John Reed Fitness is transforming the Dallas fitness scene with a club-inspired gym
There’s a hip new club in town fully equipped with state-of-the-art lighting, top DJs spinning live and plenty of Instagrammable photo ops. And by club, we mean fitness club. European brand John Reed Fitness opened its second US facility in Dallas on Feb. 24, and North Texans can’t get enough of the nightclub-inspired gym.
As part of the RSG Group, John Reed Fitness opened its first club in 2016 in Germany and has since expanded internationally with gyms in Istanbul, Budapest, Paris and Prague. Now Dallas is joining the ranks with a location in the former Preston Center Pavilion Gold’s Gym space at 8335 Westchester Drive. Transformation is a whole 180.
“When you walk into John Reed’s, each room will have a different feel to keep you from getting bored during your workout,” says John Reed Dallas club manager Alex Knies.
The soft exterior doesn’t hint at the pristine, curated oasis that lies beyond the front doors. The 30,000 square foot club elevates the gym experience with an aesthetic appeal that Instagrammers and TikTokers dream of.
The entrance is an all-white, Kardashian-style blank canvas that clears the palace before guests ascend a flight of stairs that gives their first glimpse of the gym’s nightclub vibe. The space is ready for the floor-to-ceiling camera. There are eight rooms, not including the changing rooms, which have been individually designed for a unique atmosphere. Most notable is the weight room with white and gold weight machines, a fireplace, and a longhorn skull, clearly designed with Texas in mind.
Along with neon light signage that adorns the lobby’s reflective walls and mannequins, John Reed’s design elements include a custom floor mural by Texas artists.
“That’s probably one of the big highlights that most people like to watch,” Knies says of the work. “We brought in 10 different artists and each had their own section. They are all attached to this big snake that crosses the mural. It was their idea.
The 2,000 square foot mural encircles the functional workout area and DJ booth. It was a collaborative effort between Dallas artists Drigo, Jerod Davies, Molly Margaret Sydnor, Ryan Stalsby and Texas artists Bradford Maxfield, Brandon Adams, Christin Atkinson, Mike Johnston, Niz Graphics and Zuzu.
Visuals are just one part of the John Reed experience. Music is another fundamental principle of the fitness club’s philosophy. The gym features live DJs on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, Wednesday and Friday evenings, and Sunday during brunch hours. DJs Poizon Ivy, Natural Hiiigh, Casie Farell, Jessie Koo and more have performed at John Reed.
The Boost Club fitness class is also unique to John Reed. Led by a live DJ, Boost Club is an immersive experience in which music, instructions and lighting are coordinated for a workout right in the middle of an improvised nightclub. They also offer group cycling, dance, strength, Pilates and yoga classes.
Personal training is available and two sessions are included with membership. The gym is open from 5 a.m. to 12 p.m. daily. Memberships are $100 per month with no initiation fee or contract and $80 per month with an annual contract. Walk-in rates are available for those who wish to test the John Reed experience before committing.
During opening weekend, Dallas residents flocked to John Reed. Many took to social media to document the extravaganza.
@briannaraefitness Shout out to our morning DJ @jessekookoo – NEW gym @JOHN REED Fitness Dallas! #gymvibes #aptitude #gymtok #fittok Take It (extended mix) – Dom Dolla
“There were over 2,000 people here in one day,” Knies says. “We were trending number one on TikTok.”
The gym has been overwhelmed with influencers looking to get content or check the hype. The gym has received mixed, though generally favorable, reviews. Dallas health coach Kristy Shimkus wasn’t a fan, but she credits John Reed for creating a lively atmosphere.
“The club DJ and music definitely makes lifting more fun and the social aspect is off the charts,” Shimkus said in an Instagram post. “The grand opening party was a lot of fun! However, I will be staying at Equinox for several reasons.”
One of the reasons Shimkus favors Equinox is the age demographic. In his experience, John Reed attracted a younger audience.
John Reed isn’t targeting a specific demographic, Knies says. Instead, they invite guests to experience the space to see if it resonates with them.
“We have 20-year-olds coming in and they’re like, ‘I can’t believe the music, it’s too loud’ or ‘It’s too dark for me,'” Knies explains. “It wasn’t for them, and that’s okay. There’s just no way for us to know who really likes it.
Those looking for a peaceful workout fearing a photo shoot overflowing with influencers, ring lights and tripods should know that John Reeds has a photography policy in place.
“People need to be aware of the people around them. While they might not care to be in other people’s photos, other people can,” Knies says. “We don’t allow professional equipment unless it’s been coordinated with our PR team. People can’t come here with a cameraman, which some people did during our grand opening. We have a lot of that, but if that’s your goal, of course we allow it, but it has to go through a PR team and be done in a specific way.