Is An Equinox Membership Worth Your Hard-Earned Cash?

In New York City, Equinox is typically known as the gym you go to if you're rich, ripped or runway-worthy. While I am none of those things, I did enjoy my few days as a member. You can read my reviews of the 5 classes I checked out here:

Ropes & Rowers

People pay big bucks for memberships at Equinox. Like, $200+ a month. That may sound cray cray to you, but there were quite a few times that I started to seriously consider whether or not it was worth it.

Is An Equinox Membership Worth It?

Reasons Equinox Is Worth The Hype


There are a huge variety of classes to choose from as an Equinox member. Many of these classes aren't cookie-cutter yoga and Zumba that you find at some other gyms. Equinox is pushing the envelope and offering cutting-edge classes that use new technology and the latest trends in fitness.

The Ropes & Rowers class was an awesome experience - one that people pay lots of money to take at boutique fitness studios like Row House and City Row where classes cost upwards of $30. 

A class like PURSUIT Spin uses new technology to create a unique experience that you won't find in just any spin class.


All of the machines in Equinox are so shiny and new looking! And the fact that they casually roll in water-rowers and battling ropes for a 45 minute class blows my mind. 

There are not just a huge variety of foam rollers, but STICKS for your recovery sessions.

Sadly, I never got around to doing my own weight session at Equinox - I only took classes - but from what I saw, there are a LOT of options and no one area was ever over-run with people. Which brings me to - 


Equinox gyms, at least the 3 locations that I saw, are pretty massive. So much room for activities! There's a main studio, a yoga studio, a spin studio and a room with Megaformers (torture device)!  


Aside from spin classes and the treadmill-based group fitness class - there are no sign-ups required for Equinox classes. Is this easy? YES. Does it mean some classes can get pretty packed? Yes, it means that as well. But there is no dealing with cancelling, paying cancellation fees, signing up the second the class opens up online, etc. that is required at a lot of other gyms. 

*For me, I like the accountability of signing up and knowing I'm going to get charged if I don't show up. BUT, it's frustrating when something comes up last minute and it's not my laziness that's preventing me from getting to the gym. 


When I start my day with a shower at NYSC, I don't feel exceptionally clean. 

After 5 days of showers at Equinox - I felt like I had been showering in a spa. Those Kiehl's products, the spaciousness of the showers - there's something to be said for ending a workout with a luxurious feeling shower instead of "how quick can I make this, some woman's hair is caked to the side of this shower and it's way too close for comfort." 


Most Equinox locations have a cafe or juice bar attached to them. If you can afford the $200 membership, it probably means you can also afford the $10 green juice post-workout. 

Why I'm Not Going To Give Equinox All My Money

At the end of the day, Equinox does offer an elevated gym experience. There's no denying it.

But a gym,when all is said and done, is a place for you to go to move, sweat and lift heavy things. And a gym with a $50 membership still lets you do all of those things. 

The gym is what you make it. Your workout is what you make it. And with the money you save on a cheaper gym, you can spend a day at a spa, luxuriating in marble showers. You can take a few boutique classes at a place like SWERVE or The P.E. Club. You can afford that mid-week or post-hangover green juice even though it's insanely overpriced. 

And you can still get in a great workout. You can still find kick-ass classes with top-notch instructors. You can be creative with the available equipment. 

And you can have some extra cash moneyz for things like margaritas and ice cream cones because 


Then again - you could say, "I go to the gym every day and therefore I'm willing to pay top dollar for the best of the best." 

You could also say, "I have a body and the great outdoors - I don't need to no stinkin' gym!" 

Or, you could say, "Give me SOULCycle or give me death! I just want a membership at my favorite boutique studio." 

I'm not here to tell you what to do. But for me, a moderately priced gym as a place to take classes and do my strength training is what I require - the rest of the time  you'll find me pounding the pavement, riding my bike (ugh) or treating myself to the occasional boutique fitness class. 

And if I magically get a large raise or win the lottery despite not buying lotto tickets - maybe you'll find me at Equinox. 

For now, I'll be at NYSC avoiding the hairy showers.  It was fun, Equinox. 






