Group Exercise Classes Just Got Better Thanks to These Three Start-Ups

Image courtesy of Bro. Jeffrey Pioquinto, SJ

Image courtesy of Bro. Jeffrey Pioquinto, SJ

Editor’s note: As of April 23, 2015, Classpass has acquired fitmob.

If you want to begin a consistent fitness habit, joining a group exercise class is the way to go. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, group exercise classes provide an easy way to get into a fitness routine and add variety to prevent boredom. Class members are also more likely to stick to a routine because it’s harder to skip when other people will know you’re absent. Plus, group exercise classes are often safer due instructor guidance and warm-ups and cool-downs built in to the program.

So what if you want to reap all the benefits of group exercise classes but don’t want to lock yourself into one gym or studio? Here are three start-ups that allow you to do just that.

  1. ClassPass, which raised another round of funding this week, allows you to attend all the group exercise classes your heart desires for $99/month. Currently, the service  is available in 25 cities, including New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. ClassPass is focused on studios and not gyms, so if you’re also wanting to hit the gym along with taking group classes, this may not be the subscription for you.
    • Pros: ClassPass has a lot of variety. According to a San Francisco reviewer, you can take classes in everything from pilates and crossfit to surfset and ariel. It also allows you to attend as many classes you can fit in a month and has a large number of studios it partners with.
    • Cons: If you really like a studio, you can only attend up to three times in one month. The most popular classes fill up quickly. For first-time visits to a new studio, you need to arrive early to sign paperwork and releases.
  1. fitmob (yes it’s all lowercase even at the beginning of a sentence) is a mix between all-access to studios and gyms, leaning more toward studios. The service is currently available in six cities: Austin, Dallas, Philadelphia, Portland, San Francisco and Seattle. Like ClassPass, it’s available for one monthly price that is not listed on their website.
    • Pros: Unlike the other services, fitmob has exclusive classes for its members. According to Yelp reviews for the San Francisco fitmob, the trainers are great and the number of workout locations are plentiful.
    • Cons: Reviews on Yelp for San Francisco fitmob are generally positive, but a few cite the company for customer service issues, and one user recommends just using ClassPass instead.
  1. Gymfinite is an up-and-comer in the group exercise subscription model. Although it’s currently only based in Denver, I recommend keeping your eye on this one because it provides access to classes and open gym time. Gymfinite has a two-tier subscription model. For $99/month, users can attend up to eight classes, while the unlimited pass is $199/month.
    • Pros: The big advantage to Gymfinite is that it offers open gym time, which can help add variety to routines in addition to just attending classes.  The higher-priced subscription also allows you to attend as many classes as you’d like each month.
    • Cons: The biggest cons are that the service is currently only available in one city, and it’s pricier than the others.

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