Tmpl Vs. Equinox: Battle Of The Boutique Fitness Giants

The boutique fitness craze has taken over in recent years, with specialized studios focusing on everything from yoga to HIIT workouts popping up in cities across the country. Two of the biggest players in this arena are Tmpl and Equinox, upscale gym chains catering to busy urban professionals seeking both fitness and a sense of community.

But how do these boutique brands stack up against each other? Here’s an in-depth look at the key differences between Tmpl and Equinox.

A Brief Comparison Table

Pricing$99 – $159/month. No initiation fee. Can freeze or cancel anytime.$200+ per month. $200+ initiation fee. Annual contracts.
Locations4 in NYC, 1 in LA. Compact, boutique feel.Nearly 100 globally. Massive facilities, more like a country club.
Classes4-5 daily. Focus on boxing, yoga, HIIT, strength training.10-15+ classes daily. More specialty classes like barre, pilates, cycling.
Locker RoomsGender neutral. Simple showers, saunas.Gender separated. Lavish with Kiehl’s products, amenities.
TrainingSold a la carte. Prices start at $100/session.Unlimited sessions included. Celebrity trainers.
CommunityInclusive, diverse, creative crowd.Luxury aspirational lifestyle. Sophisticated crowd.
AmenitiesMore barebones. Some retail shops and smoothies.Juice bars, cafes, spas, extensive retail. Luxe perks.

Overview Of Tmpl And Equinox


Founded in 2016 in New York City, Tmpl aims to provide an inclusive and welcoming fitness experience focused on strength training and cardio. With four locations in NYC and one in Los Angeles, Tmpl offers classes like Rumble boxing, Lift weight training, Bang cardio dance, and Flow yoga. The aesthetic is industrial chic, with polished concrete floors, brick walls, and dim mood lighting. Tmpl positions itself as a gym for creatives and freelancers looking for an inspiring yet affordable workout community.

Established in 1991 and now owned by Equinox Group, Equinox is the luxury fitness juggernaut with close to 100 clubs globally. Hailed as the “gold standard” of upscale gyms, Equinox is known for attracting affluent members with amenities like Kiehl’s shampoo in the showers, Eucalyptus-infused towels, and unlimited personal training included in membership. The vibe is sleek and glamorous, with a massive range of equipment, studio classes, spas, and cafes. Equinox caters to busy executives, celebrities, and others seeking an elite workout experience.

Also Read: Choose Between Blink Fitness And Crunch.

Pricing And Payment Options

One of the biggest differences between the two brands comes down to cost. A Tmpl membership runs $99-$159 per month, depending on location and package chosen. More budget-friendly than many boutique options, Tmpl offers monthly memberships with the option to freeze or cancel anytime. There are no annual fees or initiation costs.

Equinox memberships start at $200 per month and can surpass $300+ at certain clubs. This does include unlimited personal training sessions, a major perk. But Equinox also charges a one-time $200+ initiation fee. Members can choose monthly contracts or longer-term annual memberships for bigger savings. Equinox is not cheap, positioned as a “premium” fitness brand.

So while Tmpl offers greater flexibility and affordability, Equinox provides luxury amenities and services for those willing to pay top dollar. Consider your budget and fitness goals when weighing the two.

Workout Options And Classes

Both Tmpl and Equinox provide extensive gym equipment, including free weights, cardio machines, resistance training gear, and more. Where they excel is in the breadth of studio classes on offer.

Equinox Fitness

Tmpl studios offer 4-5 classes per day across categories like Boxing, Dance, Yoga, and Treadmill Bootcamp. Popular workouts include Rumble, a boxing circuit with teardrop punching bags, and Bang, a dance-inspired HIIT cardio class. Most Tmpl classes run 45-60 minutes and require signup through the gym’s app.

With its vast size, Equinox offers 10-15+ classes daily spanning strength training, cardio, Pilates, barre, yoga, running, and many more. Signature classes like Precision Run and The Pursuit cycling are Equinox original concepts. The chain draws big-name fitness talent, like treadmill guru Ross Rayburn and yoga instructor Kathryn Budig. Class variety is a major Equinox differentiator.

For those seeking daily workout variety, Equinox is tough to beat. But Tmpl covers the basics well with its core class offerings. Schedule flexibility varies by location.

Gym Locations And Facilities

Currently, Tmpl has 4 locations in NYC and one in Los Angeles, focused in trendy neighborhoods downtown and catering to office workers. The facilities are compact with an industrial, edgy vibe. Along with gym equipment and studios, each location features gender-neutral locker rooms with showers and saunas. Some have hot tubs and cold plunge pools. The overall footprint is small and boutique.

Meanwhile, Equinox operates close to 100 clubs globally. In New York City alone there are over 20 locations spanning Manhattan and Brooklyn, generally found in business districts, high-end malls, and luxury residential towers. The facilities are expansive, more akin to a country club. Expect lavish locker rooms with Kiehl’s products, extensive cardio floors overlooking the city, indoor/outdoor pools, hot tubs, saunas, steam rooms, and juice bars. Some even have public restaurants attached. Equinox clubs cater to hotel guests and professional office workers.

For preference in facility intimacy, locker amenities, and neighborhood vibe, Tmpl wins. But Equinox trounces Tmpl in number of locations, square footage, and luxury facilities.

Also Read: Is Equinox Better Than Orangetheory?

Community And Culture

Boutique gyms sell an experience beyond just working out – you’re joining a community. How do Tmpl and Equinox compare on culture?

