Best Athletic Club

The Downtown YMCA

Feel like you have to get a facial, a manicure, and a new wardrobe before you go to the gym? Maybe it's time for a change. State-of-the-art without being pretentious, this is the place to go for urbanites on a budget. The membership fees, though slightly higher than other Y's, are still less than many big-name gyms, and some health-insurance plans offer a 20 percent discount. You can spin, Body Pump, cardiokickbox, and treadmill yourself silly without having to look in 87 mirrors while you're doing it. They've got closed-captioned TVs with cable, so you don't get bored; showers with hair dryers, soap, and shampoo supplied, so you can work out on your lunch hour without having to lug around a suitcase full of toiletries; and fresh-scrubbed fitness specialists who resemble real people.