The Pros and Cons of ClassPass (as a Member and an Instructor)

Pros & Cons of ClassPass

I have a love/hate relationship with ClassPass and have cancelled and rejoined about 10 times since it first came to Boston. I think what it comes down to is that I mostly dislike it but am not rich enough to ditch it for good.

The service has changed a million times since its inception (as most new companies do), and will probably be structured differently by the time this post is a few months old. As of today though, there are three membership options. In Boston, the pricing is as follows:

  • 3 classes/month for $40
  • 5 classes/month for $65
  • 10 classes/month for $120

You can go to any given studio 2-3 times a month, depending on your package. Some (not all!) studios will let you purchase additional classes through ClassPass if you want to go more than the 2-3 limit. If you live in Boston, most studios are on CP, with the exceptions of B/Spoke, SoulCycle, YogaWorks, Pure Barre’s Newbury location and SLT (and maybe a couple I’m forgetting).

Right now, my account is in a beta testing mode where instead of 10 classes, I have 80 credits to use on classes that range in 4-8 credits each (less popular times are fewer credits). So if I were to go to low-credit classes, I could take more than 10 classes a month (all the classes I like are 8 credits so it doesn’t make a difference for me). I’m not sure if this credit system will become permanent or not.

I took advantage of a limited time offer that gave me 20% off a 10-class membership if I stuck with it for six months. I’m nearing the end of my six months and think I’m going to cancel when it’s over and become a member at Everybody Fights. I’m really into boxing right now, and want to get better at it—something that’s not going to happen if I’m only going a few times a month. I used to enjoy ClassPass but have grown tired of it. Today, by request, I’m breaking down the good and bad for anyone considering the service.

Pros of ClassPass

It’s the most cost-effective way to take group fitness classes at multiple studios.

This is the big selling point. With ClassPass, you pay $12-13 a class if you use your membership to its fullest (in Boston), compared to the $25-30 price tag you’d pay to drop into a studio. Now if you were to buy a membership at a studio, that price per class would be lower, but probably not $12-13.

It’s good if you just moved to a new city or are traveling to another city.

ClassPass is a great way to test out lots of different studios to see where you like best. If you travel for work, you can also use your CP membership in most major cities throughout the country.

It’s good if you have a free gym at work or are an instructor who can work out for free somewhere and just want to supplement with a few different classes each month.

I think ClassPass is best suited for you if you’re looking to supplement an existing membership or at-home workout routine. For example, if you’re a runner and are just looking to cross-train a couple times a week, ClassPass could be a good option. I know a lot of other instructors choose to join ClassPass because they can already workout at their studios for free and are just looking to switch it up a couple times a week.

If this doesn’t describe your current situation, see the first bullet point below …

Cons of ClassPass

If you want to workout more than 2-3 times a week, you’ll need to supplement your ClassPass membership with at-home workouts or another gym/studio membership.

Back when there was an Unlimited option, ClassPass could completely replace your gym membership, allowing you to take a class every day of the month if you wanted to. Now it’s more of a supplemental thing because even with the new credit number system, you’re only going to be able to take 2-3 classes a week if you want to do popular classes. So yes, you save a bunch on group fitness with ClassPass, but if you want to work out more frequently, you’ll need to supplement.

You can purchase additional classes at some studios through ClassPass for a slight discount, or pay for an outside gym/studio membership. But unless you’re supplementing with running and at-home workouts, prepare to pay in addition to your core CP membership.

Some studios block off their most popular class times from ClassPass users.

This is one of the biggest downsides for me. Yes, I have a weird job and can technically work out at any time of day. In theory, I’m the perfect candidate for ClassPass because a 9 or 10am class can work with my schedule. But I hate working out then! It’s 6/7AM or bust in my book.

Most people work roughly 9 to 5 and accordingly, the most popular class times at fitness studios are typically 6/7AM and 5/6PM. So you’ll notice that some studios don’t open those times to ClassPass or severely limit the number of spots CP users can take. The studio has no problem filling these peak times with their clients, so it makes sense.

The bummer for me is that Barry’s (understandably) does this. I usually just end up buying classes directly through them in addition to my ClassPass membership so I can go early in the morning.

Some studios limit the number of ClassPass clients per class so you have to sign up for your favorite times a week in advance.

