It’s the most wonderful time of the year…for gym owners. Everyone swears that 2013 will be THE year that they will get into kickass shape. Will they? Or will they just be in a rush to get rid of what all of the holiday booze and delicious simple carbs did to their waistlines and give up after a month? Either way, gyms love to capitalize on this get-fit phase that always happens at the start of a new year, which can be very good news for us brokesters who normally can’t afford to invest that much in elliptical machines. Here are some more affordable – or at least, more affordable than usual – options for the new year.
With locations in Park Slope, Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill, Bay Ridge and Shore Parkway, New York Sports Club is pretty accessible. However, it ain’t cheap. Right now you can pay $69.95 a month, plus a joining fee of $69.12, if you promise to stick around for a year. It’s $69.95 a month plus $148 joining fee if you want to do month-to-month. However, the best deal they offer for right now – or to at least kick start your fitness plan – is a thirty day trial for thirty dollars. If you plan on working out every day for January – or if you’re only goal is to get back to your usual weight status quo come February first – then that’s a pretty good deal. NYSC has classes like zumba, spin, yoga, and pilates, and all of the basic machines. Some locations, like Brooklyn Heights, have steam rooms and saunas.
Park Slope 324 9th Street (718) 768 – 0880
Bay Ridge 7118 Third Avenue (718) 921 – 5300
Bay Ridge 86th Street 439 86th Street (718) 680 – 0094
Cobble Hill 96 Boerum Place (718) 643 – 440
Brooklyn Heights 179 Remsen Street 718-246-0600
Then there’s Planet Fitness, the McDonald’s of gyms. Planet Fitness is offering a deal where you can pay $99 for the entire year. Yes, that’s right, $8.25 per month, but you’re bound to stay there for the year, or you’re out your $99. The franchise is also offering a $1-down, $10/month deal for their white card (basic plan) and $1-down, $20/month deal for their black card (unlimited guest passes, cheaper cooler drinks, ten visits to other franchises, tanning booths and their massage chairs that look like enormous purple hands). Both of these franchises are open twenty four hours Monday through Friday, so if you’ve always wanted to work out after a crazy Thursday night, this is your chance (though I don’t advise it). This is a no frills gym with no classes, but the ads promise it to be judgment free, if you can believe it. If you can handle the purple and yellow that adorns the place, and don’t want anything more than some weights and cardio machines, then this is a pretty sweet deal.
245 Livingston Street (718) 650 – 6901
777 Broadway (718) 650 – 6704
Absolute Power in Williamsburg offers two pricing options for year-long commitments. If you put down a 79 dollar down payment, it’s 29 dollars a month – you’re just bound to the contract for a year. They also offer a a $399/year option, which comes out $33.25 a month with no down payment. so it’s a better option provided you can shell out that much at once. And if you’re confident you’ll flee the neighborhood within a few months, you can do $59 a month but that’s what you get for being noncommittal. It’s conveniently located just a few minutes from the Grand Street L stop. Is it super nice? No. But hey, they have smoothies and stuff. And people in Williamsburg need somewhere to work out…
750 Grand Street (718) 387- 4711
But people in Williamsburg have other options! Retro Fitness is only $19.99 a month for the basic membership if you join now. If that sounds to good to be true, it is – you also have to pay the $139 enrollment fee. You can get extras added on, like tanning (an extra $9.99 a month). They also offer my personal favorite workout tool in the world – a free guest pass! It’s pretty simple gym with your basic machines (but hey, they have live cardio theater, so you can watch TV while you work out), but it’s a hell of a lot cheaper than big name gyms. And unfortunately, no, not everyone is wearing retro 80s workout attire, even though that would be AWESOME.
Retro Fitness 203 Berry Street (718) 384 – 5367
Crunch offers a free day! You can get it off their website. Crunch promises to “make fitness fun” – with their classes like Afro-Brazilian dance (with live drummers!), Booty Kickin’ Step (which is I guess a step class for booty kickers), X-Pole dancing and The Hot Seat (chair dancing). Right now they’re also offering 50% off enrollment, but for a month-to-month annual contract in Fort Greene, you still have to pony up $134.99 to join (usually 269.99), $13.22 for this month, a $29.99 processing fee and…$81.99 a month for the rest of the year. That’s a lot, but hey, you’re saving $135 dollars.
