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THE NEW YORK TIMES

Ken Fitzgerald has opened LIFT Gym, which he promotes as a haven for independent personal trainers. And that, he says, translates into lower prices and better service for customers. The gym, which he opened in January on two floors of 139 East 57th Street, between Lexington and Third Avenues, does not charge the trainers a fee.

Mr.Fitzgerald says his club, which does not have trainers on staff, brings in trainers who have their own clients already and tend to have more experience than staff members at other clubs.
Members pay $260 for a three-month membership plus about $50 to $65 an hour for one-on-one training. On the seventh floor, hardwood floors provide a stretching and aerobics exercise area with a 270-degree view over 57th Street and surrounding buildings, while the sixth floor houses free weights, weight machines, and stationary bicycles.

Mr.Fitzgerald, a former club bouncer and personal trainer who teaches fitness at Suffolk Community College, called his gym a serious, unpretentious place to work out. "The people are not all trussed up to come to the gym," he said. "They wear sweats. It's not a social club."