Picture this: It is a lazy summer afternoon; it’s too hot to go outside. You’ve already hit the shops and exhausted what the sales have to offer. If you continue hitting the cafes and restaurants with your family and friends, soon you won’t be able to wear those cute sundresses that you bought as they will only emphasize your chicken wings; you will also have to shun your comfy yet figure hugging maxi dresses as people may suspect that you are trying to hide a baby bump.
Yes, you painfully realise it’s time to hit the gym, lose some weight, gain some muscle tone, and get a head start against fighting the inevitable Ramadan weight gain( I know it’s a paradox), and of course, look hot in that gorgeous outfit you’ve got lined up for Eid.
Olympia Center Gym Jeddah
Which gym, you might ask? Well why not try out one of the largest and longest running health fitness facilities in Jeddah-Olympia Center (adjacent to Dr. Soliman Fakeeh Hospital).
I’ve recently been going to the Olympia gym, and I must say they really have something for everyone. They have a full schedule of various classes run by different fitness instructors for all fitness levels. Whether you are a hesitant beginner or a well-oiled fitness machine there’s a class for you. Classes run Saturday to Thursday from 945am-830pm
Olympia has around 20 treadmills, many with an accompanying entertainment screen, which you can watch while you walk/ run; these seem to be the most popular method of working out, and are occupied most of the day. There are also the elliptical, the stepper machines, stationery bikes, single station machines with weight to work every part of your body-and boy do they work it.
Olympia has a designated area for spinning classes, as well Pilatesclasses, the apparatus looks like tools employed in medieval torture.
Going for a swim is the best way to stay cool during Jeddah’s sweltering summer, and enjoy a full body workout at the same time
Oh I almost forgot to mention, there is also a spa, offering LPG treatment, sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi, if you’d like to relax after a long workout.
There is also a beauty salon where you can get a facial, get your hair, nails and make up done so another incentive to go the gym, you can pamper yourself as a reward for working out.
I have also tried the Aqua classes (with Eve), which are fun excuse to splash around in the swimming pool, and work out without getting sore, they are ideal for beginners and older women suffering from osteoporosis as you can exercise without straining the joints.
My personal favourite is the kickboxing class with Rosalie, who looks down at us mere mortals with a mixture contempt and amusement as she conducts, in my opinion, the most enjoyable workout I have tried. With fast paced music albeit from 90s, and punches, hooks, and sidekicks, what’s not to love?
(Bonus: you can imagine you are kicking someone you don’t like, you’ll be surprised at how good it feels and how much heavier your blows are ;-)) Another motivator is that you hope if you keep up with the kickboxing you will end up being as toned as Rosalie who’s could be an Asian version of Jessica Alba minus the boob job.
If you are starting out and would like to go for a more Zen workout then Yoga with is the class to go. She smatters her English with generous helping of Arabic but she’s friendly and has a suitable hands-on approach, giving every attendee personal attention, encouraging them and correcting their posture, if need be. She’s exactly like how I imagined a yoga instructor to be like.
If you are a hard-core exercise enthusiast, then I recommend Nicky’s notorious ‘Legs, Bums and Tums’ class. If you are not super fit, this class may make you cry- I kid you not. You find yourself wondering, am I masochist? Why am I doing this to myself, why? One look at Nicky is enough to tell you that she never met an exercise she didn’t like and probably doesn’t have an ounce of fat in her body.
She flashes the biggest smiles, and that and her music keep you going through what seems like the longest workout ever. I was sore for many days after her workout, so you have been warned, only the foolish or the fabulously fit should proceed.
Over all the staff is polite and friendly and so are most of the members.
Men’s gym section
In addition, to the swimming pool, treadmill, and machines there’s also a men’s spa, squash court, tennis court and more. Please check out the Olympia website for more information.
There’s a nursery day-care section, and special activity centre for kids, with a special offer running during the summer, great place for the kids to enjoy while you workout.
Trust me, do go check it, out not only will you look good, but feel great (once your muscles get toned and stop being sore, but it’s a good sore).
Daily SR 100 for day visit
3 months SR 2900
6 months SR 4235
1 year SR6800
Special rates for students, couples, corporate customers
Tel: 02 665 5000 Ext 1501/03