Working Out During SA?

I'll be an SA this coming summer at a BB in Manhattan. I really care about working out and not doing it for a couple months isn't going to work.  Circuit workouts and just doing push ups/pull ups and other basic bodyweight exercises is also not gonna cut it for me. What's the best way to make sure I can hit the gym during my internship? Do all the BB's have good gyms (barbells and dumbbells) in the office? If not, do any gyms you guys know allow you to get a membership for like 2 months and then be done?

I only need a squat rack (obviously with a barbell), dumbbells, and benches. Another option I was considering was booking a place (haven't finalized where I'm staying yet) that has a gym inside the building. Usually, most apartment gyms tend to be pretty shitty and only have cardio equipment. Most never have any barbells. I could work around for 2 months if the place had only dumbbells (and benches) as long as they went up to at least 75s-80s. 

Any SA's (or current analysts and above who did an SA) know how they're planning on working out during the summer? Any recommendations on apartment buildings with good gyms or apartment buildings close to gyms would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance

Comments (53)

Jan 4, 2022 - 11:19pm
CHItizen, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Most "free perk" gyms (office/apt) don't have barbells/squat racks for a reason (liability), so you'll have to work around that. Smith machine if you're lucky. I would also compress my workout routine to 30 minutes, which is really like a full hour of time since you need to change, work out, shower, change (maybe there is travel time too). Really not that easy when you are working your tail off.

FWIW a couple analysts and I tried to hold each other responsible as workout buddies during FT, but that basically fell apart by the fall. Honestly wouldn't be surprised if we had a combined zero workout sessions between us as second years.

  • 2
  • Intern in IB - Gen
Jan 5, 2022 - 12:06am

Some of the high rise luxury apartments have them. I was looking up these abington apartment place in hudson yards, and they have a equinox within the building itself. Prolly expensive asf tho lol. May be better to just find an apartment that's near a good gym walking distance and then just go there in the morning before work. Thanks for the feedback though

  • Intern in HF - EquityHedge
Jan 6, 2022 - 10:34am

Have also heard Equinox requires you to sign for a term significantly longer than two months so it's probably not worth it unless you're loaded.

  • Associate 3 in IB-M&A
Jan 4, 2022 - 11:37pm

Agree with the above, you're not going to find 80s at any BB gym or apartment gym.

Can really be hard to find the time. I'd recommend living as close as possible to both work and gym. I'd say either morning (workout at 8am any nights you got to sleep before midnight, in office by 9:30am) or dinner (many offices clear out around 5, if you live close you could sneak in a session) but it is a bit dependent on your group and when the FTs go

As for where, Equinox I think you can cancel if you move away from their locations (check me on this). Also look into ClassPass, they are mostly like spin studios and yoga but they do have gym passes all over the city and you can cancel month to month.

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Jan 5, 2022 - 12:04am

Does ClassPass have free weights? Will try to look into this then. Do you think it's possible I could get the membership set up with them if I called them a week before going down to NYC? Or would I have to be there in person to do so? Low key lame that no apartment or BB gym would have up to 80s. During college when COVID shut down the university gyms, the one in my apartment had dumbbells that went up to 80s and a good amount of machines. Didn't have barbells but it was manageable to work with. I thought Goldman (not working there) had a really good gym. I looked up Goldman gym new york on google and looked at images, and it seemed they had a good amount of squat racks. Maybe it wasn't the new york office gym though.

  • Associate 3 in IB-M&A
Jan 5, 2022 - 9:20pm

ClassPass is just a day pass service to tons of different places, not a chain with actual locations (think AirBnb for gyms) but it's beyond easy to start and cancel which is the good part. They advertise spin, yoga etc most heavily but just click "Gym Time" for class type. That'll get you Crunch Fitness and similar open gym situations.

You could always wait to see what your free office gym has on the first day and join ClassPass if it's not enough

Jan 4, 2022 - 11:42pm
hcml, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Best way to consistently workout is to either go to the gym at the office or the one in your building. You may only have ~30min to workout, and if you get an email on your phone just say you will get to it in 15min which gives you time to run back to your desk. If you rent in a nicer high rise, they usually have a wider range of equipment, and hopefully that'll include what you need. 

