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Gym Dandies

What do Los Angeles, Elkhart, Ind., and New York City have in common?

Each is home to not just a health club, but a health club that’s considered to be the hottest in town.

In Los Angeles, it’s Sports Club / LA; in Manhattan, it’s Equinox (there are four branches--we scoped out the one on 19th Street and Broadway); and in Elkhart, which is 110 miles east of Chicago, it’s City Fitness Club / Nautilus on Main Street in downtown.

These are the gyms where The Beautiful People--and The Regular People--go not just to be seen, but to work up a good sweat.

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Here, a glance at what separates these health clubs from the rest, as reported by Kathleen Doheny (Los Angeles), Arden Erickson (Elkhart) and Leslie Knowlton (New York).

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Gym Dandies

Club: SPORTS CLUB / LA

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Location: West L.A.

Opened: 1987

Square Footage: 100,000

Membership: Ain’t saying

Male / Female Ratio: 50/50

Members Who Work Out in a Single Day: 1,500

On Mondays,Doors Open at. . .: 5:30 a.m.

On Sundays, Doors Close at . . .: 8 p.m.

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Initiation Fee: Standard $1,295; Executive $2,500

Membership Fee: Standard $125 a month; Executive $165 a month

Most Popular Item at Snack Bar: Turkey meat loaf

Food/Drink Options: Smoothies, salad bar, grilled vegetables w/balsamic vinegar, scrambled egg whites w/salsa

Staff: 300

Personal trainers: 50

Treadmills: 33

Stationary Bikes: 23

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Recumbent Bikes: 13

Stair-Climbing Equipment: 46

Weight Equipment: Keiser, Icarian, Cybex, Nautilus

Circuit Line: No

Pool: Yes

Track: No

Rock-Climbing Equipment: Yes

Protocol for Signing Up: None

Cell Phones Spotted: One

Pagers Spotted: Not a one

Fashion Flair: From black spandex to baggy, dingy T-shirts

Number of Aerobics Classes a Week: 144

Most Popular Class: Low-impact Groove

Longest Class Name: -

Valet Parking: $2.50; free for executive members

Other activities/ special events: Wine seminar, car wash, facial peel, seaweed treatment

Celebrity sightings: Magic Johnson, Tya Banks, Brook Shields

*

Club: CITY FITNESS CLUB / NAUTILUS

Location: Elkhart, Ind.

Opened: 1986

Square Footage: 15,700

Membership: 1,200+

Male / Female Ratio: 45/55

Members Who Work Out in a Single Day: 325

On Mondays,Doors Open at. . .: 5:30 a.m.

On Sundays, Doors Close at . . .: 2 p.m.

Initiation Fee: None

Membership Fee: $395 a year

Most Popular Item at Snack Bar: Dyna Carb Shake

Food/Drink Options: Coffee, Carbo and protein shakes, juice, bottled water, Power Bars

Staff: 17

Personal trainers: 3

Treadmills: 6

Stationary Bikes: 11

Recumbent Bikes: 6

Stair-Climbing Equipment: 6

Weight Equipment: Nautilus, Body Master Hammer

Circuit Line: Yes

Pool: No

Track: No

Rock-Climbing Equipment: No

Protocol for Signing Up: Must sigh in for step class, Nautilus and aerobic equipment

Cell Phones Spotted: Not many (courtesy phone provided)

Pagers Spotted: Yes (all belong to doctors)

Fashion Flair: Bike shorts, tights, T-shirts, leotards, sweats

Number of Aerobics Classes a Week: 12

Most Popular Class: 5:30 p.m. step

Longest Class Name: -

Valet Parking: No, but there’s a free municipal lot out back

Other activities/ special events: Massage therapy, New Year’s Eve party, indoor rowing competition

Celebrity sightings: U.S. Olympic rowing team

*

Club: EQUINOX

Location: Mdtown Manhattan

Opened: 1991

Square Footage: 34,000

Membership: 5,000

Male / Female Ratio: 45/55

Members Who Work Out in a Single Day: 900

On Mondays,Doors Open at. . .: 5:30 a.m.

On Sundays, Doors Close at . . .: 9 p.m.

Initiation Fee: $395

Membership Fee: $1,050 a year

Most Popular Item at Snack Bar: Sport Shake

Food/Drink Options: Oatmeal w/apples, pears w/raisins, baked apples, potato salad w/egg white, capers and shallots

Staff: 300

Personal trainers: 60

Treadmills: 35

Stationary Bikes: 15

Recumbent Bikes: 15

Stair-Climbing Equipment: 26

Weight Equipment: Cybex, Icarian, Paramount

Circuit Line: Yes

Pool: No

Track: No

Rock-Climbing Equipment: No

Protocol for Signing Up: Must sign in for spinning. After all there are only 50 bikes

Cell Phones Spotted: None (it’s considered uncool)

Pagers Spotted: See above

Fashion Flair: Black, gray sweats, shorts ot T-shirts. Very little spandex or peacock colors

Number of Aerobics Classes a Week: 120

Most Popular Class: Cardio Moves Funky Low Urban Jam

Longest Class Name: Cardio Moves Funky Low Urban Jam

Valet Parking: Parking in Manhattan? Be serious

Other activities/ special events: Caloric evaluations, nutritional counseling, hypnosis for smokers, visits from famous athletes

Celebrity sightings: Nicole Miller, Billy Baldwin, Julia Robert, Elle MacPherson, Denizel Washington


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