Sports Science Institute of South Africa, Cape Town

, September 4, 2017

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Cape Town might be littered with trails, surf breaks and adorable beaches, but its centre of gravity for sports training no doubt hangs in the Newlands neighbourhood. This part of town is perched on the foot of Table Mountain and is home to two major stadiums for rugby and cricket as well as a world-class gym, Sport Science Institute of South Africa (SSISA). Opened way back in 1995, it’s remarkable to think now how visionary the project was, given it is still heralded in elite sport and wellness circles.

A High Performance Centre caters for a range of training and testing projects. On the top level of the gym complex, a 140m, 2-lane indoor track loops around the weights and cardio area with the swimming pool below, in a halo-like orientation. On the other side of the building, you can get your VO2max registered in a cycling lab, as well as your “Fat Max” and have you saddle fit optimised for your bike. An adjacent Endurance Studio is home to 10 Wattbikes and 8 Grucox eccentric isokinetic bikes.

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As for rehab and recovery between sessions, on-site phyio, sports psychology, orthopedic treatment and neurology practice are all available, as are dietition and podiatrists.

This scientific approach is reinforced by a number of science facilities linked to University of Cape Town’s division of Exercise Science and Sports Medicine (ESSM), including a chronobiology and sleep lab, a metabolic chamber, tissue culture lab and microvascular reactivity lab (mechanics behing hypertension). In total, 80 research projects are ongoing at any time and you can become a research participant if you’re into pioneering the future of training.

In step with the rest of the fitness world, there is a healthy cafe, crafted not by a foodie but a qualified dietitian. Fuel here before taking on your bike ride or trail run up Skeleton Gorge via Newland Forest.

Day use of the finess centre is R155, with 10-pass booklets priced at R1185. Contact info@ssisa.com to get more information.