WASHINGTON — SoulCycle, Soildcore, yoga and barre: Fitness classes are no longer
reserved for aerobics and kickboxing — in the past few years, the options have
With all of the new and unique classes out there (antigravity yoga, anyone?), it can be
hard to commit to just one sport, yet alone commit, financially, to one studio’s
But now, you don’t have to. About one month ago, an alternative type of gym membership,
called ClassPass, launched in D.C.
ClassPass is a multi-fitness membership program that allows its members to access more
than 1,000 fitness classes at a variety of studios throughout the city for $99 a month.
One day you can try spin, the next day you can take Pilates and on the weekend, you can
get in some weight training.
Compare the cost of ClassPass to the average price of a monthly membership at most
D.C. area yoga and barre studios, which is $200.
ClassPass co-founder and CEO Payal Kadakia first launched ClassPass in New York in
2013. The MIT grad says she always wanted to try the latest fitness classes and crazes,
but often felt intimidated at the thought of trying a new activity and overwhelmed with
the costs associated.
“We really want to make it seem like everyone can work out, we want to make it more
accessible … we want to make it more flexible and affordable for the long-term,”
ClassPass also helps out local fitness studio owners by helping to fill empty
spots in classes. In a Bloomberg interview, Kadakia
said most fitness studios operate
40 percent under capacity. Partnering with these studios and filling their classes
helps the studios generate more revenue, and helps those who want to attend the
“We’re totally aligned with making sure that these studios can grow. We’ve built a
great marketing engine for them,” Kadakia says.
In the D.C. area, 59 studios participate in ClassPass, including Barre3 Georgetown,
CorePower Yoga, MINT and Off Road Cycling. And while there is no limit to the number of
classes members can take, they can only visit each studio three times a
So far, ClassPass is operating in seven cities and has booked more than 1 million
reservations. By early next year, Kadakia says she hopes to have ClassPass in every
major city, and is even looking to expand internationally.
“We want people to get in the door and get addicted to the feeling of working out —
really getting the gratification of going to class and feeling better,” Kadakia says.