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Is ClassPass Worth It If It's Not Unlimited?

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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 its rate hikes last April, 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 latest news might make you think twice: Starting today, ClassPass has announced it will no longer offer their unlimited monthly pass (which ranged from $79 to $200 depending on location). Now, you have a choice between their Base membership of five classes per month ($40 to $75) or their Core membership, which is 10 classes per month ($100 to $135), and have the new option to buy add-on pack of three classes ($25 to $40) for when you need a few more workouts.

Since ClassPass knows it's a tough break for those who studio hop many more times than 10 days per month, current unlimited members will get to keep their existing plan for 30 days before they automatically switch to the Core plan—or decide to do something else. As an extra little "I'm sorry" gift, current unlimited members will also get 10 free classes per month for the first three months on the new plan. Talk about a generous parting gift, am I right?

Why did they decide to cut the unlimited option in the first place? It started out as a promotional thing, and just wasn't sustainable while paying studios fairly but without raising membership rates, says Payal Kadakia, ClassPass founder and CEO, in a post on the company blog.

So, yeah, if you were used to using your unlimited ClassPass membership like five times a week to hit up your favorite studios, that's not really an option anymore. Curious whether you should stay loyal? We did a little math so you can decide if it's a relationship worth continuing, or whether it's time to break it off. (Or maybe you're just working out too much; here are five telltale signs you're overdoing it in the gym.)

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 studio hop four times a week: You could continue with the 10-class offering, plus purchase two three-class add-on packs for $40 each. That means your workouts will cost you about $215/month and about $13.50/class. If you were previously on the Unlimited offering (which cost $200 in NYC), you'd only be paying about $15 more per month.

If you studio hop three times a week: You could continue with the 10-class offering, plus purchase a three-class add-on pack for $40. That means your workouts will cost you about $175/month and about $13.50/class. Cheaper than the former unlimited option and you're still getting all your workouts in.

If you studio hop twice a week: The 10-class offering covers you for two classes/week (with an extra to spare). At $135/month or $13.50/class, that's cheaper than paying for each of those 10 classes individually, considering most studio classes are close to $30 each in NYC. P.S. If you used to be on the unlimited option, you were totally wasting your money.

If you're hooked on spin: A 10-class pack at SoulCycle will run you $320, a 10-class pack at Flywheel will run you $310, and a 10-class pack at Swerve will run you $290—meaning, even if you buy them in a package, you're paying more than twice as much as you would on ClassPass (even without the unlimited option).

If you're hooked on barre: You can buy a 10-class pack at Pure Barre for $290, Physique57 for $320, or Pop Physique for $300. Translation: Still cheaper to stick with ClassPass.

If you like hitting the gym: You can snag a New York Sports Clubs membership for as little as $45 a month or an Equinox membership for about $210 a month. So if you like the occasional class but usually use your ClassPass to gym hop, you might be better committing to a big-box instead. (And if all these numbers are scaring you, here are some tips for cutting your gym costs.)

It's worth noting that your 10-class pack for ClassPass expires after one month, while these studio packs usually have much longer expiration dates. Plus, you need to worry about cancellation policies and fees, which apply and differ for ClassPass and other studios.


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