The allotted slots for ClassPass users can fill up fast at popular studios so you have to sign up right at 12 noon the week before the class in order to snag a spot. You can chance it and try to sign up last-minute, assuming someone will late-cancel the night before or day of, but I typically like to plan ahead for my workouts. Not a WEEK ahead though.

Variety is GREAT, but when you’re totally all over the place, you’re not going to see specific progress.

I’m a big proponent of switching up your workouts, but you can definitely spread yourself too thin. At my peak ClassPass usage when it was only $99 for UNLIMITED classes, I was all over the place with classes—yoga one day, bootcamp the next, barre, spin, boxing, pilates. It was fun to try new things for the first couple months but then I had the realization that I was just “meh” at a lot of things instead of really working to improve at the things I enjoyed most. Sure I was maintaining my fitness level just fine, but I wasn’t really seeing specific progress in any one modality. Of course not! You need to do something more than three times a month for that to happen.

You’ll want to go to your favorite studios more than three times a month.

At this point, I know what my favorite studios in Boston are and I just want to go to those. I currently only use my membership to go to Barry’s and EBF. Those studios are walking distance from my apartment and offer the workouts I’m currently loving the most. It’s more expensive, but it’s getting to the point where I’d rather just give my money directly to those studios and reap the benefits of being able to go whenever and how often I like.

You get charged $15-20 if you can’t make class.

If you cancel within 12 hours before the class starts, you’re charged $15. If you don’t late-cancel and just don’t show up, you’re charged $20. If you’re someone who has an unpredictable work schedule, this could add up quick. You could opt to book last-minute instead, but you run the risk of the class being full or maxed out with CP members.

If your first visit to a studio is through ClassPass, you’re not eligible for their new client specials.

This is more a #ProTip than a true “con.” If you’ve never visited a studio before, look at their new client specials. Often they’re even better than the savings you’re getting through ClassPass, or at least comparable. Buy directly from the studio, use those initial visits from them, and if you love it, you can always continue to go via ClassPass. At most studios though, if you initially go through ClassPass, you’re no longer eligible for any specials they have for newbies.

Thoughts on ClassPass as an Instructor

I’ve heard a lot of people say they feel a little bad/guilty or like a second-class citizen when they come to a studio on ClassPass because they’re not paying full price. I can’t speak for all instructors, but let me assure you that I do not think less of you as a client if you roll up to my class through CP. I get it—boutique fitness classes are expensive and there are just so many awesome studios out there. Yo, I’m a member, too! And I do genuinely love that by being on ClassPass, more people have access to this workout who might not have otherwise.

Like I mentioned earlier though, you’re not going to get the full benefits of the workout only coming two-three times a month. If you’re cool with that, so am I. I’d certainly rather you come a couple times a month than not at all! But if you’re feeling frustrated by lack of progress/results, don’t automatically discredit the method or your instructors. Now you also don’t need to come every day or five times a week, but if you commit to even just twice a week, you are going to see FAR better results than if you come just a couple times a month.

The whole anonymous review system on ClassPass is also not ideal for instructors. Feedback is important and I welcome both the good and bad because I truly care about teaching and want to constantly make my class better. Some of the “bad” reviews on ClassPass are constructive and helpful. Other reviews though … pretty sure the people leaving them would choose their words differently if they weren’t anonymous. And it’s especially frustrating because it’s impossible to have a fully formed opinion on a studio if you’ve only been to one class with one teacher. In my opinion, ClassPass users shouldn’t be prompted to leave a review until they’ve visited a studio three times.

The Bottom Line

ClassPass is a good supplement to your workout routine, especially if you have a flexible schedule. If you love multiple boutique fitness studios and are on a budget, it’s a great way to be able to visit them a couple times each month. If you’re new to a city or your city’s fitness offerings, it’s a fun way to test the waters before committing to the one or two studios you like best.

I really liked it at first, but have grown tired of the inconveniences. I don’t want to schlep across the city to a class because I’ve already used up my classes at the studios close to my apartment. I don’t want to work out in the middle of the day because it’s the only class time available at my favorite studio. I miss the feeling of having a home base for my workouts. I also want to focus on progressing at the types of fitness in which I’m most interested. For me, I think it’s worth spending some extra money to have access to a workout routine that truly excites me and works best with my schedule.

