All work and no play? Not with BT Active—the first ever private corporate gym.
Words Prasadini Nanayakkara Photographs Menaka Aravinda and Indika De Silva
There’s nothing like a hearty workout to pick up a buzz and jump-start the day. BT Active, a full-functioning luxury gym with a range of equipment for every exercise imaginable does just that. Think you are pretty fit and the gym is not for you? An hour or two at BT Active will easily dispel that delusion. After being adequately humbled a whole new world of fitness awaits. Staying fit, building strength, trimming down or gaining weight, whatever the need or goal of each individual, there are ample ways and means at BT Active. The first ever private corporate gym is exclusively for the staff who can avail of the gym for two hours a day between 7:30am and 8:00pm on weekdays and 10:00am to 6:00pm on Saturdays. Sauntering your way up or huffing and puffing along the stairs, a glimpse of the chic red gym and its slick beats of music are a guilt-tripping reminder that time at the gym is due for the day.
Walk in and the atmosphere is one of upbeat surround sound thanks to a Bang & Olufson BeoPlay A9 Nordic Sky edition (cover and legs) speaker. The special red rubber Pavigym flooring from Spain plays host to a range of Cybex USA fitness equipment that cover the complete extent of workouts. Two treadmills, two arc trainers and bike comprise the options for cardio workouts, warming up and cooling down.
For those who wish to gain some muscle or simply build strength there are the strength training machines and adjustments for lat pull down, back extension, leg extension and leg curl. In addition are the Smith Machine and free weights with racks and benches to gradually build muscle whether the goal is to gain some weight or build a beefy physique. The dumb bells and bar bells on the racks offer a range of three laps to 50 laps to chose from. Ceiling-high mirrors are in place to ensure that the correct form is maintained while doing exercises (and to check out those cuts).
The highlight among the equipment is the multifunctional Bravo Functional Training System complete with accessories that include short bars, ropes and straps. Guided by an experienced trainer’s know-how and creativity the Bravo can render 100 or more different exercises to train all muscles and muscles you didn’t know you had! The functional equipment at BT Active includes the TRX suspension trainer for a total work out with multiple functions that focus on your core. In addition are Bosu, Swiss Balls—which can also be used for 100 different exercises—and Medicine Balls.
Much of the training is tailor-made by the trainer to suit individual goals
To complement the versatile range of state-of-the-art equipment is a fully qualified and experienced trainer and staff member Fahim Mohamed present full-time at the gym. Certified by American Council on Exercise (ACE) and National Training Centre in Ireland, he began his career in martial arts following a kick-boxing scholarship to Japan. Having studied in Japan to become a trainer he began working as a full-time trainer in 2006 at a seven star hotel in Dubai recognised as one of the most luxurious hotels in the world. He is also certified in TRX, Power Plate, Viper and Kinesis training. With Fahim around training at BT Active is serious business!
Much of the training is tailor-made by the trainer to suit individual goals. Functional training like circuits or high intense training is often conducted to improve stamina and overall strength as well as stretching to improve flexibility. Generally a circuit conducted by the trainer comprises of four exercises that include strengthening of two body parts, free movements for cardio, and strengthening that all important core (with much groaning involved). Circuit training encourages the use of the body as much as possible rather than lifting of weights. Usually a little over one hour of training packs in a complete work out for the day.
After an exhilarating or exhausting work out, there are three changing/shower rooms to retreat to, to freshen up and maybe gather your wits!