Best Of

Best Mom-and-Pop Gym


When you think of New York City gyms, your mind likely veers to the ubiquitous, giant chains with their high-school-size locker rooms, packed-to-the-gills classes, and impersonal efficiency. Or maybe you think of the smaller, bare-bones places where you’ll join for spare change but never, ever take a shower or linger for a lengthy conversation. There’s also the requisite array of yoga and Pilates studios, and the very expensive, personal-training-only facilities. But rarely do you find a gym that treats you like a member of the family, where classes are limited to four or five students, where the elliptical machines and treadmills each number four—but there’s always one available. Iron & Silk Fitness, run by Stuart Burton and his wife, Christina—who, respectively, trained competitively in bodybuilding and martial arts—is one of the few true mom-and-pop gyms remaining in New York City. You’ll always get a hello and a goodbye—along with some good old-fashioned familial advice. You’ll also get ripped, whether you partake in their one-on-one personal training sessions and nutrition analysis programs; choose from the semi-private group sessions ranging from yoga to boxing to core and Pilates classes; or do your own thing with cardio and weights under their watchful gaze. These two give your health and fitness regimen the same intensity they give to their own sports, and that enthusiasm translates to the silky-steel physiques (think Madonna’s arms, but less veiny) alluded to by the gym’s name.

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