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David Barton Gyms??WTF????

that gym is crazy wat to over tthe top for me but i wouldnt mind trying it, especially the ine in miami its nit to far from me'
 
For some reason I get the feeling that the gym's management would prefer male clientele to dress as if they were at a fest hosted by Emperor Caligula.

:rolleyes:
 
DBG

I've been training at the South Beach location since they moved to the beach. I like the gym, the equipment is new and well maintained, also I almost never wait for equipment(might be the angry face I have while training). It may be a bit overpriced, but having access to the pool and beach at the Gansevoort helps justify it a bit. If you come down here on vacation you should check it out at least once.
 
I saw this on yesterday's nyt online. I figured some here would be interested.


David Barton - He Made Working Out Cool - NYTimes.com

April 27, 2011
The Man Who Made Working Out Cool
By TIM MURPHY

ON a recent Thursday night, the 38,000-square-foot David Barton Gym on Astor Place was throbbing to the Scorpions’ “Rock You Like a Hurricane.” Up the white-plaster staircase, candles flickered in the virgin springwood-paneled yoga room. Down below, a line of porcelain doll heads grinned over the moodily lighted lobby as lithe young things churned past the reception desk, designer gym bags in tow.

In the center of the lobby, presiding over it all, was David Barton himself. In his 20 years as the bodybuilder-in-chief to downtown celebrities and partygoers, he has morphed into a kind of self-created cartoon superhero.

At 5 feet 5 inches tall, Mr. Barton is so hugely, broadly muscled that he appears almost cube-shaped. His thatch of brown hair was spiked and shellacked, his ample, exposed biceps tanned a blood-orange. He wore a chain dripping with silver fake razor blades, a tie-dyed sweatshirt revealing his bulging pectoral cleavage and stacked-heel boots that put him at eye-level with his female employees.

“We call this Victorian punk,” Mr. Barton, 46, said of the décor in his raspy, staccato, Mickey Rourke voice, his right biceps spasming, as it constantly does. “It’s like some punk rockers took over an old East Village church and made it cool.”

Few things at a David Barton gym look uncool. Since Mr. Barton opened his first gym in Chelsea in 1991, he estimates that he has grossed $230 million with six fitness centers in New York, Miami Beach, Chicago and elsewhere that feel more like nightclubs (noirish lighting, live D.J.’s, spalike locker rooms) than workaday gyms.

But recently, Mr. Barton has “failed out” — bodybuilder jargon for not finishing a workout set. In December, he confirmed news reports that he was separating from Susanne Bartsch, the nightclub promoter and his wife of 15 years. In January, two former trainers filed a harassment suit alleging that managers called them anti-lesbian names and made offensive jokes about sex toys. Then a month later, the company announced it was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and partnering with Meridian Sports Club, a group of mid-priced gyms in California, to help restructure $65 million in debt.

“I don’t know how to answer,” Mr. Barton said, when asked about his current state of mind. It was a remarkable admission for a hard-driving, self-promoting man who, as a 20-something personal trainer, built a fitness empire with “a pillowcase full of money.” Added Mr. Barton: “Nobody ever said this business was going to be a cakewalk.”

DAVID BARTON grew up in Queens and New Jersey, the son of a Shell executive and a United Nations secretary, but he made his mark in Chelsea, where he still lives and works.

His first gym, in the unlovely basement of a 1970s apartment building on West 15th Street, was an instant hit among the neighborhood’s burgeoning gay populace. It featured a relentless house-music track, lush spotlighting and wall-to-wall mirrors that seemed to magnify a culture of muscle worship.

“I’d never worked out before, and that gym pretty much changed my life,” said Amanda Lepore, the transsexual party hostess whose surgically enhanced body Mr. Barton has featured in ads. Mr. Barton would let Ms. Lepore and other downtown club figures work out free in exchange for the buzz. “David showed me that I could sculpt my body with weights,” Ms. Lepore said, “which is better than plastic surgery, because you can control it more.”

