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Super Health Clubs For Those Who Are Still Super Rich

Posted Nov 10 2008 9:47am
Gyms-for-the-Rich.png Sure, there’s something to be said for style and affordability (especially these days). But there are still those times when only the best will do. As in luxury. As in service. As in private, but worth hocking your Tiffany diamond watch for. Here’s a handy guide to the five hottest, most over-the-top health clubs for the super rich, here on the east coast. Four right in New York City and one little gem in New Jersey. Remember: There are more millionaires per capita in New Jersey than any other state in the nation (at least there were).

The right sum can buy the best of the best -- from designer clothes to fancy homes. In this case, that also includes improved health and a sculpted body, which many agree is priceless. Call them hip. Call them uber-cool. Big or small, just don't call them "gyms."

The Madison Square Club: Clients spend about $20,000 per year for membership, and only six people are allowed on the floor per hour. The expensive attention isn't just for vanity's sake--meeting your fitness goals is especially important when your paycheck is dependent on your looks. Owner/celebrity trainer David Kirsch trains Heidi Klum.

La Palestra:"We don't want to beat people over the head and drag them in, but they probably aren't going to be very successful if they aren't committed," says Pat Manocchia, owner of La Palestra in New York City, which costs about $8,000 per year and caps its membership at about 200 people. Tucked in Manhattan's Upper West Side, La Palestra is where the well-heeled head to get a truly personalized workout with highly trained fitness professionals. This isn't a gym so much as a center for preventive medicine; clients go through a medical assessment to assure they get the most out of the time they spend there.

Clay: With a $525 initiation fee, plus $155 per month (this doesn't count personal training fee) you get a health club with a contemporary design, Clay has earth-toned walls and a weight room flooded with natural light. There is also concierge service, an organic café complete with rooftop seating, a fireside lounge, private saunas, a full-service spa and a lounge where members can watch TV or connect to the Internet.

LIFT:(Disclaimer: This is my husbands club) Much like Madison Square Club, LIFT allows only five to six people on the floor per hour. Owner/celebrity trainer Jim Ryno offers up private personal training, along with specialized boot camp classes in an ultra-modern atmosphere and high-profile clientele. This is New Jersey's gem, charging a $149 annual fee and personal training that ranges from $75 - $100 per hour with a minimum 20 session commitment.

E: If Equinox isn't already cool enough... E is their invite only (yes that's right). They invite you and then you pay them a $5,000 initiation fee, plus $5,000 annually and $13,500 for 104 personal training sessions (required per year). There are highly certified personal trainers who work with Olympic and professional athletes, private cabanas for changing and concierge services. The chosen few will be admitted via a machine that scans retinas and the club is so private it doesn't have a dedicated website... you'll only be able to find out information about the club if you are invited to join.

So stop praying for a divine intervention and check out one of these clubs before purchasing your next piece of jewelry. They are worth their weight in gold!

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