ClassPass vs. Gym Membership

By Caroline

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So I’m going to be honest, it took me a while to be a ClassPass subscriber. Being a committed and loyal Crunch member, my feeling was “why should I pay for ClassPass to get unlimited classes (at that time, only the unlimited membership was offered–at just $90–how times have changed…) when Crunch has all the classes I need. And if I replace Crunch with ClassPass, then I won’t have anywhere to just go run on a treadmill or use machines on my own (also, at that time I was running about six miles a day, training for the NYC marathon)”.

I ended up joining ClassPass in December 2015 for a few reasons. First, I became injured two months prior (stress fracture in my sacrum), causing me to have to take a four month break from running and any high impact exercising. I got more interested in yoga, and even more so in pilates, especially on the reformer machine. ClassPass has so many different studios for these low impact workouts. Second, my friends started joining ClassPass. Jon and I decided to join ClassPass at the same time, so having the ability to go to classes with him and with my friends (who were previously members at different gyms, including NYSC and Equinox) was a new and cool idea. When I joined back in December, I was paying the lovely price of $125 for unlimited classes. I decided to keep my Crunch membership active, primarily because of how close the gyms are to my apartment and work (from home, I attend the E. 59th location, and from work, the Park Ave or the E. 34th). In addition, knowing I was going to be moving apartments a few months later, I wanted to keep options open. Finally, my business mind did know that as ClassPass was growing, so was their opportunity to raise prices. At the time, they had already raised their prices from $90 to $125. For $125 a month, I was using ClassPass probably 25+ times a month, so I knew very well there was no way ClassPass was making money on me. It was a steal.

There are pros and cons to ClassPass compared to a traditional gym. Pros to ClassPass include: 1. being able to go to a boutique fitness studio with better classes/instructors (we can admit it, most Flywheel classes are definitely better than traditional gym spin classes), newer equipment, better amenities (nothing can beat the Solace, Peloton, or BFX locker room situations), 2. Being able to work out with friends/significant others- I do a class with my two girlfriends probably once every 2 weeks and with Jon about once a week. ClassPass classes have also been a double date with another fitness couple! 3. You get to meet so many different people 4. You try so many different workouts that you couldn’t otherwise and really get a lot more variety.

This past April, ClassPass announced their new pricing schedule– $190 for unlimited, $125 for 10 classes/month. Obviously, I was bummed that I wouldn’t be able to get such great classes for such a low price. In addition, being a 25-year-old living in Manhattan, I knew that I also wouldn’t be able to afford BOTH ClassPass unlimited and my Crunch membership. DECISION TIME. I didn’t want to give up Crunch. Pros to Crunch include: 1. Not having to book in advance. That is really the best part. There are so many days where I am not in control of my schedule. I don’t know if I will be out of work in time to make a 6pm spin class, or if I’m going to feel well enough and energized to do a morning workout. With Crunch, I don’t have to plan in advance. I can walk in, most classes will have room, and if not, I can work out myself. 2. I can dictate the workout and the length. Sometimes, I only have 25 minutes to work out, or I want to try to run on the treadmill, but don’t want to commit to a 3-mile Mile High Run Club class.

All that being said, I have decided to do the 10 classes/month ClassPass option, supplemented with my Crunch membership. I’ve been doing this for two months now, and it has worked out very nicely. I use most of the 10 classes to do classes with Jon and/or friends. Also, since it’s been nice out and running season has started up again, I have been running outside 2-3 times a week. And then on some days, I save my ClassPass classes and take advantage of Crunch’s classes, or just do a workout on my own. As much as I have enjoyed ClassPass, I guess the point of this is to say, I’d really never give up my regular gym membership. What are everyone else’s thoughts on this?!

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