This Summer, I found myself cycling at one of the most incredible gyms I’ve ever been to. In fact, it’s said that Obama and Oprah used to attend. Men’s Journal calls it one of the most luxurious gyms in America.
I was accompanied by a friend into the 11 a.m. cycling class to get my butt kicked. We cycled into overdrive for a whopping 45 minutes. I felt as if I was training for the Tour de France. I loved every minute of it! Well, mostly every minute.
How much did my frugal ass pay to get in there?
Zero dollars – I paid nothing.
I was the fortunate guest of a friend that is now an exclusive member of this club, the East Bank Club.
The thing is, many gyms actually offer free services just for trying them out. I’m not sure that East Bank Club is one of them, but my brother used to take full advantage of free trial periods with his busy travel life. A week at L.A. Fitness here, another week at Anytime Fitness, and the gym list goes on. He was able to gym hack the hell out of the system.
It didn’t take more than a few minutes after walking through the doors to understand the appeal of this gym and why the price tag was so hefty.
As my friend showed me around, I could tell the building had been around for a while just based on the stairwells. Turns out the gym has had it’s doors opened since 1980, but don’t be deterred by the age. It’s a beautiful “gym” with great views, good food, and a vacation-like atmosphere.
After the spin-class we found ourselves at the rooftop pool just catching some rays. 9/10 of the members were in incredible shape. An incredible motivator if you’re on a quest for an extremely fit physique. The water was fantastic, the bar was close by, and if you wanted a bite to eat by the pool, you could have that too.
I felt like I was in Vegas for the day, minus the gambling bit of it.
This isn’t just any gym. It’s a place to go for hours and get a sweat, relax, or even work at. If you’re like me and work from home, this is the home office you could only wish to have. It even has an included business center.
How Much Is It?
It runs my friend and his spouse $300 per month. The individual price runs $195 per month alone. The normal couple price is $330, but they get a slight discount.
If you’re between the ages of 18-29 the initiation fee is $250. Signing up for a membership alone, it’s $500. If you’re looking to sign up as a couple then you’re looking at $700. Hard for me to stomach those numbers, but that’s the reality of it.
My curiosity built as to what all of these people here must do. While, that’s not to say I could not afford it myself, it did beg the question as to whether I would want to. My friend is a financial adviser, so he obviously makes a justification to himself that it’s well worth it. I don’t have to tell him the numbers!
They would spend $500 for signup plus $300 x 12 months = $3600 totaling $4100 for the first year. That’s a hard pill for me to swallow considering that amount pays for more than my car and insurance combined.
Verdict – Is the East Bank Club worth it?
The fact is, I don’t have to swallow the pill because I’m not the one paying for it. I’d be a little hypocritical to judge as my membership that I just splurged on is running me $79 a month. Over a year though, it’ll only run me $948 as I didn’t have to pay for any initiation fees. That’s a far cry off from the $4100, but it’s also for 2 people as compared to my solo membership.
Previously, I had a membership for two that only cost $20 per month. I recently decided it was worth it for myself to upgrade to a different gym that better fit my needs. Health comes above frugality in my book, so I’m willing to spend a little more where I feel the cause it worthy.
That being said, a membership cost at this price point does reach a tipping point. Then again, it’s not just any gym and you can definitely justify reasons for spending the cash. There’s a reason it’s the East Bank Club and not the East Bank Gym. If it’s good enough for Oprah and Obama, then it’s good enough for me. In fact, I plan on going there a few more times if I can! For free, of course…