ClassPass SF review: I tried a free month so you don't have to
It's great for variety and flexibility, but has some drawbacks
As with many people, the unchecked gluttony of the holidays added auxiliary pounds to my petite figure and an unattractive sluggishness to my overall demeanor. New Year’s resolutions exist right after this frenzied feasting season for this exact reason. We align to party hard for a month, collectively feel disgusted by our behavior, and then institutionalize societal pressure to course-correct by enacting a souped-up version of our standard routine. We'll make shiny, new versions of ourselves for the new year. You know, late capitalism and such.
Of course, being a sheeple has its perks: Thinking with the herd can yield great individual advantages, as demonstrated by vaccinations and discounts on gym memberships in January. This is the benefit we are presented with today: ClassPass offers a free trial month to new users, so what better time to use it than the beginning of the new year? I gave a test run just to make sure it’s worth your while.
What I liked
The variety of exercises available
Whether I wanted to take a traditional class like yoga or spin, just go for open gym time or really say “new year, new me” with onething more avant-garde like pole dancing, there was an abundance of options for me to let loose and sweat it out.
The variety of class times and lengths
Piggybacking on the variety of classes, the class times vary enough to fit any schedule. There are a million lunchtime options (if you’re that breed of crazy) and plenty on the weekend. Whether you like to get up before the sun and put in 40 minutes of high-intensity interval training or unwind after a long day at work with an 8 p.m. yoga class, there is no way to make the excuse, “I just can’t seem to find any time slots that work for me.” If you try to bow out on your new year’s goal for that reason, it is fully on you and not on ClassPass.
Discounts on first-time visits at select studios
ClassPass works on a credit system, in which you’re allotted 35 credits over your 30-day trial period. Classes typically range from five to 12 credits (a select few are as low as zero and I’ve seen some that are up to 16), so depending on how many credits a classes costs, you can squeeze in a handful of workouts or literally only get two classes. Most 40-60 minute classes cost seven or eight credits.
You can get more bang out of your (free) buck by opting to visit the studios that offer new-member discounts within the app. Quite a few will offer 25 percent off your first visit to get you in the door in hopes of making it your go-to spot. So when you have your choice of two studios offering the same thing within a mile radius, but one is five credits and the other is 10 credts, you basically get the opportunity to visit a new class somewhere else.
There’s a referral program
I personally am a sucker for any kind of referral program and will aggressively market it to my friends and enemies alike if it means free credits for me. Through Jan. 24, if you get three friends to sign up and continue through a post-trial membership, you can get $300 in credit—can I shamelessly plug my referral code here? [Editors note: No, she cannot.] It says: “Join me on ClassPass and get $40 off your first month of workouts. You can take class anywhere (seriously, they have every top studio and gym) in everything from boxing to barre."
What I disliked
You can’t use the wellness feature
I didn’t know this existed until I signed up for the trial, but you can schedule massages, facials, blow outs and IV drips through ClassPass. It was definitely a major bummer that I couldn’t try it, but also a huge incentive for me to sign up for the real thing—so you got me there, ClassPass.
You're added to the email list for each gym you visit when you have to sign a waiver
I’m sure it’s an automatic process, but if the waiver signing could happen in the ClassPass app and not through actual email, that would be ideal. Not a make-it-or-break-it by any means—it’s easy enough to unsubscribe—but the emails come in and make me feel like the Bachelorette: They kept trying to connect with me one-on-one, which makes me think I really need to consider which gym is “the one,” even though the point of ClassPass is more in line with consensual polyamory.
You need to cancel 12 hours before (or sometimes even longer when noted) or you’re charged a late cancel fee
Additionally, if you forget to cancel and don’t show, there’s an additional fee on top of that. Again, it’s not the worst thing in the world (and an understandable policy) but you won't be pleased if you make impromptu plans within that 12-hour window that inevitably lead you to sleep in and miss your class. A purely hypothetical situation for me, but this is absolutely a personality type that exists and would want to know this crucial information.
It has your credit card on file so it automatically opts you in to a membership after your free trial is over
I know this is standard practice for these kinds of things, but it's still annoying. You need to cancel your membership at least 24 hours before your renewal date, which thankfully is easy to find in the app under "Profile" and then "Settings." If you don’t, you'll be charged $79 for 45 credits to be used over the next month. Unused credits do rollover, which is nice, but if you’re truly in it for the trial, be sure to set a reminder two days before to give yourself a good cancellation window.
Overall, this a free ClassPass trial, so if you’re willing to go to seven classes (or even just one or 2two) it’s definitely a good opportunity to try out the service.
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