Fitness center designed for a life time

Photographs courtesy of Life Time Athletic.

For those who want to do everything from train like a Super Bowl champ to grab a healthy lunch, there’s a new wellness oasis in Westchester.

Life Time Athletic in White Plains is set to have its grand VIP opening Feb. 6. Just don’t call it a typical fitness center.

Life Time The Healthy Way of Life Co. was founded in 1992 in Brooklyn Park, Minn., by Bahram Akradi, who left Iran shortly before the 1979 Revolution and worked his way through the health club industry to found a billion-dollar business based on an individual approach. There are 110 Life Time facilities in North America, with five in the Northeast.

It is the personal touch that makes Life Time different from other fitness centers, says Susan Setna Mistri, senior general manager.

“When you join many health clubs, they’re happy to take your money, point you toward the treadmill and you’re off,” she says.

Not at Life Time, where the motto is “the best places, people and programs.” Each member meets with a Life Time-trained adviser for two free consultations. The first, she says, is a physical analysis. The second includes a finger-prick blood test to determine what’s going on inside the body.

“It’s all about knowing what a member needs and what we must do to meet those needs and channel (members) to their area of passion.”

To corral those passions, Life Time’s design team has built a $70 million-plus, 206,000-square-foot resort-style facility on the site of the former Journal News plant in White Plains that will employ 300 to 400 people. It will be serving 8,000 to 10,000 members, each of whom will pay $159 per month, $40 more for the tennis facilities. There are 10 indoor tennis courts, a tennis lounge and a pro shop. There are also two indoor and two outdoor 25-meter pools, two whirlpools, a dry sauna and two full basketball courts.

Other offerings include yoga, Pilates, Zumba, Insanity, indoor cycling, squash, kickboxing, core work and Alpha Training, not to mention rock climbing on two walls.

With all this exertion, you’ll want to take a break at the bar or at the Life Café, which will feature organic fare. Or you may want to enjoy a mani-pedi or a facial at the Life Spa. (Both the café and the spa will be open to nonmembers.)

Members can also receive discounts from Life Time advertisers and training for Life TimeTri, the company’s triathlon series.

Perhaps best of all, parents don’t have to feel they have to leave the kids at home to enjoy a concentrated workout. The Life Time Kids Academy will have enrichment classes for children ages 3 months to 11 years in everything from baby yoga to sign language for the toddler set to school skills for the older crowd to swim lessons for all.

“You don’t want to have to go here for yoga and another place for Zumba and another place to drop off your kids,” Mistri says. “We want to be your first and last stop.”

Life Time Athletic, 1 Westchester Park Drive (formerly Gannett Drive) in White Plains, opens to the public Feb. 7. Hours are 4 a.m. to midnight daily. For more, call (914) 290-5100 or visit

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