Fitness and Hammer Strength,” the Fitbox team tells us, including the extensive cardio centre which populates the second floor of the building along with a modern and inviting classroom. The quality of the equipment, the sound and the design are top notch and we regret that with our tour and sample class we are not awarded a lifetime membership. Looking at the signed gloves by the world’s biggest boxers and the huge drawings on the wall, we leave Fitbox aspiring to work harder, punch tougher and look better. Until next time, Fitbox…
Find out more about Fitbox on their official Facebook page here.