Big City CrossFit Teams Up with ClassPass

How one gym uses ClassPass to benefit it.

Nearly every Box has a class or two that is slow during the day, and Tim Burgess wanted to fix this at Big City CrossFit.

The Head Coach at the Box in Chicago, Illinois, Burgess said he was looking to fill several classes throughout the day. A member who knew about his quest approached him with an idea: something called ClassPass.

ClassPass is a monthly membership program that gives its members access to numerous studios and fitness facilities. It is located in 20 cities across the U.S. and costs $79 to $99 per month, depending on the city.

At the time, there was only one other Box in Chicago involved with ClassPass. So, Burgess took his member’s lead and called the company. “It was a pretty quick turnaround from just an inquisitive phone call to actually being a member of ClassPass,” he said.

How does it work? First and foremost, Burgess got to choose what class times ClassPass members could sign up for. “I didn’t want to open it up to have people who were probably not familiar with CrossFit dropping in to a busier class where they can’t get the attention they need or anything like that, or a class that may already be full on a regular basis,” he explained. “So, they let us choose what hours we want to be available to ClassPass members.”

Second, Big City is paid $10 for every drop-in it gets from ClassPass. And third, ClassPass members are limited to three visits per facility per month, meaning if they love Big City, they’ll need to purchase a membership to be able to go regularly.

In the past 25 days, Burgess said he has had about 40 drop-ins, averaging two to three people per day. That’s only after his first month of being on ClassPass.

He and his Coaches are notified what day and hour a person is dropping in, allowing them to prepare for a possible newbie in the class. For these drop-ins, Burgess said several things are essential: keeping a clean gym because most aren’t expecting the nitty-gritty of CrossFit; making a good first impression; and showing people the intimacy and camaraderie of Big City’s classes.

But, perhaps most important is the ability to adjust one’s programming. “Before you get into ClassPass, make sure you have your programming ready to be adaptable for a very first-time person … there’s a lot of precautionary things that you want to take care of,” said Burgess.

So far, most of the ClassPass members have been recurring. “I think it will take maybe another month of these people regularly coming through and them seeing the benefit of the actual programming instead of just dropping in for a random class. The idea we have behind is that they can see the entirety of what CrossFit is, instead of just a single class of some 60 minute Metcon or 30 minute Metcon,” said Burgess. “They can see the actual programming behind it and the true goal that we want to reach.”

Heather is the editor for Box Pro Magazine. Contact her at