Nike has an invite-only celebrity gym with kale juice on tap — here's what it's like to work out there
In New York's trendy Soho neighborhood, there's an unassuming building on Grand Street that says "by appointment only."
It bears Nike's signature check mark.
Welcome to 45 Grand, Nike's exclusive, invite-only gym. Models like Karlie Kloss have worked out here.
Nike says that influencers and active Nike Plus members are invited to join world class trainers on personal "journeys," where trainers construct workouts designed to meet each individual's needs.
Nike invited Business Insider to check out the facilities, and even let me get a grueling personalized workout.
It's tough to get an invite, but you can get a firsthand look here.
Here we are — at 45 Grand in Soho. For a few hours, I get to be around the energy of the elite! (The gym was empty, aside from a few employees.)Hollis Johnson
There's a narrow hallway when you walk in, which emphasizes the exclusivity of the space.Hollis Johnson
Stairs lead up to the second floor. There's Nike imagery all over the space.Hollis Johnson
Nike's 45 Grand is dedicated to women's fitness. It aims to show off what Nike does best. The whole "just do it" philosophy is extremely present here.Hollis Johnson
The space functions as both a gym and an event space. In October, Nike held its spring/summer 2016 preview here. From a business perspective, it's a natural extension of Nike's core apparel brand. Nike makes technologically advanced apparel, so it has to demonstrate how it works somehow. The brand calls it an "elevated space" — consider it an elite showroom of sorts.Hollis Johnson
Of course, there's plenty of Nike apparel on display — but Nike maintains that this space is about demonstrating how the brand is about more than just clothing.Hollis Johnson
Upstairs, you can order a drink on this cool machine. Want a kale juice? Just press a button.Hollis Johnson
There's a swanky lounge for before or after your workout. You can sit where Karlie Kloss and other models have gone.Hollis Johnson
There's a treadmill so that Nike can perform gait analysis and find the perfect shoe for you.Hollis Johnson
What would a Nike gym be without a hall of sneakers?Hollis Johnson
... and more sneakers?Hollis Johnson
They're really focused on the "personal journey" here. I explain that I have a wedding coming up in a little less than a year, and that I have some fitness goals I'd like to meet.Hollis Johnson
Classes are offered at 45 Grand, including a class with New York's Tone House (reportedly the hardest workout around). Nike Run Club also operates out of the building.Hollis Johnson
How do you get invited? You have to be an "influencer" as Nike puts it — or you have to be an extremely active member of the Nike Plus community.Hollis Johnson
Clients get lockers with their names on them. Fancy — I feel famous for a hot second!Hollis Johnson
Even the bathroom makes guests feel glamorous. (If celebrities and models work out here, it sort of seems like a requisite that the gym smells nice.)Hollis Johnson
Nike offers its clients Lara Bars, juices, fruit, and water for post-workout snacks.Hollis Johnson
This is the actual workout space. I feel intimidated!Hollis Johnson
There's a stage with Nike women's current campaign phrase — "#BetterForIt." I tell myself I will be "better for it" after my training session.Hollis Johnson
I look around the space and see plenty of equipment — bands, weights, kettlebells, and more. I can tell I'll be in for some circuits.Hollis Johnson
This is Joe Holder, one of Nike's Nike+ Training Club trainers and one of the company's Run Club coaches. He's going to whip my bird arms into shape. I know I'm in good cardio shape, but strength training has never been my forte. I'm about to face the music.Hollis Johnson
First, he does an analysis of my movement. This is the crux of Nike's training programs. "We look at you from a very individualistic perspective, and say 'how can we help you improve?" Holder said to me. It turns out I have some wonky hip adductors, weak glutes, and super-weak abs. Holder says we're gonna wake them up! He's super positive, and he doesn't let me beat myself up, something I am prone to doing.Hollis Johnson
We go through a warm-up, which Holder says is crucial. If you don't warm up certain muscles, you end up working your dominant muscles and not the ones that need the attention, he later informed me. The warm-up goes on for a while — squats, kicks, push-ups, balance exercises, and more. I realize that I probably don't warm up nearly enough when I work out.Hollis Johnson
After a bunch of ab work, push-ups, glute work, hydrants, bridges, and more, we move on to circuits. In the first circuit, we do a series of lunges. Apparently, I've been doing lunges wrong my whole life. Holder pays a lot of attention to my form. Having the right form is absolutely crucial. I thought lunges were easy ... until this moment.Hollis Johnson
Then I do some chest presses lying down while pushing out my feet. It's followed by a series of kettlebell swings. You can see the exhaustion in my eyes. (We then did it two more times, and increased the weight.)Hollis Johnson
Time for another circuit! This circuit includes bridges with a resistance band pressing down on me. I thought I knew how to do these ... but you don't know what a bridge is like until you've had a Nike trainer push you. I later do bridges with a block under my lower back, while doing pulses against the resistance band.Hollis Johnson
It's followed by rows with kettlebells. (You can see me in the mirror eyeing his form.)Hollis Johnson
Then we do ball slams and sashay in a squat position between two points. Every time we repeat the circuit, Holder ups the reps for the slams. I'm told to engage my core as much as possible and to slam with as much power as I possibly can. I conjure up my inner superhero, and we repeat the circuit for a total of three times.Hollis Johnson
And after about an hour of working out and a stretch — where I discover I have outrageously tight hips — I'm done! I did it! That smile is masking the pain! (I was totally sore the next day — and the day after.)Hollis Johnson
Although the workout I did might not seem "difficult" to exercise enthusiasts, having someone pay such close attention to your form forces you to activate muscles you might have not been actively training. I've never had someone zero in on my toes when I have done lunges. The attention to detail made me feel like a celebrity. Things I thought were simple are challenging when they're done correctly!Hollis Johnson
But ultimately, that attention to detail is part of the exclusive Nike experience. "Health and fitness and wellness is very in right now," Holder said to me, "but I think we're ahead of the curve."Hollis Johnson
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