Why I am not a gym member (anymore)

When I moved to New York from DC a few years ago, I joined Equinox immediately. I love ritual and I was excited to get life started in my new city. I lived near the gym in the Time Warner Building which also boasts a Whole Foods. I became the picture of yuppy life.

Time Warner Building
My home away from home

The combination of a Lululemon outfit and a post-workout glow are essential for purchasing kale and almond butter. Did I say purchasing? I meant grinding my own.

peanut butter

I quickly drank the Equinox cool aid. I made time for the gym. I loved going. Maybe it was because I was new in town and didn’t have a full social circle, or maybe something just clicked because I was able to really get into the fitness zone.

I went to a bunch of classes each week. I tried all sorts of things. I followed teachers from location to location. I had no problem dragging my gym bag on Metro North each morning and back to the city after (for my reverse commute) and I didn’t mind getting ready for a night out in the locker room. Equinox has great showers with Kiehl’s products, a blow dryer better than my own and towels I don’t have to wash. I got in great shape.

Just me and my gym friends

I had the global membership and I treated the gym as a fun way to explore NYC. I’d take a class at the Greenwich location and then wander around the West Village. I’m pretty good as a wolfpack of one, so it made for nice little impromptu outings. On days when I could work from home, I’d take a class at the Rockefeller Center gym and work from their giant cafeteria.

If you do the math on it, and if you assume like you should I would’ve gotten two Physique classes a week minimum, I was saving $ and getting a more diverse workout, plus access to the non-class facilities. I was Equinox’s biggest PR rep. More than a few of my friends joined after seeing how much I liked it.

Then about a year passed, I moved a few blocks further north and my lifestyle slowly morphed. I got more friends, and started making a better effort to see the ones I already had. I started running more.I got bored of the gym and the often over-crowded classes. I wanted to be outside more. I gradually stopped going and felt less excited to donate $200 each month.

This past summer I did it. I quit the gym. Equinox made it much easier than I had imagined.

I basically told the guy at the front desk that I was running more than I was coming here and he said with convincing sincerity “good luck on your next half marathon” and we parted ways.

Now with gym cash freed up, I went to the occasional Physique and Flybarre class, took a New York Road Runners class (more on this soon!) and I ran up a storm. I did miss the gym from time to time. Sometimes you just want to put on your headphones do 20 minutes of arms and peace out.

When I re-injured my ankle and had to go on a running hiatus my first instinct was “time to join again.” I wasn’t ready to commit to a year-long relationship, and that’s when I started looking for other options.

That’s why last week I joined ClassPass. Have you ever tried it? With ClassPass you pay a monthly fee ($99) and you get unlimited access to a ton of boutique fitness classes all over the city including some of the big names like PureBarre, Barry’s Bootcamp and FlyWheel/Barre. So far I’ve taken some old favorites (FlyWheel) and some lesser known classes (Nalini Method and Moving Strength) which I have mixed feelings on.

ClassPass’s website has a search tool and you can find classes based on time, location or type of class. I am only a week in, but so far I’m liking it, at least for my specific purposes – a stopgap until I can run more.

Does anyone LOVE their gym? Why? Does anyone else do ClassPass? Any classes to recommend?



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