ClassPass, Is This The End?

ClassPass announced yesterday that they would no longer be offering their unlimited plan. It started out as just $99 and eventually crept up to $180 and yet was still unsustainable due to members attending at time multiple classes a day.

You see, gyms thrive off their monthly memberships that don’t get used. That’s how Planet Fitness can exponentially grow charging $10 per month. ClassPass probably thought they too could turn a profit from people NOT using their gym membership. However, we are in the middle of an era where people spend just as much on their leggings as they do their designer jeans. Post work spin is the new happy hour. Being seen at the studio can be important for networking. And let’s be honest, it’s never been more trendy to be fit and in shape.

It was not uncommon for members to workout every day and was reported that some at times went to two classes a day. I’m not sure who has the time for that, but good for them. People were going to studios much more regularly than ClassPass anticipated. They underestimated our love for sweet pain, sweat and early alarm clocks.ClassPass-Boston-Review.jpg

And so with all good things, ClassPass unlimited too shall end.

Before CP arrived in Boston, I sat down with a good friend in the industry to discuss creating something similar. I loved visiting various studios and couldn’t afford to go to all of them as much as I wanted. When CP finally did arrive in Boston offering unlimited classes for $99, I never followed through on my idea because I knew I couldn’t beat the price given what CP offered. I wanted to join ClassPass! And I did. I worked with them too including the race in San Francisco when I was super pregnant!

Finish Line Photo Nike WOmen Half

Now, however, I wish I hadn’t given up on my idea. And yes, I know I wasn’t the only one. I think I have at least 3 friends who also had “the same idea.”

Many studios in Boston who have a lot of ClassPass students are having big sales now on packages and monthly memberships including Recycle Studio and EveryBodyFights (The Club). They are trying to convert their ClassPassers into regular members.

This was always the goal of being on ClassPass for studios. They wanted to bring in new bodies to experience their greatness and want to come back more than 3 times a month. It worked well for some studios and others not so much.

The New York Times suggested that what Groupon did to restaurants, ClassPass would do to small studios.

I think it is safe to say that it won’t now. Who knew millennial fitness addicts would outsmart a bunch of VCs?

The new memberships are class based. There is a 10 class per month offer for $120. I think this is still a good deal! Most drop ins for the studios I go to cost me on average $20-25 with a class package purchase. Instead of being a crazy good deal, I’m spending what I probably should if I want one membership that lets me go to my favorite studios.

The problem lies in that $120 a month is too much if you want a place to workout 4 or more days a week. You could join a Planet Fitness, go running outdoors or workout at home but for those that want structure, going back to a gym like an Equinox or joining one studio may be your best bet.

I admittedly have a bunch of ClassPass credits. One of my blog posts comes up when you search ClassPass and as a result, a bunch of people have signed up through my website. I am only able to use it now on the weekends or with studios who provide childcare so I rarely exceed 10 classes a month and usually pay in addition for classes at studios who offer babysitting when I hit my 3/class limit. I do have a “typical” gym membership, that doubles as an office for me with child care.

What will you end up doing if you are currently using ClassPass like me? Will you keep it and supplement with more free workouts or drop your membership and join one gym or one studio you discovered?

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