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I tried ClassPass for the first time about six years ago and honestly, I didn’t love it. Fresh out of college and thrust into the workforce, I was struggling to find an exercise regimen that worked with my preferences, availability, and budget.
If you’re not familiar with ClassPass, it’s a group membership that allows you to attend a variety of different gyms, fitness studios, and spas. It’s not available everywhere, but you can find it in about 2,500 cities around the world.
I found ClassPass to be a great option the first time I used it and was excited to try my free month. However, a couple of things kept me from continuing my membership: it limited the number of times I could do a class per month, and I couldn’t get into some classes with a lot of space because they only opened a certain number of ClassPass Member spots.
With that being said, I am now and always will be a group fitness person. Exercising on my own is not enough for me. I need the structure, motivation, and energy that only group fitness can provide to fuel my physical and mental well-being, which is why I was excited when in-person training classes began to return during the pandemic. Since the COVID cases were going down, I actually felt comfortable doing them.
The fitness landscape changed for many people during the pandemic
Unfortunately, many gyms and studios struggled during the COVID closures and some even went out of business. Many studios closed and new ones opened. Some people have moved to new cities and only now have the opportunity to explore what they have to offer. And in general, prices have gone up.
Those are all reasons to consider giving ClassPass another go, plus the fact that it’s come a long way in the last six years. Yes, the cost has gone up drastically since the last time I tried it (prices have almost doubled since 2016). But it’s also broadened its offerings in a way that makes personal care experiences that were once out of reach or luxurious more attainable.
Now that real-life fitness is picking up again, I know I’m personally more interested in mixing up my self-care routine, seeing experiences like meditation or an occasional spa treatment. While those things once felt out of reach, they’re a bit more doable if you can use ClassPass credits.
How does ClassPass work?
ClassPass has a variety of plans to choose from based on how many credits you want per month. The credits required for any given activity vary by class type, location, popularity, and time, and the credits roll over to the next month if you don’t use them all. Prices also vary depending on where you live (23 credits cost less in Austin than in New York).
In New York, for example, the middle class is around 8 credits. You can get 43 credits for $89 per month, which would give you five to six classes. If you don’t have ClassPass, a typical session purchased directly from a studio can cost around $38, so that would set you back more than $190 for the same five classes.
Scheduling a massage is likely to use more credits than a yoga class, but that’s also more of an occasional splurge (at least for me), while you can take fitness classes more regularly. For example, a popular yoga class here in New York City could cost you 7-11 credits, while a massage or spa service will fall more in the 20-40 credit range, depending on what you’re booking.
Essentially, you can focus your monthly credits on what you feel you need at that exact moment, and there are always opportunities for deals when new studios join the platform or spots need to be filled.
Booking early helps too, and since you can cancel up to 12 hours before a class, you can always check back to see if spots have opened up for a class you couldn’t get into.
What you didn’t know you could do with ClassPass
Mindbody, the popular tech platform for booking wellness experiences, and ClassPass are now owned by the same company, and they offered me a free wellness tour here in New York. (In other words, I didn’t pay for the classes I write about, but all opinions are my own and this is not a sponsored post.)
I was excited to try new fitness, recovery, and lounge experiences, though the thought of doing a sound bath or breathing class (both types of meditation essentially) was scary as I’m usually reluctant to be alone with my own thoughts.
Here are some things I’ve tried using ClassPass that might make me give it another try.
In case it wasn’t clear, I love exercise classes. No other form of exercise makes me feel more fulfilled and full of energy. So while there are gym memberships with more affordable monthly rates, ClassPass is by far the cheapest option if you’re just taking gym classes in the studio (at least in New York, but probably in other cities too, since prices vary by location).
Math aside, it’s a fun way to explore different classes and see what you like or just mix things up without having to remember passwords to accounts at a bunch of different studios. If you like to do your own things in the gym from time to time, you can also use credits for gym sessions.
Two of my favorites available on ClassPass with studios in multiple cities include Core Power Yoga (10 to 14 credits in NYC) and solid core (14-18 NYC credits), which is a low-impact, full-body workout.
There are certain things I see on TV or hear about celebrities doing after working out to optimize results and recovery, but I never thought a normal human being like me could reasonably access those things.
So I have to visit Restore Hyper Wellness and I learned that I could book appointments for cryotherapy, infrared saunas, compression therapy, and more, all through ClassPass. I tried Whole Body Cryotherapy, which costs 18 credits in Restore and involves spending three minutes in a sub-zero room; red light therapy, where you stand in front of red and infrared wavelengths of light that can benefit your skin and other parts of the body and costs around 16 credits; and compression therapy, which is delivered through a suit that applies pressure to stimulate circulation and healing. I have never felt more wellness chic.
Another category where prices seem to have skyrocketed across the board is beauty salon services. (My gel manicures started costing a bit more after the lockdown.) Fortunately, you can also use ClassPass credits to get manicures, pedicures, waxes, lash extensions, and more.
You have to use more points to get these types of quotes (in the 20-40 range like most spa and salon services are), but knowing how much I end up spending on a gel manicure at my favorite roomI have to believe it’s a better deal, especially if you only go once in a while.
Wellness means different things to different people, but ClassPass has a wide enough range of options that you can find something that brings you joy or peace.
Maybe it’s a sauna session, a massage, a sound bath, meditationeither breath work. I have to do an hour sound bath in puppy humming, which she offers monthly in addition to her regular yoga classes. A sound bath is, as the name suggests, an opportunity to “bathe” in sound waves that are meant to guide you through a meditative experience.
I was surprised at how quickly the time passed considering I feared the lack of distraction. I fell asleep and came away incredibly relaxed, thanks in part to your ridiculously beautiful studio. Seriously one of the most aesthetically pleasing spaces I’ve ever walked into.
Similarly, after a psychedelic breathing session in which a teacher walked me through breathing techniques used to alter consciousness, my arms tingled and several tears streamed down my face, forcing me to quit. go to the cynical unbeliever in me. and accept that these practices can be powerful and valuable.
Classes like these are often available through yoga studios, so you can usually book them within the same credit range as a typical fitness class.
Most of these things, especially spa treatments, have always seemed like such luxuries to me that I could only do them when given as gifts or on special occasions. I don’t know about you, but knowing that you could save a few credits to use towards a facial every few months is pretty exciting.
In short, this membership may not work for everyone, but it could be a cheaper way to get closer to your fitness and explore some interesting classes or treatments you wouldn’t normally try.
The same barriers I mentioned above still exist, in that there are a limited number of spots allowed for ClassPass members. However, I did learn the tricks that I can share with you all: sign up as early as possible, check back 12 hours before to see if any spots have opened, take classes during your lunch hour if you can, as it’s out of hours. peak and you’ll use fewer credits, take advantage of more mind-focused classes to take care of your mental health, and maximize your accumulated credits to treat yourself to a spa treatment from time to time.
Even if you’re like me and you’ve already left the service once before, things have changed, we’ve changed, so it might be worth revisiting. ●