The Art of Fitness

My goal was to make it ok for people with taste to go to the gym. I wanted to create a gym that was hip, that made people want to spend time there on a daily basis.

While David Barton Gym’s motto is “Look Better Naked,” my personal philosophy when it comes to physical fitness is “Salvation Through Corporal Reality.” It’s a combination of the Dali Lama with a hardcore heroin addict…but healthy. I love working out—I look better, feel better, and I am happier once I do it. It is this mindset that I try to instill in the members of all of our various gyms. There are currently three David Barton Gyms in New York (Astor Place, Chelsea, and Uptown), two in Miami (Gansevoort South and the Flamingo), and one in both Chicago and Seattle. Each of the locales is an original that embodies the neighborhood in which it is located, but in each gym you will find a sexy vibe that inspires people to get the blood pumping and get in shape.

The goal is to make each and every one of my members a better version of their former selves, which is an important undertaking in the current state of the world, and people are responding in droves. To say we are thriving in the midst of a recession is an understatement. We’ve doubled in size in the last year. Even when forced to make cuts in their personal budgets, the one thing that people don’t want to give up is their gym, and for good reason. For the price of a nice dinner each month, you can escape your daily life, expand your social circle, get your body in shape, and relax in a nice locker room. Over the course of a year, a gym membership is less expensive than a week vacation. It’s an affordable space where people can go to escape when times are tough and they are worried about their futures. The best thing one can do in a bad economy is open a gym membership. In today’s market, people need to be fit and on top of their toes. If you are worried about your job, you should be thinking, “I am going to be in the best shape I can and go after my boss’ job. The one thing I am not going to do is stop keeping my mind and body sharp.”

Our gyms are designed with an athlete in mind. Bodybuilding was my sport when I was younger, and so the gyms are situated around the weight area, as a tribute to old-school gyms. More modern “health clubs” (I personally feel that working out at many of the clubs is like working out in a spa or a hotel lobby—where’s the motivation to get your blood pumping?) will separate the weights from the main floor, but David Barton Gyms are set up to guide members through a whole-body workout. And we have a world-class staff on hand to help members achieve their goals. Through consultations and personalized sessions, we can offer specific results. There is a science to it, and I have been studying the process for the last 20 years. At David Barton, we eat, breathe, live, sleep, and drink the methodology and science of changing the body in the most efficient way possible. We can bring this to our members in a way that is right for them and produce predictable results.

We also offer an assortment of classes taught by our trainers, and I am working on a new program that will make my added knowledge more accessible to members, no matter what type of membership they are on. Our intent is to make it as economical as possible to work with a trainer, because one-on-one instruction is the best way for us to guarantee results that not only will make you happier, but will allow you to look better naked, which is the ultimate goal.

David Barton