Review: ClassPass Part II

Have you read Part I? That’s probably a good place to start and learn what ClassPass is.

I’ve never done a barre class but decided to try out Pure Barre in Bethesda. I didn’t know what to expect from this class. I didn’t think a barre class would be for me but I’m always up for trying out new workouts and can learn things to incorporate into my own workouts and classes (it’s research, really). Before class started, the instructor introduced herself to the newbies in the class (me and one other person, I think) and talked us through a few things. I was very impressed throughout the workout that she would use our names. She’d say, “good job, Hannah” and things like that which I thought was very nice.

My hunch was right: this class was not for me. First of all, it wasn’t that challenging. I had already done a 55 minute spin class today so I figured as a second workout anything would be a bit challenging but it wasn’t. There was a very long stretch where we were doing variations of donkey kicks with tube resistance that was tough, but for the most part it just wasn’t hard. Also, while it was a barre class, we only spent a few minutes of the 50 minute class at the barre! Another sort of weird thing is that the studio is carpeted…which just doesn’t make sense to me and seems sort of gross. How many people have sweat into that carpet?

My biggest complaint is, again, it’s too hot! Way too hot. And they are very clear in their rules that they don’t allow people in shorts into the studio because they want your muscles to be warm. It was unbearably hot in there. I mean, it wasn’t like 90 degrees, but I’m willing to guess it was more than 80. I don’t want to sweat while sitting down! Not cool.

I will say their customer service is fantastic! The instructor was great and helpful with new people, the woman at the desk when I arrived was also very friendly. After the class I got an email asking for some feedback so I said it was too hot and not challenging enough and I got a response back pretty quickly that kindly addressed all of my complaints. I was very impressed by that!

The final studio I went to was Balance Studio, also in Bethesda. I went to a class called Abs & Arms and, while it was fun, I don’t know that I’ll go back. It was a really fusion-y Pilates class which was fun but the class moved a bit too slow for me (which is often the case in Pilates – the only exception I’ve found, so far, is the Pilates class on Sunday evenings at Yoga Heights). The other problem I had with this class is that it didn’t seem like we did anything long enough – we’d do a few repetitions and move onto the next exercise which meant I didn’t really get fatigued from anything.

There were four people in the class and two of us were new (and I think one was injured, maybe) so that could have given the class a slightly different pace than usual. I’m not sure. The instructor was very nice and actually did most of the class with us (I think because there was extra space) which is sort of rare for yoga and Pilates instructors in my experience.

The studio was really nice and they offer a variety of yoga, Pilates (mat and transformer), and barre classes so it’s a good space for people who are interested in those as their primary exercise. For me, I don’t think the studio is a great fit. Though, I’d be willing to try again. Unlike Balance and Past Tense, I wasn’t uncomfortably warm before starting the class!

So…there you go, my ClassPass experience. It was a fun week, I like trying out new studios. If I weren’t teaching and didn’t have such a full workout schedule as is, I would definitely consider ClassPass as a good option.