» Slope Health & Fitness
Park Slope Fitness will only charge you a $50 signup fee—if you sign up for the $1,100 year. (Or, a $149 fee—$100 cheaper than usual!—and $110/mo.) Don’t worry if this sounds too pricey! The deal includes a one-time “fitness assessment” that includes weighing you and stuff, because, you know, you need someone to tell you again that you should probably join a stinking gym. Oh, did we mention you are fat?
808 Union St., Brooklyn, 718-783-4343
» Printing House & Fitness
Although most of the weights are made out of 100 lb. reams of Vellum Bristol White, and the lateral pull down machine is actually a reclaimed, original Gutenberg Press (found, unironically, in the trash outside of Ludlow Fitness) you can still get one hell of a work out—for the body and mind. The New Year special will run you $88 a month for one year (usually $98!), plus a $39 enrollment fee (down from $100!). Just don’t bring a copy of your latest manuscript, that novel about a young film critic at a small culture magazine navigating his way through love, Brooklyn and diabetes, because they might mistake it for a dumbbell.
421 Hudson St., 212-243-7600
» Gold’s Gym
At the Gold’s Gym, all of the machines are actually made of aurum (Au, atomic no. 79) and, as a result, are quite malleable. We assume that the heavier weights are merely plated in 14 karats and not 100% pure, but the toilet seats on the other hand… well, we never imagined that would actually feel better than plastic. Unfortunately, you pay for what you get: the gym costs about $50/mo., but they’ll waive the $125 enrollment fee if you sign up for two months to ring in the New Year. You must also pay with nuggets from a leather satchel. And show up with a dog named White Fang. From Alaska.
85 Livingston St., Brooklyn 718-643-1751; 250 W. 54th St., 212-307-7760
» Body Reserve
We called Body Reserve for the first time last year when we were looking for cadavers on which to test out our new PVC trebuchet, but they refused to help. However, we did find a delightfully neighborhood-y gym that’s running a three-month, $250 New Year’s special with no fees or taxes. (Six months? $399! Optional $65/mo. thereafter.) Just don’t look in the basement. For the love of god, don’t look in the basement.
207 Fifth Ave., Brooklyn, 718-789-7009
» Soma Health Club
Although we tried to figure out why Soma Gym is named after Huxley’s fictional mood-altering drug, we couldn’t remember anything after our visit, had trouble sitting down, and found a small, hand written note on an index card in our pocket stating: Join us. $80/mo.
107 S. 6th St., Brooklyn, 718-387-SOMA (uh, 7662?)
» Absolute Power
Named after the political thriller directed by Clint Eastwood and personally managed by Ed Harris, this gym is definitely the best bang for your buck: for the New Year, there is no contract, and you get a whole year for $463. Gene Hackman told us so. (Oh, and it’s on Grand Street, that strip of asphalt and sidewalk that Matt and Kim sing about all the time.)
750 Grand St., Brooklyn , 718-387-4711
Hey Robert –
Thanks for generating this list. I was surprised that you did not mention the YMCA, especially since there are so many locations in the boroughs. It is a family-friendly place that is also welcoming of all fitness levels. There are a ton of classes and many of the branches have swimming pools.
Also: for the entire month of January, new members wave the membership fee. The Y branches also have different partners – e.g. certain places of employment and health insurance companies – through which members receive nice discounts on their monthly payments. By being a member of the Park Slope Food Coop, I get a 20% discount.