Amateur Sports: ClassPass Changing the Way Philadelphians Exercise and Stay Fit

It has been three months since innovative fitness service ClassPass launched in Philadelphia, and the program has already had an impact on changing the fitness scene in the city.

CEO and co-founder Payal Kadakia said the main objective of ClassPass, since its start in 2013, has been to provide fitness enthusiasts with the workouts they love at an affordable cost and in the most convenient way. More than 30 cities offer ClassPass.

“Members of ClassPass have access to virtually any type of workout imaginable, from yoga and dance to spinning under water or surfing indoors, so boredom is a thing of the past,” Kadakia said.

Some people looking to work out shy away from fitness boutiques because of the excessive costs and overwhelming class names. ClassPass has worked to provide a new definition of studio fitness with its subscription membership that permits users to take fitness classes in more than 30 Philadelphia-area studios offering more than 1,000 different classes for a flat monthly rate.

This ClassPass Map shows 10 registered studios in the region and what people are saying about them.

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In Philadelphia, members pay $79 per month or cycle to partake in an unlimited number of classes at the registered ClassPass fitness boutiques and studios. Members register for classes on the ClassPass website or on the company’s iPhone app.

ClassPass users can visit any studio a maximum of three times per studio per cycle, giving them the option of trying something new every single day. Members like graduate student Jordan Price enjoy this restriction because it pushes her to try classes that might be out of her comfort zone.

“Variety is the spice of life and, definitely for me at least, the spice of fitness,” said Price. “ClassPass encourages variety, getting to know the city, and working out your absolute hardest every time.”

Variety is not the only thing ClassPass encourages, as members that register for a specific class are required to attend. If members fail to cancel within 24 hours prior to class start time, they are charged $20. This gives members the extra push they need to not only try new things but to keep up with working out.

Kadakia believes this will help keep fitness enthusiasts engaged as well as help them to maintain a healthy fitness routine.

“These days people expect new experiences, they get bored easier, and they are always looking for the next best thing, which is exactly what ClassPass offers,” she added.

The studio locations in Philadelphia allow the ClassPass service to offer classes in the morning, during midday and at night. Philadelphia blogger and power-lifting enthusiast Jacqui Davis Moranti thinks ClassPass has revolutionized the way Philadelphians are working out because of its accessibility.

“ClassPass makes fitness easy to allocate and affordable to people,” said Moranti. “With all this health care and dieting buzz, ClassPass will be the easy way to get fit and healthy.”


ClassPass may not seem like a financial deal to everyone, but for those who avidly work out, there can be a major decrease in fitness costs each month. An individual class at Flywheel can cost up to $30, which is almost half as much as a full month subscription to ClassPass with unlimited classes. As a registered studio, members can attend up to three classes a month with ClassPass.

“The fee at $79 is not even twice as much as my gym membership, and I’m visiting classes at least twice as often as I used to,” Price said.

Members get the benefit of paying one flat cost for unlimited classes rather than having a membership fee at a variety of locations.

They are not the only ones benefiting from ClassPass. Co-owner of Priya Hot Yoga Katie Sandy looks at the partnership as great marketing for a new business.

“We opened in October 2014, and we hope that the relationship with ClassPass will strengthen our presence in the Philadelphia yoga and fitness community,” said Sandy. “We want to spread the gift of yoga to as many people as possible.  If we touch just a handful of people that are brand-new to yoga, and they then adopt a regular practice and embrace the countless benefits of yoga, it will totally be worth it.”

ClassPass has woven its way into the hearts of many fitness enthusiasts in the city with its variety and flexibility.

“I love this program,” said Moranti. “I have participated in a variety of yoga classes, rowing, martial arts and pilates. I have really enjoyed all of them because of the great instructors and comfortable studios.”


-Text, images and map by Alexandra Gentile

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