All good things must come to an end. To the dismay of many, ClassPass announced this past week that it has discontinued its wildly famous Unlimited plan. Many can attribute ClassPass to their newfound love of fitness. For others, it played a huge role in their fitness lifestyle. Sadly, its Unlimited plan was what made ClassPass worth it. If you are like me, you might be considering having the difficult “It’s not me, it’s you” conversation with ClassPass. You might be wondering what life after ClassPass looks like. Is it true that there are plenty of fish in the sea? Or is it a matter of the grass isn’t always greener on the other side?
Be what it may, now is the time to look at the menu and try some sampling. I’ve come up with four main alternatives that might be worth trying in NYC (although other cities have some similar alternatives): Fitreserve, the gym, Gilt City, and New Client Specials.
Photo: Angelito Jusay Photography
It calls itself the premier multi-studio fitness membership. This is the option that most closely resembles ClassPass. For a monthly membership fee, you can attend different classes all over the city. There are certainly some pros over ClassPass. Such as the ability to take 4 classes per studio instead of 3, or the fact that you have access to all the studios’ entire schedules instead of only the off-peak or unpopular classes. However, it comes with some cons. Fitreserve does not have as many studios on its roster as ClassPass and it is not necessarily a better deal than ClassPass’s $135 for 10 classes plan. However, given the unpredictability of ClassPass, who knows if Fitreserve might soon be our only option.
THE GYM ROUTE
There are countless gyms all over NYC and of course all over the world. Some are incredibly cheap such as New York Sports Club. Others are at the higher end such as Equinox. And there are many more in between.
This gym can be a good alternative to ClassPass, given that it has group classes that can rival many boutique studio classes. For example, it has spinning, Pilates, and yoga classes with top instructors that also teach at boutique studios. Additionally, it has unique classes such as Barre + Band (its take on barre class), The Cut (which is a boxing workout), and Ropes and Rowers (an HIIT circuit class). In addition to the intense classes, you have access to the state-of-the art gym equipment and luxurious amenities. It features Kiehl’s products, eucalyptus towels, and steam rooms. NYC rates start at $168 per month and vary by location, going up to $230 if you choose an all-access pass.
Another option is Crunch. The gym that wants to “make fitness fun.” If you like group classes over hitting the weights this might be an option for you. It has endless classes. And I do mean endless. You can find endless variations of a typical workout, such as Cardio Kickboxing, Kickboxing, Cardio Tai Box, Boxing Bootcamp, Contact Boxing, Knockout Boxing, etc. If you need a 30 minute workout, it has a roster of classes for you as well. If you want action sports classes, it has AEROROPES (battle rope training), TRX, SURFSET® & SAND, POUND®, TRAPFIT™ etc. It also has many different barre, spinning, Pilates, and yoga classes. There are loads of unique classes that can only be found at Crunch. Examples are below:
BOING WITH POWER
Strap on a pair of Kangoo® Jump Boots, for a total-body workout. You will have your core engaged throughout the entire class, as you balance through strengthening and conditioning exercises like jump squats, leg lifts and lunges. Watch video here.
Tabura is a Swahili name for training used to improve military endurance and strength in Africa. This intensely fun class uses kickboxing combinations and basic West African dance moves set to hot Tribal House music and a live drummer. Get ready to burn massive calories and become a true powerhouse warrior. Watch video here.
X-TREME FIREFIGHTERS WORKOUT
Train like firefighters do, as their lives depend on it! The Extreme Firefighters’ Workout will take you through physical drills that simulate activities performed by firemen like handling hoses, swinging axes, climbing stairs, racing up a pole and carrying victims to safety. This total body, circuit-based workout will test your fitness level and teach you to survive under the extreme conditions our firefighters do every day. Watch video here.
We’re taking it to Brazil in this unique Pilates inspired workout that will shimmy your waistline and tighten your boom boom. Feel the burn while you firm as you work your muscles more efficiently by combining Pilates-inspired standing moves with light hand weights and traditional Pilates mat exercises on the floor. Watch video here.