  • Investment Manager in HF - Other
Jan 4, 2022 - 11:47pm

Others have mostly hit the key points. But I would say:

- gyms: equinox or lifetime are both good, with equinox having more locations and probably a bit more upscale 

- morning workouts are key. The day gets too unpredictable and it can be exhausting. Try for 7-8 AM whenever you get sleep

- don't try to find apts with good gyms, there are definitely some that have very nice facilities, but they will cost a ton 

- front load your weeks if possible, similar to working out in the morning, you will be tired as the week goes on

Once you start, if you have a good relationship with your seniors try and see what flexibility they'll offer to workout (maybe dinner time? Get out for lunch? Etc). I've found that some people are very reasonable, just don't try right away as it is a risk if the seniors are a pain. 

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Jan 4, 2022 - 11:57pm

I 100% agree with the morning workouts. I'm trying to do 1 or 2 days during the week before work and wake up early and then use the weekends as well. Do you know if Equinox or Lifetime allow for month to month cancellation?

  • Investment Manager in HF - Other
Jan 5, 2022 - 12:04am

I am pretty sure lifetime allows monthly membership (without initiation or commitment) and I think equinox requires 12 month commitment but I can't remember. Definitely go in and ask (or call) and explain your situation, some places may be willing to work with you. And try to live close to the gym (and of course the office) to make this work. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jan 4, 2022 - 11:49pm

Hate to say it but it's super tough to workout regularly as an SA. As a FT analyst, it's super easy to say "I'm out right now, will be back at the desk in the 30" and no one cares in the slightest. Not so much as an SA.

Had an SA at my bank do this a few times with going out to dinner/running errands while WFH and his feedback was that he was unavailable/unresponsive, ended up not getting the return offer (at a bank with 90%+ return rates). It's ridiculous, but just a warning.

You'll need to an analyst on your deals to be chill and cover for you, but all it takes is one douchebag associate and the return offer is gone so be very careful

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Jan 4, 2022 - 11:53pm

I plan to try to workout in the mornings at like 7-8 am so hopefully that shouldn't be too much of an issue. Will try to use weekends too. Appreciate the advice. I definitely don't want to plan on doing it while working. Doing it before work would give me a peace of mind

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jan 4, 2022 - 11:54pm

Caveat I forgot to mention is that mornings are probably fair game. No one is online before 9am so you're totally safe with a 7am workout (maybe a bit later if WFH), but can't imagine how anyone would be able to work until 2am every night and then somehow get a good workout in at 7am the next morning

Jan 5, 2022 - 10:00am
Falcon12345, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Unfortunately agree here. I'd even extend to a first year analyst/associate as well, after that it gets much easier to sneak out for an hour once you build some credibility. I'll also add the last thing you want to do after working until 2am - 3am is getting up at 7am to hit the gym. You probably won't have a problem the first couple weeks as I doubt you'll be working that late, obviously much easier to sneak away if we end up going remote/virtual this summer as well. Highly recommend taking advantage of weekends for workouts, will just a tough balance between that and social scene if you're into that. 

Jan 6, 2022 - 3:08am
Captain CapEx, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I feel your pain as I religiously lifted 5-6 days per week both before and after my SA stint last summer. Let me preface this by acknowledging that I did my internship WFH last summer which arguably made working out both easier and harder in some aspects. Easier in the sense that I could log on every morning, set a calculator on my spacebar to keep my computer awake & status online, and respond to Microsoft Teams messages from my phone if anyone pinged me. Harder in the sense that my teams usually logged on a little earlier (ie 8 or 8:30am opposed to 9 or 9:30am) because they didn't have to commute.

Unfortunately, I had to take a break from lifting for the most part of the summer and switch to running on weekdays. I frankly didn't think there was enough time to lift Mon-Fri mornings and would have to go on 30 min runs in the morning. I only had time to lift on Saturdays and Sundays.

