The Best Gyms in NYC

May 3, 2010 // Al Kavadlo

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.