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A Year of Going to Equinox Williamsburg: Brooklyn’s best luxury gym

Just a little over a year ago, at the beginning of 2022, I decided to make fitness part of my regular routine. I needed a gym that was close to my home in Williamsburg, one that had more than the basic amenities, and had a friendly, semi-social atmosphere. Equinox Williamsburg is it.

If you’re a fitness enthusiast living in Brooklyn, chances are you’ve heard of Equinox Williamsburg. The club boasts a wide range of amenities that make it a popular destination for gym-goers in the area. From state-of-the-art workout equipment to luxurious spa services, Equinox Williamsburg has everything you need to take your fitness routine to the next level.

Besides the amenities such as free towels (something the more budget-friendly gyms don’t include in memberships), I also lucked out because a handful of friends go to the same gym. Being able to run into friends during a workout, or plan to take a class together, makes it so much easier to make going to the gym part of my routine. It also helps that the Equinox Williamsburg gym is on the way home from work, so even though it’s crowded during the after-work rush, it’s still the most convenient time for me personally.

As a member of Equinox Williamsburg for a year, I’ve had the opportunity to explore all of the amenities and services that this gym has to offer. Here’s a rundown of some of my favorite features:

Fitness Equipment and Classes

Equinox Williamsburg has a vast selection of top-of-the-line fitness equipment that caters to all types of workout routines. From cardio machines to free weights, the gym has everything you need to achieve your fitness goals. What I appreciate the most about the equipment is that it’s regularly maintained and updated, ensuring that it’s always in top condition.

In addition to the equipment, Equinox Williamsburg offers a wide variety of fitness classes, including yoga, cycling, Pilates, and strength training. The classes are taught by highly trained instructors who provide personalized attention and guidance to help you get the most out of your workout. I personally enjoy some of the yoga and pilates classes, though I know other friends like the Stronger workouts.

Locker Rooms and Spa Services

One of the things that sets Equinox Williamsburg apart from other gyms is the luxurious spa services that it offers. After a grueling workout, it’s always a treat to unwind in the sauna or steam room. The locker rooms are also equipped with amenities like complimentary towels, shampoo, and conditioner, so you don’t have to worry about bringing your own.

Additionally, Equinox Williamsburg offers a variety of spa services—though I’ve never personally used them. These services are designed to help you relax and recover from your workout routine, but they aren’t included in the monthly membership fee.

A Gay-friendly Gym

Equinox Williamsburg is known for being an LGBTQ-friendly gym, with a large number of gay men among its members. As a gay man myself, I’ve always appreciated the welcoming environment at Equinox Williamsburg. The staff members are friendly and approachable, and I’ve never felt uncomfortable working out here. Also: the guys are hot.

Equinox Williamsburg is also rumored to be an occasional stop for celebrities, though I don’t know how true that is. I’ve seen plenty of gay influencers, popular with the queer Brooklyn crowds, at Equinox Williamsburg. Though, to be honest, they’re actually pretty annoying and sometimes are just even hanging out in the locker rooms chit-chatting. Doesn’t happen too often, but you can spot the “influencer-celebrities” a mile away.

The Busy Gym and Shower Issues

One downside to Equinox Williamsburg is that it can get quite busy during peak hours. The gym has a large membership base, which means that certain times of the day can be crowded, making it harder to use certain equipment or attend popular classes. My favorite Monday evening yoga class always fills up.

However, with a little bit of planning, you can still find ways to work out and get the most out of your membership. The Equinox app can set reminders to help you book classes as soon as they’re available—which is how I manage to get into my favorite busy classes.

Another issue I’ve encountered is with the showers. During busy times, the water for the showers can sometimes struggle to get warm enough, making it a bit uncomfortable to take a shower after a workout. While this can be frustrating, I’ve found that if I time my visits to the gym outside of peak hours, I can usually avoid this issue. Plus, for gay men: going to the gym at less busy hours means less busy times in the sauna (hint hint).

The Benefits of Having a Gym Routine

Despite these challenges, the benefits of having a gym routine have been significant for me. By committing to a regular workout schedule, I’ve been able to make progress towards my fitness goals, both in terms of strength and overall health. I find that by alternating weekly classes with days spent working out on the machines, like the treadmill and elliptical, I can keep my workouts varied and interesting.

I do like that the gym offers occasional special nights such as Wind Down Wednesday or Bring A Friend days. Those kinds of special social activities help me schedule my gym routine to either join or avoid, depending upon my mood.

Moreover, having a regular routine has been beneficial for my mental health as well. Working out regularly has helped me manage stress and anxiety, and I always leave the gym feeling energized and refreshed. In this sense, my membership at Equinox Williamsburg has been a valuable investment in my overall well-being.

Other East Williamsburg Gyms

Williamsburg proper, the part along the East River and up and down Bedford Avenue, has a handful of other premium and luxury style gyms. Unfortunately, as you go further east into East Williamsburg (bordering Bushwick), there are fewer gym options.

For me, personally, walking the 20 minutes or so from East Williamsburg to the Equinox is worth the trek, but if you’re looking for other East Williamsburg gyms, there are some fairly convenient options. Most of these are fitness studios with regular classes, less so with workout equipment to use at your leisure.

Crossfit Virtuosity – This is a Crossfit gym. Personally, not for me, but it’s right next to McCarren Park and every time I walk by, it looks actually very nice. They open up the big garage doors so there’s fresh air and you’re essentially working outside when it’s nice out.

Absolute Power Fitness – This has been around a long time and is located on Grand Avenue under a large apartment building. They have a variety of exercise equipment machines so it’s a great option. Plus it’s way more affordable than Equinox—just without some of the nicer amenities.

OutBox Gym – Located on Meeker Avenue near the BQE, OutBox is a super cool concept—it’s right in the center of Williamsburg so is convenient for just about everyone (plus, it’s close to Greenpoint). It’s a fun and safe space for trans and LGBTQ+ individuals because the fitness gym is designed especially for queer workout enthusiasts. It’s a gender-neutral space which you don’t often find in gyms.

In conclusion, my year-long membership at Equinox Williamsburg has been an enriching experience that has helped me prioritize my health and wellness. The club’s top-of-the-line amenities, highly trained staff, and range of classes and equipment have made it a one-stop destination for all my fitness needs.

If you’re looking for a gym that offers more than just workout equipment, Equinox Williamsburg is definitely worth checking out. Mention my name as a referral if you’d like!