Oh, hey there! Did you enjoy your MLK day? I spent mine taking my NASM cPT exam. If you didn’t see my bombardment of social media posts, I passed!!! I’m still super pumped!
In the weeks leading up to the exam, I took to a little unconventional studying tactic: I tested out a bunch of new fitness classes! I was lucky enough to win a free month to ClassPass from the lovely Lea, and I took full advantage.
I’d heard a lot about ClassPass, but never came around to trying it – so this giveaway win was pretty awesome. A quick overview of ClassPass before I dive into all the classes I took.
ClassPass is a monthly membership to the best boutique fitness classes in your city. There are thousands of classes available, including cycling, pilates, yoga, strength training, dance, martial arts, and more.
For $79-99 a month (prices vary by city), ClassPass members get unlimited classes to studios in the ClassPass network. While members can take as many classes per month as they’d like, they can visit the same studio up to 3 times per monthly membership cycle.
Not long ago, I mentioned that boutique classes in NYC average $30-35 a class, so $99 for unlimited classes to wherever you want is a pretty great deal! I took full advantage of my free monthly membership and attended 10 classes! Here’s the breakdown:
2 RUNNING CLASSES at Mile High Run Club
I LOVE this place! Mile High Run Club is the first dedicated studio for running with daily group treadmill classes and endurance focused strength training led by elite runners. You go into this gorgeous space filled with treadmills. It feels kind of like a nightclub. Then they blast killer music and lead you through a treadmill workout, which involves hill intervals, speed intervals, or both. Afterward, you hop off for a runner-focused strength routine using kettle bells. I did the DASH28 class, which is 28 minutes of running and 10 minutes of strength (plus warm up and cool down), but there is also a class called THE DISTANCE, which is an hour on the treadmill. The studio is beautiful, the coaches are great, and I always left feeling like I got in a really good workout. It was a great excuse to not run outside, which I’ve been dreading lately. I would have gone my 3rd and last time if I was able to sign up on time (more on that later). Mile High Run Club offers monthly memberships, race prep packages and outdoor runs. A single class will take you for $34.
Overall rating: *****
4 SPINNING CLASSES
I’m a SoulCycle fan, but I decided to take my free ClassPass opportunity to try a few new-to-me spin studios.
Flywheel – I’ve heard great things about Flywheel, so I was excited to try this class. It works a lot like SoulCycle in that you cycle through the first part of class, then slow down your legs and work your upper body with weighted bars, and then finish with a strong cycling sesh. The major difference is that Flywheel tells you what cadence and resistance to pedal at (there’s a little dashboard on each bike) and they post scores up on a scoreboard (so you can see who in class is working the hardest). Flywheel has a bunch of locations in NYC and I went to their Flatiron studio. I have to say, I was pretty disappointed. To be honest, I think I just wasn’t a fan of the instructor. He didn’t have a whole lot of energy and his music selection didn’t pump me up, so the time felt like it was dragging. The studio also wasn’t all that nice. The actually cycling space felt a little dingy. In the main space, there were shower/changing rooms, but no nice big locker room. Like Mile High Run Club, a single class goes for $34.
Overall rating: **
Peloton – Peloton has a pretty unique business strategy. They only have one studio, but they also sell bikes for at-home use. Each bike comes with a touch screen monitor where you can stream classes live (or store for on demand use) and take the class from the comfort of your own home. Pretty cool, huh? Each class in the actual studio is filmed for the people streaming live from home, so while you’re spinning away with the instructor, there’s a little video camera flying around on pullies like at a football game, and every now and then, the instructor will give call outs to the at-home cyclists. I thought the class was great! The instructor had a ton of energy, her music choice was on point, the weight section was challenging, and I liked being able to see my RPM and resistance on the dash so I could tell if I was working as hard as the instructor wanted me to work. The studio is also stunning. They flash colorful lights to the beat of the music as your riding (it feels like a show!), there’s a beautiful lounge space, a smoothie/snack/coffee bar where you can order something and have it ready for you after class, and a nice big locker room with showers and amenities. It’s luxurious, but the price is actually one of the “better” ones. $30 for one ride.
Overall rating: *****
SWERVE Fitness – Similar to Flywheel, Peloton, and SoulCycle, Swerve Fitness runs on a cycling + strength training system. What makes Swerve different is they break each class down into teams and you compete with your team to earn points and essentially win the class. I thought this was a pretty cool concept. The only problem was that all along I thought I was on the blue team, and it wasn’t until the last 5 minutes that I realized I was on the green team. #colorblindmuch? Whoops! Sorry, green team! Overall the class was ok. What erked me a bit was that the instructor wasn’t riding with us. Most of the class she was off her bike just telling us what to do. Easy for you to tell me to cycle at 120 RPM at 5 bazillion times resistance when you’re just standing there! Pssh. Anyway, the studio was nice. The locker rooms were a bit small, but doable, and like Peloton, they had a smoothie/juice bar where you could order before class and pick up after. They also send your stats to you via email so you can see how hard you worked and compare your efforts over time, which is nice.
