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Photograph: Courtesy Limitless Fitness Studios

The best gyms and health clubs in New York

These NYC gyms and health clubs have all the equipment and perks you need to achieve your fitness goals

Written by
Carolyn Stanley
,
Anny Kim
,
Kevin Aeh
&
Shaye Weaver
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Jumping on the health and fitness train isn’t a fad—it’s a lifestyle! A good place to start is by joining one of these NYC gyms. We understand finding the perfect fitness center that won't cost you an arm and a leg can feel like a huge feat. We prefer you save your precious energy for the gym, so we’ve sweated through the city’s most budget-friendly health clubs across all five boroughs to ease your search. Here’s our master list of our favorite places to get our blood pumping which offer memberships among other perks like new fitness classes (and some non-traditional, weird fitness classes, too). Dive in and then go treat yourself to the best bagels in the city. You earned it.

Tip: Don't leave your proof of vaccination at home. You'll need it at all gyms in NYC.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to fitness in NYC

Best gyms in NYC

  • Things to do
  • City Life

VITAL Brooklyn has launched a 24-hour bouldering gym inside a former warehouse in Williamsburg, bringing 45,000 square feet of tread walls, tension, kilter and campus climbing, hang boards, slacklines, and even other fitness equipment, from cardio machines and aerial silks to a yoga studio and more. VITAL has made its rooftop weatherized and turfed so members can climb on it year-round, relax in a rooftop sauna (opening when state regulations allow it) and even grab a bite to eat from its café by Jason Baron, the co-owner of Lower East Side restaurant Bonnie Vee.

 

  • Sports and fitness
  • The Bronx
  • price 2 of 4

Sick of counting down the minutes for someone to get off the treadmill? That won’t be an issue at the Blink Fitness empire’s vast Bronx outpost, which boasts three floors of cardio equipment as well as strength machines, free weights, medicine balls and everything else that could suit your iron-pumping fancy. While Blink does not offer classes, its dirt-cheap monthly fee can’t be beat: It amounts to about half of what you’d pay for a single boutique-fitness session in lower Manhattan.

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  • Sports and fitness
  • The Bronx
  • price 2 of 4

The Bronx branch of this national chain, across from Fordham University, keeps in line with the qualities the gym's known for: clean, friendly, convenient. Along with a well-maintained selection of free weights and machines, the spot has a child-care center and group fitness classes that range from cycling and Bodycombat (a martial-arts–inspired cardio workout) to Zumba and hip-hop.

  • Sports and fitness
  • Cycling
  • Chelsea

This indoor-cycling center live-streams all its classes from a basement control center to at-home riders who purchase a Peloton bike, which features a near-silent belt drive in place of a chain, resulting in a much smoother ride. If plunking down $1,995 for your own equipment sounds too expensive (is it just us?), drop by the gorgeous mirrored studio, whose 60 bikes are comfortably spaced out across the stadium-style floor. Afterward, stick around to luxuriate in the spa-like locker rooms—featuring decorative orchids, disposable flip-flops, organic skin-care and hair-care products from EO—and enjoy a complimentary cup of Jack's Stir Brew and organic fruit in the spacious lounge before checking out the ample retail offerings for your next ride. 

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  • Sports and fitness
  • Bedford-Stuyvesant

Women of color-owned Spiked Spin is a high-intensity spin workout that gets your pulse high and your stress levels low with fun classes set to hip-hop. The space was created with women of color in mind while still attracting a diverse crowd of New Yorkers looking for an inclusive place to get their sweat on.

  • Things to do
  • City Life

A new fitness center in Manhattan is taking rock climbing to new heights. The Cliffs at Harlem had its grand opening celebration this weekend at 256 W 125th St, just across from the Apollo Theater in Harlem, and is now open for those wishing to pay a visit to upper upper Manhattan. The 15,000-square-foot space is now Manhattan’s largest rock climbing facility and features hundreds of climbs (refreshed weekly and state-of-the-art climbing training equipment. Among its offerings are campus boards, a tension board, and LED MoonBoard for customized training programs, cardio and strength training programs, yoga classes and a gear shop for indoor and outdoor climbing needs. If you’re new to rock climbing, you can also head to the gym for some hands-on training. The Cliffs offer a range of classes and clinics led by industry experts for all experience levels. There are also opportunities to climb on real rock outside with The Cliffs Outdoors. A “Learn to Boulder” package is available to new climbers, which includes unlimited access to the facility, two intro classes and rental gear for one month all for $49.

