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Why I Quit ClassPass (And Other Running Updates)

Why I Quit ClassPass (And Other Updates)

I decided to leave ClassPass (including its Ambassador Program) on Friday. This post isn’t meant to criticize a service that’s been a large part of my fitness routine for three years. Instead, I’m focusing on why the updates to the service no longer work for me. I’m also sharing updates on my race schedule. Spoiler Alert: I’m no longer running the Brooklyn Half. Keep reading for details.

Why I Quit ClassPass (And Other Running Updates)

Let’s back up for a second. As I mentioned above, I’ve been using ClassPass for three years, since it was called Classtivity. In fact, my first blog post was a review of the Passport, which allowed you to purchase one package of 10 classes. The Passport became ClassPass, which then turned into an unlimited package. ClassPass introduced me to boutique fitness, a format I immediately loved because it reminded me of the dance classes I took growing up. I also loved the variety and affordability that ClassPass offered. Over time, the brand’s customer base rapidly expanded, and I felt those growing pains as an early member. While I still loved cross training with ClassPass studios, I was frustrated at how difficult it was to get a spot in my favorite classes.

For the first two years I used ClassPass, it cost $99 per month for an unlimited membership. Last July, without warning, the price increased to $125 per month in NYC without additional services. While it wasn’t ideal to receive that news with little explanation, I stuck with ClassPass because I felt that the new price point was still worth it. In fact, I even joined the ClassPass Ambassador program last fall. Ambassadors don’t receive free memberships, but they do receive referral discounts. Fast forward to last Wednesday. At 9:32am, NYC Ambassadors received an email stating that pricing would increase to $190 per month ($200 for new members) in June. This was my third day at my new job, so I didn’t think much of it when I read the email. At 9:52am, all unlimited members in NYC received the email. People went crazy. Search ClassPass on Twitter to read some of the reactions.

To be honest, I had known that the original $99 pricing was too good to be true. The ClassPass business model may have helped raise awareness for studios, but it probably didn’t help their bottom line. Again, I don’t want to focus on what these changes mean for the industry overall. There are plenty of articles being posted about that. Kayla wrote one of them. I decided to quit ClassPass on Friday because I don’t feel comfortable promoting a service that has drastically increased its pricing twice in one year without warning. I don’t feel comfortable doing that as an Ambassador. As a blogger, I aim to promote products that I use and feel are worth the cost. While ClassPass may be worth the financial cost for those who take daily classes, it’s cost me some sanity. From a member perspective, I quit because I’m ready to focus my fitness routine.

Why I Quit ClassPass (And Other Running Updates)

While I considered joining FitReserve, which is a similar service that offers 10 classes per month for $150, I’ve decided to take a break from the multi-studio subscription model. I’ve decided to buy a 50 pack of classes at Mile High Run Club. Yes, this will cost quite a bit more than ClassPass, but these decisions weren’t about the money. And yes, Mile High Run Club focuses on running and strength only. I’ll be practicing yoga at home now. I’m making this decision because I leave every Mile High class feeling stronger and more confident. The format and coaching style work for me, so this is how I’m choosing to train for the New York City Marathon this summer and fall. I’ll write a post in a month or two about how this change is playing out. Note: I still have three weeks paid on my ClassPass account, so I’ll be visiting my favorite studios before it expires!

That leads me to my second bit of news. It’s true, I’m no longer running the Brooklyn Half. A few weeks ago, I wrote a post talking about how I was no longer aiming for a PR in Brooklyn. I was traveling to Europe and starting a new job, so I didn’t think it would work out. Well, during my first week on the job, I was asked to travel to an exciting event that happens to fall on the same weekend as Brooklyn. After weighing my options, I decided to skip the race. I have three or more races to look to this year, so I feel confident about this decision. The first half of 2016 has been filled with change, but it’s all been positive. I’m excited to see what May has in store!

Photography by Nick A. Urteaga

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13 Comments

  • Reply Ariel

    Thanks for posting this! I’m going through the same mental battle right now of whether or not to stay with ClassPass (and if the ambassador program is really an “ambassador” program at all, with so few perks and no real benefits). Everything you’ve said is spot on.

    May 2, 2016 at 10:46 am
  • Reply Cheri

    Classpass was much less pricey in NC, but I still felt like I couldn’t keep up and had to cancel. I hope they can survive this change, but that increase is pretty crazy.

    May 2, 2016 at 2:15 pm
  • Reply Elana

    Thanks for always keeping it real. XO!

    May 2, 2016 at 2:20 pm
  • Reply Nicole

    Great, honest post. I have been collecting and sharing deals at NYC fitness studios, in case anyone quitting CP wants a look at options: https://cuckoolemon.com/2016/04/27/classpass-fee-hike-get-these-fitness-deals-instead/

    May 2, 2016 at 5:23 pm
  • Reply Kayla

    Thanks for including me in the discussion, it’s been super interesting to see all the reactions even though it no longer pertains to me. MHRC got me back into “running shape” so to speak last winter– such a great studio.

    May 2, 2016 at 7:37 pm
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  • Reply Runner

    I think you have a very interesting point, but I simply don’t agree with your statement. Whether you go 3 times a week or more, you are still getting access to the best classes around the world. I think you should take a step back and look at how much studios’ drop-ins are and think about the convenience of having everything right in front of you. You might not be able to get into that “prime time” spot, but there are thousands of other classes to choose from.

    Sounds like you’re in love with boutique fitness, which seems like ClassPass made you fall in love with. Maybe you’ll be back!

    May 12, 2016 at 2:50 pm
    • Reply Evann Clingan

      Thank you for your comment. I absolutely agree that, by doing the math, ClassPass would still be more cost effective than purchasing a package through a studio. Additionally, the quality of these classes has remained the same with the price increase. However, as a former Ambassador, I come at this from a different perspective. Not only was I a paying customer, I was also asked to advocate for the brand. I loved using ClassPass for almost three years, but I don’t feel comfortable advocating or a brand that frequently makes drastic changes to its offering. That being said, there are still so many great studios on ClassPass. I will always advocate for those studios, which is why I decided to purchase a package through MHRC. Continue to enjoy your classes!

      May 13, 2016 at 10:38 am
      • Reply Runner

        Evann,

        I really appreciate the reply. I completely understand where you’re coming from. I think people forget that ClassPass is a small company that grew over night. They are still trying to figure out a business model that works for both their users and partners. With anything, it’s going to be a work in progress.

        May 18, 2016 at 11:43 am
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  • Reply Graham King

    From a business owner’s perspective, ClassPass is a complete disruptor. Instead of loyal customers whom I can spend time perfecting their movements, making suggestions, helping them improve performance, and generally being their coach, I get people (maybe) 3 times per month. I don’t know their goals, I don’t have the time to help them layout a plan, and the new people have no idea how to perform even basic movements like pushups, squats, and pull-ups. The idea that randomly attending several boutique studios will help someone reach their goals is a myth.

    And, from a financial perspective I take a hit and that hit trickles down to instructor’s pay and purchasing new equipment.

    There’s so much more why it doesn’t work on my end, but I only have so much time to write!

    July 26, 2016 at 2:40 pm
    • Reply Evann Clingan

      Thank you for your perspective, Graham. While I’m not a business owner myself, I can understand the points you’re making and agree with them. I haven’t been a member of ClassPass since April. I’m currently taking running/strength-focused classes at one studio to help prepare for the New York City Marathon. Best of luck with your studio!

      August 5, 2016 at 4:24 pm

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