David Barton, the fitness entrepreneur best known for his health clubs that resemble nightclubs, opened what may be New York City’s most high-tech gym on Tuesday, March 23, in Midtown Manhattan. Dubbed “TMPL”, the gym is decked out with state-of-the-art equipment — smart cardio machines, a 25-meter salt water pool, an IMAX-esque virtual reality spin studio, and dramatic lighting in Barton’s signature style.
A TMPL membership includes access to an app that gym-goers can use to craft the perfect workout for their body type. The app allows you to scan barcodes onto the “smart equipment”, which will then create an entire workout based on your metabolic profile.
This is a new gym concept from Barton. It puts a strong focus on metabolic science and medical technology, which brings a more personalised experience for each member.
This isn’t Barton’s first time revolutionising the fitness world. In 1991, he founded DavidBartonGym, a gym empire inspired by nightlife and clubbing. That aesthetic has greatly influenced the personal fitness world as a whole.
TMPL, pronounced “temple”, is his first major endeavour since 2013, when he left DavidBarton Gym because he decided he needed a break after 22 years of running a company.
Business Insider recently stopped by TMPL — here’s what we saw.
TMPL is located on 49th Street in Manhattan and stretches nearly 40,000 square feet. Inside, you'll find over 150 exercise machines.
Dramatic lighting is Barton's signature feature. His goal is to create a fun and exciting gym experience that will make you want to come back again and again. The colourful lighting is paired with loud, intense music, and sometimes DJs will even play a live set.
TMPL is Barton's first gym with a technology-focused design. 'Everything in your life is getting smarter, except gyms,' Barton told Business Insider. 'I think people should expect that when they go to the gym, they use science and technology to create efficiencies to how one gets in shape.'
Inside the gym, you'll find digitally programmed cardio equipment. With a simple scan from your custom profile on the app, the cardio machine is set to a workout that TMPL has customised for each member.
TMPL also has a 2,500-square-foot group exercise studio. Many different styles of classes take place in this room, including dance and mind and body classes.
The IMAX-style virtual reality spin studio tour takes you through intense and colourful courses. You might ride over lava, up an incredibly steep glacier, or through a space age city.
TMPL has a full room dedicated to lower body workouts. While many gyms have small sections for lower body equipment, it's rare to find an entire room dedicated to it. Every day is leg day in this room.
The 25-meter salt water pool is lit with intense blue lighting. Salt water is considered better for the skin than chlorine and is less irritating for the eyes.
While Barton's gyms are known to be a staple in gay culture, he aims to gear his gyms towards any type of person who wants to be more engaged in the fitness world. 'We are not ageist. We are colour blind, and I don't care about your sexual orientation,' Barton told Business Insider. 'We have (members that are) lawyers, accountants, drag queens, and everything in between.'
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