This morning at 7 a.m. I found myself aggressively bear crawling across my apartment floor, and it wasn’t because I was chasing after a lost earring.
Instead, former Equinox trainer Bakari Williams was leading me through a high-intensity workout on TV—via ClassPass. Tomorrow, everyone’s favorite way to book a class at a boutique workout studio is launching a new service: live stream HIIT workouts.
When I’ve attempted other online classes I’ve walked away out of boredom or pure laziness, but ClassPass Live has figured out a way to hold attendees accountable for each of their burpees.
The starter kit for ClassPass Live costs $70 and includes a Chromecast and your favorite new accessory: a heart rate monitor. Your heart rate is recorded the entire time and your status is shown on a leaderboard that everyone in the class can see, including the instructor.
At one point Williams, who might not have been able to see me but could see my screen side score, told me I was doing amazing and I certainly couldn’t stop after that.
The monitor also shows what activity your body is doing. It lights up green while you’re warming up and turns red when you’re mid-jumping jack. There’s a target heart rate zone onscreen and your goal is to stay in the zone, earning points. It’s like Flywheel’s highly competitive in-class leaderboard, only an at-home version.
ClassPass has been scrutinized for price hikes, but the kit is actually a good buy. The heart rate monitor they use goes for $40 and a Google Chromecast is $35. Plus, you’re not spending money on equipment. But this service isn’t totally free; current ClassPass subscribers will pay $10 extra each month and for $15 per month, anyone can tune into these live classes.
For now, the live workouts are streaming Monday through Friday at 7, 9 and 10 a.m. or you can watch them on demand. Each workout is custom designed by New York fitness instructors and while they’re only 30 minutes long, they’re programmed for results. Expect custom HIIT workouts full of burpees and mountain climbers.
Before Williams became a ClassPass Live instructor, he was at Flywheel and SLT. Other Live trainers have similarly stacked resumes. Ben Wegman comes from The Fhitting Room, Jess Sims is at Shadowbox and Amanda Robinson trained at the School of American Ballet.
After class ended, there was still time to shower and prepare for my day and working out was no longer taunting me as a 6:30 p.m. activity. I just needed to recover from all those burpees before I even had my coffee.