I was filming work out videos in multiple locations, and I got a lot of asks about how can I work out in different gyms. Yes, I did them all for free. I was running around the city to get the free-trials, and it has been really fun.
Working out in New York City can be expensive, with a boutique class like Soulcycle or Rumble boxing around $30. New York isn’t cheap, so you must come up with life hacks to take advantage of the city. Read on to find out how to work out for free in New York City!
I haven’t heard of the place until I did my free-trial research. And when I went to the gym, it’s a surprise because the place is spotless and chic. The equipment is also great as in quantity as well as quality. There are two locations of TMPL, one in Hell’s Kitchen and the other is in West Village. The latter just opened up six months ago, so it’s not very crowded. The day I went there, I had the whole strength floor to myself. I also took a toning class with five other people. So if you are looking for a small-sized class where the coach pays attention to everyone, this is the place.
When I first came to New York, I stayed at my friend’s place, and I took advantage of his apartment gym. It’s not a huge gym, but they have the necessary equipment like cardio machines, bench, lat pulldown machine, and a whole set of weights. Most of the apartments come with a gym, so if you are not looking for specific equipment, the apartment gym is just enough. If your place doesn’t have one, check with your friends to see if they are kind enough to let you use theirs, most of the time they wouldn’t care if you can take them to workouts and show them the movements.
CorePower Yoga is a yoga studio that offers different types of yoga classes ranging from basic to advanced level. The teachers are very professional and patient in answering any questions you have. They provide a week-long trial which allows you to try out different types of yoga classes. I would recommend taking their Yoga Sculpt class which uses weights during yoga to combine cardio with strength training. The Hot Yoga is also a great idea since it will make you sweat A LOT, so whether for detoxing your body or your mind, it’s worth trying. You need to bring your own yoga mat.
Blink Fitness is a chain gym that has many locations in the city. The membership is already very affordable which is around $25 a month. It offers a one-day pass, and you just need to register online to get access. They have lots of cardio machines as well as weights, but they still could get crowded in the weights area during rush hours. If you want to try it, I suggest you avoid the busiest hours.
Another place where you can get a one-day free pass with a simple sign-up online. It’s a pretty standard place, and people are working on their own routine. So you wouldn’t feel awkward doing your own thing or filming your workout. Somehow the area gives me a more friendly vibe than other places, check it for yourself!
Pro tip: don’t go to the one on Varick Street because there’s a Shake Shack right next to it. Or go to that one to test your determination.
Equinox is the luxurious gym in the city, and it’s worth a try. However, it is very tricky because some locations don’t have free trials. And to earn a trial, you have to meet up with the salesperson first. Yes, it’s a must. You can’t show the email to the front desk and directly walk in there. If you get a trial, make sure you take a class to get the full value because the quality is so worth it. And if you are a member, you get two guest passes which means you can take your friend to work out there. So ask around to see if any of your friends work out there who can offer you a guest pass.
Most people don’t think of YMCA as a public gym but it is, and you can get a guest pass if you register online. They have all the necessary facilities, and there aren’t many people except for a few seniors working with trainers. I like it there a lot, probably because of the calm atmosphere and how polite everybody there is. And they have a pool which is not crowded at all. So give YMCA a try if you feel like taking a dip someday.
Crunch Fitness is a chain fitness club, and it has many locations in the city. If Blink is too crowded for you, then Crunch is a great alternative.
It’s pretty typical with lovely surprises of sleds, boxes for jumps, and even a rock wall in some locations. It now offers a three-day trial, so you can try out different facilities if you don’t feel like doing a whole body workout in one day. I hear their TRX classes are good, so it’s worth a try. It also just needs you to sign up online.
Except for the gyms, New York people also love to get together to work out, which means you can use Eventbrite to track what events are going to be held soon. Whether it’s a yoga session, a boot camp, or cardio boxing, these events usually have a celebrity trainer and supplement sponsors, so it’s worth it. And it’s a great way to meet people who share your lifestyle in this huge city. Just search for “sports,” “fitness,” in the filters and voilà! Make sure you RSVP as quickly as possible because the tickets go fast.
Classpass is an app that gives you access to fitness studios in the city. It now offers a two-week free trial that allows you to take up to 7 classes in 14 days. And you could cancel anytime during the trial. It runs on a credit system which means if you take a class in high credits, you might not have enough points left in the last few days. I used to work for an app called GuavaPass which is similar to Classpass. Apps like these are great to find out which workout is the most suitable for you as well as which studio is the one.
These are the ones that I’ve been to, and there are many studios and gyms that I didn’t get a chance to go to such as CrossFit Solace, CKO Kickboxing. Following this approach, you can find out how to work out for free in any city. Just do your research and take advantage of what fitness has to offer. Good luck!
Later I will write about how to scout gyms such as what to try, what to pay attention to, as well as what questions to ask the salesperson if you want to read. Just leave a comment below to let me know!