$40 off Your First Month

It’s kind of weird to end the post with this because I spent the last 2,000 words basically being like PEACE OUT, CLASSPASS. But it can be a great option depending on your situation. If you do want to give ClassPass a try, this referral link will get you $40 off your first month. They also do promotions frequently though so I’d check their homepage, too, just to double check the $40 off is currently the best deal.

Are you a ClassPass member? What your favorite and least favorite things about the service?

xo Nicole

 

My Favorite Things: January

January FavoritesUsually I start these posts being like, “Whoa, where’d the month go?! Can’t believe it’s over! Flew by!” But January has actually felt very time-appropriate. Like that was a MONTH. A full 31 days. And I quite liked it.

Favorite Products/Services

UGGs Slippers

Santa read my mind when he brought me these slippers! Just kidding. I brought my mom to the UGGs store on Newbury and told her the exact ones I wanted. I was still excited to unwrap them though! Slippers are a wardrobe essential when you work from home and have permanently cold feet, and you just can’t get much comfier than a good pair of UGGs.

P.S. They’re currently on sale at Nordstrom for $70 (normally $120)!

Phone Cord Hair Ties

I’ve seen clients wearing these phone cord hair ties in class for a few months now and finally got some of my own. They don’t leave a crease in your hair which I love! I ordered the invisibobble brand off Amazon (they come in all different colors). Great for everyday wear and low-impact workouts. Wouldn’t hold up during a run though.

Kiss My Face Sensitive Toothpaste

Ok I love/hate this toothpaste from Kiss My Face. If you have sensitive teeth, I definitely recommend it. I have this one tooth that is weirdly rotated and the gum has started to recede on it and I can’t even explain the level of sensitivity. I flinch and cringe when I brush my teeth, drink cold water or even breathe in cold air. Since using this toothpaste, I haven’t had ANY issues. I can brush right over the tooth with no problems. Uh-mazing.

But there is a big downside to this toothpaste. The flavor. Orange Mint. Let that sink in for a second.

Orange and mint.

Now I want you to reflect back on your childhood real quick. What was the absolute worst thing to drink after brushing your teeth? Orange juice. Duh. Toothpaste and orange juice do not go together. So why Kiss My Face decided to basically put orange juice IN their toothpaste is really beyond me. It tastes mildly of vomit but it works really well so what the heck, let’s add it to this month’s favorites.

Favorite Workouts

I’m nearing the end of a six-month contract membership with ClassPass, and am going to cancel when it’s done. At this point, I know what I like in Boston and I find myself using my CP membership at the same two studios every month (Barry’s and EBF). Yes, it’s way more economical than buying classes at the two studios, but I’m so sick of not being able to go to Barry’s at the time of day I want (6/7AM). I could do a whole post on my love/hate relationship with ClassPass, as both a user and an instructor on the flip-side of that (maybe I will?) but for now, I want to share the classes I love and do (almost) every week:

  • Train 360 @ Everybody Fights – This is a circuit class mixing boxing stations with rowing/strength exercises/battle ropes/etc. I usually take Shane or Reid’s class at the FiDi location.
  • Bags x Body / Bags x Fight @ Everybody Fights – This class is 12 rounds of boxing with bodyweight exercises mixed in. The Bags x Fight is little more technical than Bags x Body. I usually take George’s Fight class on Friday mornings or Shane’s Body class.
  • Butt & Legs @ Barry’s Bootcamp – Between the weights and the treadmill sprints, this is easily one of the best lower body classes around. If you’re unfamiliar with Barry’s, you alternate between treadmills and the floor (weights, benches, resistance bands, med balls, etc.) throughout the class. Each day has a different muscle group focus. I usually take Derek’s class (<– lethal, in the best way possible).

Favorite Things I …

Watched

  • SMILF | Maybe I’m biased because it’s set in Boston, but I loved this show! Joe and I watched the whole series in a week—couldn’t stop!
  • Siesta Key | If you follow me on Instagram stories, you already know this is my current guilty pleasure. It’s so bad. But so good. It’s a modern day Laguna Beach/Hills and I’m Here. For. It. Season 1B just started a few weeks ago and it’s way juicier than 1A, so if you were on the fence, give it another try. ALSO you must read Spencer Pratt’s recaps after each episode—they’re hilarious.

