ClassPass NYC: The Good, The Bad, and The Classists

As a huge ClassPass NYC fan, I was a bit surprised by the recent NY Times article originally printed April 2 “When The Fit Have To Squeeze In,” now online as “ClassPass: Deep Discounts, but Some Discontent.” The article bemoans that ClassPass is causing a stir with paying clients who pay $30-40/class versus the ClassPass clients who pay $99 unlimited/mo (3 class per studio limit) at boutique fitness studios across NYC. The article really puts a spotlight on the classism backlash across the city. Excuse my puns, there’s no way around them.

I have been a member of ClassPass for over a year now, and I love it…I’ve toned up, met new friends, and have recently taken up aqua cycling (hello summertime!). This article contains affiliate links, which means when you click a link I may get a small commission.

I’m writing this as both a response to the NY Times article, and also as a guide to help Classpass membership.

Who Is The Average ClassPass User?

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Do we take extremely “long showers” at the gym? Or are we the “lanky female” trying to play “linebacker” reference?

While I can’t speak for everyone on ClassPass NYC, I can speak for myself and several friends and acquaintances who are on ClassPass: The answer is no. In fact, the ClassPass users I know simply rock.

As a ClassPass user:

  • I choose classes I know I will enjoy and not hurt myself attempting.
  • I always contribute well to the community (aka the fitness studio).
  • I’m polite, positive,determined, clean…all those things that make for a good class experience.
  • I’m grateful to said fitness studio for opening up its doors to ClassPass members
  • I don’t take long showers. In fact, I avoid gym showers at all costs preferring the cleanliness of my lovely shower at home. “Gym hair” IS still in fashion…

Of course there are bad seeds at every gym, but this can be anyone whether it’s a Classpass member or a top paying client who inappropriately grunts and moans their way through a boot camp. I had a bad experience once..this one guy…moaned the entire class…it was bad. Really bad.

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My point is, the backlash against ClassPass members is unwarranted, we are all human trying to work out. Some people are socially awkward, hey it happens. Let’s all get along, ok? Forgive. Forget. Move. Shake. It. Off.

Price Gauging or Price Fairness?

“If two girls are talking in the changing room, and one person paid one price for the class and another person paid another price for the class, how does that look?”-NY Times

When you’re flying on an airline, no one’s paying the same price…why shouldn’t it be the same in a fitness class? Is fitness a classist affair? Can only the rich afford a proper workout these days? Why are we discussing what we pay in the locker room? I’ve always been taught not to discuss money with friends.

Overcrowded Fitness Classes? Not IME…

As far as classes being crowded…

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I’ve worked in boutique fitness studios as a yoga teacher for more than 10 years. There’s nothing worse than a class with 2 people. It really creates a “Why is no one else at this class?” aura in the air. From a teacher’s perspective it plainly sucks. You want a buzz in the studio that everyone’s dying to get in here because these classes are amazing!

If crowding really is an issue (not one I’ve personally encountered in my 30+ classes/month I religiously take), then the studios do have the option to add less classes on ClassPass. Ellie Herman’s Pilates studio has recently done this (much to my dismay). They used to open several of their classes up to ClassPass, but now they only open the 6:30am barre classes to ClassPass (still a great class I highly recommend with Hannah Zin).

Honestly with a little planning and keeping an open mind, it’s pretty easy to stay happy on ClassPass.

Get The Most Happiness From Your ClassPass

I’ve put together a few tips to make sure you get the best out of your ClassPass experience all the while combatting any negative classism along the way.

How To Get Into The Classes You Want

Plan Ahead:

  • Know which classes you love and want to get into
  • Get on Classpass at 11:55am 1 week before that class.
  • Have the window for the reservation open and ready to go at 11:58am.
  • Enjoy your class!

How To Ignore The Classism Noise

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1. Be a positive part of the fitness community you are participating in by following common gym etiquette.

2. Hold your head high when you tell the front desk you are on Classpass, but maybe whisper so the negative Nellys don’t hear you and gossip in the locker room?…Is this high school?

3. Workout like it’s the workout of your lifetime. Just don’t moan and groan…please.

4. In the words of the great Taylor Swift: “Shake it off.” You ARE a paying customer. The studio has a contract that allows you the same privilege as the full time members. You do belong there.

5. Have fun! Life is short. Fitness is key to a longer life. So have at it and have fun.

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See you on ClassPass!