David Barton Gym Logo

David Barton Gym

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1 User Review
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LAST UPDATED: September 20th, 2019

David Barton founded David Barton Gym in 1992. The gym was designed to be an eclectic alternative to the popular gyms at the time. Interior Design Magazine even included David Barton Gym in its list of the world’s most innovative ideas, concepts, and designs of the year. The gym caters to the urban professional “9-to-5” crowd who want to get and stay in physical shape and who spend more time at the gym and work than at home. The Gym was founded on three principles/concepts: creating an exciting energy that affects one’s emotions and awareness, helping people get the body of their dreams, and learning what every other “health club” was doing and then doing just the opposite. To date, David Barton no longer owns the gym—it was sold to a larger company and has undergone some significant changes their long-time customers find to have deviated from the original features and standards that made David Barton Gyms one-of-a-kind.


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The Good

  • Equipment
  • Cleanliness
  • Trainers and nutrition
David Barton has the latest state of the art equipment including treadmills, elliptical trainers, and cardio machines and of course trainers and instructors. Regardless of location, members say there is a plethora of equipment and it is rare to not be able to use the weights or machine that you need. Only during a very specific period, about from 5:30 to 6:00 p.m. does it actually get crowded. The locker room is massive, offering everything needed to get fresh after a hard workout: Blow dryers, razors, shampoo, conditioner, etc. David Barton gyms also provide a full complement of pulleys, springs and other resistance systems that will increase your core strength, increase flexibility and improve coordination.
Overall, David Barton members find that the equipment is always clean and in perfect condition. The machines are kept clean and there are always fresh towels available. A few customers complained of harsh chemicals that were used to clean and disinfect the equipment that burn your eyes while you are working out on cardio machines but the general consensus is that the gym's daily standard of cleanliness is high.
Trainers and Nutrition
All of David Barton's classes are taught by personal trainers, which is not the case with many gyms. Members have found that there are many great trainers leading classes, but not all. If you want an excellent trainer, paying more for a personal trainer is necessary. Many of these classes are included in your membership. One of David Barton's two most popular training courses is their Pilates program. With your Pilates personal trainer, you will be consulted so the program will be specifically suited for your needs to get the result you want. Pilates training is dynamic and consists of full exercises that integrate muscle toning, movement, alignment and breathing. In addition to this their instructors have been trained to help people from all walks of life -dancers, athletes, and anyone who wants to get in shape-find the right program to suit their needs. Unlike other gyms that only cater to those who are in shape, David Barton gyms have trainers who will prepare special, customized programs for their members who are suffering from chronic injuries. While we found some gyms that offer nutritional plans, David Barton's focus is physical fitness. The gyms specializes in physical training/exercise. This makes them inferior to other gyms who offer services for a more holistic assistance plan.

The Bad

  • Price and contracts
  • Hidden fees
  • Lack of amenities
Price and Contracts
David Barton Gym does not disclose pricing options and contract lengths for memberships to its facilities. One perk currently offered in all locations is a fee pass for new members. You get $0 enrollment until the last day of August plus "throwback" training rates. But when we inquired further, we found that membership pricing is only available upon submitting an application. This is very unfavorable for customers who typically want to know the fees up front before investing time and energy into talking with gym staff, only to find out their fees are too expensive. Note: Upon further review, we found that David Barton Gym offers two membership types: annual and monthly. Here's the pricing breakdown: MONTHLY SINGLE (UNLIMITED CLUBS ACCESS) Initiation Fee: $250 Monthly Fee: $109 Cancellation Fee: $300 DUAL (UNLIMITED CLUBS ACCESS) Initiation Fee: $250 Monthly Fee: $218 Cancellation Fee: $300 ANNUAL FEES SINGLE (UNLIMITED CLUBS ACCESS) Initiation Fee: $250 Annual Fee: $1308 Cancellation Fee: $300 DUAL (UNLIMITED CLUBS ACCESS) Initiation Fee: $250 Annual Fee: $2616 Cancellation Fee: $300
Upfront Fees
Many gyms require upfront fees and David Barton Gym is no different. Customers are charged initiation fees that vary depending on what customer package you sign up with. Here's what the upfront pricing looks like: SINGLE (UNLIMITED CLUBS ACCESS) Initiation Fee: $250 DUAL (UNLIMITED CLUBS ACCESS) Initiation Fee: $250 So, across the board, David Barton charges an upfront fee of $250. This is expensive-especially since we found many fitness centers with lower upfront fees in the $79-$150 range.
Hidden Fees
Gym members have complained that they've been charged unexpected additional fees from time to time. One loyal customer of several years was charged a $50 maintenance fee out of the blue, seemingly due to cover common area damages caused by an influx of younger customers stealing hairdryers and other property. Another hidden cost is a $29 rental fee if you want to leave your belongings in a locker overnight.
David Barton Gym offers a plethora of classes that go above and beyond the normal gym class schedule of weight training, dance class and yoga. The gym offers specialized classes taught by personal trainers including Ass Blast, Guns, and Pressure Cooker. They've also got your traditional spin classes, dance cardio, bootcamp, etc. There is no reservation process and anyone can just show up to any class at any time. Members report that ever since David Barton added the cycling classes to its schedule, there has been a steady decline in overall attendance. Going to this gym in the morning has lessened in quality due to the student crowd taking up a lot of space. These changes can be a hindrance to loyal patrons' fitness goals. The pilates/yoga studio was closed and the spinning classes ended to be replaced by CYC, something similar to Soul Cycle. It now costs an extra $20 (at least) to spin, for each CYC class-in addition to your membership; however, you can just buy a CYC package and get to go to the gym for free, meaning that some days things can get really crowded. The CYC classes are promoted as superior to the old spin classes that were included with the David Barton membership, but loyal members find this is not the case. Another common issue is that the trainers end some of the classes without proper stretching to protect participants from muscle injury. Their weight class ends abruptly without any stretching. A few customers have complained about related injuries after taking one of David Barton's classes. This is perplexing since their classes are all taught by personal trainers, who should know and practice these basic exercise training principles.
Lack of Amenities
Being an urban gym in the heart of Metropolitan areas, David Barton does not offer amenities that most gyms do-like pools, tennis courts, etc. This does not seem to be a detriment for customers-many of whom are urban professionals-who have not complained of not having these amenities available.

The Bottom Line

Someone who visits David Barton for the first time might mistake it for a high-end living room or a fancy nightclub, and while the amenities here certainly add to it, the trainers, equipment and classes are what make it different. It also is a very clean gym regardless of location. With the customized training offered by David Barton Gym, you'll be able to get the body you want in no time regardless of what your present condition is. If you are looking for a cycling class similar to Soul Cycle, David Barton Gym's CYC class is a viable choice. The membership fees are extremely high, making the best option to pay over $20 for each CYC class-which gives you free access to the entire gym. Also expensive is the upfront fees in addition to hidden fees that may crop up for locker rentals or fees to cover general property damage. Also be aware that David Barton no longer owns the gym, which is now under corporate ownership. This has resulted in some unfavorable changes to the original quality of the gym.
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Larry Robbins

Fix the machines and are the doors going to close any day now, if so refunds are due

3 years ago