Does anyone else out there feel like you only really push yourself while working out if you’ve got someone telling you what to do?
Whenever I work out on my own I’m like, “OK so let’s set a reeeal average goal for the # of sets and the weight I lift so I know I can achieve it and feel totally accomplished afterward.” For the first couple of years that I blogged, I would do a couple sets of bicep curls, some tricep extensions, maybe some lat pulldowns, and call it a day – then flex my baby muscles like they’re something to bat an eyelash at 😉
But when I’m taking a fitness class – or even just using the Nike+ Training Club app to guide me through a workout – I’m at the whim of someone whose goal is to make me do things I hate, but that will make me work harder…like burpees…instead of half-assing some 8 Minute Abs moves that do nothing. Plus, I know it’s not about comparing yourself to others, but no one wants to be the sucker falling behind in class.
Up until now, I’ve been taking a Tabata bootcamp semi regularly at my gym and have tried one or two other boot camp classes, along with Zumba and yoga here and there. After I finished my half marathon last month, I saw that ClassPass was offering a trial membership. Though the full monthly pass is a little pricier than my normal gym membership, I jumped at the chance to expand my fitness horizons at studios around town for a smaller price tag now that I’m no longer on a strict 3 run-per-week schedule! So my friend Shannon and I signed up together for the 2 week trial.
For those who aren’t familiar with ClassPass, here’s the breakdown:
ClassPass is a new kind of gym membership that grants you access to thousands of different classes at studios and gyms in your city and around the world. Every month, you can take a variety of classes and visit the same studio up to 4x a month, depending on your plan. Find what works for you and set your own schedule.
My goal for the 2 week trial period was to attend at least 5 classes. I ended up doing 7, and limited it to just a couple of studios so I could try a couple at each gym. Here’s what I thought!
Classes Offered: Vinyasa, yin/yang, and restorative yoga
Pricing: $47-$119 monthly (including new member special), $16 drop-in rate
Difficulty: Beginner to intermediate
Good for: Standard yoga things…toning, improving your mood, centering yourself, etc 😉
Classes I took: Dynamic Yogi, Level 1
My take: My yoga experience is not very vast, but I find it enjoyable and have taken a handful of classes here and there (though it’s not my favorite). Shannon and I chose this class first to ease us into things, and it was a perfect way to start things off. Except for the fact that the studio had just moved and hadn’t yet updated their address on the ClassPass app. Oops. Luckily, despite arriving a few minutes late, everyone there – from the receptionist to the other students in the class and the instructor – was really nice and helpful to us. We both noted that our instructor (I think her name was Emily?) was one of the best we had ever had! She was very attentive and descriptive and I found it easy to listen to her voice and really get in the zone, which isn’t always the case for me. Overall it was a good yoga experience!
Learn more about Asha Yoga
P2O Hot Pilates & Fitness
Classes Offered: Hot Pilates, Kettlebells, TRX, and classes focused on single body parts (Bikini butt, Amped abs, etc).
Pricing: $30-$130 monthly (including new member special); $18 drop-in rate
Difficulty: Intermediate, especially if you are, like me, intolerant of exercising in a heated room 😉
Good for: Weight training and toning, esp for targeting a specific area
Classes I took: TRX, Kettlebells, Amped Abs
My take: P2O is primarily a pilates studio that also offers an array of weight training classes that incorporate different types of exercises and equipment like kettlebells, TRX, Dynamax medicine balls, and (I hear) battle ropes. The largest class I took here had about 10-12 people, and the others had no more than 6. I am in decent shape, and these classes kicked. my. ASS! I felt like a lot of people in these classes knew exactly what they were doing and had a million times better form and stamina than I did. That being said, the class size makes it possible for instructors to give a decent amount of personal attention when needed. Everyone is also super friendly, which makes it less daunting! The biggest struggle for me at this studio was that I am NOT a hot weather exerciser and with only 2 rooms in the small studio, the 95 degree hot pilates room really heats the place up. I have never sweat as much as I did in these classes.
Learn more about P2O Hot Pilates
The Academy Training & Performance Center
Classes Offered: Strength training, Conditioning (cardio), Personal training
Pricing: $165 monthly, $65 personal training, unsure of drop-in policy
Difficulty: Beginner to intermediate
Good for: Overall strength and conditioning, increasing muscle mass. Basically if you want to lift heavy like a bad ass.
Classes I took: Squat Thang (Strength), The Wake Up Show (Conditioning)
My take: Honesty time- I was actually super intimidated to try out a “serious” gym. I had never gone to a gym like this and even though I’ve evolved from my bicep and tricep days, I still get self-conscious about lifting weights at the gym in front of other people. That being said, I really liked The Academy. Everyone there is friendly and really supportive…something about the open floor plan of the gym makes it feel like you’re part of a team atmosphere. While we were on our own for most of the strength workout (The instructor, who also happened to be one of the owners, led us through a warm-up together and laid out the workout, which was posted on the wall, then we completed it at our own pace), I let the instructor know that it was my first time and he made sure to check in on me whenever he noticed I was moving on to a new exercise. The conditioning workout was in more of a group environment and it was tiring, but also more challenging and varied than just going for a 45 minute run.
Learn more about The Academy
The Dailey Method
Classes Offered: Barre
Pricing: $80-$180 monthly (including new member special), $18 drop-in rate
Difficulty: Beginner to intermediate
Good for: Low impact strength building with mostly body-weight exercises
Classes I took: Interval
My take: This was clearly the most beautiful studio I’ve tried. It is so clean, crisp, bright and airy. Something about it just makes you feel light and dainty. I really wanted to try Barre, but most of their regular Barre classes interfered with my schedule, so my friend Shannon and I took a Barre Interval class on a Saturday morning because the time was right. As we found out, it is basically Barre coupled with cardio 😉 Shannon loved the regular Barre class she took at Dailey Method, but this one was a lot different, as it’s more high paced so it’s pretty much designed to make you huff and puff. In Interval, you basically do an exercise (lunges, squats, mountain climbers, and a few combo upper/lower body movements on the bar) for 45-60 seconds straight before directly moving on to the next. That being said, I felt like I got a good workout and it really helped loosen me up and help my flexibility, since it was mostly pilates/yoga type moves.
Learn more about The Dailey Method
After my trial, I’ve decided to continue with ClassPass on a limited basis – I’m not quite ready to give up my gym membership yet, but I still want to continue trying out fitness studios downtown! Luckily, ClassPass offers a 5 class per month option for $45. So at least once per week I’ll be able to continue checking out studios downtown.
In all likelihood, I am planning on using my ClassPass to continue with classes at P2O and The Academy, but I like the flexibility of being able to try a yoga studio if I feel like doing yoga, or be able to go to any studio that’s offering a class at a time that is convenient for me.
Want to try out ClassPass? You can get $20 off your first unlimited monthly membership if you use my referral link!
Have you ever tried ClassPass?
What is your favorite class or type of fitness class?