Welcome to Zoink Budget Fitness

Welcome to Zoink budget fitness. Equinox upgraded its equipment and was going to put all this stuff out to the curb, but then someone thought, “Why not open a second, lesser gym?” Now we have 50 locations and a line of feisty fluorescent activewear.

The color scheme here is Laser Tag Birthday Party! I’m not yelling; the color scheme ends in an exclamation point. Please sign this waiver affirming you don’t have a seizure disorder. Great, you’re now locked into a year-long contract.

Yeah, we play a lot of cool tunes to pump people up, by which I mean “Cake by the Ocean” on repeat. Cake and the ocean are big hits with our target demo: (whisper-shouts conspiratorially) POOR PEOPLE. And since the song is a few years old, it’s well within our budget.

For variety a lot of Zoinkers bring in boom-boxes to blast, which we consider a fun little musical “collabo” and which most of our members consider a “nuisance” or “disturbance.”

We do have a suggestion slot at the back there, but between us it’s just an old laundry chute that goes to the Chinese place downstairs. (Mr. Tong now offers fresh towels.)

All the TVs are tuned to Food Network because we find it gets people out of here faster. And none of the clocks agree, not for any practical reason but because it tickles us to watch people furrow their brows as they read the conflicting times and check them against their phones and then read the times again.

We like to do things a little differently here.

These are the machines, which aren’t exactly on loan from NASA. Rusty ellipticals that won’t read your heart rate no matter how hard you grip them. A single bench press that everyone fights over. There are pull-up bars insecurely fastened to our doorways, some mats over there for sloppy crunches and — I’m not sure what to call it — nightmare yoga?

Most Zoinkers don’t work out too hard because we bully and shame anyone who does. We hurl fun slurs at them, like “bell-brain” or “thunk.” If someone lifts a weight heavier than ten pounds, an air raid siren goes off and a staff member runs out and screams the person’s social security number and greatest fear.

We like to keep people from feeling too self-conscious.

Zoink doesn’t have any trainers, but we do monitor your workouts from behind this two-way mirror here. (runs hand along entire gym) Oh my god, we have a private Instagram account where we post photos and videos of you all in action — it’s AMAZING. You can use the #ZoinkBod hashtag if you want, but honestly we’re posting that stuff regardless.

If you see a guy in a chain tank and Bane mask watching you, though, find the manager right away. That guy doesn’t work here, he’s no longer a member, and the mask does not help him breathe.

Alright, I’m late for a hip-hop spin class taught by Hugh Jackman at the ’nox. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to drop them in the Tong chute!

Seriously, if you see that Bane guy, run.

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