I’m Addicted to Workout Classes, and I Owe It All to This App

Pilates class
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I used to never be consistent with working out. I’d join a gym for a few months, go all the time and then not exercise at all for the next few months. Or I’d start doing regular soft sand runs with a friend once a week, or runs in the park on my own, and then slowly stop those, too. I just couldn’t seem to find my workout groove. Nothing would stick.

All that changed a few years ago when I discovered an app.

Called ClassPass, it was started in the US in 2013, by Payal Kadakia. Kadakia was looking to take a break from her demanding job and book into a dance class. Yet, she couldn’t find a casual class to book anywhere. And so, the idea of ClassPass, an app that connects users to fitness classes and wellness and beauty appointments around the world was founded.

Instagram: @classpassausnz

I started on a month-long trial. I had 30 days to use a bank of credits. The app filters available group classes based on location, time, type of workout and amount of credits per class. For example, a class mid-morning in the week — a time when many people are working and so wouldn’t be able to make it — might be only three credits, while a class in the evening could be 13 credits.

It became a game. Throughout that trial month – a month that I was freelancing and so had a pretty flexible schedule, I have to add – I tried to maximise my allocated credits. I’d aim for a class a day, booking them a week in advance, as soon as they were available to book in the app. If, over the next few days, I saw another class for less credits becomes available, I’d cancel my existing and book the new one.

I tried all different kinds of workouts — reformer Pilates, boxing, HIIT, yin yoga — at all different studios. I live in Bondi, Sydney, which is filled with studios, and I loved discovering new ones in the area I’d never even noticed.

Also, it’s $15 to cancel a class within 12 hours of it, or $20 if you don’t cancel or show, so I made sure to go. In fact, to this day, a few years later, I still have only ever had a handful of cancellation charges. If I’m on a night out and think I won’t be able to make a class the next morning, I can usually cancel by 8pm and not get charged.

Once the trial was up, I signed up to a membership. Different monthly plans give you varying amounts of credits, and I went for a mid-range plan. Occasionally, I’ll bump up to a higher-credit plan towards the end of the month if I want to keep going to more classes. Or I’ll buy extra credits.

These days, my favourite class is Pilates and I have a favourite studio (Peaches Pilates, which has studios in Bondi, Cronulla, Maroubra and Byron Bay). There’s nothing like starting a weekend morning, leaving a class feeling energised and heading to grab a coffee.

And, while I do tend to use most of my credits towards Pilates classes (I can only book three classes maximum per month at Peaches), I love that I have the flexibility to do other types of workouts, too.        

If, by now you’re wondering whether all this raving is the result of ClassPass gifting me a free membership or even paying for this piece, it’s not. I genuinely am that excited about the app and think that if you too struggle to work out, it’s 100% worth trying.  

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