691 Fulton Street (718) 797-9463
330 Flatbush Avenue (718) 783-5152
Speaking of free trials, have I mentioned that I LOVE free gym trials? I love working out at in my finest workout attire at places that I can’t afford, pretending to be a the wealthy stay-at-home mom that I am not. It’s like an acting gig! Harbor Fitness (in Park Slope, Bay Ridge, and Mill Basin) offers a free three day trial, where you can use their state-of-the-art facilities and take their classes for three non consecutive days. The gym itself is pricey (unless you consier the $599 a year cheap – they say it’s a deal), and it’s the kind of the gym where in order to work out you’re asked to take a fitness assessment. I’m a go-by-how-my-jeans-feel kind of girl, so even if I had the finances, this probably wouldn’t be my top choice.
191 15th Street (718) 965 – 6200
6161 Strickland Avenue (718) 763 – 9200
9215 4th Ave (718) 238-9400
There’s a reason the Village People didn’t write a song called “N-Y-S-C” or “C-R-U-N-C-H.” The Y is always something to sing about! There are locations all over Brooklyn, each with their own prices. New Years deals? Not really, but cheaper than the average big-name gym? You bet. Cardio machines, tons of classes, sports facilities, and occasionally showers (not at the Armory). Not as cheap as Planet Fitness – or Retro Fitness, even – but it’s one of the better deals out there. And you’re not bound to it for a year contract! Each one does have different monthly fees, so be sure to check out if your neighborhood’s Y is a better deal for you. Granted, at the Y that I go to, I can’t get myself clean (no showers), or have a good meal (other than a granola bar from the vending machine) but can I do whatever I feel? Hell yes, if that’s my 2 PM spin class on Saturdays. Note that between now and February 4th, there’s no fee to join, making the YMCA an even better deal than usual.
Prospect Park ($121 to join, $65 a month) 357 9th Street (718) 768 – 7100
Park Slope Armory ($121 to join, $45 a month) 361 15th Street (212) 912 – 2580
Bed Stuy ($75 to join, $47 a month) 1121 Bedford Avenue (718) 789 – 1497
Greenpoint ($80 to join, $54 a month) 99 Meserole Avenue (718) 389 – 3700
Dodge ($150 to join, $67 a month) 225 Atlantic Avenue (718) 625-3136
Flatbush ($66 to join, $41 a month) 1401 Flatbush Avenue (718) 469 – 8100
North Brooklyn ($85 to join, $43 a month) 570 Jamaica Avenue (718) 277 – 1600
Of course, you don’t have to pay for a gym to get exercise, there are things you can do to get fit that are totally FREE! We live in Brooklyn! Run in Prospect Park, or McCarren Park or McGolrick if you’re in North Brooklyn. Think it’s too cold? Layer up and get those handwarmer things. Or ride your bike. Or lift tomato sauce jars. Or try walking to a subway stop that’s ten blocks further than you’d normally walk. Sure, that could cost you time, but it definitely burns at least some calories.
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This article is wrong about YMCA. They are offering no joiners fee until February and the ads are on quite a few buses….
Do NOT go to New York Sports Club. I went in for a 30 day trial, they spent a half hour and three employees talking me into signing up long term, promising me three free months and the ability to cancel without a cancelation fee at the end of those three months. Not only did they charge me the full price for those promised three “free” months (which they swore they’d refund and never did), but they continued to charge me for three full months AFTER I had canceled my membership. I’m not exaggerating when I say I had to call both the corporate offices and the club every single day and visit the club in person at least six times to try to get my promised refund. They ran me around in circles for FIVE MONTHS like this, hoping I would just let it go. When I finally got a refund, it was only for the three months after I had canceled because I hadn’t used the club, but I still had to suck up the promised “free” months they charged me full price for. They also charge every member a MANDATORY $30 “price lock guarantee” fee at the beginning of every year, so don’t sign up until after the 1st (but really, don’t sign up at all).
I later ran into one of the maintenance girls from the locker room who was always really cool to me, and she told me that the manager who had initially signed me up and lied to me about the free months was fired for stealing. So go figure. Joining a gym is worse than buying a new car. Frankly, I’d rather be out of shape than deal with those people. F’ing crooks.
The number for the Crunch gym on Fulton Street is actually (718) 797-9464. Called the posted number and got a wine shop, eek!