We tried FitReserve - here's what we thought

By Alex Apatoff
August 13, 2015 09:52 PM

Who Tried It: Andrea Lavinthal, Style and Beauty Director
Why I Tried It: As an attempt to find at least one type of workout class that I can tolerate
What I Tried: FitReserve, a site that allows you to book classes at tons of NYC’s top boutique fitness studios
Level of Difficulty: Zero for the process of signing up for the classes, but between a 7-9 for the actual classes (you want me to hold a plank for how long?!)

Courtesy Andrea Lavinthal

It’s hard to live in a #fitspo world when you’re the girl who puts the “leisure” in “athleisure.” And while I know I’m not the only person who absolutely hates working out, it feels that way when all of my friends and colleagues are constantly Soul Cycling, Bikram yoga-ing and mini trampoline-ing (why anyone would want to jump up and down for an hour is beyond me).

But between the five pounds I’ve gained in the last two months (because you’re required to have margaritas and chips any time you hang out with friends in the summer) and feeling left out in the fitness chatter at the office, I decided it’s time to hit the gym.

Except …. I don’t belong to a gym, because I can’t be left to my own devices or I’ll walk on the treadmill at a geriatric pace. And taking the same class over and over gets kind of boring (I’m assuming, since I’ve never found a class I wanted to take more than once).

I’ve been hearing a lot of buzz about sites like ClassPass that allow you to try classes at studios around town, but lately some of my friends have been complaining about not being able to get into their favorites, especially during peak hours. Knowing that any deterrent would send me straight back to Margaritaville, I decided to try FitReserve. It’s on the pricier side (they have three packages, starting at $79 for five classes per month) but guarantees members a spot in the class they want. Plus, you can book at the same studio up to four times per month, which is something other sites don’t allow. I chose the 10 classes per month package ($149), which turned out to be just a tad ambitious.

The first week of my membership was a total wash since I had already filled my calendar with after work plans (yes, guac was involved) and the thought of working out before sunrise was too terrifying. Week two I managed to book one class, which I promptly canceled and rebooked for another night. Even though I hadn’t taken a single class, I was already liking FitReserve, since you can cancel most reservations just six hours before class. This is key for someone like me, whose middle name should be “Reschedule.”

During my first month I tried three studios (Circuit of Change, EvolveFitness and Exhale) and didn’t quite meet the 10 class maximum. However, I did Exhale’s Core Fusion Barre class four times, which is a big deal for me. I credit the instructors — Julie Bobek and Lauren Chiarello — who were somewhat merciful on my beginner self. Their classes are so tough that I had to stop during the warmup to catch my breath and I’ve yet to get through an entire set of anything — pushups, situps, 100 mini squats with a rubber ball stuck between my thighs while my heels are supposed to be six inches off the ground — without completely collapsing after, like, five reps.

So obviously I need to do a much better job at prioritizing working out, especially if I want to finally graduate from the two-pound weights to the five-pound ones like the rest of the Core Fusion class. In the meantime, I’m going to drop my membership down to five classes a month with the goal of voluntarily upping my workouts to more than once a week. Luckily there are a bunch of classes I want to try. Next up: “Trampolean,” which is, you guessed it, a 50-minute trampoline class.

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