An unforgettable wellness experience curated especially for women by women. Homara Choudhary spent an afternoon working on her combat moves at M Active Ladies gym.
Designed over two floors and kitted out with the latest stateof-the-art equipment is the city’s best kept fitness secret. M Active Ladies isn’t just a gym; it’s a journey and having frequented a number of health clubs over the years, I was surprised at the physical size of this venue and the number of women sprinting their way through a Wednesday afternoon on a treadmill. This establishment has almost 1,000 members and I was about to see why it’s such a popular choice amongst the fitness elite.
Raja, M Active Ladies’ Senior Sales, gave me a grand tour of the place. The changing rooms, which were immediately to the left as you walked through a discreet entrance, had a steam room, sauna and a Jacuzzi. It was extremely tempting to plunge into the sky-blue whirlpool, but I needed to finish the tour first. Shower booths surrounded the bright dressing area with its array of impressive space-age lockers.
We walked back out to the ground floor, which is home to a reception area, a Functional Training gym for advanced members, a spinning club and the inhouse restaurant Calibre, where you can pick up a freshly-squeezed smoothie or enjoy a post-workout lunch. And it isn’t just a dine-in service, Calibre also offers various meal plans to help women along their nutritional journey.
We took the lift to the second level, where a running track encircled the entire floor. There was abundant high-end gym equipment imported from the United States, ideal for any kind of strength workout. The dedicated heavy weights area was impressive and framed by a row of treadmills, cross-trainers and air bikes – there was even a yoga and boxing studio! Finally, a gym catering for all tastes and talent levels.
Before I could begin cultivating Jennifer Lopez-style abs, I was introduced to coach Rania for my full InBody test. Each new member receives a complete body composition analysis when they join, measuring their total weight along with the amount of water, protein, mineral and fat in their body. A report with a full breakdown of the results was handed to me, including my muscle-fat analysis. Sadly it confirmed my suspicions that it was going to take me a few more months before I achieved a J-Lo-inspired washboard stomach.
Ever positive, Rania told me it was certainly possible and signed me up to the Body Combat class, which was filling up quickly. Dozens of women of all ages were pouring into the studio and it wasn’t long before coach Nour Abouassi was putting us through our G.I. Jane paces.
Body Combat is not only a great whole-body workout for cardio fitness, but it’s also superb for burning fat, releasing stress and improving your coordination. Over the course of 60 minutes, coach Nour had all of us punching and kicking our way towards our fitness goals.
A professional power-lifter, she’s been with M Active Ladies since the beginning of the year and has noticed an increase in women signing up to stay healthy: “I’ve seen more women be active every day and when I joined M Active Ladies, I was surprised at how many Qatari women were also engaged in keeping fit and loving the intense work. Previously local ladies would say, ‘please take it easy’, or ‘I don’t want to do this’. But recently, my clients have said ‘kill me!’”
The class was an intense muscle workout and I was ready for some rest and relaxation. M Active Ladies has a spa which was perfect for a postworkout massage and that was exactly what my body was screaming for. I was booked for the full royal treatment with a one-hour, full-body massage. Using lavender oil, my therapist, Shoebe, massaged the tension along my neck and shoulders away, one knot at a time. I was instantly revived and felt like the weight had literally been lifted from my shoulders. Suddenly ravenous, I made my way to Calibre to meet manager A’la Aly Almaz, who recommended the grilled chicken with vegetables to curb my protein cravings. She explained the success of M Active Ladies as I devoured each delicious morsel: “It’s not just a gym or fitness classes. We create a programme for women; we create a healthy lifestyle. We are building a community of healthy clients. It’s an overall experience. There is the gym, of course, but there are new classes each month, recovery stations, the spa, the salon, a healthy restaurant, and a box area for those at an advanced level, so it’s a total overall experience we offer.”
And what an invigorating experience it was. If you want to get in shape and have fun doing it, M Active Ladies is the gym for you. They also have a special promotion right now for new members. Sign me up!