For sure you’ll raise a lot of eyebrows, and roll even more eyeballs, if your health and fitness studio’s tagline is “We Know Gyms Don’t Work; We Are Not a Gym”, but up-and-comer BARE in Dubai only looks hipster, we promise, and their concept has a great argument.
The “Anti-Gym” is that place in town where fitness is treated like a lifestyle and not just an after-work hobby. They don’t like stocky, static fitness equipment and instead try to really put your body to work as both man and machine with very little accessory (that way you really know how to use it properly for the rest of your life).
You can identify an “anti-gym” by how much time members increasingly spend there, staying on after training to shower, catch up on work emails over in-house organic coffee, shakes, eats and complimentary wifi at the communal table; and learning about the new ways of ‘living well’ body, mind and even business from “wellness coaches”, not “personal trainers”.
BARE is guilty of being such a place. If you stroll past its all-glass façade in Downtown Dubai, you’ll identify an eye-catchingly sparse Scandinavian design, and a general lack of exercise equipment. BARE is minimalistic to the point where even the logo on their front door has intentional bits missing in it.
But we spent an evening there getting to know the gang and soon realised that it’s not all just done up to meet the trendsetting boutique needs of the Downtown area.
What stuck out most was that they are one of the few fitness clubs willing to scream the truth at you – that results are best achieved based on a 30 per cent exercise/ 70 per cent nutrition model programme (which we’ve heard before but always just nod our heads at, right?).
“BARE from the very beginning started based on evidence that a lot of people who train are not getting the results they’re after,” says Club Manager Josefine Wallstromer.
“The training part of fitness is easy – people come in and do what you tell them to do… people will always be training; but BARE founder Dylan Eiffe knows that what people really need help with is nutrition. All the hard work is for nothing if you’re not fuelling your body correctly.”
We definitely offer that feeling of community – Wallstromer
Alongside noticeboards and projectors announcing a new CrossFit/HIIT training-style WOD (Workout of the Day), are those scribbled with additional helpful tips, recipes and reminders grouped under the headings: Eat, Train and Learn, emphasizing Eiffe’s desire to properly educate and integrate members.
“Those who sign up as a member of course receive a thorough consultation, including an InBody Scan and discussion and guidance on their personal goals, as well as tailor-made meal plans to fit what they’re after,” says Wallstromer.
Their feel-good ‘Eat Bare’ meal plans feature an attractive selection of real, balanced low-glycemic foods known to optimise health, performance and metabolism. And on top of BARE HQ being stocked with local healthy drinks and treats too, everyone is further connected and communicated with through an inter-club app. Part of their mission statement really got to the heart of the awesomeness of the “anti-gym”, and we’re all on board.
It said: “Being left to our own devices is being replaced by being part of a community. Above all else, people are having fun rather than dragging themselves through workouts, which means they keep training, and they train better; which means they are finally getting results.”
Wallstromer agrees, and adds:
“We definitely offer that ‘vibe’, that feeling of community. I mean, we know people can go do any kind of training anywhere, so we put some emphasis on creating an experience for our clients too. We offer the same sorts of stuff, but how we deliver it is what’s unique.
“Our members are all becoming friends, with the coaches too, and they are coming more regularly, and we all just have a really good time together.”
Where: Retail 2, Clover Bay Tower, Al Abraj St., Dubai
When: Open daily with early classes from 7am, and last classes kicking off from 8pm
Pricing: Drop-In class rates are available for Dh100 a session, but it is understandably more beneficial to become a member, reasonably priced at Dh800 a month (excl. Dh400 set-up fee) and that allows you access to all of the above.
Contact: www.bare.fitness | +9714 558 4720 / +971 50 639 3496 | [email protected]