A class(pass) act
ClassPass, the latest American import to London arrived in early March to a huge amount of excitement -- and I was definitely part of the group of people that couldn't wait to try it!
Unlike SoulCycle or other studio-based imports, the concept behind ClassPass is an unlimited 'passport' to all its member studios in the city you live in. You can take as many classes as you want for a set rate per month, with a maximum of three at any one studio.
Me and my fitness attention deficit were pretty stoked about this and ClassPass were kind enough to gift me a month's free trial to check out their services.
I managed to get around to quite a few different studios I hadn't tried and, with one exception, they were all good to great. They varied from super-independent teachers at a local town hall to big international chain studios -- the range that ClassPass has added to their roster is amazing. And it's not just limited to yoga and pilates. There was dance, aerial hoops & silks, HIIT, outdoor bootcamps and more.
It was everything I had hoped for and I'm seriously weighing up the monthly membership options at the moment. By the end of the week they'll probably have a new member-for-life.
But what was so good about it? Well, in highlights, here's the good (and the not-so-good)...
- Good value. With one price for all the classes you want to do at tonnes of different studios, at about the same that you'd pay for a mid-to-high-end gym membership, I felt this was really worth it. - Location (location, location). I work, live and hang out in three really different and fairly distant parts of London so the option to go to classes in any of these convenient areas rather than having to go to one gym that I was a member of was and is a huge plus for me.
- Lots of variety. As I mentioned before, whatever kind of workout you want, they've got it.
- Great customer service. There was one little hiccup (more below) and they were on it tout suite and lovely and helpful and made my day. There isn't much British customer service you can say that about.
- The app. Sadly this only came online for the UK on Friday, just as my trial month was ending. Given how much time I spend commuting/on my phone, this little gem would have been a huge help and actually should, I guess, fall into the 'good' category. Glad they have it now for my future bookings!
- Class descriptions. Some of the details about the classes (like level, what the kind of exercise was if it wasn't a straight-up yoga/HIIT etc) was a little vague and could use updating. This is probably partly to do with the studios but it would make the ClassPass experience better.
- Search/categories. Looking for a HIIT class? Sadly you won't find that on the list of activity categories in the standard search. Don't be fooled -- there are LOADS of HIIT options in ClassPass, they're just not listed. The categories are: Barre, Cycling, Dance, Pilates, Strength Training and Yoga. I feel like there's room to add a couple here, guys.
- Class times. They do say in the FAQs that some studios hold back some class times for members only. This is a bit annoying as, of course, they're the more popular times at popular studios (i.e. right before or after work). I think ClassPass needs to work on a way to get all the classes on their pass.
- Inductions/beginner classes. This sort of links in with the above in that I tried to go to two different studios who required you to attend either a beginner class or induction before your first class. In the case of one, they were more than happy to arrange the induction... after a two week wait for a time I could make it to. The other studio I didn't actually make it to since there were no beginner classes for that studio on the ClassPass schedule -- a bit of a bummer, and, as it's a requirement, should be available.
Overall, would I recommend it? Hell yes. For £89 per month (£79 intro and less if you sign up for a multiple-month contract) it's great value and you could go to something different every day. Multiple times a day if you wanted!
This is a great addition to the London fitness landscape (you can tell by the number of wannabes that have already popped up) and if you prefer classes to slogging away on your own at the gym, but want to mix it up, this is just the pass for you.
Have you tried it? Do you agree with my thoughts or did you have a different experience? Let me know!
Disclaimer: Occasionally I am offered free product in exchange for a review, as was the case with ClassPass. The opinions expressed in these reviews are my unbiased opinion and are not affected by or paid for by the companies mentioned.