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Sweat As You Wish

Nontraditional gym memberships for highly particular workout fiends.

The Sports Center at Chelsea Piers  
  • For Insomniacs

  • New York Sports Clubs

    125 Seventh Ave. S., at 10th St.; 212-206-1500

    One of the club’s two 24-hour locales; about $40 a month grants access from 11 p.m. until 5 a.m.

  • For Tight Budgets

  • Blink Fitness

    16 E. 4th St., at Broadway; 212-228-7000

    With only basic cardio and strength equipment, a stretching area, and a small locker room, Equinox’s David Rockwell–designed spinoff isn’t fancy. But it costs just $20 per month.

  • For Weekenders

  • The Sports Center at Chelsea Piers

    Pier 60, 23rd St. and West Side Hwy.; 212-336-6000

    About $105 a month (after a $100 initiation fee) grants full access to the swank facility, including its indoor track, 25-yard pool, Hudson River sundeck, and classes, starting Friday afternoons at 5 p.m. through Sunday.

  • For Twenty-Somethings

  • The Sports Club/LA

    330 E. 61st St., nr. First Ave.; 212-355-5100

    The Sports Club’s glossy uptown facility charges the under-30 crowd $145 per month (down from the full-price fee of $175).

  • For Thrice-a-Weekers

  • Dolphin Fitness Club

    94 E. 4th St., nr. Second Ave.; 212-387-9500

    For a crazily low $149 per year, cardio hounds and weightlifters can get full access to the club three days out of the week. Choose between the Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday or Wednesday-Friday-Sunday plans.

  • For the Committed

  • Ludlow Fitness

    100 Delancey St., nr. Ludlow St.; 212-260-9222

    A lump $450 payment buys twelve months of unlimited access to this full-service gym and substantial class schedule. (For the noncommittal, it’s $99 up front, then $49 per month.)

  • For Just a Pool

  • Asphalt Green

    555 E. 90th St., nr. York Ave.; 212-369-8890

    Swim-only memberships to the Olympic-size deepwater pool at Asphalt Green’s state-of-the-art sports complex cost $99 per month, which also includes classes taught in the adjacent warm-water exercise pool.

  • For Squash or Nighttime Tennis

  • CitiView Racquet Club

    43-34 32nd Pl., Skillman Ave., Long Island City; 718-389-6252

    This shiny LIC club offers a squash-specific membership for $140 per month (no court or initiation fees). Also available: limited-access tennis passes, effective 1 to 4 p.m. on weekdays or 9 p.m. to midnight daily, for $100 per month (plus court and guest fees).

  • For Indoor Basketball

  • Jackie Robinson Recreation Center

    85 Bradhurst Ave., nr. 146th St.; 212-234-9607

    A slim $25 gets you six months of access to the full-size indoor basketball court, as well as the center’s weight and fitness classes. But the hours are tricky: Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5:30 to 8:45 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.

From the 2011 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine