December 2007

Facility Spotlight
Lift Gym New York, N.Y. (212) 688-3304;

Being Unique in New York

By Anne B. McDonnel, Senior Editor

It's a challenge to stand out in a city that is known for its many unique offerings, but Lift Gym in New York City has done just that. With its status as the only private training club in Manhattan staffed exclusively with independent personal trainers, it has set itself apart from the typical urban health club. Lift Gym offers an alternative to standard health club training. Founded by Ken Fitzgerald (who is the Director of Sport Time Health Club in Quague, N.Y.) the 10,000 square-foot, four floored sunlit workout center was designed as a private personal training fitness facility. Lift is primarily a one-on-one training center, with a personalized approach that appeals to people of all fitness levels. Says Rebecca Brooks of the PR firm The Brooks Group, "The trainers' range of expertise is unrivaled to other facilities, where a unified method approach is the norm." Owner Fitzgerald and more than 90 trainers who work as independent contractors staff the fitness center. (Full-time cleaning and maintenance staff, and day and night front-desk managers are employees of the facility.) All Lift trainers must have a minimum of three years of experience, and the average trainer has eight years. Trainers must also be certified.

Marketing in unique for Lift Gym, that it is marketed to both trainers and members. Independent personal trainers use Lift as a place to train their clients, and members (mostly men and women ages 35-70 of all fitness levels) go there to find the right trainer from the long list of possibilities. Members are required to work with their trainer at least once per week. This system works out well for both trainers and members. Members get personalized attention and a choice of many trainers, and trainers don't have to pay large client fees. Says Brooks, "This concept was born from necessity. Manhattan gyms have been tightening their policies on independent trainers, tossing them out unless they're willing to hand over 60 percent of the income from their clients."

The facility itself offers top-of-the-line equipment, and an inviting place to work out. One floor is the clinical and relaxation floor, featuring physical and massage therapists, plus a cafe and out door terrace. Another floor features hardwood floors and soft, indirect lighting for a "homey" atmosphere for the stretching and cardio areas, plus the locker rooms. The two other floors are equipped with free wights, cardio and weight machines, plus plenty of floor space. The gym also features a private studio for kickboxing and yoga.

With all of these features, plus unique services for both trainers and members, it's easy to see how Lift Gym stands out among the sea of fitness clubs in Manhattan. FM

Facility Stats

Facility opened: 1997
Facility size: 9,200 square feet
Number of members: More than 500
Retention Rate: 85 percent

Strength equipment: Eight pieces of Cybex, Body Masters, Life Fitness, Atlantis and King York machines; Iron Grip dumbbells, barbels and plates (5000 pounds)

Cardio equipment: Eight Life Fitness treadmills, two Precor elliptical, three recumbent and three upright Life Fitness cycles, four StairMaster steppers, one Concept II Rower

Extras and amenities: Massage, full serviced locker rooms, juice bar, outdoor terrace, and a studio for boxing, kickboxing, yoga and functional/ agility training.