I have a confession to make; 30 is my scary age. So last spring I decided it was time to do something about it. No, I didn’t invent a time machine but I vowed to get “hot and healthy” in time for my birthday in July. After looking at all of my options (and boy are there A LOT of options,) I chose ClassPass instead of a traditional gym.
(Full Disclosure: This isn’t me. I’d definitely fall over.)
When I was choosing my plan of attack, I decided that the benefits of ClassPass, for me, far outweighed the benefits of a traditional gym membership. Yes, it’s pricey (here in Boston a membership costs $99 a month) but unless you want to slum it at a no-frills gym (and I don’t) most people seem to be paying at least $80 a month for their fitness routine. I had an offer of a two week free trial so I tried everything from spin (definitely not for me) to a BFX combo class to Pilates Reformer and Barre. I went to a class every other day for two weeks and while I didn’t lose any weight I did gain a ton of confidence. At the end of the two weeks, I was hooked. I hadn’t worked out in a long time (certainly not with any consistency since high school) but over those two weeks I realized that I’m stronger than I thought. I learned about what really I liked to do for exercise (barre and pilates) and what I absolutely couldn’t stand (heavy cardio). For the first time ever, I have upper body strength. I’ve never thought about my arms before but toning and lifting and weights are one of my favorite things now! I actually said, “So THIS is why people are so addicted to the gym!”
Sometimes, I’d schedule my classes a few days out so that I’d hold myself accountable, other times I’d wake up, think about my day and see what was still available via their handy app. The fancy gym a block away from my apartment (which had a hefty joining fee, and high monthly memberships) is a member with nearly all of their classes available to book. They even have 1 hour slots open just to use the gym equipment for when I didn’t feel like taking a full class. But the best part? ClassPass members can use all of the fancy amenities from the clean, stocked locker rooms and showers to the steam room and jacuzzi at this particular studio.
Once I hit a rhythm, I found myself going to the same four or five studios a lot. Occasionally I’d try a new place if the class sounded fun or was more convenient but I became enough of a regular at certain classes that the instructors usually knew my name. I’d been worried that some studios wouldn’t be as friendly to their ClassPass students, on the assumption that we wouldn’t be back, but I found the opposite to be true. Once I had checked in my experience was exactly like their full time members.
Of course, there are downsides too. For example, I became obsessed with Barre & Soul in Lexington (halfway between my mom’s house and my apartment) but, with ClassPass, you can only go to the same studio (including their other locations) three times a month. Once those three times are up, CP locks you out of their classes and you need to sign up directly through the studio (and pay their “drop in” fee). So I found myself staggering the classes that I really loved throughout the month (Barre & Soul, B-Tone, and the gym near my apartment) and taking classes that were more inconvenient. For example, I think BFX is a beautiful studio and their classes are great and intense but it can be hard for me to get down there in the middle of the day. Another time, I signed up for a barre class in Southie but got so lost that I ended up missing the class- and being stuck with a “No Show” fee. Another problem? I spend a good chunk of my summer on Cape Cod where, unfortunately, none of the studios belong to CP. The closest one looks to be over the bridge in Kingston, about an hours drive (without traffic) from where I am on the Cape. So, I found a few little studios nearby for barre classes and just paid their various “drop in” charges out of pocket. Totally fine but annoying when I’m already paying $100 a month to work out. I wish that there were more studios available outside of the Boston area and that the three classes per month rule was bumped up to four or five but it’s a growing company and it has to keep the studios happy too.
I was able to keep up the routine through my birthday, when I promptly injured myself. I guess that’s what you get for blindly throwing yourself into something after 15 years of almost zero exercise? Anyway, I started going less (once or twice a week) to a few light classes that my doctor approved.
Next week, I’ll be clear to work out to my fullest again and, even though I’m a big fan of ClassPass, I was considering canceling or holding my account. Why? Well, it was a great way to learn what my fitness personality is and where I’m most comfortable. Those Crossfit classes? Really not my thing! Zumba? Yawn. My goal has even changed from losing weight to building strength and getting toned.
At my 30th Birthday Party with my BFF Angela. Five weeks into my “Get Hot & Healthy” Plan.
Now that Barre & Soul has opened a new location in my neighborhood, I’m thinking that just going with one of their monthly memberships might be the best route for me. ClassPass has an option for putting an account on “hold” for $19 a month (you can hit one class per cycle while on hold) so I think that’s my current plan of attack. Overall, I think it’s great if you’re just starting out (like me) or if you travel a lot. If you’re in love with one specific teacher or studio though it’s probably better to join directly.