Listened To

  • [PODCAST] Dirty John | I shared this on IG stories a while ago, and it’s worth including here. If you like true crime/scandalous stories, you’ll love it.
  • [PODCAST] Atlanta Monster | This one started out slow for me, but I wanted to give it a try because it’s from the same guy who did Up and Vanished (<– obsessed). Without giving anything away, it’s gotten to the point in the narration where they suggest they got the wrong guy behind bars, so now I’m way more into it.

Favorite Moments

Turning 30

P.E Nation crop

My birthday was early this month, and while I’m not big on celebrating birthdays, I do welcome growing older. Each year, I understand myself a little better and like the person I am a little more. Growing up is great! I could do without the creases my forehead now makes when I raise my eyebrows, but whatever. I think my Instagram modeling career will survive. 😉

What were your favorites from January? Any other Siesta Key fans out there? Got any good podcast recommendations for me? (<– don’t say My Favorite Murder, I’ve tried and just can NOT get into it)

xo Nicole

My monthly favorites posts are never sponsored, however they typically contain a few affiliate links. I get sent a lot of free products, and the first section of this post might highlight a couple of my favorites. I’m never required to or being paid to feature these freebies and only share the ones I truly love and think my readers will enjoy as well.

My Favorite Things: November (+ D.C. Travel)

My Favorite Things: NovemberThis month’s roundup of favorites includes a bunch from my trip to Washington D.C. early in November. I thought about doing a post dedicated to the trip, but because most of the time was spent working, I don’t have a *ton* of fun travel tips to share as far as where I ate, worked out, visited, etc.. I definitely have to plan another trip down there to fully experience the city!

Favorite Products/Services

adidas 24/7 Training Shoes

November Favorites: Adidas SneakersI was gifted these sneakers by adidas and love them for many reasons. First and most importantly, I get a ton on compliments on them, and that’s all that really matters in this life, right?! (I’m kidding. Kind of.) They’re comfortable and attractive, but the primary reason I love them is probably something to which only fellow bloggers will relate. No visible logos—not even adidas’ signature three stripes! There is a small logo on the back heel, but it’s the same color as the rest of the sneaker so it’s not visible in pictures or film.

Often times when working with clients, they’ll request that there are no visible logos on clothing worn in the pictures from competing brands or just none at all period. It’s pretty easy to find leggings and tank tops meeting this criteria, but I often find myself going into photoshop and needing to meticulously blur out sneaker logos on every picture used within a workout tutorial. These adidas sneakers are now my go-to for partnership projects!

Unscented Aloe Hand & Body Lotion from Avalon Organics

November Favorites: Avalon OrganicsI’m a moisturizing freak. Like I don’t think I’ve gotten out of the shower without lathering my whole body since I was in middle school. This unscented body lotion comes in JUMBO size with a pump top and has found permanent residence on my bathroom counter. This was a find on Thrive (<— that link gets you an additional 25% off your first order and free shipping). Not only do I like the discounts via Thrive but I love having heavy household items delivered to my door (hashtag carless-city-living problems).

November Favorites: EO Body Oil

I alternate between using that unscented body lotion and using this body oil from E.O. that I’ve definitely mentioned on the blog before. This particular body oil blend has a distinct lavender scent which is great but I don’t like smelling like anything when I’m out and about. So if I shower at night, I’ll apply the body oil (lavender is great for promoting a good night’s sleep as well!) and if I shower during the day, I’ll apply the Avalon Organics lotion.

High Shine Signature Tight from DYI

November Favorites: DYI high shine leggings

photo by Nick Cosky for Btone // mesh tank is Free People (old but if you haven’t checked out their workout clothes, they’ve got some super cute stuff!)

I’ve never been asked “Where’d you get those?!” about an article of clothing as much as I have about these leggings. They were gifted to me by DYI and I’m in love. I have them in burgundy and honestly want them in every single other color, too. They have a super high waist which I love and hot damn does that metallic sheen photograph well. They’re $88 and you can check out all the colors here. I wouldn’t say it’s the best material for running, but I love them for low-impact workouts and everyday wear. They have a second-skin type fit—it’s a thinner material but they’re tight and hold things in place.

