There are hundreds of gyms and boutique studios in New York City, and class subscription services like ClassPass and FitReserve are capitalizing on giving fitness buffs the chance to sample them all. These services will definitely save money over signing up for individual classes, they still aren’t cheap, especially if you don’t want to let go of your gym membership.
So, how can you really get your money’s worth? We talked to a personal trainer and one satisfied customer to get their insider tips.
1. First, find out what your body needs.
It’s tempting to sign up for the trendiest workout classes you’ve been dying to try the second you get your shiny new membership, but Don Saladino, founder of Drive 495 (who boasts Ryan Reynolds as one of his clients), says it’s important to do a fitness screening first.
“A lot of people hop into classes like SoulCycle and come back [with an injury],” he says. To avoid getting hurt, reach out to a trainer and ask for a screening. Many will do it for free if they know it’s because you want to go to a class. If not, it’s worth using one of your passes for the session. Then, you can do any needed corrective exercises at home and sign up for the classes you want without worrying that the workout will be too much for your body.
2. Tailor it to your schedule.
Life Is Better In Yoga Pants blogger Lynette Pettinicchi is an active FitReserve member and says the very act of signing up for a class keeps her committed to working out. “I miss more [workouts] I do on my own than I do with FitReserve classes,” she says.
But making it fit into your schedule is key. Her insider tip: “For weekday morning classes, I look for studios with showers so I can head right to work after and don’t have to go all the way home to get ready,” she says. “Then, on the weekends, I sign up for classes near my apartment in Astoria.” Make things easy on yourself and you’re more likely to stick with it and not cancel at the last minute.
3. Vary the intensity level.
With so many classes to choose from, figuring out the best way to alternate them can be confusing. Should you do cardio one day, weights the next? What about yoga? Saladino has the formula that will work best for your body: “Vary it by intensity level,” he says. “Start with low intensity, the next workout do medium, the next workout go high, then medium again, working your way down.”
Break down the type of workouts you like to do, such as Pilates, aerobics or a weight-based class into those categories and make your class schedule accordingly.
4. Keep your goal in mind.
While you’re experimenting with different classes and switching up the intensity level, Saladino says it’s important to keep your fitness goal in mind so you’re really getting what you want out of your subscription. “If your goal is to tone your abs, sign up for all the different type of classes you want, but three days a week should be classes focusing on resistance training,” he says. “That’s really going to be what transforms your body.”
5. Do it with a friend.
While Pettinicchi says she goes to most of her FitReserve classes alone since she and her friends all have crazy schedules, there’s one class they love to do together: boxing. “I love to go to Overthrow in NoHo with my friends,” she says. “It’s a grungy, underground boxing studio and just a ton of fun.” When your workout is also a time to catch up with your friends, you’re more likely to stay committed — and also to look forward to it.
How they compare:
Price: $125 per month
Catch: Subscribers can only take three classes per fitness studio per month.
Cancellation policy: Must cancel 12 hours in advance or you’ll get fined $20
Price: $79 for 5 classes a month, $149 for 10 classes a month, $249 for 20 classes a month
Catch: If you don’t show up to a class you signed up for, you get charged $20.
Cancellation policy: Varies by studio from 6 to 24 hours in advance; $15 fee
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