Work It! All-Day Pass for New York's Best Gyms

Learn how to keep fit like a New Yorker.

New Yorkers are serious about keeping fit. Want to know how they do it? Join a class or spend the day at a one-of-a-kind New York gym and muscle up like a native son or daughter.

Many national gyms and health clubs have locations in the Big Apple, including Equinox, Crunch, Planet Fitness, 24 Hour Fitness and David Barton Gym. So, if you are a member of one of these at home, your membership may entitle you to work out at a branch here, where there is always some detail that shouts, “You are not in Kansas anymore!” For example, David Barton Gym’s facility in Manhattan’s Chelsea nabe (656 Sixth Ave., 212.414.2022) is in a 19th-century Episcopal church with stained-glass windows that, when deconsecrated, became the famous (some would say infamous) Limelight disco in the 1980s and 1990s. Tip: If working out for you is a religion, this is the place in which to worship—and rock on. 

Exceed Expectations

Time is of the essence in NYC, so a full-body workout in 50 minutes, combining cardio and strength training, seems almost too good to be true. But that’s the promise—and signature offering—at Exceed Physical Culture (Upper East Side: 1477 Third Ave., 212.481.5300; TriBeCa: 97 Reade St., 212.406.3600). A small-group class costs $32. Go online for schedules; booking can be made online, by phone or in person. Tip: The TriBeCa venue is newer, larger and generally less crowded.

Standard Bearer

In 1973, New York Health & Racquet Club pioneered the upscale urban gym. Lovingly referred to at the time as the Wealth & Racquet Club, NYHRC now has nine locations, uptown and down. Tip: Many hotels are affiliated with NYHRC; if so, a day pass costs $35 instead of $50. Ask your concierge.

Bang for the Buck

A $60 Multi-Sport Passport goes a long way at Chelsea Piers (Hudson River Park, at W. 23rd St., 212.336.6666). Included is access to the 28-acre campus’ indoor swimming pool, basketball courts, indoor track, weight room, cardio machines, fitness classes, enclosed golf driving range and indoor ice-skating rinks. Tip: Add on a post-exercise massage at the on-site spa.

Francis Lewis
About the author

Francis serves as the New York executive editor for Where. G...