Photo via Les Exploratrices
First, I need to be honest about my fitness: I’m NOT a natural athlete. I’ve had my ups and downs on the treadmill of health, but I’ve always found working out to be a chore. I envy the Fit Girls of Instagram (you know who you are)—the ladies who religiously meal prep, who can squat better than J. Lo, and who wear performance athleisure like they were born in it. You make it look so easy…and fun. Even in my fittest phase (I used to run marathons), I’d still have to trick myself into working out. So when I was looking for a way to kickstart my fitness routine (again), I tried ClassPass. Founded by our girl crush, Payal Kadakia, a world-class dancer and MIT grad whose enduring love for dance inspired her to get others to find their workout groove. With a million varieties of classes to try, why not shake things up? ClassPass allows you to studio hop with fitness classes in your area and customize your workout regimen. The classes range from yoga and pilates, to boxing, Crossfit and pole dancing class. Here’s what I learned:
Spin Class Is My Leg Day
Last time I checked, everyone hates Leg Day. Spin was my leg day workout, and oh man, that sucked. My past relationship with spin included pretending to increase the tension on my bike while I sipped my coconut water. This time around using ClassPass, my secret to making spin tolerable was eating a banana with peanut butter beforehand, while downing all the blue Gatorade I could get my hands on. Though biking over “hills” is still the worst, I must admit that my toned calves aren’t complaining.
A Kick in the Asana
I started attempting yoga on my “lazy days.” In fact, one of my first classes was with a room full of pregnant women, and I could have sworn we slept in the dark the entire hour. But I slowly found yoga to be a cross between a really good workout and a relaxing hot tub (my vice on a Saturday night). When I wanted to push myself, I added weights and went for Bikram-style yoga. If I wanted to chill, I chose a restorative class.
Meet Me At The Barre?
Apparently uncontrollable shaking muscles means you’re doing barre right. It took me all of 30 seconds of class to start dripping with sweat during a 5-minute plank. For anyone who hasn’t taken barre, the instructor shouts precise and quick instructions that sound a little something like this: “And DOWN-and-tuck, and UP-and-tuck, and tuck-up, 2-3-4, tuck-DOWN 2-3-4.” Meanwhile the students make minor isometric movements–so minor, you’re not even sure you can see yourself contracting. It was really, really hard, but I eventually got into it. I felt stronger almost immediately and was surprised how quickly each class flew by. Also, with my personal affinity for ballerinas, posing against the mirrored walls was the closest I’d get to channeling the NYC ballet. Dang, Misty Copeland, is that you?
My First Wellness Appointment
Depending on the city, ClassPass gives you a chance to make local wellness appointments that aren’t gym-related (infrared rooms, saunas, etc…). I took advantage of a cryotherapy center, because hey, who doesn’t want to enter a nitrogen chamber naked for three minutes? Cryo Tip: It’s as freezing as it sounds. Although cryotherapy is supposed to reduce soreness and increase blood circulation, I’m not completely sure I’m on the bandwagon yet. It did, however, feel good after spin class.
Let’s address the obvious question: Is ClassPass worth it? Similar to other fitness programs, they offer introductory pricing to new members. Depending on the city you reside in, the tiered pricing ranges from $65 for 5 classes a month, to $175 for unlimited use in LA/SF. The expense is the same price tag as a weekend flight, or two-and-a-half trips to Whole Foods. But some months, you might choose to invest in some Charlotte Tilbury skincare, and other times, it may mean buying a faster hard drive for your computer. This month, it was my fitness, and my experience getting into ClassPass had an obvious payoff to me. Boredom was always the culprit to my personal struggle with fitness. But because ClassPass required me to hop around, meet new people, and try things I normally wouldn’t, it was anything but boring. For the girls who hate working out–this one’s definitely for you.
I may never be a Fit Girl of Instagram. But at least I’m into yoga now. Though, I’m still totally pretending I know how to “find my vinyasa.”