Other clubs followed on the Upper East Side and in other cities, including Miami Beach, where the opening of the David Barton gym in the Delano hotel in 1995 helped brand that hotel as one of South Beach’s hot spots and where, later, its move to the Gansevoort South was seen as something of a coup for that hotel. Toned down somewhat from the flamboyant Chelsea original, the subsequent locations still succeeded in defining an entirely new kind of gym experience, one that felt as much like hitting a glitzy party as logging an everyday workout.

“David Barton created the prototype of the gym-as-nightclub that has been widely imitated,” said Taylor Hamilton, a senior analyst covering sports and fitness for IBISWorld, a market research company. “They’re probably the highest cachet gyms in the U.S. other than Equinox.”

In 2004, Mr. Barton fulfilled a dream to move his Chelsea flagship to a higher-profile site: the former McBurney YMCA, a century-old landmark on West 23rd Street. It became his most nightclubby gym, with the weight room swathed in theatrical shadows, D.J.’s pumping dance music at night and a fiber-optic light show in the steam room.

Tales of hijinks in the men’s locker room became the stuff of gay urban legend. In 2005, a member, Carlos Sosa, sued, alleging “emotional distress” after witnessing sex in the showers and steam room. Gay news blogs had a field day, noting that such a grievance was akin to complaining about witnessing animals frolicing at the zoo.

It wasn’t the first time that the gay issue bedeviled Mr. Barton. With his huge gay following and his own flamboyant, muscle-freak style, some had assumed that Mr. Barton was himself gay. “I have every part of the gay gene except for the desire to sleep with men,” he said. “But I’m glad the gays want me to be one of them.”

Rumors persisted even after he and Ms. Bartsch, who is 13 years older and two inches taller, married in 1995. Held at the Manhattan Center with 1,400 guests, their wedding, sponsored by Playboy, featured Ms. Bartsch in a skintight Thierry Mugler bodysuit, Mr. Barton in a loincloth and their year-old son, Bailey, in a white suit.

There were 43 bridesmaids, most of them drag queens, along with Kate Pierson of the B-52s and the designer Betsey Johnson. “It was almost ridiculous,” recalled Kenny Kenny, a party promoter. “It was a P.R. wedding. They’re both really good at P.R.”

But the marriage that many thought was a publicity stunt had surprising heft. “They were attracted to each other because of each other’s power,” Kenny Kenny added. “They saw something dynamic in each other.”

The bond was strengthened by Bailey. Ms. Bartsch took time away from her nocturnal work schedule to raise him in his youngest years. “I’m a drag queen, basically,” Ms. Bartsch said. “I never thought I was going to have a son. But David gave me one, and we ended up having an amazing adventure.” (Bailey is now 17 and a junior at St. Ann’s School in Brooklyn Heights.)

The family lived in the Chelsea Hotel, in three apartments combined into one. It was filled with massive canvases of sexy superheroes, an all-red master bedroom, Chinese opium beds, a separate bathroom for the cat and an endless parade of characters filing in and out. “It was very Alice in Wonderland Goes to the Disco,” Mr. Barton said.

But in other ways, the family’s life together was touchingly mundane. The three would have cook-offs to see who would make the best tuna pasta.

“David and Susanne wouldn’t have raised such a good kid if there hadn’t been a lot of love in that family,” said Derrick Smit, a longtime trainer at Mr. Barton’s gyms.

Meanwhile, they had their much larger public family. For the past 10 years, they have hosted a holiday toy drive that Mr. Barton estimates has collected 150,000 toys for low-income children. The party, co-hosted by downtown royalty like Debbie Harry, Alan Cumming and Marc Jacobs, cemented the couple’s status as king and queen of everything fabulous and freaky downtown.

A number of factors appear to have plunged Mr. Barton from boom to bankruptcy. To the delight of gym members, he developed a taste for design extravagance, hiring the high-end design firm Studio Sofield to create spaces where every square inch was swathed in luxe finishes and custom-made art, and spending an estimated $8 million to convert a former Barnes & Noble into the Astor Place gym.

Mr. Barton argues that bankruptcy was the result of opening several high-end gyms just before the recession hit. “I made mistakes, but there was also a gym bubble that burst,” he said.

But Rick Caro, the president of Management Vision, a fitness consulting company, said that the bankruptcy was more than just bad timing. “Spending an average of $11 million per club is pretty rich in terms of build-out, even for the high-end sector,” he said.

