TMPL Clubs is Not a Gym; It’s a Whole Vibe

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New York City’s 4 Astor Place is jumping. An unlikely spot for this kind of chi at 6pm on a Tuesday. Its entrance is wedged next door to a Sweetgreens, but the minute you open the door the music hits you. You’re not in Kansas anymore. DJ Pumpkin is playing Fisher’s “Losing It” and a killer list of beats better than that tired playlist Spotify recommended to you. Four years at this gig, he knows how to give you the boost of energy you need when your muscles start to burn on that last rep. Trust me when I tell you, you haven’t seen a gym quite like this. 

TMPL Clubs, with five locations throughout New York’s Manhattan, is serving up beats, but it has a bevy of other goodies few gyms can match, definitely, all of them at its price point. Founded in 2016, TMPL’s aim was to reimagine the gym experience beyond just aesthetics. Combining the look and feel, the use of fitness technology, the gym’s great amenities, and the cost, you simply can’t find a better deal. 

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Look and Feel

Identifiable by its trademark black and yellow palette and no vowels in its name, TMPL has plenty of looks and personality. Each location is unique to the neighborhood each gym calls home, so this is not like walking into a Crunch on 42nd Street that might as well be in Fargo, North Dakota. Sorry, if you’re from Fargo, but this is New York City, The Big Apple. We’re accustomed to extravagance and have great expectations here. 

TMPL has traded in fluorescent bulbs, common in nearly every tier of gym, for focused lighting that is easier on the eyes to create a more dramatic effect and to set the mood. It makes the place feel like you are there to get down to business. It turns your energy inward, which isn’t to say that it’s some kind of zen garden, but with clearly demarcated zones for different kinds of exercises, you have your pick of how deep you want to go inwardly. This kind of atmosphere is for body work. And don’t worry, you can still people watch. The clientele is also crushing it in the looks department. 

The entryway in each location is its own statement piece: Astor Place, with its eclectic mix of modern interpretations of gilded furnishings, candelabra-style chandelier, and marble bust sculpture offset with a funky Keith Haring-like mural pay homage to its roots as the site of an old Barnes & Nobles Bookstore, and before that a publishing house. You might even recognize its main stairway from the movie “Zoolander,” where the film was shot. At 40,000 square feet, it’s among the largest gyms in all of Manhattan. The Hell’s Kitchen location, roughly the same in size, is going for a more industrial vibe with scaffolding and chainmail. West Village’s entryway greets you with yellow, cascading staircases as if you are Dorothy being led upwards to Oz. Avenue A is minimalist and offers a bit of mystery with strips of yellow lighting and a neon billboard leading you to a floating check-in desk on the second floor. 53rd & Lexington is at first unassuming with a nondescript entryway adorned simply with a contemporary leather couch, chandelier and an art piece, featuring Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat. But when you land, finery consumes your senses with perhaps the most exquisite yet minimalistic of all the check-in stations. (All sites are wheelchair accessible.) 

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Internally, they’ve spared no expense or creativity decorating the place with large art pieces and cool furnishings. DJ Pumpkin’s booth is none other than Studio 54’s original disco ball. The ceiling in West Village’s second floor is entirely bejeweled in onyx-colored orbs, and ensconced on the wall is the coolest hologram art installation you’ve ever seen. It’s trippy! TMPL encourages you to create your Instagram moment. They know you get the urge in between sets, and they have the walls for it. 

Walking in TMPL gyms among its finery reminds you that you are building your temple, that you are your very own work of art. 

Technology

The same attention and detail paid to the finishings is reflected in the equipment. All the gyms have state-of-the-art MATRIX machines in top notch condition. There are bench presses where the holster for the weights moves out of the way once you lift them. The treadmills and stair climbers all have USB ports to plugin and charge your devices while you work out. TMPL understands the value of technology, based on what its members want and need. In fact, it’s at the core of the brand’s philosophy and what sets it apart among other gyms. TMPL considers itself at the nexus of metabolic science, nutrition and exercise to empower members to achieve their fitness goals and create the body they desire and deserve.

