Health & Fitness

By Marni James

Looking for a unique, playful, gym that actually makes you want to work out? Look no further than David Barton’s newest location in Astor Place. The building, a former Barnes and Noble space, is pure East Village, from the electric colors, velvet sofas, and tattooed walls, to the spot lighting that resembles a nightclub. Truly a fantasyland of fitness, the space has top of the art machines, services and classes that ooze positive energy, something that’s barely apparent from the outside. David’s eye for interior design, detail and his standard of excellence are truly felt throughout the club.

Sound a bit intimidating, maybe, but the vibe is equally intoxicating and inspiring; when the time comes, you really won’t want to leave. The space, which consists of 4 floors, houses several cardio rooms, all which have their own flat screen TV’s and custom track lighting so the focus is really all on you. The combination of the lights plus the tinted mirrors help can help extend your workouts as you don’t need to worry about looking overly red and sweaty as typical florescent lighting can sometimes exaggerate. The 2nd floor boasts impressive areas of free weights complete with a live DJ spinning upbeat tunes from inside a twelve-foot disco ball. The bottom floor contains the candle-lit yoga studio, Pilates room, and the amenity-laden women’s locker room.

David’s true perfectionism is also shown in the attention and training he gives his staff. He trains each and every team member to ensure they are properly educated and are true experts in their role at the club. The result is a fitness team that delivers butt- kicking individual and group sessions. I was lucky enough to take a Vinyasa Yoga class that got me to stretch into a variety of new positions and really pushed my limits; I left feeling great. Other classes at Astor Place include cardio, muscular strength, tone and flexibility with cheeky names like “Ass blast,” “Guns,” “Yoga for Jocks” and “Mind Over Muscle”.

The vibe I got in my time exploring the facility was that it seems the place and people really care about their members, and they want you to do remarkable things there. Personally, I love the fact that it’s not a cookie-cutter mass gym, it doesn’t seem like a business and it really makes working out a fun pastime. This winter when its cold out and you have little motivation, go take a look around this place and I promise you will find the inspiration to try something different and change the way you think about exercising.

DavidBartonGym at Astor Place is located at 4 Astor Place, between Broadway and Lafayette. Call 212.505.6800 or visit for more information.

Originally published December 2009
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