Gyms

Here’s What It’s Really Like to Work Out in a Luxury, Members-Only Gym

A look inside The Field House, the 25,000-square-foot fitness center of Fitler Club.


Fitler Club is Philadelphia’s premiere private lifestyle club. We found out what it’s like to exercise in its 25,000-square-foot gym, The Field House. / Photograph by Christian Betlyon

When I arrived at Fitler Club, I felt as though I were walking into a speakeasy. The actual entrance to the newly opened private lifestyle club is so inconspicuous that I actually had to get directions from the security person inside the Aramark building next door. But alas: that’s what makes Fitler Club, well, Fitler Club — a compelling mystery to the outside world, a kind of secret garden for its members.

After taking an elevator one floor down from the swanky lobby dubbed “The Living Room,” I officially stepped into The Field House, the club’s premier, 25,000-square-foot gym. Sure, I was there to take an express total-body fitness class. But really, I wanted to find out what it’s like to work out in a luxury, members-only gym.

The class, led by lead trainer Kim Harari, was, objectively speaking, very similar to full-body classes you might get from other gyms focusing on strength and conditioning. In 30 minutes, 12 of us fitness enthusiasts moved through a warmup similar to the one that begins Shaun T’s Insanity workouts. After, Harari demoed all the exercises we would perform at each of the four stations, comparable to how boutique gyms like F45 Training and Unite Fitness preface their actual workouts. We moved through the timed circuit, throwing down medicine balls, doing weighted sit-ups, exhausting our core with TRX-based pike-ups. And finally, we ended with some much-needed stretching and a yoga-esque cool down.

Led by lead trainer Kim Harari, the express total-body class featured a four-station strength and conditioning circuit. / Photograph by Christian Betlyon.

But there was something exciting, even kind of magical, about working my muscles on The Field House’s turf. The open-air strength training space colored by murals from West Philly’s own King Saladeen, plus Harari’s mix of hype and humor, motivated me to crush the circuit and relish in the boujee-ness of it all.

The rest of The Field House — which I got to explore after class — is swoon-worthy. In addition to an array of daily fitness classes, there are cardio and weight machines from Peloton, Woodway, and Life Fitness on both the lower and upper levels, enclosed studios for Pilates, boxing, yoga, and indoor cycling, a golf simulator (A GOLF SIMULATOR) complete with three sets of clubs, and a huge rock wall for you to clip in and climb. Plus, The Field House features a childcare playroom, so you can drop off your little ones and enjoy a stress-free workout. All of these amenities are included in your membership, meaning you can take full advantage of all different types of fitness under one roof for no extra price. The dream.

The golf simulator inside The Field House at Fitler Club. / Photograph by Christian Betlyon

Reach new heights with the rock wall on the lower level of The Field House at Fitler Club. / Photograph by Christian Betlyon

But that’s not all! After your workout, you can continue satisfying your wellness needs. You can do laps in the 25-yard lap pool, take a dip in either of the two plunge pools (hot and cold), and get a full-body massage in the holistic health spa — all before heading up to the third floor to socialize in the Dining Room, the in-house restaurant helmed by Marc Vetri. Plus, a beauty salon is currently in the works, where members will be able to get their hair cut, colored, and styled right on site.

The Field House at Fitler Club features a 25-yard, three-lane lap pool, as well as two plunge pools. / Photograph by Christian Betlyon.

Jayel Lewis, Fitler Club’s director of health and wellness, says the biggest benefit of working and working out in a members-only fitness club is the one-stop, community-driven atmosphere. “[As a team that is constantly in creation mode], we have the ability to add, adjust, and change things based on what our members want,” Lewis says. When Lewis came into her role last year, she implemented a multi-modal approach for fitness programs, one that focuses on mobility, agility, strength, and recovery. With an emphasis on these four modalities, The Field House provides members with everything they could ever need under one roof, standing as an all-inclusive fitness and wellness space.

Under the direction of Jayel Lewis, the fitness program at Fitler Club focuses on four modalities: mobility, agility, strength, and recovery. / Photograph by Christian Betlyon.

Interested in applying for membership to Fitler Club? You can do so here. In the meantime, try this sample express workout Lewis put together specifically for our Be Well Philly readers, which can easily be done at home:

  • Mobility Warm-Up (30 seconds of each exercise): inchworm walk-outs, long lunge to side rotation, child’s pose into cobra, runners’ bounce with hip openers.
  • Agility (30 to 45 seconds with 10 to 15 seconds rest in between each): lateral leap skaters, lateral lunges with a toe tap, plank jacks, quick feet.
  • Strength (45 seconds on with 15 seconds rest): bodyweight squats, reverse single-leg lunges, plank to Spiderman push-up, sprinter sit-up.
  • Recovery Cooldown (repeat each movement three times): downward dog into child’s pose, child’s pose into upward-facing dog, upward-facing dog into pigeon pose, restorative child’s pose.