For many apartment owners in New York City the residential building gym is a perk that works better on paper than in real life. It turns out that “lack of convenience” isn’t the only barrier to exercise. There are plenty of excuses to choose from when you are looking for a way to avoid working out. But if you’re looking for good reasons to exercise, the gym in your building isn’t a bad place to start. It may not have the look and feel of an upscale gym, but most in-house gyms have everything you need to get a good workout.
On the plus side, residential fitness centers don’t cost nearly as much as an outside gym and you can reduce travel time to an elevator trip. (If you start and end your workout with a few flights of stairs that’s even better.) There also tends to be a friendly, low-key atmosphere and plenty of slow time if you want the place to yourself. If you have friends in the building then the buddy system may work extremely well to keep you both motivated.
The typical drawbacks of residential gyms are small spaces, limited equipment and a lack of privacy if you don’t want your neighbors to know your exercise habits. Newer buildings and renovated gyms have the most modern equipment and some even hire a company to staff the gym. Most have policies about safety and etiquette, as well as rules for bringing your trainer along.
If your do opt to use the residential gym you’re likely to find these standard items:
- cardio equipment (treadmill, bike, elliptical)
- resistance equipment
- stretching mats
Many gyms also include these additional fitness props:
- swiss balls
- medicine balls
- free weights and benches
While outside gyms often lead you through a workout according to their professionally designed layout, in-house gyms typically cram as much equipment into the room as possible. It is best to have a workout planned before you get to the gym since you won’t be able to count on a motivating atmosphere. Even if you prefer outdoor workouts or going to the gym by your office, the fitness center in your building can be a great alternative when you want something close to home.