So, where do I throw my money away?
December 26, 2009 5:17 AM   Subscribe

Intrested in acquiring New York gym membership in the near future - but where?

I live near the 96th street 1,2,3 stop and work in the Financial District near Broadway and Fulton. The obvious choice seems to be NYSC (there's a club on broadway and Vesey two blocks from work and another on 95th and broadway right near my apartment) but I'm certainly interested in hearing about good experiences with any other gym. Fees for NYSC are $86 a month - which seems like a lot so any auggestions on how to get a discount would also be appreciated.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts...
posted by jourman2 to Health & Fitness (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I pay a bit over $100/mo in SF for a midrange gym (albeit with outdoor heated pool, and laundry/locker - the latter are $30). This is a bit outside the FiDi, though they have a location there, and another 6-7 in the city, I can use.

The Equinox and SCLA in the FiDi are anywhere from 1.5-2x+ from what I hear.
posted by kcm at 5:24 AM on December 26, 2009

I've been happy with the Planet Fitness in Astoria. There is one at 126th and Lenox, right next to the 2/3 stop. Membership rates vary between 10-20 bucks a month (depending on the promotion), there are no classes, there is no towel service, and the locker rooms are small but if you're looking for a bare bones gym and are self motivated, Planet Fitness is a great gym to join.
posted by Stynxno at 6:25 AM on December 26, 2009

Last I looked (admittedly some years ago), NYSC was the least expensive option for gyms that have more than one location, and it's a perfectly fine mass market gym.

The "many locations" thing is actually a very good thing, as the further you have to go to get to a gym, the less likely you're going to go. You can also go to one location one week, and another location some other week, if it's more convenient.

NYSC also has a couple of locations with swimming pools, if you care about that sort of thing. If you're interested in classes, some classes are offered in one location but not another.

You may also want to ask at the desk on when they have their new member specials, probably next month. You should also check your workplace, to see if they have a gym discount.
posted by chengjih at 6:29 AM on December 26, 2009

I belong to Reebok Sports Club @ 68th & Columbus. It is very expensive--around $200 per month--but it is also a very nice gym. They have other locations in Rockefeller Center and THR Upper East Side. I haven't been to those locations.

They also have gyms in Washington, DC, Miami, and Boston which you can use. If you're bicoastal you can pay even more for a higher level of membership which also lets you use ther gym in LA.
posted by dfriedman at 6:55 AM on December 26, 2009

NYSC is crowded, dirty and a ripoff for what you get.
Reebok and Equinox are much nicer and much more expensive.
New York Health & Racket club is priced similarly to NYSC, but much nicer. However, there are none convenient to where you live.

I would suggest getting a gym near where you live, not where you work.
Paris Health Club on West End between 96th & 97th is cheaper than NYSC, and has no-commitment contract, paid month-to-month. It is a smaller, neighborhood gym, and a much friendlier atmosphere than the chain gyms. Doesn't get as crowded as NYSC, and is conveniently located to where you live.
posted by gomess at 8:03 AM on December 26, 2009

The YMCA is a good bargain. Not the very best, but the gym I belong to, a block across the street from my office, has cardio, pools, weight room, nice people, never too crowded. Definitely the best bargain in New York.

Closest to your office

Closest to your apt.

Perosnally I disagree w Gomess, having a gym near my office means I can often run to the gym right @ 5:00 when it isn't crowded, and go back to work if work is heavy, or also take a mid-day break. By the time I get home I am to damned tired to do anything, but of course chacun a son gout.
posted by xetere at 8:42 AM on December 26, 2009

The New York City Parks and Recreation Department a long list of recreation centers with gym facilities, some of which also have swimming pools. Membership is $50-$75 per year; fees for yoga classes and the like are also far below private gym rates. And it's not all decaying office drones -- people from the neighborhood use them, too. The price certainly allows you to at least check this option out and see if it's for you.
posted by gum at 10:33 AM on December 26, 2009

Seconding the YMCA option. But GO SEE IT and take a tour before joining. RIght now they have a special with no joining fee for a little while - they always do this at the beginning of the year. The reason I say 'go and see it' is so you know what you're getting yourself into. For example, the locker rooms at my gym are, well, let's just say I don't use them. But I would recommend the Y's almost wholeheartedly.

Another bargain are the NYC Parks Recreation Centers, but that totally depends on your locale. When I lived downtown, the one closest to me was tiny & cramped and always always unbearably crowded no matter the time of day. But if you live near a good one, the price is unbeatable.

The choice of location is entirely up to personal preference. I want my gym near my house so I can go on weekends and holidays. I don't want to see coworkers when I'm working out. Also, keep in mind how you'd feel if you got a new job, lost this job, or got transferred somewhere else in the city. I also prefer to go in the morning and this way I can shower and change at my house.
posted by micawber at 10:42 AM on December 26, 2009

I was using Bally's for a while. They don't have very many locations in NYC, but it was very inexpensive. I was paying less than $45 per month.

They don't have any of the fancy amenities the $100-200/month gyms have, but you'll find plenty of machines, free weights, and classes (but they charge extra for some). Another caveat, they don't really offer month-to-month pricing, you'll probably need to commit to at least a year.
posted by upplepop at 7:39 AM on December 27, 2009

Thanks for the answers all - never heard of the Paris Club, even though I must've passed by the building a few hundred times (thanks gomess!) probably going to check out that and NYSC - simply because those are the two that are within my price range and at least have a location near my apartment. I'll report back once I do.
posted by jourman2 at 2:27 PM on December 27, 2009

If you went to school in NYC you might check out whether your school has alumni memberships for its gym - I guess this would mainly help if you went happened to go to Columbia, which I believe does do alum memberships.
posted by yarrow at 8:22 AM on December 30, 2009

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