If getting a return offer is truly your #1 priority, I think it will be very, very difficult (if not impossible) to lift everyday and secure a return offer. At the end of our training, an MD said "You can do anything for 10 weeks. You haven't earned the privilege of coming into the office late like the full time analyst and associates have." The advice is a little ruthless but also very accurate as I look back at it. While every full-time analyst turned their Microsoft Teams status offline, 90% of SA's still displayed them because we knew that we hadn't yet earned the privilege to turn it off.

Not that you should be spineless, but you need to recognize that your tolerance for BS expectations (ie don't leave for the gym even if workstreams are slow) needs to be extremely high as you haven't proven yourself yet. At the end of the day, you're being judged on EVERYTHING you do over the summer. While I had a massive urge to hit the gym everyday, I told myself, "only X more weeks until this is over and I can get back to my routine."

With all of that being said, I'm definitely hopeful that I'll be able to find much more time to get into the gym by earning my team's respect after a few months on the job as a full-time. After all, I would go absolutely nuts if I couldn't work out for >1 time/day for 2 years. Work-life balance will be much more of a concern when I have to make it for 2 years instead of 10 weeks. The banks are trying to see how much you can take for 10 short weeks, and any perceived sign of entitlement or privilege (no matter how stupid the perception is) is the quickest way to not get a return.

Sorry for the lost ass response. Who knows, maybe it's different in the office or maybe your teams will give you explicit permission to work out during the week. My 2 cents is to avoid going into it expecting to lift everyday because you'll just be disappointed each day that you can't

  • Analyst 1 in S&T - FI
Jan 5, 2022 - 12:15am

Holy shit, is IB really this depressing?? Bring on the MS but it's crazy to think that you are literally removed from anything that may bring you joy. But hey congrats on the IB SA!!

  • Anonymous Monkey's picture
  • Anonymous Monkey
  • Rank: Chimp
Jan 5, 2022 - 4:07pm
Anonymous Monkey, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Lol did you just ask "what do you mean??"?. People are describing how their constantly working until 2-3am at some places, which is wild if it's on a consistent basis. Also probably because the poster knows people in S&T who make great comp sometimes even more while working less hours. All about what you're trying to accomplish in the future. 

Jan 5, 2022 - 12:28am
EasyMoneyyy, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Morning workouts 6-8am are the way to go. Even as a SA WFH there was too much to fit in a workout during the day.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Jan 5, 2022 - 4:36am

didn't do this as an SA but current 2nd year, i actually go late nights when stuff has generally cleared up / i'm not jammed on anything, anywhere between 10pm-12am, hit it for a solid 45 mins to an hour on a 5x5 barbell programme

Most Helpful
Jan 5, 2022 - 4:55am
GreenGiant, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Frankly I'm pretty surprised by everyone's takes here. Obviously if you're jammed you should probably skip the gym but for the most part summer analysts have a ton of down time especially in and around dinner. When I was a summer I just asked my teams if we were expecting to get a turn back in the next little bit and if not let them know I was going to step out to the gym for a bit. Everyone was super understanding and would let you know to stay if they were expecting there would be urgent work in the next hour or so - but even if you were expecting a turn unless it's coming in the next 30 minutes, the difference between starting it immediately and waiting an extra 15-30 minutes isn't really going to change anything.

I also think it's a great way to get to know people / network in a way that didn't feel overly transactional. I would regularly go with one of the FTs if he was free at the same time as me and actually developed a pretty close bond with the guy who has been a mentor over the past couple of years.