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  • Sports and fitness
  • Upper West Side
  • price 2 of 4

In-the-know fitnessphiles who envy ballerina bodies have long been eschewing barre classes and heading instead to Refine Method, founded by former New York City Ballet dancer Brynn Jinnett. After debuting on the Upper East Side, Refine opened its second location on the other side of the park in 2012. Refine is perfect for West Siders who want their fix of intervals and circuits, many of which make use of Refine's unique pulley system, designed to target every muscle group three-dimensionally, between cardio bursts on the rubber floor that may leave you gasping for air. In addition to correcting your form, the deadly serious but super friendly instructors, who will remember your name by your second session, won't let you slack as they carefully work with your fitness level, no matter how long you've been working out. 

Central Rock Gym
  • Things to do
  • Midtown West

Take your workout to new heights at this brand-new, premier climbing gym at Columbus Circle. The open, community-focused space offers giant steep overhangs, delicate slab climbs and climbing-specific training stations with hang boards to help you prepare for your next hike. In addition, the facility includes 40-foot rope stations.

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  • Sports and fitness
  • West Village
  • price 3 of 4

There are gyms, and then there’s Equinox Printing House in the West Village. Here, you’ll find the typical amenities—personal trainers, cardio and strength equipment, and a full schedule of boot-camp, yoga, cycling and other classes—but members get extra motivated to conquer their resolutions due to the gorgeous rooftop pool, riverside views, sundeck and the luxe locker rooms with all the Kiehl’s skin-care products you'd never splurge on for yourself.

  • Sports and fitness
  • Yoga & Pilates
  • Bay Ridge
  • price 2 of 4

This outer-Brooklyn gym (in existence since 1991) offers holistic health counseling and nutrition help along with the usual health-club features like free weights and group classes. The Bay Ridge flagship is super-spacious (20,000 square feet), which is a refreshing plus when you compare it to all those crowded gyms in Manhattan. If you’re looking to get out of your ho-hum treadmill routine, Harbor offers group fitness classes that run the gamut from Pilates and HIIT to cycling and barre, which are all included in the membership price (rates vary).

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  • Sports and fitness
  • Tribeca
  • price 2 of 4

After making a name for itself on the Upper East Side and the Hamptons, Exceed Physical Culture debuted its new downtown outpost in June 2014 with even more opportunities to squeeze in its signature 50-minute workout. The classes, which vary in every session, all incorporate strength and cardio intervals with everything from rowing and TRX to jump ropes and med balls. Eagle-eyed instructors give super personalized attention and emphasize quality over quantity of reps performed, but if you want to make use of the spacious facilities with your own coach, head downstairs to the personal-training area that's filled with all your favorite fitness toys. Best of all, the locker rooms are just as clean but way more spacious than its UES studio and provide everything you could need to get spruced up before rushing off to work or cocktails with friends.

  • Sports and fitness
  • East Village
  • price 2 of 4

With locations scattered across three boroughs (and several other cities), the colorful logo and block letters of this gym are a common site in NYC. With a bright pallette and plenty of equipment, Crunch's locations seem designed to be pleasing both for the body and the mind. Fun features like live DJs on certain nights liven up the experience, as well.

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  • Sports and fitness
  • Upper West Side
  • price 3 of 4

Fell in love with rowing in a circuit-training class but want more than a handful of 45-second intervals? Check out Row House, the spacious West Side facility that opened in March 2014 (with its adjacent sister studio, EVF Performance, that specializes in CrossFit). The low-impact classes—scaled for everyone from beginner to advanced levels—mix rowing sprints on a Concept 2 Indoor Rower with body-weight exercises in options like full body, core and endurance.

  • Sports and fitness
  • Chelsea
  • price 2 of 4

Chelsea Piers Fitness is considered the mack daddy of workout meccas, where even exercise-phobes can find activities that will encourage them to get their heart pumping. Just this past June, the West Side staple made the jump to Brooklyn, opening a spiffy, 52,000-square-foot spot that features state-of-the-art training programs, a 75-foot-long pool, hot and regular yoga, Pilates, indoor cycling, and a 3,000-square-foot turf area, as well as steam and sauna rooms when it's time to unwind

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