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.
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.
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