I just want to look good naked
February 6, 2013 2:15 PM   Subscribe

I am new to both New York City AND gym membership. Can you recommend a gym? I'm particularly looking for one that doesn't require a year-long contract.

Well, Guy Fieri was apparently the magical charm I needed, and I just scored a new job in New York. I'm running a half-marathon in May that I need to train for. The cold weather always provides a convenient excuse for me to ditch running, so I'd like to temporarily join a gym until the weather gets nicer. Here are my gym requirements in order of importance:

1. I live just south of the Park Slope area of Brooklyn, work in Midtown. Prefer something in home neighborhood but okay with something in work neighborhood if it's worth it.
2. Does not require year-long contract (No contract is best, but the longest I'll do is six months.)
3. Has good classes (yoga, strength-training, etc.)
4. Primary equipment used would be treadmill and weights
5. Open both very early and very late
6. Not super crowded
7. Not super pricey (I do not need fancy things like a sauna, etc.)

Thank you!
posted by unannihilated to Health & Fitness (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
The Park Slope Armory YMCA does not require a year-long contract. It's a monthly charge and it's cheaper than other gyms in the area. The weight room is small and not great. (Mostly machines and dumbbells, but no barbells.) On the plus side, they have a ping pong table and an indoor track!
posted by hooray at 2:47 PM on February 6, 2013

Best answer: Seconding the Park Slope Armory YMCA. It's very chilled out and definitely cheaper than other options. (I'm very happy with my Y membership elsewhere in Brooklyn.) I have also had good experiences at Harbor Fitness, but I don't know if they do monthly charges. They are open 24 hours on most days.

Since you will undoubtedly be running in Prospect Park, check out the Brooklyn Road Runners, as well, in regards to marathon training in your area. They're really easy to join up with.

Maybe duck in on Brooklyn Boulders, too, to add some variety to your workout! Bring a friend!
posted by greenland at 3:00 PM on February 6, 2013 [2 favorites]

Bally's is I think $5 or $10 more expensive per month to do no-contract, which is what I do. It's significantly cheaper than NYSC, etc. I think their standard plan lets you use any Bally's in the area. There isn't one super-close to you, and I've heard mixed things about some of their equipment, but it might be worth checking out.

Also, not your question, but I second checking out a running club/team in the area-- In addition to Brooklyn Road Runners, there is PPTC (Prospect Park Track Club) which has weekly runs on Saturdays for members and non-members alike.

I do love the Park Slope Armory, though I have only used the indoor track-- I find it much better than the treadmill, personally.
posted by matcha action at 4:07 PM on February 6, 2013

NYSC is pretty cheap and has no contract plans. Maybe not the cheapest option but much better than equinox etc. They've got a million locations.
posted by ch1x0r at 6:17 PM on February 6, 2013

Best answer: You can try out NYSC for $24 for a month with this Living Social deal. For me, it's worth it just for Stephen's yoga classes @ the Tribeca location (Friday 5:45pm/Saturday 12:15).
posted by bah213 at 6:51 PM on February 6, 2013

I also adore the Armory, although they close at 9pm on the weekends (and 11pm on weekdays), so I don't know if that fits your definition of "very late". I believe that Harbor Fitness is the only truly "late night" option in the area.
posted by unknowncommand at 7:09 PM on February 6, 2013

I don't know what prices are like in NYC but in DC, the Crunch gym is pretty reasonable. Also, don't know if Gold's or Planet Fitness are in NYC. I did Gold's in DC for a while. It was cheap but they made me sign a contract and they continued to charge me after I opted not to renew until I went and yelled at them. I think Planet Fitness has reasonable no-contract options.

Alternately, what about checking out Groupon and Living Social to check out deals? I've discovered some decent fitness classes that way.
posted by kat518 at 7:48 PM on February 6, 2013

I have been a Crunch member for most of my 20 years here. It's clean and there are a lot of gyms in town. I checked out a Ballys, and to be honest, I thought it was too dirty, and the machines were really run down. I get the no-contracts thing, but it will limit your choices. It's an unfortunate reality in NYC.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 8:51 PM on February 6, 2013

Best answer: In addition to what others have posted:
-Most gyms offer a 1 month free membership trial - you could try to gym-hop through May

-Consider joining a running club to continue road running (as it works different muscles than treadmill running): http://www.brooklynroadrunners.org/ or http://www.meetup.com/Brooklyn-Early-Morning-Runners/ This may motivate you to get outside, and you can also meet some new people in your new town.

-There are often free yoga classes at Lululemon stores
posted by melissasaurus at 6:42 AM on February 7, 2013

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