Ruffle-Sleeved Oversized Sweatshirt

November Favorites: Ruffle Sleeved SweatshirtI *try* to have a quality-over-quantity approach to my wardrobe and prioritize ethical, environmentally-friendly brands over fast fashion but you know what?? Sometimes you just fall in love with an $11 pink ruffled sweatshirt at Primark and have to have it. I think it’s only wasteful if you buy a cheap item, wear it once, then toss it. I most certainly don’t think of this sweatshirt as disposable. I mean THOSE SLEEVES. They make me feel like I’m about to sign the Declaration of Independence with my fellow founding fathers. Ya know, if the founding fathers of this country were extra sassy and into pink crop tops.

Bitch stole my look:

November Favorites: Ruffle Sleeved Sweatshirt

Favorite Eats

Le Diplomate (D.C.)

I went out for a great dinner at Le Diplomate with everyone working on the Hyatt Place project. Sadly didn’t get a chance to obnoxiously take a picture of my food at dinner (#bloggerproblems) but I ordered the Vegetable Tagine, which was a delicious plant-based dish.

CAVA (D.C.)

November favorites: CAVA mezze grillCAVA came recommended by several of you on Instagram as a delicious fast-casual food option in D.C. (Thank you for all the recs! I wrote down the ones I didn’t get to and am saving the list for my next visit. :)) I voluntarily went through security at the airport twice so that I could go to a gate that wasn’t mine to eat it for lunch before my flight and it was 100% worth it. It’s a similar concept to Dig Inn in that you get to create your own meal from their assembly line of delicious ingredients. I’m obsessed and word on the street is that they’re coming to Boston soon (!!).

Caramel Sea Salt Larabar Bites

November Favorites: Larabar Salted Caramel BitesThese are amazing—they’re like a bite-sized dessert version of a Larabar. In fact, I hid the bag in my dresser so I wouldn’t have to share them with Joe (#truelove).

Breakfast Toasts at Explorateur

November Favorites: Explorateur
I had brunch at Explorateur the other weekend and got their avocado toast AND almond butter toast (#YOLO) and both were so delicious! The cafe/restaurant is a really cool space—it’s a big open floor plan with a mix of cafe seating and traditional table dining and then a library area with a bar off to the side. Definitely worth checking out for a meal if you’re in Boston!

Bar Verde (NYC)

November Favorites: Bar VerdeI spent a weekend in NYC this month and had the best dinner with my college friends! Bar Verde has a plant-based Mexican menu with delicious cocktails. Don’t let my crappy cell phone photo of the food fool you—it was all delicious.

Gobble Gobble Sandwich at By Chloe

November Favorites: Gobble Gobble Sandwich at By Chloe

By Chloe hosted a blogger dinner to celebrate their seasonal Gobble Gobble sandwich (think Thanksgiving leftovers but vegan) and it’s so good!

Brussels Spout Sandwich at Clover

November Favorites: Brussle Sprout Sandwich at Clover

Brussles sprout season is only three weeks this year in Massachusetts because of the warm early fall we had, so for a *very* limited time, Clover Food Labs is serving up this Brussels Sprout Sandwich—hurry in, you don’t want to miss it! So good.

Favorite Workouts

Solidcore (D.C.)

November Favorites: SolidcoreAny time I travel, I try to locate a workout studio similar to Btone. Not just because I love the fitness method, but because I learn *so* much from other instructors and different studio styles. I really credit most of my development as an instructor to being a student, and I can’t explain how much I relish the opportunity to try out different trainers and studios.

Solidcore has several locations in the D.C. area (and is expanding throughout the country as well). I went to their new Navy Yard location because they were having an insane special where new clients got their first class for $4 (yes, please!). Loren was the instructor and she kicked my butt. Such a killer class!