And as a FT I literally could not care less if someone steps out for an hour or so to get a lift in assuming we're not in the middle of a fire drill. Nothing I'm giving to a summer is time sensitive and/or critical enough for it to really matter. I mean, there's no practical difference between someone saying they can start working on something in an hour because they're tied up on another project and saying the same thing because they're at the gym. Again, if you're an idiot about it / abuse it to try and get out of work people will see through it pretty quick, but overall not a big deal at all and probably a bigger indicator of culture in the firm if people are that scared to work out.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Jan 7, 2022 - 12:30pm

People on this site are so afraid of asking to go to the gym or taking time off for personal things. If you can get the work done, go to the gym. The "brutal hours" are always exaggerated. Did my SA at a "sweaty" team...always went to gym. 5 days a week at 6:30-:8:00P.M. Did 2 years in IB at diff team. Went to the gym 5-6 days a week for several hours a day. Get the work done and plan your day. Set the expectations of how your time is to be utilized, don't let your VP or Associate walk over you.   

I turn my work phone off and take my time working out. I have answered calls from VPs and higher ups with "Hey currently at the gym will call you back on xx in a few mins. Yeah, it will be done by xx date as I mentioned earlier".

Was never reprimanded and led to good conversations about macros and goals. Never was an issue even if I was busy. Why? Because I know how to manage my time and expectations for work. Don't let your coworkers and higher ups control your life.

Jan 5, 2022 - 1:21pm
punk, what's your opinion? Comment below:

For my internship, was put up at the Hyatt for the summer with a state of the art gym on the rooftop level overlooking the harbor. My utilization of the gym for the summer is as follows: 

Week 1 (Orientation and training for interns): Used almost daily

Week 2 - 8 (Internship officially begins in the office): Never went once 

If you know how to find the willpower to go to the gym after pulling consistent 70-90 hour weeks, PM me I need a life coach

Jan 5, 2022 - 5:45pm
IncomingIBDreject, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Hyatt included for free??? Wow.

Array

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Jan 5, 2022 - 2:55pm

I'm a student in NYC and have an upcoming internship this summer as well. NYSC's prices aren't super outrageous and I know for sure they have barbells and dumbbells. You could also see if you could get a membership to a university gym, they might sell one to you since you're still a student.

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Jan 5, 2022 - 5:47pm

What universities are there in the Manhattan area? Not trying to go to NYU since it seems pretty far away although maybe by subway it's alright. And are there NYSC locations throughout Manhattan?

Jan 6, 2022 - 11:53am
IncomingIBDreject, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Technically there's Columbia lol

Array

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Jan 8, 2022 - 4:59pm

There are NYSC's all around. The ones near midtown are like $70. A bit expensive but they also work for other NYSC's. And there are a lot of other colleges in Manhattan besides just the big ones (NYU, Columbia). You could try Baruch or some state/city college. It's probably not ideal but it's an idea.

Jan 5, 2022 - 3:22pm
maestro_, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I am married to the gym as well, but DO NOT risk your summer offer for an extra workout. 

Buy your own adjustable dumbbells (mine go up to 90) and find an apartment that is near the office, near a full gym, and which has a gym as an amenity (this gym should have a smith machine, bench, and dumbbells up to 50). You workout Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday morning at the real gym. If you can, go to the real gym in the mornings before work (assuming you weren't slammed the night before). If you are pressed for time, get to the apartment gym for an abbreviated workout. If all else fails, you can do arms in your apartment with your adjustable dumbbells. 

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Jan 5, 2022 - 5:45pm

Fuck I could deal with a smith machine for a couple months. Most of the apartment gyms I'm seeing are shitty asf dude. They make planet fitness look good. Last year in college my university gyms shut down, but at least my apartment gym was alright. Dumbbells went up to 80s and there were a couple good machines. How much do adjustable dumbbells cost? I definitely will make sure not to let the gym interfere with my return offer. Return offer is my #1 priority. I'm planning on doing morning workouts before work to avoid having to sneak out. I agree with your plan, but it's a struggle to find apartments with decent gyms that are also close to the office. Still have no clue where to live

Jan 5, 2022 - 10:14pm
maestro_, what's your opinion? Comment below:

adjustable dumbbells probably cost a few hundred dollars. I don't know what kind of budget you have, but having a small hotel-ish gym in your apartment will be very expensive in NYC. You really have to live in one of the buildings that was built in the 2000s. If you can't find that, just find any apartment near a gym and near your office.

