Bad news: There’s already a long waiting list for pool-deck memberships at Life Time Fitness‘ first New York City gym, which officially opens this week.
But the crazy huge, luxe facility, located at Sky (a high-end apartment building in Hell’s Kitchen) is one-of-a-kind in many other ways, and even if you can’t claim a lounger for the summer, you may find yourself wanting to move in (especially since it’s located west of Eleventh Avenue, so it’s a serious hike to get there).
No surprise, considering that Life Time, a national chain based in Minneapolis, is known for wellness destinations that have more in common with health-focused malls than typical gyms. It lives up to that reputation even in Manhattan, where space is not easy to come by. (And that space comes at a premium—membership starts at $179 a month.)
We stopped by for a tour just before it opened its doors, to bring you this sneak peek. Here are the four things you need to know about this super-unique, ultra-luxe gym.
1. A functional training-focused gym floor
The 15,000-square-foot fitness floor is stocked with top-of-the-line Technogym machines and Woodway treadmills, but the thing that really sets it apart from other gyms is the real estate dedicated to functional training. “We believe that functional training in itself is a lot more beneficial,” says personal training manager David Juhn. “We want people to move in a way that’s more dynamic.”
So, expect an entire section stocked with kettlebells, jump ropes, medicine balls, rowers, Bosus, pull-up bars, and a cool rack system that you can attach bands to for body-weight resistance training (Juhn showed me how much you could do with the bands, from lunges and lat pull-downs to dynamic stretches).
2. Group fitness—with views
With about 75 classes per week spread out over three studios, there’s a strong emphasis on group fitness. Think everything from HIIT and kickboxing to barre and dance—plus, the yoga classes are all heated. The cycling studio, however, is the most unique: Instead of darkness, its stadium-style set-up faces floor-to-ceiling glass walls that provide a view of the Hudson River, and there are screens that display heart-rate stats. The Stages Cycling bikes are also very tech-focused and connect to heart-rate monitors and fitness trackers via Bluetooth. “They’re the latest and greatest in terms of ergonomics,” says general manager Ioanna Zacharopoulou. “It flows like a true outdoor ride.”
3. Water, water everywhere
While the aforementioned two outdoor pools may not be accessible, a co-ed Water Club is open to both gym members and spa clients, with a steam room, sauna, hot tub, and 50-degree cold tub for athletic recovery. There’s also an indoor lap pool for swimmers and triathletes in training, with natural light shining in from skylights so you can imagine you’re on the roof deck.
4. Extras, from spa to sports to sustenance
Speaking of spa clients, the spa also includes treatment rooms with custom colored lighting and a “relaxation room” for waiting that gym members can use even if they don’t have appointments. “It’s an escape,” Zacharopoulou explains. Other NYC-unlikely extras: an NBA-sized basketball court that will host both pick-up games and leagues, and a cafe with a healthy menu, plenty of seating, free wifi, and a pool table and fireplace for lounging.
If you’re a fan of fancy fitness, check out these luxe spin studios around the world. And you’ll definitely want to pick up a new pair of leggings—here’s why we’re all about the cropped tight right now.