October, 2007

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New Age Neighborhood Gym
People don’t have to wait for their machines at Ludlow Fitness

by Pat Arnow

ason Goldberg wanted to create a place with state-of-the-art equipment and a calm and professional atmosphere: Clean, well-lit, with high ceilings. His gym on Delancey and Ludlow, above the Duane Reade, has all of that. Even eight months after opening, people tell Goldberg his Ludlow Fitness “looks like you opened yesterday.”

The clientele is considerate, he notes. They wipe down the machines after use, and they don’t emit obnoxiously loud grunts, groans and clangs heard in many gyms. One woman told Goldberg that she used to be intimidated by health clubs. She found the culture in which a few people dominated off-putting. Ludlow is not like that.

It’s a place where people are cordial but not intrusive, says Goldberg. Most of the members live on the Lower East Side within a few blocks of the gym. Others work here. “There’s a lot of diversity. It’s a snapshot of the area, a lot of different cultures and ethnicities. The best of what the Lower East Side has to offer,” says Goldberg, a native of Riverdale.

The 32-year-old entrepreneur who has worked in a number of gyms, says he loves his business, from selecting the best equipment to selling memberships to doing accounting. And it’s a good time in his life for risk taking, he confides: “I only have one mouth to feed.”

He’s proud of his staff: Personal trainers, teachers, and a nutritionist are all certified professionals. They offer personal training and an array of classes including yoga, Pilates, body sculpting, cardio kickboxing and core fusion. The gym supplies all the exercise equipment, like yoga mats and blocks, and even towels. “People just need to come with proper attire.”

Goldberg is proud of the equipment, too. There are some 30 cardio machines: Treadmills, stair steppers, elliptical trainers (currently the most popular), and stationary bikes. Each machine has a satellite television built into it, so exercisers can pick their own shows.

There are some 60 strength machines (the strange-looking contraptions for weight training). There are also free weights and plenty of benches. In fact, people don’t have to wait for machines, says Goldberg. That’s a big plus in a city with many overcrowded gyms.

There are locker rooms and showers for the members, and apples to reward the exercisers. At $399 a year, the cost is reasonable for a health club in New York City.

Goldberg says his growing membership is an agreeable mix, making up what he calls “a true neighborhood gym.” As the neighborhood is changing, he says, “We’re part of the facelift.”

Ludlow Fitness, 100 Delancey (at Ludlow), 212.260.9222, Hours: 5:30 am to midnight weekdays, 8:00 am to 9:00 pm weekends.

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