With its creative, younger members, Tmpl markets itself as an inclusive fitness collective for all body types. The locker room is gender-neutral with private changing pods. There are Pride and Women’s History Month workout events. And a key mural inside reads “No Egos. No Judgement. No Excuses.” Focused on community, Tmpl offers a judgement-free zone catering to freelancers, artists, and the fitness-curious.

Equinox attracts an aspirational crowd of executives, celebrities, and socialites — some call it a “sceney-people” vibe. Locker rooms are gender separated. Sweat towels are eucalyptus-infused. The product offerings and interior design highlight luxury living. Equinox sells an elite lifestyle experience to its members. While community exists, the prevailing vibe is ambitious, trendy, and high-performance.

For an encouraging, down-to-earth gym experience, Tmpl is tough to beat. Equinox provides luxury amenities for a sophisticated crowd. Choose your vibe.

Personal Training And Instruction

Working with skilled personal trainers makes a major impact in any fitness journey. How do Tmpl and Equinox stack up for individualized guidance?

At Tmpl, personal training packages are available starting at $100 per session, or $895 for 10 sessions. The chain has some excellent trainers well-versed in strength training, HIIT, and more. However, the personal training offerings are still a Tmpl side business rather than a headline feature. Instruction for group classes is hit-or-miss depending on location and instructor.

Equinox includes unlimited personal training in all memberships – a rare and valuable perk. The chain attracts elite celebrity trainers and former pro athletes to provide instruction. With premium pricing comes premium guidance. Beyond personal training, Equinox group class instructors go through rigorous training to master the company’s signature workout concepts. Instruction quality is superb.

For personalized fitness guidance, especially for beginners new to training, Equinox is worth the premium price. Instruction and coaching is first-rate. But Tmpl still offers solid options for more independent gym-goers.

Additional Amenities: Spas, Cafes, Retail

Looking beyond just fitness, Tmpl and Equinox both integrate lifestyle elements into their gyms like spas, cafes, and retail boutiques:

  • Tmpl features Rumble Boxing shops for gloves and gear, Fuel Bars with superfood smoothies and snacks, and locker room amenities like D.S. & Durga products. But spa services and extensive retail are not a focus.
  • Equinox clubs incorporate Juice Press outlets, high-end Equinox Products retail, and spa services like waxing, laser hair removal, facials, and massages. The ancillary amenities are robust. Some locations also have public restaurants like The Cut by Wolfgang Puck.

So for those wanting a true luxury lifestyle club, Equinox leads in premium amenities. But Tmpl covers the basics well for a more stripped-down workout focus.

Also Read: Comparison Between XSport And Planet Fitness.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What makes Equinox gym so special?

Equinox stands out by providing a true luxury experience unmatched in fitness. Expect extravagant facilities more like a country club than a gym, with eucalyptus towels, Kiehl’s bath products, cold plunge pools, gorgeous interior design, and top-tier equipment.
But the real differentiator is the instruction – Equinox attracts celebrity trainers and the best class instructors in fitness for an experience that is truly elite. If money is no object, Equinox is fitness at its finest.

Why is Equinox gym so expensive?

The premium pricing at Equinox covers extensive amenities and services most gyms don’t offer. Along with facilities on par with a country club, Equinox includes unlimited personal training in its membership fee, which alone can cost $800+ per month elsewhere.
Other perks like towel service, salon services, frozen towels, juices, retail boutiques – these add up. Equinox ultimately sells a luxury lifestyle experience going well beyond just exercise. The price reflects the myriad amenities and elite instruction on offer.

Who is the founder of Tmpl gym?

Tmpl was founded in 2016 by Noam Tamir and Aaron Richter, two fitness industry veterans. Noam previously founded the boutique studio Shadowbox and was head trainer at high-end gyms like Reebok Sports Club NY. Aaron was a creative strategist for fitness companies like Peloton.
Together they set out to create a motivating, community-driven boutique gym catering to creative professionals and aspiring fitness buffs. With its industrial-chic design and smaller footprint, Tmpl (short for “temple”) aims to provide an inclusive environment welcoming members to work hard and support each other.

What is the biggest Equinox gym in New York?

Equinox’s massive new Hudson Yards location is currently the largest Equinox gym in New York City at 92,000 square feet.
Occupying the entire 48th floor of The Related Companies’ 35 Hudson Yards development, this flagship mega gym has everything: indoor and outdoor pools, hot tubs, basketball court, boxing studio, SoulCycle, spa, juice bar, communal workspaces – even a public restaurant called Electric Lemon.
The size, amenities, views, and sheer grandeur make this downtown Equinox a look into the brand’s luxurious future. Beyond Hudson Yards, Equinox’s printworks location in Manhattan also clocks in at over 80,000 square feet.

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The Verdict

The verdict on Tmpl Vs. Equinox comes down to individual preferences and budget. For an accessible, community-driven experience with fewer frills, Tmpl delivers excellent value. The offering is more stripped down compared to Equinox but highly motivating.

Yet for those seeking luxury amenities, elite instruction, and premium lifestyle experiences, Equinox stands atop the fitness world. The price tag is astronomical but so too is the level of quality, service, and overall gym environment. Try Equinox for a truly one-of-a-kind fitness encounter.

There’s also nothing stopping you from joining both gyms and alternating workouts. Score deals on select Equinox memberships that permit gym access outside your home location. With boutique fitness, variety is the spice of life.

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