Where to Get Fit in the City: Best (and Cheapest) Gyms in NYC

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Some city gyms have all the bells and whistles, while others take the no-frills approach. Then there's the whole continuum in between. You can find just about anything you can dream up in NYC, but ultimately what you want from a workout is a personal choice. Furthermore, what may seem thrilling at signup, can quickly devolve into more of a burden than a blessing when you just want a quick lunch hour workout. Below is a variety of hot NYC gyms from the over-the-top extravagant to the stripped-down, bare bones, in-and-out experience, all for a reasonably good deal for what they offer. (by Alissa Fleck) 1. Ludlow Fitness ($49/mo, LES) One major perk to Ludlow is it's open 24/7 on weekdays, which cannot be said for many City gyms. The size is small, but the crowd (generally young) moves quickly, and a recent expansion makes for more open space. There's lots of equipment, clean amenities and a variety of classes, which gym-goers describe as "intense," but in a good way. Staff is reportedly very friendly and helpful. One major bonus according to a Ludlow reviewer: "non-pretenious yoga classes." 2. Yoga Vida ($110/mo/unlimited yoga, Union Square) We thought we should include an alternative type of gym on here, particularly because Yoga Vida is such a popular choice among local yogis. Yoga Vida continuously has great deals on classes for people looking for all sorts of yoga-related experiences. Deals on unlimited yoga are always changing, and Yoga Vida offers great startup packages for people just looking to get their toes wet first. A variety of classes target every skill level in a beautiful, relaxing setting. 3. The Sports Center at Chelsea Piers ($160/mo, Chelsea) Okay so this massive gym is on the expensive end, but we couldn't pass it up with all the stellar reviews it's garnered (it seems to have something of a cult following). The Sports Center is definitely for the "sportier types," as it has just about everything you could possibly imagine in a gym. There are tons of classes, a boxing ring, an eight-lane swimming pool, a climbing wall, a food and juice lounge, a sundeck, etc. Most classes do not cost extra and the weight room reportedly does not get overly crowded. Sports Center members also report the "beautiful" gym is regularly kept very clean, and there are tons of complimentary amenities. "The only problem with Chelsea Piers is that it will ruin every other gym for you," writes one reviewer on Yelp. 4. Blink ($20/mo, NoHo) Blink is the ideal gym for the less hardcore crowd. Owned by Equinox, it's the less roomy, cheaper offshoot, with fewer extravagances, but which gets the job done nonetheless. The amount of cardio equipment is reasonable for a large crowd, but weight availability may be more limited, particularly during peak workout hours. Locker rooms are small and do not offer the amenities available at larger, pricier gyms. Unfortunately it sounds like Blink's offer is almost too good to be true, as members report it's only getting more and more crowded (with possible new locations to open soon, unless that's wishful thinking). 5.Mid-City Gym ($20/mo, 42nd St., 49th St.) Mid-City Gym does not boast the amenities of many other gyms-there is no TV for instance-but customers report for price and location, the gym is a deal. It's never too crowded, say gym-goers, and the facilities are clean. Weights, free and not, are plentiful. "No-frills whatsoever," but everything you'd need in a gym, describe users. It's also welcoming to everyone on the workout spectrum.

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