Leave it to an MIT grad to implement a fitness membership model we’ve been craving for years. (If only we’d invented it first!) Enter ClassPass, founded by dancer and entrepreneur Payal Kadakia. Launched in NYC in 2013, the innovative offering may make gym memberships—or multiple gym memberships (guilty!)—a thing of the past for those of us who really just want to take classes. And now it’s available in Charm City.
Here’s How it Works: For $99 a month, ClassPass members get unlimited classes at more than 40 boutique fitness studios from Harbor East to Hunt Valley. The catch: You can only take three classes at any single location per month—but, really, the point is to “get around” and enjoy the freedom of trying multiple formats and instructors. Currently, that ranges from some of our longtime favorites (are you tired of me mentioning BeachFit Baltimore yet?) and some we’re just learning about, like irresistible sounding Yoga Love in Maple Lawn and The Wellness Scoop, owned by a second-generation Pilates pro in Ellicott City. You can CrossFit at Arenal Fitness in the Quarry, get a ballet-inspired booty at Pure Barre in Annapolis, boot camp outside with Charm City Fitness in Patterson Park and try some kooky-looking Kangoo Jumps at Club De Cycle in Woodlawn.
What We Love: In our one-month test run, we fell hard for the ClassPass iPhone app that made finding, scheduling and reserving classes a snap. We were also delighted to find that some studios include (usually expensive) small-group specialty classes—like Pilates reformer at Coreworks Fitness in Columbia. Travel a lot? You can use ClassPass in more than 30 other cities, from L.A. to London.
Wish List: In its early life in Baltimore, ClassPass feels just a tiny bit yoga-heavy, though the variety is strong and growing. We’d love to see more dance classes—and, if we’re brave enough, we might just try dirty dancing at Pole Pressure or the intro to adult gymnastics at Urban Evolution. classpass.com