I've been using ClassPass for two weeks so far and wanted to share my thoughts.
As I mentioned before, ClassPass is a monthly subscription where you can visit numerous boutique fitness studios under one membership. There are almost 90 studios included in Chicago, and the number keeps rising. The offerings span everything from yoga and pilates to barre, strength training, cycling, dance, and any combination/variation thereof that you can possibly think of (e.g. barre done in bikram-like conditions, ballet boxing, etc.). They've even got things like Bollywood dance, aerial silk acrobatics, and rowing fitness.
It's been incredible (and almost overwhelming) to have so many choices in so many locations. I'm working hard to take as much advantage of my membership as humanly possible. This means that I've been going to a new class every day/night that my schedule permits. From a timing perspective, it's unfortunate that I'm training for the Prairie State Half Marathon right now. This is because my running regimen knocks out three days per week that I could be trying classes (unless I do two-a-day workouts, of course - but I am not that hard-core).
My membership strategy has been to focus on barre classes. I've heard so many claims of amazing results from folks that do barre classes at least three times per week - so that has been my goal. Over the last two weeks, I've taken seven barre classes. (My hips, thighs, abs, and arms are feeling the burn, big-time. It is easy to see why barre is effective.)
|These women look serene but barre is a LOT tougher than it looks in pictures like these.
One catch is that under ClassPass, you are only allowed to attend three classes per fitness company per month. However, there are so many barre studio companies and barre classes to choose from that it will still be easy to take 3+ barre classes per week, and then some.
|A screenshot of the ClassPass reservation page
So far I've tried barre classes at The Bar Method, Barre Code, Zen Yoga Garage, and the Dailey Method. Additionally, in prior months I had taken Pure Barre classes on my own - and I am attending more of them through ClassPass. I plan on trying Exhale Chicago next.
All of the studios that I've visited have been solid, but there are definitely some that suit my preferences more than others. After I've completed my trial membership, I'll pull together some thoughts about my comparative experiences.
A few precautions I've noted with my trial ClassPass membership:
- The reservation system generally only allows you to reserve classes up to one week in advance. I like to schedule things out as far in advance as possible, so I've never had issue reserving any class that I wanted. I'd actually prefer to be able to reserve even further in advance than one week. However, I have heard others say that popular classes fill up quickly.
- From what I've seen, certain studios only make select classes available to ClassPass attendees. There are a few studios who only offer daytime classes on weekdays, which I will rarely/never be able to attend.
- It goes without saying that if you're focused on marathon training or some other fitness event that requires a lot of specific focus, then maybe ClassPass is more effectively utilized another time.
- If you make a reservation and change your mind, you have to cancel at least 24 hours in advance. Otherwise you get charged a late cancellation fee. This can be a bit tricky for me as sometimes things arise in the office at the last minute, etc. So far I haven't had a problem, but I have learned to be cautious when selecting classes to reserve.
|Mix it up, mix it up!!!
Precautions aside, I really do love all the amazing and diverse fitness options that ClassPass provides. With so many choices to pick from, you would certainly never get bored! I also think that ClassPass is a great way to test-drive and evaluate different studios before committing to any one place. For me personally, ClassPass very well may be my long-awaited alternative to a hefty monthly barre studio membership, too. HOORAY!