My Week At Equinox: Athletica

I'm taking you along for the ride on my 7 days as an Equinox member. Check out my other posts: 

Ropes & Rowers
PURSUIT Cycling + A Swim

Day 5 & 6: Sorry, Equinox 

I had planned on taking some yoga or pilates classes at Equinox over the weekend, but that didn't end up happening. Instead, I took the day off on Saturday and ran a 4 mile race in Central Park on Sunday.

Day 7: Athletica 

Athletic Equinox Review

It seems that I unintentionally ended up saving the best for last in my 7 day free-trial at Equinox. 

I had planned on starting the week on the right foot with a morning gym class on Monday. But when I found myself at Game 6 of the Islander's playoff series against the Florida Panthers - a game that ended in double overtime - and not in my bed until well past midnight, I knew that wasn't in the cards. 

Instead, I used my lunch break to go to a class called Athletica on my lunch break. 

The Equinox website describes Athletica as, "Sculpt and train your body like an athlete for an hour. Ilaria’s new class burns fat and delivers a strong athletic body. High intensity exercises based on power endurance and progressive strength training and strong emphasis on a strong core. Be prepared to sweat and test your willpower!"

I also realized that on the Equinox website, it gives you a chart explaining the focus of each class as it relates to strength, cardio, flexibility and regeneration. This is a great feature that I wish I had used earlier in my trial! 

Athletic Equinox Review


For this class all you need is your body and a few different sets of dumbbells. I picked up 10, 12, 8 and 5 lb dumbbells and ended up using them all at different points in the class. 


  • 16 Dumbbell Clean & Presses 
  • 8 Weighted Squat Thrusts
  • 24 Double-Dumbbell Swings (Wide or Narrow Stance) 
  • 24 Renegade Rows
  • :60 4 Jumping Lunges + Burpee 


  • Repeat


  • Repeat
  • We changed up the :60 of cardio to 2 Jumps Squats + Burpee 


  • :60 Alternating Front Raises
  • :60 Alternating Single Arm/Double Arm Lateral Raises
  • :60 Flys 
  • :60 Alternating Hammer Curl and Press with palms facing in 


For this round, each exercise got an added +8 reps. The cardio portioned remained :60 long.

  • 24 Dumbbell Clean & Presses 
  • 16 Weighted Squat Thrusts 
  • 32 Double-Dumbbell Swings (Wide or Narrow Stance) 
  • 32 Renegade Rows
  • :60 4 Jumping Lunges + Burpee 


  • Repeat


  • :60 Alternating Front Raises
  • :60 Alternating Single Arm/Double Arm Lateral Raises
  • :60 Flys 
  • :60 Alternating Hammer Curl and Press with palms facing in 


  • 10 Pushups
  • :10 Rest
  • 8 Rounds.


  • 24 Dumbbell Clean & Presses 
  • 16 Weighted Squat Thrusts 
  • 32 Double-Dumbbell Swings (Wide or Narrow Stance) 
  • 32 Renegade Rows
  • :60 4 Jumping Lunges + Burpee 


By far one of the best gym classes I've taken.


The fact that this was a circuit-style class obviously appealed to me, since that's my favorite way to strength train. 

Each move within the circuit was a compound exercise which means we were working more than one muscle group at a time. But then, when we did the sets of delt exercises, we were focusing on isolation exercises. 

Even though there was no real "rest" the isolation exercises were the perfect time for your heart rate to settle down before ramping it back up again with more circuits. HIIT at it's finest. 

I was dripping sweat, the moves weren't requiring me to jump up and down (aside from the burpees) and I was using my ENTIRE body throughout the class. 

Plus, I loved the fact that this was a true strength training class - I felt strong and used 10 or 12 lb. dumbbells - not 5 pounders (except for those front and lateral raises - woooof!)  


The only real complain I have is that the studio was FRRRREEEZING cold. The weights hurt to hold because the metal was so cold. But honestly, after one circuit the sweat had started to drip and I forgot I had ever been chilly.

This was quite the way to wrap up my classes at Equinox.

I wish I had fit in more during my 7 days - I planned on some two-a-days with a strength class + yoga or abs/Pilates but it didn't end up happening. C'est la vie.

