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NYC’s Best Cheap Chain Gyms

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You have all the best intentions to spend every moment of summer '16 out in the sun, from brunches at restaurants with sidewalk seating to picnic days in Prospect Park and long days at New York City beaches. You'd extend it to your workout, too, but when that humidity hits, it's tough to launch yourself into an activity that'll make you sweat even more.

To that end, check out the 11 multi-purpose gyms mapped out below that are stocked with all the equipment you need, including (or, especially) air conditioning, to get in a good sweat session. The selection is limited to budget-friendly options — in some cases, as low as $10 per month — because beach house rentals and festival tickets are expensive enough.

Check out where to go below (they're organized from north to south) to sweat your way to a summer body without sweating over your fitness routine's cost.

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Synergy Fitness Clubs

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A membership at Synergy is typically $100 down and $30 per month, but they are constantly running new member specials, and you can always grab a four-day free pass to check it out for yourself before you commit. Once you're signed up, you’ll get access to group classes and several locations across the city.

Bally Total Fitness

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Usually at many all-purpose gyms, the low price comes with a cost, like sacrificing group classes. At Bally, that cost is a two-year commitment to pay $29 a month (and an initial $99 fee), but just think of all the classes you can take in two years.

Retro Fitness

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Retro Fitness focuses on high-energy workouts and entertains gym-goers with a "cardio movie theater" and group fitness workouts — the latter of which you can't always find at budget gyms. The initiation fee is high-ish ($125), but then it’s just $25 per month after that. Added bonus: Visit the smoothie bar after a workout to indulge in a customized drink that aligns with your fitness goals. There are a dozen NYC locations to choose from, including the Financial District, Park Slope, and Williamsburg.
Photo: Retro Fitness

Life Health & Fitness

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Queens residents don’t have to commute to Manhattan to work out on the cheap. This gym goes for $50 per month with a one-year commitment, or the equivalent of $41 per month if you pay for the year up front. There's also discounted rates for students, teachers, and transit employees.

New York Sports Club

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There are so many NYSC locations across the city that one is bound to be a convenient commute from your home or office. At select locations, you can get locked into a monthly rate of $20 (warning: initiation fees are a little high), and most boast a full roster of classes.
Photo: via

Lucille Roberts

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Get access to all of Lucille Roberts’ gyms and classes with a $30 membership that you can cancel at any time — though hopefully this is one commitment you won’t avoid. Other city locations include Grand Central and Astoria.

Blink Fitness

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A no-frills Equinox offshoot, Blink has tons of new equipment and lots of HD TVs available to members for a lot less. Prices vary depending on which location is your primary gym and whether you want access to all clubs, but you won’t pay more than $39 down and $25 a month.
Photo: Blink Fitness

Ludlow Fitness

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Rates work out to $39 per month if you pay for a whole year up front to experience this private gym atmosphere minus the hefty price tag. If you don’t want to plunk down all your cash at once, pay $99 up front and $49 per month afterwards.

Planet Fitness

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New York City has more than 20 Planet Fitness locations throughout the five boroughs, so a $10 monthly membership gets you access to a lot of purple-tinged fitness equipment. If you upgrade to the $20-per-month membership, the gym will throw in perks like unlimited guest privileges and nationwide access.

Harbor Fitness

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This Brooklyn chain rings in at no more than $26 per month (plus the $35 annual fee) and gives customers access to its 24-hour gyms, amenities, and complimentary child care.

Crunch Essentials

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This is one of several of the gym's "Essentials" locations, which means that you get all the workout equipment you need in clean environment for just ten bucks a month (its regular gyms can get up to $100). Other locations include Crown Heights, Greenpoint, Richmond Hill in Queens, and two in the Bronx.
Photo: Crunch

Synergy Fitness Clubs

A membership at Synergy is typically $100 down and $30 per month, but they are constantly running new member specials, and you can always grab a four-day free pass to check it out for yourself before you commit. Once you're signed up, you’ll get access to group classes and several locations across the city.

Bally Total Fitness

Usually at many all-purpose gyms, the low price comes with a cost, like sacrificing group classes. At Bally, that cost is a two-year commitment to pay $29 a month (and an initial $99 fee), but just think of all the classes you can take in two years.

Retro Fitness

Retro Fitness focuses on high-energy workouts and entertains gym-goers with a "cardio movie theater" and group fitness workouts — the latter of which you can't always find at budget gyms. The initiation fee is high-ish ($125), but then it’s just $25 per month after that. Added bonus: Visit the smoothie bar after a workout to indulge in a customized drink that aligns with your fitness goals. There are a dozen NYC locations to choose from, including the Financial District, Park Slope, and Williamsburg.
Photo: Retro Fitness

Life Health & Fitness

Queens residents don’t have to commute to Manhattan to work out on the cheap. This gym goes for $50 per month with a one-year commitment, or the equivalent of $41 per month if you pay for the year up front. There's also discounted rates for students, teachers, and transit employees.

New York Sports Club

There are so many NYSC locations across the city that one is bound to be a convenient commute from your home or office. At select locations, you can get locked into a monthly rate of $20 (warning: initiation fees are a little high), and most boast a full roster of classes.
Photo: via

Lucille Roberts

Get access to all of Lucille Roberts’ gyms and classes with a $30 membership that you can cancel at any time — though hopefully this is one commitment you won’t avoid. Other city locations include Grand Central and Astoria.

Blink Fitness

A no-frills Equinox offshoot, Blink has tons of new equipment and lots of HD TVs available to members for a lot less. Prices vary depending on which location is your primary gym and whether you want access to all clubs, but you won’t pay more than $39 down and $25 a month.
Photo: Blink Fitness

Ludlow Fitness

Rates work out to $39 per month if you pay for a whole year up front to experience this private gym atmosphere minus the hefty price tag. If you don’t want to plunk down all your cash at once, pay $99 up front and $49 per month afterwards.

Planet Fitness

New York City has more than 20 Planet Fitness locations throughout the five boroughs, so a $10 monthly membership gets you access to a lot of purple-tinged fitness equipment. If you upgrade to the $20-per-month membership, the gym will throw in perks like unlimited guest privileges and nationwide access.

Harbor Fitness

This Brooklyn chain rings in at no more than $26 per month (plus the $35 annual fee) and gives customers access to its 24-hour gyms, amenities, and complimentary child care.

Crunch Essentials

This is one of several of the gym's "Essentials" locations, which means that you get all the workout equipment you need in clean environment for just ten bucks a month (its regular gyms can get up to $100). Other locations include Crown Heights, Greenpoint, Richmond Hill in Queens, and two in the Bronx.
Photo: Crunch