Sweating with SwitchFit, the Marketplace for the Country’s Top Gyms

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Fit folks in New York and Los Angeles just got the greatest gym (non)membership ever: An a la carte class pass system called SwitchFit that gets you into some of the most niché, unique fitness classes in the city, without any membership dues or fees.

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The program’s roster of classes reads like a cheat sheet of the buzziest modern fitness trends. In New York, that means boutique, athlete-inspired studios like Tone House, rowing machine interval-training courses like those at City Row, and the racing/cycling/weight-lifting Frankenstein’s monster of classes at Swerve, among a score of others.

Here’s how it works: SwitchFit presents users with fitness classes the same way Seamless or another food-finding app might show you pad thai in your neighborhood. The app finds classes, gym access, and trainers near you, then gives you a list with class prices, times, and distance from where you’re standing at that moment. For instance, as we swipe through the workouts available, there’s an endurance and speed class at 6:30 p.m. about 1.05 miles away for $25, and a personal trainer with an opening at 4 p.m. roughly 1.8 miles away for $65.

The pay-as-you-go model is what’s most surprising. This isn’t a system where you pay a flat fee for a set number of classes. You pay for every class individually, at a rate the gym sets. The real benefit is that you’re shown a wide range of classes you might not normally attend, like rowing or Krav Maga, for rates that, depending on the day, might be lower to fill slots — almost like a site that books empty hotel rooms at a lower rate to reduce losses. “If a gym has a Wednesday afternoon class that only sells out 75 percent of the time, they might put it up on SwitchFit for $10 instead of $20,” says SwitchFit CMO Fred Heim.

Paying individual class rates can stack up, since you aren’t getting the discount that comes with a guaranteed membership. But if you’re a fickle exerciser, or get sick of repeating the same exercises every week, SwitchFit might be worth a shot. However, Heim says, if you’re in a city other than New York or L.A., you might have to wait a while.

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