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ClassPass: The Cost Analysis

So my free trial month of ClassPass is up! Over the course of a  month I went to 8 different classes, which roughly equates to 2 per week – 3 Spinning, 2 Kettlebells, 1 Treadmill session, and 2 Yoga classes.

Check out previous blog posts here:

ClassPass: 1Rebel Ride and Reshape
ClassPass: Cyclebeat and Kettlebells

If I had paid for all of those classes individually, as Pay-As-You-Go or Drop-In sessions then that would have cost me £125. 

ClassPass  PAYG
Cyclebeat 16
Flux Motion Kettlebells 10
Yoga Flow (Evolve Wellness) 17
Hip Hop Ride 1Rebel 20
Full Body 1Rebel 20
Edgecycle Bootcamp 15
Flux Motion Kettlebells 10
Yoga (The Light Centre) late cancel as ill – charged £12
Hatha + Restorative Yoga (Evolve Wellness) 17
£125.00

Obviously you could pay less if you signed up for a membership to that studio, or bought a bundle of classes, but for the purposes of this analysis I’m looking at being able to have the same variety that ClassPass offers.

Even the cheapest package at my favourite studio 1Rebel works out at £12 per class, and that requires paying £600 upfront for 50 classes!

If you went for the cheapest studio I attended, Flux Motion Kettlebells in Putney, then they have a monthly membership of £65 for unlimited classes. Great if you just want to do Kettlebells, but not if you prefer a bit of variety. Once you start adding in Yoga classes, or Spinning classes here and there it’s not such a good deal…

Lots of studios offer introductory packages – 2 classes for £20, a month for £30 etc, but once you’ve exhausted all those options in your local area you then have to start paying full price.

ClassPass: The Cost Analysis

If you look at the ClassPass membership prices, then even at the full price of £89 per month, my 8 sessions would work out at around £11 per class – not bad for London, and cheaper than nearly all of the drop-in prices!

ClassPass Membership Intro offer 3 months 6 months
£89 per month £79 per month £69 per month £59 per month
8 sessions per month 8 sessions per month 8 sessions per month 8 sessions per month
ie. 2 per week ie. 2 per week ie. 2 per week ie. 2 per week
£11.13 £9.88 £8.63 £7.38
per class per class per class per class

I had a quick check of some of the friends I linked with on ClassPass to see how many studios they visited over the course of the month- it varies of course depending on how busy your schedule is but one girl had completed 28 classes in a month! At that level, you’re paying just £3 per class. Of course I’m not suggesting you have to commit to taking a class a day, but it does illustrate the value of ClassPass if you really wanted to!

I’ve decided to continue my ClassPass membership, and have opted for a 6 month commitment purely based on cost analysis- at £59 per month, I basically only need to go to 1Rebel at least 3 times to have got my money’s worth – I’m pretty sure I will do at least that in 30 days! The downside to this is that you have to pay the full 6 months upfront (£354) which is a lot of money to fork out in one go. And after your 6 months is up, the membership reverts to the full £89 per month. I will have to decide then if I think it’s worth continuing based on how much I’ve done in the 6 months.

ClassPass: The Cost Analysis

There are a few other negatives I want to highlight- I’m not saying ClassPass is perfect, and I think the model could definitely be improved. 

As I highlighted in red above, if you don’t cancel a class more than 12 hours in advance then you get charged a £12 cancellation fee. I totally understand the reason behind this, as studios don’t want loads of people cancelling last-minute and having spaces they could have filled with paying customers. However, I feel that 12 hours is too long a window- if you wake up in the morning feeling sick and awful, then in most cases (unless you get up super early) you’re already too late to cancel your class for that evening. I raised this point with ClassPass, but apparently as they have already reduced the window from 24hours to 12hours, a further reduction is unlikely. Perhaps in that case, as another blogger suggested, the class could merely be taken from your 3 times per month limit for that studio, rather than actually charging a fee and losing a class credit (as is currently the case).

– If you choose to leave ClassPass, and then want to rejoin you have to pay a £69 reactivation fee, which quite frankly is ridiculous. I really don’t see the logic behind this- I think it would be a much better fit for their “drop-in/variety is the spice of life” model if they allowed people to leave, come back, put accounts on hold with as little fuss as possible. Otherwise I think there will be a lot of members trying it out, then cancelling and never coming back because of the fee. It’s obviously to try and persuade people to just “freeze” their account rather than cancelling, which costs £19 per month and allows you 1 class during that cycle. An interesting idea, but I’m not sure how this will work in practise. As an aside, if you opt for the 3 or 6 month commitment, you’re not able to put your account on hold at all during that time.

– This is a personal one, but as I don’t live or work in Central London, I have to factor in the travel costs of attending all these studios. It’s not a lot, especially if I go to places that are reasonably local, but definitely something to bear in mind. It also means in most cases I can’t make use of morning or lunchtime classes, and as the weather improves I know I’m less likely to want to spend my sunny evenings in a dark studio! There are at least 6 or 7 outdoor bootcamps on ClassPass however, so you can still get your fitness fix outside- although I’m sure some people would question why you would pay for this when you can go to a local park by yourself… Hopefully as their reach expands and more studios get involved there will also be ones that I can go to and still make it my desk for 9am!

