Let's add up the perks and payments to see where you should spend your cash on fitness.

By Lauren Mazzo
Photo: andresr / Getty Images

When ClassPass burst onto the gym scene in 2013, it revolutionized the way we see boutique fitness: You're no longer tied to a big-box gym and you don't have to pick a favorite spin, barre, or HIIT studio. The fitness world became your oyster. (Even science says that trying new workouts makes exercising way more enjoyable.)

But when ClassPass announced it would be nixing its unlimited option in 2016, people freaked the eff out. After all, no one likes to fork over more money for something they've already gotten hooked on. And while that didn't stop people from joining and staying in the ClassPass crew, the changes didn't stop there. In 2018, ClassPass announced it was switching from class system to a credit system, which is still in place.

How does the ClassPass credit system work?

Different classes "cost" a different number of credits based on a dynamic algorithm that takes into account the studio itself, the time of day, the day of the week, how full a class is, and more. If you don't use them all, up to 10 credits roll over to the next month. Ran out? You can also pay for more credits whenever you want. (In NYC, extra credits are two for $5.)

Unlike previous ClassPass memberships, the credit-based system doesn't enforce a studio limit-you can return to the same studio as many times as you like during a single month. (Just know that the number of credits you pay per class may go up.)

The perks don't stop there, though: ClassPass now lets you use credits to book wellness services (think spa and recovery treatments). They also have a ClassPass GO audio workouts, which are now free and integrated into the ClassPass app for all members. (You can also gain access to ClassPass GO through the standalone app if you're not a member for $7.99/month or $47.99/year.) Last but not least, ClassPass offers a livestreaming service for video workouts called ClassPass Live that's available in the app for members (for an additional $10/month) or that can be purchased as a standalone subscription (for $15/month). (For ClassPass Live you'll also need a heart-rate monitor and a Google Chromecast, which you can buy as a bundle for $79.)

Is ClassPass Worth It?

Is it worth it to ditch your traditional gym membership and give ClassPass a try? We did a little math so you can decide if it's a relationship worth pursuing. It's worth noting that you need to worry about cancellation policies and fees, which apply and differ for ClassPass and other studios. Disclaimer: The prices for ClassPass memberships and boutique fitness classes depend on which city you're in. For this article, we're using the prices for New York City.

If you're new: Great news is they offer a baller two-week free trial that gives you 40 credits-enough to take four to six classes in those two weeks alone. But if you get hooked, beware: Taking classes at that cadence will cost you between $80 and $160 per month once you're a regular subscriber.

If you can't let go of the gym: If you love classes but can't give up solo time throwing around some weights or cruising on the treadmill, consider the ClassPass x Blink membership option. You get enough credits for four to six classes and access to all Blink locations for only $90 per month-or level up to a more expensive plan for even more class credits. (Note: This deal is only available in the New York City metro area, and they have a similar deal with YouFit in Florida.) However, a regular ClassPass credit-based plan also gives you access to certain traditional gyms-and it's a pretty good deal, considering gym check-ins cost very few credits. (Ex: It only costs two to four credits to swipe into a New York City Crunch Gym location.)

If you studio hop once a week: The 27-credit offering ($49 per month) covers you for one class a week at most, meaning if you go during peak times or to ~hot~ studios, you might only be able to afford two classes per month. Price per class will range from $12.25 to $25. That's likely still cheaper than paying for each of those classes individually, considering most studio classes are $30 or more each in NYC.

If you studio hop twice a week: You could go for the 45-credit option ($79 per month) and attend four to six classes per month (one or two per week). That means your workouts will cost you about $13 to $20 per class-for sure cheaper than paying out of pocket at the studio.

If you studio hop three times a week: You could splurge for the 100-credit option ($159 per month) and attend two to four classes per week, costing between $11 and $16 per class. Definitely a cost-effective option if classes are your fitness bread and butter.

If you like very specific studios: Brace yourself. In New York City, just one Barry's Bootcamp class could run you upwards of 20 credits-with lower credit costs during off-peak hours, like 5 a.m. or 3 p.m. If you went for the $79, 45-credit option, you're still paying $30+ per Barry's class. Other studios-like Physique 57 and Pure Barre-can run in the high teens, and Fhitting Room classes (peep one of their workouts here) can surge up to 23 credits for a single class (!!). If you can't live without specific, in-demand studios and work out during peak hours, you're probably better off purchasing class packs directly from the studio.

If you work out at home too: Fortunately, there are tons of studios with affordable at-home streaming options these days. Taking advantage of ClassPass GO or tacking ClassPass Live onto your subscription might make it easier to keep all your workout things in one place-but make sure you peruse other options if streaming is going to be one of your fitness mainstays.

Comments (4)

March 27, 2019
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July 18, 2018
ClassPass has been great for me, but can be a little pricey if I don't use all my monthly passes. I recently came across another company with an interesting concept (www.localfitusa.com) that I look forward to trying out. Its basically a travel fitness membership that gives you unlimited passes when you're away from home - it's like $5-$10/month depending on plan. I travel a decent amount so it could be good!