Mr. Barton’s outsize personality might have also contributed to fiscal excesses. His office antics — profanity-laced tirades, off-color remarks and mouthy bravado — are legend among current and former employees.

“He doesn’t have an inside voice,” said Kevin Campos, a photographer who worked at the Astor Place gym, scheduling trainers. “He would come in and never say hi to me, just glare. Then one day they just fired me and said, ‘David doesn’t like your energy.’ ”

As for the harassment suit filed by the two former trainers, neither party would comment further. But Mr. Barton did offer that they had been dismissed, before the lawsuit, for training outside clients in violation of gym policy.

With the new partners, Mr. Barton no longer has total control over his clubs. But “I’m still C.E.O.,” he insisted. “I still wake up every morning and say, ‘This is great, I’m David Barton, I get to go work in my gyms.’ ”

AS Mr. Barton’s financials were declining, so was his marriage. The couple and their close friends were tight-lipped about the details of the separation. But several friends suggested that Mr. Barton’s obsession with work contributed.

“He was like many others who’ve said ‘career, career, career,’ then wakes up one day not quite sure where else he’s going to have happiness,” Mr. Smit said.

Indeed, Mr. Barton can sometimes sound as if he’s having a midlife crisis.

“I do want to have a little more balance in my life,” he said. “I think about my son getting into college, I want to play more music” — Mr. Barton has played drums since his teenage years — “and I want to play more with Bippy, the love of my life.” (Mr. Barton sounds happiest and most at ease when talking about Bippy, his schnauzer.)

But Ms. Bartsch suggested that her husband’s workload had little to do with it. “I probably would have been bored if he’d worked less and come home at 8 and said, ‘Where’s my dinner?’ ” she said, in her Gabor-like accent. “That’s not me, darling. I’m an independent woman.”

Friends of the couple say that the marriage broke up over Mr. Barton’s wandering eye, an issue Mr. Barton said he did not want to discuss. “We’ve split up a couple of times,” he said. The first was in 1999, for about two years. “I don’t want to talk about the details of my marriage.”

Ms. Bartsch was similarly mum: “I’m a big flirt, too, and he can handle that.”

The separation became official when Mr. Barton moved into a nearby apartment he had bought four years ago. “It’s a big lofty space with room to play catch with Bippy,” is all he would say.

The couple remain friendly. Mr. Barton plans to play drums at Ms. Bartsch’s Sunday party at Vandam. For now, they are merely separated, not divorcing. “I’m sad,” Mr. Barton said. “But I think things are where they’re supposed to be.”

The past few years have been rocky for Mr. Barton, even without the separation and bankruptcy. His sister Diane Barton, a doctor in the Philadelphia area with whom he was very close, died in 2005 after a long battle with ovarian cancer. His father died a year later. (His mother now lives nearby in Chelsea.)

“I went to a dark place, and I wasn’t myself,” he said. He channeled his despair by raising more than $100,000 for the Clearity Foundation, an ovarian cancer research group.

Large pictures of his late sister, as well as those of Ms. Bartsch and Bailey, hang over his desk, a kitsch-free touch in an otherwise Pop Art orange office in Chelsea. It was a Thursday afternoon, and Mr. Barton was poring over designer finishes — python-skin laminate, see-through perforated concrete — for four new gyms, including three in Los Angeles and one in Las Vegas.

How was he financing four new clubs amid a bankruptcy? “It’s a big Ponzi scheme,” he joked, awkwardly. “Every new membership is paying for the one behind it.”

Later that day, he led a walk-through of his Astor Place trophy with a king-of-his-castle strut that suggested that he’s not going anywhere. He slipped into the men’s locker room, where Tom Cole was on his way to the showers, a plush towel draped beneath his broad torso. An employee of a Broadway investor, he offered Mr. Barton tickets to “Book of Mormon” and thanked him for creating a chic space that inspired him to slim down and build up his pecs.

Mr. Barton felt vindicated. “My clients lead intense lives, and we fuel that intensity,” he said. “The last time I checked, vanity and self-confidence were still in style.”
 
I would for sure go there...and as others said probably some real nice fucken tail there. I would take a shower though ha.
 
man that place looks like a upscale night club.....wouldn't be surprised if I had to tip the bouncer to get in that place.

