In late February I started taking a lot of classes at a lot of different fitness studios, so I think it’s time to write some blog posts about my experiences at the different studios. Did I get to take the classes for free? Nope. I joined Classpass.
What is Classpass? It’s a boutique fitness studio membership to a bunch of fitness studios instead of just one. You are limited to 3 visits per month per studio*, but I haven’t had a problem with that yet because they have SO many studio partners. It costs $79 per month in the Seattle area and about $99 in some other markets (like San Francisco). They frequently offer trials like “first week free” so make sure to look for one before you join (if you decide to join). I normally use their iPhone app to find and reserve my spot in classes, but you can also do it on their website. It sounds like they’re also working on an Android app.
*Studios with several locations are a little different. For example: Pure Barre has quite a few locations in the Seattle area, but I can’t take 3 classes at the Bellevue studio and then 3 classes at the Capitol Hill studio. I’m limited to 3 total Pure Barre classes per month.
Pure Barre Bellevue: I’ve taken about 30 classes at this studio because it was one of the most convenient studios for me while I was a fitmobber (Classpass acquired fitmob a few months ago). My favorite teacher is Hannah Tripp and I’m not sure if it’s because she was my first PB teacher or just because she’s awesome. I remember getting my butt kicked at the first class (didn’t feel sore the next day, though) and feeling like this studio was a “fitness factory” (in a good way) because they had another class right after the one I took. I still can’t get myself to be off my knees for the entire plank section, but I’ll keep coming back and trying… maybe it’ll happen someday! One of my favorite things about Pure Barre right now is that while many of the exercises are different each class, I’m familiar with the basic outline and know what to expect. Something else… a few months ago, a yoga teacher mentioned that she doesn’t like barre because in her experience they talk too much about heels and bikini bodies. I said that was interesting because while I’ve heard some things like that, the Pure Barre phrase I’ve heard much more frequently is: “You can do this. You are stronger than you think.”
Do you need to bring anything special? They really want you to wear sticky socks (though sometimes I just wear regular short socks and don’t have problems with slipping). They sell Pure Barre sticky socks for about $12 a pair.
Studio: One changing room. Plenty of storage “baskets.” Bathroom is in the main part of the building (so you have to go outside to reach it). Nice retail area. No windows in the classroom.
Barre3 Bellevue: I love the location (+ nice view!) and the one super challenging class I’ve taken so far. My boyfriend’s teaching/tutoring schedule changed around the same time I transitioned to Classpass so I sadly haven’t made it to any more classes here yet. This wasn’t my first barre3 class, though. I first learned about barre3 when they had a Yelp Elite event at their Kirkland location about a year ago. My legs were sore for daaays after that class!
Do you need to bring anything special? Nope!
Studio: I believe there’s a shower in the bathroom. Love all the natural light in the studio. I don’t have kids, but noticed that they have a little daycare play-space area.
Pilates Plus: I have walked by this studio dozens of times and love Pilates, so I was REALLY happy to see them on Classpass. I enjoyed my first class (though the Megaformer still intimidates me!) and got way sweatier than I expected, but the second class… Don’s class… was the one that really got me hooked. I wasn’t sure I’d like him at first because he doesn’t look like the boutique studio teachers I’m used to (first impression was… football coach/HS gym teacher?) but his class was great and very challenging.
Flywheel Bellevue: Their 45-minute cycling class was the first class that I’ve taken that really drained me! I have no idea how I made it to their shower (so glad they have them!) because I wasn’t really able to do much physically or mentally after. Had to eat and take a nap just to get close to feeling normal! I was actually too nervous to take that class again after that experience and only signed up for my second Flywheel class because for some reason fitmob had a different class description that looked “safe” because it wasn’t That Class. I was really glad that happened, though, because I loved (most of) my second class and left feeling fabulous and full of energy. I definitely still have moments of “why did I sign up for this?!?!?” during class but by the end I’m happy I got through it and usually feel fantastic. Note: My total power the first time was about 300 and since then I’ve been hitting ~200. Also, their app is great! Love all the stats.
Do you need to bring anything special? Water is a really good idea, but not something I’d consider “special.” They have a spot to refill your bottle if it’s empty. They also provide cycling shoes, towels, and pretty much everything you’ll need for a quick shower.
Studio: Big! At least 2 showers. Plenty of bathrooms. Plenty of lockers. Nice retail area ($$$).
Do you need to bring anything special? I don’t think you really need to bring a towel (they suggest it) but something like a small pack of body wipes is a good idea. I am always surprised by how sweaty I get during their classes!
Studio: It’s a room with a small waiting area and about eight Megaformers. They do have a bathroom! Club Pilates: I’ve loved Pilates for a while but apparently considered this location a little more “out of the way” compared to Pilates Plus, so I didn’t sign up for one of their classes until I reached my PS limit. I ended up really enjoying my first class and was excited to sign up for my second! The two classes were very different (including the equipment used) but each was challenging. The one odd thing about this studio is that the reception area, storage cubbies, and bathroom are actually in the back room. I am pretty sure I confused a student or teacher-in-training when I came in and started talking about Classpass and how it was my first time at this studio. ;)
Do you need to bring anything special? Nope.
Studio: Good size. Bathroom is in the back.
Shakti Vinyasa Yoga East: This is another one of those studios that I’ve been noticing for years and was really happy to see on fitmob/Classpass. Why didn’t I take a class earlier? I don’t live/work in the area, drop-in classes are usually expensive, and carrying fitness clothes with me almost all the time is a new practice for me. I believe I’ve taken 2 classes here so far and have been pretty happy with the experiences. My first class was a 90-minute class and I was really surprised that it flew by.
Do you need to bring anything special? Yoga mat and towel if you’d like to take a shower after class. They have both available for rent for $2 each. The showers have the basic necessities.
Studio: Bigger than I expected! Natural light in the classroom. Men’s and women’s locker rooms with showers and bathrooms. Good retail area.
The Yoga Element: I was surprised when I found out this studio is basically in the same building as Pure Barre Bellevue! I love the location and am happy to have the opportunity to finally check out Bikram type yoga. One of my friends loved the style so much she actually became a Bikram instructor a few years ago (though I think she’s focusing more on her IT day job right now). Anyway… the class had some poses I’m familiar with and a lot of stuff that I’ve never encountered before. It was interesting. The one part of class that drove me nuts was the… sort-of savasana. I’m used to savasana being the nice and relaxing end of class, so I was pretty shocked to discover that it could be the brief break in-between difficult exercises (don’t remember what they were). I’m really looking forward to visiting this studio again.
Do you need to bring anything special? Yoga mat + shower towel + mat towel. They have each item available for rent (probably about $2 each).
Studio: BIG! Locker rooms. Multiple classrooms. Windows/natural light. Quite a bit of art.
Downtown Bellevue studios that I haven’t made it to yet:
1. 24 Hour Fitness (gym time)
2. David Barton Gym (gym time & classes)
4. CorePower Yoga
6. Sweat Equity