A wave of ultra-exclusive gyms have sprung up across America’s swankiest metros, charging up to $2,750-a-month to use lavish amenities not available for your average workout.
From cryotherapy to salt saunas, ritzy fitness freaks have flocked to the select establishments to get a taste of the high life – but only if they can pass rigorous application processes intended to weed out the weak.
Some require an employment-like series of interviews, while others will trawl through your social medias to determine if you are the ‘type’ that deserves a place inside.
‘If you were having a dinner party, you wouldn’t post your address on a flyer and plaster it all over town as an open invitation,’ said Colette Dong, the founder of chic New York fitness center The Ness, as she spoke to the New York Times about her cliquey restrictions.
Collete Dong, pictured, said she selects members for her exclusive New York gym ‘The Ness’ the same way you might find guests for a dinner party
Monarch Athletic Club in West Hollywood, pictured, puts prospective members through a rigorous process of a medical evaluation, physical therapy and training assessment to make sure they have what it takes
Ghost gym in Brookyln, New York only accepts members who are ‘thought leaders, creatives, founders or executives’
After opening her boutique fitness space in Manhattan’s Tribeca neighborhood, Dong made sure to insist the gym was referral-only.
‘This creates a better community and environment,’ she added, feeling strict rules are ‘really important when you’re working out for the first time, coming back into your routine or trying to stick to a goal.
‘You just don’t want to do it in front of a bunch of strangers.’
While blocking off core clientele might seem counter-intuitive to corporate gym managers, others go a step further.
Those that want to work out at Remedy Place, which brands itself as ‘the world’s first social wellness club’, have to make their way through a maze of applications and interviews if they want to get in.
But once approved, fitness lovers can enjoy some of the most lavish gear on the scene, including IV drips, hyperbaric oxygen chambers, compression suits and sound baths.
Memberships range from $595 to $2,750-a-month for ritzy club Remedy Place
The exclusive establishment describes itself as ‘the world’s first social wellness club’
Memberships start at $595-a-month, which buys you a single multi-vitamin IV, four ‘tech remedies’, four ‘breathwork ice baths’, and unlimited access to the cryotherapy chambers, according to its website.
Dr Jonathan Leary, the founder of Remedy Place, said he only wants members that are ‘a good representation of the brand’
And if you want an all-access pass, it will set you back an eye-watering $2,750-a-month, a price range that cuts off only the richest of health nuts.
‘We’re looking for people who are a good representation of the brand, and they should inspire others to take care of themselves,’ said Dr. Jonathan Leary, the founder and chief executive.
Noting that the average member, and likely target clientele, is a young professional in their 30s, Remedy has capped memberships at 200 in its Los Angeles space and 300 in New York.
Amid the rise in TikTok fitness influencers and prevalence of timeline-hogging beach bodies, gyms across the nation have become a hotspot for selfies and content creation.
But many of those who created their high-toned establishments did so to escape just that. Sebastian Shoepe, who owns ritzy LA gym Heimat, admitted that his space is not intended ‘for those that look at a gym as a selfie opportunity.’
Prospective members are even made to reveal their social media handles, as only high-caliber referrals are able to get their sweat on inside.
Heimat gym is one of the most sought-after fitness spaces in West Hollywood
Far from your regular gym, Heimat applicants even have to give over their social media handles so executives can determine if prospective members make the cut
The West Coast gym offers a variety of swanky equipment exclusively available to its high paying members
Heimat’s owner Sebastian Schoepe said his gym is not ‘for those that look at a gym as a selfie opportunity’
‘We are not looking to bring in people who keep to themselves and don’t see the value of mingling with like-minded people,’ he added, noting again the general membership of aesthetic 30-year-old professionals.
Some gyms, such as Planet Fitness, advertise themselves as a one-size-fits-all experience, usually charging in the region of $50-a month for an all-access pass.
But another gym that has shunned that approach for an exclusive feel is Ghost, a Brooklyn, New York hub that hardly shies away from its preferred type of member.
After first filing an application, prospective insiders must make it through an in-person interview and internal review process, with the only accepted members being ‘thought leaders, creatives, founders or executives,’ said founder Aqib Mamoon
Aqib Mamoon, founder and chief executive of Ghost, said he only accepts ‘thought leaders, creatives, founders or executives’ to his exclusive gym
Situated in Brooklyn, New York, Ghost charges $300 a month – but only if you make it past the exclusive membership requirements
While some gyms advertise themselves as ‘a place for all’, such a sunny outlook is set aside when faced with memberships that run into the tens of thousands per year.
To join Monarch Athletic Club in West Hollywood, individuals are forced to go through a medical evaluation, physical therapy and training assessment to make sure they have what it takes.
Dr Ryan Greene, Monarch’s principal medical advisor and managing partner, described the hurdles as ‘a few layers of checkpoints’.
‘We are unique as we are the first evidence-based, physician-directed ‘one-stop-shop’ for health and wellness,’ he added to VoyageLA.
He revealed that members are re-evaluated quarterly, to ensure they are staying on track – a small price to pay while already forking out up to $2000 a month for a membership.