Thursday, 22 September 2016

Working It: ClassPass Review

I think I first heard of ClassPass from a NYC friend but London now has it too - yay! ClassPass is the Deliveroo of the gym world - rather than having a standard gym membership (so early 00s) you pay a monthly membership to ClassPass and have the pick of all of London's work out options at your fingertips. Unlike Deliveroo where the food is biked to your door, you do actually have to go to the workout class yourself but all of the faff of searching for a class and booking it is dealt with.

I have to say that I spent a few very enjoyable hours on the ClassPass website scrolling through every possible class all over London - I guess our city is more into fitness then it outwardly lets on? There are so many classes. So many. Eventually I worked out that you could narrow it down by area (East) and preferred class type (Yoga). Once you've booked a class in a couple of clicks you can add it to your Google calendar and a handy email explains how to get there, what time to arrive and what you need to bring.


I attended 5 classes during my month - a hot yoga class at Fierce Grace, a restorative yoga class at the swish South Place Hotel with Rooted London, a reformer Pilates class at Bootcamp Pilates (looks terrifying, isn't), a morning yoga flow at The Klinik and another hot yoga class at Ethos. I was aware of Fierce Grace already due to their pretty strong brand image but the other studios were all new discoveries - definitely great for smaller studios, both for their business and for participants, there may be somewhere on your doorstep that you previously had no clue about. Most of the studios have introductory offers which you can still take advantage off despite doing a ClassPass class with them. I've been meaning to do a 30 days of hot yoga trial month for about a year now and may actually get around to signing up now.

ClassPass isn't cheap - the standard package is £55 per month for five classes but as some individual classes would cost £20 for a single class credit it isn't too extortionate (reminder: this is London). I managed to get a £1 trial and there are often codes floating around for a trials at reduced prices. Write a massive diary note to cancel before the end of the trial if you don't want to be hit with the full fee the next month.

There are enough options that you'll definitely find a class to suit you and some pretty exclusive gyms like 1Rebel are on there as well as smaller classes with 3-4 participants which is definitely a cut above the usual gym class experience. If you've always wanted to try something like TRX or Barre but haven't wanted to commit in case you don't love it then ClassPass is a pretty commitment free way of trying new workouts. Also if you need the financial motivation to exercise, the thought of throwing £55 down the toilet / into the vacuum of the internet should make you get online and book some classes. For the fickle, you can cancel most classes up to 12 hours before and not lose your class credits because y'know, life gets in the way and plans can change but once you're five vodka sodas down at 11pm before a morning class it'll be too late and it'll be an expensive lie-in.


The area I live and work has a lot of classes going on so there was always an option for whatever day and time I wanted to work out but if you live a bit further out then it may not be as convenient. Although the flexibility means that you can schedule a class in an area if you know you'll be there anyway - brunch always taste better after pre-brunch spinning and if you work centrally there's bound to be pre and post-work options.

On the downside, five classes per month may not be enough for the dedicated exerciser (I go through phases when I do five classes in a week) and you can only visit each studio once per month on the basic plan. As dull and early 00s as my gym membership is I do like going to the same weekly classes with the same instructor (my Tuesday yoga teacher may actually tell someone if I ever go missing and skip more than one class) and ClassPass does add to that London feeling of transience, anonymity and lack of commitment (Tinder doesn't have exclusive jurisdiction here who would've thought!).

Overall I loved ClassPass and if I get bored with my workouts in the future I'll definitely re-activate my plan because it just felt so easy and convenient and variety is the spice of life and all that. If you want to try it yourself, use my sign-up code - http://class.ps/ei9Ri

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