Dubai continues to build its reputation as one of the strength capitals of the world with the opening of ‘Strong’ in January 2021. The only strongman specific gym in the Middle East, the gym is already proving a massive hit with not only the strongmen (and women) athletes from the region, but with clients from a range of disciplines who are looking for a new way to become stronger and more functionally fit.

The gym is jointly owned by the current strongest Emirati man, Youseff Al Fardan (19) and former Britain’s strongest man and the current UAE’s strongest man, Mark Boyd (27). 

Al Fardan began lifting in 2018 and met Boyd through mutual friends not long after. Strong was born out of a shared appreciation of a sport that has grown in popularity over the last 5 years. “I decided to open Strong gym with Mark to grow the sport of strongman in the UAE as it’s starting to get more and more recognised, and more people are starting to enjoy it” says Al Fardan. 

Famed for its atlas stones, truck pulls and yoke carries, the sport has had a real resurgence in the Middle East, with the UAE in particular leading the charge. Dubai regularly attracts some of the biggest names in the sport such as Hafthor ‘Thor’ Bjornsson and Larry Wheels, but Strong is hoping to encourage a more diverse clientele to take up the training. 

“Strong is not just the home to budding strongman athletes” says Boyd. “Yes, they make up some of our client list, but we are using the fundamentals of strongman training to create a strength and conditioning facility to help athletes from a range of disciplines improve their performance”. Strong has seen a variety of elite athletes use its facilities including world class boxer Rob Frampton, MMA and UFC fighters, body builders and high-level CrossFit athletes.  

Alongside working with these elite athletes, Al Fardan and Boyd are passionate about introducing strongman style training to anyone who is interested in improving their functional fitness. “Strongman training isn’t just for 2-meter-tall, 150kg giants and professional athletes” says Al Fardan. The gyms twice weekly strong circuits offer the perfect introduction to the equipment and movements for new clients and the chance for others to continue to build their skills.

So, if you’re an elite athlete looking to improve your conditioning, interested in becoming the next strongman or woman, or just want to train in a way that will make you stronger, fitter and more functional, Strong is definitely the place to go. 

To find out more, contact stronggymhq@gmail.com or call +971 52 832 8334. 

The Emirates Strongest Man and Woman competition takes place at Strong Gym on 25th and 26th June 2021.

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