ClassPass is the perfect solution to ‘unstuck’ your gym class routine

hot yoga

The “OpenTable of group exercise classes” came to my city, Washington, DC, about a year ago but I only learned about it a week ago while watching a segment on my favorite local morning news show.

Class Pass is a booking service which features thousands of boutique gyms and small group exercise studios nationwide and allows user to sample an unlimited amount of classes each month. For one monthly fee, users can drop into a variety of gyms in and around their city.

The startup was co-founded in New York city around 2011 by dancer Payal Kadakia and has since taken off and is a must-have app for any lover of small group fitness class especially those that are dance and strength focused. Kadakia came up with the idea of Class Pass (once called Classivity) out of frustration.


Took my first Functional Movement class and learned several exercises I can do at home. Great instructor & cool for personal training for those wanting to get stronger.

In 2010, “while wrapping up at my desk at Warner Music Group In Manhattan, I decided to look for a ballet class to take in the city that evening.” Kadakia wrote in Women 2.0. “An hour of searching, checking schedules, mapping, scrolling and clicking, certainly didn’t take me away from my desk.”

The MIT graduate eventually gave up but then thought that there must be many others who shared her frustration. That’s when Kadakia partnered with a friend with connections, hooked up with another friend, an ex-MTV employee and together the three launched with a 10-person staff in the middle of Manhattan.

My discovering the ClassPass was great timing because it was also running a one week trial for $10 in my area.  (After this week, the price jumps to $99 per month).

pole dance

This Pole dancing class was about one mile from my home and I didn’t even know the studio it is in existed. Great find but Pole, I discovered, is not for me.

It was also a timely for me to discover ClassPass because I am on my ever existing quest to unload pounds I packed on since turning 40 and I am planning a beach trip soon and need to get bikini-ready.  Testing out the service would give me an excellent excuse to hit the gym and varying up classes and routines is also great way to avoid getting bored. Usually, I just run on the treadmill, spin or catch one of the few classes offered at my local gym. It can get mundane.

With Class Pass, I got a chance to explore a wide variety of classes I’ve seen offered but never made the time to go to.

Because my trial was only 7 days, I wanted to pack in as many classes as possible. I was a bit restricted because it was also during a week my husband was out of town so I’d have to coordinate my gym visits with sitters or time them when the kids were at school.

Still, I managed to attend 4 classes , each different, within the first 6 days: an Introduction to Functional Movement, a pure barre class, a pole dancing class and a pilates reformer equipment class. All the classes were totally new to me. I loved getting to learn about all these tiny enclaves and coves where entrepreneurs had set up boutique gyms. The instructors were all welcoming, patient and friendly. I learned new moves I could do at home.

And I discovered what I’d like to return to (Barre & Pilates Reformer) and what I’d rather leave to others and not continue as much (Pole and Functional Movement).


This was my first time taking Pilates Reformer and it was a tough but very challenging workout . I’ll be returning to this class.

Using Class Pass also gives you a chance  to meet a lot of new people attending different classes. After I had my first son, I took advantage of the one free visit pass to all the Gymboree baby gym classes in my region and went to each of the 5 to 6 centers around the Beltway. It’s pretty much the same concept.

The service is also an excellent source for additional revenue and new clientele for small studios, some of which struggle partially because people don’t know they exist and can’t find them. Several of the studios I discovered using the service have been under my nose for years. And with social media, with each new visitor sharing tweets, Facebook status updates or Instagram photos from their experience, there are more opportunities for even more audiences to discover the gym.

barre class

I took my first Pure Barre class which was very difficult and challenging but great! I plan to go back!

ClassPass is  a worthwhile investment also for those who travel often for work. Your home gym is not always going to have a nearby location where your hotel is. With ClassPass, you can search for a nearby boutique. Ordinarily, many larger gyms do offer guest passes for a day but some at a lofty fee.  During my trial, the company altered its cancellation policy allowing people to cancel and not be charged the $20 cancellation fee with 12 hours notice. It’s been snowing a bunch in the East coast so I imagine a lot of people were stuck unable to get to a class or having to pick up a kid early from school because of all the snow and snow-related cancellations and delays.

My only beef was that there weren’t that many cardio offerings at the gyms available in my area. The one class I did sign up for during the week, a hip hop/R&B spin class got canceled because it didn’t meet the minimum attendees. I blame the snow day! No worries, after this trial, I plan to maintain my membership and will get to go again  soon, I hope.

I highly recommend Class Pass and for $99, that’s a good deal especially if you are determined to maximize the membership and will diversity and attend as many classes as possible each month. It ends up being cheaper than a personal trainer!


 Jeneba Jalloh (“JJ”)  Ghatt (@jenebaspeaks) is a lifestyle and poli-tech blogger, columnist, attorney and tech-inclusion advocate. She  owns  Ghatt Media Holdings and has founded several start up ventures and publishes over a half dozen blogs and websites actively while commentating on the political website and She considers herself a social media butterfly with her ubiquitous online presence  and has been active on the web since its earliest days when she created online content for one of the first websites in history at the University of Maryland Office of Technology in 1992.  She was one of the only 22 bloggers to attend the first and only White House Black Bloggers Summit attended briefly by President Barack Obama. She is a mom of three and wife of one and resides in the DC Metropolitan area.