I’d been with my big-box gym for two years, and things were going fine. The equipment and classes, plentiful. The location, convenient. But something was missing. I wanted to try something new. When a sexy Facebook ad for ClassPass popped up in my newsfeed offering no-strings-attached workouts at dozens of different fitness studios around the city, I clicked.
ClassPass is the Tinder of fitness, complete with a user-friendly app and promises of a fair amount of sweating if used well. The service lets users sign up for local classes at various studios around town instead of having to commit to one gym or fitness studio. It’s great for commitment-phobes and those looking to try out a bunch of studios with the goal of eventually settling down with one (or two) for several months (or a lifetime).
ClassPass has been around Baltimore since 2015, and currently it offers monthly packages of three, five or 10 classes. The set-up encourages fitness-studio promiscuity, allowing members to only frequent the same studio once, twice, or four times each, depending on membership level.
Even though I signed up for the five-class membership, I only went on three fitness dates. One was an early morning cycling class where the instructor was far-too-friendly, and the lights far-too-dim. Although the studio was gleaming and a moist lavender-scented towel was involved, it just wasn’t that satisfying an experience. A TRX suspension class at a different studio provided an amazing workout. The instructor was the right amount of friendly and knowledgeable, and my muscles were sore—in a good way—for days.
I seriously considered signing up for a monthly membership there, but I couldn’t stop thinking about the very first fitness class I’d tried with my ClassPass—a high-intensity workout in six-minute intervals alternating between different strength and cardio exercises at Peak Performancece Training in Highlandtown. Everyone in the class wears a heart-rate monitor, and you can see how hard you and your classmates are working on TV monitors around the studio. The class was motivating, challenging, and made me feel like I was in varsity soccer practice—aka moderately athletic—again. The instructor/owner was friendly, knowledgeable, and passionate about fitness for all types of bodies. Plus, he was very professional. Nobody likes a flirty trainer.
I’ve been exclusive with my studio for about two months with a monthly membership, and have enjoyed working out with all the instructors and doing a variety of different activities every single class. Recently, I’ve had the option of signing a three-month contract at a discounted rate, but I haven’t sent that “yes” email yet. There’s something appealing about knowing a commitment is only for one month.
ClassPass can introduce you to stellar studios, and is an especially good fit for those whose fitness interests don’t fit into one box. Once you’ve started sampling classes, though, the hard part is deciding if you want to continue playing the field, or settle down—for at least three months.