Once again, my love / hate relationship with Facebook has resulted in love. I saw an add for ClassPass and was all “Hey! What’s this?”. It’s a genius idea is what it is. For $79 – $99 a month (depending on your city. NYC is $99 while Atlanta is $79), you get unlimited classes at the studios who have partnered with ClassPass. The caveat is you can only take 3 classes at any one studio per month. I’m down with that because it forces you to expand your horizons. If you really, really love a studio, you can book directly with them, but what’s the point? If you wait it out, you’ve got 3 more classes ready and waiting. Atlanta currently has 98 studios to choose from and is constantly adding more options. As of right now, it’s only in major cities. You also get one freebie “travel” city. My sister lives in another ClassPass city, so I picked that one. It’s nice for people who travel a lot to one specific location. Be warned – it’s heavily marketed toward women. So unless you’re super comfortable around a bunch of women, I wouldn’t recommend it for men. The overwhelming option, at least here, is barre. More on why that’s a deceptive name in a minute.
There’s one thing I’ve noticed about smart people. We get bored really, really easily. My theory is our brains pick up on things very quickly and as a result get bored because, well, we’ve got it. I’ve found this in all areas of my life from tasks at work to my exercise choices. I need to accept that when it comes to exercise, I’m a bit of a commitment slut. I’ll like a workout once, then sign up for something that requires extra money to get out of OR a bunch of classes that end up going to waste because I just wasn’t feeling it for that particular period of time. This idea is absolutely perfect for me. I have no obligation to go to the same studio to get my money’s worth. In fact, after only 3 classes, I’d paid for the monthly fee and then some. I’ve taken 8 so far this month and still have 10 days left before the end of the cycle. Thus my boredom issue has been solved.
As I’ve discovered, barre classes have very little to do with actual ballet. The barre is simply a prop along with exercise balls, resistance bands, and therabands (the stretchy bands frequently used with athletes recovering from an injury). In short, it’s Pilates standing up. I wasn’t thrilled to walk into my first class to discover there were no plies or releves. At one studio the instructor counted to 10 and that threw me for a huge loop. For those who aren’t aware, ballet is counted in 8s. However, when I tried a different studio, that instructor counted in 8s. That’s not saying they aren’t a solid workout. My lower abs and quads were making themselves known. Just like yoga, there are set moves, but depending on the teacher, your mileage may vary.
Lastly, I’ve gotten sucked into the Lululemon trap a few times. It’s the “it” brand for yoga and running pants. Like most “it” brands, they ain’t cheap. They’ll range from $80 – $100 per pair. Did your eyes just pop out of your head? Yeah, I had sticker shock, too. I got a pair just to see why these are so damn popular and every time I wear them, I bitch about how hot they are. Turns out, that’s the point. They’re designed to keep your muscles warm and more loose because they don’t lose heat. Oh. Learn something new every day. I’m not going to run out and buy a pair for every day of the week, but I’ll be a little kinder to them. Downside? They stink after they’re worn. It takes a round of Febreeze, a wash, another round of Febreeze, then a round through the dryer. Even then, it doesn’t completely get rid of the smell. You have been warned.
In short, if you can get your hands on a ClassPass deal, do it. I don’t usually plug things like this, but it was worth mentioning. Happy exercising!