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Not that kind of bar

The fitness club gets a luxury makeover. We’ll be by the Muscle Bar if you need us

A fit, healthy body—that is the best fashion statement ― Jess C. Scott

It’s an interesting strategy — work out in an environment that doesn’t feel like a gym and you won’t mind the working out bit that much. Heck, those of us not naturally inclined to the gym lifestyle could even start looking forward to working out. 

Hud Russell and his wife are the brains and muscles behind the concept rather uncreatively named The Gym. 

The South African fitness duo have amassed a following in Dubai over years of personal training, and set out to fill a gap in the market catering to the luxury clientele they service. And fill it they do. 

A fit, healthy body—that is the best fashion statement ― Jess C. Scott

Entering the space, you’d be forgiven for thinking you had the wrong address. All stylishly black, you wouldn’t look out of place had you rocked up in your weekend party getup instead of functional workout gear. The bathrooms with their gilded surfaces and high-end toiletries are closer aligned to the five-star hotels Dubai is known for than what we’ve come to know as workout spaces. The private changing areas for the more modest among us look like something out of a designer catalogue. 

But those are the bells and whistles. Don’t be fooled into thinking it’s all style over substance; the name is an indication to how seriously they take working out here. Focusing on individual attention, clients all work with dedicated trainers to reach their goals. And they go hard to push you to your limits. That said, the different workout areas — cardio, weights, machines — come with a sense of class. If you’re going to sweat, you might as well do so in a fabulous environment, right? 

Taking a holistic approach, The Gym also has nutritionists on board to curate meal plans according to your goals.

Which brings us to a personal highlight — the bar. Or, the Muscle Bar, to be specific. It follows the format of your local watering hole, but instead of grains, malts and grapes the dressy bar men whip up a great selection of pre-, during and post-workout cocktails you can enjoy in the stylish lounge area. 

Next time you’re looking for that perfect social media workout post, you’ll know where to find us: at the bar; the bar at The Gym.

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