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Equinox launches $40,000 membership to help you live longer

High-end fitness chain Equinox is launching one of the most expensive gym memberships in the world — a $40,000-per-year program aimed at improving overall health and longevity.

Equinox is teaming up with lab-test startup Function Health to launch “Optimize by Equinox,” a personalized health program that includes everything from personal training and nutrition plans to sleep coaching and massage therapy. The program, announced Monday, is part of the fast-growing market for longevity and wellness, where the fields of medicine, biotech, fitness and nutrition are merging in the quest to slow the effects of aging.

“It’s really a paradigm shift in how we’re able to live with vitality and avoid suffering,” said Jonathan Swerdlin, co-founder of Function Health. “It deals with what’s above the surface, your abs and glutes, which you can see in the mirror that are great. But it also deals with what’s below the surface and what you can’t see in the mirror. And that’s revolutionary.”

The Optimize program starts with a battery of tests. Function Health will test members for 100 biomarkers — everything from heart, liver and kidney health to metabolic and immune systems to cancer markers and nutrients. Equinox will then run its own battery of fitness tests, including VO2 max, strength and movement range. The tests are repeated twice a year.

An Equinox “concierge” pulls all the tests and data together and helps the member design a personalized plan to improve their overall health and fitness. Each member will have a core team that includes a fitness trainer, a nutrition coach and sleep coach as well as a massage therapist.

The Optimize membership includes three, 60-minute training sessions per week with a top-level trainer. It also includes two half-hour sessions a month with a nutrition coach, two half-hour sessions a month with a sleep coach and one massage therapy session per month. In all, the program amounts to 16 hours a month of coaching and training, according to Equinox.

“It’s the same as Formula One or an athlete, where you are given a team of top experts in all these different verticals, to design a program based on all the data that we collected,” said Julia Klim, vice president of strategic partnerships and business development at Equinox.

The move will mark a major test of Equinox’s continued efforts to expand beyond fitness into the broader health and wellness business, which has become a booming market among the affluent.

The company recently closed a new $1.8 billion funding round that refinances $1.2 billion in existing debt. It said its performance last month made for its second-best April in company history.

Equinox is planning to open new clubs in Philadelphia and the Pacific Palisades neighborhood of Los Angeles later this year, bringing its total locations in the pipeline to 27. The company currently operates 107 locations globally, according to its website.

Klim said Equinox has always focused on “the four pillars” of longevity: movement, regeneration, nutrition and community.

“I sometimes joke that we’ve always been in the longevity business and the science is catching up,” she said.

The new program will cost $3,000 a month for a minimum of six months. The fee doesn’t include an Equinox gym membership, which brings the total to about $40,000 or more for the year.

“It’s a human-first, highly luxury service meets data meets coaching program,” Klim said.

The Optimize program will initially be available starting at the end of May in New York City and Highland Park, Texas, and will eventually roll out to other states, according to Equinox. Members will be able to train at Equinox’s elite “E Clubs,” which are more like private gyms with higher membership fees.

Swerdlin said Function Health’s mission is to help people live “100 healthy years.” The company’s own program costs $499 for the tests of 100 biomarkers. Yet demand is so strong that it has a waitlist of more than 200,000 people. He said Function wanted to partner with Equinox “because they’re the leader in the category.” He said Function’s data is most useful when it can be applied, which is where Equinox, with its personalized fitness and health programs, comes in.

“Living 100 healthy years doesn’t happen inside of a doctor’s office,” Swerdlin said. “It happens in your daily decisions. And it also happens with the way in which you exercise, and Equinox really helps close the loop on that.”

This post appeared first on NBC NEWS
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