Exploring Off-Campus Fitness Centers

A guide to the various facilities and membership costs of fitness centers near Fordham campuses



Numerous fitness centers like Planet Fitness are located around Manhattan.


Heading into the spring semester, Fordham’s fitness centers remained closed as a precaution in light of the omicron outbreak. While the university has since reopened the Ram Fit Center at Rose Hill on Jan. 28 — followed by a new fitness room located in the basement of the recently opened Campus Center on Feb. 1 — the McMahon fitness center only reopened on February 19th. 

With both the McMahon and Rose Hill facilities having a tenuous schedule at the mercy of COVID-19 outbreaks, students are increasingly turning to off-campus alternatives. 

Off-Campus Options

Jack Harrigan, Fordham College at Rose Hill ’25, has struggled to find a gym that he and his friends could attend, explaining that “the guys who are really dedicated” purchased memberships at Planet Fitness or Blink

“My friend went one time (to Blink) and said that it was too busy with kids and locals,” Harrigan said. His friend now goes to Planet Fitness. Both centers near Rose Hill offer yearlong memberships for $10 a month, with additional amenities at Planet Fitness, which offers access to massage and tanning rooms in more expensive packages.

For Lincoln Center students looking for a cheaper alternative, the Midtown West Planet Fitness at 56th Street offers memberships for $10 a month.

Several gyms lie in close proximity to the Lincoln Center campus as well. The West Side YMCA, located on 63rd Street between Columbus Avenue and Central Park West, offers individual memberships for $108 a month. It is the only nearby fitness center with a swimming pool. This YMCA used to offer limited discounted memberships for Fordham students, but they ended the practice after the 2019-20 school year. 

For Lincoln Center students looking for a cheaper alternative, the Midtown West Planet Fitness at 56th Street offers memberships for $10 a month. Memberships are only valid at individual Planet Fitness centers, meaning that a membership to the Midtown West facility does not grant access to the location on Fordham Road. A YMCA membership, on the other hand, is valid in any of their centers. 

The New York Sports Club Upper West Side facility on 73rd Street and Central Park West is farther from campus and more expensive than Planet Fitness at $55 a month. Like Planet Fitness, a New York Sports Club membership is only valid at a singular location. The Sports Club offers amenities like lockers, sauna rooms, and access to group sessions and activities.

The most expensive option near Lincoln Center is Crunch Fitness. Located at 54th Street between Broadway and Eighth Avenue, Crunch offers monthly membership at $124 a month, although prospective members can sign up for a weeklong free trial.

Healthy Gym Etiquette

Whichever fitness center you ultimately choose to go to, be it on- or off-campus, it remains important to follow sanitation guidelines and social distancing policies. 

Physical exertion increases one’s rate of respiration, and thus also the amount of aerosols potentially containing COVID-19. The compact, social nature of gyms coupled with having to share equipment has made gyms an easy place for outbreaks to occur. New York City guidelines require fitness centers to ensure social distancing and mask-wearing, as well as to have functional air conditioning.

The newly reopened Ram Fit Center requires students to reserve a time in advance using a third-party mobile app. Students who make a reservation are also required to wear a facial covering as well as maintain six feet of distance from others. The locker rooms are also closed, so students should enter the fitness center with the clothes they plan to work out in.

Adherence to guidelines and rules posted at gyms is not just something that should be done when required. Students participating in any indoor fitness setting should make a habit of constantly cleaning their hands and the equipment they use. Students interested in off-campus fitness should treat these facilities with the same courtesy expected of them when using them on campus.

Correction: A previous version of this article stated that the West Side YMCA has a membership fee of $102 per month. It has been updated to reflect that as of Feb. 14, 2022, the membership fee is $108 per month.

As of Feb. 19, 2022, the McMahon fitness center has reopened.