gym review: david barton

16 Aug

Things have changed around these New York City parts. Danny signed up for a David Barton Gym month from a deal website and then started a diet from Men’s Health magazine…. Weird.

flax seeds IN HIS OWN KITCHEN!

However, when he offered up a  3-day guest pass to David Barton, of course his gym-freebie-lovin’-girlfriend couldn’t complain about the weirdness.

So, a few weeks ago I braved it and went to David Barton. I didn’t know much else other then their motto is “look better naked,” there is a live dj, and it’s known to be more of a club. Regardless, when I looked at their class descriptions I was in love. They all sounded AMAZING and super challenging.


On that Thursday, I took at 7:15 pm Shredded class with Tommy. The description from the David Barton Gym website: “This interval training class will alternate between weight training segments and jump rope cardiovascular. This is complete total body endurance challenge.” It sounded like fun to me, but when I told anyone else – they thought I was nuts. After wards, I knew I was nuts.

My thoughts throughout the class: “I can’t jump rope, why am I doing this?!” “I really don’t know why I’m the only person that is tripping over their jump rope AND having it get stuck in their hair” “The teacher can do things to that jump rope I have never even seen before” We would do 2 minutes of jump rope, get on the ground for push ups, and then do all kinds of weights. (There were a few other quirks here and there.) I suck at jumping rope. I suck at push ups. However, it was fantastic. My arms hurt after wards and my legs killed the next day. The teacher was pretty good with his sick jump rope moves and helping with your form throughout the class, but when it started I had no idea what to do with the bar weights we needed for the class and he didn’t seem very approachable. Luckily, another girl taking the class helped me out.

After my class, I talked to a sales person and he set me up with a free personal training session on Saturday morning. Sweet! That Friday, my plan was to try a spin class, but I had to work later then expected and missed it. 😦 I was sad because I really wanted to try more classes, but I secretly didn’t mind because my legs were hurtin’ and I had that personal training sesh in the morning. Danny and I just hung out on the treadmill. 😉 It’s crazy because I’d say about 95% of people at DB don’t have headphones on. I think the dj helps with the “club-like” atmosphere; as in, no headphones = everyone is approachable to be hit on. (I’m just bein honest.)


Saturday, my training session was with Kimani. I never experienced PT before, but was excited to try something out of my comfort zone. I was waiting forever, only to find out my trainer and I were waiting in two different areas and didn’t notice so it cut my time in half. The first thing he said to me was that he was nervous because I’ve had spinal fusion surgery and have screws in my back even though I explained to him I’ve never had an issue. He made it seem like he didn’t want to hurt his “stats” since he’s never had an injury before, which is fine – who wants to hurt other people – but he made me nervous to work out and I’ve never been nervous. Bad start. We began with a back excersise and he asked my why I was there. Does anyone else hate this question?

“Because I like to work out and enjoy being toned.”

“No, really, what is the true reason you are here?” He then explains the real reason he works out.

“I just like it. Really… that’s it.”


We alternated between the machine and lunges and he told me I didn’t understand the back exercise, but we later figured out that it was that my posture just stinks. He showed me a quick stretch on how to stand up straight, and when I went back to the machine keeping this in mind, I did it perfectly. Success!

He pushed me through way too many Captains Chair reps and then it was over. Doh! So soon! I actually didn’t feel too tired, but in terms of hunger, I didn’t think I could make it another hour until his Pain & Pleasure class I was really looking forward to, so I just did some cardio and had Danny coach me through some other machines.

Overall, I was disappointed I didn’t get to try more classes since they all sound incredible (and the one I took WAS!), but what can ya do? The atmosphere at DBG is really different than any other gym I’ve been to and it’s supposed to be. It’s dark. There are velvet chairs. The shampoo is better.

I don’t think there was a single person out of shape, either. I can see this as a motivator in some ways, but also intimidating. I’m easily intimiated in gyms, especially when I don’t know where I’m going, so people looking at you like you’re stupid doesn’t help.

Each David Barton is supposed to be unique, so it’s no surprise that the downtown Astor Place location is quite alternative and most of the people have cut up shirts and sleeves of tattoos, but according to FitSugar, the UES (where supposed celebs frequent) “has a posh feel to it — swanky, airy, and lofty.” Why didn’t I try that one?! Another 3 day pass, please? I just don’t think I’m going to be dishing out the $125/month + hefty joining fee anytime soon. What do you think? Too much of a scene and hype for a gym, or do you think it would be motivating?

girl's locker room

Also, I snagged another 2 week pass for a different gym thanks to the D-boy and spoiler alert I took Spin last night and it was SO much better than the Equinox class I tried a few months ago. Look forward to more recaps comin’ attchya shortly. 🙂

14 Responses to “gym review: david barton”

  1. girlsthatrun August 16, 2011 at 12:20 pm #

    That gym looks crazy! I can’t really imagine working out while a DJ spins though. It definitely makes the 24 hour fitness I go to look extra drab haha. I know what you mean about the intimidation thing too. I feel so self conscious when I don’t know how to use certain equipment so I just avoid using it… ugh!

    • cupcake dynamite August 17, 2011 at 12:18 pm #

      HAHA me too!! when the trainer asked my why I stick to body weight training and free weights I said “I don’t know, scared!”

  2. Alyssa @ Life of bLyss August 16, 2011 at 1:00 pm #

    that place looks so. baller.

    can I come visit and go, too? please? 😉

    • cupcake dynamite August 16, 2011 at 1:14 pm #

      of course… as long as you pay my $125 a month. 😉

  3. Lauren August 16, 2011 at 6:04 pm #

    Ooooh, so swanky. Those velvet chairs kind of freak me out when I think about sweaty people sitting in them, though ha ha. At my last apartment the weight room was separate from the rest of the cardio machines and I always felt super intimidated to go in there with all the guys. Feeling intimidated at the gym sucks! Can’t wait to hear more!

    • cupcake dynamite August 17, 2011 at 12:19 pm #

      HAHA ewww !!! Jamie’s gym had a women’s day in the weight room when I went, it was kinda nice! 🙂

  4. Leanna Wood August 16, 2011 at 9:37 pm #

    That gym sounds like so much fun! Now I just need to win the lottery so I can join…

  5. Brittany @ Itty Bits of Balance August 17, 2011 at 9:03 am #

    What! I can’t believe there is such a thing as a gym with a DJ

  6. Em ... Living & Learning August 17, 2011 at 10:55 am #

    that place seriously sounds soooo sick, wish I had one around me!

  7. Brandi August 17, 2011 at 4:04 pm #

    They opened a David Barton Gym in Miami while I was there for school. I wanted to join bc it was a fab gym but it’s just too expensive! I loved the atmosphere though!

  8. christinaorso August 26, 2011 at 11:35 am #

    that gym sounds crazy!! it looks so dark. i kind of like it!

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