Equinox is one of the most well-known gym brands in America - but are the Equinox prices equal to the experience? Here's what you should know about this company before you consider signing up with them.
A Brief Overview Of Equinox
Equinox is a luxury fitness brand owned by Equinox Holding Inc., a subsidiary of The Related Companies (a major property management and real estate development company). The fitness brands held by the parent company include Equinox, PURE Yoga, SoulCycle, Blink Fitness, and The Yorkville Club. Between its brands, the company runs more than 135 locations and employs more than 18,000 people across various positions.
In recent years, Equinox has expanded to add spas, a magazine, and even a luxury hotel brand (expected to debut in 2019). For the sake of clarity, when we say luxury, we mean Business Insider reports it to be part of the most expensive real estate development in the history of the United States. In other words, Equinox's idea of luxury isn't better paint and a nice bathroom - they're serious about providing a unique experience to their members.
What Are The Benefits Of Membership?
This is the question behind all Equinox prices - and one of the major factors in deciding whether or not to buy a membership.
As with most gyms, the specifics vary by facility. Some gyms are distinctly larger than others, with a correspondingly higher number of machines, classrooms, and bonus facilities. However, there are a few things common to most (or all) Equinox facilities, and we'd like to cover those briefly.
New Member Benefits
New members get a full fitness assessment, a complimentary personal training session, a one-on-one Pilates session, a 25% discount for their first spa treatment, and 20% off their first purchase at the Equinox shop. Mostly, it's a bundle of deals designed to make you feel welcomed and point you in the right direction. Equinox prices are easy. Otherwise, it's a bit too easy to get overwhelmed by everything these facilities have.
Equinox includes all courses at its facility in the cost of membership - that means you can go as often as you like. To make things easier, Equinox offers a Class Search function on its website. This shows not just the classes at your closest club, but also those of other clubs in the area - which is vital because the
courses offered vary by location.
The classes themselves are split into categories like Active Regeneration, Pool, and Yoga.
Equinox prices are friendly to new members - and they want you to recommend others to the club. If you're an active member and refer someone else, Equinox offers a $250 gift card you can use at their shop, their spa, or on personal training. (These gift cards must be used within 90 days.)
This is the most critical consideration for most visitors. Amenities available at all clubs include:
Some clubs also offer laundry service and designated permanent lockers for a small fee.
Like amenities, the machines and workout options vary by club. Equinox favors intense and immersive workouts, so many of its locations incorporate gaming and data elements to create a unique experience. In many cases, they offer the same equipment that professional athletes train with - after all, who better to learn from than the very best?
That's not a rhetorical question. Equinox has hired former Olympians to teach classes and create workout plans, so they do learn what they can from the most athletically capable people in the world.
Equinox prices depend on several factors - including, most notably, whether you only want access to a single club or multiple locations. This is more important than most people realize at first since many of Equinox's members have a lifestyle with frequent travel. Being able to visit the gym of choice in many major cities can be a significant perk.
The Single Club membership
The Single Club membership typically costs $205/month, with a $300 initiation fee. This includes access to all amenities and classes at a single Equinox location.
The All Access Fitness membership
The All Access Fitness membership costs $240/month with a $500 initiation fee. This level provides access to all Equinox clubs in the United States.
The Destination Access
The Destination Access costs $295/month with a $500 initiation fee. As the name suggests, this plan allows access to all Equinox clubs around the world (given the relatively low number of them, this is mainly relevant for members who head north to Canada).
Initial registrations include a two-month subscription and the initiation fee but typically come with a discount to soften the cost. The first month is provided on a prorated basis - if you start part of the way through the month, you only have to pay for the remaining days.
Is It Possible To Get Discounts?
Yes. While Equinox rarely advertises discounts right up-front, it is possible to get discounts if you talk to them at the right time.
The two significant discounts are their summer and winter specials (with the latter typically showing up around late January and early February). These periods tend to offer gifts like extra personal training sessions, no initiation fees, or bonus gift cards appropriate for the area. Discounts may vary by region, so be sure to check with your local Equinox gym if you want to take advantage of them.
Aside from seasonal promotions, Equinox partners with some corporations to offer discounted rates. These have been reported as high as 70% off the standard price - and with the cost deducted right from your paycheck, you don't have to worry about paying. (Plus, if you want to cancel, you can just let the company handle it.)
Obviously, this requires working at a company that's negotiated a rate - but Equinox has partnered with hundreds of corporations, and they'll probably be willing to add another one if your business is large enough.
Finally, you can talk to them about waiving the initiation fee. This is particularly effective if you're willing to sign up for 6-12 months all up front. You may even be able to negotiate a permanently lower rate, and that can quickly wind up saving you $100 or more off the initial price. You'll have to do the negotiating yourself, but it's worth trying.
Is There Anything Else I Should Know?
Yes. While the Equinox prices are reasonable for the luxuries provided, there are a few other things you should know about working with this gym.
First, your options are limited if you want to freeze or cancel your membership. Equinox only allows a normal freeze once per year, for 1-3 consecutive months. Equinox prices are affordable for every month. If you've been a member for less than one year, you'll be charged monthly dues until you've met your one-year obligation, and then you'll be charged the full freeze fee.
To their credit, Equinox softens this stance in some cases. The primary example is pregnancy, where a doctor's letter can permit a medical freeze of your membership for up to 9 months. In this scenario, Equinox prices waives the standard fee. However, remember that your membership will resume as soon as the specified term is over.
If you want to cancel, things are a little more complicated. Members who are past their first year may cancel at any time (with the amount of notice specified in the member agreement). Cancellations are typically done with a manager in one of the gyms, where you'll fill out a form and pay a pro-rate to get the billing stopped.
Alternatively, you can use registered mail to send a letter to the club, and the post office will confirm the mail's receipt as proof of your cancellation.
If you're still in your first year, you can only cancel for three reasons: relocation, medical, or job loss. Relocation means that you can stop your membership if you move more than 25 miles away from their facilities. Most Equinox clubs are located in major metropolitan areas, so it's easy to tell if you'll qualify for this.
Medical cancellations require a letter from a physician. Equinox doesn't need a full explanation of your condition - just a professional medical opinion that you cannot safely work out for at least six months. All cancellations must be made in person or by registered or certified mail.
The reason for this is simple
It provides a paper trail proving your membership was canceled. It's more involved than what most gyms insist on, but our team likes this better. Far too many gyms lie about memberships and fees. If you have proof your membership was canceled, you're in a much better position to challenge any false charges.