Overall rating: ***
Monster Cycle – I walked into Monster Cycle and was greeted by a really cool looking space and a nice guy at the front desk. He showed me around the smoothie/juice bar, the lounge area, and down to the communal (we’ll come back to that later) locker space. As I was unpacking all my stuff into the locker, I realized he hadn’t told me where to get my cycling shoes. I walked back up to the reception area to ask and his response shocked me. “We don’t rent shoes,” he said. “You can bring your own shoes or you can wear sneakers and strap your sneakers in with the strap adaptors.” Well… there’s a pickle. I, expecting to rent shoes, had worn my boots to the studio. No sneakers. No cycling shoes. Shoot. He was very nice about it and found me a pair of shoes from one of the instructors that I could borrow for the class. Phew. Crisis averted (but seriously, what spin studio doesn’t rent shoes?!). Anyway, I went down to class. Monster’s class is the most different from the others in that they play music videos on big screens while you ride and there isn’t a weight section. The music video concept sounded cool. Only problem? My instructor was super boring and had poor taste in music. Too many of his songs were ridiculously slow. I barely broke a sweat. But wait, there’s more, after class, I realized there were only two showers rooms for both the men AND the women to share, and about 20 people that needed to shower. As I mentioned earlier, the locker area is co-ed, so you have to shower and get dressed in the shower room, causing a HUGE line for the showers. The courteous people showered and dressed very quickly and then did their hair/makeup using whatever little makeup mirror they had in their bag. The not-so-courteous people took their sweet time showering, dressing, blow drying their hair, and doing their makeup for 20 minutes before the next person could shower. For $33 a class, I expect a lot more. Ok. End rant.
Overall rating: *
3 CROSSFIT CLASSES at Brick New York
I’ve been wanting to try CrossFit for a while now, and ClassPass gave me the perfect opportunity. I headed to Brick New York (Bob Harper is a fan!) for their B|X class, which is a HIIT boot camp class that incorporates CrossFit-type moves. In order to take the “legit” CrossFit classes (which include heavier weight lifting), you have to take an 8-class training, so I stuck with the boot camps. You guys, I fell in love. Each class was super challenging, but also a ton of fun. The time flew by, but boy was I sweating like a madwoman at the end of it. CrossFit is known for its sense of community, and I definitely felt it at this gym. Everyone seemed to know everyone. There was a lounge space, a smoothie/coffee/snack bar, locker rooms (with saunas!), and their color scheme is orange (my fave!). This is the only studio I went to the maximum number of times ClassPass allows you to attend in a month, and I wish I could have gone more. I loved it so much, I’m actually looking into a membership… #byebyemoney. CrossFit has a reputation for being expensive, and this is no different. One class is $35.
Overall rating: *****
1 ROWING CLASS at CityRow
Something else I wanted to try while I had my free month of ClassPass was CityRow, a class based on the rowing machine. It took me a few tries to actually get into the class (they only save a few spots for ClassPass members so you have to book as soon as they open up), but I finally got into one. I wanted to take their signature CityRow class, which mixes rowing intervals with strength training, but the only class available that fit into my schedule was CityRow + Flow (15 minutes of rowing followed by 30/45 minutes of yoga). I enjoyed the class. The rowing section was challenging but fun, and I haven’t done yoga in a while, so that was nice to get back to. The studio is nice. There are a ton of windows, so it was nice and bright and had great views of Union Square. There weren’t locker rooms, or showers though, so I went on a non-work day. I enjoyed it and would definitely go back, but I’d want to try the full on rowing class next time. A single class = $32.
Overall rating: ****
Man, oh, man – that was a lot to go over! Overall, I really enjoyed my ClassPass experience and the studios I chose. As you can see, these classes all go for $30+, so as long as you go to more than 3 classes in the month, ClassPass is worth it. The only downside to ClassPass, like I mentioned, is that you have to be on point with signing up for classes the second they open up. Some studios are easier to get into than others, but you have to go into it with a few options and back up plans in case you don’t get into your first choice. There were a few other studios I was hoping to try, but just couldn’t get into. Also, you are limited to going to each studio 3 times. I would have gone to Brick and Mile High Run Club 500 more times if I could have!
Have you ever tried ClassPass?
Best fitness boutique you’ve ever been to? And go.