The Best Gyms in NYC

As much as I love working out at home or my local park, gyms are a key piece in the fitness puzzle. While you can get a thorough workout with no equipment, there are some things you simply cannot do without the gym. Weight training requires weights and if you live in a small apartment like most New Yorkers, you probably don’t have room at home. Likewise, you’re even less likely to have a skating rink in your backyard. With that in mind, here’s a quick rundown of NYC’s various gyms.

The Big Chains
Crunch, Equinox and New York Health and Racquet Club are three of the most popular gyms in the city and they all have many locations. Some of the facilities are nicer than others and some of the staff might seem more qualified than others, but generally these gyms are considered at the higher end of the spectrum. In addition to free weights, strength training machines and a variety of cardio equipment, these clubs all have amenities like towel service, toiletries and, in some cases, laundry services. As New York is the city that never sleeps, they tend to open their doors early in the morning and remain open late into the evening. New York Sports Club and Bally’s offer similar facilities, though the clubs are generally not as well maintained; they tend to have fewer amenities and older equipment.

The Mega Complexes
With over a million square feet of fitness options, Chelsea piers boasts the city’s largest sports complex. They have everything from weights to rock climbing to ice hockey (even in the summer). If you live in the area or if you’re staying at NYC’s landmark Hotel Chelsea, it’s worth checking out. There are many different activities there and they offer something for everyone–including kids!

The Reebok club on Columbus Ave. is another enormous, posh facility that has just about everything you could think of in terms of equipment. It’s also a frequent spot for celebrity sightings. Keep in mind that gyms like these, while fun and filled with variety, can get a bit pricey and may not be necessary for everybody.

Private Gyms
NYC has many private gyms where serious-minded fitness enthusiasts can have a personalized workout with a trainer or participate in semi-private group classes. Without a crowd of people or a bunch of useless machines getting in the way, gyms like Nimble Fitness in Union Square and Work in Soho have quietly become the top training facilities in the city.

With all the options that the city has to offer, there’s no reason to let yourself slack when it comes to fitness.

8 thoughts on “The Best Gyms in NYC

  • By phattrainer -

    I think this is a very limited profile in terms of gyms in the city and could really be expounded on. You could have included Reebok, Clay, or Crossfit in the profile of mega , medium, small gyms and gone beyond your Chelsea, Union Square, East Village area. I'd like to see a future article with a more well rounded profile of all the gyms.

  • By Al Kavadlo -

    It would be hard to mention every single gym in the city without losing the attention span of 3/4 of my audience so I kept it brief. Interestingly enough, if you had bothered to read the whole thing you would see that I did in fact mention Reebok!

    • By Pondeli Hajioannou -

      I own Philadelphia Private Gym right outside of Philly. I have been a personal trainer for almost 30 years now. And feel private gyms are here to stay and fill a void in the fitness industry.

      • By Al Kavadlo -

        Hey Pondeli – Thanks for stopping by!  Private gyms are where it’s at – keep doing your thing!

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  • By ExcelForLife -

    I have worked out at a few of the gyms mentioned. I do like private gyms and my experience at WORK Fitness was nothing short of magnificent. Also love the sports complex at Chelsea.

  • By Al Kavadlo -

    Thanks for sharing your experience!

  • By Jacob Gunther -

    The problem with retails gyms, however, is that they
    aren’t necessarily the most conducive environments for effective training.
    Furthermore, they’re expensive, and they often require a year-long commitment
    or more in the form of a contract that’s costly to break.

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