Next post, I'll wrap up my final thoughts about the experience - did I end up so enamored that I joined? Stay tuned.




My Week At Equinox: 30/60/90

I'm taking you along for the ride on my 7 days as an Equinox member. Check out my other posts: 

Ropes & Rowers
PURSUIT Cycling + A Swim

30/60/90 Equinox Review

Day 4: 30/60/90

I thought the class I was going to was going to be "Whipped" but turns out, I ended up in 30/60/90 - a non-stop, sweaty, cardio-centric HIIT class. 


You guessed it - exercises performed for 30 seconds, 60 seconds and 90 seconds. There is literally NO rest the entire class. You're "recovery" is all active recovery which means non-stop moving. At the end of each interval, you're encouraged to step it up a notch for the final 15 seconds! 


This class used a step, a body bar and yourself for a mix of plyometric, cardio and strength moves. 


  • SO MUCH SWEAT! There is no way to leave this class feeling like you didn't get in a good workout. 
  • Since I was taking the week off from running, I liked that this class had a lot of cardio moves with the stepper. That being said, when I'm running a lot, I tend to try to find gym classes that focus more on strength for my cross-training days. 
  • The class ended with 3 :30 intervals where you picked your 3 favorite moves from the class. Freestyle! 


  • The instructor didn't really give any corrections - because he had to stay at the front of the room constantly letting us know what was up next. 
  • Jumping is rough on my shins, especially on hard gym floors. 30/60/90 has a lot of jumping. 

This class is not for the faint of heart. Now that I've gone once, it would be really daunting for me to get my butt in there again knowing how much work it was going to be. But it's totally worth it for the sweat & endorphins you'll have at the end of 45 minutes!



My Week At Equinox: METCON3

I'm taking you along for the ride on my 7 days as an Equinox member. You can read about my first class, Ropes and Rowers, here and my second class, PURSUIT spin, here.

METCON3 at Equinox Review

Day Three: METCON3

On Thursday, I had a PT appointment in the morning which meant an after-work gym visit. I'm not a big fan of waiting until the end of the day for my workout, but knowing I had a class I wanted to check out helped motivate me to go. Plus, I knew all I had to do was what the instructor told us to do - no thinking required.

Still, at the end of a long day I was a little nervous about the "fat incinerating" total body workout that METCON3 is advertised as.


The way this class works is my favorite way to workout - pick a bunch of exercises, do them all without stopping. Rest. Repeat.

10 Exercises.
Perform each exercise for 60 seconds.
Rest 60 seconds.
Repeat 10 exercises for 60 seconds each.
Rest 60 seconds.
Repeat again.

That's three rounds of a 10-exercise circuit, for those of you who saw lots of numbers and skipped ahead.


  • Box Front Squat with Dumbbells
  • Incline row in plank position
  • Plank Jax + Pushups
  • Diagonal lunge with dumbbell high pull
  • Regular Pushup/Incline Pushup
  • Squat slams
  • Step up lunges
  • Curl and press sitting on box with feet up
  • Toe taps
  • Incline bicycle


Just when you're relieved that you've made it through round #3 - hold up (wait a minute, put a little boom in it - booooom dynamite...). There's more.

  • 20 Single arm sand bag slams
  • 20 Should tap puships
  • 20 Butt kick jumps

No rest in between those three finishers. Wooooof.


I loved the way that METCON3 was set up. The circuit-style is my favorite. I also really liked the fact that METCON3 wasn't just a cardio class with burpees and jumping jacks, etc. There were weights and lots of strength moves.

It was also great that each of these moves had different levels that the instructor offered. A level 1, 2, 3 (hard, harder and hardest they should have been called!)

By the end of the class, you could challenge yourself by trying to "level up" on one or more of the exercises.  Or just try to make it to the end alive. Either way.


I didn't like the fact that the instructor started class and taught us all the exercises along the way. It meant that the entire first round of exercises I was unsure what I was doing which meant a lot of wasted time not actually doing the exercises.

It would have been easy enough to run through the 10 exercises ahead of time, which would have helped a lot to make round 1 more efficient (and sweatier).