Favorite Things I Watched

Stranger Things 2 | *spoiler alert ahead, so stop reading now if you haven’t watched the full second season* Ok, I really enjoy Stranger Things but it’s not an excellent show. I can’t put my finger on it—maybe the writing? Does anyone else feel this way? This season, a few things irked me:

  • Mike and Eleven are wayyyy too in love. They’re kids! Sure, I had some serious crushes at that age (Devon Sawa and Jonathan Taylor Thomas 4eva), but the way those characters act about being apart from each other is way too adult. Lucas and Dustin’s crushes on Max? So cute and age-appropriate. Mike and Eleven? Totally weirds me out. Anyone else?!
  • The entire story line about Eleven going to meet up with her sister and turning all “bad” for a couple days. What was the point of that?! I like that we got to learn the backstory of her mom, but the sister and her punk friends did nothing for me.
  • Why did Bob have to die?! This has nothing to do with the quality of the series, I just really liked Bob. Such a nice guy and would have been a great stepdad. I get it, Winona has to eventually end up with Hopper in a future season, but R.I.P. Bob.

Elizabeth Smart Autobiography | Anyone else watch this? It was on A&E I believe. I remember hearing the name Elizabeth Smart over and over on the news but was a little too young to care about all the details when it happened. Such a crazy story! Even the way Elizabeth Smart narrated the show was creepy—it was like she was an actress retelling it and would do this weird smile-smirk expression as if she was really into this gruesome kidnapping fictional story she was reading. NO JUDGEMENT. What she went through was absolute trauma—who the hell am I to determine how someone should act after going through that? But her demeanor in the TV special definitely adds to the bizarre story and prompted Joe and I to Google conspiracy theories about her actually being a voluntary runaway which are totally bogus I’m sure but a good way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon (lol).

Favorite Moments

A Work Trip to D.C.

November favorites: Hyatt Place Hotel DC

wearing Zella leggings (currently on sale 40% off!), Gap tank & adidas sneakers

I’ve been working on a project with Hyatt Place hotels for several months now and in early November traveled to D.C. to film all the content (I’ll of course share more when things are finalized!). It was a physically demanding trip for sure (10 workouts in two days) but there’s really no type of work I’d rather be doing.

I had some time between the shoots to be a tourist in D.C. and made sure to walk the National Mall, checking out all the famous monuments and taking some pics along the way (naturally). November Favorites: Washington Monument, D.C.

photo by Nick Cosky // wearing Spiritual Gangster tank (old but this version and this version are the same cut) & Koral leggings

Before heading to the airport, I had time to visit one of the countless museums in the area, and although it was a tough decision, I went with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. I think I was the only adult in there not accompanied by 1-20 school-age children, but I LOVED it. Hard to pick a favorite exhibit but I thought the evolution of man section was particularly cool and the minerals and gem stones were pretty crazy, too.

Hosting My First Thanksgiving

November Favorites: Thanksgiving Dinner

Usually Joe and I travel to either his Mom’s house in New Jersey or my parents’ on the Vineyard for Thanksgiving. I’ve never been responsible for *any* of the cooking and might as well still be sitting at the kid’s table. This year, however, we decided to have our families to our place in Boston. Cooking and cleaning became my full-time job for a few days there, but it was actually pretty fun and everyone loved the meal. I could get used to this whole hostess gig! 😉

On the menu:

  • Roasted Butternut Squash Soup from Cookie + Kate
  • Vegan Mashed Potatoes from Minimalist Baker
  • Sweet Potato Casserole twist—I cut the potatoes into rounds instead of mashing and topped with a crushed pecan, brown sugar, cinnamon and vegan butter crumble.
  • Instead of stuffing I did wild rice mixed with sautéed mushrooms and onions and a sage, rosemary, thyme spice mix.
  • The biggest hit was stuffed acorn squash. I filled roasted acorn squash halves with farro, roasted chickpeas and lots of other fall flavors. I’ll post the recipe to the blog soon!

Joe’s mom helped me cook the turkey the day of, and my mom brought the cranberry sauce and dessert. I think we’ve officially started a new Thanksgiving tradition!

Time Capsule

I’ve been doing these monthly favorites for so long now! It’s fun to look back at what I was digging this time last year and even two years ago.

Thoughts on this season of Stranger Things? Did you host or travel for Thanksgiving? What were some of your favorites from the month?

My monthly favorites posts are never sponsored, however they typically contain a few affiliate links. I get sent a lot of free products, and the first section of this post might highlight a couple of my favorites. I’m never required to or being paid to feature these freebies and only share the ones I truly love and think my readers will enjoy as well.