An intense workout can lead to an endorphin rush. Members of Sky Club Fitness & Spa get this rush—along with a rush from elevation—every time they work out near a window. That's because the gym looks out over the New York City skyline.
This epic vista follows them as they step out onto the sky deck to lounge in the sun. On the top floor, windows peek out at the horizon near an Olympic-size saltwater pool. In the lower floors, members work out on rows of cardio machines and free weights—alone, with friends, or under the guidance of a personal trainer. They also forge muscles during group fitness classes that range from cycling to boxing and unpacking heavy boxes. After a tough workout, they gather quietly in the European bath to detox or ease their lactic acid buildup with a massage.
There are six essential ingredients that compose each of Complete Body's fitness programs: strength, cardio, flexibility, meditation, nutrition, and rest. Founder Alex Reznik is the mind behind this philosophy. In 1995, he founded the company believing that, if given the opportunity, most people would seek to better their health. Soon thereafter, he was proven right by both rising membership numbers and favorable media attention, including articles in Time Out New York and the New York Times.
Complete Body has now expanded to three locations. At each club, experts adhere to Mr. Reznik's principles, blending Eastern and Western techniques during classes such as yoga, boot camps, and kickboxing. Complete Body also hosts cross-training classes, which are designed to burn fat, build strength, and improve flexibility by focusing on six elements: strength, cardio, flexibility, meditation, nutrition, and rest. Among the state-of-the-art equipment and fitness technologies that help members reach their fitness goals, independent trainers utilize the facility with their clients. At onsite spas, massage therapists work tense muscles and aestheticians refresh skin with facials. Physical therapists can help to rehabilitate clients following injuries, calling upon various training methods in their arsenal.
The Sports Center at Chelsea Piers is open Monday through Thursday, 5:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.; Friday, 5:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.; and weekends, 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. You can lay out on the sundeck or take a class in the boxing ring. Then take advantage of the six lane, 25-yard swimming pool, the quarter-mile running track, the 10,000 square foot rock climbing wall and the sand volleyball court all indoors. Relax in the steam rooms and sauna. You're not done yet, time to hit each of three basketball and volleyball courts, 20,000 square feet of cardio and strength training equipment and over a hundred group fitness classes per week. Take a water break. Now go take group classes in yoga or pilates. The Sports Center is so large it has it's own seat at the U.N. It's the number one reason why New York apartments are small. When it sits around the house, it sits around the house. It's so fat because, like a righteous martyr, it bears its customers’ fat, so that they may live free of fat's burden.
The family-run Astoria Sports Complex offers batting cages and indoor soccer, and has one of the largest fitness centers around. The facility got its start more than 30 years ago, when owner Steve Poliseno converted an abandoned ice house, purchased at auction, into the gigantic sports complex it is today. The most recent addition to the facility is a gigantic, Olympic-sized swimming pool, where kids can take lessons and prepare to be the Model U.N. delegate from Atlantis.
Sandoony USA takes the concept of the American melting pot seriously; it’s blended the bathhouse traditions of Eastern Europe into a devoted relaxation center that pairs three types of saunas with just as many pools. After a stint sweating out toxins in one of two dry Russian saunas, guests jump into the cold plunge pool to refresh their bodies and shock their pores closed without showing them the phone bill from NASA’s calls to Neptune. The hot, thick air of the Finnish sauna and Turkish steam room warm up chilled bones before the lap pool gets muscles moving again. A final soak amid the massaging jets of the jacuzzi erases any lingering stress. After drying off amid the pool deck’s tables and hanging TVs, an opulent dining room or poolside café awaits with plates such as feta-cheese-and-tomato salads or beef tongue with horseradish.
Brooklyn Sports Club's mission isn't just about getting people fit—it's also about getting them to have a good time. The club emphasizes the communal aspect of working out with plenty of group activities and family-friendly programs for all ages. Children as young as six months can participate in swim classes in the competition-size lap pool, and there are several martial-arts programs for older kids.
Adult members can take advantage of any of BSC's facilities, including a boxing studio and a group fitness studio that hosts everything from Zumba to Hatha yoga. There's plenty of space for solo workouts on the fitness floor, including a 14,000-square-foot section with weights and a 5,000-square-foot area with computerized ellipticals and stair climbers. Here, certified personal trainers teach clients how to lift effectively and properly unwrap a protein bar. To help members further enjoy their time at the gym, there's a massage spa and a sun deck that occasionally hosts live music.