Equinox is the paragon of fitness clubs…supposedly. It’s the globo-gym of real life because it’s better than you and they know it! When people are asked what gym they belong to and they either sheepishly, because they’re a trustafarian, or proudly state, “Equinox,” they are treated with a reverence reserved for Terry Crews, Jen Selter and other fitness demi-Gods.
I once was enamored with Equinox. I’m also a world fucking class finagler.
This is how a few months ago I received over $600 in free fitness credit from Equinox with a plan so cunning it would make both Jordan Belfort and Frank Abagnale grin (both played by Leo fictionally, by the way).
How did I do it? Not important. But long story short, I had a temp job at Very Interesting and Cool E-Media company that we’ll hypothetically abbreviate to “VICE” for now. Turns out Equinox had a VICE employee discount, but I didn’t have a VICE email so I made up a fake one. Soon after, I enter Equinox and step into a membership advisor’s office factually bathed in Swagger (shout out Old Spice body wash).
Aforementioned Fitness Deity Terry Crews and Swagger. Again, I bathe in swagger daily.
The Initiation fee to join was $300, and even with a discount, membership was $170 per month with a two-month minimum. These Equinox folks were so desperate to make a deal (almost Paul Ryan desperate) that I got the $300 initiation waived, had my first month prorated started the 30th—that month cost about $4—but paid the second month in full. However…I had my buddy refer me, who received a $170 referral fee that was promptly kicked back to me: second month = free. Net cost of $640 for a grand total of $4. Finagle level: Bernie Madoff.
I was in. I was ready to get my White Goodman on and man-spread, network, fake grunt and schvitz my way to Equinox glory.
Then I had a realization it was all for naught. It wasn’t a growing suspicion as much as it was a flat out bitch slap to the kisser: Equinox fucking sucks. Worse than Reptar on ice.
Why does it suck?? (HE FINALLY GOT TO WHY!) I’ll tell you why.
Very weird advertisements
Equinox’s advertising campaign is terrifying. The ads look like movie posters for “The Stepford Wives” meets “Requiem for a Dream” meets “Shaving Ryan’s Privates.” Even stranger? The ads are in the gym. Like, chill vato, I’m already here. No más convincing por favor.
You cannot get away from THE. ADS. Again, the VERY WEIRD ADS.
Question: What makes you want to engage in hip adductions more than getting stared at by a poster of a woman with no breasts from a double mastectomy getting tattooed?
This isn’t a rhetorical question. The answer: anything. Fucking ANYTHING ELSE.
Positive body imagery = cool. But please just let me workout.
And yes I do the hip adduction machine, my inner thighs need it for proper thrust.
The ads get weirder, though…
Again, nothing makes me squat like a completely nude narcissist staring at me.
Gym ad of guy covered in bees.
I call this one, “Gym ad of woman breast-feeding twins, gazing into distance with unattended steak tar tar.”
Get swole. Get more orgies.
I came to the gym to workout. Please let me workout in relative comfort. These make me uncomfortable and I don’t like them. Not one bit.
Snooty ass people using whack ass amenities
Equinox is expensive; we all know that. In fact, that’s part of what makes it cool. Paying more for worse shit. My $170 membership came with a clean locker room, one workout class studio, showers, lotion, mouthwash, razors, hair dryers, a steam room and ice cold eucalyptus-scented hand towels. My current New York Health and Racquet Club (NYHRC) has all the same amenities minus eucalyptus scented towels and razors, but PLUS two more workout class studios, a sauna, pool and hot tub.
Chilled eucalyptus-scented hand towels are fucking dope. In no universe will I ever deny that. But are they a pool, hot tub and sauna better? Answers vary from person-to-person, but a survey sample size of one from a post his athletic prime yet very handsome 23-year-old polls “no.” The person in that sample was me, by the way. I just polled myself and typed that. May not be a double-blind study, but still ethically sufficient.
Sour cream and dunions
I never felt trendy enough. Working was about who looked better, who could hold the stare of spectral advertisements longer, and engage in the most non-functional convoluted exercises. The workout area was always crowded, there was only one water fountain and I kept getting pressured to buy $1,000 workout packages. It was never meant to be.
The straw that broke the camel’s back came while drying off in the locker room. I forgot two towels on a bench and some old ass fogey with a wrinkly ball sack told me to pick up after myself. Leaving the towels was an honest mistake and now some geezer was giving me grief?! I told him to mind his own damn business.
And that’s when I realized….the trustafarians and WOAT yuppies had rubbed off on me. I felt like a pretentious Arnold wannabe with a false sense of entitlement because I belonged to an expensive gym. That was an especially shitty feeling after remembering that I couldn’t even afford to belong there if I wanted. Membership soon asked me to confirm my membership via the faulty VICE email I had sent them. I ignored them until my key fob stopped working and I never looked back from there.