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NYC's Chain Gyms: What They Cost and What You Get

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Welcome to Racked's Fitness Week: five days of workout coverage, so that you can start your New Year's resolutions off right.

Crunch Chelsea. Photo via Well+Good NYC.

Update: To see gym rates for 2015, head here.

Sculpt Your Body With Crossfit

Not all chain gyms are created equally. The gamut runs from get-in-and-get-out budget gyms to palaces of luxury that extend far beyond rows of elliptical machines. We've taken eight of New York City's multi-location gyms and broken down the costs (monthly dues as well as those pesky hidden fees), stacked up the class offerings, and laid out the location information. As a bench mark, we've compared how much it would cost today to join a downtown Manhattan branch for each chain.

24 Hour Fitness
Start up cost: Initiation fees range from $0 to $99.99 depending on the package.
Monthly rates: $29.99 to $94.99
Annual fees, add-ons, etc: N/A
Total due: Joining the Soho club with access to only that club and a month-to-month payment plan will run you $197.98 today, including a waived initiation fee, first and last month's dues of $92.99 each, and $12 in pro-rated dues.
Locations: Soho, Madison Square Park, Midtown, and the Bronx
Classes: LesMills and Nike Training Club branded workouts, including cardio, strength, and flexibility workouts.
Best for: A solid gym with all of the basics and just enough perks (steam room, towel service, good class schedule) to justify the price tag.

Start up cost: Currently $10, normally $49.
Monthly rates: Depending on your location and access level, you'll pay $15 to $25.
Annual fees, add-ons, etc: Annual maintenance fee of $29 charged September 1st.
Total due: A Green membership at the Noho club, which allows you to use all clubs, will cost you $58.49 to join today, including pro-rated January dues, February dues, the start up fee, and taxes. You also get a free personal training session.
Locations: This budget chain, little sister to the famously luxe Equinox brand, has expanded citywide to five Manhattan gyms, four Bronx locations, three Brooklyn units, and two Queens outposts.
Classes: The downside of the low, low price tag? No classes.
Best for: Someone who wants to show up, do their thing, and move on with the day.

Start up cost: Normally a whopping $339.98, it's currently half that, $169.99.
Monthly rates: The month-to-month plan is $92.99 for a single gym or $102.99 to attend any Crunch.
Annual fees, add-ons, etc: Processing fee of $29.99.
Total due: It would cost you $292.97 to sign up today for a month-to-month plan with solo access to the Lafayette gym. This includes the enrollment fee, one monthly due, and the processing fee.
Locations: Nine in Manhattan and two currently open in Brooklyn with two more coming (Bushwick and Crown Heights).
Classes: Plenty of options including standard fare cycling, Zumba, yoga, etc. as well as a never ending selection of niche fitness options like pole, surf, and something called Bi-Polar.
Best for: Class addicts who crave variety.

Start up cost: The $400 Enrollment Fee is waived though the end of the month
Monthly rates: $135—$189, depending on access level
Annual fees, add-ons, etc: N/A
Location: Four in NYC (Chelsea, UES, West Village, Astor Place), plus other major US cities
Classes: A fabulously named selection including Ass Blast, Guns, and Pressure Cooker. They've also got your spin classes, dance cardio, bootcamp, etc.
Best for: Those looking for a scene.

Start up cost: Initiation fee of $200 for a single club or $300 for all access.
Monthly rates: Varies by location from $160 to $175 for a single location or $195 to $250 for global access.
Annual fees, add-ons, etc: N/A
Total due: Joining the Tribeca club—with access to this club only—would cost you $503.39 today, encompassing a pro-rated January rate, February's dues of $165, and the $200 initiation fee.
Locations: 20 across Manhattan and one in Brooklyn Heights
Classes: They've got your cycling, yoga, barre, and ab classes, as well as a few signatures like the interval training class 30/60/90.
Best for: People who are swayed by luxe accommodations like eucalyptus towels, laundry service, and locker rooms stocked with Kiehl's products.

New York Sports Club
Start up cost: There's a Joining Fee for all memberships. Right now, it's $49.99 if you commit to a one year membership, or $128.99 for month-to-month packages.
Monthly rates: Access to a single club ranges from $69.99 to $79.99. $99.99 per month gets you access to all NYC clubs.
Annual fees, add-ons, etc: There's a $39.99 maintenance fee charged each January.
Total due: Joining the Soho club with single club access on a month-to-month plan will cost you $208.98 today.
Locations: An unbelievable 37 locations in Manhattan alone, plus seven in Brooklyn, one in Astoria, and one in Staten Island.
Classes: Cycling, yoga, cardio kickboxing, Zumba, pilates... all your basics, covered.
Best for: Working out all over the city with the option of classes, but not a lot of frills.

Planet Fitness
Start up cost: $10
Monthly rates: $10 for a single club or $19.99 for use of all clubs.
Annual fees, add-ons, etc: $29 annual fee billed June 1st ($39 for the all-access membership).
Total due: You'll truly pay just $10 to sign up today, then your first month's dues of another $10 will be charged January 17th. Plus, a free t-shirt.
Locations: A handful of locations across the city, including Chelsea, Bushwick, and Downtown Brooklyn.
Classes: Sorry—$10 gyms don't come with classes.
Best for: The all-access membership for someone who just needs the basics for a gym. At $19.99, it's a great price for someone who travels for work (these gyms are everywhere), or who lives and works near two different PF locations.

Start up cost: A Joiner's Fee of $85 to $125
Monthly rates: Depending on the location, a student can pay as little as $34 a month to belong, while an adult membership can be as high as $97
Annual fees, add-ons, etc: N/A
Total due: To join the Y on 14th Street as an adult with access to this single club, you'd owe $218 between the $93 monthly fee and the $125 Joiner's Fee.
Location: 22 branches across the boroughs.
Classes: Cardio Kickboxing sits alongside Tai Chi for Arthritis in a pretty impressive class list. Classes like TRX and Pilates Reformer can be added on for additional fees (non-members can join certain classes, as well, for a higher rate).
Best for: The family packages are really the best deal here, so those with a partner and kids would do well at the YMCA.
· All Fitness Week 2014 posts [Racked NY]