Free Fitness Program Trials to Help You Ring in 2023

Posted by Joe (Zhouhan) and Phyo in January 2023

Now that we’re getting very close to a new year, Phyo has been feeling the pressure to get some workouts in to get fit (Zhouhan is fit year-round 😛). Here are some free trials of yoga classes, training sessions and gym time in NYC that we have found helpful:

Responsive image
A HUGE gym at Georgia Tech. None of the gym at NYC is this big...

Core Power Yoga

Core Power Yoga is offering a free week of unlimited yoga classes for new students. There are various types and levels of classes like C1 (fundamental vinyasa flow), C2 (intermediate flow), Yoga Sculpt (either with bodyweight or hand weights) and Hot Power Fusion (hot yoga + power flow). We went to the Yoga Sculpt classes at the Flatiron and Village locations and they left our muscles shaking and dripping with sweat at the end. It’s a great workout for sure.


F45 has a 3-day trial for local residents. The F stands for functional training, a mix of circuit and HIIT style workouts, and 45 is the total amount of time for sweat-dripping, heart-pumping fun as the website explains. We have not tried this but some of our friends highly recommend it.

Blink Fitness

Based on Joe's experience

Blink is a popular gym brand that offers an easy-to-sign-up free trial. Blink is no-frills – it is the only gym that allowed me in without introducing me to a sales rep. Maybe the best way to sell is to not tell people you will sell.

I went to Blink Chelsea (8th Avenue) on the day of the 2022 World Cup Final. Because everyone was probably watching the event, the gym was not crowded at all! I used all the well-maintained equipment at my leisure.

The space is large, but entirely underground, so there is no natural light, or any city view. There are several TV programs playing sports. When I went there one TV was playing the World Cup Final (France vs Argentina) – I didn’t miss the World Cup during my workout :-)

If you just want to lift weights, Blink can be a good choice.

Crunch Fitness

Based on Joe's experience

Similar to Blink, Crunch offers a free trial that takes 30 seconds to sign up. For my free trial I chose the Crunch Union Square / 4th Avenue location. I first met a sales rep, who showed me around the gym, then took my driver’s license, and took me to come back to find him after workout. I understand the protocol, but find this practice lacks trust.

The gym has two floors – one ground floor, and one basement floor. I spent most of my time downstairs doing deadlifts. The gym is not spacious, and can feel “crunched” at times. Nonetheless, I found the weight lifting area motivating. There is a sturdy pull-up bar fixed on the wall, which is very convenient.

I met the sales rep at the end of my workout. He tried to sell membership to me, but the fee structure is too complicated – initiation fee, monthly subscription, best deal of the year, student discount, waiver of initiation fee if I can join today… I could not do the math.

Overall, Crunch has well-maintained equipment. The workout space can get pretty crowded and stuffy. Its membership structure is too difficult for me to understand.


Based on Joe's experience

Unlike other gyms, Equinox does not have a free trial sign up page. I find a generic registration page, registered an account, and picked a location I’m interested in (Equinox Flatiron). A few hours later, a sales rep called me, and offered me a free trial at the location.

I went to Equinox Flatiron on a Saturday morning, and the place was crowded. I had to nudge around to add weights, wait to use a pull-up station, and stretch on a random patch of floor next to the stretching area because the stretching area was full.

I think any crowded gym cannot be a good gym. Equinox is no exception.

I decided to give Equinox another try several days later, when I received a promo email about their Winter Solstice event. I chose Equinox Bond Street this time. A sales rep welcomed me and showed me around. Then I was allowed to explore the gym however I like.

I did several rounds of deadlifting. I tried to find a solid pull-up bar but didn’t find one. The gym has three floors. From the top floor, one can see pedestrians and traffic on Broadway, which is kind of cool.

All in all, I don’t think Equinox is worth a high membership fee because the equipment, level of crowdedness, and the store location are similar to Blink and Crunch. Equinox also has the most aggressive sales strategy (call + text + email). If a gym is indeed very good, you don’t need many sales reps, do you?