• Location: 30 West 21st Street, New York, NY
  • Price: $75
  • Duration: 50 minutes
  • Intensity: High
  • Phone: 917-887-9629
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The Fort is like the best parts of a new relationship.

Going to The Fortitude Strength Club—“The Fort” for short—feels like the fun beginning stages of a new relationship, but with way more potential for a long-term commitment. The people there want to get to know you, they’re all super nice, and while their interest in picking things up and putting them down may seem a little weird, if you spend enough time here, you might find that it’s pretty great.

The Fort consists of a small gym and an equally-small group of instructors who are very, very strong and just as welcoming. The “classes” max out at four people and there are never more than two classes going on in The Fort at once. The workout itself is a mix of strength training and conditioning. Think lots of weights, some assault bikes, and some rowing machines.

It kind of looks like a Crossfit gym, and many of the movements are similar to Crossfit, but The Fort is really adamant that they’re not a Crossfit gym. Luckily, we don’t disagree with them—a lot of Crossfit can feel really hectic (aka do as many reps as you can right now and then never stop!). The Fort is far more structured and intentional. You can get a really good workout in without feeling like you’re competing. Both the weights and the movements are scaled to your ability level.

The honeymoon phase is certainly fun, but The Fort requires commitment. It’s membership or bust here, and we see why. The Fort is meant to be a community oriented training gym, and it lives up to the promise. You can reach out to them to try a single session, but afterwards you’ll have to commit to a specific number of sessions per month.

You won't forget where you are.

If you choose to stick with it, we think The Fort makes for a great long-term relationship. The Fort isn’t the coolest, most popular, or most Instagram-ready place to train, which also means that you won’t run into the influencer set or everyone you’ve ever met. Instead, it’s the kind of incognito place where the emphasis on proper form and technique will leave you feeling good for the long-haul and not just for this week’s #gains. Many of your favorite fitness instructors probably train here, too. Plus, the small group training is more engaging than awkwardly talking to your personal trainer about the weather and weekend plans. Speaking of, the people who train at The Fort vary in ability, but we’ve found them all to be very supportive, which is nice because you’ll be training with the same people often.

You’ll work hard here, but they make it easy with convenient super early morning classes and trainers who keep track of your times, records, weights, and reps. One sign of a good relationship is when your efforts are reciprocated. Wink.

So the next time you feel like you don’t know what you’re doing in the gym and you don’t know who to do it with, consider checking out The Fort. It’s one of the first places that made us realize that training can be just as fun and empowering as the best HIIT or Cardio. It’s worth a first date.

— Photo Credit: Active Spaces.

We Got You

  • The gym is in a basement in Flatiron. Entrance is to the right of the main lobby and then down the stairs.
  • There is a small group of instructors. We have our favorites, but there’s no way to know who’s instructing your session at the time of sign ups.
  • There are no showers and you will be sweaty so keep that in mind if you’re going before work.
  • Their Instagram is full of “no excuses” quotes and muscle-y people. We’ve found that The Fort in real life is much more down-to-earth.

Studio Amenities


  • Early Morning Classes
  • Cubbies

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