E at Equinox
New York, NY
There’s no threat of mingling with commoners at E, the by-invitation-only branch of Equinox situated inside its Columbus Circle location: A Minority Report-style retina scan is required to enter the club. Once you’re through security, you’ll find clean workout clothes and private changing cabanas. A $25,000 annual membership scores you two weekly sessions with a Tier 4 trainer, the chain’s most elite breed of personal coach.
Athletes’ Performance is the ultimate playground for elite athletes of all ages, from high school students to professional athletes like San Diego Chargers offensive tackle Max Starks and former NHL star Chris Drury. The high-tech training facility is equipped with a 60-yard turf football field; batting cages and a pitching mound; a 60-meter, three-lane track; and a covered basketball court. When you’re done with training, hop on an underwater treadmill to soothe tired muscles.
New York, NY
Sure, the usual lineup of treadmills and weight machines are on hand at this Manhattan-based gym, but the focus is on lowering your handicap. Trainers work with members to perfect strength and balance techniques—as well as providing nutrition strategies—that will ultimately make their golf games better. At the end of each session, trainees can hit up a golf simulator and take on famed courses such as Saint Andrews and Pebble Beach.
Beverly Hills, CA
Good luck tracking down this underground, referral-only studio in Beverly Hills. The only way inside is through a 15-car, paparazzi-proof garage—one that you have to drive down an alleyway to get to in the first place. Those who gain entrance work with owner Adam Ernster, who’s trained the likes of Ben Affleck, Tim Tebow, and Diddy.
David Barton Gym
South Beach, FL
There’s a reason flashy David Barton Gyms look more like nightclubs than your typical fluorescent-lit sweat center: Barton designed the first N.Y.C. location back in 1992 as a way to make weightlifting cool for Manhattan’s club-hopping set. The South Beach location typifies that mission with on-site valet parking, a boxing club, and even live DJs.
It’s hard to find an excuse to skip the gym if you belong to Bosse. While you’re busy practicing your serve on one of Bosse’s 10 indoor tennis courts or scoring tips from a PGA-certified instructor in the 25,000-square-foot domed golf center, a concierge is on hand to take care of boring errands—dry-cleaning pickups, grocery store runs, and even in-home computer repairs.
East Bank Club
When you tire of this sprawling club’s seven indoor tennis courts, quarter-mile indoor track, 20,000-square-foot cardio room, driving range, and two full-size indoor basketball courts, pick up a paddle. Kayaking trips on the Chicago River leave from the gym; choose to go at your own pace, head out during Friday-night fireworks, or cruise on an architecture-focused tour. Back at the private club, refuel with burgers at the Sun Deck Cafe, or sit down for small plates and steaks at Maxwell’s Restaurant.
New York, NY
A six-hour mandatory fitness evaluation—spread out over six to 12 visits—is required before joining this midtown Manhattan gym known for its Wall Street clientele. Founder and former bodybuilder John Sitaris uses data gathered during the orientation process to develop a customized fitness plan for each member, then monitors and evaluates progress in a computer system that he designed. The kicker: Members must commit to a minimum of two $115 training sessions per week.
The Houstonian Club
Resident members—the highest level in the invitation-only club’s tiered membership program—nab access to the 125,000-square-foot center’s outdoor running track, four heated pools, four indoor tennis courts, and 165 weekly group classes. Extra perks include private oak lockers, an indoor whirlpool, and robes to pull on after you shower.