Finding summer housing in NYC isn't that difficult. There are lots of options from short term rentals run by companies (catering to temporary workforce etc), to dorms at the various universities, to apartment owners willing to rent for a short period of time. Start with a walkable radius around your office, then work your way outward following the various subway lines. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Jan 5, 2022 - 9:09pm

second the adjustable dumbbells, look into powerblocks although prices have been shooting up since the pandemic 

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jan 5, 2022 - 3:50pm

Heavily recommend a 24/7 gym, particularly if you like going to the gym at night. I got a membership at one during my SA and kept it for FT, and I generally can sneak out pretty late to go to the gym + it's empty, which is nice

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Jan 5, 2022 - 5:38pm

Any name recommendations? Was the gym close to your office or apartment? 

Jan 5, 2022 - 9:39pm
THE PsYcHoLoGy, what's your opinion? Comment below:

They don't have 24-hour gyms where you will be? Typically it's easiest to get your workout in early in the morning before people are up and working, but I recognize that can be tough depending on how late you were working.

Worst case scenario, you can buy some cheap used equipment (rack, bench, barbell / weights) and put it in your living room then give it away when you are leaving.

I'm big into working out as well, so I understand where you are coming from.

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Jan 6, 2022 - 2:56pm

Thanks. Yeah people who don't workout always tell me I'm obsessed when I worry about this shit. They're like just take a break for 2 months, but I can't do that. Glad you understand. It's just hard for me to find places that are near a gym and also close to the office. What are some gyms that are 24 hours that you know in the Manhattan area, especially in Midtown?

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Jan 6, 2022 - 10:55am

Just one data point but I was able to work out nearly every day as an intern. We were virtual though, so it was pretty easy to slip out for 30-90 mins each day.

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Jan 17, 2022 - 6:46pm

Not sure why someone gave me MS when I'm just stating my experience lmao

  • Analyst 1 in CorpDev
Jan 6, 2022 - 12:09pm

Did a few IB internships at boutiques (not EBs, actual boutiques) in big cities but not NYC and pretty much all of the analysts worked out (when possible). At one firm we shared a huge gym, and I would actually lift with the analysts. Further, around 7 PM most nights if I had nothing to do Id check with all my analysts and associates to see if they needed help with anything, and if they didn't I would tell them I was heading to the gym and to text me if anything came up. Usually I would be able to get a 45 min - 1 hour workout in unless a firedrill popped up. Some analysts would lift every morning, but during my sweatier internship we would just go in the evening when waiting for comments to be turned. 

  • Analyst 1 in PE - LBOs
Jan 6, 2022 - 3:14pm

Any former athletes who have gone through this in the past have any input on how they were able to do their college strength and conditioning programs over the summer? Can't imagine it's possible with the workouts often being around 2 hours, right?

  • Investment Manager in HF - Other
Jan 6, 2022 - 4:36pm

As someone else said, it is about setting boundaries (within limits). The hard thing to balance with a summer internship is that you want to get that return offer and because it's such a short amount of time, every interaction counts (so asking for 2 hrs to go to the gym when you first start could rub someone the wrong way). That's why I recommend feeling out your team the first week; do they workout? Are they constantly online? Do they take lunch and dinner? Etc. Also, let people know you are an athlete, many people will understand that it is a big time commitment. 

Another thing that hasn't been mentioned, but think about where YOU want to work when you graduate. If working out is important to you (or traveling, or being out of the office by a certain time) and you see your team constantly grinding all day and night, really think about whether that's the firm or team you want to be a part of. Life is too short to sacrifice your passions for a few extra dollars. When I started, I set boundaries with my team early on, I would take ~90 mins during the day to workout (usually around lunch) it wasn't much of an issue, but obviously there were times when I had to skip the workout. But again, get to know your team and decide what's important to you, if working out is, see how receptive your team will be to this. But again, just need to reiterate this, some people and teams are d*cks and won't be ok with this. 

Jan 6, 2022 - 5:06pm
Barney_Stinson, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Jan 7, 2022 - 12:34pm

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