For years, I have been an avid NYSC (New York Sports Club) member. It started mainly for one reason: it was the only gym close to my office that was somewhat affordable, unlike the YMCA or Equinox, although it is far from inexpensive. I would pretend not to notice the $80 fee (occasionally more) every month on my credit card statement. Everyone pays a lot for the gym, right? Wrong. Let me note that it was also the closest gym to my apartment, although I never visit that location. I am strictly an early-gymmer; if I am not there before lunch, I will not go when I get home…I just simply cannot motivate myself. This laziness that I possess has only been controlled by my evening yoga classes (in Brooklyn).
A few months ago, I received an email from a coworker informing my office that a new gym would be opening up in our building; the monthly fee…$20! I couldn’t believe that it was true. At first I thought that it was one of those seedy gyms, the ones that exist in the not-so-great neighborhoods that I would never walk into. Then I learned that this gym was owned by none other than…Equinox. A gym that boasts a $156/month fee for one location and a $188/month fee for multiple locations was actually opening something affordable? I was intrigued. The pre-opening registration was only $1, and…it is in my building. Instead of crossing both E 40th Street and 3rd Avenue, and then walking to E 41st, all I would have to do is walk out and it literally is located two doors down; the store-front that had once housed my beloved coffee shop that has been vacant for over a year and a half. For that much convenience, I decided to take the plunge. And then I waited. The gym was supposed to open the day after Christmas but kept getting pushed back until this week that is. Tuesday, it opened for a walk-through only; the employees briefly took you around, showing the locker room and equipment, and answered any questions that you had. Wednesday, it opened at noon and today was the first full opening. With the woman’s locker room closed for the third time (in three consecutive weeks) at NYSC, I decided that it was the perfect time to go.
For the most part, I like it. It is more spacious than the NYSC I go to, there are a ton of cardio machines and I like the way that it is laid out. The equipment is nice and new, and one thing that I especially love about the treadmills is that they have an interval button, where you input your jogging/running speeds and then when you want to switch paces, you press it and it automatically changes the speed for you. So easy. The downside: the locker rooms are a bit tiny, there are only five showers (my NYSC has probably double that plus a sauna and steam room, which this new gym is also lacking), and you have to bring your own towel, they do not provide towels for you…apparently that helps keeps the membership costs down, oh and also, I dislike the fact that the stretch area is not padded and therefore makes doing crunches a bit uncomfortable, but I found a machine that I may like instead…if I am in pain tomorrow I will know that it worked.
My conclusion is this. There are always going to be good and bad things about anything, especially places that are new, like my new gym, Blink Fitness, when you are spoiled (towels) and used to places like NYSC. However, I’d say that the list is about even, and the price is great…and it’s about time I joined a gym that cost less…especially since I am also yoga-ing.