Rates vary by location, but run around $95.99 for access to a single gym. Some gyms are newer and nicer than others so scouting is necessary.
Sometimes, you can find extremely good deals at Gilt.
One of the top vouchers that can be found is the invaluable voucher for one month of unlimited classes at Pure Yoga for $225. As some may know, Pure Yoga is New York’s Yoga Mecca. It is a membership based studio that offers the widest range of yoga classes possible and has the best instructors. You have to be a member to take a yoga class there. They also offer barre classes and cross training classes, which are available to nonmembers. Pure Yoga is owned by Equinox which accounts for its 4 star hotel design and luxurious amenities. It is a true oasis for yogis.
I wanted to have the experience of immersing in Pure Yoga, without making the yearlong commitment and of course without paying the exorbitant monthly fees. Oh and also the exorbitant initiation fee. Like a gym, Pure is evasive about membership prices. They start at $250 per month, and can “change drastically” depending on the month. Ditto on an initiation fee. The Gilt voucher is the only way to try their 350 weekly yoga classes, have the option to take barre and cross-training, have access to premium amenities, and steam room. If money was not an issue, Pure Yoga would be my first pick!
Another top voucher normally offered through Gilt is 10 classes at exhale for $225. The drop-in price for a Core Fusion Barre Class at exhale is $37. This deal is beyond worth it, given that the barre classes at exhale are the best in the city. They focus on form and alignment first and have amazing teachers. They also have Core Fusion Cardio, Core Fusion Sport, Core Fusion Bootcamp, and Core Fusion Extreme which are all geared towards instilling a strong mind + body connection.
A personal favorite class of mine is Core Fusion Sport. The class was designed by professional ballet dancer Tyler Ingram. The class is not just another Lotte Berk-style barre class. It puts isolation-focused core work into motion with the promise of amping up your athleticism (and further chiseling your abs, shoulders, arms, and butt). “Any sport done well requires knowledge of your core, which is not easy to get to in various mediums,” says Ingram. It is a true treat to be able to take this class with the designer. Further, the studios also offer luxurious amenities and access to their spas.
NEW CLIENT DEALS
This is my last and favorite option. Most boutique fitness studios offer new client deals. Lucky for us ClassPass users, even though we might have visited a studio through ClassPass, we still count as new clients. So, if you tried a class and really liked it, this is the time to go back. You can explore many studios that offer two for one deals and many that offer unlimited months for a discounted price. With these introductory offers, you can immerse yourself in a studio for a full month, you can test new studios, find out the type of workout you most enjoy, and decide which studios are worth the full price. My top recommendations for boutique fitness studios in Manhattan are below.
Circuit of Change $39 (1 week unlimited) or $99 (1 month unlimited)
Uplift Studios $20 (1 class offer)
High Intensity Interval Training
The Fhitting Room $38 (buy 1, get 1 free!)
Kore $20 (1 class offer) or $150 (per month for 3 months unlimited)
The Bar Method $129 (1 month unlimited)
exhale $37 (buy 1, get 1 free!)
Physique 57 $36 (buy 1, get 1 free!) or $175 (8 classes) or $250 (1 month unlimited)
Studios with more than one focus:
Flex Studios $25 (1 class offer) or $75 (3 classes) or $250 (1 month unlimited)
The Monster Cycle $15 (1 class offer)
Swerve Fitness $34 (buy 1, get 1 free!)
Earth Yoga $39 (1 week unlimited)
Lyons Den Power Yoga $89 (1 month unlimited)
New York Yoga $99 (1 month unlimited)
Yoga Vida $20 (2 weeks unlimited)
Y7 $45 (2 weeks unlimited) or $99 (1 month unlimited)
Core Pilates NYC $85 (5 classes in 7 days) or $225 (3 private sessions)
New York Pilates $ 70 (3 reformer classes) or $180 (3 private sessions)
Plank Pilates $89 (1 private session & 2 tower sessions)