“It’s not fitness. It’s life.” Start spouting lines like this down your local leisure centre and brace for an eye-roll. But to a fast-growing social sect, the mantra, as it suggests, is absolutely a phrase to live by.
It’s also the strapline of high-end fitness brand Equinox that, since opening its first Fitness Club in New York in 1991, has amassed a century of outlets across North America and London.
Famed for its “high-performance living”, Equinox fuses the active with the alchemic, but perhaps its boldest innovation yet came last summer with the opening of its debut hotel property – Equinox Hotel Hudson Yards.
The 212-room temple to toning is part of the west Manhattan neighbourhood, which much like Equinox guests is also all about remodelling – through $25 billion worth of skyscraper steel; this area represents pumping iron of both varieties.
While some city breakers may quibble over dedicating precious suitcase space to their trainers for a less-than-likely gym visit, the crown jewel here is of course the Fitness Club; in fact it’s Equinox’s largest-ever premises at 60,000 square feet – almost the size of a UK professional football pitch – and is a destination in itself.
Offering every element of personal training and group classes you could think of there’s also the brand’s most exclusive E by Equinox “gym within a gym” sanctum, with membership worth a cool $500 a month plus a $1,500 initiation fee.
Having completed my first London marathon in 2019 and (at the time of my stay) ramping up training for this year’s event, I was eager to experience a slice of the Equinox lifestyle.
Despite feeling a tad bleary eyed from a 6am call and encroaching jet lag from the day before’s arrival, I soon felt enthused by the benevolent Duracell Bunny-air of my allotted trainer, Jenna.
If I thought I was approaching a big fitness task, Jenna’s was a step beyond; her latest triathlon, organised by the US Marines.