Awesome Alert: ClassPass Launches in Chicago! (And other places, too)

When fitness enthusiast Payal Kadakia decided to leave her corporate job to start a company geared towards group fitness, she already had some entrepreneurial experience (and spirit) on her side. She started The Sa Dance Company in 2009, having been a dancer since the age of three. “That was the first project I was working on when I had my full time job. It gave me the confidence to say to myself, ‘if you focus and put your heart into it, you can do this.’”

And thus, ClassPass was born.

ClassPass is a membership-based program that allows you to take classes at group fitness studios around the city for a monthly fee. And it’s pretty badass. Anyone who’s class-hopped knows those sweat-sessions – and their costs – can add up quickly, and often purchasing a class pack or membership to one gym can limit the ability to try different studios. With ClassPass, members pay $99 for 10 classes/month at some of the most renowned gyms in the city. They launched in Chicago – their fifth city – last week, with 50 participating studios, including Flywheel, Exhale. I.D. Gym, and Shred415.

The ClassPass team at Flywheel cycling studio during one of three Chicago launch events

The ClassPass team at Flywheel cycling studio during one of three Chicago launch events

“We want every person in America to have easy access to fitness,” Kadakia explained to us at the Chicago launch. “When I was in the corporate world, it was so hard to stay active. Between finding the classes, paying for them, and knowing which studios were even good, everything felt more like a hurdle.” ClassPass aims to simplify all that.

Payal heads up ClassPass with co-founder Mary Biggins, a marathon-runner with a background in helping local small businesses. “She came at it from a different angle, focusing on how to help the businesses grow. These studios all need new people every single day. We help them find the fitness people who want to come in and work out.”

And there were plenty of fitness people to be found at the Chicago launch event, where attendees hopped on spin bikes to sample a class you can take at FlyWheel using your ClassPass. As the music pumped and the pedals flew in the packed room, we realized this was the sweaty life Kadakia and Biggins imagine for their members in action.

When you put your mind to something and you focus on it, – that goes for anything in your life, business to fitness – if you focus and you put your heart into it, you can do it.

(Payal Kadakia, CEO & Co-Founder, ClassPass)

Here at Athletish, we’re suckers for kick-ass women running the show. And when that show opens up new fitness opportunities? Sign us up!

ClassPass is now active in New York, Boston, LA, San Francisco and Chicago, with DC next on the horizon. With the goal of launching in a city a month, they’re sure to be near you soon.

For more info, visit

  • Tiffany

    As someone who loves trying out new gyms (but doesn’t have the $$ to do so), I am totally in love with this idea!