All seriousness, that place would be cool just to check out and look at the hot ladies.
 
i'll stick with my golds gym. Although i was fine with paying the 35 a month now they switched over to the common $10 a month and it pisses me off like no other when i get my workout jammed up by these designer punks..
 
It sounds more like a gay club/gym. Thats fine but not for me.
I would hate to know what the membership cost was.
 
Looks like fun....i would swing thru tha miami one if i was in the area... there is alot of female talent up in there! Also alot of cupcakes, but if gays worry you...u might as well leave miami/sobe area ryte now, the golds in s beach is worse...jesus :eek:

I dont kno, my best workouts are when a chik i hav fantasys of destroying is working out close by...i go 110%....lol....
 
haha regardless that i would NEVER get a membership here....what a fucking great marketing idea.

Selling the cool factor to the average gym goer will forever work
 
We have one here in Bellevue, I have gone a few times. Its actually pretty cool and has nice equipment and different but I doubt I would ever get a membership., way to expensive!!! When I went, DB was there himself and I talked to him for a bit, actually really really cool guy and super nice.

I normally work out at 24 hour just because they are everywhere out here in Wa but I will say this about DB gym, when I was there, there trainers were actually busting there clients ass making them work, I can't say I have ever seen a trainer at 24 make there clients actually do work.

If you haven't been to one, you should just go and check it out
 
Looks good...no doubt...but once I got there I wouldnt be sure weather I should start training or dance? :headbang:
 
me and the wife stay at the Gansevoort at least once a month to party and they charge you $50 a day to train there :eek: i said fuck that i go up to my room and do a million push ups lol
 
i would not go there if my membership was free!! terrible...exactly why i opened a metroflex gym-for people who really want to get into shape!! :)
 
A gym like this would be great in my area. It would be great motivation for cardio. Great way to meet girls.

I would do the real lifting at a real gym, and cardio at the nightclub type gym.
 

I honestly find it funny how skeptical everyone here is without ever actually stepping foot in there lol....

First off....i have been to many a hardcore gym. I have run a NYSC Fitness dept. in Manhattan as well as 24 Hour Fitness in Manhattan. I have been to just about every gym in the city there is worth going to.....

DB's is something new. Different. It is not what you are all thinking it is. The one in Flat Iron dist. area i went to was actually pretty cool. Gotta love the co ed sauna! They had some pretty heavy duty equipment and heavy dumbells. Music was blasting and motivating. Hot girls ALL OVER. Most dudes were juiced, gay or not. Lots of heavy and hard lifting.

I suggest be open minded and stop being stuck in the 60's. Stop following the crowd and saying its stupid or "not hardcore enough" to sound cool with all the other bodybuilders here.... Try something new...be open minded...you just might like it.

If i had one closer to home and could afford it, id be there in a second!


 

I honestly find it funny how skeptical everyone here is without ever actually stepping foot in there lol....

First off....i have been to many a hardcore gym. I have run a NYSC Fitness dept. in Manhattan as well as 24 Hour Fitness in Manhattan. I have been to just about every gym in the city there is worth going to.....

DB's is something new. Different. It is not what you are all thinking it is. The one in Flat Iron dist. area i went to was actually pretty cool. Gotta love the co ed sauna! They had some pretty heavy duty equipment and heavy dumbells. Music was blasting and motivating. Hot girls ALL OVER. Most dudes were juiced, gay or not. Lots of heavy and hard lifting.

I suggest be open minded and stop being stuck in the 60's. Stop following the crowd and saying its stupid or "not hardcore enough" to sound cool with all the other bodybuilders here.... Try something new...be open minded...you just might like it.

If i had one closer to home and could afford it, id be there in a second!



i agree be more open minded.i tell u if i need to look at bigger guy in the gym to motivate me to train hard or train at all then im in the wronge sport.my headset and my goal's is what makes me training hard and keeps me going
 
Here at Globogym, we're better than you. And we know it. :D

Someone had to.
 
Please tell me DJ Pauly D "beats dat Beat up" at these gyms... ;)

I will stick to my GOLDS.. could not focus in a place like that.
 

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