However, since that's just the particular instructor that I had, I would definitely recommend the METCON3 class at Equinox. Or, just use this format to set up your very own kick-ass workout! Just try to make sure you're using exercises that target all the different muscle groups.



My Week At Equinox: PURSUIT Spin Class + A Swim

I'm taking you along for the ride on my 7 days as an Equinox member. You can read about my first class, Ropes and Rowers, here

The PURSUIT Equinox

Day Two: The PURSUIT 

For Tuesday morning's workout I decided to try a spin class at Equinox and was surprised to find that the bikes were very similar to those used at Swerve. That means METRICS which is always a positive in my opinion. 

I went into the class not knowing what to expect in terms of if I would be able to ride in my Nike's or if their bikes would only be able to be used by clip-in spin shoes but I was pleasantly surprised to find that an Equinox staff member was going around putting cages on pedals for riders who couldn't clip in. He was also taking said cages off of pedals for people that had spin shoes. 

I hopped on my bike and took in the scene - a very large spin studio (I would guess 40 bikes) but a raised platform for the instructor. Melissa Morin taught the class, and I recognized her from when she used to teach at New York Sports Club. I liked her style then and I still like it now - though the way PURSUIT is set up requires much less from the instructor. 

Behind the instructor is a bigggggg screen that makes the class feel like you're playing video games on your bike. 


Your bike will show you your RPMs, MPH, total mileage, and watts. I missed having a metric that shows "resistance." What's most important throughout the class is your watts - or power you're producing as you spin. 


After a few minute warm-up, it was time for the workout to begin. PURSUIT is broken up into 5 "games," each lasting between 4-6 minutes. The ultimate goal is for the entire class to reach a pre-determined wattage score by the end of these 5 games - the more people in the class, the more wattage you'll need to produce. 


During game one, we focused on our RPMs. For one minute the goal was to spin between 65-75 RPMs before increasing to 85-95 for a minute and then a minute at 105+. Then, we repeated. The graphics on the screen showed each person in the class as their bike number in a circle. That circle glowed and filled up as your wattage increased. 

For this game, there were two horizontal lines that represented the high end of RPMs we were aiming for and the low end of RPMs. The goal was to keep your dot shining bright in the middle of those two lines. 


Game two focused on distance intervals. You clicked a button on your bike's screen which zeroed out your distance (though your total mileage remained) and then tried to spin your way to .25 miles as quickly as possible. You took the rest you needed before clearing the screen and sprinting to another .25 miles. 

The goal was to accumulate as many quarter-miles as you could in the allotted time (the studio record was 14!) 


In this round, riders were partnered up with someone else in the room and switched off riding every :30 racing the rest of the pairs in the class. The screen continued to show your glowing circle, as well as where you were in regards to the rest of the class on your race. 

The screen also highlighted which teams were competing for first and second place - a huge boost to the individuals on those teams (as proven by the last minute come from behind victory by the team in 2nd place!) 


Another game was similar to game 1 as we focused on staying within a prescribed RPM range. The challenge was that between 65-105 RPMs we had to try to keep our resistance the same! Ouch. 


The last game split the entire class into different teams. The whole team sprinted as hard and fast as they could for 1:00 before getting a break - the team that amassed the most power (watts) won that round. 



Always diggin' the metrics. Even though lately, I've discovered that the metrics make me feel pretty damn bad about myself! Here I was thinking I was pretty decent in a spin class and, well, not so much. At best it's motivating to see just how much I can improve and at worst it's discouraging to see how much more power my classmates were able produce throughout the 50 minute class. 


Stand when you want, sit when you want. Make the resistance what you want. This can go both ways depending on the day - sometimes I need the structure of detailed instructions to get the most out of my ride, but some days it's nice to feel in control of my own workout. 


This class is super high-tech. The games and graphics are awesome. For games where you're partnered with someone - if there's an uneven number of people you have a computer ride with you that performs exactly as you were performing. If it's a team game and one team is lacking a player, there's a computer rider that produces results that equal the average of the other riders. I'm not a tech-person at all, but it really impressed me thinking that someone designed all this stuff! 

