Giving ClassPass a Try

I’m sort of into fitness. I really like to try…everything I can. Which is why I gave CrossFit a try but decided it wasn’t for me right now.

I love boutique classes and trying as many of them as I can. I’m really lucky that this blog and my job give me the opportunity to try a lot of them for free, but there are approximately one gazillion fitness studios in NYC, and I could go broke trying them all, even with those hookups.

And since 2014 is clearly the year I can’t stick to one thing…I decided to try ClassPass. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s $99/month for as many classes as you can take. I used to be a skeptic of this too (I don’t remember why, to be honest), but the other day I decided I really needed to try it. My coworker Amanda’s doing it, and I was getting really intrigued by hearing about all the cool classes she was trying.

So I forked over my cash last week to give it a try. And so far I’m liking it! When you consider that boutique classes are usually $30+, if you go to more than 3 classes, you’ve already more than broken even. You can’t go to any studio more than 3 times in a month (which is fair to the owners of the studios) and so far it seems like you need to plan ahead a little further than you might ordinarily to get into some classes, but I’m using it as a way to find new classes. The last time I looked into, I was trying to use it as a way to go to my faves on the cheap, and that’s not really what it’s meant for.

This week, I tried…

BFX Studio

BFX Studio Chelsea

I like to workout and be active, but I am fundamentally lazy and anticipate 94% of these classes will be in the morning, when I’m not generally down to hop on the subway to work out, so 99% of the classes I try (at least during the week) will likely be in Chelsea/Flatiron. Which is fine since there’s so many studios here. #nevermoving

The first class I tried out was Fusion Ride at BFX Studio. I had heard a lot about it, but didn’t know a ton other than that it was pretty close to me.

BFX Studio Chelsea

I walked in and it looked pretty gorgeous. According to this Well + Good article, the studio is trying to bridge the gap between studios that offer one kind of class and big-box gyms. (Although it’s owned by Town Sports, which owns NYSC.) They teach everything from Spin to barre to strength classes.

The Fusion class I took was half Spin, half strength. The bikes had those little monitors on them, which I’m never crazy about. I just suck on the bike, so it’s frustrating not hitting the speeds I’m supposed to. The class was less than half full (it was also a cold, rainy day in December), so the energy in that part of the class felt lacking for sure.

After 30 minutes, we moved on to strength in a little room across the hall. We were to pick up a kettlebell and two heavy weights. I was pleased that I picked up heavier weights than most of the women in the class. The class involved three different sets of exercises, including stuff like rows, burpees and core work at the end. Overall, I loved that the class was both a full-body workout and combined cardio and strength, and not in that bullshit way that spin classes have you lift 3 pound weights for 3 minutes and call it strength.

Throwback Fitness

Another one I’ve been wanting to try since it opened and hadn’t gotten around to it!  They called this “team fitness” and say they are “gamifying fitness,” and that’s pretty damn close.

I walked in to the studio and had basically no idea what to expect but thought it’d probably be fun. I knew there was a team element, and I hoped I wouldn’t be the weirdo newbie nobody would want to team up with. I was wrong, whew.

We started off with a warm-up that had us passing a medicine ball and doing jumping jacks and burpees in between.

From there, we moved to a partner workout where we did 12 kettlebell pulls, 10 kettlebell situps and mountain climbers for 2 rounds; once you finished, you switched the rowing machine and vice versa. The partner aspect definitely felt a lot like CrossFit. From there, we did another team thing with teams of 3 where you had to do jump squats, high/low planks and some other move that escapes me now. Once you finished, you could take a shot at a basketball hoop for 1, 2 or 3 points. “Welp, I’m going to be doing a lot of burpees,” I said as we started. But instead, I just stood at the one-point line and went for the easy sure shots.

It was a SUPER fun workout, and everyone was really friendly. So, like Uplift, but with dudes

We also just launched an AWESOME program at work with Bob Harper that I can’t wait to try. It’s been a really exciting project for us to talk about around the office, and it’s amazing that it’s finally live.

What’s your favorite workout? What do you turn to when you get bored with your usual workouts? NYC/ClassPass people – what are your favorite studios/classes?

20 comments on “Giving ClassPass a Try

  1. Samantha

    I go to an awesome NYC studio that’s on ClassPass! RUSH Total Body Training (26th & 6th ave). It’s a HIIT style strength class that uses TRX, sandbells, and other fun stuff, & it has a friendly-competitive edge since it incorporates partner drills & a 6-minute “challenge” at the end of class. I’ve been doing 12 classes a month there for almost a year now & I’ve never been this strong in my life!

  2. Jamie

    Did you find the scheduling annoying? don’t you have to sign up at least 24 hours in advance and give 24 hrs notice to cancel? I’d love to try classpass, but would want to be able to sign up for things at the last minute, or cancel if I get stuck at work.

    1. Theodora Blanchfield Post author

      A lot of the classes I go to/was going to have that kind of cancellation policy anyway – and I’m mostly signing up for morning classes because I never want to have to depend on being able to leave work at a certain time.

  3. Katie

    I also am not going at hitting the right rpm. When they want me to hold steady at 100 I struggle to get there. but I just look at where I’m at (pretend it’s 85), and when they say (now 110) i try to get to 95. so same amount of increase, even if my starting point wasn’t as high.

  4. Barbara

    I have a random question for you. I’m looking for a swimming pool in NYC that I could use, preferably early in the AM. I work in SOHO and commute from NJ to penn station, so something in between or not too far away. I’m on a budget. Do you have any good options for me? I really just want a pool, because I don’t need the whole gym.

    You seem like you get around the NYC fitness scene quite a bit, so I thought it would be a good idea to ask you.

    1. Theodora Blanchfield Post author

      hi! Realized I never answered. I’ve heard the city pools aren’t too bad – there’s one in Chelsea I think on 23rd/9th which is on the way-ish for you? Also there’s a Y 14th. I swim at the NYHRC on 23rd, but the pool is pretty small. What I like about NYHRC though is that it’s month to month.

  5. Jackie L

    I do ClassPass and love going to End Game Training which is always tough. There’s sled pushes, burpees, rope slams, TRX, pushups…you name it.

  6. Jane Rosales

    I literally LOL’ed when you said Throwback is basically Uplift but with dudes. It’s a pretty accurate statement. I love Throwback and Uplift as well!

    A few Classpass favorites are Barry’s, Brooklyn BodyBurn, Exceed and Exhale (or Pure Barre). I also really recommend Swerve with Dyan or Jason. I’ve been using Classpass for a year and it was great when I had more flexibility in my schedule but it is a pain to use it when I’m so busy with work and school.

    1. Theodora Blanchfield Post author

      But right? Both have that same really happy vibe 🙂 I have def wanted to try Swerve for a really long time, and it’s close, so it’s on my list, as are Exceed and PureBarre! And BK BodyBurn, yikes. So many possibilities. I also love that they have some studios in NJ so I can use it at home, too, which is pretty amazing.

  7. Shane Will

    Hey theodora,

    I really love to read your stories and see your success! I’m strugglin so hard so lose some pounds but especially now over christmas its so hard for me 🙁 Please keep up your good work! You are such a motivation!

  8. Kayla


    and YES to Throwback being Uplift for guys. It’s an equally supportive and all around awesome studio– gotta love Throwback’s personal emails post-class!


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