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Which fitness class will you join next?

By MYLENE MENDOZA-DAYRIT, The Philippine STAR Published Dec 21, 2021 5:00 am

Most fitness enthusiasts have been waiting for face-to-face group exercise classes to start. But while the Philippine Fitness Alliance campaigned that indoor group classes be allowed for vaccinated individuals starting at Alert Level 3, DTI guidelines for implementation released a few days before the end of November only allowed group exercise classes at Alert Level 2.

We take what we are given, gratefully. And, while studios seem to be ramping up slowly, we know that the studios will be very active starting January 2022.

ClassPass, which started in 2013, is available in the United States, the United Kingdom, Europe, Asia Pacific, Australia, New Zealand, China and Hong Kong. It provides its subscribers access to 40,000 gyms, studios and wellness partners. 

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It provided support to these establishments as they reopened their gyms and studios after the pandemic-related shutdowns. Wellness and beauty services were also added, which a third of its members availed of. 

“As studios and spas reopened in 2021, we saw tremendous excitement for these classes and experiences,” Zach Apter, chief commercial officer of ClassPass, told Fit Summit.

“Currently, nine out 10 of the most-booked experiences on ClassPass are for in-person fitness classes and wellness appointments. Looking ahead to 2022, we expect fitness reservations to continue to increase as more people become vaccinated and comfortable returning to studios and spas. We also anticipate that wellness appointments such as massages and manicures will continue to be a growing category on the ClassPass platform,” he said.

Positioned to be stronger since MindBody acquired them, Sam Canavan, ClassPass managing director for Asia-Pacific, shared exciting insights in a 30-minute Fit Summit interview.

Sam Canavan, managing director for Asia-Pacific for ClassPass, in an Instagram post about a run he joined in Sydney. He enjoys fitness, whether indoors or outdoors.

“The genesis of ClassPass was (during) the surge of boutique fitness in North America,” Sam said. “There were new concepts and a lot of inventory to merchandise. That was our core product. We started with the boutique fitness, then expanded to the gyms, then we are now going into wellness which is, of course, 10 times bigger in size and revenue than fitness alone.”

He explained that they listened to the users, who cannot go to a Bootcamp class all the time. They also want some downtime to relax and go to a sauna or a spa. By listening to their subscribers, ClassPass is expanding its service offers to include wellness treats, hotel services, and even food and beverage.

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The platform allows them to actually merchandise everything for the partner establishment. The subscribers at this point have different menus depending on the inventory per country. Here in the Philippines, ClassPass is only available in Metro Manila since it just started when the pandemic hit.

Unbelievers always say that ClassPass actually competes with their business and they cannot see how it will help them. But ClassPass argues that it actually helps the business grow by bringing in new business. Sam settled the score.

“Everything we do is centered on trying to help our partners have the best direct business they can. So, the partnership should really only be a cherry on top for their business, and they should be the ones having the cake and eating it, too.

“Our litmus test to see if our partners can remain profitable is to know whether the business can survive if the revenue from ClassPass is gone. So the minute we see that we’re taking more than 25 to 30 percent of their revenue, we would want to take a step back and act as a consultant for them, probing into why they might not be getting enough members or why ClassPass users may not be converting to their own programs and trials. We may even provide some of our data to help them improve their business,” Sam emphasized.

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As Sam explained, the core of the business is fitness, so that is the primary category. Other categories are Wellness, Beauty and Livestream. The latter offers virtual classes and instructions. For Wellness, you can book a massage, facial, cryotherapy, sports recovery, sauna, meditation, acupuncture or cupping. Under Beauty, you can make an appointment for manicure, blowout, pedicure, lashes, haircut or brows. 

Fitness has the most activity choices, including yoga, Barre, HIIT, boot camp, martial arts, rowing, running, cycling, Pilates, dance, boxing, outdoors, gym time or sports.