It's also awesome to crank up your resistance, keep your RPMs the same and watch your icon on the screen start to glow brighter - it KNOWS. 


This class has team competition. partner competition, group competition (the entire class is trying to reach an end watt goal throughout), and solo competition. After each game, the screen will show the leader board - the top 8 female riders and the top 8 male riders for some extra motivation. 


I love that this class isn't like SoulCycle or Cyc - it doesn't matter how FAST your legs are flying around the flywheel. What matters is producing WATTS. POWER. Strength. No dancing on your bike. No bicep curls on the bike with baby weights. 



My own fault, but not being clipped in for this class was a major bummer. 


I was shocked at how poorly I performed. My sad little circle was by far the least brightly shining. I thought it might have to do with the fact that my age, weight, height, etc. wasn't in the Equinox system, but since the class is based on watts - it's essentially how well you're able to keep up your RPMs at heavier resistance - which I apparently am not-so-good at. It was disheartening, but I did what I could and left feeling like I had gotten in a solid workout for sure. 


It drove me CRAZY that the computer on the bike had a button you had to KEEP PRESSING to turn the light on if you wanted to see your numbers. I wish that it would have just stayed turned out!! 

Overall, I really really liked this spin class. It was high-intensity but also focused on strength. It went really quickly because of the 5-game format. It had metrics, it had good music, the instructor was great and the competitive aspect kept me putting in a solid effort. I would like to see more studios implement this "gaming goes to the gym" idea! 

Equinox Columbus Circle

Day Two: Swim 

Tuesday I went for the two-a-day. After work  I headed to a different Equinox location (Columbus Circle) to meet up with my friend Kaitlin and check out the pool. Entering through the Shops at Columbus Circle - I eventually managed to find my way to the pool. 

It was SO NICE swimming in a 25 yard pool vs. an 18 yard pool. It doesn't sound like much, but it made a difference. 

The lanes were very crowded though (2-3 people per lane) - probably because we were there after work as opposed to early in the morning. 

Instead of just showing up at the pool and aimlessly swimming back and forth which is SO BORING to me, I looked online and found some suggested workouts which I modified since I can swim like 50 yards at a time before I need to stop for a breather. Hey, at least I #Tri. Ha, get it? 

I had my workouts written on index cards which was like, DUH LAUREN, pool + paper. The woman I was sharing a lane with clearly knew what she was doing and had her workout in a zip lock baggie. Now I know! 


Warm Up - 100 Yards
4 x 25 - Counting my strokes and trying to stay consistent
4 x 50 - :30 rest between each 50 yards
4 x 25 - Counting my strokes and trying to stay consistent
100 Yards
4 x 25 - Breathe every 4th stroke
4 x 25 - Breathe every 2nd stroke
8 x 25 sprints with :30 rest
100 yards counting strokes per length
4 x 25 sprints (as few breaths as possible) with :30 rests
100 yards counting strokes per length
4 x 25 kicking (alternate sides) 
2 x 25 no kicking
2 x 25 hands in fists

Total: 1500 yards 

It took me about an hour and was much better for me than just going to swim for an hour. But still not enjoyable by any means. Glad that my friend was there to hold me accountable for showing up! 






My Week At Equinox: Ropes & Rowers

When I first moved to New York City, I prided myself on 12+ months bouncing from gym to gym on free-trial memberships and Groupons. I was a poor college student who was trying her damnedest to stay fit without paying for a membership fee. 

NYSC, David Barton, Crunch, 24-Hour Fitness - you name it, I found a way to get a free trial.

One place that I always held off on was Equinox. The reason I never signed up for a free trial there, despite being bombarded by emails from them, is that I'm going to be so sad when it's over.  

Equinox is like the Emerald City of gyms in New York City. It's got the answer to everyone's problems, just like the wizard. Everyone raves about their clean locker rooms stocked with Kiehl's shower products. Everyone knows Equinox is filled with fabulously fit people using all the latest equipment. If you're thinking, "If I only had a brain..." nope, you don't need one because Equinox has so many different classes that take all the thought out of figuring out your workout plan. 

