All-Access To Fitness Classes With ClassPass London
Imagine having a 'golden ticket' that will let you go to hundreds of fitness classes in London, whether it's cycling, pilates, yoga, strength training, martial arts, bootcamp, boxing (you name it!) to challenge yourself with different ways to work out, and get you into the kind of fitness you feel passionate about, AND not paying a fortune for it! Sounds too good to be true? ClassPass, the new kind of fitness membership that has now landed in London, has opened doors to 175 of studios and classes (the number is growing daily) including GymClass, Paola's BodyBarre, Evolve, Edgecycle, Frame, Xtend Barre, Triyoga and many more. For £89 a month (price gets even better when you book 3 or 6 months) you get unlimited number of classes in studios in the ClassPass network. While you can take as many classes per month as you'd like, you can visit the same studio up to 3 times per month.
Having attended ClassPass London's launch party (which in fact was an extremely intense bootcamp workout at Barry's Bootcamp which the entire world is raving about) and having put it to test, I am happy to share my experience.
How does ClassPass work?
When you sign up, you can select the plan that works for you - with 1 month membership being the minimum and 3 and 6 months plans (for £69 and £59 monthly fee respectively) available. If you select a monthly membership don't forget to cancel on time as the membership will automatically renew in a month's time. (UPDATED on 30th April: please note that prices indicated above are the ones announced at the time of the launch - please check at ClassPass website for the current accurate pricing before paying.)
Once you are in, take your time and explore the classes and studios available - for me personally this part was as exciting as the anticipation of the classes themselves. :) You can define your search by the type of the class, the area you are interested in, a particular studio you want to visit, as well as the start time of the class. You can then reserve your class straight from the list by clicking 'reserve' button on the right hand side of the class' line.
ClassPass website allows you to truly explore all the options available, by making it possible for you to search for the class, in addition to the method described above, within the London map and have a quick preview of the selected location, as well as getting further detailed information by visiting the studio's profile on ClassPass:
The description of studios is very handy: it contains some background information, lists classes available and their descriptions, as well as provides links to the website and social media platforms and details on the location - including both the address and location on the map.
After you've attended the class you will be asked to rate it and provide feedback - meaning that you can flick through visitors' review before making decision about attending a particular class or a studio.
The list of your upcoming ClassPass London classes is available in your Account where you can cancel the class if you have a change of heart or change of plans (see below re cancellations).
Small print! :)
If you can't attend a class, cancellations must be made at least 12 hours in advance or you will be charged a £12 cancellation fee. If you just don't turn up you will be charged a £15 no-show fee. And it's not as uncommon as you might think - when I got my ClassPass membership activated I booked a few classes taking place every other day, as well as a yoga class at 9.30 am on a Saturday and 10 am barre class on a Sunday. Needless to say after a busy week and little sleep I was THIS close to missing my morning classes. :)
In the situation when you are going away or having circumstances that won't make it possible for you to take advantage of the unlimited visits ClassPass offers, you have an option to freeze your membership for £19 per month and in that month you will still able to book one class to attend.
You don't have to be a genius to do the math and figure out that ClassPass offers incredible value for what it costs. With London fitness studios drop-in rates often going upwards from £15 per class, you would have 'paid it off' with attending as little as 4-6 classes a month - and trust me, once you see what's in store, you will definitely attend more than that!:) In fact, you could go every day if you wanted to.
For those sceptical of innovative concepts like this, my only concern would be that with the growing popularity of ClassPass the classes for the popular morning and evening times would get booked out fairly quickly (the classes are booked out on first-come first-serve basis) and unless you are very quick you'd be left with timing and locations that don't quite work for you. New fitness concepts however are popping up in London every day so for the time being there would be no shortage in choices available.
Also, when you are booking a class via ClassPass, you are getting on the system of the selected studios meaning you can expect that the studio will email you directly with their special offers and new classes info - which - if you attend LOTS of classes in different locations can be annoying for some people. With the great value ClassPass offers this direct marketing does not quite make sense (as you will be booking your future visits through ClassPass and therefore have no need to purchase access with a studio directly). I do not really have an answer or solution for this one - so we will have to wait and see how ClassPass approaches this. :)
So far during just a week of using ClassPass I went to my favourite Evolve studio in South Ken for Hatha yoga with Jenny Flemming, challenged my balance, cory and body strength at Xtend Barre and had my first ever pilates class at Ten Pilates in Mayfair. With the exciting concept and a fantastic team behind the ClassPass including the blogger Little Miss Runshine Jess Miller, nothing's stopping ClassPass from taking London by storm!
Ready to give it a try? Sign up & share your experience in comments!