classpass_berniedette-of-petite-and-toned
When I celebrated my 400th class taken with ClassPass! Currently, I’m approaching 500!

Petite Version of this Post

The idea of hopping around from one boutique studio to another took my love for fitness to the next level, all thanks to ClassPass.

However, ClassPass recently discontinued their Unlimited membership plan option, limiting members to either five or ten classes a period, with the option to purchase additional classes.

So if ClassPass limits you to only five or ten classes a cycle, how are you going to workout the remaining days of the month? You can skip below to “Options” for my thoughts and I would love to hear what you think!

One thing you should know is that I do like using ClassPass. In fact, it’s what triggered me to start my blog and get more active on Instagram. (A year ago, I had only 300 followers on Instagram under my personal handle and I barely posted anything.)  I love ClassPass so much that I wanted to be a ClassPass Ambassador, and I had it for a hot second, but due to a conflicting affiliation, I had to reapply the next round. So I worked on my social media and started this blog, only to find out that as of recently, the ambassador program no longer exists. Oh well. Does that mean I should stop my endeavors here? Nope. If anything, it might expand my platform. I used to LOVE LOVE LOVE ClassPass when it offered the unlimited plan, with unlimited active reservations, however I realize their recent changes were necessary for them to continue to operate as a business. I still like ClassPass and I want to help my fellow Classpassers navigate through the changes.


Full Post

Background

In case you are not aware what ClassPass is, it is a “passport”, or subscription, for members to use at participating boutique fitness studios and gyms world wide. Members can visit each studio up to two or three times per cycle. (Note that members are still limited to three visits for a studio with multiple locations.) Rates are set based on metropolitan areas, but average just over $100 per month.

ClassPass membership was initially offered $99 for 10 classes a month. At less than $10 a class this was a steal, especially if you could drop into classes that typically average $30 a pop. (Note that I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, so this “average” is reflective of what I see around town.)

In an open letter to the ClassPass community, founder and CEO Payal Kadakia explains why the company made the decision to discontinue the unlimited membership plan. Simply put, the unlimited membership plan was not sustainable.

The Math

As a member – I love ClassPass, and while I was on the unlimited plan, I averaged around 15-21 classes a month. That averages to way less than $10 a class for me. Quite the steal!

As a studio – ClassPass obviously negotiates rates with each studio. Clearly, these rates are less than what we would pay as clients, but as a trade off, the studios have access to a network of potential new clients.

As ClassPass – The intent was for the members to get a decent deal and the studio, and ClassPass, making a profit as well.

Sounds too good to be true? Probably.

I don’t have my MBA (but I do have my CPA) and I always wondered how they make it work. Turns out, the unlimited plan allowed gave members great deals, perhaps at the cost of studios and ClassPass making a profit.

Options

ClassPass now only offers either a 5 pack or 10 pack per month. The 5 pack allows up to two visits per studio each cycle, while the 10 pack allows up to three visits per studio per cycle. This is my referral link and should you sign up using my link, both you and I will receive credit, perhaps $30 at the time of this post.

I am currently on the 10 pack. Note that prices vary per metropolitan area.

Assuming you workout once a day, ClassPass covers you for five or ten days. What about the remaining number of days in the month? Options are noted below:

  • Purchase via ClassPass:
    • ClassPass offers the option to buy an additional three visits for around $35 (and I’m sure the price depends on the area)
    • Some studios allow you to purchase extra classes for around $20 a class (again, this depends on the studio and the metropolitan area). This is a great way way to drop into your favorite studios more than three times a month!
  • Book classes the night before using Zenrez (that is my referral link, and should you sign up using my link, both you and I will receive credit, perhaps $10 at the time of this post.
    • Zenrez offers “last-minute” or “night-before” bookings, which differs from ClassPass as they open reservations as early as a week out.
    • Pretend you maxed out your ClassPass visits for the month, you can use Zenrez as an option to purchase classes to fulfill your need for group fitness classes. Classes also average around $25, with more popular classes costing just a little bit more than average.
    • Tip: Reservations open up at 9pm the night before. For example, classes for Monday open up on Sunday at 9pm. (I assume local time.)
  • Purchase via MindBodyOnline (the app supposedly has special deals)
    • The funny thing you should know is that both ClassPass and Zenrez work with (or on top of) MindBodyOnline’s platform. So you might already have an account at each studio there, which ClassPass generates if you use their platform to book a spot at a studio new to you.
    • The app is great in that you can flip through multiple bookings from different studios (versus the desktop version of MBO limits you to be actively logged into only one account/studio).
  • Buy a package from the studio
    • Oh now there’s a thought! Before all this technology, I don’t know how studios operated, but I’m pretty sure most clients bought packages at each studio they love. Which I’m sure is confusing, and is why ClassPass came to be.
    • Be on the lookout for year end / new year’s deals from your favorite studios. Some studios offer sales only once a year, if any!
  • Ask the studio for first time client specials, which you might want to consider to not tap into one of your ClassPass visits during your first time to a new studio.
  • Note that not all studios offer classes on all platforms. Some studios which allow you to reserve specific spots use Zingfit for their scheduling needs. Also note that some smaller studios (say dance classes) might not even have an online scheduling tool as they take drop-in’s.
  • If you are really in a pinch and love a specific studio, it might be worth asking the owner if they’re willing to do a work-trade arrangement with you where you work there for a shift or two or a few hours in exchange for free classes. Duties might include several hours a week of working the front desk and perhaps light-weight chores such as taking the trash out.
  • If you love the studio or the workout so much, have you ever considered becoming an instructor there? Most studios allow (and even encourage) their instructors to drop in and take classes provided there is room.

My memberships

With a limit of ten classes that I can book via ClassPass, I obviously max out my three visits at my favorite (and perhaps pricey studios). If I’m addicted to the work out, I suck it up and buy packages at places like Barry’s Bootcamp. I also love the megaformer and before I started teaching, I had a package to use at my convenience. I’m currently on an unlimited plan with Avant Barre through the end of the year. It was a great deal and prevents me from tapping into my ten ClassPass visits when I use my membership. I am always on the lookout for deals, and if I lived or worked closer to studios I love, I would absolutely invest more money into memberships or class packages.


Conclusion

I still use ClassPass because it helps me live the active lifestyle I like, while staying within a budget. If ClassPass allows me to take $30-40 classes at a cost to me of just over $10, then hey, I’m sticking to it.

I understand that we are dealing with three parties here (ClassPass, the clients, and the studios), and it’s impossible to please everyone. And perhaps I will discuss this in another post, but now that I teach at a studio, I realize that studios don’t want to see you only three times a month. They want to see you three times a week if they can have their way. But if that is not possible, assuming the studio is welcoming towards you, I encourage you to show your support and desire to be part of the community, which is rewarding in so many ways.

Big Hint: Studios appreciate it when you follow and engage with them on social media. It’s free advertising for them, and for you – a great way to expand your fitness network!

In good health,

Berniedette

Worried about how to survive the recent changes made to memberships at Classpass?