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So you want to join a gym—great! Now the question is finding the one that's right for you, and that'll most likely be determined by how much you want to spend on your fitness routine. Below is a quick primer on the up-front and ongoing costs at some of New York City's most well-known chain gyms, ranging from Planet Fitness to Equinox, plus what you'll get with each brand. Rates are based on current New Year's promotions, and the end dates for these are listed where applicable.
The 80th and Broadway location; Photo: NYSC Marathon
↑ New York Sports Club
What you'll pay monthly: Generally, $65 to $80 per month, depending on whether you're getting a "core membership" with access to one gym or a "passport membership" with access to all Sports Club locations, including those in other cities. The core membership monthly price varies by location—certain gyms in Upper Manhattan and Harlem go as low as $20 a month.
What you'll pay up front: Roughly between $120 and $220.
Breaking it down: With a core membership, skip the initiation fee right now and just pay the initial processing fee of $50 for an up-front total around $120. With a passport membership, choose between skipping the initiation fee and paying an $80 monthly fee plus the processing fee for a $130 up-front total, or paying the $100 initiation fee plus the $50 processing fee with a $70 monthly fee for a $220 up-front total (extra fees, like the prorated amount for the rest of January, may apply).
Any extra costs? A $40 annual fee is charged in January—successful payment guarantees a locked-in monthly rate.
What you get: All locations are equipped with the latest cardio and weight machines/free weights, provide towels, and host group fitness classes like yoga, Pliates, dance, cycling, strength training, and more. Select gyms also have pools, steam rooms, laundry service, and/or babysitting (those last two come at an additional cost).
Where you can go: There's three dozen Manhattan gyms, plus 16 locations in the outer boroughs.
Photo: Planet Fitness/Facebook
↑ Planet Fitness
What you'll pay monthly: $10 for access to one gym or $19.99 for all locations, plus tax.
What you'll pay up front: Between $10 and $20, plus tax.
Breaking it down: Depending on your membership plan and home gym, you'll pay between nothing and a $10 startup fee through at least January 30th.
Any extra costs? There's a yearly "maintenance fee" charged at the beginning of June for $29 or $39 depending on your membership.
What you get: This is just-the-essentials facility with cardio and weight training and no group fitness classes—but certain locations include access to bonuses like massage chairs and tanning facilities. The all-location plan also includes unlimited guest passes.
Where you can go: There's a bunch of locations throughout the five boroughs, with several more slated to open soon—check the site for pre-grand opening deals.
The West Village gym; Photo: Driely S. for Racked
What you'll pay monthly: Between $163 and $225 for access to a single gym, or $225 for access to most locations across the country.
What you'll pay up front: Around $500 to $550 for single-gym access, or $770 for multiple gyms.
Breaking it down: The above cost includes the prorated amount for January, the full month of February, and an initiation fee: $200 for single-gym, $400 for multiple.
Any extra costs? None that are stated on their website.
What you get: These state-of-the-art, sleek gyms are known for its posh details, like Kiehl's products in the bathroom and luxe facilities for its many group classes.
Where you can go: There's more than 20 locations in Manhattan, reaching from the Upper East and Upper West Sides all the way down to the forthcoming Brookfield Place.
*Numbers do not reflect locations like The Printing House and Sports Club New York, which are also excluded from the all-access membership.
The Fidi gym; Photo: Blink Fitness/Facebook
↑ Blink Fitness
What you'll pay monthly: $15 to $25 depending on location and access plan, plus negligible tax.
What you'll pay up front: Between $31 and $48.
Breaking it down: Right now, Blink is waiving their start-up fees of $49—$99 (that number depends on whether you're choosing a plan with access to one gym, all gyms, or all but the "premium" locations—Noho, Bryant Park, Chelsea, Penn Plaza, Fidi, and Murray Hill). You'll pay for the rest of January ($10-$16), the full month of February, and tax.
Any extra costs? There's a yearly "maintenance fee" charged in the beginning of September for $29 or $39.
What you get here: A clean, well-maintained facility with up-to-date equipment...and not much else—there's no classes here. You need to bring your own lock and water bottle, and anything you'll need if you want to shower there (including towels and a hair dryer). All memberships come with a complimentary 30-minute training session, and certain ones include unlimited guest privileges—meaning you can bring your roommate as often as you'd like.
Where you can go: Nearly two dozen locations across Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx.
What you'll pay monthly: Between $88 and $105 depending on your home gym location, your level of multi-gym access, and if you're paying month-to-month with an annual contract or not.
What you'll pay up front: Between about $315 and $335.
Breaking it down: Along with the prorated amount for January—$67.74 at the Tribeca location, for example—and next month's payment in full, the up-front costs includes a $130 initiation fee (that's half of what it normally costs, through January 15th) plus a $30 processing fee.
Any extra costs? No other costs were stated on the gym's website.
What you get: Aside from your usual gym machines and facilities, Crunch is known for its innovative classes across all fitness disciplines, including cycling. Select gyms also have live DJ hours, boxing rings, steam rooms, juice bars, and climbing walls. Plus, locker rooms are stocked with Bliss products. Members also have full access to its online video library at Crunch Live.
Where you can go: There's currently 11 full-service gyms in Manhattan and two in Brooklyn.
*Select Crunch locations in the Bronx and Brooklyn are "essential"—kind of like their version of Blink or Planet Fitness—with monthly memberships rates starting at $10; check their site for details.
Photo: 24 Hour Fitness - East 53rd and Lex Ultra, NY/Facebook
↑ 24 Hour Fitness Ultra Sport*
What you'll pay monthly: Between $79.99 and $94.99.
What you'll pay up front: $227.11 for a one-gym membership, or between $238 and $250 for access to multiple locations.
Breaking it down: Your up-front costs include an initiation fee of $50—$60 (applying a $50 discount that's going through Wednesday), your first and last month's monthly fee, and a prorated amount for the second half of January.
Any extra costs? There's a one-time maintenance fee of $30—if you get your membership this month, that'll be billed to you on August 8th.
What you get: These "Ultra Sport" gyms, so named for their locations, include group exercise classes (including cycling), towel service, and steam rooms alongside the standard cardio and weight equipment—the Midtown East location also has an indoor lap pool.
Where you can go: Ultra Sport locations are in Soho, Midtown East, and Midtown South.
*Check the site for other gym classifications around the Bronx and Brooklyn, which have lower monthly fees.
↑ New York Health & Racquet Club
What you'll pay monthly: Between $105 and $125, according to the club's director of public relations.
What you'll pay up front: Between $105 and $125.
Breaking it down: Right now, the club's initiation fee is waived, and it typically doesn't include any other processing fees for signing up. Because the club bills from the day you join rather than at the beginning or end of each month, there's no prorated fee to pay up front, either.
Any extra costs? None that were mentioned by the club.
What you get: Along with a complimentary hour-long training session and 20-minute nutrition consultation for all new members, there's plenty of group fitness classes like yoga and cycling, and all but the Cooper Square location has a lap pool. Other amenities include saunas and C.O. Bigelow products in the bathroom, and certain gyms have sport courts for squash, basketball, and (of course) racquetball.
Where you can go: There's nine Manhattan locations between the Upper East Side and the Financial District.
· Feel the Burn [Racked NY]
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