– A couple of other things I’ve already mentioned in my posts include the fact that you don’t have access to all the classes a studio offers, only the ones they choose to allow ClassPass members to attend. And that you don’t get to choose your bike/treadmill at the different studios, it’s randomly allocated and will usually place you at number 1 which is often over in the corner!

ClassPass: The Cost Analysis
Photo courtesy of Charlie

Overall I think that ClassPass is great value if you love to take classes at a few different studios and mix up your workouts. Personally, I think it’s going to be great for me to have access to a variety of cross-training options, strength sessions and flexibility work at yoga, and I’m really hoping it will improve my fitness and reduce my injuries. If you’re a runner who is used to not paying anything to work out, then obviously ClassPass may seem ridiculously expensive, but on the other hand if you’re currently paying memberships at 3 different studios, you may want to consider a different option! I don’t think that it’s for everyone – some people love to just do one thing – eg. Crossfit, and there are definitely negatives which could put people off.

I’ll check back in 6 months and let you know if my thoughts have changed! 

Have you tried ClassPass? Are you surprised by the value or do you think the negatives would put you off?

Beki x

NB: I was given a free trial month ClassPass but all opinions and calculations are my own 🙂

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  • Reply amy_b3ar

    I think that 'one girl had completed 28 classes in a month!' you're referring to might be me! 🙂 loved it though, and have signed up for the next 3 months. My only niggle with everything so far has been my lack of personal routine, so this month I'm trying to book similar types of sessions, yoga, spin, cardio etc. on the same days every week, just to regain a bit of continuity. What's your fav studio so far? I think mine is Paola's BB, just amazing.
    Amy | http://thescientistruns.blogspot.co.uk

    April 10, 2015 at 11:07 am
  • Reply Beki Cadd

    Haha I think it was you! I hope you don't mind me using you as an example 🙂 I agree with you about the routine- now I've sorted membership for the next 6months I'm going to try and commit to a weekly schedule as you suggest! My favourite studio is 1Rebel, but there's still loads I have yet to try!

    April 10, 2015 at 12:43 pm
  • Reply Jerusha

    I'm really lucky that our gym includes all classes save for the specialized ones (like the team weight loss challenges or the classes that train for competition-based events in a sport). I felt like a tool because I never really took advantage of that until this week, but after really putting my mind to it, I'll have done three separate (and new to me) classes this week. If I can keep that trend up, I think I'll get more value out of my membership. At the end of the day, that's what I look at… Value, not cost. And having all these classes I can take but don't? How foolish was I?

    April 10, 2015 at 1:30 pm
  • Reply Scallywag Sprints

    This is a great breakdown, thank you! Really interesting post 🙂

    April 10, 2015 at 1:41 pm
  • Reply Lauren @poweredbypb

    I feel the same about the late cancellation charges, I woke up sick this morning and had to cancel two classes at short notice, and previously I had had to cancel a class at short notice due to train cancellations, so it's really not ideal! I didn't manage to go to a huge amount of classes during the month as I was on holiday 3 times, although I enjoyed the ones I did get to. I'll definitely consider signing up, but like you say I need to factor in transport to these places, and I didn't realise you had to pay the full whack up front!

    April 11, 2015 at 6:50 am
  • Reply Maria

    Woah those are expensive classes! I think around here most classes are around the £6-7 mark, although pilates is normally more for some reason.
    Our gym just introduced penalties for not turning up as if you are a full member all classes are free, so loads book on and don't turn up. Now if you do that more than 3 times you get banned from the class, which I think is fair because they let you cancel until 15 mins before, as people turn up on the day, and before it meant that people like me who just signed up each week could not get a space, but in fact could have got in because of the amount of people not turning up. 12 hours is a bit harsh because like you say you won't know until then if you are ill.

    April 15, 2015 at 2:04 pm
  • Reply lou lives well

    Great review Beki! Crikey that's a lot of money up front for ClassPass. And a very odd thing to have to pay to re-join! Surely that will put people off? I have been on monthly payment fitness schemes in the past (gyms and yoga studios) but I have quit all of them now and like the freedom. Actually, I still pay for YogaGlo but at £11 a month it's a snip! I bought a 10-class pack for yoga which is much more flexible and I don't feel bad if I can't make it one week. I am also lucky in that I am enjoying student discount once again which makes things far more affordable! 🙂

    April 16, 2015 at 11:45 am
  • Reply Beki Cadd

    Yeah transport issues in London could be annoying if it leads to you being charged!

    April 16, 2015 at 11:49 am
  • Reply Beki Cadd

    Classes are generally expensive in London, so any opportunity to reduce the cost is a good thing in my book! I do think that some sort of penalty for late cancel/no show is needed, as people will just take up spaces that others could have used as you say. I think it just needs some more thought to make it fair to both consumers and studios…

    April 16, 2015 at 11:51 am
  • Reply Beki Cadd

    Yes, the rejoin fee is a little weird. I've paid my money upfront with a credit card and set up a monthly payment to clear it as if I was just paying ClassPass the £59 per month, so it isn't too much of an issue. I agree that flexibility is a good thing! 🙂

    April 16, 2015 at 11:52 am
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