When you become a member of TMPL gyms, you can opt in for a health and fitness assessment. This involves a complementary InBody composition analysis that is a perk often enjoyed by celebrity clientele at exclusive fitness studios. It measures your musculature, water weight and body fat percentage, providing you with a baseline, as you start your fitness journey. They also run you through a battery of exercises to check your strength, movement, flexibility and see if you might be overcompensating in any way. For those wanting more advanced visualization, you can get a 3-D body scan on a Styku machine that can expose your problem areas and visceral fat. You have the option to work with a TMPL trainer who will tailor an exercise plan for you at a cost and routinely track your progress. 

Amenities

Each gym has its unique draw with different layouts, square footage and amenities (you can see them individually down below in more detail), but what is characteristic of the majority of them is that they cater to the full body and mind. There are weight rooms to build strength and muscle, a cycling studio for endurance, a boxing area for balance and coordination, a yoga studio for flexibility and to quiet the mind. Amenities that you will seldom, if at all, find in other gyms of this tier in the city include a dedicated space for one-on-one sessions with a personal trainer, sauna and steam rooms, a cycling studio with a 40-foot IMAX-style screen for an immersive, virtual biking experience, and a 25-meter salt water pool. They have lockers, many with inbox locks, for daily use, and for monthly rental in some locations. TMPL believes in holistic wellness and gives you the option and the tools to focus on you. All of you! They believe that going to the gym shouldn’t feel like a chore. It should be transformative.  

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Classes & Premium Services

Classes at TMPL are coveted and fill up fast. Although elite members have access to classes anywhere there is a TMPL gym internationally, standard members enjoy similar access in their home city and all classes are included in the cost of your membership. Most classes are roughly 45 minutes and can be reserved online, where you can find the class that is right for you and your fitness and wellness goals, be they aqua fitness, boxing, martial arts, endurance training, conditioning, cycling, dance, HIIT, strength & toning, team training, yoga & Pilates. 

Staff & Personal Training

Many gyms give you the hard sell. Let’s face it, it’s another way that they make their bread, but TMPL’s staff is your biggest cheerleader. It’s why the cost structure is designed with you in mind. The staff can spot you, give you some pointers—no sweat off their backs, and if you want expert, focused attention, they’ve got yours. Personal training starts at $145/session for a single session but runs as low as $90/session if you take advantage of their tiered pricing bundles, which you can buy in sessions per week over a 3-month or 6-month period. Of course, the more sessions, the lower the rate. While not all the gyms have the space for it, some have dedicated rooms for one-on-one time, like Astor Place’s Red Room, where you can work out without any distractions or having to compete for equipment. 

Whether your goals are to lose weight, gain muscle, improve cardiovascular strength, work with a physical therapist, or just focus on overall health and wellness, TMPL can match you with the right expert. Their trainers are certified with at least one of the governing certification bodies for exercise and sports medicine, including ACE, AFAA, ISSA, NASSM and many can provide specialized training or therapy, such as folks needing postpartum rehabilitation or for injury. 

Cost

Elite club membership costs $125 with a one-year commitment, or $150 per month if you choose month-to-month. You gain access to every TMPL gym internationally, priority access to all classes, as well as exclusive classes that you can reserve in as little as seven days—everything included. Let me repeat that, everything is included! You do not have to pay extra for towel service. You do not have to pay extra for classes. You do not have to pay a premium for passport service to visit a gym if you are in a different area of the city than your home gym. And you pay month-to-month! Currently, the initiation fee is a modest $25. The value you get from this luxury boutique gym is unmatched for gyms at this price point. While other places like Equinox cost more (up to $320/month with a $500 initiation fee) for a clientele with money to burn, Equinox’ amenities are only marginally better, and, let’s just say, they don’t attract the cool kids.

Community

People come to TMPL to work out, but they also come for its sense of community. Unlike other gyms that take a traditional relationship approach with you as a customer, TMPL treats its members as teammates. This carries through in the first name-basis many of its staff have with the membership, but also how a shared love of wellness can transcend beyond the confines of the gym to the surrounding community. Recognizing this, TMPL has partnered and supported local vendors by creating greater value for its membership as a free benefit. For example, The Hell’s Kitchen location has invited Body Factory to give skincare consultations and facials to the membership. The Astor Place and West Village gyms work with Baby Brasa that prepares light snacks that are made available in their  common area weekly.  

