As I’m sure you’ve seen, ClassPass upped its prices last week for the second time in a year and people are understandably upset. Even if your studios or gyms don’t participate in ClassPass, this is important for all Group X instructors to know, since you likely have participants (and bosses) that are affected.
Here’s a look at the changes and how this will impact you.
What is ClassPass?
ClassPass is a membership service that gives folks access to Group X classes at multiple boutique studios and traditional gyms in their area.
Here are the locations that currently have ClassPass:
ClassPass is great for consumers that like to mix up their routine and try a bunch of different classes at a plethora of studios. There’s a base membership that allows you to take five classes for a set fee. All prices vary by location, but the new costs for the base option range between $65 and $75 a month. In New York, there’s also a core membership that offers 10 classes a month for $135. Finally, you can purchase the unlimited membership for $200 in New York, and $119 in San Francisco. Other locations run in between those prices.
With the base option, prices are often better than drop-in rates at boutique studios. Each class on the base plan will run you $13 and drop-in rates at some studios can cost $20 each. If you opt for the same studio each time, you might want to consider an in-studio rate, since many have comparable options with a 10-class pass, monthly membership, etc.
As a consumer, I love the idea of ClassPass as a complement to my other workouts and classes. I haven’t convinced myself to buy a base membership yet (for days I don’t teach), but I definitely see the draw.
However, as an instructor, I also recognize the challenges that come with offering spots in a class to ClassPass users. Beyond the potential for profit loss, ClassPass also brings inconsistency to classes. Typically, classes have a good mix of regulars and first-timers. You need enough regulars to help create structure in your class and act as role models to the other participants. When you have a good mix of regulars in the class, you’re able to give everyone the attention they need to successfully complete the workout. While there are only a limited number of ClassPass spots available in a given class, it can still impact the ratio of first-timers and regulars.
I teach Group X classes that are offered on ClassPass and so far, it’s been a positive experience. Regulars and first-timers alike have been able to find success, and there haven’t been any disruptions.
I believe ClassPass is just the tip of the iceberg for new fitness business models. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out once the dust settles on the ClassPass price increases. Overall, I think it’s important for Group X instructors to be considerate of both returning members and first-timers. It’s up to us to provide everyone with a positive experience, and a key part of that is recognizing that every participant comes with different expectations and background.
Check out the group exercise ideas page for more tips and tricks based on the latest news and trends.