Two Weeks of ClassPass: A Review

Way back in November, I did a free trial of ClassPass. Not a blog-related trial – this was actually a code on a postcard that arrived in the mail! ClassPass is a subscription service that allows you to sign up for fitness classes, many of which are pricey boutique-type classes, for $125 a month. The catch is that you can only go to each studio a maximum of 3 times per month, and you have to be quick to sign up for the most popular classes, which usually allot a limited number of spaces to ClassPass members.

I was very excited to try ClassPass and wanted to take full advantage of the trial by going to a range of classes – mostly because I knew I wasn’t going to subscribe after the trial. I have a membership at a gym which is half a block away from my apartment, and I use it for treadmill access in the winter just as much as for the group classes. So not only is ClassPass more expensive than my current membership, it doesn’t really fit my needs as well. (ClassPass does offer “gym time” sessions as classes, during which you can use a treadmill, but it requires some scheduling and thinking ahead to book it quickly before it fills up.)

That said, ClassPass offers an astounding array of classes and I was so excited to try them all for free!

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This isn’t a sponsored post, just my unscientific review of the classes I tried.

[If you’re not in NYC and this all sounds CRAZY to you, allow me to inform you that, unfortunately, most specialty classes here are $25-$35. One could theoretically break even on a ClassPass membership in just 4 classes per month. If you want some insight into the fitness craze in NYC and the apparent latest trend, Orangetheory, which I haven’t tried yet, check out this NY Times article from a few weeks ago.)

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Here are the classes I tried on my ClassPass trial:

Class #1: Sculpt Fusion at Uplift Studios

Uplift Studios is a women-only fitness studio that offers a few different types of classes. The “Sculpt Fusion” class that I took (which has since changed its name simply to “Sculpt”) was described as yoga-inspired strength training. It was low-impact and high-intensity, and only had nine women in the class. We used some props and weights, and incorporated some vigorous vinyasa flow moves into the class. It was great, and I would definitely go every week if it weren’t $34 a class.

Class #2: Aerial Hammock Foundations at Yoga Pole

I tried aerial yoga once before, while on vacation in Florida, and I loved it. I was really excited for this class, but in an attempt for squeeze in as many free classes as possible, I did in the evening after having run 13 miles in the morning. I got really nauseous and felt like I was going to throw up on one of the final upside-down poses. I didn’t feel nauseous at all the first time I tried aerial yoga, so I was disappointed with my body. Otherwise the class was great. I’d do it again, but not on a long run day! (Lesson learned.)

Aerial Yoga (from the class I took in 2014)

Aerial Yoga (from the class I took in 2014)

Class #3: Open/Restorative at Area Yoga

This 75-minute class was really nice because it was 45 minutes of vinyasa flow and 30 minutes of restorative yoga with props. It was great to have an active warm-up and start to the class, then relax with restorative poses at the end, which felt like a very long savasana.

Class #4: Burlesque Bikini Bootcamp Fitness

This was a fun and silly one that I went to with two friends. It felt like a combination of a bootcamp class and a dance class. The room we were in was way too small for the number of women in the class, which was frustrating. The teacher was very encouraging and the dance combination was fun, but as a former dancer, it was way too easy for me. The “burlesque” aspect didn’t actually seem that different from a theater dance class. It would be good for beginner dancers, but I was a bit bored with the combination.

Class #5: Restorative Yoga at Yogaworks

Bolsters, blankets, blocks, and yoga straps. Dim lights. Only five or six relaxing, passive poses, held for long periods of time. So relaxing. Would go every Sunday night if I could.

Class #6: Fly 45 at Flywheel

I’m not too crazy about spin classes, but they’re a great workout in a short amount of time (just like running!) and I had been meaning to try Flywheel for a while. It was a motivating and competitive environment, with TV screens displaying a scoreboard at the front of the class. I didn’t create an account so my bike thankfully didn’t show up on the scoreboard. Some people love the competitive aspect of Flywheel, but I definitely wasn’t up for broadcasting my score at my first class.

What I didn’t love about the class was that rather than telling you how many turns of the resistance wheel to do, in order to increase or decrease the resistance during the class, Flywheel has a number system on a little screen on the bike. The teacher will tell you what number range you should be in and you adjust your bike to that specific number. I didn’t like that because by the end of the class, I couldn’t hit those numbers! I would have preferred the teacher to tell us what effort level we should be feeling. I definitely consider myself a beginner in spin classes, and I didn’t feel like this class was very adaptable for beginners and advanced spinners.

Class #7: Vinyasa Flow at Yogaworks 

Classic vinyasa flow, not too much to say about this one. I enjoyed it!

Class #8: Mile High Run Club – Dash 28

Mile High Run Club is such a cool studio! This was the second class I took there. It’s a treadmill studio, with the classes structured much like spinning classes, but running on treadmills. Dash 28 is their shortest class, totaling between 2.5 and 3.5 miles total. The 45 minute class incorporates a warm-up, speedwork, and cool-down, and then about 10 minutes of strength work with kettlebells at the end. I did this one the week before the Philly Half, so it was a nice, short workout for race week.

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Class #9: Candelight Yin/Restorative Yoga at Yoga People

This class was similar in some ways to restorative yoga at Yogaworks, but it incorporated more aspects of yin yoga than traditional restorative yoga. There weren’t any candles, which was a bit of a disappointment. There were only three of us in the class, so that meant lots of individualized attention from the teacher. Like a traditional restorative yoga class, we had lots of props to help make the poses feel easy and passive.

Class #10: Newbie Surf at Surfset

This was a very niche class that I never would have tried if it weren’t part of ClassPass, but I’m glad I did! It was a circuit class taught on mounted surfboard which were relatively stable but rocked back and forth to challenge your balance. It was a lot of fun, and while it wasn’t really like surfing (which I tried in San Diego and was so difficult), I enjoyed the class and thought it was a decently challenging workout.

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Class #11: Yoga Tune-Up Self Care at Yogaworks

This was such a cool class! Possibly my favorite class of my whole trial. It was basically a foam rolling class, but instead of foam rollers we used massage balls to loosen up tight areas and reset our muscles. I felt awesome afterwards. Since Yogaworks doesn’t offer a drop-in class option, I’m going to look into other yoga studios that offer this kind of class.

Class #12: PureBarre

Oh man, this was HARD! I had taken one PureBarre class before, in 2013 (and reviewed it here) but this one was either a lot harder or I just forgot how difficult it was. I could see how it would get easier and I would see great results if I continued to go, but that one class was pretty brutal. It incorporates very small movements that make your muscles shake – that means it’s working – but I didn’t find much excitement in the class. It didn’t feel at all like ballet, it just felt like exercising for the purpose of exercising, with little joy in the movement. I think I need bigger movements to stay engaged in a workout class, like in Pilates or a circuit class.

Pure Barre studio

Pure Barre socks

PureBarre traction socks, which were a giveaway at a blogger event I attended a few years ago, certainly came in handy!

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The Verdict

Well, of course I loved my free trial to ClassPass. Who wouldn’t?

If I relied solely on classes for my fitness regime, I would definitely consider a ClassPass subscription. But since I’m about to start marathon training soon, I’ll be running at least 4 days a week and only taking 1-2 fitness classes per week. With that workout schedule, I could never justify the $125 price tag on top of or even instead of a gym membership. It was fun to try a lot of different classes though, and I do miss the freedom of being able to choose from a huge variety of classes in any part of the city. In the future, if I ever get tired of running (heaven forbid) or get injured (HEAVEN FORBID) then I would re-consider a subscription to ClassPass.

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How many fitness classes do you take per week?

Have you tried ClassPass?

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