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As cities across the country shuttered through the coronavirus disease pandemic, many people lost their sense of place, routines and connectedness. Many even lost their lives and loved ones. In New York, TMPL has remained a convivial and safe space during such a time of great hardship.

Safety Protocols

These extraordinary times require an extraordinary level of attention and care to ensure safety, and to protect the public interest. TMPL has stepped up to meet those needs in enhanced cleaning protocols and practices to minimize the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Following the CDC’s recommendation, only members and vendors who show proof of vaccination are allowed entry. Although masks are optional, the gym employs the help of a hospital-grade HEPA filtration system to eliminate pathogens in the air. All exercise studios and equipment are cleaned every hour and in between classes. They’ve provided adequate stations with disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizers and encourage members to clean the equipment before and after use. Not to mention, many of the gyms are so large, members are naturally separated. While there is still some amount of risk, the gym takes all precautions to minimize it so that your time at the gym is comfortable and you can better focus your attention on maximizing your workout.

Sign Up for a Free Day Pass

In partnership with TMPL, members of Freshfruit receive a free one-day pass with no strings attached. Use the link below to sign up or simply mention the “Freshfruit promotion” and or show the membership consultant this article. This offer expires April 15, 2022.

DIG THE VIBE AND FIND YOUR TRIBE

For more information on each gym location, check out the below to see just what bang you get for your buck, including the ”tea” from current members, if you won’t take my word for it. 

Hell's Kitchen

The vibe: Folks who visit this gym are a part of the in-crowd, who like to be pampered, treat their bodies like a temple and have the muscles to show for it, but may stay out till 5 in the morning on weekends at that spot you’ve not yet heard about. If this is your home gym, consider yourself spoiled. It comes with all the goodies, including the best looking clientele. 

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The amenities:
• Group exercise studio

• Virtual cycle studio

• Juice bar

• 25-meter saltwater pool

• Sauna/steam room

• Boxing area

• Hydro-massage beds

• Executive locker rooms


Najimdin, 34
“The difference between Crunch and TMPL is that Crunch has loads of other locations, so if I’m in Harlem I can just quickly go to Crunch. If I leave New York, I can go to Crunch. In Jersey, I can go to Crunch. I prefer TMPL. The people that come here are more my kind of folks, my kind of population, my kind of vibe. The music is amazing.”

Joshua, 35
“It’s convenient for me. They have really great equipment and great lighting…I’m more like a luxury fitness guy, so I like it to be cleaner. I like amenities. I live in the area. It’s convenient for me. It’s more affordable to the Equinox experience, but it’s a step above the Crunch experience. I think that the clientele is more for me. Everybody is here to work out. It’s infectious in the air.”

West Village

The vibe: The West Village location is more intimate, but that’s its strength, as you will know the staff well, including Jack, the general manager, who runs a tight ship but is always eager to help you out. This is for the young professional gym-goer who doesn’t need all the bells and whistles, but who will have access to the finest fitness equipment and a team of experts who can show you how to get the most out of your workout.

The amenities:
• Group exercise studio

• Boxing area

• Executive locker rooms


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Bryan, 38
“I like this location more because of the aesthetics and there’s a lot of natural light. I like how mixed the crowd is: different ages, different genders, races. I wanted something that was more upscale. In the past I’ve had other memberships that have been cheaper. I wanted something that makes me feel more like part of a community that takes fitness more seriously, something that feels convenient but upscale and stylish. It’s like an experience on top of just the workout.”

Diego, 31
“Lifting weights under a sea of disco balls is so fun and makes me want to come more often. I like the vibe of the gym. It’s never too busy. It’s less crowded, people don’t bother you. I feel like everyone’s doing their own thing, which I appreciate. I’ve been to New York Sports Club previously and it felt sterile and soulless. This has personality.”

