SPARK Athletic Center

Posted by Mark

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There are new gyms opening all the time in Kuwait and most of them don’t usually interest me but, when Abdulmohsen Al-Babtain (of Sidekick Academy) emailed me about a new gym he was opening called SPARK, I knew there was going to be something different about it. Actually I really shouldn’t be calling it a gym because it’s more than a gym which is why they prefer to use the term athletic center.

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When you first walk into SPARK there’s a small fitness store on the ground floor with stairs on the side leading you up to the main floor of the gym. I met Abdulmohsen on the lower level and followed him up the stairs to the main floor. I was expecting it to be a small specialized gym similar to the two gyms I’m currently enrolled in, Core Fitness and Circuit+ but when I got to the main floor I was shocked. The place was huge, 2,400m2 huge. I got introduced to the head coach right away who took me on a tour of the space. The majority of the space looks very similar to your everyday gym, they had a TRX station right at the start and tons of cardio machines on the far right. Then from one end of the gym to the other they had top of the line Hoist and Bilt fitness equipment followed by a small room at the very end for spinning classes.

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But, where things get more interesting was a space in the back corner that occupied around 25% of the gym floor. The space is surrounded by a high black metal fence with a large sign outside saying no one can enter without a coach. Behind the black fence is over 400 square meters of professional indoor turf, the only indoor training ramp of its kind in the world, two 50-meter sprint lanes, a sand pit for simulating training on the beach and a corner with four Woodway super treadmills, one of which can hit can hit 40 km/h.

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Finally theres a small room also at the back which they call the SPARK LAB. The lab contains a bunch of scientific equipment that can perform functional screening tests, body composition tests, wingate anaerobic capacity tests and full metabolic testing. One of the equipment is called Bod Pod and is used to calculate your body composition. It’s one of the most accurate ways of measuring your body fat percentage, around 8% more accurate than skinfold calipers. I got to try it out during my full physical assessment and after sitting in the pod for a few minutes the machine printed out numbers that included my body fat percentage, my Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) and Total Energy Expenditure (TEE). Turns out if I sit on my computer all day I can burn 2,246 calories or up to 3,649 with very high activity. Pretty cool.

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Now the reason I found the gym interesting is because instead of just focusing on muscle gain or weight loss, they’re focusing on athletic performance. They’ve brought in coaches from around the world (one was a Florida Gator coach) and they want to help improve athletes in Kuwait from runners and basketball players to wannabe Olympians. For example I could go to them and tell them I want to improve my sprinting speed or I want to be able to jump higher and they’ll help me achieve my goal.

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The gym is already open and their prices start at KD70 a month which is very reasonable. They also have personal training but that would cost an additional KD20 per session or as low as KD15 depending on how many sessions you would be taking. It’s a mens only gym but they are opening a women’s gym in the coming month or two and it’s going to be even larger at 3,600m2, have more facilities and will be located in KIPCO Tower in Kuwait City.

SPARK is located in Shuwaikh right on top of where Shuwaikh Market is [Map] and for more information you can call them on 22282058.


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20 comments, add your own...


  1. KuwaitBites says:

    Very impressive….amazing actually. Wouldn’t expect it to be in Kuwait…wow!

  2. Nixon says:

    Mark, is the 70kd a month with a trainer (so you can use the turf side) or not?
    Cause if it is than that is the best price i have ever seen for any service in Kuwait.

  3. Kuwait says:

    Love interesting new concepts and initiatives when all you see is burgers and cupcakes.

  4. Nader says:

    Everything is perfect except the place. Every time i go to Shuwaikh Market there is traffic, Any Parking spots?

  5. gabbar says:

    This is really amazing. Only if we pick up more interest in sports science and tie it up with football…we might see huge improvements in Kuwait’s football.

    • Mark says:

      i think one of the kuwaiti basketball teams just signed up with them. their advantage is because they have all the equipment to measure your performance, they can promise to deliver and increase because they have a way to track your performance improvement and show you before and after numbers.

  6. Mo says:

    So Kipco will be female only?

  7. RobW says:

    Awesome – the battling ropes and sled area have definitely peaked my interest! Would be great if they offer pay-per-visit; I’m already member at Oxygen but would love to go to them for a heavy weekend conditioning workout

  8. Burhan says:

    Wow, I’m not a gym nut but this is seriously impressive.

    I have but one small comment. That space pod that looks like Yoda’s spaceship, the BMI gizmo machine – it might be too tight from the looks of it for most of the … umm .. people who need it (like me) :D

  9. Gymfather_q8 says:

    Amazingggggg!!!

  10. Ahmad says:

    I was going to transfer to Spark from my old gym but not anymore because on Friday they used to open at 2pm, but it turns out that Spark also opens at 2pm on Friday :(

    Why don’t gyms understand that some people like to wake up in the morning on weekends and go to the gym!!

    So bummed out about this news!

  11. Ahmad says:

    Quick update:

    Just visited their gym and couldn’t be more impressed! Their machines are top quality and the trainers were so friendly.

    I spoke to them about being open earlier on Friday and they told me that it is an option they will consider in the future.

    All in all it’s great gym that’s well worth a visit!

  12. Ray Elbe says:

    Professor Abdul has an amazing facility. I love the concept of SPARK and am glad to see more fitness orientated facilities opening in Kuwait!

    OSU!


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