So I've been hesitant to activate my free trial because of the sadness that will come when it's over and I have to say goodbye. But the perfect storm of scenarios arose and today I started my 7-days as an Equinox member. 

After an 8-mile long run on Sunday, I promised my physical therapist to take 5 days off of running so I could go back and re-asses before ramping up my mileage in the final weeks before the Brooklyn Half Marathon. 

A few weeks ago, I had my InBody scan done at Equinox as part of a ProjectFit through my work - our final weigh in is on May 4 and I had to activate my 7-day trial before then. 

SO - no running for 5 days but the green light for any other exercise seemed like the perfect opportunity to try out as many Equinox classes as I could fit into a 7-day span. Challenge accepted. 

Equinox Ropes and Rowers

Day 1: Ropes and Rowers

The first class I signed up for was called "Ropes and Rowers." Equinox describes it on their website as, "A full body circuit built on battling ropes and the WaterRower, driving balanced strength and greater cardio fitness to propel your performance. The exhilarating solo and team competition will push you to bring it, beat it and brag about it." 


First, the instructor described to us how the class would work - quickly demonstrating each exercise. Then, we did a 2-3 minute warm-up with a rotation of

  • 50 high knees
  • 10 burpees
  • 10 push-ups
  • 30 mountain climbers

I was a little scared for class to start after that warm-up. 


The class was set up in four separate stations which you rotate through 2 times. Though the workout is technically only 28 minutes long - I guarantee you'll feel accomplished by the end of it. 

Round One - 4 Minutes Per Station (16 Minutes Total)

Station One - 

  • 1 Minute Up and Overs on the Stepper 
  • 1 Minute Weighted Punches
  • 1 Minute Burpees with a Push-Up on the Stepper 
  • 1 Minute Knee Ins and Pike Ups with the Glider

Station Two - The Ropes

  • One partner stands on weights while the other does rope variation (squat jumps, in and outs or burpees) 
  • Pull the weight/ropes towards you 
  • Push the weight back 
  • Switch 

Station Three - Weights 

  • 10 Reps Squat/Curl/Press with 12 lb dumbbells 
  • 10 Reps Row/Tricep Extension with 8 lb dumbbells 
  • 10 Reps V-Ups with 12 lb dumbbells 

Station Four - WaterRower

  • 4 minutes of rowing - goal = 1,000 meters

Round Two - 3 Minutes Per Station (12 Minutes Total)

Station One - 

  • 1 Minute Up and Overs on the Stepper 
  • 1 Minute Weighted Punches
  • 1 Minute Burpees with a Push-Up on the Stepper 

Station Two - The Ropes

  • One partner stands on weights while the other does rope variation (squat jumps, in and outs or burpees) 
  • Pull the weight/ropes towards you 
  • Push the weight back 
  • Switch 

Station Three - Weights 

  • 10 Reps Squat/Curl/Press with 12 lb dumbbells 
  • 10 Reps Row/Tricep Extension with 8 lb dumbbells 
  • 10 Reps V-Ups with 12 lb dumbbells 

Station Four - WaterRower

  • 3 minutes of 100 meter intervals alternating with your partner (who is on the machine next to you)  

What I Liked 

The instructor explained all of the exercises which was helpful as a newcomer to a class that seemed to be compromised primarily of "regulars." 

I loved that I was dripping in sweat at the end, loved that it was quick & to the point, loved that it featured cardio & strength moves and loved getting to use the ropes and the WaterRowers. 

What Could Be Better

Though the class description made it seem like this would be a competition - the instructor that I took didn't lead it in that way at all. I think that could have added a lot to the class and kicked up the intensity another notch. 


After class I did my physical therapy exercises - side planking and glute bridging up a storm. 

The Locker Rooms

Ok - I will admit that the showers at Equinox are pretty damn magical. There's a whole bench section with towel hooks that's separate from the actual shower and those Kiehl's products are pretty awesome. 

The lockers are digital so there's no need to bring a lock. 

And get this - there is a STEAMER for your clothes. 

Mind blow. 

More to come on my 7 days at Equinox, stay tuned! Tomorrow I'm signed up for a spin class!