Avenue A

The vibe: The smallest of the gyms in terms of square footage, Avenue A is a more vertical gym, which allows it more natural lighting, especially the cycling room that is bathed in it with a view even Peleton would envy. Members here aren’t the showoff types. They know what they’ve got and I wouldn’t blame them for wanting to keep it to themselves.

The amenities:
• Functional training zone

• Cycle studio

• Executive locker rooms

• Boxing area

Toff, 31
“A friend of mine recommended the brand to me and I came in to tour one day and they were so nice. I guess I was charmed into this gym. It has all the essentials that I need. I mostly do free-weight stuff. What I notice about this particular location is that mostly everyone is focused on doing their workout. So, there’s nobody occupying equipment for a prolonged period of time. There’s gym etiquette here.”

Aaron, 24
“I was going to Crunch but it was too small. So, I was looking for a bigger gym with better equipment that wouldn’t be too pricey and TMPL seemed like a good fit. I really like how the trainers are super comfortable with you. They make you feel like you belong here. I like the layout of the gym itself. It’s pretty easy to find everything you’re looking for. I’m intermediate with training, so it helps that some of their equipment is a bit specialized so I can hit muscles that I wouldn’t be able to hit at a different gym.”

Astor Place

The vibe: Astor place is the most eclectic of the gyms in terms of looks, but also its members. This is an every-person’s gym, although NYU students help to give it its edge. The space is massive with wooden flooring and large windows on the second floor that makes the space airy. It’s also where DJ Pumpkin spins on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so bring your A-game, if you want to keep up. You’re going to need it.

The amenities:
• Group fitness

• Hydro massage beds

• Sauna/steam room

• Yoga studio

• Executive locker rooms

• Disco DJ booth

• Functional training zone

Matteo, 37
“It’s a good gym, with a good vibe from a people-perspective. The price point is relatively good for what you’re getting. I was at Equinox before. I felt like you get roughly the same, but Equinox costs three times as much. It’s not worth what you’re paying for at Equinox. This location has better equipment and it also has a spa area.”

Christian, 39
“I’ve been a member for 5 or 6 years. I like the vibe and the atmosphere, that it’s not a typical gym. It’s clubby. The lights are cool. It’s not like white lights. Other gyms feel more sterile and, here, it feels more easy and sociable.”

53rd & Lexington

The vibe: Located in Midtown East, the 53rd and Lexington Avenue location is the newest of the gyms. It is subterranean, featuring state-of-the-art equipment, with plans to include a champagne lounge and a spa. The mostly white-collar-types that come here enjoy an open-plan layout and a higher appreciation of luxury, mirroring the swagger of many of the Fortune 100 corporate office buildings in the area.

The amenities:
• Functional training zone
• Smart cardio equipment
• Executive locker rooms
• Coming soon – The Spa at TMPL
• Group exercise and cycling studios

Cleiver, 26
“Before joining this gym, I asked many people about gyms here in New York but I wasn’t convinced with the other ones. I feel like they’re always crowded and I didn’t really like the gym or the space in general. Here it’s very welcoming.  I took a few training sessions and I loved it. I like the environment here. It’s really nice. It’s new, so it’s good for me because all the gym equipment is brand new. I like the location, too; it’s close to home. People are very friendly here. I feel very motivated to come here at least five times a week.”

Domerio, 36
“I like the attention to detail: the mix of the machines that they have, the arrangement of the machines, and the cleanliness. From the lobby to the way you’re greeted, there seems to be a higher standard. It’s a little more expensive than New York Sports Club but not as expensive as Equinox, but I feel like I’m getting equal or greater value overall. The men’s locker room—great lockers, the locks are integrated. They even have a TV in there. They make it cozy. It’s one of those gyms you can wind up spending 2-3 hours after your workout. It feels like a safe haven.”

Sign Up for a Free Day Pass

In partnership with TMPL, members of Freshfruit receive a free one-day pass with no strings attached. Use the link below to sign up or simply mention the “Freshfruit promotion” and or show the membership consultant this article. This offer expires April 15, 2022.

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