In college, I used to pay $19 a month for a gym membership. It always shocked me to hear that some of my friends were paying $100 or more at chic workout studios like CorePower Yoga.
My college gym had everything I needed: a weight room, a cardio room, basketball courts, swimming pools, and even Spinning, yoga, and circuit group classes. At less than $20 a month, the price was so good that I kept going to that gym for two years after college.
I never wanted to be that guy forking out more than $100 a month to work out. But I finally got hooked on workout studios. This past year, I discovered ClassPass. It’s provided a great way to get gym discounts for studio classes that would otherwise be too expensive.
What Is ClassPass?
ClassPass is an app that gives you access to several workout studios, each month for a fee. Rather than having unlimited access to one studio, such as CorePower, you have a set number of classes to use among any number of studios. For instance, I started on the five-class-per-month pack and could visit an individual studio up to twice in a 30-day cycle. It’s a great way to try out different kinds of workouts and see what you like and dislike. Once you reach your maximum visits, you can purchase more classes directly from the studio.
How I Became Hooked
Up until the beginning of 2017, I was paying just $15 a month at a gym with limited facilities. Then ClassPass targeted me with an Instagram ad that offered a pretty sweet deal: 50 percent off a class pack for three months. I chose the five-class pack, which is normally priced at $60 a month. I figured that $6 classes were a bargain, especially when compared with the $20 or more that studios typically charge for individual sessions.
After trying it out for those first three months on a discount, the price went up, but I was already hooked.
ClassPass had a new dedicated customer. I love trying out all of these challenging new classes; and I had never been able to take them before because I couldn’t justify paying the full price. Now, Pilates megaformer studios in Los Angeles carve my abs and obliques. My clothes are soaked with sweat when I do a Spinning class to bumping house music. And circuit studios make me feel as if I have a personal trainer who is adjusting my form and telling me not to quit.
The best part is that the locations are spotlessly clean. The value of new equipment and a flawless workout space can’t be underestimated. I keep coming back to my favorite studios and reaching the max on my visits, and it’s not just because of the instructors or state-of-the-art facilities. Hot showers, clean bath towels, and quality soap and shampoo are great enticements. An extra bonus? Some studios provide you with soothing moist eucalyptus towels to rub down your sweaty body.
Are the Gym Discounts Worth That Much?
If you had told me I’d be doing bougie workouts in 2017 with a bunch of suburban white chicks, I would’ve called you crazy. In a lot of the Pilates classes I attend, I’m the only guy. Going to the gym and doing what I’ve always done with sets and reps is still part of my routine, but there’s something extra motivating about working out in a group setting.
When you step into the class, you’re not only competing with the others around you, but also motivating yourself to get better. When I’m on my own time in the gym, I can cheat a bit by quitting a set early or not getting in core work at the end. But having a class and an instructor to hold you accountable makes you push that much harder.
Drawbacks of ClassPass
Individual studios would like to take as much of your money as possible. However, they know the advantage of letting people try out their facilities for a discount on the chance that they’ll become members. If you don’t want to hop around and play dating games with your workout studios as if they’re on Tinder, then ClassPass isn’t for you long term. Consistency (which the app provides a bit of) is great, but the number of times that you can visit a studio per month is limited.
Added Bonus: Visit New Workout Studios While Traveling
If you travel for work or play, you can toggle between cities and try workout studios throughout the United States. That’s what I did this past summer when visiting my sister in Chicago. Just last week, I switched from L.A. to San Diego to sweat out some calories before changing into my fitted suit for a friend’s wedding.