Gym Shopping: Redux

By | August 25, 2017

It wasn’t exactly my plan for the afternoon but when I found the 2012 chapter of gym shopping last night, I had a feeling that kind of analysis might be in my future. So this afternoon I headed out to explore some of the options I identified and those that came from my Facebook crowdsource. The plus side? No hard sell at any — they know all the membership info is online anyway so there’s no reason to bullshit the “this sale is gone if you walk out the door”

Planet Fitness

  • No brainer pro here is the price. $10 with a year-long commitment or $15 with a month to month. There’s also a pricier plan that allows multiple gyms but there’s only one remotely convenient to me, so that’s a non factor. The facility is huge and there’s an endless number of cardio machines, so wait won’t be an issue.
  • The main con? The location. It’s relatively near work but at three plus avenue blocks in the wrong direction of my apartment, I can see myself blowing it off. It felt like a slog even on the most beautiful of days, and I can’t imagine how it would be in weather. While I’m a pro at skipping the gym, I want to keep running.
  • Result: I walked out thinking I’d crossed it off the list entirely, but by day’s end it was still in the running.


  • This is the closest to my office and more or less on the way to the train. Major pro. It’s a larger than it appears from the street facility and offers classes. Yeah, classes I’ll never take. It’s full service and the locker room even has a nice steam room. Unexpected pro: rowing machines. I’ve missed those since BOOM Fitness and was happy to see them in Iceland.
  • Con: the price. Even on sale it’s more than I want to pay. I know I’m not going to find a deal like the Sheraton, but I really don’t want to pay in the neighborhood of $70 to run.


  • The $25 rate gives you access to multiple Manhattan gyms but since I was wandering across the 50s I tried the one at East 54th Street. Pro: it’s the best located for home and is sort of on my way home so could work. The Bryant Park one isn’t far from work either, might want to check that out before committing if I go this route. The price is good and the location seemed decently equipped
  • Con: it’s really bare bones, I mean no towel service bare bones. My gym bag can fit a towel but all I think of there is needing to buy more & more laundry. Running clothes are already too much laundry.

Net Net? This is going to be a longer process than I thought, where I envisioned a scenario where I already had a new gym.

Already ruled out:

  • Equinox, way too expensive
  • 92Y, Asphalt Green – location not great and pricier than I want (even with 92Y’s Groupon). Plus I’m thinking midtown (east or west) might be better.
  • New York Sports Club UES – dungeon location
  • New York Health & Racquet UES – way too expensive
  • Retro Fitness – not seven days a week

In contention:

  • each of the above really, Crunch a possible leader despite the price. The one near work is a nicer/larger one than the former BOOM up here. Want to go see the Blink at Bryant Park
  • 24 Hour Fitness – feels like it’s worth exploring, although I think it’s too expensive
  • New York Sports Club – 49th & Broadway. Good location near work. Passport gives me access to multiple locations. Really don’t like idea of going further into Times Square on the weekend, although I could just try harder to run outside then. Gym is really to solve the it’s too dark after work problem.

So, more research and over thinking to come. Not all was lost, nearly 23K steps on the day

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