After being on Classpass fitness class app for 6 months, I'm sharing my experience and why I’m ultimately deciding to leave.
My fitness journey
Before I share about Classpass, I need to talk about my fitness history. Growing up, I was very active. I was in dance, gymnastics, soccer, swimming, & ice skating at a young age. However, by middle school and high school, skating was all that I did and was not very active beyond that. In college I rarely worked out & started gaining weight. Then in summer 2013 after returning from living in LA my junior year, that’s when I really starting getting into fitness. I spent every day that summer at Lifetime Fitness, using the machines and also training for a 5K. I ran my first 5K that fall at my college during my senior year. Below is when I was in peak shape and a year after I started working out before and after.
I had started working at Lifetime around that time, getting a free membership and worked at the front and back desk and worked there until October 2015. During that time, I went to my first yoga class and then started going to Zumba. I worked my way through the lifetime classes to their harder ones, included HIIT. However, after I left working at lifetime, I kept my membership for another year before deciding to leave and try Classpass. The main reason I left was that the classes at Lifetime were too easy for me and many of the people in them were older, my parents age and I needed to find people my age who were in classes that had more cardio. I also did not need all of the other things Lifetime provided (tennis, child care, etc…), I just wanted to go to classes.
Moving to Classpass
Classpass I had heard about for a while and was always intrigued by. When I joined, I got three months for $27 a month, which was a great deal. So I signed up.
Classpass had been around for over a year in Minneapolis so many classes were available when I signed up. I wanted to try all of them, but at the time of this writing, I have tried almost all of the studios within a 25 mile radius. I was on the 5 a month class from Oct-Dec and then upped to 10 a month in Jan-March.
Pros about Classpass
One of the best things about Classpass was the ease of the app. It is super easy to use and find classes as well as signup. If you were 12 hours from the class you couldn’t cancel or you will face a fee for not showing up.
Variety of classes
I like getting to try interesting and new classes, IE aerial fitness, skyzone, and many other types of fitness I didn’t get at Lifetime Fitness. It helped me learn what I did and didn’t like and which studios were good and which were not. This helped in my decision about which studio to join FT.
Cons about Classpass
Lack of intense classes in the suburbs & far travel times
Living in the Hopkins area, there aren’t that many intense classpass classes within a 5 mile radius, as most people go to places near where they live. Many of the best classes were located downtown, and 25 minute drives each way takes up a lot of my time.
Many of the classes near me were for older adults (certain yoga studios in EP & jazzercise in Edina). I learned I wasn’t a fan of certain classes, like pilates on the reformers & barre classes, which I found were a bit boring & not as much of a workout. I realized I loved circuit-type classes with a mix of cardio & strength and also yoga on occasion. Only certain studios were good for this, including Minnie Fitness, Physical Culture, The Firm, Switch, The Shed, Tiger Fit, Hell Bent Fitness, Switch, Relative Fitness, & BringIt! Studios as well as Alchemy, which I will discuss later.
Sign up issues
The only issues I had for classes were one time I went to the wrong time (7:30am when it was at 7:30 pm so my fault!) and one time I had added it to my calendar without actually signing up (an option they should get rid of IMO).
Parking Issues downtown
Going to downtown or northeast, many times there is meters, lack of parking spaces and even a parking ticket I received (seriously!). Lack of parking is one of my biggest pet peeves and many of the studios did not have great lots to park in
Lack of community
Going to a new class every time, you don’t get to know anyone in the class you are in. One thing I liked about Lifetime was the fact that most classes had regulars and you got to know, or at least knew of people in your class. Totally not an option with classpass
Class time issues
7:00am is the perfect time for me to workout and many classes were either too early or too late. Many of the most popular classes also filled up early.
10 classes a month
My biggest issue and ultimately the reason I’m leaving is the removal of the unlimited classes. Right after I joined they announced that unlimited was being removed. This was something I had planned on utilizing and then it was gone. This is causing many to leave as it’s not enough for many people as they like to work out more than 10 times a month, including me.
Why I’m leaving and moving to Alchemy 365
One of the studios I had heard about and had seen all over Instagram was Alchemy. Alchemy is a newer concept studio and is a mix between cardio, strength and yoga. I went to two classes at Alchemy while on Classpass. Here’s why I picked Alchemy as my new fitness studio location.
Workout: I loved the combo of the yoga/ & the use of cardio/strength in the 2 classes I’ve been to at Alchemy. It was a harder class than many and I felt like I had a thorough workout after I left. This was huge because it was something I had been lacking.
Social Media: Being in the social media industry, I was intrigued by the savvy nature the Alchemy team had on social. They have over 6000 followers on instagram and used photo and video very well. This impressed me and gave them a high rating in my book.
Growth: Alchemy is growing fast. It only opened a few years ago, has 2 facilities with 2 more opening soon. This shows how popular it is and how many want it in different cities around town
Community: One thing that was hard at many of the studios were that many of the people working out were much older than me. At Alchemy, almost all of the people there are under 30. In addition, you get the same people most of the time & they do community events to build a community. They also have everyone say their name before the class started, which was unlike any other studio I visited. I’m hoping to be able to feel part of the community, especially as someone who works alone at home.
Location: One reason I didn’t join Alchemy right away was the far distance of its Northeast and North Loop locations to where i was. When they announced a new location in Edina, I was sold! A much closer location to where I live is a must.
Con: Price. One reason people don’t choose to go to Alchemy is the price, which is higher than any place I’ve been. But it is unlimited and much cheaper than having a personal trainer, so I’ve justified this as part of my budget. Trying to lose weight is a goal of mine and being able to have intense classes with unlimited times to go is a game changer for me.
Where do you go? Let me know in the comments!