These aren’t your grandfather’s gyms, unless he’s the type to shell out $20,000 a year for unlimited personal training or a $10,000 initiation fee just to walk in the front door of a gym.Gone are the days of airless, abandoned warehouses with rickety barbells, peeling iron weights, and that potent concoction of mildew and body odor wafting through the pre-war rafters.
Some of these gyms are extraordinary in size, but common among all are hefty price tags and unheard of luxury.
Did we miss a gym? Let us know in the comments.
Price: $4,300 per year
The Sports Club / LA has expanded rapidly this past decade. Today, its upscale fitness centres are in San Francisco, Miami, New York City, Washington D.C., and Boston.
The DC metro location is 100,000 square feet large and it needs every inch to house The Sports Club's 100+ classes per week and its basketball and squash courts. The gym also features an outdoor roof deck and offers partnerships with local eateries.
Price: Approximately $7,500 per year for fitness and tennis access
Tucked into a woodsy, tony suburb west of Boston, Bosse Sports is an expansive fitness club with a not-so-quaint price tag. Golf and tennis enthusiasts know that Bosse is their gym, though.
The club was founded by tennis pro D.J. Bosse and comes equipped with 9 tennis courts (indoor and out) and a 25,000 square foot indoor golf learning centre. For those not working on their swings, Bosse also houses an impressive aquatics centre and a two-story rock climbing wall.
Price: $5,000 per year, personal training $150 per hour
Wall Street's movers and shakers head to Setai before and after work to do much more than just move and shake. Instead, Setai treats them with access to their Aquagrotto -- a thermal heat lounge featuring mineral pool Jacuzzi, aromatherapy steam room and Finish sauna -- and their Setai Wellness Studio with yoga and pilates taught by top New York instructors.
For networkers, Setai includes a private cocktail lounge and complimentary breakfast at Michelin star restaurant SHO Shaun Hergatt. Members also enjoy discounts at Thomas Pink, Tiffany's & Co. and Saks Fifth Avenue.
Price: 45-day Peak 90 is $8,350 for men and $8,020 for women
Peak has become the gym du jour for New York's well-heeled, fitness-crazed high rollers. Instead of emphasising massage oils and perfectly heated pools, Peak is all about performance and their kick-your-arse fitness model gets results.
Peak 90, their famous 90-day program, is designed by founder Joe Dowdell and nutritionist Dr. Mike Roussell. Clients receive the full gamut of high-tech health assessments and nutritional expertise, but they come to Peak for its old-school, gritty approach to fitness. Peak's sun-drenched loft above Manhattan includes sleds, Kettlebells, and Woodway force treadmills.
Price: Approximately $8,000 per year, according to Forbes
This gym-cum-architectural museum-cum-medical facility is expanding rapidly in New York City. Currently, Palestra features seven locations, each of which comes with a unique blend of cutting-edge fitness and aesthetic beauty. It's not uncommon to gawk at Palestra -- whether it's at the Palestra centre of Preventative Medicine's engraved marble, or the Rushmore facility's 50-foot-deep indoor pool, which, in case your muscles are feeling a bit sore after your plunge, also includes an on-site massage and treatment facility.
The real lure of Palestra, however, is its all-encompassing medical approach. The centre for Preventative Medicine houses an internist, a nutritionist, a physical therapist, and a psychologist. The bottom line at Palestra is that guests are going to be taken care of from start to finish.
Price: $15,000 initiation fee and $135 per month
You'd be hard-pressed to find a health club with a between view better than Zenergy's. Between its picturesque mountain surroundings and its expansive fitness centre, Zenergy's Idaho facility is a site for sore eyes and sore knees.
Zenergy boasts extensive yoga and pilates, but its most impressive feature may be its indoor and outdoor heated saltwater pools. You don't find those in just any health club, and rest assured that if you and your significant other have a family membership and wind up getting divorced, Zenergy will allow you to keep using their facilities under separate memberships. How's that for sound mind and body?
Price: $25,000 per year for unlimited personal training, including $125 per month and a $250 initiation fee
Wellness guru David Kirsch could care less about how many TVs or square feet a health club boasts. At his Madison Square Club, Kirsch places the emphasis on the client and their fitness before any other concerns. So instead of industrial lights and state-of-the-art rubber ab mats, Kirsch relies on oriental rugs and soft lighting at his New York exercise studio.
Sure, Madison Square boasts a membership of around 600 individuals, but Kirsch is adamant that no more than six clients can be exercising at one time. If guests choose the training program, they'll be guided by expert staff at every step of the way, nutritionally and physically. It's not hard to see why Ellen Barkin, Liv Tyler, and Heidi Klum have enlisted this celebrity trainer's services in the past.
Price: $19-21,000 per year with unlimited personal training session
Equinox, expanding on its luxury fitness brand, founded E in 2004. The exercise innovation features a team training model with personal fitness coaches and advanced health assessments.
Exercise science experts monitor metabolic rates, body compositions, and movement analyses. If you're out of town, trainers work with cohorts in other cities to keep you on track. Back in New York, expect well-laundered workout clothing and a private cabana to recline in once you're finished.
Price: $24,000 Initiation Fee + $300 per month
The Houstonian Club boasts on their website that guests can become members for as low as $2.61 a day, but don't let this figure fool you. The asterisk-laden figure only considers one package and doesn't factor in the whopping initiation fee.
If you do end up laying out for the upfront fee, expect opulence from start to finish at this 125,000 square foot facility reminiscent of elegant, old-world Houston. Nothing about the Houstonian's amenities can be considered antiquated, however. The sprawling club features three pools, a boxing ring, and eight tennis courts. It doesn't hurt that they also provide terrycloth bathrobes.
Price: $30,000 per year in the Premier Executive Training Program
$30,000 is the amount a basic machine operator makes every year, according to Salary.com. It's also the amount top executives on the West Coast are handing over to take part in Athletes' Performance elite training program.
But it wasn't always financial bigwigs cutting their teeth at AP. The 31,000 square-foot-facility started out as a home for professional and elite athletes before blossoming into the fitness superpower it is today. AP's expert staff has trained stars from across the sporting spectrum, including Kevin Love, Mario Williams, and Evan Longoria.
Its facilities also boast some impressive services. Athletes and travelling executives looking to keep up with their fitness can take advantage of an 80-yard football, a 60-meter track, and an underwater treadmill. Then, to heal, AP offers both hot and cold pools, as well as extensive on-site physical therapy services.
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